When most people focus on making changes to their diets, they don’t start by investigating potential signs of gluten intolerance. Gluten is a two-part protein found in wheat and many other grains. People with gluten sensitivity have one of two problems: complete gluten intolerance (celiac disease) or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what gluten intolerance is and three of the most telling signs that you may be intolerant.
WHAT IS GLUTEN INTOLERANCE?
Labeling all kinds of gastrointestinal problems as gluten intolerance has become a trend in recent years. But for many, it’s a legitimate medical condition. Common symptoms include diarrhea, upset stomach, abdominal pain, and bloating.
Those with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease, experience small intestine inflammation and damage if they consume gluten, which makes it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients. Those with non-celiac gluten intolerance will still have many of the symptoms but they won’t suffer the intestinal damage.
You should get tested for celiac disease if you experience any of these symptoms. Should the test come back negative, you may still be gluten intolerant and if so, will need to change your diet. This is essential to eliminate the gastrointestinal and other symptoms associated with this disorder. Cutting out gluten will also optimize digestion and general physical well-being.
3 TELLTALE SIGNS OF GLUTEN INTOLERANCE
While there are many signs of gluten intolerance, we’re focusing here on the top three to help you better determine whether you should visit your doctor:
- Gastrointestinal Issues – Gastrointestinal issues are amongst the most common signs of gluten intolerance. These may include the symptoms mentioned above (diarrhea, upset stomach, abdominal pain, bloating) which typically worsen over time. Constipation is another common issue which can eventually damage your colon if left untreated.
- Headaches – Aside from the obvious gastrointestinal symptoms that are sure to result from intolerance, headaches are another common side effect. Without any other obvious causes, and in combination with other symptoms, headaches may point to gluten intolerance. Some people with gluten intolerance also experience migraines on occasion.
- Fatigue – If you feel tired after meals, you may be gluten intolerant. In fact, up to 82 percent of those with gluten intolerance experience tiredness or fatigue. You can distinguish fatigue from normal tiredness if you’re also having a difficult time concentrating, starting or completing tasks, or are feeling dizzy, faint, or exhausted.
CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU BELIEVE YOU’RE GLUTEN INTOLERANT
Gluten intolerance is a medical condition with serious repercussions if left untreated. If you suspect you may be intolerant and are considering making dietary changes, contact your doctor first. It’s vital to have an accurate test and to make proper adjustments to your diet.
Keep in mind that there are many other complaints that may cause symptoms similar to those associated with gluten intolerance. However, when occurring in conjunction with one another, it’s important you take these symptoms seriously.
Doing so will highlight any serious health issues and also ensure that when you’re trying to lose weight or otherwise improve your health, underlying problems won’t stand in your way.