The research is unclear on just how many Americans have signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance. Where one study puts the rate at under 1% of the population, others mark it at 6-7% or even as high as 50%.
However, the consensus in the medical community is that gluten sensitivity is genuine and not uncommon.
Gluten is a protein found in many of the foods we eat today, such as wheat products. A problematic reaction to gluten characterizes gluten intolerance. It is not to be mistaken with more severe gluten-related conditions like wheat allergies and celiac disease—though some symptoms overlap.
Read on to learn more about the signs of gluten intolerance.
1. You Have Trouble Pooping
Do you regularly suffer from constipation or diarrhea? Does your family avoid the bathroom after you’ve spent time in there? It may be worth Googling, “Am I gluten intolerant?
That’s because people with gluten sensitivities may experience inflammation in the small intestine, leading to suboptimal nutrient absorption. This, in turn, means your gut can’t function efficiently. The result is poorly formed and smelly feces.
2. You’re Feeling Tired All the Time
Do you feel daytime fatigue regularly, even after a good night’s sleep? No, you’re not lazy. It might be a symptom of gluten intolerance.
Along with related symptoms like headaches, depression, and brain fog, feeling chronically tired is also a common symptom of those with autoimmune disorders. It’s best to get checked out by a doctor, who may ask you to cut gluten out of your diet.
Thankfully, there are many gluten-free food alternatives available today. For example, go here for certified gluten-free protein powders and superfoods.
3. You Can’t Keep Weight On
One of the less common symptoms of gluten intolerance is unexplained weight loss. This usually occurs in people with undiagnosed celiac disease. It’s related, once again, to the disease robbing your body of nutrients due to poor absorption.
4. Your Stomach Balloons Regularly
If you experience regular bloating and abdominal pain, it might be time to look up tips for going gluten-free. While bloating and stomach or gut pain can be caused by overeating, if it’s happening when you’re eating moderate portions of food, it could be a sign of gluten intolerance.
5. You Have Pain or Weakness in Your Limbs and Joints
One of the common symptoms of celiacs and other gluten sensitivity-related conditions is feeling moderate to severe pain, tingling, or numbness in your joints, limbs, or extremities.
However, this is also a typical symptom in many autoimmune disorders and deficiencies (such as diabetes or a lack of B12), so it’s best to visit your doctor to dig deeper into your symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance Explained
The signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance can be subtle.
If you suspect you have this condition, start a food diary. This will help you determine whether you’re regularly experiencing any of the symptoms listed above and with what foods. It’s essential to avoid “Dr. Google” and instead book an appointment with your healthcare provider.
For more insightful health and wellness advice, browse the other articles on our website.