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Introduction

 

Gluten intolerance is one of the most common food intolerances.

Gluten intolerance, also called Celiac disease, is an abnormal immune system response to gluten which causes inflammation in the intestines.

Gluten intolerance is not a medical condition that is well understood by many people.

If you have gluten intolerance, you might have experienced stomach pain and bloating in the past without realizing what was going on.

Now, it’s time to get educated.

Gluten intolerance may be more common than we think, so it’s important to know how you can tell if you have it and how to keep your symptoms at bay.

Here are some ways to find out if you can eat gluten with peace of mind and help yourself live a gluten-free lifestyle.

 

What Is Gluten Intolerance?

 

Gluten intolerance is a condition where your body reacts adversely to gluten.

Gluten is the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye.

Your digestive tract cannot break down this protein and digest it within your body, so it causes reactions like bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and more.

If you are unsure if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, ask your doctor to run tests for these conditions.

If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, you will be taught how to live a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life.

Celiac disease tends to be more common in people who have:

  • Celiac disease in the family
  • Down syndrome or Turner syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • Addison’s disease

 

How Do I Know If I Have Gluten Intolerance?

 

If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or other forms of gluten sensitivity, it’s easy to tell if you have gluten intolerance.

But for someone not used to eating gluten-free food, it can be hard to recognize the symptoms of gluten intolerance.

One way to know if you have a sensitivity is by testing your blood. If you have a history of digestive issues like celiac disease or are highly sensitive to wheat, it’s likely that your blood will have antibodies to the protein in wheat.

It can also be helpful if you test for a food sensitivity or an infection (bacteria or yeast) that could cause symptoms similar to those caused by gluten intolerance.

 

gluten intolerance symptoms - What Is Gluten Intolerance, How Do I Tell If I Have It, And How Can I Be Sure

What Are the Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance?

 

The most common symptoms of gluten intolerance are stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
Other symptoms may include:

–  Tendency to be tired or cranky
–  Having a low energy level
–  Having trouble concentrating

It is important to note that the list of possible symptoms may vary from person to person.

 

What If I Don’t Have Any Symptoms?

 

If you don’t have any symptoms, then it’s likely that you are gluten intolerant.

However, if you do experience symptoms, then you can be sure that you have a medical condition called celiac disease.

It’s important to see your doctor to get tested and start the treatment process to manage the symptoms of celiac disease.

If you want to know more about gluten intolerance and how to manage symptoms of celiac disease, visit my blog.

 

Diagnosing Gluten Sensitivity

 

One way to diagnose gluten intolerance is to get a blood test.

The blood test will reveal your levels of the antibody celiac disease specific immunoglobulin.

A (IgA), which can be indicative of gluten sensitivity. If your blood test comes back positive, you might want to talk with a doctor about the next steps in diagnosing and treating your symptoms.

Another way to diagnose gluten intolerance is by visiting your doctor.

Your doctor might also perform a tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibody test that measures levels of antibodies against celiac disease transglutaminase in your tissues or serum.

This is an easier and less expensive option.

 

gluten intolerance diagnose - What Is Gluten Intolerance, How Do I Tell If I Have It, And How Can I Be Sure

What Is the Outlook for People with Gluten Intolerance?

 

The good news is that there are many things you can do to manage gluten intolerance. The first step is to work with your doctor to figure out an appropriate diet for your gluten disorder.

Foods that are normally safe to eat if you have gluten intolerance include:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Gluten-free grains
  • Legumes

Gluten intolerance can cause a deficiency in important nutrients like vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, and iron.

The best way to get your daily dose of these vital nutrients is by taking a multivitamin.  But if you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on a new vitamin every day, try a few different kinds for two weeks or so.

If you feel better without the vitamins and still continue to suffer from symptoms, then it’s time to get back on track with your regular supplements.

 

Preventative Treatment for a Future Case of Gluten Intolerance

 

The best way to prevent gluten intolerance from becoming a serious problem is to try and avoid it completely.

If you’re not sure if you have a gluten intolerance, or even if you do but want to make sure that it doesn’t become a problem later on, there are some simple ways to help keep your symptoms at bay at prevent flare-ups.

The most common symptom of gluten intolerance is stomach pain and bloating.

If you feel like this has been happening more often than usual, then it would be smart to talk with your doctor about preventive treatments for the future case of gluten intolerance.

Your doctor can prescribe something for you, which can work well for preventing symptoms of gluten-intolerance.

If you decide to go gluten-free, make sure that you follow the same rules as someone who has celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity:

  • You should only eat foods made with whole grains (such as wheat, oats, barley) instead of processed products containing white flour
  • You should stay away from soy sauce because it often contains wheat
  • You should also stay away from products containing high-fructose corn syrup because they often contain maltodextrin in place of real sugar

gluten intolerance diet - What Is Gluten Intolerance, How Do I Tell If I Have It, And How Can I Be Sure

Conclusion

 

Gluten intolerance is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s small intestine when it comes to gluten.

It can cause a variety of problems that range from minor to very serious.

That said, if you suspect you may have a gluten intolerance, there are a few things that you should know.

First, this is not an allergy, so taking allergy medicine will not help.

Second, symptoms may not appear in some people until they’ve been on the gluten-free diet for anywhere from 6 months to years.

This is why it’s difficult to tell if you have the condition without testing.

The only way to know is to have blood and stool tests done by a physician or other healthcare professional.

 

Getting Help

 

Can you relate?  Are these symptoms familiar in your own life?
There is no one definitive answer to the question of when to see a gastroenterologist.

However, there are some general guidelines that can help you decide when to seek medical help.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should see a gastroenterologist as soon as possible.

For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of abdominal pain in Johannesburg, contact Dr. Schneider.

Dr. Schneider is here to provide you with expert medical advice in the field of gastroenterology with years of experience.
Book an appointment online or contact us on 011 482-3010 to find out more.

DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a Gastroenterologist or medical doctor regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs including, but not limited to: abdominal pain, haemorrhoids or anal / rectal bleeding as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today and schedule a consultation.