You’re Losing Weight Without Trying
Involuntary weight loss is one of the primary symptoms of celiac disease, because when your intestines are damaged you aren’t properly absorbing the food you eat, says Megan Patrick, M.D., a family medicine physician at UCHealth.
While NCGS doesn’t damage a person’s intestines, it can still lead to eating less due to associating so many foods with pain, which in turn can cause weight loss, says De Latour.
Diagnosing Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity In Adults
NYU Langone gastroenterologistsdoctors that specialize in diseases of the digestive systemare experts in diagnosing celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the digestive tract after a person consumes gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and other foods and beverages. Some vitamins, medications, and personal care products such as lip balm contain gluten.
During digestion, food passes through the intestines, where nutrients are absorbed into the body. Most of this absorption occurs in the small intestine, where tiny finger-like projections along the small intestinal lining, called villi, sweep the nutrients from food into the bloodstream.
People with celiac disease, however, have a genetic susceptibility to recognize gluten differently. When someone with celiac disease eats food that contains gluten, it triggers the immune system to attack the small intestine. The body forms antibodies, or proteins, that attempt to remove gluten from the body as if it were a foreign invader. The antibodies also attack the lining of the small intestine, causing inflammation.
Over time, recurrent inflammation damages the villi in the small intestine, and the body doesnt absorb nutrients very well. This can lead to malnutrition and unwanted weight loss. The chronic inflammation also can cause abdominal discomfort.
Who Should Get Screened
You May Like: Gluten Free Cream Of Mushroom
Test For Gluten Intolerance
There currently is no valid test available for gluten sensitivity /gluten intolerance. It is diagnosed by first doing validated testing for celiac disease and wheat allergy. If those tests are negative, and the person gets ill from consuming gluten, they are then gluten intolerant.
However, research has now shown that gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance may actually not be due to gluten at all. People who think they are reacting to gluten, and dont have celiac, may actually be reacting to other components of wheat.
Current research blames FODMAP carbohydrates and ATI proteins as two potential causes of gluten sensitivity. Given these are not gluten per se, there is a discussion to change this entitys name to Non-celiac wheat sensitivity. You will now see the terms gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and non-celiac wheat sensitivity used interchangeably. There currently are no laboratory tests for either FODMAP intolerance or ATI protein reactivity.
Dr. Amy Burkhart is a doctor , Registered Dietitian, R.D., and fellowship-trained in integrative medicine. She specializes in treating chronic digestive disorders from an integrative/functional medicine perspective.
Donât Miss: Food For Life Gluten Free English Muffins
Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression
An increase in the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety were linked to eating gluten-containing foods, according to a 2014 study published in Alimentary & Pharmacology & Therapeutics. As we know, the gut-brain connection is very much realan unhappy gut can lead to substantial changes in mood.
You May Like: Ready Made Gluten Free Pie Crust
Gluten Intolerance Symptoms Typically Not Associated With Celiac Disease
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
- 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.
Try Avoiding Gluten And See How You Feel
You can try avoiding gluten for at least three weeks to see how you feel. I say at least because for some people it can take as long as six months to feel a difference. During this time of elimination, take note about how you feel.
Keep in mind that gluten causes leaky gut, which leads to other food sensitivities, so it is quite likely that if you are reacting to gluten, you are probably reacting to other foods too. And you may only feel significantly better if you eliminate all the foods that are triggering a response. The best way to determine all your food sensitivities is with option 3 below.
Following the Stress Remedy Program, which I designed, is one way to implement a gluten-free diet. The program also helps you to avoid sugar, dairy products, soy and eggs and is designed as a 7 or 21 day program, but you could certainly extend it for longer.
Then, after avoiding gluten for a period of time, have a serving of food containing gluten and notice how you feel over the following two to five days. Do symptoms that had disappeared reappear? Do other symptoms occur?
If you have symptoms upon reintroducing gluten, that is considered to be a positive gluten sensitivity.
Recommended Reading: Is Rice Chex Cereal Gluten Free
How Is Gluten Intolerance Treated
Theres no cure for gluten intolerance. But most people find relief from symptoms by following a gluten-free diet. You should work with your healthcare provider and a dietitian to plan your diet.
You can also ask your healthcare provider about adding probiotics to your diet. Probiotics help increase the good bacteria in your gut. They may reduce symptoms of bloating, gas or constipation.
Some research suggests that taking certain enzymes may help you digest gluten. But experts are still investigating this treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking any enzymes.
Diagnostic Tests For Celiac Disease
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.
Also Check: Olive Garden Gluten Free Menu
Symptoms Of Gluten Sensitivity
Compared to people with celiac disease, people with NCGS have more symptoms that are not gastrointestinal in nature. The symptoms may also appear hours to days after consuming gluten. Here are some of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity:
- “Brain fog.” This is the most common characteristic of gluten sensitivity. Kids with brain fog may often feel tired, or like they just got out of bed. They may be especially forgetful, and may have trouble focusing or completing tasks.
- Headaches or migraines. Its not normal for children to experience chronic headaches or migraines. If your child is experiencing these symptoms, he should be taken to a doctor for an evaluation. It could be a sign of gluten sensitivity.
- Acne or rashes. Itchy elbows, knees, buttocks and the back of the neck has been associated with gluten sensitivity.
- Joint pain or numbness. Chronic joint pain and tingling and numbness in the fingers, arms or legs are clear signs of a health issue. In those with a gluten sensitivity, it happens frequently for no apparent reason.
- Diarrhea, gas or constipation
Grain Free Blueberry Muffin Mix
Searching for a quick on-the-go gluten free breakfast? You’ve found it. This tasty Grain Free Blueberry Muffin Mix skips the grains altogether. A recipe similar tasting to that of traditional blueberry muffins, just the aroma alone will leave your mouth watering. Made in minutes, these tender and flavorful treats make for the perfect energizing breakfast or snack.
Recommended Reading: How To Go Gluten Free
Managing A Severe Food Reaction With Epinephrine
A wheat allergy reaction can cause symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening the severity of each reaction is unpredictable. People who have previously experienced only mild symptoms may suddenly experience a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. In the U.S., food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting.
Epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, which can occur within seconds or minutes, can worsen quickly and can be deadly. In this type of allergic reaction, exposure to the allergen causes the whole-body release of a flood of chemicals that can lead to lowered blood pressure and narrowed airways, among other serious symptoms.
Once youre diagnosed with a food allergy, your allergist will likely prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector and teach you how to use it. Check the expiration date of your auto-injector, note the expiration date on your calendar and ask your pharmacy about reminder services for prescription renewals.
If you are uncertain whether a reaction warrants epinephrine, use it right away, because the benefits of epinephrine far outweigh the risk that a dose may not have been necessary.
Your allergist will provide you with a written emergency treatment plan that outlines which medications should be administered and when . Be sure that you understand how to properly and promptly use an epinephrine auto-injector.
Complications Of Coeliac Disease
Early diagnosis and treatment of coeliac disease can significantly reduce the risk of most complications ever occurring. However, its important to know that there are some other medical conditions associated with coeliac disease which occur for different reasons:
- The genes that predispose a person to coeliac disease also make them susceptible to other autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes.
- The chronic inflammation that occurs in the small bowel in people with coeliac disease may also occur in other parts of the body such as the skin, joints, bones, liver, pancreas, thyroid gland, nervous system and reproductive system.
- The changes in the small bowel can lead to poor absorption of nutrients resulting in problems such as anaemia and vitamin deficiencies.
Discuss complications related to coeliac disease with your doctor.
You May Like: Gluten Free Crescent Rolls Walmart
Recommended Reading: Gluten Free Dairy Free Pancake Mix
You Have A Known Food Intolerance
Food intolerance is said to affect up to 10% of people.
A reaction occurs when an individuals threshold to particular food chemicals or compounds is surpassed.
Anecdotal evidence indicates it is quite common for someone with a food intolerance to also be highly sensitive to gluten.
Note that those who dont tolerate gluten-containing foods should also consider FODMAPs as a trigger for symptoms.
Gluten And Behavior Disorders
Partial peptide digests of gluten, called exomorphins have been shown to have psychoactive properties that have morphine-like properties in the body and brain. Studies have shown abnormal blood flow patterns in the brain in celiac patients at rates similar to ADHD children. Also, celiac disease has been found more frequently in children with dyslexia.
There are literally hundreds more studies demonstrating the negative impacts of gluten in susceptible individuals to virtually every aspect of their physiology.
Thats right, this isnt some fly-by-night, tree-hugging, tie-dye T-shirt wearing hippy craze. Gluten sensitivity is very real and causing major health issues for a growing number of people, even if they dont have symptoms yet.
Also Check: Are Egg Roll Wrappers Gluten Free
You May Like: Katz Gluten Free Egg Free Bread
So How Can You Tell Which ‘gluten Allergy’ You Have
It’s clear you can’t tell from symptoms alone. The truth is, you’ll need to see your healthcare provider and have some medical testing to determine which of these gluten-related conditions if any you might actually have.
If you have gastrointestinal symptoms that may point to celiac disease, you’ll likely start with celiac blood tests. If those are positive, your healthcare provider will likely recommend you undergo an endoscopy, a procedure that enables your healthcare provider to look directly at your small intestine and take samples for laboratory examination. Read more about all this: Celiac Disease Tests – How To Get Diagnosed
If, on the other hand, your celiac blood tests are negative, then your healthcare provider may consider the possibility of non-celiac gluten sensitivity or another condition such as irritable bowel syndrome, and may recommend tests for gluten sensitivity.
Wheat allergy is usually diagnosed with skin prick tests, although your healthcare provider may also use a blood test that looks for specific antibodies to wheat proteins.
For people with rashes they believe may be dermatitis herpetiformis, the first step is likely a visit to a dermatologist, who may recommend a skin biopsy of characteristic deposits of antibodies in your rash area.
And finally, if your symptoms are indicative of gluten ataxia, the path to diagnosis unfortunately isn’t straightforward, although there are several tests your neurologist may want to perform.
The Problem With A Gluten
However, a gluten-free diet may be overly restrictive of gluten-containing foods that are low in fructans.
For example, sourdough bread has gluten but its fermentation process removes the fructans. Soy sauce also contains gluten but is low in fructans. Beer comes to mind as well.
These are off-limits on a gluten-free diet, yet unnecessary to restrict for the vast majority.
The other issue is that most people with digestive issues dont ever fully recover on a gluten-free diet. This is because FODMAPs are the likely culprit and a low FODMAP diet is whats actually required.
If youre still unsure about your perceived gluten sensitivity, try this:
Its the fructans.
Don’t Miss: Food For Life Gluten Free English Muffins
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Celiac Disease
Common symptoms of celiac disease are diarrhea, decreased appetite, stomachache and bloating, poor growth, and weight loss. Many kids are diagnosed with it when they’re between 6 months and 2 years old, which is when most kids get their first taste of gluten in foods.
For some people, the problems start slowly and the symptoms may be terrible one week and not as bad the next. Because of this, some people aren’t diagnosed with celiac disease until they’re older. The problem is chronic, which means that although symptoms may come and go, people who have celiac disease will always have it.
Someone with celiac disease may feel tired and could be irritable. Some also have skin rashes and mouth sores. The problem is sometimes mistaken for other digestiveproblems called inflammatory bowel disease or lactose intolerance. And in some cases, a kid won’t have any symptoms and then will all of a sudden start having problems during a time of stress, such as after an injury.
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:
- breathing difficulties, including wheezing
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.
- 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.
Don’t Miss: Low Carb Gluten Free Crackers
What Is Gluten Sensitivity
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity affects many more people than celiac disease, and medical researchers and doctors are still working to define what this condition involves and theres no test for it. This means it can be easier to explain non-celiac gluten sensitivity by explaining what its not.
Gluten sensitivity isnt the same as a wheat allergy, which is when your immune system attacks wheat molecules as if they were negative invaders. Its also not the same as celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease.
However, non-celiac gluten sensitivity shares many of the same symptoms with celiac disease. This means you may still need to avoid gluten to put an end to your symptoms, which include:
Some people with untreated gluten sensitivity also develop depression.
How Do You Test For Gluten Intolerance
Your doctor might recommend trying a gluten-free diet to see if you do have a gluten intolerance. Keep in mind that other conditions, such as celiac disease and wheat allergies, can cause similar symptoms. If eliminating gluten from your diet eases your symptoms, this usually indicates gluten intolerance. Your doctor can test for wheat allergies or celiac disease if needed.
Dont Miss: Food For Life Brown Rice English Muffins
Recommended Reading: Is Ginger Beer Gluten Free