Often, the symptoms of gluten intolerance are not consistent from person to person and this is part of what makes the testing and diagnosing of this condition so difficult for medical professionals.
According to Katrina Plyler, writing in U.S. News and World Report, there are 8 general signs you are gluten intolerant:
1. Gastrointestinal effects
2. Malabsorption of vitamins
3. Skin rash
5. Joint pain
6. Lactose intolerance
7. Chronic fatigue
Also, Dr. Amy Myers notes two additional symptoms of gluten intolerance:
9. Neurological symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance
10. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility
Below are five not so obvious signs you are gluten intolerant:
1. You’re a full-grown adult but you still have breakouts like a teenager
Your skin is the body’s biggest organ and provides a window into your internal health. That may be why researchers at the University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research, argue that persistent acne is a sign of inflammation from gluten that can affect other organs.
2. You wake up feeling sluggish, you’re fatigued all day, and never feel rested
A diet rich in gluten can not only cause fatigue in someone with gluten intolerance, it can actually interrupt your sleep patterns and create a feeling of general malaise, according to studies.
3. You suffer from mood issues, anxiety, depression, or ADD.
A gluten intolerance might not create anxiety or depression out of thin air, but they can certainly make symptoms worse. A 2010 study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cited “significant concerns about increased rates of psychological symptoms and mental disorders in celiac patients”.
4. You mysteriously suffer from joint pain in your hands, knees, or hips
Joint pain can be signs of several different autoimmune diseases. If you’re not exercising regularly at the gym, logging serious miles running, or suffering from arthritis, the inflammatory response from a gluten intolerance may be one reason your system is triggering a reaction in your joints.
5. You are plagued by frequent headaches and migraines
The causes of migraines are various and mysterious, but some studies have made a connection between an increased rate of headaches and migraines in Celiac patients, compared to the general population.
In a 2001 study, researchers from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in the UK documented patients actually lessening their migraine symptom by following gluten-free diets.
And it gets worse, gluten has been linked to over 55 diseases!
A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 conditions that can be caused by eating gluten-rich diet. These include irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases.
Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). It has also been linked to autism.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone, but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.
Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with better medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating 100 percent of the gluten from your diet.
So, what’s a person to do? Well, first get tested by your doctor have him/her do the run down to make sure that there is nothing else going on then try a gluten elimination diet and really pay close attention to any possible signs that you are gluten intolerant or have a sensitivity.