Gluten intolerance is a fairly common condition. In fact, some studies show that it affects approximately 15% of the US population. It is characterized by an inability to handle foods containing gluten. Identifying gluten intolerance symptoms are a challenge to say the least. So many of the symptoms that are connected to gluten intolerance are also present in many other diseases. There are, however, some more common symptoms to be aware of, but keep in mind that these are just some of the symptoms. These are inconveniences and can be extremely uncomfortable but to avoid them, one simply must cut gluten out of his or her diet.
Gluten Intolerance Symptoms:
- Digestive Symptoms – Digestive symptoms are the most common symptoms of a gluten intolerance. These include:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight Gain or weight loss
- Alternating Constipation and Diarrhea
- Inflammation – Inflammation is an immune system response to the gluten.
- Lactose Intolerance, Dairy Sensitivity or Other Food Sensitivity – This is a secondary condition which results from damage to the small intestine (leaky gut) from the primary problem of gluten intolerance.
- Malnutrition and/or Anemia – Since the small intestine may be damaged in cases of gluten intolerance, and since food may be excreted rapidly as waste, the body often has a hard time absorbing nutrients, leading to symptoms of malnutrition and/or anemia developing. Specifically, a low iron level is common.
- Chronic Fatigue, Exhaustion and Dizziness.
- Body and Joint Aches.
- Frequent Infections – The small intestine makes up 70% of the immune system and since gluten intolerance causes damage to the small intestine, infection is a common symptom of gluten intolerance.
- Steatorrhea – This is the presence of excess fat in feces. This can lead to further embarrassing and painful complications, such as anal leakage or incontinence. Fat is present in the stools due to poor digestion.
- Depression, Irritability and Mood Swings.
These are just a few of a vast list of symptoms that arise from gluten intolerance. In addition to what’s listed above, there are almost endless possibilities of symptoms related to a gluten intolerance. To make matters worse, possible symptoms of a gluten intolerance can be the same symptoms as so many other maladies and consequently, a gluten intolerance can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as something else for years and years. The list can be even more extensive and severe in the case of gluten intolerance in the form of celiac disease. As stated above, treatment for gluten intolerance is straightforward – simply eliminate gluten-containing foods. This means that gluten-containing grains such as those found in bread, cereals, and pasta must be completely eliminated, as well as drinks such as beer, since these involve fermenting grains containing gluten.
If you experience any or all of the above symptoms, you may want to get tested for a gluten intolerance. The answer could be life changing.