As the stomach again and again starts acting strange, a lot of people wonder “is this gluten allergy?” Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and spelt among others. When the body reacts towards gluten it can cause damage and scarring in the intestine, making it difficult to absorb important nutrients that the body needs. Most of us can relax though. It is believed that only two percent of the population in the US is over sensitive to gluten, also known as celiac disease. However, of those 2% about 95% are unaware and therefore undiagnosed of the disease. Beside celiac disease, people may be sensitive to gluten and react in a variety of ways.
Many of them do not know that they have the disease, and the less obvious symptoms are unknown to many, which means that many go for a long time without knowing what is wrong with them.
Ludvig Sollid, celiac disease researcher and professor of immunology at the University of Oslo, says celiac disease was previously an illness believed only to give symptoms from the gut, that is, diarrhea and poor absorption of nutrients.
“Diffuse” indisposed symptoms, malaise, anemia and depression, in addition to intestinal ailments and joint pain can be signs of celiac disease, according to the professor.
“Warfare” between the gluten in the gut and the body’s own defense leads to an inflammatory reaction so that the surface of the small intestine is damaged. This makes it difficult for the body to take up nutrients and you risk getting iron and calcium deficiency and disorders of fluid balance. Fatigue is also common.
According to allergized.com there are three main types of symptoms that may give a hint about the disease.
KNOWN SYMPTOM: Stomach Problems
Abdominal symptoms are common, as described in both those who are gluten allergic, and those with gluten intolerance. Those who are allergic will have an extra troublesome stomach, and they may feel bloated and have stomach gas pain. Both diarrhea and constipation are common. Stool can be greasy and smell bad. Weight loss may occur. Children may be lose appetite, become apathetic and irritable. It is common that gluten gives diarrhea and vomiting in those who are sensitive, and therefore it is important to drink plenty of water.
HIDDEN SYMPTOM: Breathing Problems
As with other food allergies, gluten allergies can cause breathing problems, according to allergized.com. If you experience anaphylactic shock breathing may be so difficult that it is dangerous. Remember that if you are experiencing great difficulty in breathing, you need to seek medical attention immediately.
HIDDEN SYMPTOM: Skin Conditions
If you are allergic to gluten, it can affect your skin in several ways. Typical changes in the skin may occur immediately after you eat food which contains gluten. A few may experience itchy skin rashes or eczema. Those with skin disease ‘dermatitis herpetiformis’ often have celiac disease as well. Rash is common when it comes to food allergies, and this applies of course also to gluten.
Important to detect celiac disease
Untreated celiac disease gives a small increased risk of cancer of the rectum. In addition, untreated celiac disease may lead to anemia and osteoporosis, and thus at greater risk of breaking bones, loss of wellbeing, and lethargy.
In women it may lead to premature birth, low birth weight and growth problems in children, because untreated celiac disease can lead to lack of folic acid and folic acid deficiency during pregnancy is also a health risk.
You can request a test yourself
The treatment of celiac disease is done without medicine, but those affected must ensure to follow a gluten free diet throughout life. Many people feel much better when they go to the gluten-free diet.
- If your doctor does not think of celiac disease, you often will have to take this up yourself. Now tests are so good that it’s easy to find out if you have the disease, which is done with a blood test done at the doctors.