A question I’ve been asking myself for a while now after seeing multiple TV adverts stating their products are now free from gluten. But does this really affect those of us with allergies or intolerance to gluten or is it just a marketing thing.
I have been nursing for many years and I know your entire body is linked up, including what you put on your skin effecting what goes on on internally. We use topical pharmaceuticals regularly for issues on the inside, so its not un-questionable that the beauty products we use could be causing issues inside too.
But can a shampoo containing gluten really make us sick? And does it make a difference depending if were allergic or intolerant?
So whats the difference….
People with a allergies to gluten will often say there “allergic” and go no further with the conversation, that’s what I do. I don’t have the time to explain to folks about my past with the anaemia and the failed Coeliac’s tests leading me to a gluten free lifestyle. However, there are several different gluten “allergies” each with a different range of symptoms and reactions.
- Coeliac’s Disease: Firstly this condition isn’t actually an allergy. Although most people will say it is because its easier for others to understand it that way. Its actually an autoimmune disorder; if digested, gluten will trigger a immune reaction in the lining of the small intestines causing damage. There is no “cure” to coeliac’s the symptoms and damage are reduced by eating a gluten free diet.
- Gluten intolerance: Is a phrase people tend use when they have a negative result to the coeliac’s tests yet are still have issues with gluten. Folk’s like this are now being diagnosed with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.
- Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity: Coeliac Disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity are not the same. Those with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity will have a negative blood test result for coeliac but have all the same symptoms. However, it does not cause major damage to the small intestines but some will have minimal damage that will reduce with a gluten free diet.
- Dermatitis Herpetiformis: Also known as “gluten rash”. Dermatitis herpertifomis is a red and very itchy skin rash that appears when gluten is consumed. Most people would associate a rash caused by something as a allergy, but like Coeliac’s disease it is a autoimmune reaction to gluten. A gluten free diet will help reduce the rash.
- Wheat allergy: Is an allergy to wheat, not gluten. Gluten free contains no wheat, rye or barley. Those with wheat allergies cant have wheat but usually have no issues with barley or rye.
So will your gluten beauty products make you ill….
Simple answer is no.
However, as most allergies, auto immune reactions and intolerance are due to digestion of gluten maybe avoid lip balms, dental products and products that go around the mouth that contain gluten just in case. Dermatitis herpetiformis is a skin reaction to gluten but has shown it wont be affected by topical gluten containing products.
Gluten is known for its ability to hold together and provide elasticity so is perfect for hair sprays and other products. But is not needed. There are many gluten free beauty products that work just as good as those containing gluten.
So its a personal choice.
I have issues with gluten, lactose and many other things but so far i have had no issues with beauty products including shampoos and hair dyes containing gluten. However, I am now more vigilant about the ingredients used in my products and have become a beauty product label checker.
If you do have any issues with beauty products, gluten free or containing gluten please see your health care professional for a formal assessment.
Your safe to use what you like to achieve your perfect hair do, just don’t eat it!