Food intolerance is more common than having an allergy to a certain food. It normally does not involve an immunological reaction, but can cause discomfort, wind, bloating and stomach pain.
Gluten intolerance, however, does spark a different type of autoimmune reaction, if you are unsure as to whether you are gluten intolerant, do compare your symptoms to those that are common for most sufferers.
In a person with a gluten intolerance or coeliac disease (or celiac disease if you live in the US) there is an abnormality in the lining of the small intestine.
Ingesting products such as wheat, rye or barley, which all contain a protein commonly known as gluten, can destroy the finger-like projections called villi along the length of the intestine. These villi are key to providing your body with the maximum amount of nutrient absorbtion in the most efficient of spaces, and they help to move the food through the gut.
With continued ingestion of gluten over time, the villi of your stomach become more flat, rounded, no longer finger-like and therefore the area for nutrients to be absorbed and the motion of moving food along dwindles.
The impacts of this aren't as quick as those with a food allergy, described above, the malabsorption affects can take time to notice, reactions could be put to other tributary factors therefore disguising the true food intolerance and condition.
This is one of the reasons that people 'live' with the condition, unbeknown to them, and why in children it's important to catch it as soon as possible. Otherwise they may be given the label of a failure to thrive.
Be alert to possible celiac disease symptoms in your baby or child, such as not putting on weight, diarrhoea and sickness.