Gluten allergy symptoms can be very distressing, but the good news is they can be managed. This article will help you decide if you might have a gluten allergy. Other articles on this website help describe how to manage it.
Whether you have a gluten allergy or celiac disease, management is the same: avoid all gluten. Still, I highly recommend you get a test for celiac to rule out this disease. If you have a gluten allergy, you don’t need to worry about tiny amounts of gluten in your diet as long as you feel OK. On the other hand, if you have celiac disease, you must eliminate all gluten, even if you feel OK.
Gluten allergies are relatively common. Some studies indicate that 1 in 167 apparently healthy children (0.6%) and 1 in 111 adults (0.9%) have a gluten allergy. When people with gastrointestinal complaints were studied, 1 in 40 children (2.5%) and 1 in 30 adults (3.3%) were found to have a gluten allergy. This makes a gluten allergy quite common, especially when people with chronically uncomfortable guts are considered.
The only way to verify a gluten allergy is by going on a gluten-free diet and seeing if symptoms go away. watch out for the following symptoms as a guideline.
Symptoms of a Gluten Allergy
- Upper repository tract problems (sustains, glue ear)
- Brain fog
- Absentmindedness / chronic forgetfulness
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Mouth ulcers
- Iron-deficiency anaemia
- Weight loss
- Short stature in children
- Abdominal bloating
- Crohn’s disease
- Attention deficit and behavioral problems (in children and adults)
- Skin problems
- Keratosis pilaris
- Wheat-Dependent Exercise-Induced Anaphylaxis
Please note several things when considering this list:
- Individual symptoms can vary tremendously. Someone with a gluten allergy will probably not have all of these symptoms, and may have other symptoms not listed here.
- Although some symptoms seem contradictory, it is possible to alternate between one symptom and another, for example between diarrhoea and constipation.
- Just because someone has one, some or all of these symptoms, does not mean to say they definitely have a gluten allergy. Other causes are possible.
Unless you have celiac, you can often decide whether to include gluten in your diet based on how you feel when you eat gluten. If eliminating gluten from your diet makes you feel better, and you find it is worth the effort, then that is enough reason to stop eating wheat, barley and rye.
For parents, it is a matter of observing your children’s behavior as well as asking them how they feel.
Doctors often think they know better. If you feel better when you avoid gluten, follow what your body tells you.
Avoiding gluten can be the key to more energy and clear thinking for many people.
There are tests to see if you have celiac disease or a type-I food sensitivity (classic allergy).
These are not the only root cause for a gluten sensitivity however. Many, if not most people who are effected by gluten will get negative test results.
This is why I strongly recommend an elimination diet, even if laboratory tests come up negative.
Gluten and Fatigue
One of my biggest complaints when I am suffering from my allergies is fatigue. Everything and anything seems like too much effort.
There are many reasons why you might feel fatigue. If you’ve looked into other causes and not come up with anything, I suggest you try cutting out wheat, rye, and barley, in other words gluten, from your diet for eight weeks and see if you get some, most or all of your energy back.
Gluten Allergy and Leaky Gut Syndrome
There is a close link between gluten allergy and leaky gut syndrome. For more information, see the article leaky gut syndrome on this website.
- Gluten-Free Diet Story by Ashley
- Gluten Linked to Seizures and Epilepsy
- Celiac vs. Gluten
- Gluten Allergy Description, Severe Case
- Top 20 Food Allergies with Delayed Reactions
- Self-Testing for Food Allergies
- Allergy Symptoms
- Wikipedia on celiac
- Canadian Celiac Association
- National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse
- Coeliac UK
- Celiac US
- Open Directory Project – celiac
- US Gluten Free Restaurant Program
- Wikipedia on Gluten
- Canadian Society of Intestinal Research
- Science in Africa
Gluten Allergies – What is Your Experience?
What is your experience with gluten allergy symptoms? Have you been able to diagnose your gluten allergy? Are you sure that is what you have? Were you tested for celiac disease? Please share your questions, comments and experiences. Leave a comment.