How Do I Know If I’m Gluten Intolerant?

Posted by Brad on 25th Mar 2019

How Do I Know If I’m Gluten Intolerant?

While some of these diets are indeed trends, others have been discovered to be incredibly helpful. Gluten intolerance triggers an entire range of various signs and ailments, yet lots of people out there continue to suffer as they have not yet been diagnosed. How do you understand if you're gluten intolerant?

Bloating

One of the most typical signs of gluten intolerance is bloating. If you eat a food including gluten, or that you suspect may have come into contact with gluten in some method, and find your stomach ending up being inflamed and bloated, this might be due to a gluten intolerance.

Bowel Motion Problems

If you discover yourself frequently constipated, suffering with diarrhea, or even experiencing especially smelly bowel motions, this could be another indication that you suffer from a gluten intolerance. You see, after consuming gluten, the gut ends up being swollen.

Headaches or Migraines

Although specialists are not quite certain why, it looks like if gluten intolerant people are far more prone to headaches or migraines than individuals that can happily eat gluten all day. One theory is that, as gluten intolerance can trigger diarrhea, this can lead to dehydration and a loss of electrolytes, which can trigger headaches.

Abdominal Pain and Cramps

If, soon after consuming food or beverage, you discover yourself experiencing stomach discomfort and cramping, this could be down to a gluten intolerance. As pointed out, gluten intolerance causes serious inflammation in the gut, in addition to bloating and gas. This can be very unpleasant and can leave people hardly able to work until the discomfort subsides. 83% of individuals with a gluten intolerance experience abdominal cramps and discomfort.

Fatigue

Fatigue and lethargy often also impact people with a gluten intolerance. There are a couple of factors for this. To start with, gluten intolerance often leads to poor nutrient absorption. If you can't take in the nutrients and calories needed to operate properly your body will not be shooting on all cylinders and you'll find yourself feeling tired and rundown. If you continuously find yourself feeling tired and run down, this could be due to a gluten intolerance. Between 60% and 82% of gluten intolerant individuals experience tiredness as a result of their condition.

What Is Gluten?

The term gluten-free is seen virtually everywhere. From grocery store items to specialized plates on a trendy menu, the term is inescapable. 

While some view this dietary option with strict seriousness, others are less impressed by this newfound fad. Countless television skits and radio segments joke about this lifestyle choice as being nothing less than an imagined condition.

Despite the controversy surrounding its validity, gluten-free is very much a real lifestyle that deserves respect. To fully comprehend the importance of honoring individuals’ choice to go gluten-free, you must first understand the ins and outs of gluten. 

Gluten is a protein responsible for keeping wheat-based foods from crumbling to pieces. That elastic texture that makes freshly baked bread so illuminating is made possible by several gluten proteins. 

Where Can You Find Gluten?

Gluten loves hanging around staple items like wheat, barley, and rye. Unfortunately, much of our diet consists of these three products or close derivatives. 

Unfortunately, gluten goes far beyond traditional food groups. Many candies, spices, and beverages contain traces of gluten. This makes it very difficult for people with sensitivities to live a relatively normal life. 

Why Is gluten Harmful?

Nutrients from the food we consume must undergo a complex absorption process to successfully digest. Individuals who are sensitive to gluten experience an interruption in this process; making digestion extremely difficult. 

From a physical aspect, gluten is responsible for damaging the intestines. This leads to a host of problems ranging from irritable bowel syndrome to celiac disease. 

Some individuals reportedly experience malnutrition due to the inability to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream. Others feel chronic join pain as a result of this intolerance. 

On a neurological level, gluten may be responsible for worsening the symptoms of ADHD, autism, and anxiety. A recent study found that individuals who are gluten intolerant repeatedly experience “higher levels of depression and anxiety.” 

Although research is still being conducted, the fact that gluten inhibits the absorption process is a valid reason why individuals experience these symptoms. When the body doesn’t receive important nutrients, like Vitamin B, cortisol levels are spiked. This results in higher levels of depression and skyrocketed anxiety. 

Dr. Rodney Ford, a pediatrician located in New Zealand, believes that gluten is responsible for brain related challenges. Notably, the casual term “brain fog” has been attributed to consuming too many materials with gluten. This inability to think, concentrate, or remain mentally sharp are popular effects. 

Although there is still much to learn regarding this hypothesis, many parents of children with ADHD find great success when they eliminate gluten from their child’s diet. Their children are able to concentrate and limit their impulsive behavior with a clear mind. 

Is Avoiding Gluten Possible?

It may seem like everything we consume has some trace of gluten within its composition. Thanks to science and a little creativity, popular brands are now coming out with gluten-free food options. 

There are a wealth of alternatives and popular brands who recognize this problem and provide delicious solutions. Those who struggled with incorporating basic food items in their diet are now able to experience a new world of flavor. 

Restaurants and even a few fast-food chains have jumped on the inclusion bandwagon and developed gluten-free options for their patrons.

The Take-Away

Although gluten is dangerous to many, it’s not in itself a harmful protein. In the same way lactose affects some and does nothing for others, gluten intolerance isn’t experienced across the board.

For those who aren’t diagnosed with gluten-intolerance, moderation is key. If you believe you’re experiencing sensitivities to gluten, the best way to prove your suspicions is to get tested. Then you’ll know for sure if you need to make the leap from gluten to gluten-free.

Conclusion

Gluten intolerance causes a whole range of various signs and disorders, yet lots of people out there continue to suffer as they have not yet been identified. If you eat a food consisting of gluten, or that you believe might have come into contact with gluten in some way, and discover your stomach becoming swollen and bloated, this might be due to a gluten intolerance.

Living Gluten-Free Book Series

A beginners guide to living a gluten-free lifestyle. You can download your free copy HERE