Gluten has become a bit of a trend word in recent years. Previously it wasn’t talked about that much, but nowadays almost everyone knows someone with an issue related to gluten. Then, of course, there are trends and solutions, all offering to cure your gluten caused discomfort.
Some people are fully allergic to gluten, such as in the case of Celiac Disease. If that’s the case, chances are that you already have confirmation from a hospital and are on a strict diet. However, for others, it is an irritating level of allergy or intolerance that causes discomfort. Gluten intolerance can be misdiagnosed and not treated effectively, so it is important to consider it and talk with a doctor about your suspicions, especially if you have had issues long term already.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein that is found in certain foods. It is most often associated with foods that contain barley, rye, or wheat. When consumed by those who are intolerant, it causes digestive discomfort. Depending on the level of reaction, it can even cause diarrhea and other symptoms similar to that of food poisoning.
Signs that you are Gluten Intolerant
If your body can’t tolerate gluten and reacts to it being in your system, chances are that you will experience some (if not all) of the following symptoms:
- Bloating – This is the most commonly experienced symptoms. It feels like you have eaten too much or that your stomach has been blown up like a balloon.
- Abdominal Pains – Cramping or discomfort in the abdomen is a common experience by gluten intolerant people.
- Diarrhea – This is experienced by a large percentage of people, but not all sufferers. Some experience constipation instead, and some alternate between the two. Long term, the internal irritation can cause damage.
- Fatigue – Often partly due to the reaction and the impact on the body, feeling tired or even exhausted is often part of the experience.
- Joint and Muscle Pain – Many who are sufferers experience this discomfort. Inflammation due to the intolerance causes movement to become uncomfortable and sometimes even outright painful.
There are many other symptoms associated with this disorder, so if you are experiencing many of the above, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get tested. Once you know the issue is gluten, you can adjust your diet accordingly. As your body settles again, you will likely find life a lot more enjoyable, even if you have to cut out a few of your gluten-based favorites.
How to know if you can’t eat gluten
To try and work out if they are having issues because of gluten, some people try to remove gluten from their diet as a ‘test’. The problem with this approach is that you may remove the ‘obvious’ food types, but you will likely overlook some of the ingredients in ready-meals, sweats, and other things. A lot of foods that you wouldn’t expect to contain some level of gluten.
The best way to know if you are having health issues due to gluten intolerance is to get yourself tested. A gluten test is reasonably straightforward and can give you a clearer answer. If you are intolerant, it is time to totally rethink your diet. While that may be a bit of a headache at the beginning, once you get into a routine, a gluten-free diet isn’t too hard to maintain.