Are You Gluten Intolerant? These 10 Signs Can Tell You If You Are
Going gluten free isn’t just a diet trend – for those who have a gluten intolerance, eating this protein found in wheat, rye, and barley can make life miserable through a host of uncomfortable and sometimes serious health problems.
While you might think that going “gluten free” is just one of the latest diet trends, about 15% of the U.S. population is said to have a gluten intolerance. This is different than having celiac disease, a disorder that’s diagnosed when someone has an actually allergy to gluten – and it’s relatively rare, estimated to affect only about 1% of the population.
Gluten intolerance is not a food allergy, but a physical condition in the gut. It can lead to all sorts of problems, from depression and chronic fatigue to nutrient deficiencies, skin rashes and more. When gluten is removed from the diet of someone who is intolerant, the gut is able to heal, and those symptoms disappear.
10 Common Signs of Gluten Intolerance
If you’re experiencing four or more of these signs, you may be gluten intolerant, and eliminating gluten is likely to make those symptoms go away.
The most common signs of a gluten intolerance are digestive issues. The severity of digestive symptoms vary among those who are intolerant, and tend to be most severe shortly after consuming foods that contain gluten. Problems like abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation, typically occur about 30 minutes after eating gluten, though they may sometimes be delayed.
Headaches and Migraines
Headaches that occur an hour or two after consuming foods that contain gluten could indicate an intolerance. Migraines are more likely to occur in those who have Celiac disease, those people who are more susceptible may experience them due to a gluten sensitivity.
Rashes and Other Skin Problems
A number of different skin conditions have been linked to consuming gluten, including dermatitis herpetiformis, which causes extremely itchy bumps or blisters that can appear on the knees, buttocks, along the hairline or forearms near the elbows. Keratosis pilaris, a condition that results in white or red bumps, usually on the arms, thighs, cheeks, and buttocks, can also occur. Eczema has also been linked to a gluten intolerance.
Mood disorders, including depression, anxiety, mood swings and even ADHD, have been associated with gluten intolerance, though they typically occur along with other symptoms like digestive issues.
Memory and Concentration Problems
If you’re gluten intolerant and eat foods with gluten, you may experience what’s often referred to as “brain fog”, which can make it difficult to concentrate and even cause memory problems.
When combined with gastrointestinal issues, especially diarrhea, chronic fatigue often indicates a gluten intolerance as the body is hindered from its ability to properly absorb essential nutrients from foods that are eaten.
Because foods that contain gluten are typically inflammatory foods, eating them can lead to an abundance of inflammation in the body and issues like joint pain. Joint pain may even be diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, when it’s actually a sign of a gluten intolerance.
Hormone and Infertility Issues
Other issues that can occur due to the abundance of inflammation that gluten foods cause, are related to hormone imbalance problems, including irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and even infertility issues. That inflammation places excess pressure on adrenal glands, causing them to work harder than they should, upsetting the balance of the endocrine system and the entire body.
Low Iron and Other Nutritional Problems
As mentioned, a gluten intolerance can make it difficult for the body to properly absorb the essential nutrients it needs from the food you eat, which means if your iron level is low, or you’re experiencing other signs of nutritional deficiencies, it could be because of gluten.
Inflammation caused by eating foods that contain gluten can upset the nervous system too, resulting in issues like vertigo, tingling and numbness, dizziness and feeling off balance.
The Good News
If you’re experiencing four or more of these signs, there is good chance that you’re one of the 15% of Americans with a gluten intolerance. The good news is that by eliminating gluten from your diet, you can restore your health and well-being, and feel like you again!
How Probiotics Can Help With Gluten Intolerance?
If you hope to avoid potential future symptoms of gluten intolerance, one of the best ways to do so is to increase the good, healthy bacteria in your gut by taking a high quality probiotic supplement. If you already are gluten intolerant, probiotics help keep the bad bacteria away, and may alleviate the severity of the symptoms. When choosing a supplement, remember that quality is essential. Always look for probiotics that guarantee potency through the expiration date, like Schwartz Bioresearch.