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Gluten is a protein primarily found in wheat, barley and rye. Many people experience serious side effects after eating it. The following symptoms are best viewed as one big picture; alone, they may not be strong indicators of a gluten problem. A combination may be a sign that gluten is causing the body to attack itself.

Celiac disease is an extreme and potentially fatal form of gluten intolerance, where gluten actually acts as an allergen. This is a rare disorder. However, gluten intolerance is actually very common, and can present itself in various ways to varying degrees. Here are five real signs of gluten intolerance that you should watch out for!


  1. Keratosis Pilaris

Keratosis pilaris and dermatitis herpetiformis are two skin conditions with direct connections to gluten exposure. Both of these are extremely itchy skin rashes that appear on your arms, torso, face, buttocks, elbows and hairline. Other skin irritations that mimic eczema might signal a gluten contamination.

Commonly known as “chicken skin”, Keratosis Pilaris results from a vitamin A and fatty acid deficiency caused by gluten`s destruction of the gut. These rough, discoloured bumps most commonly appear at the back of the arms, and on the thighs, but also occasionally on the face.

  1. Gastrointestinal Problems

Symptoms such as intense bloating, diarrhea and constipation are sure signs of gluten intolerance. One of the most obvious signs is gas, diarrhea, bloating, and constipation that persist without cause. Constipation is a common sign of gluten intolerance in children.

This is probably the most common symptom of gluten intolerance. If you find that after a meal including pasta, bread, or cereal, your stomach becomes gassy or bloated, and you become flatulent, or experience abdominal pain, you may very well suffer from gluten intolerance. Irritable bowel syndrome is a very real sign of gluten intolerance.

  1. Malabsorption of Vitamins

 If a person is gluten sensitive or intolerant, their stomach lining can no longer absorb essential nutrients from food. Low iron is a common indicator of gluten intolerance.

  1. Migraines

Headaches are symptoms of so many medical problems. Migraines that are combined with daily diarrhea, a low iron count and a skin rash paint a different picture. And if your migraine starts within an hour or two of ingesting food that contains gluten, it’s highly indicative of gluten sensitivity.

  1. Joint Pain

Gluten contamination causes an inflammatory response in the body. That inflammation will make itself known in various ways. Joint pain, often misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, is a very common symptom of gluten intolerance.

  1. Lactose Intolerance

If you already have problems digesting foods containing lactose, chances are you’re having problems with gluten. If gluten has compromised the stomach lining and lactase, you will experience symptoms aligned with lactose intolerance. If you’re already lactose intolerant and have other symptoms on this list, it may be smart to consider eliminating gluten.

  1. Fatigue

Like migraines, chronic fatigue alone is not a strong indicator of gluten intolerance. It’s become a clearer symptom when combined with gastrointestinal problems, especially frequent diarrhea. If the body is not absorbing nutrients and essential vitamins, fatigue is sure to take over.

  1. Fibromyalgia

Some medical experts believe fibromyalgia is a symptom, not a disease. Inflammation of the connective tissue is one of the strongest symptoms of gluten intolerance. Essentially, the body thinks gluten is an enemy and will send out antibodies to destroy it. Those antibodies destroy the lining of the stomach and intestines. Just like with joint pain, the inflammation could present itself in any part of the body. If a doctor told you that you have fibromyalgia, try eliminating gluten and see how you feel.

  1. Autoimmune Diseases

Certainly not in all cases, but in some cases, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Scleroderma, Multiple Sclerosis, and Psoriasis have been found to be rooted in gluten intolerance.

  1. Dizziness

Dizziness and feeling off balance is yet another sign of gluten intolerance.

How to test for gluten intolerance?

The best ways to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to do an elimination diet and take it out of your diet for at least 2 to 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.

The best advice is that if you feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when they reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem for you. In order to get accurate results from this testing method you must eliminate 100% of the gluten from your diet.

How to treat gluten intolerance?

Eliminating gluten 100% from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.
The 80/20 rule or “we don’t eat it in our house, just when we eat out” is a complete misconception. An article published in 2001 states that for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity eating gluten just once a month increased the relative risk of death by 600%.





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Gluten is a protein primarily found in wheat, barley and rye. Many people experience serious side effects after eating it. The following symptoms are best viewed as one big picture; alone, they may not be strong indicators of a gluten problem. A combination may be a sign that gluten...