Gluten sensitivity and intolerance can manifest as much more than just IBS-like symptoms and stomach problems. That’s why doctors are more likely to dismiss the idea that you even have this because if they don’t hear about digestive problems as your chief complaint, then it must be something else.
Gluten-intolerance falls into two categories; coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. But how can you tell whether or not you’re intolerant to gluten? Some people have gut symptoms after eating foods containing gluten, even if they don’t have coeliac disease.
8 Shocking Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity
Inflammation, swelling or pain
Now knowing the potential symptoms, this is where things can get tricky because many of these symptoms can be common in other health issues. This is why diagnosing gluten sensitivity can be a difficult thing for some people.
Fatigue and sluggishness
If you wake up tired even after sleeping well, and you spend your morning feeling sluggish gluten may be the culprit. This is a result of gluten interfering with your natural sleep patterns. This means that no matter how much you sleep, your body won’t get real rest because of the effect of gluten.
As gluten intolerances disrupt food absorption and damage the intestinal lining, it can cause mood swings due to erratic blood sugar levels. It can also interfere with hormone production, causing irritability, restlessness, depression and anxiety.
Migraines and brain fog
Depending on the level of intolerance, you may suffer from either or both. “Brain fog” is a case where you’re having trouble concentrating or thinking while migraines can be intense and debilitating. These symptoms can lead to irritability and depression.
This is by far the most common symptom in gluten intolerances, especially Coeliacs. When you swallow gluten, it triggers an allergic reaction in your stomach, which causes your gastro-intestinal tract to become irritated, and produce excessive mucus. This can cause a wide range of digestive symptoms, such as bloating, cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, although the symptoms vary from person to person.
Keratosis Pilaris, or ‘chicken skin’ can form on the backs of your arms and is usually caused by a vitamin A and fatty acid deficiency caused by a gluten-damaged gut that’s unable to absorb nutrients.
Different hormonal issues may occur as a result of a gluten intolerance. Research is currently looking at the possible relationship between these intolerance and polycystic ovarian syndrome, premenstrual syndrome and unexplained fertility. It is thought that if someone has issues with gluten that these issues could get worse, especially when gluten is consumed.
Because inflammation and prolonged exposure to gluten can put the body on high alert, autoimmune diseases frequently develop in people who are intolerant to gluten. These diseases include lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, scleroderma, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and multiple sclerosis.