How Do I Know If I’m Gluten Intolerant?

The health and fitness industry is constantly evolving. Each year it seems as if people are following new fad diets, with the hope of losing weight or curing some specific ailment affecting their everyday quality of life. While some of these diets are indeed fads, others have been found to be extremely beneficial. More and more people for example, are now going gluten-free, and are benefitting hugely. Gluten intolerance causes a whole variety of different symptoms and ailments, yet many people out there continue to suffer as they have not yet been diagnosed. But how do you know if you’re gluten intolerant? Well, there are a number of symptoms to look out for. Some especially common symptoms include:

Bloating – One of the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance is bloating. Now, when we say bloating, we don’t mean constant bloating. The bloating we’re referring to comes about as a result of consuming foods or beverages containing gluten. If you eat a food containing gluten, or that you suspect may have come into contact with gluten in some way, and find your stomach becoming swollen and bloated, this could be due to a gluten intolerance.

Bowel movement issues – If you find yourself regularly constipated, suffering with diarrhoea, or even experiencing especially smelly bowel movements, this could be another sign that you suffer from a gluten intolerance. You see, after eating gluten, the gut becomes inflamed. The gut lining is then damaged, and you fail to absorb as many nutrients as you could and should be absorbing. This can then result in constipation and/or diarrhoea. Both of these issues can result in further health complications so making a diagnosis and changing your diet as soon as possible is very highly recommended.

Headaches or migraines – Although experts are not quite certain why, it appears as if gluten intolerant individuals are far more prone to headaches or migraines than people that can happily eat gluten all day long. One theory is that, as gluten intolerance can cause diarrhoea, this can result in dehydration and a loss of electrolytes, which can cause headaches.

Abdominal pain and cramps – If, shortly after consuming food or drink, you find yourself experiencing abdominal pain and cramping, this could be down to a gluten intolerance. As mentioned, gluten intolerance causes severe inflammation in the gut, as well as bloating and gas. This can be very painful and can leave people barely able to function until the pain subsides. 83% of individuals with a gluten intolerance experience abdominal cramps and pain.

Fatigue – Fatigue and lethargy often also affect people with a gluten intolerance. There are a few reasons for this. To begin with, gluten intolerance often results in poor nutrient absorption. If you can’t absorb the nutrients and calories needed to function correctly your body will not be firing on all cylinders and you’ll find yourself feeling tired and rundown. If you constantly find yourself feeling tired and run down, this could be due to a gluten intolerance. In fact, between 60% and 82% of gluten intolerant individuals experience fatigue as a result of their condition.