10 Warning Signs You Are Gluten Intolerant
Gluten intolerance is an allergic reaction to gluten in the digestive tract. When you have an intolerance, this likely will not show up on blood work so you need to track your symptoms, and your diet and then see how the two match up. Because of this, you want to know the warning signs so that you can be on the lookout for them. There are many digestive issues associated with gluten intolerance.
- Digestive Issues – These include gas, abdominal pain or cramping, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation in children. Many people notice that these signs are gone right after they stop consuming foods that contain gluten.
- Mood issues – Eating gluten may cause anxiety, depression, and mood swings. Many people with gluten intolerance develop issues like depression, anxiety, and other mood issues that they cannot explain. Part of this may be due to interruptions in sleep, but in most cases, there is just no good reason for it.
- Joint PainJoint pain, inflammation, and swelling are common signs of gluten intolerance. These symptoms do not often contribute to this intolerance right away because many people think they are just tired and working too hard. However, extremity numbness and joint pain are actually very common symptoms of gluten intolerance.
- Keratosis Pilaris – Keratosis pilaris or chicken skin, is a skin condition that appears as raised, hard bumps on the skin, a flushed complexion, acne, and unexplained rashes that just seem to pop up. They look like goosebumps, but they do not go away. This skin condition along with dermatitis herpetiformis, a similar skin condition, has been associated with gluten intolerance. The rashes most often occur on the knees, back, elbows, buttocks, and on back of the neck. The rash is often chronic and the itching is present almost all of the time.
- Fatigue and Sluggishness – If you frequently wake up after getting a good night’s sleep and feel tired and sluggish, gluten may be to blame. That is because your body is working hard to remove a harmful substance. This intolerance can interfere with your natural sleep patterns so even though you are getting plenty of sleep, your body may not be getting the deep rest it needs during those hours. The fatigue can be different for different people- for some is just mild and for others, it can be quite severe.
- Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia – It is a common and complex chronic pain disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness to touch that may occur in the body wide or migrate over the body. According to one study, gluten intolerance may be the source of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. Many people diagnosed with these conditions never understand why they have them.
- Migraines and Headaches – You may experience one of these or both, depending on your level of intolerance. Eating foods with gluten can trigger one of the two symptoms. The migraines can be incredibly debilitating for some people, leaving them unable to complete normal daily tasks when they are present. Both of these can lead to irritability and depression. Migraines are commonly caused by food intolerances like chocolate or gluten. If you get chronic migraine headaches, it may be gluten intolerance.
- Autoimmune Disease – If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, the culprit could be gluten intolerance. Many people with gluten intolerance will develop the symptoms of an autoimmune disease especially if they have celiac disease. There is research being conducted looking at whether or not autoimmune diseases and gluten intolerance are related. Many people that have issues with gluten have an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, myasthenia gravis, ulcerative colitis, psoriasis, or multiple sclerosis.
- Hormonal Issues – Different hormonal issues may occur as a result of gluten intolerance. Research is looking at the possible relationship between this intolerance and polycystic ovarian syndrome, premenstrual syndrome, and unexplained fertility. It is thought that if someone has issues with gluten that these issues could get worse, especially when gluten is consumed. When a person who is gluten intolerant eats gluten, they put their body in an inflamed state; this can make it more difficult for them to contribute to reproduction whether male or female.
- Neurological Symptoms – Some people with this intolerance start experiencing different neurological symptoms that can really inhibit their ability to function. Things like feeling off balance, a reduction in coordination and dizziness can all occur. These generally happen within about an hour after eating a meal that contains gluten. Neurological issues like tingling in the extremities, epilepsy, depression, anxiety, and ADHD are all associated with gluten intolerance.
How to test yourself to see if you are gluten intolerant? Try not to consume foods that contain gluten for at least 2-3 weeks and then reintroduce that same food after that period of time. See if you will have any of these 10 signs after that.