Are you experiencing digestion problem right after eating cereals, like, wheat or barley or oats or rye? How often are you experiencing these symptoms? If yes, then read this article to know whether these issues are triggering to gluten intolerance symptoms or something else.
What is Gluten?
Gluten – a sticky, stringy protein found in cereals such as wheat, barley, oats, rye, etc. Gluten is often used in the preparations of bread and pizza dough; as it forms a matrix which holds the carbon dioxide bubbles formed during the fermentation of yeast. This process makes the bread and pizza chewable. Gluten also serves as a thickener in dozens of products, ranging from salad dressing to the preparations of soy sauce. Moreover, a fair amount of gluten is contained even in the beer.
Reasons behind Gluten Intolerance Symptoms
‘Gluten’ is a relatively new addition to the list of human diets. Since the evolution of human species, people ate mainly animal protein with the addition of fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, veggie seeds, etc. Prior to the Neolithic period – around 9500 BC – And the transition to agriculture, people did not use carbohydrates and gluten in the form of grains. In terms of evolution, it sounds like as if we started doing it yesterday. As our teeth still set to break the meat and plants and not to process the flour, our digestive system is not yet fully adjusted to the proper handling of complex carbohydrates (which also applies to lactose – milk). Therefore, human digestive system is still unable to break down the gluten molecules and their constituent amino acids thoroughly.
Is Gluten Harmful?
Though human digestive system is not fully adaptive to digest gluten, most of the people around the world are leading healthy lives after consuming gluten food on a regular basis. Even if, the body cannot fully recycle gluten or lactose, it causes no harm to majority people. Once ‘Gluten sensitivity’ was considered as a rare digestive disease that affects one in every ten thousand people around the world. However, at present the prevalence of gluten sensitivity among people is increasing rapidly. Because, the pattern and volume of applying gluten products in industrially produced foods has been widely increased. If the gluten intolerance symptoms are ignored continuously, it may damage the ‘villis’ – a tiny structure that absorbs nutrients from digested food – of the intestine tract. However, for every one in seven Americans is suffering from sensitivity to gluten.
Common Gluten Intolerance Symptoms
Gluten Intolerance as well as the consequences of celiac disease is not easy to distinguish at an early stage. Very often, gluten intolerant people experience a great number of symptoms. However, medical tests do not always give the accurate results and fails to detect ‘celaic disease or gluten sensitivity. Traditional blood test for ‘gluten intolerance’ only checks the availability of Gliadin, which is one of the six polypeptides composed of wheat. However, there are 5 polypeptides:
- Gliadin and
- Omega prodinorfin.
Any one of them or a combination two or more may cause ‘gluten intolerance’ or ‘gluten sensitivity’. However, the symptoms of Gluten sensitivity can be attributed to some other health problems. Even those who suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease have reported various symptoms. Therefore, defining the symptoms of gluten sensitivity is quite difficult. In the following section, the most common symptoms have been stated that may help you to suspect the presence of gluten intolerance in your intestines. Sometimes the symptoms of gluten sensitivity appear right away after eating and do not last longer. However, in other cases, the symptoms of gluten intolerance can last for weeks or occur chronically.
The most common symptoms of gluten intolerance are:
- Problems in the digestive tract, stomach, and intestines that create digestive problems including flatulence, nausea, abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
- Headache and / or migraine.
- Fibromyalgia – not a disease, a syndrome. This symptoms comes with pain in the muscles and tissues.
- Emotional problems, including frequent irritability and sudden mood-swings.
- The neurological problems, including dizziness, balance problems, peripheral neuropathy, etc. that affects the nerves outside the central nervous system. These issues are recognized by symptoms, like pain, weakness, numbness of the limbs, etc.
- Fatigue is another symptom of gluten sensitivity. It may be chronic or temporary after taking meals with gluten food. Chronic fatigue syndrome, such as, fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than the disease itself. However, if you are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, then it means that your doctor can not specify the real cause of your fatigue.
Therefore, you may think that these symptoms are also common in many other diseases. However, the diagnosis of gluten intolerance based on symptoms is quite difficult.
How to Diagnose Gluten Sensitivity/Intolerance
- First, list the symptoms that you are going through both occasional and chronic. Do not make assumptions, such as “My back pain – the result of sitting on the couch for too long.” Do not try to find explanations behind these symptoms immediately.
- Then eat diet with gluten-free foods for continuous 60 days. If you feel that you do not stand up, it could mean that you have celiac dependency. We often dependent on the products to which we are allergic. This gluten-free diet can include quinoa, sorghum, buckwheat, rice, etc. The packaged product may contain gluten. Carefully read the label. You can exclude from your diet processed foods and sauces. After 60 days, review your records and determine how many symptoms are still remaining. If they have almost disappeared, you can continue to eat that way. If you are not sure, go back to the old style food and see, if the symptoms return. After 6 months of gluten-free diet, you can gradually return to some of the products that you have stopped.
How to Diagnose Celiac Disease
Each case of gluten intolerance symptoms does not lead to the celiac disease. Celiac disease can be diagnosed through blood tests as well as intestinal biopsy. The best practical healing for the celiac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet strictly. 99% of the individuals experiencing gluten sensitivity do not bear celiac disease. Interestingly, many gluten sensitive people feel better after taking gluten-free diet.