Gluten is a substance that is found in many foods and can be hard to avoid. That is why many people who have gluten intolerance find it very difficult to follow a diet free of gluten. Though it can be viewed as a major inconvenience, it is imperative to follow a gluten free diet to avoid the many symptoms that accompany gluten intolerance.
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that occurs with gluten sensitivity. This disease damages and inflames the wall of the small intestines. The damage can prevent the small intestines from absorbing nutrients that is needed in the body. Celiac Disease can affect anyone at any age. In order to stop the damage and symptoms, gluten will have to be completely avoided. Gluten is found in foods containing wheat, barley, and rye.
First, one would have to determine whether there is a possibility that they may be sensitive to gluten. There are 10 common things to look out for.
Many people who are sensitive to gluten experience digestive issues such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and constipation. Children are more prone to constipation than diarrhea. Stools may appear pale, fatty, and have a foul odor. Due to the lack of nutrients, weight loss and malnutrition can occur. Failure to thrive is a condition in children where they are significantly smaller than other children their age and fail to meet milestones on time. Painful mouth ulcers or canker sores are often found due to malabsorption of nutrients.
Dermatitis Herpetiformis are itchy bumps and blisters that are mainly found on the knees, elbows, buttocks, and back. A person with Dermatitis Herpetiformis has an increased risk of developing stomach or intestinal cancer. Keratosis Pilaris, also known as chicken skin or goose bumps, can result from the intestines not being able to properly absorb fatty acids and Vitamin A.
People who have gluten intolerance may feel exhausted or have issues with fatigue. Brain fog, or the inability to think clearly, can occur after eating a meal containing gluten. Fatigue can also be caused by anemia. Anemia is caused when the body is lacking iron to make red blood cells which are needed to carry oxygen throughout the body.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
Gluten intolerance has been associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is extreme fatigue that can’t be relieved by getting the proper amount of sleep. Fibromyalgia is chronic wide-spread pain and usually is accompanied with fatigue.
Painful migraines can be triggered when gluten is consumed by a person that is sensitive to gluten. It’s possible that gluten may cause inflammation in the nervous system.
The inflammation caused by gluten can cause the body to attack itself. Some autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, Ulcerative Colitis, Scleroderma, Psoriasis, and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis has been associated with gluten intolerance.
Conditions such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are often associated with glucose intolerance. People might find it difficult to concentrate and find themselves feeling quite irritable at times. There are medications available to help with these issues but it can be completely resolved by eliminating gluten.
Inflammation caused by gluten can cause pain and swelling in the joints. The joints of the knees, hips, and fingers are often affected. Malabsorption of necessary vitamins and nutrients, such as calcium, Vitamin D, Folate, and iron, affects the health of the joints and bones.
Irregular or missed menstrual cycles, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), and infertility have been connected to gluten intolerance. The inflammation caused by gluten can add stress to the adrenal glands which can disrupt many hormones in the body.
The sensation of tingling and numbness has been associated with gluten sensitivity. This sensation normally occurs in the hands and feet. Vertigo, dizziness, seizures, and issues with balance can occur when the nervous system becomes inflamed.
The only way to treat gluten sensitivity is by totally eliminating gluten from your diet. A person that has glucose intolerance should avoid pasta, bread, cereal, and processed foods. Plain foods without additives do not contain gluten and are safe to eat. Some restaurants and grocery stores offer gluten-free foods and alternatives. If someone suspects they may be sensitive to gluten they can eliminate food containing gluten from their diet and see if their symptoms go away. There are blood tests that can be ordered by a doctor to check for antibodies that are associated with Celiac Disease. It’s best to be seen by an endocrinologist who specializes in this type of disorder.