Gluten is a protein commonly found in grains such as rye, barley, and wheat. A person with gluten intolerance experiences discomfort, usually in the form of bloating and stomach pain. These symptoms arise when a gluten-intolerant person has knowingly or unknowingly consumed food with gluten. 

Research studies have found that approximately 6% of the population has gluten intolerance. The condition is also referred to as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Gluten intolerance is often confused with celiac disease as the symptoms are very similar. Gluten intolerance can also be mistaken for wheat allergy or intestinal conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

brown bread on brown wooden table

Many people do not realize they have gluten intolerance until they face problems. First and foremost, you need to know the common symptoms associated with gluten intolerance. These symptoms usually appear after consuming food containing gluten. But the symptoms tend to vary. 

People With Gluten Intolerance Report The Following Conditions:

Constipation or Diarrhea

Constipation or diarrhea are the most common symptoms of gluten intolerance. People with this condition usually report digestive problems on a regular basis. They may also have bowel movements that smell very unpleasant as a result of poor nutrition absorption.

Woman Lying on Couch

Bloating

Whenever there is constipation, there will be gas and bloating. People feel that their stomach is tender and full. The feeling can last for an extended period of time and is quite uncomfortable. One of the primary causes of bloating is overeating but it can be caused by other factors as well. People with gluten intolerance have episodes of bloating that do not seem to have any relation to the food or how much they are consuming.

Pain in the Abdomen

Whenever there is bloating, gas and constipation, there will be pain in the abdomen or stomach area. However, people with gluten intolerance might experience tenderness and pain in the abdomen without any particular reason.

Fatigue

Fatigue has different causes that might not be directly related to any type of medical condition. However, some of those who have gluten intolerance have shared that they have a continuing feeling of fatigue. They feel so tired that it impacts their normal life. 

Other Less Prevalent Symptoms

People often feel nauseated just after they eat something which contains gluten. Now, nausea can have other causes as well. Although we advise taking notice whenever you get this feeling after you eat, it might be a sign that you have gluten intolerance. Experiencing headaches on a regular basis is also a symptom of the condition.

Now that you know about the symptoms, how do you get yourself treated? 

The first step is to visit a doctor for testing and diagnosis. 

Diagnosis of Gluten Intolerance

It is important to ensure that gluten intolerance and celiac disease or wheat allergy are not confused. A blood test is recommended which helps in determining the presence of various antibodies that indicate a wheat allergy or celiac disease. It is often quite challenging for a doctor to confirm that you have gluten intolerance because there is no test which confirms this.

One of the methods for discovering gluten intolerance is to remove gluten from the diet. After gluten is completely removed from the diet, then symptoms are monitored. Maintaining a food diary that keeps a record of everything eaten each day, and any symptoms that occurr afterward is the best way to keep track of things . We encourage you to keep a food diary anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months, this will help you and your doctor to recognize any patterns and causes of symptoms.

If someone has gluten intolerance the only remedy for this condition, which is the same solution for those with celiac disease, is to avoid foods with gluten and keep to a strict gluten-free diet. Close-up of Milk Against Blue Background

Diet for Gluten Intolerance 

A gluten-free diet avoids foods known to be full of gluten and those which could possibly be contaminated by gluten. It may seem that eliminating gluten rules out many of your typical meals, however, there are many types of fresh foods that can still be part of your diet. These include:

  • Eggs
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Poultry, fish, lean unprocessed meat
  • Legumes, beans, and nuts in their unprocessed forms
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • and more. 

There are a few flours, starches, and grains which are part of a gluten diet. These include flax, arrowroot, soy, millet, quinoa, amaranth, corn, buckwheat, tapioca, teff, and many more.

Foods to Avoid When You Have Gluten Intolerance:

  • Oats (Unless certified gluten free like the Oats we have available here.)
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Food processed in facilities that share equipment with wheat. 
Oats | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public ...

Keep in mind that most products that come packaged and processed will have gluten or cross-contamination. It is important that you look for certified gluten-free products or products that are packaged in gluten-free facilities, like all of our products, mixes, and long term food storage options here. 

Be aware, that Gluten is not just in food, several products in the cosmetic industry are also known to have gluten. We encourage you to read the label and check the packaging on every product, particularly if you are very sensitive to gluten. 

Gluten intolerance is easy to manage when you have the right tools, recipes, flours, and support. 

As always, here at Eating Gluten Free we are here to help you find resources, recipes, and products you can trust to make life taste good again. Our products, mixes, and flours have been formulated and designed to help you create delicious gluten-free dishes and baked goods in your home that the whole family can enjoy.