Almost 60 diseases are linked to gluten, which is actually a type of protein found in barley, wheat, and rye. If you think you don’t have gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance, you could be one of the 99% of the population with the condition that has never been diagnosed. In the United States, it is estimated that at least 15% of the population has gluten intolerance.
Gluten testing is needed to determine if you have the condition. However, there are signs that can help you find out for yourself whether you are sensitive to this protein or not. Here are seven signs that when present actually tell you it is time for you to stop eating anything that contains gluten:
1. Digestive Issues – This can be any or a combination of the following:
- Constipation (particularly in children who immediately get constipated after eating gluten)
2. Keratosis Pilaris – You probably recognize this term as “chicken skin” which is often visible at the back of the arms. When you have chicken skin, this often denotes that you either have a vitamin A deficiency or a fatty acid deficiency or both. It can be concluded that gluten can cause vitamin and fat-malabsorption because it can damage the gut.
3. Fatigue – This not only happens physically, but also mentally, which is why some people experience brain fogginess after eating gluten. Forothers, they are diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue and oftentimes, doctors cannot pinpoint the reasons for the pain and fatigue.
4. Autoimmune Disease – If you have been diagnosed of an autoimmune disease, you could be gluten intolerant. Among the diseases under this category include:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Multiple sclerosis
5. Hormone Imbalances – Some women who have unexplained infertility may be gluten intolerant. Some conditions that are a result of hormone imbalance are:
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
6. Mood Swings – If you are having mood issues that include depression, anxiety, and even attention deficit disorder (ADD), this can be caused by gluten allergy.
7. Inflammation – Gluten sensitivity can also result to swelling or inflammation of the joints, including your hips, knees, and fingers.
One of the best ways to know if you really have a problem with foods that contain gluten is to start getting rid of them in your diet. This method is known as elimination diet where you remove gluten-containing food from your meals for at least two weeks and then you can eat it again after that period. Note though that gluten is actually very large, so it often takes more than a month to clear it from your system. To completely remove it, take longer breaks from the food before you reintroduce it to your body.