Signs You Have A Gluten Intolerance

By Nick Hadji 1 year ago

1. Abdominal Pain

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Abdominal pain is extremely common and can have a vast array of explanations. However it just happens to be the single main symptom of a gluten intolerance. It's estimated that around 4/5 people suffering from a gluten intolerance will experience abdominal pain and discomfort after eating gluten.Original content sourced from

2. Bloating

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Bloating is that uncomfortable feeling you get in your stomach when it swells up after eating. Bloating is not rare and the majority of people experience it, however it is a very common sign that you have a gluten intolerance or are sensitive to gluten in some way.

3. Nausea

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As you may have gathered from the previous points, having a gluten intolerance can massively upset your stomach. As a result of this, it's common for those with a gluten intolerance to persistently feel nauseous and on the verge of wanting to vomit. Nausea can be fairly common, but if you repeatedly feel nauseous you may want to check if your intolerant to gluten.

4. Diarrhea

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The inflammation and irritation to the gut caused by a gluten intolerance can lead to damages to the gut lining and poor nutrient absorption. This will likely result in digestive discomfort, commonly followed by frequent diarrhea. Diarrhea itself isn't the end of the world but if you're having it frequently there are a whole heap of health concerns that can follow, including dehydration and fatigue.

5. Depression

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A more severe case of a gluten intolerance is called celiac disease. Those with celiac disease experience depression more than usual due to the social and financial burden it puts on them. Having to buy expensive gluten free foods, alongside the fuss of having to find gluten free options on menus can often lead to increased levels of depression

6. Joint pain

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Shockingly gluten intolerances can cause pretty serious joint pain. It can hurt when you exercise or even just moving in general. Those with a gluten intolerance suffering from joint pain have described it as a sudden stabbing pain and it can also feel like a dull ache. Perhaps if you're joints are sore you could have an undiagnosed gluten allergy!

7. Autoimmune Disorders

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As celiac disease is classed as an autoimmune disease, the immune system confuses gluten with a foreign invader, resulting in your body attacking its own healthy cells. This can cause serious damage to your small intestine. Research has suggested that celiac disease can also increase your chances of developing other autoimmune diseases, such as autoimmune thyroid disease.

8. Constipation

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Constipation is characterized by having less than or equal to three poops a week. While some people with a gluten intolerance suffer from diarrhea and have no issues with bowel movement, others have the opposite problem and can't get any movement at all - How bizarre!

9. Brain fog

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Brain fog is simply another way of saying being unable to think clearly. The exact reason to why nearly 40% of gluten intolerant individuals suffer this brain fog is unknown, however many people have described themselves as being forgetful and having difficulty thinking. Could this be an effect of having gluten?

10. Fatigue

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As previously discovered, celiac disease can cause severe autoimmune diseases. Fatigue is a very common symptom of celiac disease and autoimmune diseases, this is mostly due to fact it causes chronic pain, sleep disruptions and physiological conditions such as depression.

11. Skin problems

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Gluten intolerance can have some nasty side affects to your skin. Celiac disease can cause a blistering skin condition known as which can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful. A gluten-free diet has also successfully shown that it can improve your skin, along with many other things.

12. Unintentional weight loss

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An unexpected change in weight is definitely a cause for concern. While there are a number of factors which may cause this, a rapid reduction in weight with no explanation is a common side effect of undiagnosed celiac disease. The weight loss can be caused by a number of digestive issues as well as poor nutrient absorption.

13. Developments in some cancers

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If you happen to have celiac disease and you're either unaware or just chose to avoid eating a gluten-free diet, you have a greater risk of developing several forms of cancer. Both intestinal lymphoma and small bowel cancer are just two of the types of cancers your at a higher risk of developing.

14. Leg or arm numbness

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One symptom of gluten intolerance that might shock you is neuropathy, which involves the numbness of the arms and legs. Some research suggests that celiac disease can elevate your risk of developing this neuropathy, which will lead to a weird numbing/tingling sensation in your arms and legs.

15. Difficulty breathing

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If you eat something containing gluten and within minutes start to feel short of breath, it is almost certain that you have an allergy to it. Allergies are extremely serious and its very important that if you're suspicious of being allergic to gluten, you make sure you get the correct tests to check.

16. Canker Sores

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Canker sores can be very common, and the reasons people develop then can go on forever. Despite this, approximately 6% of people suffering with a gluten intolerance mark them as one of their symptoms. This isn't perfect science, but is likely down to the inflammation of the mucous membrane lining inside your mouth.

17. Iron Deficiency

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Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency across the world, not to mention it accounts for 50% of all anemia cases globally. Celiac disease causes the disruption of nutrient absorption in the small intestine. This causes a drastic decrease in the amount of iron absorbed from food, resulting in a deficiency.

18. Ataxia

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Celiac disease can cause disorders that affect coordination, balance and speech, also known as ataxia. The exact symptoms and severity can vary drastically and very much depends on the individual it effects. Ataxia usually is a result from damage to the cerebellum but can also be caused by damage to other parts.

19. Microscopic colitis

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For the people who have celiac disease but for some reason choose not to stick to a gluten free diet, put themselves at a much higher risk of developing microscopic colitis. This is an inflammation of the large intestine which can cause persistent watery diarrhea and severe cramps.

20. Irritability

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Conditions such as celiac disease which affect the central nervous system can lead to irritability. Irritability is often described as situational stress, anxiety, annoyance or frustration. In addition, the likes of chronic pain and fatigue from celiac disease can further pronounce it.

21. Bone weakening

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Untreated celiac disease can often cause the malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D into the body. This can result in the softening of the bone in children and a loss of bone density in adults. Both osteomalacia (rickets) and osteoporosis can be developed as a result.

22. Bacterial growth in small intestine

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It's common for people with a mild gluten intolerance to be unaware of their condition. This often leads to them having a gluten contaminated diet which can lead a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine (SIBO). Eating gluten when you shouldn't can be very harmful over time.

23. Keratosis Pilaris

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Keratosis Pilaris, otherwise known as "chicken skin," is caused by a build up of keratin which blocks your hair follicles and pours. This is caused by a fatty acid deficiency alongside a vitamin A deficiency, which is caused by gluten damaging the absorption of nutrients in the gut.

24. Delayed puberty in children

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As you have probably realised by know celiac disease can greatly reduce your ability to absorb nutrients. One serious effect that the failure to absorb nutrients can result in for children is a delay in the start of puberty. The lack of certain vitamins can disrupt the hormonal balance which is needed to begin puberty.

25. You suffer from type 1 diabetes

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While type one diabetes itself isn't a sign you have a gluten intolerance, people suffering from the disease typically are at much higher risks of going on to have celiac disease. The imbalance of insulin can promote the development of celiac diseases.

26. Infertility and miscarriage

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Similar to the weakening of the bones, the malabsorption of both calcium and vitamin D can lead to serious problems. Infertility and miscarriage are another complication caused by celiac disease and if left untreated can rapidly worsen.

27. You avoid foods with gluten in!

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A good sign you're intolerant to gluten is simply not liking the way it tastes. You may hate the taste of foods high in gluten, such as bread and cereals, and you may also hate the taste of beer. This may just be due to personal preference, but it could also be your body warning you!

28. Your parents were gluten intolerant

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Celiac disease is very common to run in families. Therefore if a close family member has it, there's more than a good chance you could have it as well. If you're unsure about whether you have it, you're best seeing a doctor and getting yourself some tests. It's better to be safe than sorry!

29. Lactose intolerance

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If you find that you're intolerant to lactose, there's also a possibility this is an underlying sign your intolerant to gluten. The damage caused to your small intestine due to celiac disease can make your stomach lactose intolerant, therefore if you're lactose intolerant you may want to check if you're intolerant to gluten.

30. Headaches

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One survey from 2019 studied 866 people with celiac disease. The studied showed a pretty strong correlation between tension-type headaches and celiac disease, with over 50% suffering from persistent headaches and migraines.

31. Lots of gas!

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Gas/ wind/ or flatulence can lead to bloating or even pain. And, it results in you passing a lot of gas, probably frequently. This is a reaction to gluten which is caused due to the fact that your body cannot properly process or handle the gluten, resulting in excessive flatulence.

32. Poor appetite

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A common symptom of celiac disease, when the person either does not know or is continuing to eat a diet which contains gluten, is loss of appetite. The gluten is causing you body damage, and as a result it affects you appetite because your body is not responding well.

33. Irregular periods

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Many people with undiagnosed celiac disease have reported irregular periods. These may come in the form or super heavy periods, light periods, spotting or even skipping periods. This can be a sign and symptom that many people do not link with celiac disease.

34. Acid reflux and heartburn

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A recent study has linked heartburn in mild and severe cases to people with gluten intolerance. People with undiagnosed or untreated celiac disease may experience acid reflux or heartburn due to the acid clearance being effective because the oesophagus is hyper sensitive.

35. Skin rashes and blisters

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One sign of gluten intolerance or celiac disease is itchy and sore blisters. These blisters may occur most frequently on the knees, scalp, elbows , chest and buttocks. These skin problems are caused due to the damage of the lining of the small intestine.

36. Anxiety

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Many studies have shown that celiac disease does not only affect the body in a physical way, but it also has neurological factors to consider as signs of celiac disease. One of these are feelings of anxiety, which is now considered as a common symptom of untreated celiac disease.

37. Vomiting

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Vomiting is an extreme reaction. Some people will feel nausea, but others will physically vomit due to the ingestion of gluten. The vomiting can also be coupled with bloating or stomach cramps. These are caused when you continue to eat gluten in your diet.

38. Thin hair

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There has been strong links and connections made through research between people suffering from gluten intolerance or celiac disease and alopecia areata or thinning hair. This can vary from degrees of severity to think hair to complete baldness or hair loss.

39. Dull skin

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Dull skin can be a sign of many things, including a whole host of less serious problems or circumstances. But it is also a sign of celiac disease. Leaving the condition undiagnosed or continuing a gluten containing diet could lead to dry and dull looking skin.

40. Overly sensitive gums and teeth

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The symptom or sign of overly sensitive teeth and gums is particularly common in children with celiac disease. It can cause a burning sensation in the mouth, delayed formation of teeth, a feeling of a dry mouth as well as more cavities or yellow, decaying teeth than is usual.

41. Seizures

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Seizures are a very serious and scary sign of celiac disease. This symptom/ sign is most prevalent in children who are suffering from celiac disease but it can also occur in adults. This is due to the neurological affects that glute have on the body, causing seizures to happen.

42. Short stature

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Sometimes, celiac disease can mean that people develop later or shave stunted growth. This is because when someone gluten intolerant or celiac has gluten, it can damage the growth spurt. The autoimmune disease can cause hypothyroidism which can have resistance to the growth hormones in our body.

43. Lots of stress

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Celiac disease can unknowingly be causing a lot of stress for the person dealing with it, especially undiagnosed. Not only to your body, but also your mind. The stress on your body also leads to stress of the mind, as well as the disease causing neurological damage all on its own.

44. Feeling weak in your body

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If you are suffering from celiac disease and you ither do not know or you are not following the correct diet, your body will inevitably feel weak from consuming the gluten which is causing internal damage. And, it means you aren't absorbing what you need to make you strong.

45. Peeing more often than most

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Peeing more often than you notice other people pee, or experiencing pain when you do go to pee or even more seriously seeing blood, can be signs of serious conditions including celiac disease. It could be an adverse effect of consuming gluten in your diet.

46. You have down syndrome or Turner syndrome

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Having down syndrome or Turner syndrome are not signs that you have celiac disease. But, studies show that if you have down syndrome or Turner syndrome you are at a higher risk of having celiac disease so percentage wise, it is more likely.

47. It's particularly stinky when you go

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One sign as we know, is irregularities in bowel movements, for example, constipation of diarrhoea. Another sign is that when you go to the toilet for a number two, the smell is especially putrid. This may be hard to recognise in yourself if it is something that hasn't changed.

48. Disrupted sleep

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Another sign, one which many people would not automatically link as a sign, is disturbed sleep. When you have untreated or undiagnosed celiac you may find that your sleep is disturbed, you may not be able to have a full night sleep and are waking up feeling exhausted.

49. Difficulty concentrating

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It is not actually known why this happens. It is thought to be caused by a reaction to some of the antibodies in gluten. But why? It is not yet fully known. But it is thought that around  40% of people with gluten intolerance have experienced this as a symptom.

50. Reddened skin

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People with celiac disease may be more likely to suffer from the skin condition called psoriasis which is inflammation of the skin, and it appears as scaly and red. You may notice rough or reddened patched of skin, which could be a sign, coupled with others from the list.