What are the symptoms of gluten intolerance?

It is believe that some form of gluten sensitivity from mild gluten intolerance to celiac disease affects nearly 15% of Americans. So how can you spot gluten intolerance symptoms?

First and foremost, it’s important to note the differences between gluten intolerance and actual celiac disease. Celiac disease is a severe and rapid allergic reaction (an immune reaction) to the gluten protein. Gluten is found in grains such as rye, oats, wheat, and barley.

Celiac disease is both an auto-immune disorder and a malabsorption disease (essential nutrients are not properly absorbed by the body). A devastating fact is that many long-term suffers of celiac disease are malnourished and don’t even realize it!

Gluten intolerance, unlike celiac disease, tends to come on slowly. Its slow appearance over time combined with the wide variety of causes and symptoms make gluten intolerance difficult to diagnose.

Both gluten intolerance and celiac disease can can worsen due to infection, stress, pregnancy and childbirth, or surgery. Individuals with some type of intolerance or allergic reaction to gluten may experience various kinds of symptoms. Why the symptoms of gluten intolerance are so varied is still unknown. One thing we know for sure: stress can only aggravate a gluten intolerance.

Here is a list of some known symptoms of gluten intolerance:

  • Headaches
  • Extreme fatigue or exhaustion
  • Tingling, numbness, or cramping
  • Irritability and anger
  • Depression
  • Eczema
  • Change in weight – loss or gain
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Low iron levels
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas or bloating
  • Constipation
  • Fatty stools because of poor digestion
  • Aching joints
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Slow growth in infants and children
  • Declining dental health

When food intolerance goes undiagnosed for long periods of time it can contribute to health afflictions such as anemia, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. In order to diagnose gluten allergies, doctors can test for blood levels of auto-antibodies. It is extremely important to continue eating your usual diet (including gluten) before getting tested. This will ensure accurate results.

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