Gluten intolerance symptoms

Do you find yourself getting sick after eating pasta, bread, crackers, and other grains? Well, you may be a candidate for gluten intolerance. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye and barley and is the culprit of the gluten intolerance symptoms. If the symptoms are only mild, not much damage will be done by eating gluten-containing foods, but if the intolerance is severe, you will most likely be diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease. Dealing with this type of intolerance is very difficult because grains are very difficult to avoid. So, do you really have the symptoms of glucose intolerance, or is it something else entirely? Do you need to start watching your gluten intake? What foods can you eat if it is gluten intolerance? This article will answer those questions for you.

Celiac Disease
The more serious form of gluten intolerance, Celiac Disease, is often genetic and can be very serious. What happens is that the body recognizes gluten as something bad, so the immune system attacks it. When the gluten reaches the small intestine, the immune system will damage the intestine’s villi, which are responsible for absorbing nutrients in food. If these are damaged, they can’t perform their job very effectively and many nutrients will be lost or wasted. Unfortunately, this can lead to other conditions, such as anemia, osteoporosis, depression, behavioral problems and stunted growth in children.

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
Many symptoms that are present in those with gluten intolerance can often be associated with other gastrointestinal disorders. For this reason, gluten intolerance is difficult to diagnose. And although the symptoms can vary between persons, and they can be anywhere from mild to life-threatening, there are a few common symptoms that a doctor will look for. Remember, it is important not to try and diagnose yourself with gluten intolerance or dealing with it on your own; it is best to talk to your doctor about your options if indeed you are diagnosed with it. Symptoms include:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Depression
  • Weight gain or weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fat in the stools due to poor digestion
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Aching joints
  • Eczema
  • Headaches
  • Cramps
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Irritability
  • Irregular menstrual cycles in women
  • Infertility or miscarriage

The following symptoms usually result from the destruction of tissues that produce a certain antibody called Secretory IgA. These are very important, and one of the most abundant, antibodies in the human body that kill pathogens coming into contact with mucosal tissues, including the sinuses, eyes, mouth, vagina, and the respiratory, digestive, and urinary tracts. If Secretory IgA is unable to be produced, these symptoms might result:

  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Sinus infections
  • Eye infections/conjunctivitis
  • Vaginal infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Gut infections such as H. pylori

Other symptoms of gluten intolerance include nutritional deficiencies. This is due to the malabsorption of certain nutrients in the small intestine.

  • Unexplained anemia
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Low blood calcium levels

Coping with Gluten Intolerance

Once it is clear that your symptoms are definitely caused by gluten intolerance, your doctor or a nutritionist will recommend that you completely avoid gluten. This will take a lot of learning because gluten is present in many foods, even in some unsuspecting ones. This latter bunch includes salad dressings, cold cuts, egg substitutes, beer, instant flavored rice mixes, flavored potato chips, imitation crab meat, some herbal teas, and licorice. However, the gluten in these not-so-obvious foods is not limited to this list; it is important to check all food labels. Making a diet plan with your doctor or nutritionist will help make this condition more manageable because he or she will know exactly what to do. There are gluten-free products available as well.

Last updated on Oct 18th, 2010 and filed under Digestive Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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