Most people confuse gluten intolerance with celiac disease. However, celiac disease is a much more complex disorder which affects only 1% of all adults whereas gluten intolerance is common. The damage done by gluten intolerance is not the just restricted to the gastro intestinal tract, but it also ends up affecting the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the reproductive system, the skeletal system and the endocrine system. As gluten intolerance leads to autoimmune reaction, it is also associated with many diseases. So, it is necessary to track this problem and include gluten free foods in the daily diet or one can also consult the doctor for prescribed medications.
Let’s have a look at some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance:
- Digestive symptoms which include cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, gas
- Difficulty in concentrating and remembering things commonly termed as “Brain Fog”
- Frequent headache
- Mood swings involving anxiety and depression
- Chronic fatigue and overall low energy levels
- Joint and muscle pain
- Numbness in the arms and legs
- Infertility and various reproductive problems
- Skin ailments like dermatitis, rosacea, eczema, and rashes
- Anemia and various nutrient deficiencies
- Autism in severe cases
- Some even include Alzheimer’s, dementia and schizophrenia
So, what causes the problem of gluten intolerance? There are many factors which cause the same, include gluten free foods, damage to the gut bacteria, nutrient density, immune system, hormonal balance and genetic factors. Gluten is complex to digest for a human system and hence is called an “anti-nutrient.” It interferes with the healthy digestive system and can cause bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. Gluten damages the lining of the gut causing a “leaky gut.” Gluten binds to certain proteins and amino acids making them not absorbable.
Doctors are sometimes hesitant to diagnose the symptoms of and as gluten intolerance as they can be caused by other disorders too, so it’s best to follow an elimination diet to confirm as to how a body reacts to gluten. An elimination diet, such as including gluten free foods can be a healthy option. But it is also advisable to consult a nutritionist before you change the diet plan completely.