10. Brain Symptoms
Think of gluten or wheat issues, and you probably think of the gut first. The typical symptoms are all gut-related. But actually, there’s another important organ at stake: your brain.
Brain fog and fatigue are symptoms of both celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. On a more serious note, the gut inflammation and microbiome disturbances involved in the immune-inflammatory response to gluten may increase vulnerability to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Autoimmunity in general (whether it’s celiac disease or some other gluten-related autoimmunity) may be involved in depression.
This doesn’t mean that gluten is the cause of all mental health problems or that eliminating gluten will cure them. Nobody is saying that. Mental health is complicated and there are all kinds of factors to consider. The point is that in some people, gluten may be one of them.
11. Skin Symptoms
The most famous cause of gluten-related skin problems is celiac disease, which can cause a skin disease called dermatitis herpetiformis. Symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis include an itchy, red rash with raised blisters. Symptoms typically show up in a person’s 20’s.
And once again, this isn’t limited to celiac disease. This study describes the way non-celiac gluten sensitivity can show up as skin problems: “very itchy…similar to eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis herpetiformis.” The itchy skin showed up most often on the arms and legs.
The upshot: wheat is pretty bad news even for people who don’t have celiac disease. And the symptoms don’t necessarily show up as dramatic episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. Why not try giving it up for a few weeks just to see how your body reacts – you might be surprised!