Gluten Allergies: Symptoms

Gluten allergiesPhoto by Adam Nieścioruk

I’ve researched, heard stories from readers, and personally dealt with a large number of symptoms of gluten allergies, it’s amazing all were related to gluten.  Just in my family, my mom had issues with her thyroid, my brother had ADHD and major headaches, my other brother has dealt with stomach issues and I have had to deal with digestive problems, flaky skin and a couple overnight stays in the hospital for liver and pancreas issues.

Gluten allergies will have various degrees of symptoms and discomfort.  However, the most severe of the gluten allergies result in Celiac disease.  This is an autoimmune disease, which simply means that the body attacks itself in an inappropriate immune system reaction.   This disease can cause extreme pain if not treated.  The best treatment is to eliminate gluten from your diet.  The symptoms of gluten allergies will occur because of exposure to gliadin, a protein of the food molecule gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye.

What is Gluten Intolerance

A gluten intolerance, wheat allergy, and celiac disease may all have common symptoms and all are treated with a gluten-free diet.  If you are not sure which degree of an allergy you have, be sure to see a doctor for a blood test.  A wheat allergy is very different than celiac disease.  Wheat allergy symptoms much like celiac can range from a skin rash to swelling, migraines, or even difficulty breathing.  Once the allergen is removed from the body or antihistamine is administered successfully, the body is not compromised in the long term as it is for those with celiac disease and is exposed to gluten.

Gluten intolerance is another condition that needs a gluten-free diet.  Gluten intolerance occurs when the body is incapable of metabolizing certain foods, typically because it lacks certain enzymes to break down food components associated with gluten.  Symptoms of gluten allergies are similar to celiac disease as well.  You can have gluten intolerance and have a negative reading on a celiac disease blood test.

How do I know if I am gluten intolerant?

That’s a good question. Because unlike Celiac Disease, which is an immune reaction to gluten which can cause severe, sometimes life-threatening complications when gluten is eaten, gluten allergies often develops slowly. Worse yet the most common gluten intolerance symptoms can be confused for countless other intestinal tract conditions. I have even heard of gluten intolerance being misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome and, occasionally, as postpartum depression. Even today doctors are not at their best when it comes to identifying a gluten intolerance because, as I said, the symptoms can be misidentified as a number of conditions.

Symptoms of Gluten Allergies

Symptoms of gluten allergies may include one or more of the following:

  • Rickets
  • Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
  • Kidney Stones
  • Live Disease
  • Osteomalacia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Flaky, dry skin
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis (Other skin disorders)
  • Gas
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Easy Bruising
  • Hair Loss
  • Headaches
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Joint pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Anemia (low count of red blood cells)
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling and numbness in the legs
  • Seizures
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Infertility
  • Vitamin or mineral deficiency
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Pale sores in the mouth
  • Delayed Growth in infants
  • Behavioral changes
  • Collagen vascular disease
  • Pale skin
  • Nosebleeds
  • Shortness of breath
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Type 1 diabetes

It’s a long list and you likely have one or more of these symptoms if you are reading this post.  After my mom was diagnosed with celiac disease I read up on symptoms and realized that many of my aches and pains were likely due to the disease or intolerance to gluten.  After going on a gluten-free diet the symptoms went away.  Every now and then I slip up and eat something with gluten.  (let me be the first to warn you – if you stray from the diet after several months the symptoms will come back and much more severe)  it’s not fun.

Obviously, this doesn’t sound like anyone’s Christmas list. These are serious symptoms. But the good news is that treatment is available that can, essentially, eliminate each and every one of the above symptoms. The main component of any gluten allergies treatment plan is to avoid gluten and live a gluten-free lifestyle.

This may mean drastic changes in your diet, but I have found that with a little getting used to, these changes don’t really impact my life in any powerful way. I am just more careful in what I eat, and, as a result, I get to avoid all the horrible abdominal problems that I was having over the these last few years.

Celiac disease if untreated can cause a host of health problems leading to malnutrition.

Feel free to leave in the comments section symptoms you are running into and our community of readers can respond with helpful ideas and experiences.

Be the first to comment on "Gluten Allergies: Symptoms"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.