About 1 in 133 Americans has some form of gluten intolerance. While it’s an easily fixable condition, many people wait for 6 to 10 years to be diagnosed. The vast majority of people with the condition will never be diagnosed.
And that’s a shame when you consider how far-reaching the symptoms are. Some people go to all sorts of lengths to treat the mental and physical symptoms of gluten intolerance without ever really figuring out gluten is at the root of their problems.
Are you one of them?
Let’s take a look at 10 commonly-ignored signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance.
1. Digestive Issues
There are many digestive issues associated with gluten intolerance. These include gas, abdominal pain or cramping, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation in children.
Also pay attention for foul-smelling stool and nausea after eating foods with gluten as that’s likely to be your body trying to tell you something.
2. Keratosis Pilaris
Keratosis pilaris, otherwise known as chicken skin, is a skin condition that appears as raised, hard bumps on the skin.
They look like goosebumps, but they don’t go away like goosebumps would. This skin condition along with dermatitis herpetiformis, a similar skin condition, has been linked to gluten intolerance.
It can be easy to shrug keratosis pilaris off as it’s technically harmless, which is why it often gets missed as a symptom of gluten intolerance.
3. Loss of Energy or Attention
If you feel like your brain is foggy or fatigued after eating a meal with gluten, this may be a sign of gluten intolerance.
It happens because your body is working hard to remove a harmful substance and it takes away from your normal energy.
4. Diagnosis of an Autoimmune Disease
If you have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and are experiencing some of the other symptoms we’ve mentioned, the culprit for all could be a gluten intolerance.
Many people with gluten intolerance will develop the symptoms of an autoimmune disease, especially if they also have celiac disease.
5. Mental Illness
Neurological issues like peripheral neuropathy (tingling in the extremities), epilepsy, depression, anxiety, and ADHD are all associated with gluten intolerance.
Interestingly enough, although gluten-intolerant individuals bear the brunt of its depression-causing properties, even those without gluten intolerance have been found to experience depression when eating it consistently.
When a person who is gluten intolerant eats gluten, they put their body in an inflamed state, which can make it more difficult for them to contribute to reproduction – whether male or female.
Once gluten-intolerant patients adopt a gluten-free diet, their reproductive system goes back to normal.
Migraines are commonly caused by food intolerances like chocolate or gluten. If you get chronic migraine headaches, it may be a gluten intolerance.
8. Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia
According to one study, a gluten intolerance may be the source of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. (NCBI) Many people who are diagnosed with these conditions never understand why they have them when really it’s as simple as what they’re putting in their stomachs.
9. Joint Pain
Joint pain, inflammation and swelling are common signs of gluten intolerance.
Many people with arthritis who don’t realize they also have a gluten intolerance face harsher arthritis symptoms as a result of continuing on a gluten-laden diet.
10. Mood Swings
Eating gluten when you’ve got an intolerance to it can lead to mood swings.