Being intolerant to gluten is a lot more common than people realize. A person could live his or her entire life with gluten intolerance without being diagnosed, and never fix the problem. Almost 15% of Americans are allergic to gluten or have gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease, which affects about 1% of the American population, is the most severe form of gluten intolerance.
There are many signs that indicate an intolerance to gluten. The body lets you know when it doesn’t have a good reaction to something you eat. Sometimes the best way to figure this out is by eliminating foods from your diet for 21 days, and then reintroducing those foods one at a time. Upon reintroduction to those foods, you can see if your body reacts negatively. Pay attention to the following signs when you eat gluten to know whether or not you have gluten intolerance.
This is probably the most common symptom of gluten intolerance. In fact, 83% of people who are intolerant to gluten experience abdominal pain or discomfort after consuming gluten products.
Bloating describes a swollen belly, due to gas, water retention, or eating way too much. While bloating can have a variety of causes, feeling bloated is a common complaint of gluten-intolerant people.
A lot of people with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue typically have gluten intolerance and don’t realize it. If you are diagnosed with either of these conditions, make sure to ask your health care practitioner if a gluten allergy could be the cause. Make sure to get tested.
Headaches are obviously not a unique symptom, as they can be symptoms of many conditions. Gluten-intolerant people are about 10-12% more likely to experience migraines. If you have migraines that are accompanied by daily diarrhea, low iron count, and a skin rash, you may very well be gluten-intolerant.
Joint & Muscle Pain
Sore joints and muscles may have numerous causes; however, gluten-intolerant people who consume gluten may cause inflammation or widespread pain in muscles and joints. Pay attention to how your joints or muscles feel next time you eat gluten.
Dermatitis is a very common skin manifestation for those with celiac disease. This is a blistering condition that can be the result of consuming gluten. Several studies have shown that consuming a gluten-free diet has helped to improve psoriasis, alopecia, and chronic urticaria (skin condition with itchy, pink lesions).
Constipation or Diarrhea
If you are constipated or experience diarrhea once in a while, you have no reason to be concerned. Because gluten actually damages the gut lining and can lead to poor nutrient absorption, consuming gluten can result in frequent diarrhea or constipation. Over 50% of gluten-sensitive people experience diarrhea and about 25% experience constipation. People with celiac disease typically experience pale or foul-smelling feces, which stems from nutrient absorption.