Having a sensitivity to gluten can be quite common, and while sometimes it's hard to formally diagnose an illness, the body has its way of telling you that it just isn't feeling so hot. If you notice that your body reacts poorly to gluten, try a visit to a physician or an elimination of gluten from the diet to get a better understanding as to how your body is handling the substance and the following required steps that can help you feel.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on fixing up their diets to make sure that digestion is optimal and that they feel comfortable in their skin post meal. If the body starts to feel out of whack, it's important to think about what could be hurting it and to try and fix the problem asap to avoid future damage. Often times, those who suffer from gluten encounter tummy troubles, and such issues can become chronic if the offenders are not removed from the body. If gluten is an offender, you need to note it and learn how to live a life free (or mostly free, if you're not allergic) of gluten, in order to feel as comfortable and healthy as possible. Here are 11 ways to know that you might have an intolerance to gluten and that it's time to figure out a new dietary lifestyle that could better serve your body.
1. Unexplained Discomfort
“Approximately 25 million people require gluten-free foods due to Celiac Disease or gluten avoidance according to The Gluten-Free Agency, and there’s an overwhelming amount of people living with gluten sensitivities that go undiagnosed. When in doubt, select foods that are marked gluten-free or that contain the Certified Gluten Free emblem," advises Scott Wallace, president at Royal Hawaiian Macadamia Nut, Inc. over email with Bustle.
2. Stomach Aches
Wallace says that people who are sensitive or intolerant to gluten may experience "upset stomach and irregular bowel movements" and such abdominal pain can become chronic, unless gluten is eliminated from the diet. Stomach issues can lead to poor digestion, and an inability to break food down with ease can mess with your daily activities.
"Many people would be surprised to learn that experiencing chronic mood swings or anxiety and depression can be a telltale sign of gluten sensitivities," says Wallace. If you notice that you're feeling moodier than usual or are in a chronically low mental state, without another explanation, it could be attributed to the gluten that you're eating.
4. Inflammation In Joints
Wallace says that inflamed joints, which can be rather painful and hindering for normal, day-to-day tasks, can occur if someone has a gluten sensitivity and is eating a diet that contains gluten products. "Signs can include inflammation of joints and fibromyalgia," says Wallace. If you notice these symptoms, see a physician.
5. Irregular Bowel Movements
Usually to couple abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements, such as diarrhea, constipation, and painful poops, can be a common sign of someone with a gluten sensitivity or intolerance, advises Kaitlin Holliday, Chief of Staff of Exo and NSCA certified strength and conditioning specialist, over email with Bustle.
If you notice your face is starting to look a bit like pepperoni pizza, it could be a sign that gluten is certainly not your friend. It's common to experience flare ups and breakouts when consuming gluten, if you are prone to having a sensitivity. If your skin isn't looking so hot, and you're not dealing with any other stresses that might cause it, consider gluten as a trigger.
7. Change In Weight
While weight fluctuations can differ from people with gluten sensitivities, many people encounter weight gain, advised Dr. Hyman, on his website. Due to the rise in inflammation, such stresses in the body can result in a weight fluctuation, and it's important to be mindful of it, as the cause of weight gain can have an underlining health issue.
8. Mental Fatigue
If you notice you're not as mentally sharp at the office lately, it could be due to a diet issue, as a gluten intolerance can impair cognitive abilities and make you mentally tired, advised Robynne K. Chutkan, MD, FASGE Assistant Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital Founder and Medical Director, Digestive Center for Women over interview with Dr. Oz. Such phenomenon can be coined as "leaky gut syndrome," as explained.
9. Physical Fatigue
On his website, health expert, David Wolfe, explained that physical fatigue and lack of motivation for movement can be a sign of gluten intolerance, and such fatigue can interfere with your daily activities. If you're chronically tired, consider an elimination diet or book an appointment with a doctor.
Dr. Peter Osborne and Dr. Tom O’Bryan explained over the organization Gluten Free Society, that headaches and migraines can be a symptom of a gluten sensitivity, and such issues can be burdensome if left untreated. If you notice a frequency of migraines, when you're not usually a migraine victim, consider seeing a physician.
If you show signs of infertility, it could actually be a result of what you're eating, as gluten sensitivity can lower fertility if gluten is still consumed regularly, advised Utica Park Clinic OB/GYN, Corey Babb, D.O on Hillcrest Hospital South's website. Ask your physician for details regarding gluten sensitivity issues, and try an elimination diet to see if things improve.
Having a gluten sensitivity is not the end of the world, but you will need to be more mindful before taking a bite. There are so many gluten-free options to choose from now, from baked goods, pizza, mac n' cheese, and other delicious foods that can please any gluten sensitive palate. Be honest with yourself and do what's best for your body.
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