5 symptoms of gluten sensitivity

Intolerance to gluten – the plant protein in wheat, rye, barley and other grains, is the next epidemic. Most doctors are familiar with celiac disease and the digestive problems associated with gluten sensitivity, but most of them are not familiar with the other symptoms of this specific intolerance.

It is estimated that 18 million people are sensitive to gluten, although there are many more who are completely unaware that they suffer from it. According to some researchers, one in two people has a problem with gluten. Functional tests were done which showed that of all the patients tested, about 95% had some sort of gluten problem. A large part of them do not have digestive symptoms.

A study published in 2002 in the New England Journal of Medicine linked 55 chronic diseases to gluten. And why, since it causes so many problems, are still few doctors aware of it?

Gluten sensitivity is on both poles – on one side, people have no problem and can eat anything – pasta, pizza, buns, pies, bread. At the other extreme are people with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which even trace amounts of gluten can have devastating effects on the body. Everyone else is somewhere between the two extremes.

It is good to know what are the warning symptoms that we may be sensitive to gluten:

1. Migraines and headaches

Sensitivity to certain foods can trigger headaches and migraines and gluten is no exception. A recent study showed that 56% of people who were diagnosed with migraine headaches actually had a gluten intolerance. After removing it from their menu, their health problem was solved.

2. Lack of concentration

Gluten contains gluteomorphins, which can act like a drug in some people and lead to lack of concentration and confusion known as brain fog. Gluten can also attack the brain, causing inflammation. This in turn leads to impaired mental abilities.

3. Depression

Gluten can cause intestinal disorders and lead to reduced absorption of some vital nutrients such as vitamins, iron, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc. These nutrients are essential for mood and brain health.

4. Joint pain

The body creates autoimmunity against gluten, as a result of which immune complexes accumulate in the joints. They cause swelling, pain and inflammation.

5. Skin rashes

Inflammatory conditions of the skin are passive manifestations that suggest that somewhere deeper in the body there is a state of inflammation.

How to test for gluten sensitivity? There are two main tests – blood tests are one of them, but they are not accepted by most doctors. They only recommend them in end-stage celiac disease. The other method is at home by eliminating cereals containing gluten from the diet. Stop them for two weeks and determine how you feel – better or worse. If there is a change in your condition, it means you are sensitive to gluten.

For many people, even total elimination of gluten does not solve their health problems. They still need to repair the damage that gluten has done to their intestines. The good news is that cutting out gluten doesn’t deprive you of vital nutrients.

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