Gluten Allergy – How Do I Know If I Have One? | Allergy

Gluten Allergy – How Do I Know If I Have One?

by Allergy Guy

Gluten allergy – how do I know if I have one?  There are a few clues, but some of them are misleading. Pay close attention to this!

First, we have to look at possible gluten allergy symptoms, and what they can be confused with.  We also have to differentiate with a more serious condition triggered by eating gluten.

Gluten Allergy Symptoms

Most people suffer the symptoms of a gluten allergy for quite some time before realizing that the cause is a gluten allergy.

Watch out for the following symptoms:

  • Upset stomach over the long term, with no good explanation
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Lack of energy
  • Brain fog
  • Poor memory

For more complete information, see the list of articles at the bottom of this one.

The problem with diagnosing the cause of these symptoms is that they could be caused by almost anything, including other food allergies, environmental allergies, other types of disease, depression, inability to digest milk … just to name a few.

While it is possible to get tests for a gluten allergy, they are not all that accurate.  They may provide false positives or false negatives, meaning they may say you have a gluten allergy when you don’t, or say you don’t when you do.

If you suspect a gluten allergy, the best test is to go on a gluten free diet, and see if the symptoms go away.

Celiac Disease – Worse Than a Gluten Allergy

If your symptoms go away when you go on a gluten free diet for a month or two, does that mean you have a gluten allergy?

Not necessarily.  You could have celiac disease instead.

Celiac disease is treated the same way as a gluten allergy – by eliminating all gluten from your diet.

The difference is that with a gluten allergy, you can decide if avoiding gluten is worth the trouble, based on how much the symptoms annoy you.

With celiac disease, there are long-term and initially hidden effects that can completely ruin your health, even cause terminal disease, if you do not maintain a strict gluten free diet.

For this reason, it is much more important that you get tested for celiac disease than for a gluten allergy.

Gluten Fee Diet Challenge

Before undertaking the gluten challenge, you must be tested for celiac disease.  A celiac test will not be accurate if you have not been eating gluten, and as explained above, it is important to know, unless you have the self-discipline to avoid gluten, even if small amounts don’t seem to bother you.

If you suspect that gluten is affecting your health in any way, the first thing you can do is go on a gluten free diet for at least 8 weeks.

If many or most of your symptoms either go away or become consistently less, get tested for celiac disease.

If that test is negative, you can decide to what extent a gluten free diet is worth following to avoid your gluten allergy symptoms.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shakib Bashi June 17, 2010 at 10:31

Sirs,
I am suffering from diarrhea, after many investigations I had to make the following lab tests:
1) AGLA, Anti Gliadin Antibody: IgA —— Result 5.9 U/mL
2) AGLG, Anti Gliadin Antibody: IgG —— Result 2.1 U/mL
3) TTA, Tissue Transglutaminase: IGA —- Result 24 U/mL
According to my specialist, the diarrhea that I am suffering is due to GLUTEN ALLERGY and the only remedy is to avoid foods that containing Gluten , according to my Doctor.( Gluten Fee Diet)
My question: Is there any medicine to cure this gluten allergy?
Thanks & Regards
Shakib Bashi

Reply

2 Allergy Guy June 17, 2010 at 12:41

Firstly, you have to be clear on whether you have a gluten allergy or celiac disease.

Secondly there is no cure to either, although a new drug in development may help protect celiacs from occasional accidental ingestion of small amounts of gluten. This does not change the basic need for a gluten free diet (which applies to both gluten allergy and celiac disease).

The advantage to a gluten free diet is that because you have to be more careful with your food, and because most junk food must be eliminated, you are forced to eat a more healthy diet.

It is a pain in the beginning, but it does get easier, especially when you notice how much better you feel when you cut out gluten.

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