How To Know you Have a Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerance is a condition that makes a person react to gluten, which is a protein found in barley, wheat and rye. Some of the main symptoms include joint pain, gastrointestinal problems, depression and fatigue.

Many people experience health or digestive problems after eating gluten or wheat and that might be an indicator that you’re gluten intolerant. Some people even suffer from celiac disease which is a really serious type of gluten intolerance. It’s an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine. 1 in 100 people suffer from celiac disease and if it is not treated properly, it can cause serious health complications.

If you’re not sure whether you’re gluten intolerant, here are the some signs:

Unexpected Weight Gain

All too many pounds all of a sudden can be an indication that you have gluten intolerance. Weight gain is caused by malabsorption and systemic inflammation, both caused by gluten intolerance.

Dental Problems

One study shows that gluten sensitivity can cause aphthous stomatitis- a condition that causes mouth ulcers and canker sores. People who are sensitive to gluten have extremely low levels of calcium, which is a key substance for having healthy teeth.

Skin Problems

Gluten intolerance influences different areas of the body, including the skin. Gluten has been linked to eczema, acne, psoriasis and DH- dermatitis herpetiformis. People who have gluten intolerance might experience redness, rashes, burning, blistering and itching.

Headaches and Migraines

Migraines are excruciating painful headaches that are difficult to treat. People with gluten intolerance experience more migraines that ordinary people. If you notice those headaches and migraines happening too often or becoming more and more painful, that might be an indication that you have gluten intolerance.

Joint and Muscle Pain

People who have gluten intolerance often experience muscle and joint pain.
Joint pain and inflammation are common symptoms of gluten sensitivity. And research does show links between the two diseases. The Arthritis Foundation has also published findings that link arthritis and joint pain with gluten sensitivity.

Bloating

Bloating is when you feel as if your belly is swollen or full of gas after you’ve eaten. This can make you feel miserable.
Although bloating is very common and can have many explanations, it may also be a sign of gluten intolerance.
In fact, feeling bloated is one of the most common complaints of people who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten.
One study showed that 87% of people who had suspected non-celiac gluten sensitivity experienced bloating.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain is very common and can have numerous explanations.
However, it is also the single most common symptom of an intolerance to gluten.
Up to 83% of those with gluten intolerance experience abdominal pain and discomfort after eating gluten.

Feeling Tired

Feeling tired is very common and usually not linked to any disease.
However, if you constantly feel very tired, then you should explore the possibility of an underlying cause.
Gluten-intolerant individuals are very prone to fatigue and tiredness, especially after eating foods that contain gluten.
Studies have shown that 60–82% of gluten-intolerant individuals commonly experience tiredness and fatigue.
Furthermore, gluten intolerance can also cause iron-deficiency anemia, which in turn will cause more tiredness and lack of energy.

Consult with a dietitian to develop the right diet for your condition

Depending on how severe your gluten intolerance is, you may be required to maintain a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet for example, if you suffer from Celiac disease. A dietitian will be able to help you create a regimen to avoid foods that contain gluten while also maintaining a healthy diet.

Steer clear of wheat and other foods that commonly contain gluten

Although it may be obvious that you should avoid wheat, there are other products that can contain gluten that you may not know to avoid. These can include certain soups, ice creams, sauce packets, pre-made gravies and sauces, canned and cured meats, and even the fillers in some vitamins.

Keep an eye out for a familiar trigger to know when a reaction is coming

The symptoms of gluten exposure vary widely from person to person, but once you know what your own symptoms are, you can look out for them to know if you’re about to have a reaction. If you know when a reaction is coming, you can begin taking precautions like moving towards the bathroom or heading home from an outing.

Drink plenty of fluids in order to rehydrate the body

Water will help to flush the gluten out of your system quickly. It will also replace the water and electrolytes you may have lost as a result of the exposure, especially if you experienced diarrhea.

Talk to your doctor if your symptoms aren’t going away or are recurring

If you’re following your treatment plan and you’re still experiencing negative symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor to find out if you need to alter your treatment regimen. There may be a part of your condition that hasn’t been fully identified yet and needs to be treated as well.

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