Gluten is a protein found in the cereals wheat, barley and rye, and is therefore commonly found in pasta, cakes, most breads and lots of ready meals.
An intolerance to it is a common digestive condition known as coeliac disease.
It causes the small intestine to be unable to absorb nutrients, according to the NHS.
The disease is an autoimmune condition, where the body tries to defend itself against infection but mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
In this case the immune system mistakes substances found in gluten as a threat to the body and begins to fight them.
This interferes with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, which could lead to malnutrition.
While it is not exactly known why the immune system acts this way, genetics and the environment seem to play a role.
Here are four signs you could be suffering from the condition.
This is the most common sign of coeliac disease.
It is where poo is watery or loose, as opposed to constipation where people can struggle to pass.
According to the NHS, it’s caused by the body not being able to fully absorb nutrients, known as malabsorption.
This can be triggered by malabsorption, according to NHS.
Stools may be unusually high in fat which can make poo foul smelling, greasy and frothy.
Additionally, they can be difficult to flush down the toilet.
This gut-related symptom is a well known sign of the disease.
It is an increase in diameter of the abdominal area.
Other gut-related symptoms include abdominal pain, passing wind, indigestion, constipation and vomiting.
If you have an autoimmune response to gluten, you may develop a type of skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis.
It is itchy and produces blisters that burst when scratched.
The rash usually appears on the elbows, knees and buttocks, but it can occur anywhere on the body.
However, just one per of the population has coeliac disease.
Going gluten free unnecessarily could harm your heart health, according to research.
Coealiac disease should not be self-diagnosed, and if you think you’re suffering from any of these symptoms you should visist your GP.