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.
The 9 Top Food Allergies
Wheat is listed by the FDA as one of the top nine most common allergen foods amongst Americans. This list of major food allergens includes milk, eggs, shellfish, soybeans, fish, nuts, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, and wheat. According to the FDA, 90% of food allergens are actually caused by these eight foods in particular.
The real challenge comes with the fact that so much of what we consume on a daily basis includes one of these eight foods. For many people who are allergic to any of these ingredients, even the smallest amount can trigger an intense and damaging reaction in the body. When foods are not properly or fully labeled, people with gluten allergies or intolerance can find themselves suffering. For example, an entirely vegetarian salad might contain traces of wheat in the dressing. To be able to avoid some of these allergens might be a challenge when restaurants or food labels donât specifically state those allergens on their labels, considering the minuscule quantities they might include.â
Diagnosis is not straightforward
While avoiding some of these allergens can be difficult, getting diagnosed might be an even bigger challenge. For many people with gluten intolerance or allergies, the symptoms can be vastly different, and not even related to digestion as one might expect.
However, gluten intolerances might induce symptoms that are more sporadic, like headaches, bloating, irritable bowels, and stomach aches.
Early Signs Of Gluten Intolerance: The Symptoms In Adults
Updated on / by Addison
Gluten intolerance is a complicated issue. Research continues to unveil new discoveries about reactions to gluten and how they affect peoples´ lives.
Using buzz words to sell food items is a popular tactic for gaining sales for companies. Phrases such as low fat, gluten-free, superfood, and all natural line the shelves of food stores.
Do these words apply to everyone in terms of benefiting health? Do people talk themselves into being gluten-intolerant because marketers make it sound like a healthy option, for example, or is eliminating gluten not necessary for everyone? Gluten intolerance is a serious and real issue, affecting many people.
Gluten is a protein that is commonly found in grains and wheat, among other foods.
Gluten gives bread dough its rubbery and sticky texture, and is also used as an ingredient in foods such as soy sauce, beer, and even pickles.
Gluten has always been a large factor in our diets, but it can cause severe health issues to some people.
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Gluten Intolerance Foods To Avoid
Glutens are basically proteins that allow wheat and other such cereals to absorb water and remain elastic.
It is because of the gluten that the dough gets such an amazing texture and it is possible for it to rise.
Wheat, rye, and barley are active sources of gluten and are often found in:
- Canned foods
With that being said, someone might question how one can cut on gluten by using gluten substitutes.
Thus, well have our next section dealing with prominent gluten substitutes.
Bloating Constipation And Gas
None of these symptoms are easy to deal with in everyday life. They may also become serious if constipation goes on for too long.
Celiac disease causes these digestive and gastrointestinal problems. One way to test for gluten intolerance is to cut out gluten completely and see if there is rapid and substantial improvement in bloating, constipation, and gas.
If these symptoms are lost with the elimination of gluten in the diet, it is a tell tale sign that the gluten is causing the issues.
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How To Test For Gluten Intolerance
I have found the single best ways to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to go through an elimination diet and take it out of your diet for at least 2 -3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better. The best advice that I share with my patients is that if they feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when they reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem for them. In order to get accurate results from this testing method, you must eliminate 100% of the gluten from your diet.
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.
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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.
Delayed Growth Or Weight Loss
Undiagnosed celiac disease in children can starve them of valuable nutrients needed for growth and development. Growth rate may also be slowed.
Both adults and children already diagnosed with celiac disease can experience weight loss, despite having a normal appetite. This is because even small amounts of gluten cause damage to the lining of the intestines, resulting in malabsorption. This damage can persist for years in adults, even after switching to a gluten-free diet.
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Signs You May Be Gluten Intolerant
Being gluten intolerant is more common than many people think. Estimates indicate that between seven and nine people per 1,000 are affected, or almost 1% of the population of Ireland.
Many diseases have been linked to gluten and many people who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten go undiagnosed. Gluten sensitivity or intolerance is a condition that causes the person affected to have a reaction after ingesting gluten, which is the large protein found in wheat, barley and rye.
There are many possible ways a person could react after ingesting gluten, but since many people who are gluten intolerant are never diagnosed you should be extra vigilant to look out for the following symptoms.
You Always Experience Abdominal Pain And Bloating
Abdominal bloating is characterized by tightness and/or swelling in your abdominal region.
It occurs because of excess gas or disturbances in the muscles involved with digestion.
In a study of 59 adults with suspected NCGS, abdominal pain and bloating were the top reported digestive symptoms .
Its thought that a buildup of gas is the main cause in those who are sensitive after a gluten rich meal.
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Sneaky Signs You May Be Gluten Intolerant
There are certain signs that you may be gluten intolerant.
And theyre pretty clear. Lets start with a few classic ones. Weve got:
- Painful bloating
- Non-stop reflux
- Stomach or abdominal cramping
- Nausea that wont let up
Of course, thats just to name a few. Theres others too.
I had all of these before I found out gluten was causing all my problems.
But there are other signs you may be gluten intolerant that arent so clear.
Do you ever eat something and then have bloating or have to be in the bathroom for a while and think, well it coulda been anything I ate!
But youre suspicious its not just anythingand your suspicious are probably bang on.
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Joint Pain And Arthritis
What does gluten have to do with your joints? Quite a bit, actuallyif you have celiac disease, the gluten you consume can enter your bloodstream and cause inflammation both inside and outside your gut.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, this can lead to joint pain, swelling, and a worsening of arthritis symptoms. In fact, a 2019 study in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives recommends regular rheumatoid arthritis screenings for patients with celiac disease, calling them a “high-risk group” after researchers discovered many had signs of preclinical RA.
Can You Develop Gluten Intolerance In Your 20s
You can develop gluten intolerance when you are in your 20s. This condition can also occur when you are older.
If you are experiencing symptoms of gluten intolerance, make an appointment today with Gotham Gastroenterology. Our specialists can offer a diet plan tailored to your needs.
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Think You Have Gluten Sensitivity Heres What To Do Next
There are quite a few people out there who would tell you that you should just go gluten-free and never look back if you find that gluten does indeed cause a problem. I dont quite agree with that sentiment and Id say that this point is one of my biggest regrets looking back regarding my gluten-free journey.
Because some estimates states that up to 83% of those with celiac disease are still undiagnosed and that it can take an average of 4 years to finally get a diagnosis, I do recommend if you find that you react to gluten to go get tested for celiac disease. The reason is that celiac can be a serious, life-altering autoimmune disease that further increases your risk of developing additional autoimmune diseases and even cancer.
By not getting tested and assuming that what you have is gluten sensitivity may not be accurate. This essentially clouds your ability to know exactly whats going on with your body and what risk factors may be down the road that you should be aware of. Maybe you can stave them off, maybe not. Either way, having that knowledge and knowing if your issues stem from your body stumbling into a state of autoimmunity is critical.
And one more thing Compliance with the diet is a major problem for people in our community who need to be gluten free.
Unfortunately many are still struggling even longer . Thats an awfully long time to 1) continue to feel like dirt and 2) not give your body a break.
Celiac Disease Vs Gluten Intolerance Vs Fructan Intolerance
First, its important to understand the difference between celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten.
Even tiny amounts of gluten will severely damage the small intestine of an individual with celiac disease.
On the other hand, gluten intolerance is thought to be a subtle sensitivity to gluten diagnosed after exclusion of celiac disease. Its said to affect between 0.5-13% of people .
In fact, newer research indicates that we may be incorrectly diagnosing a FODMAP intolerance as a gluten intolerance. Specifically, it really looks like what weve thought was gluten intolerance is actually a fructan intolerance .
A gluten intolerant individual can typically eat small amounts of gluten safely, but experiences health issues when their threshold is exceeded.
The following are common signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance, after celiac disease has been ruled out.
Summary: Gluten can physically damage the small intestine in those with celiac disease. A gluten intolerance, or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, is a more subtle sensitivity diagnosed after exclusion of celiac disease.
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Gluten Intolerance: Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid
With the gluten intolerance symptoms checklist out of the way, you now need to plan your diet to be sure that no gluten in any form enters your body.
To do so, your mind should be clear about the foods you can take and the foods that have to be avoided.
Thus, here weve got a few examples laid down to help you plan your eating routine.
Firstly, well talk about the foods that you can eat.
Joint And Muscle Pain
The last sign that you may be gluten intolerant is if you are experiencing any joint or muscle pain. Although this joint and muscle pain could be caused by several different things, such as bad posture or exercise, it can also be caused by gluten. Numerous studies have shown that gluten intolerant people have a genetically determined oversensitive or overexcitable nervous system. This can result in these people easily feeling aches and pains in their joints and muscles. Another symptom of gluten intolerance that many people are not aware of is neuropathy, which involves numbness or tingling in the arms and legs. Therefore, if you start to experience any joint and muscle pain or feel numbness in your arms or legs unexpectedly, you may want to check to see if you are gluten intolerant.
As you can see, there are several different signs and symptoms that come with being gluten intolerant. Therefore, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that you are gluten intolerant, meaning that you should avoid eating gluten or should even consider adopting a gluten-free diet into your life. If you are gluten intolerant and are looking to adopt a gluten-free diet, there are now many gluten-free foods available on the market, meaning that you can easily change your eating habits.
Featured Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
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Signs You May Be Intolerant To Gluten
Gluten has become a much more discussed subject over the past few years. Some considered gluten free diets to be a fad for a time, but this is far from the case. In fact, there are observable gluten intolerance symptoms that can be uncomfortable and unhealthy for those dealing with it. These symptoms can be even worse or dangerous in cases of extreme gluten intolerance, like those with celiac disease. If you are thinking you might be gluten intolerant, then look for the five common signs below.