Are You Gluten Intolerant? Here’s 4 Symptoms

Are You Gluten Intolerant? Here’s 4 Symptoms

Gluten-free food can be found in many supermarkets and restaurants today. This is mostly in response to an inherited autoimmune disorder. This condition affects the small intestine digestive function when wheat gluten, which contains potential allergen proteins called glutenin and gliadin, is consumed. This disorder is called celiac (seel-ee-ack) disease and it afflicts about one in one hundred and thirty Americans or roughly three million per year. This is 1% of the US population so it may seem trivial, however there is a much larger number that more health practitioners are taking into consideration as many millions could be intolerant to gluten. 

Those with gluten intolerance are often not diagnosed with celiac disease but could show specific symptoms that may be linked to gluten and remedied when gluten is discontinued. However, these same symptoms could be misdiagnosed and end up having you go on medication you may not need. Chances are, if you are experiencing these symptoms and you cut out gluten the symptoms may considerably lessen or disappear altogether. If not, it is best to consult your physician. 

Here are 4 symptoms associated with being unable to digest gluten properly. If you have one or more of these symptoms that are constantly active (not just once in a while) then you may be gluten intolerant. 

Digestive Difficulty

Sometimes gluten intolerance can be linked to excessive gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. If this is happening chronically and you see a doctor take note that gluten intolerance can sometimes mimic IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). 

According to a study by researchers from the Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences (DIMEC) and Center for Applied Biomedical Research (CRBA), Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna and S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy, published in the journal F1000 Research, 

“NCGS (Non-celiac gluten sensitivity) is an increasingly recognized clinical entity characterized by intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms related to the ingestion of gluten-containing foods in patients in whom celiac disease and wheat allergy have been excluded. Clinically, NCGS is often indistinguishable from functional GI disorders and primarily from IBS.”

Mood Fluctuation

The human intestinal ‘gut’ is considered ground zero for immune system functioning with some in the medical community calling it a ‘second brain’ or the ‘gut/brain syndrome’. With this intense connection it may be no surprise that when one is experiencing symptoms of gluten intolerance it could significantly change their mood. 

Some mood fluctuation one may experience but never connect to gluten choices include:

  • Anger 
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling down
  • Lack of focus
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating 

Hurting Bones

Joint pain is as bad as it sounds. These levers and pulleys that keep us moving are the fuel of independence and when one hurts, it’s like a broken wheel. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet that includes gluten-free choices could do the trick and have you rolling along, pain-free, in no time. 

According to Rochelle Rosian, MD, a rheumatologist at Cleveland Clinic as reported by the Arthritis Foundation, 

“We know that certain foods are pro-inflammatory, which includes gluten-containing grains and the thousands of foods made from them, When some, but not all, people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity eliminate these from their diet, they may find their arthritis symptoms also improve…She adds that many of her RA [rheumatoid arthritis] patients who are sensitive to gluten notice less joint pain when they don’t eat it.” 

Brain Busters

From a mild jolt along the back of your skull to a full blown migraine, headaches are painful. There are many speculations of what may cause a headache and gluten intolerance is one of them. 

A study by researchers at Columbia University published in the journal ‘Headache’ investigated the link of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), migraines, and gluten sensitivity amongst 502 subjects. 

The study concluded, 

“Migraine was more prevalent in celiac disease and IBD subjects than in controls. Future studies should include screening migraine patients for celiac disease and assessing the effects of gluten-free diet on migraines in celiac disease.”

Cutting gluten out of your diet, even simply as a test, could surprise you.

Another study by American researchers titled ‘Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: All wheat attack is not celiac’ published in the world journal of gastroenterology confirms the 4 symptoms of gluten intolerance,

“The symptoms of NCGS can occur within hours to days following exposure to gluten-containing diet and can then dissipate upon withdrawal of gluten. Most of the presentation resembles  [celiac disease], the main similarities and differences are presented in Frequent symptoms reported in NCGS include bloating (87%), abdominal pain (83%), epigastric pain (52%), diarrhea (50%), and constipation (24%). Extra-intestinal manifestations are also reported which include; lack of well-being (68%), tiredness (64%), headache (54%), anxiety (39%), “foggy mind” or difficulty focusing (38%)”

If these 4 symptoms of gluten intolerance apply to you, take a step back from your current dietary choices and see if going gluten-free may unexpectedly enhance your health.