Signs and Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
Are you gluten intolerant? Chances are you’ve been hearing more and more about gluten intolerance. It is a popular topic these days and for good reason. Even though it is a very common food intolerance, most people don’t realize they have it. You may not know exactly what gluten is, or, you maybe you have had symptoms now for many years and wonder whether it is normal. Whatever the case may be, we will cover some of the most common symptoms of gluten sensitivity here.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barely, rye and sometimes oats. It is a very common ingredient in many packaged foods, baked goods, cereals and even brews.
If you are gluten intolerant, consuming gluten will result in symptoms. The only cure is to avoid gluten entirely.
Most people who wonder if they are gluten sensitive will embark on an elimination diet – a careful and systematic way to find out if their symptoms may be a result of gluten. If you are interested in finding out whether you are gluten intolerant see the article, Am I Gluten Intolerant? Likewise, if you are interested in learning more about doing a gluten elimination diet see: How To Do An Elimination Diet.
11 Telltale Signs You Are Gluten Intolerant
1. Digestion Issues
- Bloating and gas: Some of the most telling signs of gluten sensitivity are digestive issues such as gas and bloating. If you experience any of these after eating a meal, then your body is telling you it didn’t like something in the food you’ve just eaten. Take note that it could be gluten.
- Diarrhea or Constipation: In the case of extreme gastrointestinal stress, persistent constipation or diarrhea are the side effects of eating something bad in your current diet. This can be a result of consuming gluten.
- Stomach Aches and Abdominal Pain: Although you may not actually deal with bloating, gas, constipation, or diarrhea, you may experience other symptoms or side effects of eating gluten, such a general stomach ache or abdominal pain.
Gluten intolerance is also often linked to fatigue and chronic fatigue. If you’re tired all the time for no good reason, it might be the gluten you’re eating.
3. “Brain fog”
Brain fog is mental fatigue and foggy thinking. It is the inability to concentrate or feelings of inattentiveness or short attention span. This can result from consuming food containing gluten.
4. Anxiety, Depression and Other Mood Disorders
Mood issues go hand in hand with gluten intolerance. Research shows how gluten affects mood and can result in a host of mood disorders including anxiety, depression, irritability, suicidal thoughts, schizophrenia, and erratic behavior.
5. Migraines/ Headaches
For people who are gluten sensitive, removing gluten from your diet can significantly reduce the frequency of your headaches or migraines. Research suggests that gluten can trigger painful migraines and general headaches. If you get headaches regularly, you may want to try refraining from eating foods with gluten.
6. Joint Pain
Gluten is also connected to joint pain. People suffering from arthritis often notice a relief from their symptoms after cutting down on their gluten intake. This does not only apply to arthritis, however. Generally painful joints can be a result of gluten intolerance.
7. Skin Issues
Acne, psoriasis, persistent acne, eczema, and other skin issues are all signs that something is wrong within the gut! What’s going on inside our bodies can also surface and affect our skin. These skin issues can all be signs of an underlying issue with gluten intolerance. Removing gluten from your diet once and for all can benefit your skin.
Note that dermatitis herpetiformis is a severely itchy rash that is a form of celiac disease and occurs from ingesting gluten.
8. Oral Health Problems
The condition of your oral health can also indicate gluten sensitivity. Weak teeth, frequent cavities, canker sores, and tooth decay may all be a result of gluten.
9. Hormone Imbalances, Particularly Thyroid Issues
Hormones function to keep the delicate balance in your body and maintain overall health, however gluten intolerance may tip this balance and lead to PMS, irregular periods, fluctuating weight, and also disrupted sleep. Likewise, gluten intolerance is strongly in correlation with thyroid issues. Holistic health practitioners frequently advise their patients with thyroid issues to remove gluten from their diets.
10. Infertility/ Difficulty Conceiving
Studies show that gluten may also result to infertility issues not just in women but also in men. While more steps may be involved in successfully trying to conceive, limiting your gluten consumption goes a long way in increasing the chances for many.
11. Autoimmune Diseases
If you have recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition you may find great benefits in switching to a gluten free diet.
Autoimmune diseases are a condition wherein your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks your normal/ healthy cells. In most cases eliminating gluten (and most other grains) can hugely improve the condition.
Going gluten free is not just a trendy fad. It is a real condition that many people are suffering with in today’s world. The wheat we eat today is not the same as the wheat our forefathers ate. It is difficult for many of us to consume and as you can see above, causes a host of symptoms.
There are far too many symptoms of gluten intolerance to list here, but we have listed some of the most common symptoms above. If you suspect you have a gluten intolerance, an elimination diet would be in order to see if you can feel better and live better without gluten.
Many people are frightened to go gluten free thinking they won’t enjoy their food as much. While it is true that gluten free substitutes are often not as pleasurable, most people with gluten intolerance will say that giving up the gluten was a worthwhile sacrifice and that they don’t miss it. Being symptom-free and healthy is more important.