4 Major Signs You May Have a Gluten Sensitivity
Symptoms of gluten sensitivity are very similar to those of celiac disease and wheat allergy, often including digestive issues, emotional concerns, and joint and muscle pain (study and study and study). Lots of folks with gluten sensitivity even produce some of the same anti-gluten IgG antibodies after consuming gluten that people with celiac disease do, but without destroying the small intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients.
So how can you begin to uncover whether gluten is the culprit? The following gluten sensitivity symptoms occur shortly after eating gluten and improve or disappear within hours or days after gluten is withdrawn. Symptoms return again if gluten is reintroduced (study).
- Upper GI Issues: People who show signs of gluten intolerance are often very burpy and bloated, get heartburn, and feel stomach pain or discomfort after eating. They may feel like food is stuck and isn’t digesting properly and may even have productive burps (aka regurgitation).
- Lower GI Issues: Gluten can cause diarrhea or constipation (or both!) in individuals who are gluten sensitive. These symptoms are very similar to those experienced by people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), except that when gluten is eliminated, diarrhea and/or constipation disappear after a few days.
- Mental & Emotional Challenges: Gluten can be the source of brain fog, depression, anxiety, and general fatigue in people who are gluten sensitive. These issues are easily overlooked as signs of gluten sensitivity, especially if no digestive symptoms exist. But, once on a gluten-free diet, sensitive individuals feel more mentally clear, energized, and less anxious or moody.
- Aches & Pains: Feeling a little bit of pain everywhere? People who are gluten sensitive often experience headaches, joint and muscle pain, and even tingling or numbness in their hands and feet. These symptoms should diminish for sensitive guys and gals after going gluten-free for a few days.