Symptoms of gluten intolerance can be tricky to determine. Gluten intolerance, also called gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease- when it's in its most severe form- can have symptoms that range from no symptoms to life threatening or debilitating chronic health problems and anywhere in between. Often, these symptoms are not consistent from person to person and this is part of what makes gluten testing or Diagnosing Gluten Sensitivity so difficult for medical professionals.
The way that doctors make a diagnosis is to compare the symptoms that you have to the common symptoms of a disease, then do various tests to confirm or reject that diagnosis. But what to do if the symptoms the patient is experiencing are not from any commonly known disease or are so common that they are symptoms of almost every disease? And what if nearly all the tests for that disease are inaccurate? Often, since western medicine doesn’t even look for gluten sensitivity in the first place, and nothing else can be found wrong with them, they are told that they are “fine” - despite ongoing chronic problems. In fact, even for people who have 'true' Celiac Disease, it takes an average of 10 years from the time they first seek medical help for their symptoms until they are diagnosed with the disease!!
Excessive fatigue, depression and weight gain are the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance, as well as the least attributed to gluten sensitivity. Excessive fatigue, depression and weight gain are probably the most common complaints experienced by western people in general and definitely the most common complaints of people with any chronic illness!
Here's Stacey's Story
"In the mid-1990’s, I was a single mother working in an intense, high-stress sales environment. As such, I began developing aches & pains in my muscles & joints as well as extreme fatigue. The fatigue was so bad that it often had me napping in my car and.... Finish reading Stacey's story and other Gluten-Free Success Stories Here
Body aches and joint aches are also frequent complaints that are found in a large percentage of gluten intolerant people- and can even be misdiagnosed as Symptoms of Fibromyalgia or Unexplained Infertility
Yet, these complaints are almost never attributed to gluten sensitivity.
While this is counter-intuitive, digestive symptoms are less common symptoms of gluten sensitivity. However, they are usually not present alone; they are most often accompanied by the familiar triad of excessive fatigue, depression and weight gain.
Digestive symptoms that might be seen as the symptoms of gluten sensitivity are:
• Abdominal pain
• Weight Gain or weight loss
• Alternating Constipation and Diarrhea
These symptoms, if any are present, are those commonly found in many other gastrointestinal disorders and are, again, rarely attributed to gluten sensitivity. Even when patients have chronic digestive complaints and no cause can be found, rarely is gluten sensitivity ever suspected.
Frequent infections that seem completely unrelated to the digestive tract are common in gluten sensitivity; however, they are very much related. Gluten sensitivity causes extensive damage to the lining of the small intestine which houses up to 70% of the body’s immune system. Some of the immune system tissue that becomes damaged in gluten sensitivity is the tissues that produce antibodies called Secretory IgA. Secretory IgA is one of the most abundant antibodies in the human body and is extremely important for killing pathogens that come into contact with mucosal tissue such as the:
• Respiratory tract
• Digestive tract
• Urinary tract
And since these areas of the body are actually in direct contact to the outside world, it’s
EXTREMELY important that these areas stay well protected. But if the tissues that produce Secretory IgA are destroyed, then not enough IgA antibodies are available to help keep pathogens in check!
• Sinus infections
• Eye infections/Conjunctivitis
• Vaginal infections
• Urinary tract infections
• Gut infections such as giardia and
Are you starting to see the connection?
So, really people who are otherwise ‘healthy’, but who get frequent colds or infections could possibly have symptoms of gluten intolerance – even as unrelated as the two seem on the surface.
diseases could be symptoms of gluten intolerance. But this
is exactly the case that I am making.Gluten intolerance and Celiac
Disease ARE autoimmune disorders. In autoimmune disorders, the body’s
own immune system attacks its own organs or tissues. Most people are
familiar with Rheumatoid Arthritis attacking the joints of the body
making them red and swollen.
Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, as well as attacking the lining of the small intestine which causes a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome, ALSO destroys the secretory IgA immune tissues that we mentioned above. This destruction of immune tissue sets the body up for other immune system problems. And some of these other problems are complete immune system dysfunction and massive inflammation, as in autoimmune disorders.
Often, people with other autoimmune disorders can have their disease go completely into remission if they begin a Gluten Intolerance Diet. Sometimes the improvement in 2 to 6 months on a Gluten Free Diet is remarkable!
Another crazy idea is that gluten sensitivity could be one of the Causes of Infertility in Men and women both!! Now, I’m not talking about people who have obvious anatomical or other medically explained reasons why they can’t have children. I’m talking about those who have unexplained infertility. Some studies have found that women with unexplained infertility or who have lost more than one pregnancy have celiac disease in numbers up to ten times the rest of the population.
Interestingly, many of these infertile people had no other symptoms and were otherwise ‘healthy’. Fortunately or unfortunately, this fact is somewhat well known to infertility doctors and therefore, they are beginning to test for celiac disease in these women who can’t get pregnant. But, unfortunately, as we mentioned in the Diagnosing Gluten Allergy page, Gluten Sensitivity and Infertility is frequently missed even when using the most up to date scientific testing techniques. So many of these people are told that they are ‘fine’ and sent on their gluten eating way.
A better idea would be for anyone with unexplained fertility to be put on a Gluten Intolerance Diet while attempting to get pregnant and all during the pregnancy. A gluten free diet has been shown to both allow some women to get pregnant and to Increase Male Fertility when undiagnosed Celiac Disease is the problem.
Nutrient Deficiencies are frequently overlooked symptoms of gluten intolerance. However, they are often MAJOR clues that the intestinal damage is causing poor absorption. Even single nutrient deficiencies should clue doctors in to an absorption problem. Individually:
Have all been 'Presenting Symptoms' of Gluten Intolerance that SHOULD be taken seriously and pursued as malabsorption- and many of these nutrient deficiencies are often the Cause of Peripheral Neuropathy and Mental Changes from B12 Deficiency.
Osteoporosis is a huge indicator of celiac disease that is overlooked nearly 100% of the time as being caused by gluten, especially when no gastrointestinal symptoms are present. Many unnecessary trips to the doctor and dangerous drugs like Fosamax could be avoided if more doctors were aware that nutrient deficiencies are simply symptoms of gluten intolerance.
Gluten intolerance is a VERY under diagnosed illness, with doctors not looking for it and even denying its existence. But unrelated symptoms and chronic complaints are OFTEN due to gluten intolerance.
In fact, here is a
Symptom Checklist that you can use to help you to determine if you have celiac disease and/or gluten intolerance. Those medical professionals who work with gluten sensitivity and patients who have FINALLY discovered the cause of their ongoing debilitating problems don’t NEED the medical profession to confirm or deny what they know to be true.
Symptoms of gluten intolerance are REAL, and there are thousands of people who could have their suffering ended if they would just try the Gluten Intolerance Diet for 60-90 days and see for themselves. I recommend that EVERYONE with ANY health problems go on a 60 day gluten free eating trial. You can start out with the help of The Real Food Summit, a program that will provide you with the education, know-how, and tools to get you on a successful gluten-free and 'real food' eating plan to get you on the path to good health.
Keep reading to learn more about why diagnosing gluten allergy is not as simple as it sounds.
Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance Resources
Click below to see already answered questions about Gluten Sensitivity
Could I Still Have Gluten Sensitivity Without Intestinal Problems?
About six months ago, I started having problems with my muscles--weakness, burning, aching, etc. It got so bad that all I could do is lie on my sofa all …
Any link between Gluten and a positive ANA test???
My grandmother was diagnosed with a Gluten allergy 30 years ago. My Aunt has Lupus, my father is hypothyroid. I was sent through the gamut of tests several …
Does Gluten Trigger the Morphine Receptors in Your Brain
Does wheat gluten really affect the morphine receptors in one's brain therefore making the consumption of it habit-forming? P.S. I have just learned …
thought i just had IBS.....feeling awful!
My husband and I recently started trying to eat a Paleo diet for better health. after a couple of weeks of eating mostly Paleo I ate some chex cereal and …
Went off of Gluten for a Month and I Felt Great
I have been getting colds and have been sick a lot lately and have been getting yeast infection after yeast infection that can only be cured with Diflucan. …
Can gluten intolerance come and go?
My 25-yr. old son was exhibiting many of the classic symptoms of gluten-intolerance at 21 years of age, went on a gluten-free diet, and except for the …
Can gluten sensitivity cause tingling in the arms?
I have been off gluten for 1-2 weeks and the tingling in my arms is finally gone! Is this related? Thanks. Donna ANSWER: I don't know. Repeat your …
Could I Have Gluten Sensitivity?
Here are a few symptoms I have pretty much all of the time: *Fatigue - especially after eating *Joint pain - all of the time *Abdominal discomfort …
Can Gluten Sensitivity Cause Diarrhea
I CANNOT CONTROL BOWELS GUSHES OF BLOOD OR BLOODY STOOL OR LIQUID STOOL OVER TAKE ME AND DRIP OUT IT IS SO EMBARRASSING AND IS PROHIBITING ME TO HAVE …
Gluten Sensitivity and Multiple Allergies
I've had big bags under my eyes for 9 years thought is was from partying when I was younger. Got a dog about that time. Finally went to doctor for physical. …
Upper respiratory symptoms from gluten?
My son has been gluten free for almost three years and has never been healthier. He is 13 and also has autism. I have had IBS for years, and was diagnosed …
breathing issues and gluten intolerance?
For 2 1/2 years I have had breathing issues. I feel the need to take deep breaths and yawn literally every 2 minutes. It is becoming more and more difficult …
Strange Symptoms- Could it Be Gluten Sensitivity?
For almost 5 years, I have experienced alternating diarrhea (with whole pieces of undigested food in the toilet, as if I just took it out of the kitchen …
Can gluten intolerance be attributed to Chrons disease, if un-diagnosed for decades??
My dad has had stomach problems for years. As long as I can remember. Its gotten really bad for the past 10 years. He has been told he had IBS, Celiacs …
Gluten Sensitivity and Bloating
I will try to be as brief as I can...wondering if the following could be do to gluten sensitivity or not. 1) Skin itchiness - usually it is very small …
Protection from Gluten Contamination
My family and I are vacationing with relatives, we are renting a house, and while I requested ALL food be gluten free, there are some items that have gluten, …
Could be Gluten Sensitive or Celiac?
I have inflamed capillaries all over my body, bloating, gassiness, stuffy nose all the time, weight gain around the middle, puffiness, allergies to things …
Can gluten sensitivity affect muscle strength?
Can gluten sensitivity cause malabsorption severe enough to cause muscle weakness and early muscle fatigue as a chronic problem? My 11-year-old son …
There is a person I have read about who has had juvenile osteoporosis leading to as much as six fractures in a year at the young age of 16 or so. I had …
Depression and desperately needing to be gluten free!
I most definitely have a Gluten Sensitivity , after many many doctors, I am finally diagnosed. Although I am in college and am the typical college kid, …
Gluten intolerance and cognitive function
I'm currently preparing to be tested for Gluten Intolerance from my DR. I have many of the symptoms mentioned above with a few additional and I'm wondering …
Could Stomach pains and Shakiness be from Gluten Sensitivity
I have long suspected I might have a Gluten Sensitivity though not severe. However the past year I have experienced on going stomach pains and problems. …
Is it Safe to Avoid Gluten
I just stumbled upon this page in searching for cause(s) of my MANY physical symptoms. BACKGROUND : My doctor says it's nothing, but my body says …
Can Gluten Sensitivity mimic neurological diseases. For example: Parkinson's
My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2006. She has been told by her physicians that she has a very mild case of the disease. She has no tremor. …
Could Shortness of Breath after Eating be Due to Gluten Sensitivity?
I have noticed lately that while eating I get short of breath and I am not able to breathe through my nose. Sometimes it can take almost an hour after …
"French Bread" Legs from Eating Gluten
When I eat french bread, crackers, shredded wheat and such my legs swell (edema). My family teases my "french bread legs" and we get a lot of laughs over …
Dementia and long term Gluten intolerance
My 71 year old father was diagnosed with Dementia 5 years ago and reading more about Gluten intolerance and how it affects our bodies I wondered if his …
Could Gluten Sensitivity Create a Lot of Mucus
I have been a spitter my whole life. I have always produced too much mucus and lately have been vomiting up mucus there is so much. I've tried cutting …
GLUTEN PROBLEM OR NOT
MY DAD HAS LESIONS OVER HIS LEGS AND BACK.THEY ITCH.ONE AROUND HIS KNEE BECAME RED AND SWOLLEN..HIS DERMATOLOGIST DID A BIOPSEY THAT CAME BACK SCABIES …
Will gluten cause my esophagus to spasm?
For 6 years I have been having pain in my chest, abdominal Pain, diarrhea and nausea. The chest pains would be all over my chest, sometimes on the left, …
Too old to be gluten intolerant?
I am 53 and thinking that I might be gluten intolerant. My daughter and grandson are and have proven it by eliminating it from their diets. Is it possible …
Gluten and Thyroid
I have Hashimotos disease and have been hearing that there is a link between Hashimotos and Celiac disease and vice versa? My other question is that …
Explosive Bowel Movements and Gluten Sensitivity
For years I have had BMs that exploded out in the morning and covered the sides of the toilet. My doctor suggested it might be lactose intolerance and …
Weight gain and inablilty to gain weight are both symptoms of gluten sensitivity?
There are some bits of correct information on this website. However there is a great deal of misleading and/or incorrect information. First, how are …
Help me! Am I Gluten Intolerant?
After having my baby, almost two years ago I began experiencing symptoms- most of which include: Horrible lower left abdominal pain Chronic constipation …
Gluten intolerance linked to brittle/ loss of hair?
I am losing a lot of hair and my hair feels brittle and dry and hurts everytime I run my fingers through my hair because it breaks off so badly ... …
Could gluten sensitivity cause irregular heart rhythm?
I've been restricting gluten foods and then trying them again. Just recently I tried them again and also began having heartbeat irregularities. …
I know it's more than IBS...
Two years ago I started having symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation, all after eating food. I lost a considerable amount …
Gluten and Skin Conditions
Can gluten intolerance cause skin conditions- specifically I want to know if it can cause rashes on the legs, arms and back?
Low D levels combined with anemia
My Vitamin D level came back yesterday as 15 ng/ml. I am also anemic. I have never heard of Vit D deficiency and I am a 42 yr old nurse who works in …
Gluten Sensitivity and MS
I recently heard of a woman who suffers from MS. She was found to have allergies to gluten. gluten was removed from her diet which resulted in increased …
Could Colitus Really be Gluten Sensitivity?
He has similar symptoms to my gluten allergy is it possible he was misdiagonosed and really have Gluten Sensitivity? _______________________________ …
Should Finlanders avoid gluten?
I have been researching gluten intolerance and came across a research study done in Finland. Is there a higher incidence of gluten intolerance in people …
Lumps caused by gluten intolerance
Can a gluten intolerance cause lumps under the skin? I have several of them on my legs. They are red, sometimes hot like an infection and sometimes painful. …
Can someone help my confusion about symptoms ???
I have a friend who is celiac and she swears that I should be gluten free too. I have had giardia and some UTIs. I have had blood tests for celiac but …
Vitamin D Fact Sheet
Just Click Here!