Diagnosing a gluten allergy can sometimes be as difficult as finding a needle in a haystack. Gluten allergy symptoms (often referred to as gluten intolerance symptoms) run the gamut from digestive problems to skin irritations and allergies to a general feeling of malaise. Some of these symptoms are more frequently seen while others can be unique to an individual. Knowing the symptoms, from the more common to the less, can make a diagnosis easier and send the patient on the road to healing quicker.
Common Gluten Allergy Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms for a gluten allergy are digestive issues. These can range from constipation and/or diarrhea to gas and abdominal bloating, or even simply a chronic feeling of discomfort throughout the digestive tract that sometimes people think is just a way of life. Some people have aversions to gluten filled foods as they tend not to agree with them; this can be an indicator.
Other common gluten allergy symptoms are skin sensitivities, like eczema and chronic rashes. Fatigue is another consistent complaint of those suffering from this allergy. Once the allergy is diagnosed, people often connect other symptoms that they may not have noticed earlier, like hair loss or thinning and dark circles under the eyes. While these are often not the major complaint, they are common symptoms and can be good indicators of a gluten allergy.
Less Common Gluten Allergy Symptoms
Some symptoms that can indicate an allergy to gluten but are not as common as others are chronic infections, headaches and joint pain. People with a gluten allergy may be more prone to ear infections, sinus infections and sore throats, as the body is busy fighting the allergy and cannot defend other infections. Failure to thrive or unexplained weight loss is also a symptom that can go unnoticed. Other symptoms are infertility, anemia, arthritis and other bone conditions, vitamin deficiencies, and mouth issues, like sores or dental problems. The difficult part is many of these symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions.
Gluten allergy symptoms, wheat allergy symptoms and celiac symptoms can overlap and look the same, but these three conditions are actually quite different. In the case of Celiac Disease, all gluten needs to be avoided, even trace amounts, or the lining of the intestines can suffer to great degrees. A gluten allergy needs to be managed through avoidance, as well, but trace amounts of gluten can be normally tolerated, such as bread crumbs from other foods.
A wheat allergy is usually considered in the realm of the big 8 allergies and again, all wheat needs to be avoided. Gluten can also be found in more than wheat, including rye, barley and spelt, so whereas those with a wheat allergy can substitute many of these other grains for wheat, gluten allergy sufferers need to stay away from it all.
Managing a gluten allergy with a gluten free diet is the best plan. Where it may seem difficult at first, more and more people are beginning to eat this way whether due to the allergy or completely voluntary for better well being. Stores are offering wider varieties of gluten free foods, and it is easy to find gluten free recipes with some simple substitutions and recreations of classic meals.
Gluten allergy symptoms are the flashing lights of a gluten allergy that is begging to be diagnosed and managed. For those with a diagnosed allergy, they often report a big difference in the way they feel when their diet is free of gluten. It is important to know the symptoms in order to gain a clear diagnosis.