Gluten sensitivity: how to recognize it

Some of the ailments we usually experience could be the consequence of gluten intolerance. It may be helpful to temporarily eliminate it from our diet to see if symptoms subside. 

For some years now, in almost all supermarkets, it is possible to find the shelf dedicated to “gluten-free” or “gluten-free” products, for people suffering from gluten sensitivity.

It must be noted, however, that some of us are buying and consuming them without really knowing their meaning.

To begin with, it is important to clarify what gluten is. It is a protein found in foods such as wheat, rye, and barley.

If you are not intolerant, gluten has no negative effect. On those who are, however, it can trigger a series of symptoms and get to seriously compromise health.

At the moment 55 diseases related to this protein have been recognized; moreover, it is estimated that most people intolerant to gluten have not received any medical diagnosis.

The lack of unambiguous symptoms or ignoring the existence of gluten sensitivity makes it difficult to pinpoint this problem.

So let’s see what are the signs that could indicate the need to eliminate gluten from the diet.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity

1. Gastrointestinal disorders


One of the most common symptoms of gluten sensitivity is digestive and intestinal disorders.

After eating foods that contain gluten, it is common for the person who is intolerant to feel malaise and symptoms such as, for example:

  • Abdominal swelling.
  • Constipation or diarrhea.
  • Presence of gas.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Dyschezia (inability to carry out the act of defecation).

If this is the case, eliminating all foods that contain this protein will assist in the disappearance or reduction of symptoms.

2. Fatigue

After consuming wheat or any other cereal containing gluten, some people experience fatigue and difficulty concentrating.

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A continuous sense of fatigue and weakness could indicate, in general, the need to change something in the diet.

3. Headache


Gluten triggers inflammatory processes that affect the nervous system in some people.

One of the reactions could be continuous headaches and migraines.

4. Hormonal imbalances

PMS, polycystic ovary syndrome, and infertility are sometimes linked to gluten intolerance.

In the presence of these disorders, some gynecologists and doctors recommend, therefore, eliminating the foods that contain them.

5. Joint pains


As they have already mentioned, gluten can increase the inflammatory state of our body, triggering negative health reactions.

One of the most troubling effects relates to the joints. In fact, gluten often causes swelling and pain; the most affected areas are usually the hands and knees.

6. Keratosis pilaris

The keratosis pilaris or follicular is a skin disease characterized by the appearance of small grains coarse, pale red. This condition is linked to poor absorption of vitamin A and essential fatty acids.

In the case of gluten intolerance, malabsorption is unfortunately due to intestinal damage resulting from prolonged exposure to this protein.

7. Fibromyalgia


Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic pain and stiffness of muscles and joints. Unlike other diseases, it causes a constant pain sensation, the origin of which is not entirely clear.

Although linked to various factors, it is thought that eliminating gluten from the diet can help control the symptoms.

8. Neurological disorders

The inflammation caused by gluten in the nervous system and at the same time, the weakening of the immune defenses can lead to neurological symptoms including dizziness and a tingling sensation.

9. Autoimmune diseases

Consuming gluten-containing foods can, as we have said, increase inflammation. This can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases such as:

  • Psoriasis
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Scleroderma
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sclerosis
  • Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

10. Behavioral Disorders

Some of the more common behavioral disorders show some improvement when gluten is completely eliminated from the diet. Between these:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD or attention deficit disorder
  • Stress
  • Irritability

Symptoms of gluten intolerance are generally variable and common to other disorders.  Therefore, it may take some time before receiving a certain diagnosis.

If you have identified any of these symptoms, the best thing to do first is talk to your doctor who will prescribe a specific test. Alternatively, you can temporarily avoid the consumption of foods containing gluten and check the progress of symptoms.


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