Unfortunately, gluten is responsible for causing several intolerances in humans, most severe being celiac disease which is an autoimmune disease of the intestine. Slightly less severe is non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS); a related gluten disorder which triggers an immune response but is not an autoimmune condition. When gluten interacts with the cells lining the intestine, it triggers the immune system to respond, causing inflammation and damage to the gut. When this trigger remains, and the immune system is continuously activated, the inflammatory response can become chronic or long-lasting.
Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.