Chances are you’ve heard a lot about gluten and gluten sensitivity. You may not be entirely sure what gluten is, but you’re sure that it’s bad for you. This can make it hard to determine if you’ve got a gluten allergy that may be responsible for a handful of other health problems.
Gluten is a common protein found in wheat, barley and rye, all common ingredients in cereals, baked goods, and even your favorite brews. Understanding the symptoms of gluten sensitivity can help you avoid foods that contain gluten so you can make conscious efforts to turn your health around for the better.
The following list showcases some signals of gluten sensitivity. If you believe gluten may be responsible for their presence, speak with your doctor. They can perform blood tests to determine whether or not you are indeed gluten sensitive or if another condition is to blame.
Before beginning any new diet you should seek your physician’s advice beforehand. A diet free of gluten certainly cannot make matters worse, but if you have migraine headaches due to hormone issues, a certain change in diet is not enough to address the issue. Forgoing gluten can give you a boost in any of the following areas.
1. Migraine/ Headaches
Migraines are painful to deal with, but research suggests that gluten may be a possible trigger. The best solution? Stop eating foods that contain gluten. Reducing gluten from your diet can also reduce your frequency of migraines.
2. “Brain fog”
Also known as mental fatigue, brain fog is the feeling of loss of attention and inability to concentrate that you may get after eating a meal containing gluten. Your body is using that mental energy to rid itself of the invading gluten that only brings bad news.
3. Anxiety, Depression, or Mood Disorders
These three go hand-in-hand, and research now shows how gluten plays a role in how they affect the mind. Depression and anxiety can lead to experiencing several other serious symptoms and conditions, so a change in diet can also lead to an overall change in mood.
It can be hard to get going when you feel like you have no energy to get going with. Gluten intolerance has been linked to chronic fatigue. Like dealing with brain fog, when your body’s energy is spent on ridding itself of gluten, there’s none left for you.
5. Joint Pain and Inflammation
There may be a connection between gluten and joint pain and inflammation. Those who suffer from arthritis may notice a difference when they cut gluten from their diet. If you have flare-ups after meals, gluten may be a cause for the unexplained joint pain.
6. Oral Health Issues
The state of our oral health can signal other health problems such as gluten intolerance. Canker sores, tooth decay, and weak teeth can all point to an unaddressed gluten sensitivity. Check with your dentist to make sure everything is in check before eliminating gluten completely from your diet.
7. Acne and Other Skin Blemishes
Our skin can tell us a lot about what’s going on beneath the surface. Persistent acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis herpetiformis are all signs that a gluten sensitivity may be in the works. Cutting gluten from your diet can do wonders for your skin.
8. Hormone Imbalances
Our hormones maintain a delicate balance that keeps our health in check, but a gluten intolerance can throw that balance out of whack. Irregular periods, annoying PMS, up-and-down weight and erratic sleep all require balanced hormones, and gluten may be the substance throwing off the balance.
9. Gas and Bloating
Digestive issues are a gluten sensitivity’s most telling signs. Gas or bloating after eating a meal are two ways your body tells you there is something it doesn’t like about the food you ate. If these are two common problems, consider gluten the perpetrator.
10. Diarrhea or Constipation
On the extreme side of gastrointestinal stress, constant diarrhea or constipation are red flags that something is really wrong with the food you’re eating. Cutting out gluten can give your GI tract a good cleanse and rest, allowing you necessary relief as well.
11. Abdominal Pain
Dealing with gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation is bound to make your stomach ache. Although you may not experience some of the common symptoms associated with the above issues, you may suffer from abdominal pain more often than you’d like to admit if you’ve got gluten sensitivity.
12. Autoimmune Disease
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks normally healthy cells and tissues. In most cases these are often diagnosed along with gluten sensitivity or allergy. If you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, talk with your physician about whether switching to a gluten-free diet is best for your health.
Gluten has been shown to cause infertility issues in both men and women. While there may be more involved than completely eliminating gluten in your diet if you and your partner are trying to conceive, you’ll definitely be on your way to having your own bundle of joy by skipping the gluten.
Do you have any of the gluten sensitivity signs or symptoms mentioned above?