Grocery stores, supermarkets, restaurants – no matter where we go, there will always be food labelled as “gluten free”. This is presumably because more and more people are developing gluten intolerance. However, is gluten intolerance really that big of a deal? To find an answer, first we need to know some basic facts.
What is Gluten? How is it connected to Celiac disease?
You know how dough is sticky and you cannot seem to get it off your hands? Well, that is the courtesy of gluten, a two-part protein consisting of gliadin and glutenin, and can be normally found in wheat and other grains. Gluten is used in many processed foods, the most popular being mayonnaise. It is also a fact that gluten has been a part of almost every diet for centuries, yet recent studies have shown that gluten can cause serious #health problems in some people.
These health problems are also referred to as gluten intolerance, and it can come in the form of complete intolerance or partial intolerance. Complete gluten intolerance is also known as celiac disease. It is a genetically transferred disease which causes digestive disorders. Your #body is unable to absorb all the nutrients and vitamins it receives from food, and people with celiac disease should avoid gluten at all cost.
Celiac disease is a fast developing illness that occurs in 1 out of 100 people. If not treated properly, it can cause bowel cancer, osteoporosis and eventually infertility. It is highly recommended that you consult your doctor as soon as you recognize any of the early signs of gluten intolerance. But, what are the signs?
1. Constant constipation, lots of gas
One of the early symptoms of celiac disease can be constant constipation, as well as uncomfortable gas. Gases can be felt all over your stomach and you constantly feel miserable and like your stomach is about to explode. To make things even worse, constipation can damage your colon. If you are born with celiac disease, it is probably the reason behind your digestive problems. However, constipation is not always a sign of celiac disease, and can be caused by several other factors.
2. Loose and watery stool, also known as diarrhea
People usually connect diarrhea with bacteria and medication, which is a normal thing to do since both can mess up your stomach flora. But, do you know that people who eat a lot of gluten, and those born with celiac disease also have diarrhea? If you notice your stool is bloody, you feel severe abdominal pain, rectal pain, have a fever or are dehydrated, you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible, as you might have developed gluten intolerance, or even worse, might have celiac disease.
3. Excessive fatigue
Normally, people feel fatigued after working around 40 hours a week, and are facing a lot of stress every day due to both their workload and family life. But, getting super fatigued can be a sign of early gluten intolerance developing over time. The symptoms are numerous, but the most common ones are:
- Dizziness and fainting
- Constant exhaustion
- Difficulty to concentrate
- Difficulty to begin and complete tasks
Fatigue is usually related to almost any underlying health problem, and it is good to know that celiac disease is one of those problems. If you notice any of these signs, you might be developing gluten intolerance.
4. Neurological and psychological issues
As we have learned so far, there are many early symptoms of gluten intolerance which can be spotted on time and treated with medications. But, some signs are difficult to spot, like for example psychological issues. Depression can be caused by many events in one’s life, especially when living a fast and stressful life. It can also be a sign of celiac disease and an early sign of gluten intolerance.
If your hands and feet are starting to feel numb, if you start developing dementia, or are starting to move in an uncoordinated manner, you might be in serious trouble and should visit a doctor straight away. Also, if you do not treat depression, it can evolve and become something even worse. Many people have committed suicide just because they were feeling depressed every single day, and their level of depression has increased significantly after going untreated.
5. Joint pain and heartburn
As we age, our bones age as well and we are prone to arthritis. According to an article provided by About Health, joint pain is also related to gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Usually the pain is located in the neck area, the spine, in the hips, in the wrists and shoulders and in the knees. Gluten causes inflammation, which is related to the pain in these joints.
Also, heartburn, a condition caused by stomach acid reaching into the oesophagus, can be a symptom of gluten intolerance. Since gluten intolerance stops the body from absorbing nutrients, it also weakens the tissues throughout the body, including the oesophagus. After this, the oesophagus becomes less resistant to stomach acids, causing severe heartburn, which can be pretty painful and last for hours.
There are several more symptoms of gluten intolerance, but these listed are the most common ones. Please keep in mind that developing gluten intolerance can be the first step towards developing many serious diseases and illnesses, so make sure to visit your doctor and start treatment
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