Symptoms: "94% of gluten intolerance sufferers are misdiagnosed."
You should find this list alarming. It’s estimated that only 6% of people with gluten sensitivity or Celiac Disease are properly diagnosed when going to a doctor. It's one of the top ten misdiagnosed diseases. When it is diagnosed, it averages 10+ years after symptoms occur.
|• Weight gain
• Abdominal pain
• Lactose intolerance
• Respiratory problems
• Inflammation, swelling
• Hair loss
• Lupus, autoimmune
• Irregular stool
• Acid reflux
• Muscle cramping
Weight Gain/Food Cravings- The autoimmune factors of gluten intolerance can cause malabsorption and pain. When you are malabsorbing you are not getting enough energy from the carbs, fats, or proteins you are eating. You then begin to feel tired and hungry between meals, resulting in an increased appetite and an increased consumption of high caloric foods. You may find certain foods (often dairy or wheat) have some mild doping or pain killing effect and begin to crave these foods. Then, when you are frequently tired, hungry, or hurting, you crave those “comfort” foods that make you feel better. If your comfort foods are low in vitamins or have some toxic properties, then you begin to run the risk of malnutrition and possible poisoning.
Fatigue- Many people suffer from fatigue prior to being diagnosed with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance. For some, fatigue is a major reason for initially seeking medical attention. In both Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance, malabsorption of nutrients can result in weakness, lack of energy, and even iron-deficiency anemia.
Diabetes- If your comfort foods are high in simple carbs or fats, you can run into problems with obesity and diabetes. WESTPORT, Sep 07, 2000 (Reuters Health) – “Patients with Celiac Disease have high levels of diabetes and thyroid- related auto-antibodies that ‘disappear’ when the patients are placed on a gluten free diet."
Migraines/Headaches- Celiac Disease is common among people with migraines. The gluten free diet significantly reduces migraines in patients with Celiac Disease. In a Royal Hallamshire Hospital study, nine patients with severe, chronic migraines were put on a gluten free diet. Out of those 9 people, 7 stopped having migraines and the other 2 experienced significant relief.
Frequent Colds- Frequent or repeated lung infections are reported as a symptom or consequence of gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease. Gluten sensitivity can easily cause vitamin and antioxidant deficiencies, which can contribute to a weakened immune system and slow healing from infection. Weak mucus membranes contribute to gluten sensitivities. Since the mucus membranes are the first defense against infection in the respiratory and digestive systems, this same weakness could contribute to susceptibility of infection.
Lactose Intolerance- Lactase is the enzyme that humans need to digest the lactose sugar in dairy. It is produced in the tips of the villi lining the small intestine. This villi is the first part of the intestine damaged by the immune system’s reaction to gliadin, a molecule that makes up a large part of the gluten protein in wheat. When someone loses the ability to make that enzyme, eating lactose will cause many of the intestinal or abdominal problems of malabsorption. Therefore, lactose intolerance can easily be one of the earliest symptoms of gluten intolerance.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)- A connection between Irritable Bowel Syndrome and food intolerances has been long suspected by many. A 2003 study by Atkinson W, Gastroenterology has demonstrated that most cases of Irritable Bowel Syndrome are associated with food intolerances, most commonly gluten and dairy. Diarrhea and constipation, both of which are predominant cases of IBS, respond well to the elimination of the offending food from the gluten free diet.
Heart Disease- A grain-based diet is low in B12, B6, and Folic Acid unless artificially fortified bread is eaten. B12 and Folic Acid are commonly malabsorbed by people who are gluten intolerant, but still eating gluten. Deficiency in these nutrients results in toxic homocysteine levels, which cause lesions in blood vessels. Among other problems, these lesions contribute to arteriosclerosis. A gluten free diet can also reduce oxycholesterol and homocysteine, reducing inflammation and allowing the body to work on healing other injuries.