You may have seen a proliferation of gluten-free products out there, and while it’s become a loaded word these days, the truth is, it’s a very real problem for some people out there. Gluten intolerance (gluten sensitivity) can range from a mild sensitivity to gluten to full-blown celiac disease, which can trigger symptoms after eating foods like:
- seasonings (ie soy sauce) and spice mixes
Symptoms related to a wheat allergy will usually begin within minutes of consuming the wheat. However, they can begin up to two hours after. Here are some symptoms of gluten intolerance – however, even if you suffer from these, it doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t eat gluten products.
For those that have an intolerance, you may feel stomach pains after eating foods heavy in gluten. While the pains can also be associated with other ailments like gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, it can also damage the lining of the small intestine, making it difficult to absorb minerals, vitamins, and energy from the foods.
If you suffer from a headache after 30-60 minutes of eating a meal, check the type of food you’re eating. Headaches can come in a variety of different styles, but in sensitive individuals, gluten can cause inflammation in the central nervous system, and that inflammation leads to migraines.
If you’re getting fatigued, dizzy (feeling off-balance) or disoriented after eating, it may be the gluten. Gluten is a known neurotoxin, and for folks with gluten sensitivity, nervous system diseases are the only symptoms that manifest.
Those suffering from gluten intolerance may struggle with mood swings, including anxiety and depression. These may be attributed to the interference of protein absorption, specifically the amino acid tryptophan which is responsible for a feeling of relaxation and a sense of well-being.
Fatigue is one of the most frequent symptoms mentioned by those with celiac or gluten sensitivity. If you’re feeling tired, even after a full nights sleep, it might be a sign of gluten intolerance. Researchers speculate that fatigue may be due to malnutrition caused by celiac-induced intestinal damage, when the body doesn’t absorb nutrients well.
Everything from acne to eczema can be an indicator that what we are eating isn’t agreeing with our body, and often, gluten is the culprit of many skin imbalances. If your intestines are having issues processing the gluten you’ve eaten, the intestines may become inflamed and manifest on the skin.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that can cause people a lot of pain in muscles, ligaments, and tendons. According to doctors, avoiding foods with gluten can alleviate these symptoms.
If you are lactose intolerant, then the chances of finding yourself with a gluten intolerance also increases. There is a specific type of sugar found in lactose foods that can trigger digestive issues and can worsen symptoms of gluten intolerance.
How to tell if you’ve got gluten intolerance
A simple blood test that measures levels of antibodies associated with celiac disease can reveal if you have the condition. However, these often turn up negative.
The single best ways to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to do an elimination diet and take it out of your diet for at least 2 to 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. It can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.
Eliminating gluten from you diet is a good thing, but only if you’re intolerant to the ingredient. Recently, researchers have found a link between gluten-free diets and Type 2 diabetes.