In recent years we’ve seen more and more products begin to be labeled as “gluten-free.”
But lots of people are choosing them without knowing why it may or may not be important to do so.
To begin with, it’s important to clarify that gluten is a protein that’s found in foods like wheat, rye, and barley.
Some people don’t experience any negative effects after consuming gluten, while it can trigger a range of symptoms and health problems in others.
So far, there are 55 diseases that are related to this protein, and it’s estimated that 99% of the people who are gluten intolerant have never been officially diagnosed.
That’s why we want to dedicate today’s article to identifying the signs that could indicate whether or not you should eliminate gluten from your diet. Discover what they are!
1. Gastrointestinal problems
One of the most common symptoms of an intolerance to gluten are digestive and intestinal disorders.
After you eat foods that contain gluten, you might experience some uncomfortable symptoms like:
- Abdominal bloating
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Abdominal pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Relieving these symptoms usually requires that you eliminate all foods that contain this protein.
We recommend you read: What is pelvic inflammatory disease?
After eating any wheat or other grain products that contain gluten, some people feel tired or have difficulty concentrating.
Constant fatigue or feelings of weakness could indicate that you need to make a change in your diet.
Consumption of this protein can create an imbalance in the body’s normal inflammatory processes, which affects how your nervous system functions.
If you’re gluten intolerant, this can trigger a series of reactions, and headaches or migraines are among the most common of these.
4. Hormonal imbalances
Premenstrual syndrome, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and infertility may be connected with an intolerance to gluten.
Some gynecologists and health professionals recommend that patients with this problem eliminate foods that contain gluten.
5. Problems with joints
As we mentioned above, gluten intolerant people may have a higher than normal inflammatory response that triggers more harmful reactions.
One of the greatest points of concern has to do with the joints, as it can increase swelling and pain. The areas that are most commonly affected are the hands and knees.
6. Keratosis pilaris
Keratosis pilaris or follicular keratosis is a skin disorder that’s characterized by the appearance of tiny bumps that have a light red color.
This condition is related to poor absorption of vitamin A and essential fatty acids, which can be caused by intestinal damage from prolonged exposure to gluten.
Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints. Unlike other common conditions, it triggers continuous episodes of pain with an undefined origin.
While it may be related to many other factors, it’s thought that eliminating gluten from the diet may help control the symptoms.
8. Neurological effects
Gluten may cause inflammation in the central nervous system and a weakening of the immune system, triggering symptoms like dizziness or tingling sensations.
9. Autoimmune disorders
People who are exposed to gluten on a regular basis are at a higher risk of developing an autoimmune disorder than those who avoid it.
This protein increases levels of inflammation and can lead to serious problems like:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
10. Behavioral problems
Some of the more common psychological problems show improvements when gluten is eliminated from the diet.
Symptoms of a gluten intolerance can vary from case to case, which commonly results in it being confused with other disorders. Patients who have celiac disease, for example, may take from 6 to 10 years to receive the correct diagnosis.
If you notice any of the symptoms we mentioned here, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor and avoid eating foods that contain gluten.