An influx of gluten-free foods has become popular lately, and products that are gluten-free have been promoting their gluten-free status. The main cause for concern about gluten is two things: Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
It’s estimated that up to 10 percent of all people in the world are afflicted with some form of gluten intolerance. Diets rich in gluten can cause all kinds of symptoms for those who have a sensitivity, and they are often disregarded. If you experience one or more of the symptoms detailed below, there’s a possibility you could be sensitive to gluten. Read on to find out where you stand.
Digestive issues like chronic diarrhea, excessive gas, bloating, queasiness after eating, abdominal pains, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome can all be symptoms of gluten sensitivity. While not everyone with a gluten allergy or sensitivity experiences these problems, enough do that it’s a cause for concern.
Sometimes people who experience chronic digestive problems accept it as a fact of life, and don’t question it because they grow accustomed to it. Keep a close eye on your body, and make note if your digestive rhythm seems off, or if it’s different from those around you.
Neurologic & Skeletal Symptoms
People experience migraines and headaches for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s a neurological condition or neck injury. For others, these symptoms are brought on by weather patterns or stress factors. It’s for this reason many who are plagued with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease overlook chronic headaches as a symptom. It’s important to know that doctors classify headaches as chronic when they occur more than 15 days each month.
Joint pains and aches are another aspect of this category. If you experience moderate or severe joint pains that aren’t explained by arthritis or other condition, you could suffer from gluten sensitivity.
Hormonal & Immune Symptoms
Hormonal and immune symptoms include depression, anxiety, ongoing fatigue, and chronic eczema or acne. Just like the other symptoms, these can be easily explained away by factors like increased stress and genetic predispositions. It’s possible these symptoms could manifest due to other causes, but if you experience them with a combination of any of the other symptoms listed here, it could be an indicator of gluten sensitivity.
Along with depression comes added irritability and irrational mood changes. If you find yourself irritable and giving your friends and family whiplash with your mood swings, there’s definitely reason to be concerned.
As you can see, many of these symptoms are ambiguous; they’re often explained by a number of other conditions and factors. One out of every 133 people in America have Celiac disease, and an estimated 97 percent of those are undiagnosed. This is why it’s important to be mindful of the symptoms and in tune with your body.
When you experience two or more of these symptoms at a time however, it can point to a larger issue. Stay in tune with your body and pay close attention to any changes in your physical well-being. Above all else, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice if you suspect or are concerned that gluten could be the culprit.
Image by Flickr via psyberartist
Author Bio: Author Jane is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything from tech to mommy stuff. She is featured in many blogs as a guest writer, and can write with authority on any niche or subject.
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