7 signs of gluten intolerance.

Presse Santé

Gluten intolerance or non-celiac sensitivity to gluten, as it is also called, has some of the same symptoms as celiac disease, but is less severe. However, gluten intolerance can cause considerable discomfort. Lifestyle changes can be used to try to manage her symptoms. Gluten intolerance is often confused with celiac disease. But these are two separate diseases. Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disease that can damage a person’s digestive system.

Unlike celiac disease, it is not known exactly why the symptoms of gluten intolerance occur. But it does not appear to affect the immune system or damage the gastrointestinal or GI tract. Gluten intolerance can also sometimes be confused with wheat allergy. Wheat allergies can be life-threatening. This is because some symptoms can disrupt breathing or cause loss of consciousness, which is not the case with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Symptoms of gluten intolerance are less severe than symptoms of celiac disease or wheat allergy.

This article outlines seven symptoms associated with gluten intolerance along with foods that contain gluten.

Seven signs of gluten intolerance

Most of these symptoms appear shortly after consuming gluten. However, the exact combination of symptoms may vary. People who report gluten intolerance experience the following symptoms as one of the most common when they include gluten-containing foods in their regular diet.

1. Diarrhea and constipation

Symptoms of gluten intolerance may include constipation, fatigue, headaches and nausea. People who say they suffer from gluten intolerance say that regular diarrhea and constipation are a regular symptom. It is normal that you sometimes have such digestive problems, but having them can usually be an underlying disease. People with celiac disease may also have diarrhea and constipation. They may also have particularly foul-smelling stools, as this condition causes poor absorption of nutrients.

2. Flatulence

Flatulence is another very common symptom reported by people with gluten intolerance. It is a feeling of fullness, discomfort and longevity. It is also common for gas to accumulate. Overeating is the most common cause of bloating. But they can be caused by various reasons. In people with gluten intolerance, the feeling of bloating can occur very regularly and is not necessarily related to the amount of food eaten.

3. Abdominal pain

Likewise, several different causes can lead to abdominal pain. But again, people who report gluten intolerance often report having abdominal pain often and for no other apparent reason.

4. Fatigue

Fatigue is another symptom that people may have trouble identifying because it can have many different causes, many of which are unrelated to the condition. People with gluten intolerance may experience a feeling of persistent fatigue that disrupts their daily functioning.

5. Nausea

People with gluten intolerance may also feel sick, especially after eating gluten-containing foods. Nausea can have many causes, but if it often occurs after consuming gluten, it can be a sign of gluten intolerance.

6. Headaches

Regular headaches are another symptom that can occur in people with gluten intolerance.

7. Other symptoms

People with gluten intolerance can regularly experience many of these symptoms. Gluten intolerance can include other symptoms, but these are less common.

It can be:

joint and muscle pain
depression or anxiety
severe abdominal pain

How to diagnose gluten intolerance?

When gluten intolerance is suspected, it is necessary to first make sure that no more serious conditions, such as celiac disease or wheat allergy, are present. This is often done by taking blood, which is then tested for the presence of antibodies that could indicate celiac disease or wheat allergy. In some cases, additional tests may be necessary. Once a doctor has ruled out a more serious condition, it can still be difficult for him to confirm the presence of gluten intolerance because there are no tests for it. The most common method of determining whether gluten intolerance is present is to reduce or eliminate gluten from the diet and monitor the progress of symptoms. It can be helpful for a person to keep a food diary in which they record the food they eat and the symptoms they have.

Foods to avoid

Gluten-containing foods include wheat, rye and pasta.

People with gluten intolerance try to avoid all foods that contain gluten, ie foods that contain:

wheat and any wheat derivative such as spelled
barley, including malt
brewer’s yeast, which usually comes from beer.

This elimination policy excludes many types of food and drink. The most common foods and beverages containing gluten are:

bread and pastries
many pastries
pancakes, waffles and crepes
many sauces and sauces
malt-based beverages

How to reduce gluten intake

While people with celiac disease have to eliminate gluten from their diet as soon as a doctor diagnoses it, many people with gluten intolerance slowly reduce their gluten intake instead of eliminating it immediately. It may be helpful to start with one gluten-free meal a day, then gradually add more. It is not necessarily advantageous for all people with gluten intolerance to completely eliminate gluten from their diet. Because the severity of the symptoms varies from person to person.

Some people may be able to consume small amounts of gluten without having symptoms. However, most people with gluten intolerance may want to eliminate gluten from their diet.


celiac disease (nd)

Gluten sensitivity. (nd)

Lebwohl, B., Ludvigsson, JF, & Green, PHR (2015, October 5). Celiac disease and non-celiac sensitivity to gluten. The BMJ, 351, h4347

Molina-Infante, J., Santolaria, S., Sanders, DS, & Fernández-Bañares, F. (2015, March 6). Systematic review: Non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Food Pharmacology and Therapy, 41 (9), 807–820

wheat allergy. (nd)

* Presse Santé strives to impart health knowledge in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT can the information provided replace the advice of a healthcare professional.

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