What Gluten Intolerance Symptoms Do You Have?

This section is a description of gluten intolerance symptoms in more detail and in addition to the usual symptoms officially associated with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, which are already listed on the Gluten Sensitivity Symptoms page.

This section on wheat and gluten intolerance symptoms is 4 pages long, so please hit the continue link at the bottom of the page text to get to the next page.

There are other symptoms that we have personally experienced. Others listed below are from some people we know, or anecdotal evidence from others that I've read about frequently. The symptoms listed below generally resolved once the person was on the gluten free diet for a while. In our case we went gluten and casein free at the same time, so it is hard to say if casein was responsible for some of them.

Many of the symptoms are likely to be related to malabsorption and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. They seem to be fairly common among celiacs.

Gluten Intolerance Symptoms

Body Odor and Bad Breath

Before we knew about my husband having osteoporosis, we had already come to the conclusion that he did not digest wheat products well. He had a difficult time with odor, including his breath. It didn't matter how often he brushed his teeth or used mouthwash, the smell was coming from deeper inside, and had a metallic tone underneath. His deodorant had to be renewed frequently, and he went to all leather shoes, as the smell from manmade ones would chase you out of the room when he removed them. Whenever he ate wheat he would also have a great deal of gas. This is a sign of wheat intolerance.

He decided to give up wheat and things improved in a few weeks. This was before we had ever heard of celiac disease. He still ate gravies and things with hidden gluten though, so other symptoms did not improve.

He had been trying a low carb diet at the time, and made the connection that the odor problem was less until he ate wheat.


The hyperactivity that my husband and one daughter experienced were most likely triggered as gluten intolerance symptoms. He was unable to sit and focus on one thing for very long. He was constantly jumping up to do something else. This was not how he was when we met. He had low blood pressure then, and fairly low energy. He became hyperactive about 15 years later.

He usually multi-tasked and got several things done at a time by running between them. While this was a good channeling of the energy, it left him exhausted by the end of the day, and he would run down like a wind up toy that ran out and needed to be rewound. Once he hit that point he fell asleep, and was out until morning. He never had any trouble with insomnia.

After about 10 months on the gluten free diet his hyperactivity disappeared. He actually became very tired, and had trouble functioning until his nutrition caught up with his body. This phase lasted about 3 months. His energy has returned, but it is no longer hyperactive energy. He has stamina, but the speed is more normal. Part of the low energy was related to low levels of vitamin D, as his energy improved when the levels went up. Low vitamin D is very common among adults and children in this country.

My daughter as a child could not even sit and play Nintendo games. She would pull one out after 2 or 3 minutes and start a new one. Her frustration tolerance was very low. This was one of her gluten intolerance symptoms. She is now gluten free, but not casein free. She is one semester away from graduating with a degree in teaching. She has been getting mostly A's in college, so she can focus much better now.

Emotional Swings, Moodiness, Lack of Emotion

Along with the hyperactivity, there were emotional changes. My husband showed a lack of emotion, made little eye contact, and did not get excited or overjoyed about anything. This was one of his gluten intolerance symptoms, because he was not like this earlier in life, at least while we were together.

My daughter was the opposite. She had excessive emotion, and was always either very happy or very upset or sad. Never anything moderate, but always one extreme or the other. I used to say she was either skipping with joy or screaming with rage. I believe this had to do with neuro-transmiiter imbalances, which is a common gluten intolerance symptom.

Both of them are less extreme since going on the diet. My husband makes eye contact much more readily now, and actually expresses some emotion when he finds something interesting or exciting. My daughter has also moderated considerably, but how much is due to growing up and how much to the diet is hard to know. She had to take ritalin in grade school and most of high school. But she hasn't used it in college.

These kinds of symptoms are considered to be signs of ADD or ADHD. In my husband's case you might even say Asperger's. Yet they did begin to resolve on the gluten free diet. Many individuals who have been diagnosed with these illnesses, and even including autism and schizophrenia have been found to have gluten intolerance and have improved on the gluten and usually casein free diet.

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