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gluten intolerant

How to tell if you are gluten intolerant

Seen as a new age ailment of sorts, gluten intolerance is characterised as undesirable reactions to gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Celiac disease and lesser warned conditions like non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy is legitimate lifestyle conditions aggravated by glutenous food and can really affect sufferers’ quality of life. 

Essentially, it is an immune reaction. This means that the gluten causes the body to attack itself.

Over time, the immune reaction creates inflammation that damages the small intestine’s lining. It leads to many medical complications, like preventing the absorption of some nutrients (malabsorption).

The classic symptom is diarrhoea. Other symptoms include bloating, wind, fatigue, low blood count (anaemia) and osteoporosis. 

Most people have no symptoms.

The main treatment method is following a strict gluten-free diet. Removing gluten will help manage symptoms and promote intestinal healing.


Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance. It is an autoimmune disease that may damage your digestive system.

The disease has a wide range of symptoms, such as skin problems, gastrointestinal issues, mood changes and more. 

This article explores more celiac disease symptoms and may help you identify gluten intolerant and to which degree. 

Diarrhoea, constipation and smelly faeces

Celiac disease patients experience inflammation in their small intestine after eating gluten. An inflamed small intestine damages your gut lining and leads to poor nutrient absorption, resulting in digestive discomfort and frequent constipation or diarrhoea. 

A health concern, such as frequent diarrhoea, is a loss of electrolytes, dehydration and fatigue. Individuals with gluten intolerance may experience foul-smelling faeces because of poor nutrient absorption.


Celiac disease, and other autoimmune disorders, leads to a common occurrence of feeling tired. Fatigue in gluten intolerant individuals is a result of chronic pain, sleep disruptions and psychological conditions.

It may link to iron-deficiency anaemia, impacting your body’s ability to produce healthy red blood cells. Severe anaemia can cause decreased energy levels and fatigue.

Skin reactions

Gluten intolerance can affect your skin in various ways. A celiac disease skin condition is a manifestation of blisters called dermatitis herpetiformis.   

A gluten-free diet has shown improvement in several other skin conditions, including psoriasis, alopecia areata and chronic urticaria.

Depressions and anxiety

Depression involves feelings of hopelessness and sadness. It impacts your daily life. People with celiac disease are prone to depression and anxiety because of digestive issues. 

Gluten intolerance can drive depression with a few theories. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter and knows as one of the ‘happiness’ hormones. Atypical serotonin levels drop when associated with depression.  

Gluten exorphins are formed peptides as a result of the digestion of gluten proteins. Depression may heighten if peptides interfere with the central nervous system. 

The risk of depression may increase when large amounts of harmful bacteria and decreased amounts of beneficial bacteria affect the central nervous system.

Unexplained weight loss when gluten intolerant

Undiagnosed gluten intolerance causes unexplained weight change. It can stem from various reasons, including a variety of digestive symptoms paired with nutrient absorption neglect.

According to Healthline, sudden unexpected weight change is a cause for concern. It can stem from various reasons, and unexplained weight loss is common with undiagnosed celiac disease.

In one study of celiac disease patients, two-thirds had lost weight in the six months leading up to their diagnosis.

The weight loss may be explained by a variety of digestive symptoms, along with poor nutrient absorption.

Iron-deficiency anaemia 

Iron deficiency counts for 50% of all global anaemia cases. 

Its symptoms include:

  • low blood-volume, 
  • fatigue and exhaustion, 
  • shortness of breath, 
  • dizziness, 
  • headaches, 
  • pale skin 
  • and weakness.

 Iron-deficiency anaemia is a recognised early symptom.

Leg or arm numbness

Gluten intolerance has a surprising symptom of numbness or tingling in your arms and legs. This symptom is likely in individuals with diabetes and vitamin B12 deficiency because of possible toxicity and chronic alcohol misuse. 

Research shows that celiac disease individuals have a higher risk of developing this neuropathy caused by specific antibodies. 

Brain fog

A common symptom of gluten intolerance is brain fog and confusion. It is forgetful, having difficulty thinking and experiencing mental fatigue. 

A ‘foggy mind’ may be caused by a reaction to specific antibodies in gluten. The reason for the response is unknown.

Nasal congestion

A wheat allergy can cause sneezing, nasal congestion and a runny nose. The allergy symptoms are familiar with Baker’s asthma – an allergic reaction caused by breathing in bread flour.


Gluten tolerance can trigger headaches or migraine attacks once in a while. Those who are gluten intolerant are prone to migraine attacks than others. Gluten sensitivity may showcase regular headaches and migraine episodes with no cause. 

Do your research!

Numerous symptoms provoke gluten intolerance. The symptoms mentioned may also have other explanations, so it is essential to research and ask questions before making assumptions. 

A gluten diet that activates a reaction regularly may need to be assessed by a health professional to discuss your best options. 

Before making any substantial dietary, exercise or health-related decisions, the best thing to do is speak to a medical professional. This can get costly, but that is why Affinity Health is here to make healthcare and health advice accessible and affordable too. 

Affinity Health has a day-to-day plan, a hospital plan or a combination of the two to choose from. There are also some booster options.

Affinity Health has healthcare products designed to protect you and your family.

Contact Affinity Health today. One of our agents will get in touch with you about our easy, affordable cover that is handcrafted for you and your loved ones. 


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