Depression Irritability And Behavioral Problems
Gluten can have profound psychological effects in people with celiac disease.
Mood swings, anxiety, and depression are common among adults with undiagnosed gluten sensitivity. In children, tantrums, irritability and even ADHD can manifest. Some researchers estimate neurological disorders may occur in as many as 10-25% of all celiac patients.
Ask your doctor to test for celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergies, particularly if you have a child that has been diagnosed with a behavioral, mental health, or developmental disorder.
The Signs And Symptoms Of Gluten Sensitivity
Chances are, you know someone on a gluten-free diet. Or maybe you know someone who can’t eat gluten, a protein combination found in cereal grains like wheat, rye and barley.
There are a few reasons for this recent interest in going gluten-free: About 1 percent of the United States population has celiac disease. When these people eat foods with gluten, it triggers an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine and can lead to long-term problems, like lymphoma and other autoimmune diseases like thyroid dysfunction, osteoporosis or osteopenia. But as much as 6 percent of the population may have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity . These people tend to feel better when they avoid gluten, even though they test negative for celiac disease.
Wondering if your child could be sensitive to gluten or benefit from a gluten-free diet? We asked Ritu Verma, MBChB, a pediatric gastroenterologist, Lustgarten Endowed Chair for Clinical Care of GI Motility Disorders, and director of CHOPs Center for Celiac Disease, for help in recognizing the signs of a gluten sensitivity. She also offers advice for what you should do if you think your child has a gluten sensitivity.
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.1
3. Fatigue, brain fog, or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten
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.
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What Does A Gluten Allergy Test Help With
Many people are intolerant to gluten, and the severity ranges from experiencing a gluten allergy to being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Gluten sensitivity, gluten allergy and celiac disease are some of the most common terms used to describe someone’s intolerance levels. To better understand how your gluten intolerant symptoms measure up, let’s dive into each a bit more.
Signs That You Are Allergic To Gluten
Do you often feel bloated or have an upset stomach after eating? Do you find that you are always tired, no matter how much rest you get? If so, you may be one of the millions of people who are allergic to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, that can cause a wide range of symptoms in those who are sensitive to it. In this blog post, we will discuss what gluten allergies are, the signs and symptoms that indicate you might have one, and how to go about getting diagnosed.
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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.
How Do I Know If I Am Allergic To Gluten
Gluten allergies are often confused with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, yet we will go over all three conditions in this article. gluten allergy is an immune response to gluten, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that gluten can trigger, and gluten sensitivity is a non-autoimmune reaction that gluten can trigger.
Gluten contains a glycoprotein called gliadin, which helps make up the gluten proteins in wheat and other grains like rye and barley. For people with gluten allergies, even a small amount of gluten can cause gastrointestinal problems and even more severe symptoms. So how do you know if you or someone you know is allergic to gluten or has gluten intolerance? We will explain everything in the next few sections.
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What To Do If You Are Sensitive To Gluten
For sensitive individuals, avoiding gluten is mandatory for healing the gut lining, calming inflammation and restoring immune balance.
Depending on the level of sensitivity, eating out can be challenging, as many gluten-free foods can be contaminated if prepared in the same kitchen or fried in the same oil as gluten foods.
To remedy this you can preemptively take gluten digesting enzymes to block some of the inflammatory effects of ingesting trace amounts of gluten.
If you dont eat out, gluten exposure may still be an issue for you. Spices are notorious for being gluten contaminated. Nuts can be also.
You can test the foods at home with a Nima. This gluten-testing device uses small capsule to test samples of food for gluten. Put a mix of kitchen spices into the Nima and if it comes back positive, you need to test each spice. You use the Nima at restaurants to test your food before you eat it.
Its a good idea to double check that your supplements dont have hidden traces of gluten. Many supplements are certified gluten free.
In some cases, if gluten sensitivity is mild and caused by lack of enzymes, biome imbalances, leaky gut or inflammation, fixing these issue could reverse the sensitivity. If so, gluten will no longer trigger inflammation for you.
Thinking Of Going Gluten
Wondering if gluten could be to blame for your bloating, stomach issues, brain fog, and increasing headaches? Youre not alone. Eighteen million Americans may be sensitive to gluten, but it can be difficult to determine if you could be part of that statistic.
Its a little tricky: just because you have an intolerance to gluten doesnt mean you will end up being allergic to wheat or diagnosed with Celiac, and its possible to be allergic to wheat without being sensitive to gluten. Thats why its so important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and do the appropriate testing to uncover what is causing your issues.
For now, here are seven symptoms of gluten intolerance as well as how to test for it, and what to do if you are gluten intolerant.
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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:
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
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You Have An Autoimmune Disease
An autoimmune disease is the term given when your immune system mistakenly attacks and damages your own tissue.
There are more than 80 types, characterised by which tissues or organs in the body are damaged.
Gluten intake is consistently linked with numerous types, but whether its the cause remains to be seen. Its influence in Celiac disease is the obvious example, but research indicates gluten likely affects Hashimotos hypothyroidism and Graves disease, to name a few.
Some researchers speculate the potentially negative effect of gluten is to do with the effect that gliadin may have on gut health and function .
In any case, it seems gluten intolerance is more likely in those with an autoimmune condition.
What Kinds Of Health Risks Do People Allergic To Gluten Face
Gluten intolerance, celiac disease, and gluten allergy are all conditions that can cause a variety of reactions, ranging from minor to severe. For people with gluten intolerance, even a small amount of gluten can cause problems. Celiac disease is the most serious gluten-related condition and can lead to malnutrition, weight loss, and even death if left untreated. Wheat allergy is the most common food allergy in children and can cause a range of symptoms, from mild to life-threatening.
There are many treatments that people can receive immediately, including injections of epinephrine and antihistamines like Benadryl can help to stop the allergic reaction. If you are experiencing any gluten allergy symptoms, then it is important to see a doctor right away. Celiac disease is a serious gluten allergy that can lead to malnutrition and other health problems if left untreated.
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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.
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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Changes In Your Bowels
There are over 300 known symptoms of gluten intolerance so obviously symptoms vary from person to person.
Then it probably comes as no surprise to learn that some people develop constipation while others experience loose, foul-smelling diarrhea .
However, several other conditions can also cause changes in your bowel habits. For this reason, your doctor may need to run a few tests to rule out other causes.
Mouth Ulcers Or Canker Sores
Canker sores are painful, small crater-like sores that develop on the inner cheeks, gum, tongue, or roof of the mouth. The cause of canker sores has eluded scientists for years, but stress, infection, trauma, and certain foods are known triggers.
However, for a small minority of people, gluten intolerance may be the culprit. In one research study, over 240 patients with recurrent mouth ulcers were screened for celiac disease, and seven were confirmed to have the disorder. Interestingly, all seven had failed to respond to routine anti-mouth ulcer medications and in all, canker sores were their only noticeable symptom.
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Well It Depends On What Condition You Actually Have
So you have persistent symptomspossibly digestive, possibly skin-related or even neurologicaland you’re wondering, do these symptoms mean I have a gluten allergy? You might be surprised to learn that there are several different conditions that people refer to as a “gluten allergy,” and your specific symptoms will depend on which of these conditions you actually have .
You see, medical science doesn’t actually recognize the term “gluten allergy.” Instead, when people refer to a gluten allergy, it’s likely they mean one of four different conditions: celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, dermatitis herpetiformis or gluten ataxia. None of these is a true allergy. It’s also possible that someone who refers to a gluten allergy actually means a wheat allergy, which is a true allergy.
Here’s a guide to the different sets of symptoms and related issues that are commonly referred to as gluten allergies.
Brain Fog Or Headaches
Other reported common symptoms of gluten intolerance are headaches and brain fog. Brain fog is when you are experiencing cognitive issues such as difficulty concentrating or focusing, or a lack of mental clarity. This by itself is not a sure sign of gluten intolerance, but if you experience it along with other symptoms, then that may be the cause.
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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.
What Causes Gluten Sensitivity
While the underlying cause is not exactly known, the cause of gluten sensitivity is the consumption of foods that contain gluten.
As we mentioned, gliadin and glutenin are the proteins that can cause symptoms of gluten intolerance to flare up. When people with gluten intolerance are not able to break these proteins down properly, then they can experience extremely uncomfortable symptoms.
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Getty Images 9 You’re So Tired You Need A Nap After Your Nap
Your diet is one of the biggest factors in your energy levels, says De Latour.
You already know, for example, that eating junk makes you feel wasted while protein and veggies keeps you chugging all daybut that might extend to gluten, too. Many sufferers report their energy levels skyrocketing after giving up gluten, says De Latour.
Signs And Symptoms Of Gluten Intolerance
There is a huge fad component to the gluten-free movement.
However, many people genuinely cannot tolerate it, even if they dont have celiac disease.
The problem is they dont realise this, and then live with digestive symptoms as though its normal.
This article looks at the most common signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance.
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