10 Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity You Probably Didn’t Know About

10 Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity You Probably Didn’t Know About
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Sensitivity to gluten is a serious issue in modern health. People suffering from it have difficulty digesting gluten and are consequently deprived of essential nutrients. The issue has been connected with a shockingly wide amount of disease and health issues ranging from skin problems to dementia and celiac disease.

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Celiac disease (CD) is usually the only medical concern surrounding gluten sensitivity. It stems from an autoimmune response to gluten and if left untreated can contribute to malnutrition, mental illness, cancer, and diminutive body growth.

The problem is that doctors have restricted testing for celiac disease only and ignored gluten sensitivity. However incompatibility with gluten doesn’t have to be associated with celiac disease, therefore diagnosis for it is severely limited.

In other words, there are various degrees of gluten sensitivity, but for many doctors it is either you have celiac disease or you have nothing. Nowadays there is more awareness that there is non-celiac gluten sensitivity and it is a distinct clinical condition.

NCGS – A Distinct Clinical Condition

NCGS (non-celiac gluten sensitivity) is the name given to the majority of people who have a gluten intolerance that doesn’t have to deal with celiac disease. The condition’s legitimacy has received a lot of debate among health practitioners. Many want to stick with tradition and dismiss the issue as a hoax.

Some estimates say that around 1 in every 20 Americans has a type of NCGS. Medical experts that were curious about the issue conducted a placebo-controlled gold standard and double-blind, placebo-controlled trials on gluten ingestion. In the end they were able to validate the condition of gluten sensitivity apart from just celiac disease.

What is Gluten Sensitivity?

Gluten is a protein composite that is found all around us – in grains, hair products, and even in playdoh. When the body has a sensitivity to gluten it has adverse effects on every inch of healthy tissue in your body. Medical experts are now shocked to find that this sensitivity might be a lot more common than we previously thought.

Estimates suggest that gluten sensitivity goes unrecognized and causes trouble in 99% of people that have it. Many people are quick to dismiss the issue of gluten digestion as a hoax, but more than 90 million people in the United States suffer some type of sensitivity to it.

Signs of Gluten Intolerance

The first step in validating any gluten health concerns is educating yourself. Since there has been an alarmingly small amount of medical research on gluten sensitivity, patients have been forced to take matters into their own hands and look for symptoms. A few of the most common signs of gluten intolerance are listed below:

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  1. The most obvious indication of gluten intolerance is digestive issues. This includes bloating, gas, abdominal pain, greasy stools, and irritable bowel syndrome.
  2. Unstable emotional health like depression, anxiety, and sudden drastic changes in mood.
  3. Look for effects on the brain such as dizziness, lack of focus, trouble balancing, and tingling sensations.
  4. Frequent migraines and headaches.
  5. Abnormal tiredness throughout the day, even if you haven’t experienced much physical or mental exhaustion.
  6. Several types of rashes like eczema and psoriasis may appear on your skin. Look for areas that are dry and have red or white marks that cause itching.
  7. Despite the beliefs of some physicians, fibromyalgia (skeletal pain and weakness) can actually be a symptom of gluten intolerance. Inflammation and pain can occur virtually anywhere on the body.
  8. Issues with hormone balance that cause worsened PMS. Instances of inexplicable infertility may also signal a difficulty processing gluten.
  9. Keratosis pilaris might also develop on the skin. It is characterized by rough discolored bumps and hardened skin around the thighs, arms, and cheeks – usually happening when gluten damages the stomach.
  10. Joint pain and inflammation.

The lack of digestive clues makes it difficult to associate with gluten sensitivity. Many doctors find symptoms but fail to associate them with gluten. Remain objective about your symptoms and talk things over with a physician if you’re concerned.

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How to Test for Gluten Intolerance

As mentioned earlier, the medical focus on gluten health issues is disappointingly small. Because of this there aren’t many testing methods available at the moment. Only two methods are worth trusting: blood testing and elimination dieting.

Blood testing is fairly straightforward but many people have been drawn to the simplicity and ease of elimination diets. If you’re exhibiting any symptoms of gluten sensitivity it could work for you.

You should consult with your doctor about blood tests that detect gluten sensitivity such as:

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  • Total immunoglobulin A (IgA)
  • IgA Tissue transglutaminase antibody (shortened to tTG)

As for elimination diet, the first step is finding everything with gluten in your daily diet. Avoid eating those foods or any other that might give you digestive troubles. After approximately 3 weeks take note of the symptoms. If they’ve gotten better, chances are your body cannot tolerate gluten.

The important part of this diet is staying committed. You can’t consume even the slightest amount of gluten during your elimination period. If you do so, it could offset the entire process and give you faulty results.

Possible Treatment for Gluten Sensitivity

There is only one surefire way to alleviate the perils of gluten sensitivity – by eliminating gluten from your life. Real results only come from cutting back on gluten 100%. This can be difficult for some people that have grown accustomed to a gluten based diet, but there are helpful tips to keep them on track:

Start shopping in the gluten-free alternative section. There are a ton of options like pasta and bread so you don’t have to cut all your favorite foods.

Any grains that use wheat, rye, or barley need to be avoided completely.

Carefully read the labels of your groceries and look for gluten-indicating terms such as vegetable protein, flour, soy, vegetable hum, and malt flavoring. Reading food labels is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

Always choose whole foods over anything that is processed.

Have some digestive aids handy in case you do consume gluten accidentally.

Read my other related articles:

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23 Responses to 10 Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity You Probably Didn’t Know About

  1. Mary says:

    I noted, finally, a gluten sensitivity last year – about the same time I went from vegetarian to vegan. It’s been difficult with those two changes, but I love being a vegan. What digestive aids were you writing about in case one consumes gluten accidentally, which I’ve done?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Mary, these are digestive enzyme supplements (such as bromelain found in pineapple or papain found in papaya). Find more information about it here – http://whole9life.com/2012/09/digestive-enzymes-101/

    • Donna Marie Mineo Paradowski says:

      I use a product called … Gluten Cutter .. it helps with occasional cross contamination. There are people that use it to eat gluten but it only takes away the digestive problems when you do that so you get all the other symptoms .. but for cross contamination it works very well. Available in drug stores or online

  2. Solomon M says:

    what’s the cure of stomach burning & movement sensation in the feet, & pale of the skin?

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Solomon, it’s sometimes difficult to give advice over the internet, especially that there are questions to be asked about the symptoms and your medical condition. I think it is something that needs to be treated by your doctor, who is familiar with your medical history and can look at it more deeply and perform the required tests if needed. I apologize I cannot be of any help.

  3. Betty Lee says:

    I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity 5 years ago and it included not only wheat products but eggs and dairy. I could handle eating for gluen sensitivity BUT I am also a type 2 diabetic…. So what I can eat for one condition I can’t eat for the other. So I give up and just eat except I try to delete the processed foods which is good for both. Does anyone else have this problem? I am almost 81 years old with no self discipline and tend to have food habits from this long life. Not a good thing!!! I also have numerous medical conditions linked to both things.

    • Roberta Champion says:

      I have been struggling with acid reflux and hives for 4 years, the last 2 I’ve had severe scales of skin that itch even bleed. I can’t control it! I have IBS add well as panic disorder and I have an allergy to eggs milk and all all all citrus acid. I’ve tried Apple cider vinegar on scalp, it relieved itching and scales but it returns and I did it again the other day but it didn’t help. I’m under stress Yes, but this is all to much.
      I also drink on weekends, thinking that should stop. I don’t know if I’ve got yeast growing or what.
      The doctors just want to drug me with 24 meds but nothing is helping so I’m only taking prilosec for acid

      • Kelly F says:

        Hi Roberta. You didn’t mention whether you have made any changes in your diet since discovering your food allergies. I would definitely eliminate all dairy and eggs but I think you should consider eliminating gluten as well to see if there is any improvement.That would include your weekend beer. You mentioned yeast and that is a big possibility. Many people have a Candida tray overgrowth and don’t realize it. You can purchase a Candida cleanse from a health food store but you will need to follow a fairly strict diet and eliminate sugar and simple carbs during the cleanse. It’s worth the trouble! Best wishes to you and God bless!

  4. Jenni says:

    Hi Jenny
    Late last year I lost quite a lot of weight (already pretty skinny) and had a lot of gut issues .which continue. Started moving from vegetarian to vegan diet round Xmas time. I have been gf for a number of months now . My earlier gut symptoms are quite a lot better these days but still a way off being good. Fatigue levels are still high.. Still have quite a lot of the symptoms on the above list too…
    Have had a gastroscopy.. Not coeliac, breath testing for FODMAPs.. Basically clear.. Suggestive of fructose intolerance but borderline. I have done an elimination diet, had numerous blood tests and come up with nothing! Saw a naturopath who diagnosed Pfeiffer’s and put me on virus drops which I took for the recommended treatment time and no response. I’m so frustrated and disheartened… Would be grateful for your thoughts. Also kept a food diary for months and saw a dietician over that time…
    Jenni

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Jenni, I can understand your frustration as gut issues are quite broad and can range from food sensitivity of various degrees, IBS, IBD, ulcers, etc, and it might also be a combination of other things, for example liver issues that can affect the gut or hormonal imbalance such as in menopause. As you can see, it requires quite a deep investigation (which some of it you’ve already done). Unfortunately this is beyond the scope of my abilities, but sometimes you may found that going to have a second opinion from another doctor that can bring a fresh insight to your situation can be beneficial. I apologize I cannot be more specific with any suggestion.

    • Mike Sanor says:

      Hi Jenny,
      You need to take a water extraction of slippery elm. This has helped hundreds of people that I know.

  5. Melu says:

    I wish they’d stop calling this Gluten Sensitivity. It’s not. It’s GMO interference.

  6. Sharon Beck says:

    Your article made it easier to understand gluten intolerances than others I’ve read. My son has been dealing with frequent stomach pains for over two years. His doctor wanted him to take Prilosec. Helped while taking it but didn’t last. Something I read suggested increased acid chloro something could be an issue. We have him drinking aloe 2 to 3 times a day to lower the acid. It’s has been helping but we just started this. Reading about gluten makes me wonder if this should be our next step. It was simplified for me too. To remember basically 3 ingredients to avoid seemed so much easier than looking for items that say gluten free. This article was a round about link that started from a Facebook post about Nutella and the break down of ingredients. Very eye-opening. Thank you.

  7. ankit says:

    Hi, i am diagnosed of gluten sensitivity when i took a blood test advised during a health checkup. It is really very difficult to avoid wheat as we indians start taking wheat probably from birth, and at the age of 33 it is really difficult to change the fooding habits. I am on a 100% gluten free diet for 3 months now, but i dont see improvement and all the mentioned symptoms continue.. i get irritated and depressed to see that my hard dedication is not paying back. I would need to mention that i consume scotch / single malt everyday as i had read that whiskey does not blend wheat

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Ankit, I suggest that you read this article about whiskey. You may be surprised to find out that some people experience severe gluten reactions when consuming whiskey. Try to remove it from your diet and see if there is any improvement.

  8. karen says:

    hi there,
    my son who is almost 4 now,(exclusively breastfeed) was diagnosed with cow`s milk protein allergy when he was 3 months old.he was having diarrhea full of mucus and little blood in his stools but as soon as i(mother) stopped taking any dairy/soy products he got better. but when i tried to give him solid food at age of 7 months he again have blood in his stools.at this i stopped giving any type of grains.for the last 3 years he`s been on vegetables and meat.but he is weak.hundreds of doctor visits and 3 different naturopath doctors but nothing. they don`t see this more than a case of constipation.
    plssss help me
    thank you for your time..

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Karen, I sympathize with your frustration and your concern to your son. The problem is that I’m not a doctor or a certified health practitioner, hence I cannot give specific advice. This is true especially in such a complex issue that requires an in-depth knowledge, and where so many other health practitioners have failed to give you a solution. I feel that any advice given by me over the internet without the specialized knowledge required and without knowing the full medical picture would be irresponsible, and I don’t want to make more harm than good. So please accept my apology for not being more helpful. I really hope you find the right practitioner that will listen to you and take your concerns seriously and will be able to find a solution.

    • Andreea says:

      Try goat milk

  9. Lynn Taylor AZ says:

    I was diagnosed about three years ago with Ciliacs. But I didn’t go to a doctor for my digestive problems not till my husand heard the symtoms on Doctor Oz and made me looked it up to see I didn’t have most of the symptoms. I had all of them. And I realixze now I have had the symtoms all of my life even as a small child and the doctors had missed it. By the time I found out it was to late and the dammage was done. I nearly died of a gall blader attace that made my gall stoees rip oppen my intestine. Point is we should get these things tested when we are small correct our diet now before like me they nearly die.

  10. Val says:

    A symptom not listed in the 10 symptoms is leg cramps. My husband has celiac disease and after much extensive research, it’s almost impossible to be 100% gluten free. Gluten is not only in food, but also in makeup, shampoos and body wash, soap, detergents, toothpaste, etc. The list goes on and on. Hopefully one day something will develop to cure these intolerances.

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