Gluten intolerance is quite common, and people are now getting aware of it. It is your body’s reaction towards gluten, not in all people but in those whose immune system cannot tolerate gluten.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is present in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. It works as a binder and gives the food its shape. Many food items we consume in our daily lives have gluten, like bread, pasta, baked items, many beverages, and much more.
What is Gluten, Intolerance?
Gluten intolerance is due to autoimmunity, in which our body’s immune system takes gluten as a dangerous particle and react towards it. Gluten intolerance is present in society in a milder form, affecting the population of 0.5 to 13 percent, and in severe form, called celiac disease.
Signs of Gluten intolerance which goes unidentified:
It has been said that the majority of people, who are gluten intolerant, will never be diagnosed as such and that as much as 15% of USA citizens have some gluten intolerance or sensitivity, if not celiac disease. Wondering if you are one of them? Here are seven subtle signs that might help you find out:
1. Skin problems:
Apart from a common manifestation of celiac disease ‘dermatitis herpetiformis,’ a few other skin manifestations goes ignored in mild gluten intolerance. This condition includes:
Also known for “chicken skin” that is commonly located on the backside of the arms and thighs. It is a result of a fatty acid deficiency, which is caused by gluten damaging the gut.
Whereas there are a few conditions that are not caused by gluten intolerance, they improve on taking gluten-free diets, such as psoriasis, chronic urticaria, and alopecia areata.
2. Persistent Headaches:
Persistent headaches and migraines are other potential signs of being gluten intolerant. They can surely also be signs of dehydration and some different types of disorders. In case your headaches do not stop, you should immediately pay a visit to the physician. If you can’t find any reason behind your headache, it is probably due to gluten intolerance with mild severity.
3. Autoimmune Diseases
Not in all cases, but certainly in some cases, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Lupus, Scleroderma, Psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, and Multiple Sclerosis are linked to gluten intolerance. In most people having one autoimmune disease predispose you to get another kind of autoimmune disease.
4. Routine Digestive Issues
Diarrhea, gases, persistent constipation, and bloating are seeming without cause, one of the most obvious signs. Gluten intolerance in children can most likely be recognized due to constipation. People who are gluten intolerant react to gluten in the form of inflammation and damage to the gut lining, which ultimately leads to digestive problems.
50% of the gluten intolerant patients experience diarrhea in their disease, while 25% go through constipation.
Feeling off-balance and dizziness are two more signs of being intolerant to gluten. They might be due to malabsorption and not fulfilling the body’s nutrition needs due to gluten’s impaired digestion.
6. Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue can sometimes be caused by something easily improved, like dehydration, and can sometimes be caused by something as severe as HIV. If you experience chronic fatigue, you must visit your doctor and see what is causing it. Brain fog, feeling tired (especially after meals in which gluten is present) and fatigue, are other symptoms that indicate you are gluten intolerant. Brain fog or foggy mind is unable to think properly and clearly with forgetfulness. This fatigue affects 40 percent of the population experiencing gluten intolerance.
Some people diagnosed with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are actually gluten intolerant but do not realize it yet. If you have been diagnosed with some of those two, consider yourself a gluten-intolerant person. People with gluten intolerance also present with joints and muscular pain.
These were the few signs which usually go unidentified even when you have a mild gluten intolerance. Severe disease ‘celiac disease’ comes with a flare but picking up the mild one is difficult.
Diagnosing and Consulting the Doctor:
When you feel the symptoms mentioned above in you and think that you might be gluten intolerant, it is time to go to the doctor to have a proper checkup. The gastroenterologist or an allergist can run some tests for you to confirm the intolerance and give the plan accordingly.
Do not start eating a gluten-free diet before the diagnosis is confirmed.
Once you are identified that your body can’t handle gluten, you need to stay away from all the gluten products. Thanks to the advancing world, we now have everything in gluten-free options, from baked items to bread. You can have a gluten-free diet and control your signs and symptoms and the progression of the disease.
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FAQs- Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Which food items contain gluten, which I should avoid?
Most commonly used food items which should not be eaten in case of gluten intolerance includes:
- Baked items
- Waffles and pancakes
- Malt beverages
These are a few commonly used items that will cause gluten intolerance if you have the disease.
Q. Can you suddenly get gluten intolerant?
It is a genetic disease, but it might appear later in age, depending upon the severity and genetic factors. Some present with this problem in earlier years of life while some present late.
Q. How does a gluten attack feels like?
You will feel abdominal pain with GI manifestations along with mood swings and numbness, and fatigue.
Q. When will my gluten-free diet start to affect the symptoms?
When you start your gluten-free diet, your symptoms will start getting better in two to three weeks while they will be cured with three months of the continuous gluten-free diet. Your small intestine will regenerate in six months to perform its normal functioning.
If you have some minor but continuous symptoms like skin problems, diarrhea or constipation, muscle, and joint pains, you should get tested for gluten intolerance. It might be mild or severe, but you can control both with your doctor’s help and gluten-free diet intake.