The most common gluten intolerance symptoms haunt the lives of many people. Gluten intolerance is a fairly common condition in the United States; in fact, some studies show that it affects approximately 15 percent of the US population.
The writer of this article holds the personal belief that gluten affects 100 percent of the population in some form or another. It is simply not a healthy food and a food that is completely unnecessary for human consumption.
Gluten intolerance is characterized by an inability to handle foods containing gluten. But what exactly is gluten?
Gluten is a composite of the two proteins gliadin and glutenin. The word gluten derives from the Latin word for “glue.” Gluten is a mash up of starch, gliadin and glutenin, and is found in grass related grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats. Most breads, pasta, crackers, and cookies contain gluten since, typically, it’s main ingredient is wheat flour.
Celiac disease is when gluten causes the body’s immune system to attack the linings of the small intestine. It is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that when gluten is ingested, the body attacks itself (the linings of the small intestine).
Gluten intolerance (also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity), on the other hand, also involves an immune system reaction, but unlike celiac, the immune system attacks the gluten itself. In its attack, the body will fight the gluten and produce inflammation.
A dietary intolerance to gluten can carry with it a variety of symptoms, which unfortunately, are often misdiagnosed since the symptoms are common to other diseases and disorders as well.
Gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance is usually not the first suspect and people often go years and years without proper diagnosis. As initially expected, gluten intolerance symptoms are mostly gastrointestinal symptoms, although other outside symptoms do present themselves as well. The good news is that this is easily treatable via simply eliminating gluten from one’s diet.
The Ten Most Common Gluten Intolerance Symptoms:
1. Digestive Symptoms
Digestive symptoms are the most common. This includes abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, constipation or diarrhea, constipation and diarrhea (alternating), weight loss or weight gain.
Inflammation is the immune response to gluten.
3. Lactose Intolerance, Dairy Intolerance, or Other Food Intolerances
This is a secondary condition that results from the damage to the small intestine (leaky gut) because of gluten intolerance.
4. Malnutrition and/or Anemia
Since the small intestine gets damaged in cases of gluten intolerance, and since food is excreted rapidly as waste, the body often has a hard time absorbing nutrients. This leads to the development of this symptom. Specifically common is low iron levels.
5. Chronic Fatigue, Exhaustion, Dizziness, and Brain Fog
These debilitating symptoms are very common to gluten intolerance as well as celiac disease.
6. Body and Joint Aches
Body and joint aches are a common symptom of gluten intolerance.
7. Frequent Infections
The small intestine makes up 70 percent of the immune system. Since gluten sensitivity causes damage to the small intestine, infection is a common symptom.
This is the presence of excess fat in feces. This can lead to further embarrassing and painful complications, such as anal leakage or incontinence. Fat is present in the stools due to poor digestion.
If you suffer from chronic headaches it may be worth eliminating gluten to see if you can alleviate them. It is common for headaches to disappear after just several weeks on a gluten free diet.
10. Depression, Irritability, and Mood Swings
Also Read: Am I Gluten Intolerant?
As stated above, treatment for gluten intolerance is straightforward. Simply eliminate gluten containing foods. This means completely eliminating gluten-containing grains such as those found in bread, cereals, and pasta as well as drinks such as beer. The making of beer involves fermenting grains that contain gluten.
If you experience any or all of the above symptoms, you may want to get tested for gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Also try doing a gluten elimination diet. The answer could be life changing.