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What Are the Most Common Gluten Intolerance Symptoms?

Most breads contain gluten.
Stomach pain is a common symptom of gluten intolerance.
Dermatitis herpetiformis is just one symptom of a gluten intolerance.
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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 29 July 2014
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Those with gluten intolerance usually show several different symptoms, making it crucial that they only ingest gluten-free food products in order to eliminate the issue. Some of the most common gluten intolerance symptoms include depression, irritability, fatigue, and sudden weight changes. Digestive issues are also common among those suffering from this autoimmune disorder, including stomach pain, bloating, constipation, and cramping. Finally, frequent infections can be a sign of gluten intolerance, as well, as the immune system is usually compromised. Since many of these symptoms can signal various disorders, gluten intolerance is only usually diagnosed when nearly all of them are observed in a patient.

One of the most common gluten intolerance symptoms that people may complain about it extreme fatigue. This is not surprising since this symptom is one of the most complained about when it comes to any illness, but gluten intolerance also comes with a host of additional signs, such as depression and irritability. Another one of the most frequent gluten intolerance symptoms is unexplained weight gain when following a diet that features foods with gluten, though some people also experience sudden weight loss.

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Some of the most commonly observed gluten intolerance symptoms have to do with the digestive system, which may not be surprising since the main culprit of this disorder is a food product. Constipation and subsequent bloating tend to show up in those suffering from gluten sensitivity. On the other hand, diarrhea and abdominal pain are also often noticed in those with gluten intolerance. Some people may experience diarrhea and constipation on alternating days, leading to cramping, stomach pain, and general discomfort.

While the inability to fight off many infections may seem unrelated to this medical condition, it is actually expected since gluten intolerance results in destruction to the small intestine's lining. Since this is where much of the body's immune system is located, it should come as no surprise that the antibodies that normally fight off infection are scarce. This leaves the mucus membranes, such as the eyes, mouth, sinuses, and vagina, at the mercy of pathogens, often leading to frequent colds and infections affecting the sinuses, vagina, eyes, and urinary tract. Additionally, the respiratory and digestive tracts are also greatly affected by the scarcity of antibodies, leading to frequent stomach issues, including ulcers and intestinal upset. Other seemingly unrelated gluten intolerance symptoms include infertility in men and women, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, lactose intolerance, headaches, mood swings, and aching bones and joints.

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Discuss this Article

ddljohn
Post 3

We went over this in my summer course today. We learned that gluten intolerance can also cause skin problems- like rashes, eczema and hives. My instructor said that some people experience defects in their teeth or may have problems with memory, like poor short-term memory or difficulty paying attention.

These symptoms are actually all very surprising to me because I didn't know that this was an immune disease. I thought it was food allergies and only caused digestive problems. I would have never thought that it could affect mood or memory.

SteamLouis
Post 2

@feruze-- My doctor had me fill out a questionnaire that had about forty questions about my eating habits, digestive symptoms and psychological and hormonal situation. Answering yes to five or more questions meant that I might have gluten intolerance and answering yes to nine or more questions meant that I most likely had gluten intolerance.

I had a lot of positives and so I had further tests done which diagnosed my intolerance. So, you are right, it can be hard to tell especially because a lot of the physical symptoms of gluten intolerance show up many hours later. Diarrhea, bloating, gas and fatigue may not even show up until the next day.

That's why if you suspect it you should go to the doctor and have them look at your situation. You might be able to get a hold of the same questionnaire I mentioned online as well. It would at least give you an idea.

If you eliminate gluten from your diet and see the symptoms go away, that's also a good way of figuring out if you have gluten intolerance.

bear78
Post 1

Wow, you are right, there appear to be wide range of symptoms of gluten intolerance. I feel like I have all of them, sometimes more severely and sometimes less.

It also reminds me of some of the symptoms of hyper-acidity and ulcers. I used to have this problem because of a stomach bug. I would like to know, are there any other specific symptoms that separate gluten intolerance from other problems? I agree that it would be easy to confuse them.

How will someone know to go to the doctor to get tested for this?

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