6 Signs That You Might Be Gluten Intolerant

Guest blog 07.09.2022

If you are experiencing one of the below symptoms, it might be a sign you are gluten intolerant:

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Top four gluten-triggered gut conditions 

Gluten can cause several different gut responses, all of which can lead to gut tissue inflammation and discomfort; they are known as:

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What is gluten intolerance 

Gluten intolerance often appears after intense periods of stress, which has the effect of creating changes to the bacteria and environment of the gut.  It is understood that gluten intolerance is caused by an inability to break down and digest the gluten protein called gliadin.     

What is gluten sensitivity

Gluten sensitivity is a delayed immune response often occurring hours or days after eating gluten, making it difficult to associate with symptoms. It is unknown if gluten intolerance leads to gluten sensitivity, but the prolonged use of gluten can trigger further food intolerances. Gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity have very similar symptoms, and their origins are not fully understood.

Signs of gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity  

What is a wheat allergy 

A wheat allergy is an immediate immune response to wheat, known as an IgE immune reaction.  

Signs of a wheat allergy 

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What is Coeliac disease 

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own tissue as a response to eating gluten.  This reaction causes damage to the gut lining preventing the absorption of nutrients from food.  Coeliac disease is not an allergy or food intolerance and can lead to further problems of osteoporosis and anaemia. 

 Top Five Symptoms of Coeliac Disease 

Abdominal pain; bloating, and stomach cramps 

Diarrhoea 

Unexplained weight loss

Mouth ulcers 

Anaemia 

Top Five Risk Factors for Coeliac Disease 

A skin condition called dermatitis herpetiformis 

Having a family member with Coeliac Disease

Type 1 diabetes 

Autoimmune thyroid disease 

Osteoporosis 

How do I know if I have Coeliac disease  

It is essential to first rule out Coeliac disease through a blood test with your GP.  Before you do this, you will need to continue to eat gluten-containing foods.   Your body needs to be producing the autoantibody for the test to show a positive result for Coeliac disease.  

If you have been diagnosed with coeliac disease, you should strictly avoid all gluten-containing foods.   If you test negative for Coeliac disease, your GP will consider other conditions such as Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Irritable bowel disease (IBD).  IBS is a common condition and shares similar symptoms to gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity, and for some, the avoidance of gluten reduces IBS symptoms.  

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The information in this article should not replace the guidance from your GP.  Please speak to your doctor if you are concerned about any of the conditions discussed. 

This article was written by Christine Lewis, Nutritionist for the brand Good it’s gluten free, makers of gluten and dairy free food products. 

Sources: 

Coeliac UK

Alonzo-Llamazares J, Gibson LE, Rogers RS. (2007) Clinical, pathologic, and immunopathologic features of dermatitis herpetiformis: review of the Mayo Clinic experience. International Journal of Dermatology.  

Ungprasert P, Wijampreecha K, (2017) Psoriasis and risk of Celiac Disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis.  Indian J Dermatol.  

Park J. et al. (2019) A Pilot Study about Possible Gluten Sensitivity in Korean Urticaria Patients  

Egeberg A. et al. (2016) Rosacea and gastrointestinal disorders: a population-based cohort study 

Losurdo G. et al. (2018) Extra-intestinal manifestations of non-celiac gluten sensitivity: An expanding paradigm

Thank you

Thank you for reading this article. If you have enjoyed it, you might want to also read “Coeliac disease and getting your child diagnosed“.