If I were to tell you that it is estimated that 99 per cent of us who are gluten intolerant are never diagnosed, would you want to know the signs of gluten intolerance? If you had celiac disease, would you know? You might very well be one of the 15% of the population of the USA that is estimated to be gluten intolerant. With more than 50 diseases linked to gluten, I think it’s a good thing to be aware of the signs of gluten intolerance and here they are:
1. Post-meal Fatigue
Have you felt fatigued or suffered brain fog after eating a meal and not just because it was a heavy, stodgy meal or a large portion? One of the most obvious and easy to recognise signs of gluten intolerance is a tired feeling after eating food that contains gluten. Of course, to be able to spot this, you need to know which foods contain gluten. There’s an extensive list here celiac.com.
2. Chicken Skin
One of the visible signs of gluten intolerance is the presence of chicken skin on the back of your arms. Known as Keratosis Pilaris, the bumpy skin develops due to a combined deficiency of fatty acids and Vitamin A. Gluten damages the gut and fat-malabsorption results.
Migraine headaches by themselves are not signs you are gluten intolerant – migraines have many, many causes – but if you suffer migraines along with any of the other symptoms I’m listing, it could be a solid indication of gluten intolerance.
4. Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue
Holistic healers and natural therapists tend to believe that when a conventional medical doctor diagnoses you with Fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, it’s because they have been unable to accurately identify the cause of your symptoms. They advocate that an intolerance to gluten could be at the root of your problems.
5. Neurological Problems
Do you have spouts of unexplained dizziness or periods where you feel off balance? Combined with other issues listed, it might be another of the signs you need to talk to you doctor about being tested for gluten intolerance.
6. Digestive Issues
It’s only logical that as gluten is something we eat, that the signs of gluten intolerance would manifest as digestive issues. Regular constipation, diarrhea, bloating or gas are signs to check – especially if you note it happening after certain foods.
7. Hormone Imbalances
If your digestive system is messed up and your nutrition is out of whack, you might also be suffering from hormone imbalances too. Pre-menstrual Syndrome, Polycystic ovary syndrome and infertility have all been linked to gluten intolerance.
8. Inflamed Joints
Do your joints ache constantly? Do your fingers swell? Do you have inflammation or swelling in your knees or hips inexplicably? Not after exercise – just generally. On their own, not especially significant, but with some of the other symptoms identified, this could be another of the signs of gluten intolerance.
It can be seen that if you’re dealing with any of the above regularly, you might find yourself in not such a happy place. And. It’s just as easy to dismiss your not-so-sunny disposition and put it down to any number of factors. The food we eat is so important to our well-being that allergies or intolerance are bound to have an impact on how we feel. If you suffer from depression, anxiety or mood swings, it’s time to look at your diet and check for the other signs that you might be gluten intolerant.
As the only way to treat a gluten intolerance is a change of diet, you need to establish that this is your problem. Don’t just cut gluten out of your diet without having it confirmed that you are indeed gluten intolerant. Visit your doctor and make sure you have noted all the signs you may be gluten intolerant to discuss with him/her. Did you recognize any of these signs?