Experts have suggested that coeliac disease and gluten intolerances are on the rise. In fact, you may be allergic or intolerant to gluten and not even realise it! So many cases go undiagnosed because doctors miss key symptoms, or think that they are dealing with a different illness with similar symptoms.
Over 55 diseases have been connected to the consumption of gluten. And, including it in your diet when you are allergic or intolerant to it can have serious consequences or your health.
So, what exactly is gluten and how can you tell if you should avoid it?
Gluten is the protein found in barley, rye and wheat. It is responsible for the elastic texture of dough. Although a large number of grains contain gluten, it is also possible to find gluten-free grains, such as buckwheat, brown rice and millet.
There are several symptoms of gluten intolerance that you can check for to determine if you may be afflicted by coeliac disease.
First of all, if you frequently experience digestive discomfort and issues, such as constipation, bloating or gas, then this could be related to your gluten consumption. Constipation is a particular common side effect for coeliac children who eat gluten.
If you are allergic or intolerant to gluten then your skin can be affected and may become rough and patchy. This is most likely to happen on the back of your arms. This change in your skin is generally the result of the gluten having damaged your gut, leading to deficiencies of fatty acids and vitamin A. The presence of gluten can also cause inflammation and discomfort in the joints, especially in the hips, knees and fingers.
Your mental performance and abilities can also experience detrimental side effects when gluten is consumed. Common complaints are lethargy, decreased energy and a fog like feeling in the mind. In some cases, you might even become dizzy and experience headaches.
Additional Health Issues
If you suffer from coeliac disease then you are also at a heightened risk of developing other autoimmune diseases. Common connected diseases are Lupus, Psoriasis, Multiple sclerosis and Rheumatoid arthritis. You might additionally be at risk of being incorrectly diagnosed with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. This is because the doctor has incorrectly interpreted your symptoms.
When gluten is present in the digestive system of a person who suffers from coeliac disease their hormones can soon be thrown off balance. This can cause a range of problems, not least of all fertility issues.
It may surprise you to learn that mood issues can also arise as a result of inappropriate gluten consumption. This can be as small as a simple mood swing to suffering with anxiety, depression and even ADD.
As you can see, the consequences of consuming gluten as someone who is allergic or intolerant can be quite severe. It is for these reasons and more that it is important that you obtain a correct diagnosis as soon as possible. In doing so, you can ensure that your diet can be adjusted accordingly and your quality of life is sure to improve.
If you have a question about coeliac disease or you think you might be a sufferer, then feel free to reach out to us via our Facebook page for further advice!