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How To Know If I Am Gluten Intolerant

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Gluten And Lactose Intolerance

How To Tell If You Have Gluten Intolerance

When a coeliac is undiagnosed, they may believe they have an intolerance to only lactose, which is found in dairy products. Once a coeliac is diagnosed and begins to follow a gluten free diet, after some time they will lose the intolerance to lactose. That is not to say all lactose intolerant people have gluten intolerance but the symptoms of both are quite similar. Bloating, stomach cramps, leaky gut syndrome, acid reflux, skin problems, nausea and diarrhoea are all symptoms of dairy intolerance and are shared symptoms with coeliac. Other signs of gluten intolerance include infertility, hormone imbalance, chronic fatigue, anxiety and depression. In more serious cases consumption of gluten or wheat can lead to hospitalisation or even death. Your doctor or nutritional therapist will be able to run tests to determine which you have a problem with, or if you should avoid both.

Headaches And Brain Fog

Chronic headaches and the inability to think clearly are also common side effects associated with gluten intolerance. Interestingly, migraines seem to be more common among people with Celiac disease, IBD, and gluten sensitivity than in the control group, according to a 2013 study in the journal Headache.

Signs You’re Gluten Intolerant

More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.It is also estimated that as much as 15% of the US population is gluten intolerant. Could you be one of them?

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Gluten Gliadin And Glutenin

The two proteins that comprise gluten, gliadin and glutenin are found primarily in wheat, but the proteins are also present in other grains, such as rye and barley. Gluten sensitivity is simply intolerance that causes the body to have an abnormal response when it attempts to break down the proteins during the digestive process.

Symptoms Of Gluten Sensitivity

Gluten Intolerance: How do I know if I am Gluten Intolerant ...

When someone has a gluten sensitivity, they typically feel some sort of gastrointestinal symptoms triggered by the consumption of gluten. However, not all symptoms may be GI related in fact, there are hundreds of potential symptoms triggered by gluten sensitivity.

Common symptoms associated with a gluten intolerance include:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
  • Energy issues, such as anemia, chronic fatigue, low iron, weakness, low blood sugar, etc. A wonky thyroid can also be tied to energy issues.
  • Skin conditions, such as dermatitis herpetiformis, keratosis pilaris, acne, eczema and psoriasis.
  • Brain disorders such as depression, ADHD, migraines, anxiety and autism.
  • Oral conditions, such as mouth sores, cavities, canker sores and geographic tongue.
  • Fertility issues, such as infertility, irregular menstrual cycles and premature births.
  • Joint pain, such as stiffness and arthritis.
  • Delayed puberty, or failure to thrive and short stature in children.

While someone with gluten sensitivity doesnt experience an autoimmune reaction when he or she consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats, its certain that gluten is what is causing inflammation in their bodies, and inflammation fuels disease.

He says, Excessive inflammation pulls on your chain, and wherever the weak link in your health chain is, thats where the tissue damage will occur.

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Can Gluten Intolerance Be Cured

There is currently no effective treatment for eradicating coeliac disease. The only effective way of containing it is to adopt a gluten-free diet for life.

This is quite restrictive as it requires you to thoroughly review what you eat, not only checking for gluten-based products, but also those that may have been exposed to cross contamination during the production process.

Coeliac UK makes shopping easier for coeliacs with its crossed grain trademark. A symbol you can trust, it guarantees the absence of gluten in any product displaying it with meticulous scrutiny of manufacturing sites.

What Causes Gluten Intolerance

The exact causes of gluten intolerance arent well understood. Some research shows that people may not be sensitive to gluten, but to a certain carbohydrate found in many foods. Their bodies dont absorb the carbohydrate as they should. It stays in their guts and ferments, causing sickness.

Other research suggests that wheat might affect the lining of some peoples digestive tracts. This lining usually keeps bacteria from leaking out of your intestines. But in people with a gluten intolerance, the lining may not work as it should, allowing bacteria into their blood or liver and causing inflammation.

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If You Have Any Of The Following Symptoms You May Have Gluten Intolerance:

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and even constipation after eating gluten.

2. Keratosis Pilaris, also known as chicken skin on the back of your arms. This tends to be a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog, or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimotos thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma, or Multiple sclerosis.

5.Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off-balance

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS, or unexplained infertility

7. Migraine headaches

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgiathe diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pinpoint the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling, or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

Diagnostic Tests For Celiac Disease

How can i tell if i am sensitive to gluten

If you experience digestive symptoms or signs of poor vitamin and nutrient absorption, such as unexplained weight loss, an NYU Langone gastroenterologist can perform diagnostic tests to determine whether celiac disease may be the cause. For adults, doctors typically recommend both blood tests and biopsies, in which tissue samples are examined under a microscope, to confirm the diagnosis.

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Gluten Intolerance Vs Wheat Allergy

When a person has a wheat allergy, their body reacts to a protein in wheat, and this protein is not necessarily gluten.

A wheat allergy can cause life-threatening symptoms. Anyone with this allergy who ingests wheat requires immediate medical attention.

A person with a wheat allergy may develop:

  • swelling
  • breathing difficulties, including wheezing

In severe cases, anaphylaxis may develop. This serious reaction causes the bodys blood pressure to fall, and the person may lose consciousness and stop breathing.

While an allergic reaction requires urgent care, an intolerance is not immediately dangerous. However, it can cause discomfort and may affect a persons overall health.

Anyone who believes that they may have either an intolerance or an allergy should consult a doctor.

Learn more about a wheat allergy here.

  • potatoes
  • some oat products

A person looking to avoid gluten should be sure to check food labels carefully. It may also be a good idea to make soups, sauces, and salad dressings at home.

Products with gluten-free on their labels do not contain enough gluten to trigger symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Manufacturers may remove the gluten from wheat flour or use a substitute, such as oat or chickpea flour.

Here, learn more about what a gluten free diet includes.

Find out more about alternatives to wheat bread in this article.

Symptoms Of Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance.

It is an autoimmune disease that affects about 1% of the population and may lead to damage in the digestive system .

It can cause a wide range of symptoms, including skin problems, gastrointestinal issues, mood changes, and more.

Here are a few of the most common symptoms of celiac disease.

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The Difference Between Lactose Intolerance And Gluten Sensitivity

Even though symptoms can be similar, lactose intolerance and NCGS are quite different.

“Lactose intolerance is fairly straightforwardit occurs when an individual no longer produces the lactase enzyme in sufficient quantities,” says integrative and functional dietitian and nutritionist Ryan Whitcomb, MS, RD, CLT, owner of GUT RXN Nutrition. “Lactase is responsible for breaking down lactose, the natural sugar found in dairy products like milk. Since the body is not able to break this sugar down in the small intestine, where it’s supposed to be digested, it moves into the large intestine.” Here, it produces gas, which causes those unpleasant GI symptoms.

NCGS, on the other hand, isn’t well understood. It can cause the same wide range of symptoms as celiac disease, which, in addition to tummy trouble, can include things like brain fog, rashes, and joint pain. However, celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that causes actual damage to the small intestine, whereas NCGS doesn’t. “For some reason, people with NCGS cannot tolerate gluten, but we don’t currently know why,” says Whitcomb. What is known is that people with NCGS should follow a gluten-free diet.

Have Some Signs Heres How To Test

How do I know if I am Gluten Intolerant?

If the list of symptoms has you scratching your head and wondering if gluten could be to blame for your physical symptoms, it might be time to dig further and find out if ditching gluten could help you feel better.

If you suspect you are gluten intolerant, Salas-Whalen says its important to rule out more serious conditions such as Celiac disease or a wheat allergy. Celiac can be diagnosed with a blood test, but the gold standard for testing involves taking a biopsy of the villi from the small bowel, she says. The only caveat is that you have to eat a whole lot of gluten prior to the biopsy to get accurate test results, otherwise you run the risk of getting a false negative.

If the case results for Celiac come back negative, she recommends consulting with your doctor about temporarily removing gluten from your diet to see if it relieves symptoms .

Since it can be difficult to confirm whether gluten intolerance is the underlying issue , focusing on an elimination diet that relies on trial and error to identify specific allergies and intolerances is your best bet, adds Salas-Whalen.

Food sensitivity testing is another option to explore, says Vichill. While this type of testing should not be used exclusively without clinical symptoms, she does say that it might shed light on potential antigenic or “intolerant” foods that a person may be reacting to.

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Whats The Difference Between Gluten Intolerance And Wheat Allergy

Because wheat is one of the major sources of gluten, it can be easy to confuse symptoms of gluten intolerance with those of a wheat allergy. However, there are very distinct differences.

All allergic reactions, including wheat, involve the immune system. It responds to what it thinks is a foreign substance that must be removed from the body. Your immune system releases antibodies known as immunoglobulin E , which trigger a variety of symptoms, including the possibility of a life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis.

Having a gluten intolerance is less severe than a wheat allergy and does not involve the immune system. In addition, a trained allergist can diagnose a wheat allergy with a skin-prick or blood test, whereas a healthcare provider can only diagnose gluten intolerance based on your reported symptoms and ruling out other conditions.

However, because the two conditions can share many common symptoms, it is important to first rule out a wheat allergy before assuming gluten intolerance.

What Is A Fructan And Fructan Intolerance

Fructans are a type of short-chain carbohydrate often referred to as FODMAPs.

They can cause unpleasant digestive symptoms for sensitive people, especially those with irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease .

Fructans occur in large quantities in:

  • wheat, barley and rye
  • raisins
  • watermelon

Those who experience digestive problems after eating fructans very likely have a fructan intolerance. Its basically the same concept as those with a lactose intolerance who eat dairy, or those with a fructose intolerance who eat honey.

Summary: Fructans are a type of carbohydrate often referred to as FODMAPs. They are likely to cause strong digestive symptoms in those who are fructan intolerant. Rich sources of fructans include wheat, garlic, onion, chickpeas and more.

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You Feel Down A Lot Of The Time

Mood changes, or feeling an increase in depression and/or anxiety after eating gluten-containing foods is a symptom in those with NCGS, says De Latour.

In fact, one 2014 study published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, found that gluten-intolerant subjects reported increased depression after just three days of eating gluten.

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Gluten Intolerance Symptoms Typically Not Associated With Celiac Disease

How do I know if I am Gluten Sensitive

The following symptoms are a shortlist of symptoms experienced by people with a wheat allergy, or who are gluten intolerant but do not have celiac disease. Remember, gluten intolerance is a spectrum, and everyone experiences different symptoms.

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy skin or rashes
  • Migraines
  • Vertigo
  • Tingling in hands or feet

People who are allergic to wheatactually, truly allergic to itsometimes also experience gastrointestinal symptoms and rashes, but they also experience more “typical” allergy symptoms, like a runny nose. People occasionally refer to a wheat allergy as a “gluten allergy,” but true wheat allergy does not necessarily involve glutenit is possible to be allergic to many different components of the wheat plant.

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When Should I Call My Doctor

Some symptoms of gluten exposure can be severe. Seek medical attention if you experience diarrhea or vomiting. Dehydration can lead to dangerous electrolyte imbalances.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Gluten intolerance may make you feel sick after eating gluten. You might get bloated, nauseous or gassy. Gluten intolerance causes a lot of the same symptoms as celiac disease, but its not the same condition. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that leads to damage to the digestive tract. People with gluten intolerance usually find relief from their symptoms by following a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free diets do have some health risks. Its important to work with your healthcare provider and a dietitian to build the right treatment plan for your needs.

Learning To Live With Dairy Or Gluten Intolerance

Learning to live with dairy or gluten intolerance will mean living without foods that may have been integral to your diet. The good news is that there are many alternatives to your regular foods. Common alternatives to milk include soya based milk, nut based milks such as almond, hazelnut or cashew, hemp and coconut milk. There are also many alternatives to gluten, so it will be easy to create meals that are diverse and which you still want to eat. Foods such as rice, buckwheat, millet, polenta, quinoa or uncontaminated oats are all gluten free.

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