Celiac Disease And Gluten Sensitivity
The Cleveland Clinic notes that celiac disease is a chronic autoimmune disease in which exposure to gluten, a protein in wheat, rye or barley causes damage to the lining of the small intestine. People with celiac are permanently intolerant to gluten and must avoid it for life. Any amount of gluten can cause both short- and long-term side effects.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a related condition. It can cause the same symptoms as celiac, without testing positive for the disease. Much is still unknown about non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The Celiac Disease Foundation reports that this condition also seems to result in an immune reaction with accompanying intestinal cell damage â but at this point it’s not clear if it’s caused by all gluten-containing foods.
Regardless of which condition you have, a gluten-free diet is in order. When you’re shopping and cooking for yourself, it’s fairly easy to follow a strict gluten-free diet. However, the Gluten Intolerance Group says that eating away from home presents a risk of gluten cross-contamination if food is prepared in a regular kitchen. Therefore, accidental exposure is always a possibility.
The 14 Most Common Signs Of Gluten Intolerance
Gluten intolerance is a fairly common problem.
It is characterized by adverse reactions to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
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 .
However, 0.513% of people may also have non-celiac gluten sensitivity, a milder form of gluten intolerance that can still cause problems .
Both forms of gluten intolerance can cause widespread symptoms, many of which have nothing to do with digestion.
Here are the 14 main signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance.
Depression affects about 6% of adults each year. The symptoms can be very disabling and involve feelings of hopelessness and sadness .
People with digestive issues seem to be more prone to both anxiety and depression, compared to healthy individuals .
This is especially common among people who have celiac disease .
There are a few theories about how gluten intolerance can drive depression. These include :
Take Home Message
Do You Have Any Signs Or Symptoms Of Gluten Intolerance
Remember that a gluten intolerance only affects a small percentage of people.
That means going gluten-free only has health benefits for a select few.
But you may be one of them if you frequently experience one or more of the above signs and symptoms.
Always speak with your doctor or dietitian first before making any major dietary changes.
About Joe Leech, Dietitian
Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science, followed by a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.
Learn more about him on the About page.
Joe Leech, Dietitian
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How Is Coeliac Disease Diagnosed
As the symptoms of other conditions can closely mimic coeliac disease, it is important the diagnosis be confirmed to ensure appropriate treatment.
Your doctor will do special blood tests that measure certain antibodies for your initial screening. If the results are positive, your doctor will refer you to a gastroenterologist. This specialist will confirm the diagnosis by performing a gastroscopy a procedure that allows tiny samples to be taken from your small intestine. This procedure occurs while you are under sedation and involves a slender instrument being passed through your mouth into your small intestine.
Coeliac disease can be diagnosed without biopsy in some children if strict criteria are met. Importantly, a diagnosis of coeliac disease should only be made by a gastroenterologist.
Do not try to self-diagnose coeliac disease. If the blood tests and gastroscopy are to be accurate, its important that you do not put yourself on a gluten-free diet beforehand. These tests are dependent on a normal gluten intake.
How Is It Diagnosed
It is essential to ensure first that a more severe condition, such as celiac disease or a wheat allergy, is not present if gluten intolerance is suspected.
Taking a blood sample, which is then analyzed to detect the presence of antibodies that could indicate celiac disease or a wheat allergy, can often do this. In some cases, other tests may also be necessary.
Once a doctor has ruled out a more serious condition, it can still be difficult for them to confirm whether gluten intolerance is present, as there are no tests for this.
The most common method people use to determine if gluten intolerance is present is to reduce or remove gluten from a diet and monitor changes in symptoms.
It can help for a person to keep a food diary to record what foods they are consuming and what symptoms they are having.
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So Whats The Gluten Verdict
The bottom line is that, based on what science has discovered so far, some people do appear to have gluten intolerance, even when they do not have diagnosable celiac disease. But not everybody is sensitive to gluten. A recent study in the journal Digestion found that 86 percent of people who thought they were gluten sensitive could actually tolerate gluten just fine. Symptoms they had interpreted as being gluten-related were likely related to some other aspect of wheat, or some other food or lifestyle issue.
We are all different, so there is no one-size-fits-all rule about gluten, or any other food, but when it comes to gluten, comprehensive testing is the best way to know for sure whether gluten is a problem for you.
Celiac And Accidental Gluten Exposure: Heres How Long Symptoms Last
If you have celiac, despite your best efforts to stay gluten-free, there’s always a risk that you’ll accidentally eat something with gluten. Most of the time, there are symptoms that alert you to gluten exposure. Here are the symptoms you might expect, and how long before you’ll feel better.
âRead more:â What Effect Does Gluten Have on the Human Body?
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It May Reduce Inflammation
One of the most common signs of gluten intolerance is inflammation, which can cause result in digestive discomfort or even joint and muscle pain. By removing the source that’s causing inflammation in the body, you may begin to have regular bowel movements again, as well as a reduction in joint and muscle pain. There’s even a connection between gluten and arthritis!6254a4d1642c605c54bf1cab17d50f1e
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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 Dermatitis Herpetiformis And Other Skin Conditions
Sometimes, when people with celiac disease eat gluten, the antibodies destroy the small intestine and are also deposited in the skin. As a result, itchy bumps and blisters start appearing on the skin. The most common site of formation of these blisters is on both elbows and knees.
But many people have blisters along their hairline or on their buttocks as well. About 10-15 percent of celiac patients suffer from dermatitis herpetiformis. Many of those mentioned do not have the typical gastrointestinal symptoms. Dermatitis herpetiformis isnt the only one, and other skin conditions can also develop due to celiac disease.
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Gluten Intolerance Symptoms & Treatment Methods
Whats the deal with gluten? Its a type of protein found in grains including wheat, barley and rye. It makes up about 80 percent of the amino acids found in these grains. Although gluten isnt actually found in many other ancient grains like oats, quinoa, rice or corn, modern food-processing techniques usually contaminate these foods with gluten since they are processed using the same equipment where wheat is processed.
On top of this, gluten is now used to help make many highly processed chemical additives that are found in packaged foods of all kinds. Coupled with the fact that manufacturing can lead to cross-contamination, this means trace amounts of gluten often wind up in food products that are seemingly gluten-free like salad dressings, condiments, deli meats and candy. This makes a gluten-free diet more challenging than it might initially seem.
In the U.S., its estimated that grain flours , vegetable oils and added sugar now make up about 70 percent of the total calories most people consume each day! Clearly, that is not an ideal way of eating, but even if you are consuming a healthy whole foods based diet, are you still struggling with signs of gluten intolerance? You might end up being surprised by how some common unwanted healthy symptoms could be linked to that piece of toast you ate at breakfast this morning.
Symptoms Of Wheat Allergy
Wheat is one of the top eight food allergens in the United States. A wheat allergy is an immune response to any of the proteins present in wheat, including but not limited to gluten. Its most common in children. Around 65 percent of children with a wheat allergy outgrow it by the age of 12.
Symptoms of wheat allergy include:
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How To Follow A Gluten
If you are newly diagnosed with coeliac disease you may find it challenging to discover tasty substitutes for all the foods you can no longer eat. The list of forbidden foods may seem very long, but be reassured you can still enjoy a nutritious, balanced, delicious diet with a wide range of foods. You can do this by:
- eating naturally gluten-free foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh, unprocessed meat and fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, most dairy foods, fats, oils and alternative grains
- choosing products that are labelled as gluten free
- choosing products that have the Coeliac Australia Endorsement Logo these have been produced under strict conditions and have been tested for detectable gluten and found to have none
- selecting products that contain no gluten ingredients to do this safely you need to be very familiar with which ingredients are gluten free and which are not.
Six Gluten Free Side Effects
Do you know which gluten free side effect has the most impact on people when they are on a gluten free diet? You will now. We will help you to recognize them so you can take the appropriate corrective action when you see them. Just what are the side effects of a gluten free diet? The six main ones are mentioned below. These side effects will not be observed with all patients. Each person is unique and will experience different side effects when they are going gluten free.
Side Effect #1 Weight Gain
If you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, your body doesnt properly absorb fats and nutrients from the foods being consumed. It is quite common for individuals with celiac disease to be underweight and have difficulty in gaining weight. Once they begin the gluten free diet over time the intestines will begin to heal and will begin to absorb foods better. Often this results in the individual gaining weight.
Alternately, many processed gluten free foods are made with ingredients that are high in fat, carbohydrates and sugars. premade gluten free baked goods, breads, pastas and snacks may be low in nutrition and high in calories, states the University of Virginia Health System. Choosing too many processed gluten free foods may also cause weight gain while not providing beneficial nutrition. It is important to restrict these items for individuals that are on a gluten free diet.
Side Effect #2 Nutritional Deficiency
Side Effect #3- Constipation
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The Truth About Gluten Intolerance
Gluten is the glue that holds it all together, and its a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Meaning its found in foods you probably eat every day – bread, pasta, crackers, cereals, salad dressings and more.
So what happens when your body has an intolerance or sensitivity to gluten? The results can be unpleasant, painful and downright dangerous to your long-term health. Heres what you should know about gluten intolerance.
Diagnosis Of An Autoimmune Disease
Image Credit: Yale News
If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and are experiencing some of the other symptoms weve mentioned, the culprit for all could be a gluten intolerance.
Many people sensitive to gluten will develop the symptoms of an autoimmune disease, especially if they also have Celiac disease.
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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.
How Is Ncgs Treated
Many people cut gluten from their diet because they think they are intolerant to it. But because it’s hard to know whether the symptoms are due to an intolerance to gluten, an intolerance to something else in wheat, or some other reason, see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis to prevent unnecessary avoidance of gluten. Your doctor can make a referral to a dietitian to help you make decisions about your diet.
Very few people need to cut out gluten from their diet . However, if your doctor thinks this is the best approach for you, a dietitian can teach you how to replace the nutrients you will miss out on with a gluten-free diet. Read more about the gluten-free diet.
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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
Getting A Proper Diagnosis Is Key
Getting a proper diagnosis is the first step toward feeling better and living a healthy life. Diagnosing celiac disease is pretty straight forward. A gastroenterologist will be able to make a diagnosis based on blood tests and a biopsy of the small intestine.
Diagnosing non-celiac gluten intolerance is a little trickier. Your physician will test you for celiac disease, wheat allergy and other things that might be associated with your particular symptoms. If you test negatively for those things, youll start a gluten-free diet. If going gluten-free for a while improves your symptoms, youll probably be diagnosed with non-celiac gluten intolerance.
If you think you might have a gluten intolerance, its important to keep gluten in your diet until you visit your physician. This is the only way the to test properly.
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Common Symptoms Of Gluten Intolerance
Over the last several years, gluten has received a lot of attention. Numerous gluten-free products have been introduced, and more and more people are embracing a gluten-free lifestyle. Gluten can cause problems in many people. Whether you have a gluten sensitivity or suffer from Celiac disease, gluten can cause a number of symptoms including gluten belly. Here we explore more about gluten and the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance.