Gluten Sensitivity: 10 Symptoms to Look For

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Could you be sensitive to gluten? You may not realize that the stomach pain, gas or headache you have is really a symptom of gluten sensitivity. Start a food diary in which you write down everything you’ve eaten and when as well as how you are feeling afterward. You may begin to see some patterns. Either way, compare your symptoms with the list we’ve compiled.

1. Upset Stomach. Tried everything and still have an upset stomach? It could be gluten sensitivity. Stomach cramping, gas, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, acid reflux, ulcers, nausea and vomiting are all known to be symptoms of gluten sensitivity. If you notice any of these problems occurring after you’ve eaten food containing gluten, it very well may be the culprit.

2. Weight Loss or Gain. When your weight suddenly fluctuates in one direction or another and you can’t chalk it up to changes in diet and exercise, it’s a surefire sign that something’s off. There is a possibility that it could be a gluten sensitivity.

3. Headaches. Reacting to gluten can cause the body pain in a number of ways. One of the most obvious ways is headaches. Do you notice that you get a headache after eating food containing gluten? It’s something to consider.

4. Joint or Bone Pain, Early-Onset Osteoporosis. If you’re noticing any arthritis-like symptoms flaring up, that is a likely result of an autoimmune disease – like Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder caused by an intolerance to gluten. Celiac disease means that you must avoid gluten if you want to avoid damaging your health. Bones, joints and connective tissue all depend on good health.

5. Fatigue, Weakness, Anemia. Feeling tired all of the time? This is a telltale sign that something’s wrong! Feelings of weakness and fatigue are your body’s way of crying out for help. They could be caused by anemia or stemming from the same root cause as anemia, if you are anemic. Either way, this can be hard evidence of a problem with gluten.

6. “Fuzzy Brain”, “Brain-Fog”, Inability to concentrate. Though this happens to the best of us occasionally (particularly when we’re tired), this problem affects some people more often than others. Because what we eat affects our entire being, sensitivity to gluten can cause these problems. Another related symptom which can be caused by gluten problems is “ataxia”, or feeling clumsy and off balance.

7. Infertility. A sensitive issue, fertility is influenced by a very wide variety of health factors. One of those factors can be a potential inability of the body to process gluten. It’s important to talk to a doctor about this. A negative reaction to gluten can also affect the menstrual cycle.

8. Eczema, Psoriasis, Acne, Rosacea. Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It is also the biggest tattletale when something is going wrong beneath it. Rashes and other skin problems indicate a bigger problem under the surface (literally!). That bigger problem could be Celiac disease.

9. Vitamin or Mineral Deficiencies, Lactose Intolerance, Low Blood Sugar. These all seem like their own disorders, right? But any one of them can be the result of gluten sensitivity. Because each body is made of many systems – all connected and dependent on each other.

10. Nerve Damage, Seizures, Inflammation. The nervous system is affected by any autoimmune disorder – Celiac disease included. If your body can’t handle gluten, it could react in these frightening ways. Any one of these symptoms can be evidence of gluten sensitivity. It’s crucial to discuss this and all symptoms with your doctor.

Some of these and many other symptoms are listed on Gluten-Free for Dummies and numerous other places online. If you have any of these symptoms and suspect gluten sensitivity could be the culprit, it’s vital to visit your doctor for verification. Some sources say that it takes an average of 12 years of suffering these types of symptoms before an adult with Celiac is diagnosed. It isn’t necessary for a doctor’s diagnosis to start avoiding gluten. If you have gluten sensitivity, then your body will begin to heal the day you stop eating gluten. Check out sites like CeliacCentral.org and Celiac.com to find out more about this whole topic.

Have you gone gluten-free? We want to hear about your ups and downs of your gluten-free journey. Let us know how it has changed your life.

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4 Comments for “Gluten Sensitivity: 10 Symptoms to Look For”

  • Joe LearyNo Gravatar

    These symptoms are so broad that they could be anything!

  • Pamela RoachNo Gravatar

    I found I got diarrhea when I eat a lot of wheat, oats, grainy things. I was recently tested for food allergies, but they did not come up in the tests.
    They also tested me for gluten allergies with a blood test, but I was not a celiac person.

    Pam Roach

  • There are actually many different ways to test to see if you have a sensitivity to gluten. You can be sensitive to gluten without having celiac. (I’m one of those.) The ONLY way to know for sure if gluten bothers you is to stop eating it & see if you feel better. That’s what I did, on accident. =)

    I had asked my doctor for a recommendation for weight loss. She recommended the Take Shape For Life program and let me know it would most likely help my fibromyalgia symptoms too. Turns out that most of the products I used were gluten-free. When my fibromyalgia nearly went away we figured out there was something “magic” going on!

    @Pamela, if you noticed patterns when you ate certain things, listen to your body, NOT the tests. Your body knows what it needs to be healthy.

    @Joe, it’s totally true. They are very broad – and gluten is in almost everything. ;-) Do you know that back in the 80s they did an experiment at a mental hospital and tried removing wheat from patients’ diets? Guess what… many patients who had wheat removed had their mental illnesses improve! It really is more pervasive than you would think. (Trying to track that study down now, but old = hard!)

  • LolaNo Gravatar

    I have been gluten free or about 5weeks now I have symptom #1,2,4,5,6 and 10 all are inproved when I dont eat gluten.

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