Gluten intolerance is actually more common than most people realize. Celiac disease is the most popular form of gluten intolerance affecting one percent of the global population, but this is the severest form of gluten intolerance.
It is still possible for others to have gluten intolerance without having Celiac disease. These people have a condition that’s known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. This is actually more common than Celiac as it can affect up to 13% of the population. The gluten intolerance is much milder compared to those with Celiac disease, but it can still cause discomfort and other conditions.
So, if you suspect that you have a mild form of gluten intolerance, here are some symptoms you should look out for.
Does your belly feel swollen after eating? This may be a symptom of gluten intolerance if you’ve eaten anything containing gluten, but it’s not a sure sign as this is a common effect of other conditions or simply because of overeating. However, 87 percent of people that are sensitive or intolerant to gluten often complain of bloating symptoms.
Diarrhea & Constipation
Again, this is another symptom that can be caused by a number of conditions. But around half of gluten-sensitive people complain about diarrhea while 25 percent report constipation. This is due to the inflammation in the small intestine. While it’s not a serious condition, diarrhea can sometimes cause dehydration and fatigue due to the water lost.
Aside from either diarrhea or constipation, your feces may smell worse than usual. When gluten causes inflammation to your small intestine, it is unable to fully absorb all the nutrients in your food.
A common symptom reported by 83 percent of people with gluten intolerance. People experience abdominal pain or discomfort after eating anything containing gluten.
Because your small intestine is compromised, you cannot absorb the full amount of iron your food has. As a result, your body develops an iron deficiency which can cause a lot of symptoms including low blood volume, fatigue, dizziness, paleness, headaches, and shortness of breath. This can also be detected with blood tests showing your iron deficiency.
Unexplained Weight Loss
Around two-thirds of those diagnosed with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance found unexplained weight loss within the last six months. This is a common side effect often attributed to the fact that your digestive system isn’t absorbing enough nutrients, thus resulting in your weight loss.
What If I Have Gluten Intolerance?
If you have these symptoms and suspect you have gluten intolerance, it’s best to be safe. You can’t be certain you are gluten sensitive until you visit your doctor and get checked. These symptoms are fairly common with other conditions, and they may be explained due to other conditions you may or may not know you already have.
It’s always best to consult with your doctor to confirm your gluten intolerance. You may need to remove gluten from your diet to reduce the negative symptoms in your body to see if these effects are due to reactions to gluten or something else. Once confirmed, you may be recommended to reduce the amount of gluten in your diet.