gluten intolerance symptoms
Gluten intolerance is sometimes used as a catchall term for three different issues with gluten: celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy. Or, it can refer specifically to non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley. Celiac disease is an autoimmune response to gluten. Whenever someone with celiac disease eats foods containing gluten, the body launches a response that damages the small intestine. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity produces symptoms of celiac disease, but without the intestinal damage. People with a wheat allergy have an allergic immune response when they eat any foods containing wheat.
Gluten intolerance symptoms depend on which condition you have. Celiac disease can cause abdominal symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation, particularly in children. Kids who can?t absorb enough nutrients because of celiac disease may grow more slowly than usual, lose weight, or be late to enter puberty. Adults are more likely to develop body-wide celiac disease symptoms such as bone and joint pain, fatigue, anemia, missed menstrual periods, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, weak and brittle bones, headaches, and weight loss.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity causes gluten intolerance symptoms similar to those of celiac disease. These can include gas, bloating, abdominal pain or cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and mental fog. However, the intestine is not damaged. Wheat allergy causes more traditional allergy symptoms, such as hives, swelling of the face, rash, trouble breathing, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Identifying gluten intolerance symptoms and having them evaluated by a health care provider is important. Celiac disease can cause increasing damage, and possibly malnutrition, if not treated. Blood tests can check for celiac disease antibodies. If this test suggests celiac disease, a biopsy?removal of a small piece of tissue from the intestines?can be done to confirm the diagnosis. The treatment for both celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity is to avoid gluten.
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