What are the first signs of gluten intolerance?

Gluten is a protein that is found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley.

Some people are inherently sensitive to gluten, which makes them gluten intolerant.

Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune disease, and celiac disease is its most severe form.

There are many signs that indicate one might be suffering from gluten intolerance:

  • Bloating is the most common symptom seen in gluten-intolerant people.
  • Diarrhea and constipation.
  • Foul-smelling feces due to poor nutrient absorption.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint pain due to an overly sensitive nervous system
  • Individuals with celiac disease develop a condition called dermatitis herpetiformis.
  • Other conditions that are relieved when on a gluten-free diet include psoriasis, chronic urticaria, and alopecia areata.
  • Weight loss that has no apparent cause, along with digestive troubles.

Can you develop gluten sensitivity later in life?

Yes. One can develop gluten sensitivity anytime during their lifetime.

Sometimes people test negative for the autoimmune condition but develop it later on in their lives

According to statistics, there has been a 5 fold increase in the prevalence of the disease, primarily in the elderly.

How do you eliminate gluten from your diet?

Avoid gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye, and barley.

Each of these grains come in a variety of forms, and one must remember to avoid these forms as well.

These include semolina, bulgur, durum, graham, and spelt (all of which are forms of wheat).

Avoid all foods and food items that contain gluten.

These include cakes, muffins, pastries, cookies, bread, candies, bagel, croissants, pizzas, types of pasta, rolls, malts, tortilla, soy sauce, burgers, patties, waffles, and many more such foods.

If you are ever unsure, make it a point to read the packet or ask the chef about the contents of the dish to ensure you are not risking your health.

While the ones mentioned above are foods that definitely contain gluten, there are some others that are hidden sources of gluten.

Some of these products include ale, beer, bran, brewer’s yeast, brown flour, couscous, dextrin, groats, gluten flour, malt and malt-based products, self-rising flour, orzo, wheat germ, wheat and white flour, wholemeal flour, and vegetable gum.

Always check for signs on the packaging that indicate that the food item is ‘gluten-free’.

Do not consume even if the packaging says ‘traces of wheat’.

How long does it take for gluten to leave your system?

Symptoms of those suffering from gluten intolerance and celiac disease show a marked improvement after a 2-week gluten-free diet.

The symptoms disappear completely in about 3 months, which is the amount of time it takes for gluten to exit your system completely.

What helps gluten intolerance?

Gluten intolerance can be quite painful, both physically and emotionally.

Apart from staying away from gluten-based foods, there are some steps one can take to quicken the healing process:

  • Drink lots of water to flush the gluten out of the body
  • Drink coconut water to stay hydrated and restore the electrolyte balance in the body
  • Hot tea or bone broth are both healthy as they help nourish the body
  • Get adequate amounts of sleep
  • Eat ginger as it helps your stomach settle down and relieves cramps
  • Eat pineapple as it aids in digestion.
  • Avoid dairy products during the recovery time as they can increase digestive troubles
  • Incorporate probiotics in your diet. They promote the growth of healthy gut microflora.
  • Take the medications and supplements prescribed by your physician.
  • Once the initial symptoms have been relieved, carry out light exercises daily to help in the healing process.

Can gluten cause anxiety?

There are many studies that have demonstrated the effect of irritable bowels on the mood of an individual.

However, how gluten results in anxiety or depression in gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive individuals have not yet conclusively been proven.

How do I feel better after eating gluten?

If you are gluten-intolerant or gluten-sensitive and have accidentally ingested gluten, here are quick steps you must take to get immediate relief:

  • Stay hydrated, drinks lots of water. If you are prone to diarrhea on ingesting gluten, you may want to stay hydrated to compensate for the water lost in stools.
  • Get lots of rest and a good amount of sleep.
  • Take activated charcoal to relieve symptoms of bloating and flatulence. Charcoal binds to the toxins and helps eliminate the gas.
  • Consume ginger, turmeric, or omega-3 fatty acid rich foods to reduce the inflammation in the gut.
  • You can also take probiotics that help restore normalcy in the digestive tract.

What causes gluten sensitivity?

There are two types of gluten sensitivity– celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder where the body’s immune system attacks its gut tissues when exposed to gluten in the diet.

But, there is no exact reason or cause as to why non-celiac gluten sensitivity occurs.

The research for the same is underway.

What foods are high in gluten?

The biggest culprits of gluten-sensitivity are grains. The following foods are high in gluten:

  • Wheat
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Wheat Germ
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Farina
  • Triticale
  • Semolina
  • Graham flour
  • Malt
  • Malt vinegar
  • Soups
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonaise
  • Salad dressings
  • Soy sauce
  • Marinades, gravies
  • Ice cream
  • Energy bars
  • Flavored Coffee
  • Roasted nuts
  • Burgers
  • Oats (unless they are gluten-free)

Many non-edible items such as shampoos, cosmetics, lip balm, Play-Doh, some medications, stamps, and also contain gluten.

What is the difference between celiac disease and gluten intolerance?

Some people have an allergic reaction when they consume grains like wheat, barley and some types of oats or products that contain them.

These people are said to be sensitive to gluten or suffer from an autoimmune disease called celiac disease.

Though in both cases, gluten appears to be the culprit and a common link, the two conditions are widely different.

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder of the digestive system in which gluten, a protein, causes inflammation of the small intestine and can severely damage it as well.

The small intestine is responsible for absorbing nutrients, but in this condition, the body’s immune system begins to attack it.

Due to the damage to the small intestine, it is unable to absorb nutrients, thereby leading to malnutrition in the individual.

Gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity is a condition that has symptoms overlapping with those of celiac disease.

But, in the case of gluten intolerance, there is no inflammation of the small intestine.