Gluten intolerance causes intestinal symptoms such as flatulence, stomach pain, diarrhea or constipation, but these signs can also appear in several other diseases, so often this type of intolerance is not diagnosed. When it is severe, it can cause Celiac Disease, which may cause stronger and more frequent symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea.
This allergy to gluten can occur in both children and adults, and is due to the inability or difficulty in digesting gluten, which is a protein present in wheat, rye and barley, and its treatment consists in removing gluten from there diet.
If you think you may be intolerant to gluten, choose the symptoms you experience from the ones below, to find out your probability of being gluten intolerant:
However, if you are having difficulty identifying your symptoms, see how to differentiate each one to facilitate diagnosis:
1. Abdominal discomfort
When there is intolerance, following the ingestion of foods with wheat, barley or rye, symptoms such as excessive gas, swollen belly, diarrhea or constipation are common. In addition to abdominal malaise, the intestinal cells can also become damaged, causing mal absorption of vitamins and minerals.
How to differentiate: The pain that is a symptom of intolerance is recurrent and is usually accompanied by gas and intestinal changes mainly after the ingestion of breads, cakes or pasta, while gastritis pain, for example, always occurs after meals or when you stay too long without eating.
Eating gluten may cause dizziness, confusion, disorientation, or make you feel tired after a meal, but these symptoms are usually not related to intolerance, and therefore go unnoticed.
How to differentiate: Dizziness caused by intolerance occurs even when you are well fed and rested, unrelated to excessive physical activity or changes in blood pressure.
3. Mood swings
Due to intestinal malaise, it is common for mood swings to occur mainly after meals, with symptoms of irritability, anxiety or sadness.
These frequent mood swings also cause tiredness and fatigue even after a good night's sleep. This is because the body is focused on fighting the inflammation in the gut, spending all the energy that would allow you to be in a good mood for a new day.
4. Chronic migraine
In general, a migraine that is caused by this intolerance begins about 30 to 60 minutes after a meal, and can be accompanied by blurred vision and pain around the eyes.
How to differentiate: Common migraines can occur at any time and are not linked to the consumption of coffee or alcohol. So, there is no correlation with foods rich in wheat flour.
5. Itchy skin
Intestinal inflammation caused by intolerance can provoke dryness and itching of the skin, creating small red spots. However, this symptom can also be linked to the worsening of symptoms of psoriasis and lupus.
How to differentiate: Foods with wheat, barley or rye, such as cakes, breads and pasta, should be withdrawn from your diet to see if the itching improves with food changes.
6. Muscle pain
Gluten consumption can cause or increase symptoms of muscle pain in the joints and tendons, clinically called fibromyalgia. Swelling is also common, especially in the joints of the fingers, knees and hips.
How to differentiate: You should remove all foods that contain wheat, barley and rye from your diet and check if the pain symptoms improve.
7. Lactose intolerant
It is common for lactose intolerance to occur along with gluten intolerance. So, people who already have the diagnosis for lactose intolerance are more likely to have food intolerance with wheat, barley and rye, and should be more aware of the symptoms.
How to find out if you are gluten intolerant
In the presence of these symptoms, you should perform tests that confirm the diagnosis of intolerance, such as blood, stool, urine or intestinal biopsy.
In addition, all products containing this protein, such as flour, bread, biscuit and cake, should be excluded from your diet and the symptoms should disappear or not.
How to live with gluten intolerance
After the diagnosis, all foods containing this protein, such as wheat flour, pasta, bread, cakes and cookies, should be removed from your diet. It is possible to find several special products that do not contain this protein, such as pasta, bread, cookies and cakes made from flour that is allowed in a gluten free diet, such as rice flour, cassava, corn, cornmeal, potato, manioc starch, sweet and sour starch.
It is important you verify the label of the products you buy to check for the presence of wheat, barley or rye in it's composition or gluten residues, especially in products such as sausage, kibe, cereal flakes, meatballs and canned soups.