Gluten sensitivity can come in many forms. While only about one percent of the world’s population is diagnosed with Celiac’s disease, many more suffer from milder forms of gluten intolerance. In addition, most people with Celiac’s are never diagnosed and can suffer upwards of 10 years before proper diagnosis. Here are some of the most common symptoms of Celiac’s and general gluten intolerance. If you suffer from any of these, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Make sure to bring information along with you, as many doctors aren’t properly educated about gluten intolerance.
This is one of the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance. If you feel extra full or like your stomach is swollen and/or full of gas after eating a meal with gluten, you may be gluten intolerant.
#2: Diarrhea and/or constipation
Those suffering from Celiac’s disease typically experience severe inflammation in their gut (the long tube starting in the mouth and ending with the anus) after eating gluten. Not only does this damage the lining of the gut, but it causes less nutrients to be absorbed. This makes for sometimes severe discomfort and in turn looser stool. On the other hand, some individuals have a harder time passing food with gluten. It’s estimated that more than 50 percent of gluten-sensitive individuals suffer from frequent diarrhea and about 25 percent experience constipation after consuming gluten.
#3: Depression and/or anxiety
While depression and anxiety can have many causes, these disorders are now proven to be linked with gluten intolerance and Celiac’s. Obviously not everyone who suffers from depression and anxiety is gluten intolerant, but if you suffer from one or both of these disorders it may be worthwhile to eliminate gluten from your diet and see if it helps alleviate symptoms.
#4: Frequent brain fog
Brain fog is the feeling of not being quite all with it and/or the inability to think clearly. The inflammation caused by gluten in gluten-sensitive individuals is thought to worsen brain fogginess.
#5: Chronic fatigue
Occasionally feeling tired is very common and usually nothing to worry about. However, if you frequently feel fatigued even when you are well rested, consider talking with your doctor about any potential underlying causes. Gluten-sensitive people typically feel very tired after consuming gluten. Studies have shown that 60 to 80 percent of people who are gluten intolerant frequently experience chronic fatigue.
#6: Skin problems
A severe skin condition known as dermatitis herpetiformis is considered to be the skin manifestation of Celiac’s. All people who suffer from this condition have Celiac’s but less than 10 percent suffer from any other digestive symptoms. Studies have shown there are many other skin conditions that improve when gluten is eliminated. These conditions include psoriasis, alopecia areata and chronic urticaria.
#7: Frequent illness
Gluten intolerance is linked to low immunity. If you frequently get sick, you may be sensitive to gluten. Celiac’s and gluten sensitivity are linked to low levels of antibodies, which are your body’s first line of defense in preventing illness and disease.