Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
You’ve seen ‘Gluten,’ on your television screens, in the grocery aisles, and most commonly on the internet.
So, what is it? What is ‘Gluten intolerance’? Could you have gluten intolerance and not Celiac Disease? And what if you have both? What is the Difference between the two diseases?
What is Gluten?
Gluten, a protein that is most commonly found in wheat and most of its derivatives. It is found in wheat derivatives such as Barley, Rye, malted products and various other cereal grains. Gluten is usually responsible for developing elastic gluten strands in a kneaded dough.
Being primarily present in wheat and other cereal grains, it is very likely that a significant number of cereal grains consumers are prone to develop Gluten intolerance. The protein gluten is sometimes perceived by our body’s immune system as a ‘foreign,’ invading molecule that might be toxic and interfere with our metabolic activities. As a result, an immune response is generated by the body to cope with this assumed attack.
This immune response can be differentiated into two distinct diseases, Celiac disease, and general gluten intolerance, both have many common symptoms, and one is often confused to be the other.
Celiac Disease and Gluten
In celiac disease, the presence of gluten in the body triggers an autoimmune response in which the immune cells destroy the lining of the intestines, leading to poor nutrient absorption and conditions like diarrhea and bloating.
Gluten intolerance is slightly different from celiac disease. The immune response is directly aimed at the invading molecule that is ‘gluten’ itself and not the intestinal lining, resulting in inflammation in the digestive tract.
Gluten Intolerance Symptoms
Gluten intolerance symptoms can be different in adults as compared to children. The symptoms most common are:
• Abdominal pain
Gluten intolerance causes further complicated problems such as:
• Depression, Anxiety, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
• Dental Canker sores
• Fluctuations in body weight (Sudden weight gain or weight loss)
• Hormonal imbalance leading to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and infertility in extreme cases
• Aching and inflamed joints and muscles
• Urticaria (commonly known as hives on skin)
• Fibromyalgia or fatigued muscles
How to Diagnose Gluten Intolerance?
The chance that you suffer from the symptoms mentioned above book an appointment with your doctor. Doctors might suggest a Celiac Blood test, to determine whether you suffer from general gluten intolerance or Celiac disease. In result, if you test negative for Celiac disease, you can self-diagnose yourself by cutting off gluten rich foods from your diet. If these symptoms come to a halt, then you probably might be suffering from gluten intolerance.
Gluten intolerance treatment is dependent upon a change in diet. Foods that consist gluten should be replaced with foods without them. The consumption of pasta, cereals and baked goods should be discontinued. Instead, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, legumes and lean meat should be included in your daily diet.
Wheat, barley, rye, wheat bran, semolina and malted products should be replaced with cereal grains like millet, corn, rice, quinoa, Sorghum, and chickpeas.
Gluten intolerance diagnosis should be immediately followed by making suitable changes in one’s diet. Nutrition labels should be read before trying out new food products. This way gluten intolerance can be nipped in the bud before it advances to a more difficult stage.
Pro-tip: Avoiding gluten even if you are not prone to its allergies or Celiac Disease can be beneficial for health and quick weight loss just as well.