Signs You May Be Gluten Intolerant

Got gluten? If so, you may also have a wide range of digestive and other health issues to accompany it. So, how do you know if you are intolerant to gluten? And, equally important, how do you remove it from your diet?

What is the Difference Between Gluten Intolerance, Celiac Disease and a Wheat Allergy?

Before getting into the signs of gluten-intolerance, let’s explore the difference between gluten intolerance, celiac disease and a wheat allergy, since they are often mistaken as the same thing.

Celiac disease is a serious immune system disorder that involves a damaged digestive system. People with the condition need to eliminate all exposure to gluten and need to eat a diet free from all sources of gluten.

A wheat allergy is also a serious health condition that can be life-threatening and typically involves impaired breathing or cause a loss of consciousness.

Gluten intolerance can contribute to many health problems and make you feel a reduced quality of life, but unless you are celiac or have a wheat allergy, won’t be life-threatening. While less serious than the other conditions, gluten intolerance can still make you feel lousy.

Signs and Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

There are many signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance, the most common of which include:

Abdominal Pain

Bloating

Constipation

Diarrhea

Fatigue

Headaches

Nausea

Thyroid Conditions

Other Signs and Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

While less common than the main symptoms, other signs of gluten intolerance can include:

Anemia

Anxiety

Depression

Joint Pain

Muscle Pain

I Think I May Be Gluten-Intolerant. Now What?

So, you have some of the symptoms above and are wondering what to do next. If you’re intolerant to gluten you’ll want to eliminate all gluten-containing foods from your diet. Most people assume that just means breads, pastries and pastas that contain wheat, but there are many other foods that contain gluten that you’ll want to avoid.

What Foods Contain Gluten?

You probably won’t like this, but most foods contain gluten. The main grains that contain gluten are: wheat flour (that includes both white and whole wheat flours, as well as semolina, pastry flour and other types of specialty baking flours), couscous (which is a wheat product), kamut, spelt and barley.

Wheat or wheat flour is used as a thickening agent for most commercially-prepared food products, including: prepared meals, frozen dinners, salad dressings, sauces and condiments. So, you’ll want to start reading labels and if it doesn’t say gluten free somewhere on the package, it probably contains gluten.

Which Grains are Gluten-Free?

Don’t panic. There are still plenty of foods you can eat. There is a whole range of delicious gluten-free grains and flours you can use. Some of the main gluten-free grains include: amaranth, buckwheat (yes, it is gluten-free despite its confusing name), millet, oats, quinoa, rice and teff.

Not all of these “grains” are actually grains. Some are seeds but they can all be used in place of other grains in your meals and baking.

Other foods like arrowroot flour, chickpea flour, tapioca flour, to name a few, can also be added to gluten-free baked goods and foods.

You don’t have to give up all bread, pasta, pastries or other favorite foods altogether. There is a growing number of gluten-free alternatives to these foods that are available in most grocery and health food stores.

I have been eating a gluten-free diet for many years and no one could say I’m deprived of my favorite foods. I simply make them using different ingredients or buy pre-made gluten-free items such as whole grain, gluten free bread instead of wheat bread, brown rice noodles instead of white pasta. There are many delicious gluten-free options on the market to help you make the switch.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, the Cultured Cook, co-founder of BestPlaceinCanada, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include the vegan cookbook: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life.

 

182 comments

Fran F
Fran F3 days ago

Thank you for this information.

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Marge F
Marge F5 days ago

Thank you for posting this interesting article.

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Richard A
Richard A6 days ago

Thank you for this article.

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Virginia Miller
Virginia Miller6 days ago

Thanks for the info

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Julia S
Julia S10 days ago

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Stanley S
Stanley S11 days ago

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Richard E Cooley
Richard E Cooley12 days ago

Thank you.

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Sandra V
Sandra V12 days ago

Thanks

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Sandra V
Sandra V12 days ago

Thanks

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Peggy B
Peggy B12 days ago

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