Gluten sensitivity symptoms are not a just problem for people with celiac disease. Many people with chronic ill health and no diagnosis could very well actually have symptoms of gluten
intolerance but don't realize it.
Research has shown that it is not necessary to have a celiac gene to get an antibody immune reaction to gliadin or gluten.
The symptoms of sensitivity or gluten intolerance are similar to celiac disease symptoms because the gliadin will still affect the brain, the intestine, and the skin to some degree. The intestinal villi will not be completely eroded in most cases however, unless there is a celiac gene.
Symptoms can range from gastrointestinal, to skin problems, to hormone imbalances, to neurological effects.
Abdominal Distension (belly protrudes and is hard, looks like you've gained 2 sizes)
Steatorrhea (stools that float and are difficult to flush)
Frequent Cramping Pain in stomach or intestinal area
Frequent Diarrhea or Consitpation
Cracks at corners of mouth
Suddenly very dry lips (peeling)
Canker Sores (mouth sores)
Tooth Enamel Defects and/or Discoloration
Frequent Dental Caries
Failure to Thrive in Babies and Children
Short Stature in Adults
Osteoporosis or Osteopenia
Peripheral Neuropathy (frequent pins and needles, or tingling or numbness in hands or feet)
Fatigue-Excessive or Chronic Fatigue with little activity
Muscle weakness or pain
Aching Joints or Bones
Ataxia-Gait instability, including weaving, uncoordinated walking, and balance problems
Rashes-(hot flushes, itchy rashes, boils, hives)
Dermatitis Herpetiformis-Rash linked to Celiac Disease
Moodiness, swinging from one extreme to another
Sudden weight changes, gain or loss of weight
Many people have these symptoms, or at least enough of them to question whether they have a reaction to gluten. If you suspect
you might have celiac disease, it is important to be tested by your doctor. The blood test and intestinal biopsy will only show positive as long as you are still consuming gluten. So it is important to be diagnosed before going on a gluten free diet.
If you have been tested and the tests were negative, but you still feel you react badly to wheat and other grains, you might want to consider a home test.
Regular allergy testing is not the correct way to find out about food intolerances. The immune system responds to a food sensitivity with an IGA or IGG antibody. In the case of an actual allergy, which could be severe (like an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts)and even immediately life threatening, the immune response created is an IGE antibody. So a regular allergy test will not tell you if you have a food sensitivity.
For more information on testing go to the section on Gluten
Sensitivity in the navigation bar on the left.
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