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Gluten Intolerance Symptoms

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1

As medical technology improved over the past half century, it became much easier to identify gluten intolerance in individuals who suspect that they might have a problem digesting gluten. Currently it is estimated that there are tens of millions of people with gluten intolerance and more than 1.5 million with the more serious Celiac disease. If you suspect that you are suffering from a gluten sensitivity, it is important that you visit your health care provider for a screening. You may be experiencing several gluten intolerance symptoms that you can identify yourself if you become familiar with the common symptoms of a gluten allergy.

What are common gluten intolerance symptoms?

Before you can understand if you are being affected by a gluten intolerance, it is essential that you understand what gluten is and in what foods gluten is contained. Glunte, is a unique protein that gives certain food products their unique chewiness and doughy texture. The are most commonly located in cereals and members of the grain family such as bread. If you consume a lot of foods containing gluten and find yourself displaying certain unwanted symptoms after eating them, then you may be one of the millions of Americans with a gluten intolerance.

The symptoms of gluten sensitivity vary widely from person to person. Some people will notice a slight reaction to foods containing gluten while others may have more profound symptoms which, in the most serious cases, can require immediate medical attention. When considering your own reactions to gluten, it is important that you keep your greater medical profile in mind. Have you had frequent digestive problems? Do you eat a proper diet rich with fruits and vegetables? Are you on any prescription medications? Because, for most people with mild gluten intolerance symptoms, it can be especially troublesome to nail down the cause of these symptoms when there are confounding issues.

The most common way that gluten problems present themselves is with digestive issues after the consumption of gluten containing foods. These symptoms are typically gastro-intestinal in nature and can include disturbances in the stool (including fatty deposits in the stool), bloating, gas after eating, and diarrhea. These symptoms are caused by the body's inability to properly digest the gluten that you have consumed. If these symptoms persist they can lead to further undesirable symptoms such as irritability, weight gain, periods of listlessness, a profound fatigue and lack of interest. Many of these symptoms will vary in sequence and severity which was one of the reasons that gluten allergies were so difficult to diagnose for so long.

If you possess a gluten intolerance and continue to consume foods containing gluten it is possible that symptoms will worsen. There have been reports of more serious complications that have developed due to an undiagnosed condition of gluten sensitivity. Such symptoms are typically more slow to develop and can become chronic. These more serious symptoms of gluten intolerance include joint pain, muscle pain and muscle cramping, outbreaks on the skin such as eczema and, for women, changes in the menstrual cycle. Pregnant women with such symptoms need seek immediate medical attention due to the risk of complications in their pregnancy including the possibility of miscarriage.

The good news is that screening for gluten allergies has come a long way. Today with precise blood tests, doctors can check for the presence of antibodies which suggest gluten intolerance as the culprit for such symptoms. Therefore, it is essential if you are having such symptoms that you visit your doctor at your earliest convenience in order to have an evaluation.

Finally, though gluten intolerance symptoms affect millions of Americans, the prognosis for recovery and elimination of symptoms is very strong is the patient is able to make changes to their diet. Today, the internet has emerged as a great resource for people living with a gluten disorder as their are, literally, thousands of websites devoted to gluten free recipes, gluten free living, and having a full and healthy life while living with a gluten sensitivity. Furthermore such websites are replete with stories of men and women who have returned living productive, healthy, happy lives just by taking the action to regulate their diets and stay gluten free. In fact, many of these people report that, since they have been diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity and changed their diet, they have become the productive and energy-filled people that they always hoped that they would be.


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Comments

Jan 30, 2010 8:53am
ljbinkop
My husband was sick to his stomach for years before we figured out what was wrong! We had no idea it was a gluten intolerence. Now that we have removed gluten from his diet, he has almost no problems at all, but God forbid he gets wheat by accident! His stomach is messed up for days.
People don't realize that your do NOT need to be diagnosed with celiac disease to be intolerent to wheat. It has the same effect.
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