A simple medical test will not be enough to determine if a person suffers from gluten intolerance
Quite often, the results are negative even when we still experience the symptoms. Many people are sensitive to gluten and they are not aware, which is why they relate some health problem to other pathologies.
If you want to know if you are sensitive to gluten, pay attention to this six symptoms.
- 1. Gluten and Health Disorders
- 2. Indigestion and Gluten Sensitivity
- 3. Fibromyalgia and Gluten
- 4. Gluten Sensitivity Analysis
- 5. Gluten Intolerance Tests
- 6. Symptoms of Celiac Disease
- 7. Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity
- 8. Wheat Allergy
- 9. Wheat Allergy Tests
- 10. Gluten Sensitivity without Knowing
- 11. Six Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
- 12. Are you Gluten Sensitive?
- 13. How to know if you suffer Gluten Intolerance
- 14. Results of a Gluten Intolerance test
- 15. Gluten-free Diet
- 16. Gluten-free Cereals
- 17. Gluten-free bread
- 18. Gluten-free Products
- 19. Gluten-free Breakfast
- 20. Bibliography
- 21. Related Entries
Gluten and Health Disorders
Gluten sensitivity will appear in very different ways. Most of the cases involve several symptoms like indigestion, headaches, lack of concentration and even overweight. Gluten intolerance is not a pathology that physicians take into account when it comes to making regular diagnoses.
Many people experience gluten sensitivity on a daily basis without being aware.
Indigestion and Gluten Sensitivity
Fibromyalgia and Gluten
In the most serious cases, the migraines and pain without apparent reason can lead us to think that we suffer fibromyalgia. The issue is that the medication prescribed for this disease consists of antidepressants, analgesics and sleeping pills. As we know, these products can have dangerous side effects.
The symptoms of gluten sensitivity can affect the digestive system and trigger headaches or migraines
Gluten Sensitivity Analysis
When we ask for an analysis to see if we are gluten intolerance, the test could be negative. However, if we follow a gluten-free diet, avoiding wheat or gluten we may experience that: the migraines disappear, we sleep better and, after four weeks, the digestive system works better.
Gluten Intolerance Tests
Usually, the analyses tend to assess gluten allergy by measuring a single “substance”, alpha/beta-gliadin. But, since gluten also affects this substance, it can also cause adverse reactions.
The onset of certain symptoms after taking wheat can be a sign of gluten sensitivity or allergy
Symptoms of Celiac Disease
The diagnose for celiac disease is quite accurate. This is due to the fact that they usually perform a biopsy and blood tests, and the symptoms are very clear: diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss and nutrient deficiencies.
Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity
Wheat allergy occurs when the body mistakes a wheat protein for a foreign substance that can be harmful.
This allergy tends to cause health problems since childhood. In addition, wheat contains other proteins, apart from gluten, that can also cause allergy. Some of its symptoms go from eczema to epilepsy.
Wheat Allergy Tests
The diagnosis is done through IgE antibodies tests which are common to allergies. The typical symptoms occur after a few minutes of taking the allergen, wheat in this case.
On the contrary, the symptoms of gluten-sensitivity can take several days to appear. Consequently, the physicians have a harder time when it comes to recognizing an allergy.
Gluten Sensitivity without Knowing
Celiac disease and wheat allergy are quite unusual. While the symptoms of celiac disease are quite clear, the ones for gluten sensitivity are more blurry. Therefore, they can affect many people who are not aware that they have this problem, since their symptoms are similar to the ones from other diseases.
Six Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
Here we can include abdominal distension, bloating, abdominal cramps, constipation and diarrhea. The doctors tend to diagnose irritable bowel syndrome when they see these symptoms or when they do not find the trigger.
The most common symptom of a gluten intolerance is indigestion.
2. Migraine and Depression
There seems to be a connection between food and health disorders like migraines or headaches. For instance, some people are prone to experience these problems when they eat products with a lot of sugar. The same happens with people who are sensitive to foods rich in histamine (wine, smoked fish, etc.) or those who are sensitive to caffeine.
In the book The Gluten Syndrome: A neurological disease, Dr Rodney Ford, head of the Gastroenterology and allergies at the Hospital of New Zealand, states: “gluten damages the nervous system and can trigger neurological symptoms in both patients of celiac disease or gluten intolerance”. He also says that:
“Gluten causes a combined reaction between antibodies, serum sickness and neurological disease. This damage can result in an imbalance of the autonomous nervous system, brain ataxia (movement disorders that originate in the brain), hypotension (low blood pressure). Children can experience growth and learning disorders and symptoms of depression, migraines and headaches”.
“It is pointless to try to explain specific intestinal damage that people who are sensitive to gluten suffer. But we know that gluten is responsible for these symptoms of gluten intolerance”.
Several studies have proven that gluten intolerance is a disease that can cause headaches and neurological disorders.
3. Tingling and Stiffness in the arms and legs
Symptoms like dizziness, loss of balance and muscle weakness, tingling or stiffness in the arms and legs can point to alterations in the nervous system. Therefore, it can be due to a gluten intolerance.
4. Autoimmune diseases
Some autoimmune diseases, like chronic thyroiditis or rheumatoid arthritis, can be due to gluten sensitivity or they can worsen their symptoms.
It is not a disease, rather, it is a very complex symptoms whose cause is unknown. Like with irritable bowel syndrome, doctors tend to diagnose fibromyalgia when they do not find the source of the symptoms.
The term “fibromyalgia” comes from “Fibro” which means connective tissue; “Myo” which means muscle; and “Algia” which means pain.
How can we know if its symptoms are due to a gluten intolerance?
Study on fibromyalgia patients
A clinical study conducted in 2005 on patients who suffered fibromyalgia showed the relation between the chronic fatigue syndrome and food intolerance. The conclusion was that a higher excretion of IgG antibodies, which is common in fibromyalgia, can be due to food allergies.
Conventional medicine also allows a connection between IgG antibodies and some chronic diseases. However, it does not provide a change of diet to solve this problem.
During the study, the researchers studied 68 patients who have suffered fibromyalgia for 10 years. After 8 weeks without eating gluten, only a 25% experienced muscle pain, while at the beginning a 66% suffered muscle pain. In the beginning, a 63% slept really bad, after 8 weeks with a gluten-free diet, only a 22% slept bad. Again, 54% suffered joint pain, and after 8 weeks only a 29% still suffered joint pain.
Conclusions of the study
In this case, the patients did not only follow a gluten-free diet. In fact, they also removed products that were personally problematic for them depending on their IgG test. However, since gluten is one of the most common allergens, it is worth trying – specially those who have not done any IgG test – to follow a diet without milk nor gluten.
6. Constant fatigue
Some people suffer constant tiredness and they are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Like it happens with fibromyalgia, the symptoms of chronic fatigue are very complex. In alternative medicine, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is not a disease, rather, it is a group of symptoms whose cause is unknown.
Gluten and tiredness
In the clinical study that we pointed out previously, a 60% of the patients suffered tiredness during the day and a 42% suffered weakness. After removing gluten from their diet, only a 22% suffered tiredness and a 17% weakness after eight weeks.
Constant tiredness is one of those symptoms that can disappear more quickly in cases of gluten intolerance once it is removed from the diet
Are you Gluten Sensitive?
You may experience other different symptoms than the ones we have described that may depend on your gluten intolerance
How to know if you suffer Gluten Intolerance
First, avoid eating products that can contain gluten for 60 days. To do so, it is not enough to just stop eating bread and pasta with gluten. Let’s not forget that gluten is also a food additive in many processed products. Therefore, read the product label carefully. Moreover, you will have to order a gluten-free meal if you go to a restaurant.
It may be difficult to give up the products that you usually eat as well as the belief that whole bread is always healthy.
Results of a Gluten Intolerance test
If you still have the same symptoms afterwards, it is quite likely that you do not suffer gluten intolerance (unless you still have eaten processed products with gluten).
On the contrary, if the symptoms have disappeared, you most likely suffer gluten intolerance. Therefore, it would be advisable to fully adopt a gluten-free diet.
Be careful and check the nutrient facts to see the ingredients of each product
Some of the gluten-free cereals are: millet, teff (a type of millet), rice, pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat.
Ezekiel bread is a type of bread that we can cook at home using gluten-free cereals.
These are some of the gluten-free products that you can eat without any issue: quinoa, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, rice, corn, chufa sedge, chestnuts, teff, almonds and millet flakes.
Quinoa can be a great substitute for wheat.
This is an example of a delicious gluten-free breakfast that you can make with chestnut flour and a crunchy dry fruit sauce.
Cook this gluten-free recipe to start the day off with all the energy that you need.
- Preparation time: 8 minutes
- Cooking time: 20 minutes
- Portion size: 1 Bowl
- Number of servings: 10
- Cooking style: American
- 2 cups of chestnut flour
- Around 80ml of hot almond milk
- ½ a cup of dried fruit (raisins, figs, plums, etc)
- 200 grams of chopped fresh seasonal fruit
- 1 cup of almond paste
- 50 grams of berries (blueberries or raspberries)
- 2 dates without bone
- ½ orange juice
- Gluten-free chufa flakes
|Nutritional Information per serving|
|of which saturates:||0.2g|
|of which sugars:||14.4g|
- Mix the chestnut flour and the dry fruit with the hot almond milk and let it cook for a few minutes.
- Then, mix the fruit with the almond paste.
- Use a blender to make something similar to a marmalade with the berries, dates and orange juice. Then, pour the blend of the chestnut flour until and mix everything until it is well combined.
- Season with cinnamon, vanilla or ginger.
- Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.03.037. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
- Relation between a gluten-free diet and the sport performance
- The most complete list of Gluten-free Supplements
- Proteins for Celiac People and also Vegetable Proteins for Celiac People
- Foods Rich in Proteins for Gluten Intolerance