Gluten intolerance symptoms, be they mild or severe, affect just under a sixth of the US population. Gluten, found in wheat, rye and barley, is a type of protein which some individuals cannot tolerate in their system. In extreme cases, people may suffer from what is known as celiac disease, where body’s immune system undergoes a severe allergic reaction to the presence of gluten. Most people with an intolerance of gluten suffer from much milder symptoms. Either way, whenever the body reacts negatively to a particular food, especially one which can make up a significant part of one’s diet, there is always the possibility of a degree of malnutrition coming into the picture.
Gluten intolerance symptoms are not always easy to pinpoint. They cover a fairly broad range, and the symptoms themselves can often come from other causes. Gluten intolerance therefore, can at times be quite difficult to correctly diagnose. A person suffering from a chronic iron deficiency, chronic fatigue, or a gastrointestinal infection will exhibit many of the same symptoms experienced by the person allergic to foods containing gluten. One way to test for this intolerance, is to test for certain antibodies which will be present if a patient ingests food containing gluten, and does not have a tolerance for the protein. The presence of the antibodies help to isolate gluten intolerance as the cause of whatever symptoms are being experienced.
To the extent the immune system is involved, common symptoms include unexplained changes in weight over time. This can either be weight loss or weight gain. The patient may suffer from gastrointestinal problems, including fat in the stools. This is due to the fact that the body is not processing foods containing gluten properly. As food is not being processed efficiently, chronic fatigue, periods of exhaustion, headaches, and bouts of depression may occur. These symptoms can in turn lead to behavioral changes, such as irritability. Some symptoms are the direct result of gluten intolerance, while others are secondary, with other gluten intolerance symptoms being a root cause. More severe symptoms are aching joints, skin disorders, such as outbreaks of eczema, and cramping. Effects on women can include irregularity in the menstrual cycle and infertility. This intolerance symptoms even include incidences of miscarriage.
It’s important to have tests taken for gluten intolerance if any of these symptoms are present, even when they are mild in nature. Even a mild case of gluten intolerance is an indicator that the body is not properly processing all the food being eaten, and nutritional problems can therefore arise. Food intolerance can lead to other problems over a period of time, including cancer and diabetes. If gluten intolerance symptoms are diagnosed early on, many potentially more serious health problems may be avoided, or at least more effectively treated. You should be able to make a transition to a gluten free diet or a diet better fitted to your individual needs without too much of a problem.