Celiac is an autoimmune disease that affects one out of 133 people in the United States, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation. On top of that, Medical Daily states that one in seven people have reported a form of gluten intolerance or sensitivity and the foundation has a checklist you can fill out to see if your symptoms are one of those surprising signs you're gluten-intolerant and didn't know it. Most of us know Celiac as the disease that doesn't allow you to have any pizza, croissants, or other bread products, but what are the symptoms exactly?
From feeling headache, ,to unexplained rashes, to losing weight and feeling lethargic, there are several symptoms that could suggest that you have a gluten allergy. First, it's important to recognize what gluten is. When flour interacts with water in the kneading process, two proteins in wheat combine to form gluten. For any of you who have made bread before, you'll know that it's the substance that gives the dough that elastic texture. Humans have been eating wheat with gluten in it for the past 10,000 years, but for some reason, between then and now, there are some major differences between how bread is made and consumed.
NPR reported that in the past 20 years, the reported cases of celiac disease has doubled, and a study published in Pub Med further supports that gluten ntolerance is on the rise, now affecting one percent of the population. Nothing replaces speaking with a physician about your health concerns, but while you're waiting for that appointment, here are some subtle signs you might have a gluten intolerance.
1. You're Always Tired
Tiredness can be caused by anything, from a lack of sleep to lots of exertion. But if you're constantly feeling those Zzzs coming on, even after a full and restful night's sleep, this could be one reason. According to Healthline, studies have shown that up to 82 percent of people with gluten intolerance experience tiredness and fatigue.
2. You're Always Gassy
Because gluten intolerance is your body's way of rejecting something that is ingested, indigestion is a very common thing that can occur after eating, and gassiness is a huge side effect of that. Other symptoms according to the Celiac Disease Foundation include bloating, diarrhea, acid reflux, or constipation.
3. Regular Headaches or Migraines
In 2012, the Columbia University Medical Center found significantly higher occurrences of migraines and severe headaches with patients who had celiac disease. A migraine is pain that stems from the head or neck in a throbbing or disabling feeling. It includes light sensitivity, fatigue, nausea, or vomiting in some cases. According to the Celiac Disease foundation, 30 percent of people with celiac reported regular occurrences of migraines.
4. You Feel Depressed
According to Psychology Today, there are these carbohydrate chains called FODMAPs that have been linked to IBS and some cases of depression. Conversely, this same chain can also cause anxiety in some people. In a study published by Pub Med, gluten-specific effects were only found in eight percent of participants, which was about two people out of 37. While that number is pretty small, it's a big explanation that demystifies the correlation between gluten intolerance and depression.
5. You're Losing Weight and Don't Know Why
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, the director of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, the immune system attacks the gluten in people who are intolerant, and that can result in dramatic effects in weight loss or weight gain.
6. You Have Pain in Your Joints
This isn't because you're getting older, or the A/C was on too high, or you just completed a marathon. Because gluten allergies and contamination are causes of an inflammatory response, your joints may take on a brunt of that pain. This joint pain is often misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, said U.S. News.
7. You're Getting More Cavities Than the Moon
According to Jefferson Dental Care, a number of people with Celiac and gluten intolerances report a wide range of oral health issues, including excessive cavities. This is particular common for children.
8. Your Skin Is Itchy
For people with non-Celiac gluten sensitivities, symptoms can include rashes or eczema, says VeryWell, so if you're suffering from either and can't find the root cause, try eliminating gluten from your diet for a bit of time.
9. You're Getting Ulcers on Your Tongue
Also, cold sores and caker sores... They're not pleasant and in a 2014 study five percent of patients with celiac also reported constant or recurrent canker soresand other types of mouth sores.
11. Your Hair Is Falling Out
If you're allergic to gluten, there can be adverse reactions to your hair. Celiac disease will trigger an immune response where antibodies are released, according to Dr. Sanusi Umar, who is an MD certified by the American Board of Dermatology. This histamine can disrupt the blood flow to the hair follicles, which can cause excessive shedding.
All in all, there are three main ways to test for food allergies. Dr. Hyman says that you can get a blood test, do an elimination diet, or eliminate gluten and dairy for six weeks.
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