For a large sum of people, living a gluten-free life may not be needed. But for some, a gluten-free diet is vital to maintain their health since gluten can cause a severe reaction, especially for those diagnosed with celiac disease. Because of this, patients must pay close attention to what they are ingesting so they wouldn't have severe damage in their small intestines. As more and more gluten-free diets and eating options have grown into existence, an alternate look into other products have also been looked at and modified into being gluten-free.
This is said to mean that a variety of products like beer and food coloring are now receiving their very own gluten-free options. One product that may go overlooked in this search to provide gluten free products, however, is everyday cosmetics, such as skin care solutions, makeup, bath scrubs, and so on.
Makeup specifically could very well be ingested, which can be a serious threat for those who have to be on a strict gluten-free diet. So this may very well pose an important question for individuals who are conscious about their gluten intake, and even those who may not have celiac disease or a condition similar to it.
So, should consumers care about purchasing gluten-free makeup?
Gluten, generally speaking, is a word that defines the specific proteins found within wheat. Wheat products include emmer, semolina, farro, spelt, farina, graham, wheat berries, durum, kamut, wheat, einkorn, rye, triticale, and barley. Gluten’s function is to help certain foods maintain their respective shape by holding the food particles close together. Gluten often makes an appearance in three primary types, known as the “big 3”, which consists of wheat, rye, and barley. These three types of gluten can be found in a large variety of products, such as breads, pasta, soup, salad dressings, roux, malt syrup, and beer, just to name a few.
If a person with celiac disease consumes a gluten product, their body will eventually fail to absorb the nutrients in the food they are eating, which are needed for energy use. This occurs because the body has within its small intestine, a tissue known as villi. These villi are ultimately responsible for taking in a combination of sugars, vitamins, and other vital nutrients that come through the small intestine after being eaten.
With the consumption of gluten, a celiac disease patient’s villi flattens itself, subsequently causing damage to the inner lining of the intestine. From time to time, a patient with celiac disease who has eaten gluten either voluntarily or involuntarily will not experience any noticeable symptoms, but the damage to the small intestine is well underway. Because of this reason, a celiac patient choosing a gluten-free makeup product could very well prevent the severe repercussions that can come from any amount of gluten consumption.
While the choice to stay as far away from any gluten product, even makeup containing gluten, is wise for celiac disease patients, the same may not be the case for those who are not sensitive to gluten intake.
A Medical News Today article discussed this very phenomenon, when the author, Honor Whiteman, stated that, “there seems to be limited evidence that - outside of celiac disease - gluten is bad for our health.” Whiteman goes on to mention a study wherein no negative effects were present in test patients, a conclusion that had been overturned from a study conducted by the same team just two years before.
The article follows up to point out that much of what society believes of gluten is misguided, due to the fact that most have begun to believe that gluten is a “dietary villain.” This being said, more comprehensive studies must take place in the near future for the actual harms (if any) of gluten consumption for non-gluten sensitive individuals to completely abandon the food groups.
Understanding celiac disease
Celiac disease is categorized as a form of immune reaction, specifically to an intake of gluten. As previously mentioned, gluten describes a number of food products ranging from rye, wheat, barley, and more. The triggers experienced as a result of gluten intake are present within the small intestine, and cause the affected patient to stop receiving the necessary energy that comes from their food. The damage to the intestine can have serious effects, of which will include bloating, anemia, unwanted weight loss, and other health-related struggles. Implications for children can be even worse, as their growth very well could be stunted. At this current time, there are no cures for celiac disease, so diligence with what patients eat everyday is vital to proper intestinal function and health.
In addition to some of the symptoms mentioned above, celiac disease can also result in joint pain, injury to the nervous system, acid reflux and heartburn, ulcers in the mouth, dental enamel damage, overtiredness, headaches, a loss in bone density, irritated skin, as well a poor functioning of the spleen (known as hyposplenism). Doctors utilize two primary types of blood tests when diagnosing the disease in patients. These tests include serology testing and genetic testing. For patients unsure of whether or not they have celiac disease, it is always good practice to see a doctor first before the adaptation of a non-gluten diet.
The future for patients with celiac disease
As mentioned above, no cure currently exists for patients diagnosed with celiac disease. This being said, a number of steps must be taken in order to ensure a lifetime of health. The most obvious of these includes the adaptation of a strict, non-gluten diet. Including the use of other non-gluten products such as those seen in cosmetics can also prove to be helpful, so as to reduce these potentially harmful effects if gluten was to be consumed. In addition to a methodical diet, patients with celiac disease can also take a variety of vitamin and mineral supplements.
Doing so can help to compensate for any specific nutrients that may be lacking because of the absence of some of the vital proteins found in gluten products. These can include the following: calcium, Vitamin K, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D, Zinc, Iron, and Folate. With the use of these methods, the celiac disease community as a whole will see a substantial improvement in their day to day lives.