What is gluten intolerance?
Gluten intolerance (also known as gluten sensitivity) is a condition whereby you become allergic to immuno-antibodies which damages the villi projections in the small intestine. Being intolerant to gluten means you are allergic to it, and your body tends to react to it.
Gluten is a protein that triggers autoimmune damages to villi projections in the small intestine.
When you can’t tolerate gluten it’s a sign of complications of celiac diseases. Being allergic to gluten means gluten triggers the production of antibodies which destroy or damage tissues in the body. Gluten is commonly found in grain foods such as barley, wheat, rye, and oat.
One of the classical symptoms of gluten intolerance is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This is often noticed in adults, but it is often mistaken for another medical condition.
In 2013, Dr. Alessio Fasano an expert researcher along with others in a study stated that, “Both Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity may present with a variety of neurologic and psychiatric co-morbidities.
What are the signs of gluten intolerance?
When you are gluten intolerant, the following signs are noticeable:
- Dental enamel defects.
- Osteoporosis of the bone.
- Depression and anxiety.
- Anemia due to malabsorption of iron or folic acid in foods.
- Brain fog ( that is been unable to think clearly).
- Keratosis pilaris a condition characterized by development of ‘chicken skin’ at the back of your arm.
- Hormonal imbalance, unexplained infertility and ovarian conditions such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome),
Those who has the following autoimmune conditions are at a higher risk of becoming allergic to gluten:
- lupus erythematous
- rheumatoid arthritis
- thyroid disease
- autoimmune liver disease
- Addison’s disease
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Down syndrome
- Turner syndrome
- intestinal cancer.
- multiple sclerosis.
- Ulcerative colitis.
Symptoms of gluten allergy
Symptoms of gluten intolerance are the same as gluten allergy, however, no two experiences are the same.
If you experience any of the following gluten intolerance symptoms, then you are being sensitive to gluten:
- Feeling tired after meals especially those that contain gluten such as wheat, barley, rye etc.
- Diarrhea, gas bloating and constipation.
- Neurological symptoms such as dizziness, or feeling off balance.
- Migraine headaches.
How do I alleviate my gluten allergy symptoms
When it is already established that you are intolerant of gluten, treatment by elimination diet can help to reduce the impact of gluten and the allergic reactions.
Treatment by elimination involves removing gluten from your food completely, any processed food with a clear inscription label reading ‘gluten’ should be avoided at all cost. If you notice any difference in the symptoms you experience, the best thing is to stay off such foods.
However, if there is no difference, consult with your doctor. So also a trip to a nutritionist will help a lot on the best combinations of food you can eat to avoid gluten intolerance.
Gluten takes time to clear off from the system. So if you discover that elimination diet works for you, stick to it.
Gluten allergy symptoms tends to aggravate when the allergen is present, over time, these symptoms may be very obvious if proper diagnosis is not made with treatments taken.
Other gluten intolerance symptoms includes the following:
- Muscle spasm
- Tingling sensation all around the body especially at the extremities of the body (the fingers and toes).
- Canker sores in the mouth and dental caries.
- Adrenal fatigue.
- Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriaris.
- Low immunity. This can lead to frequent hospital visits due to exposure to several other pathogens and infections.
In the management of gluten intolerance, it is always the best to know the underlying causes of the symptoms mentioned above before treatment, however, certain drugs such as epinephrine, antihistamines, and corticosteroids has been indicated as drugs of choice for managing, alleviating and reversing gluten intolerance symptoms as it is a major indication of food allergy.