Gluten intolerance is a fairly common condition in the United States. In fact, some studies show that it affects approximately 15% of the US population. This writer is of the personal belief that gluten affects 100% of the population in some form or another. It is simply not a healthy food and a food that is completely unnecessary for human consumption.
Today’s gluten has been highly processed and manipulated to yield large crops. See the video at the bottom of this article. What humans could probably tolerate many years ago, is now wreaking havoc on our systems today.
Gluten intolerance is characterized by an inability to handle foods containing gluten.
So what exactly is gluten? Gluten is a composite of the two proteins gliadin and glutenin. The word gluten is derived from the Latin word for “glue.” Gluten is a mash up of starch, gliadin and glutenin and is found in grass related grains such as wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats. Most breads, pasta, crackers and cookies contain gluten since they are typically made with wheat flour.
A dietary intolerance to gluten can carry with it a variety of symptoms which unfortunately are often misdiagnosed since the symptoms are common to other diseases and disorders as well.
Gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance is usually not the first suspect and people often go years and years without a proper diagnosis. As expected, initially, gluten intolerance symptoms are mostly gastrointestinal symptoms, although other outside symptoms do present themselves as well. The good news is that this is easily treatable by simply eliminating gluten from one’s diet.
Below are 11 signs you are gluten intolerant.
1. Digestive Symptoms
Digestive symptoms are the most common. This includes abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, constipation or diarrhea, constipation and diarrhea (alternating), weight loss or weight gain.
2. Inflammation, joint pain and body aches
Inflammation is an immune response to the gluten that often results in joint pain, particularly in the knees, hips and fingers.
3. Lactose Intolerance, Dairy Intolerance or Other Food Intolerances
This is a secondary condition which results from damage to the small intestine (leaky gut) from the primary problem of gluten intolerance.
4. 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 this symptom developing. Specifically, a low iron level is common.
5. Chronic Fatigue and Exhaustion
Most people with gluten intolerance manifest symptoms of fatigue and brain fog that only gets worse as time passes.
6. 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.
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.
8. Skin Issues
Many people with gluten intolerance will develop skin issues, including itchy skin, rashes, dry skin and other skin disorders, including acne. If you have issues with your skin, it is worth considering gluten as the culprit.
9. Depression, Irritability, Anxiety, ADD Mood Swings
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.
10. Autoimmune Disease
If you have an autoimmune disease, you are likely gluten intolerant and eliminating gluten is a must. Gluten is associated with leaky gut and leaky gut is associated with autoimmune disease.
If you experience any or all of the above symptoms, you may want to get tested for a gluten intolerance or celiac disease or try a gluten elimination diet. The answer could be life changing.
11. Brain Fog, Dizziness, Headaches or Neurological Issues.
Brain fog might very well be one of the most common symptoms. The impact that gluten has on the gut greatly impacts brain function. Likewise, headaches are also common with gluten intolerance.