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gluten intolerance

Nowadays, more and more people are experiencing digestive health problems from consuming wheat or gluten, called as gluten intolerance or sensitivity. Gluten is primarily found in rye, barley and wheat and gluten intolerance can lead to a number of symptoms.

What is Gluten?

Wheat is a form of grain commonly found on cereals, breads and pasta. It can also be found in small amounts in condiments such as salad dressings. Another common source of gluten is barley. It is often used for brewing. The last form of grain that contains gluten is rye. It is often used in cereals, breads and beers. Consumption of these foods and beverages is usually how a person finds out their sensitivity or intolerance on gluten.

Celiac disease is serious form of gluten intolerance. It is recognized as an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine. When a person with Celiac disease eats a food that contains gluten, his body initiates an abnormal response, attacking the intestines directly and eventually, the damage incurred to the intestines can have a significant effect to the body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. If left untreated, Celiac disease can lead to long-term health complications.

Individuals with gluten intolerance usually find their symptoms subside or lessen when gluten is eliminated from their diet. Having said that, certain symptoms surface that may indicate a person is sensitive to gluten.

Signs of Gluten Intolerance

Sudden Weight Gain

Unexplainable, unexpected weight gain can be confusing to many people with gluten intolerance. In general, weight gain due to gluten intolerance leads to two things – 1) gut permeability and malabsorption, which are the negative effects of gluten sensitivity and 2) systemic inflammation, triggered by gluten. Individuals intolerant to gluten should avoid gluten from their diet in order to revert back to their healthy weight level.

Mental Fog

Mental fog, also known as brain fog, is not a medical diagnosis, but a collection of symptoms such as forgetfulness, confusion, lack of focus and mental clarity, that can be subtle in nature. However, it is one of the commonly reported symptom among people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. In a study published by the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, scientists found out that abnormal reaction to gluten in a group of antibodies called as Immunoglobulin (IgG). It is thought that such reaction has a negative effect on cognitive performance.

Dental Health Problems

A study has found a connection between gluten intolerance and apthous stomatitis, which is a condition characterized by recurrent mouth ulcers and sores. In addition, because of malabsorption, gluten-intolerance individuals often have very low levels of calcium – an essential mineral for healthy teeth.

Poor Immune Function

When one is intolerant or sensitive to gluten, IgA antibodies have a counteracting effect on the body’s immune system. IgA antibodies are mainly found in the saliva and gastrointestinal tract and are the body’s first line of defense against flu, colds and other illnesses. When these antibodies oppose our immune system, we are susceptible to contracting such illnesses.

Headaches/Migraines

Surprisingly, migraines are quite common among gluten-intolerant individuals. Migraine is a type of headache that can cause moderate to severe throbbing pain, often on one side of the head. It is usually accompanied by vomiting, nausea and extreme sensitivity to sound and light. In one study participated by gluten-sensitive group, 56 percent of the participants had migraines or headaches, while 14 percent reported experiencing chronic migraines or headaches.

Skin Problems

Due to malabsorption caused by gluten intolerance, it affects several areas of the body, including the largest organ – the skin. Gluten has been associated to psoriasis, dermatitis herpetiformis, acne and eczema. Skin problems caused by gluten intolerance often include itchiness, rashes, burning, redness and even blistering. Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is actually a serious skin condition marked by itchy, fluid-filled blisters.

Muscle and Joint Pain

The effects of inflammation triggered by gluten intolerance is the main reason for the joint and muscle aches. Joint inflammation is a very common symptom of gluten sensitivity. Studies have also found a connection between joint pain and arthritis with sensitivity to gluten.

Fatigue

This symptoms is quite similar to mental fog in the sense that that reason behind is still a puzzle. There is little scientific evidence to support the relationship or connection between exhaustion or fatigue and gluten intolerance. But medical professionals believe that sensitivity to gluten is related to fatigue because of inflammation and the abnormal distribution of the body’s energy reserves.

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9 Telltale Signs You May Have Gluten Intolerance

Saleamp Design February 10th, 2017

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