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Gluten Sensitivity: More Than Indigestion

By Jody Smith HERWriter
 
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Let's begin with what gluten sensitivity is not. It's not celiac disease and it's not wheat allergy.

Celiac disease is a sudden onset allergic reaction to the ingestion of gluten, which is found most commonly in the grains wheat, rye and barley. Celiac disease can lead to serious malnutrition.

Wheat allergy is a histamine reaction to wheat that operates much the same as hay fever or peanut allergy. The body's reaction is severe and happens immediately after eating wheat products.

Gluten sensitivity symptoms develop more slowly and subtly over time, making it harder to diagnose. The body reacts to the proteins glutenin and gliadin found in wheat, rye and barley. And some of the symptoms are not the sort we'd expect from food intolerance.

If you are suffering from gluten sensitivity you may experience a number of different symptoms that seem unrelated to each other. Outside of the digestive issues you might expect, a vast array of things can go wrong if you're unwittingly continuing to eat gluten.

You may have problems with your menstrual cycle, and if you're trying to conceive it may not be happening. Your teeth may be deteriorating. You may experience seizures.

Perhaps you're experiencing nerve damage or respiratory problems. Maybe you have acne or a skin disorder called rosacea. You may suffer from night blindness.

You may have one or more autoimmune disorder like Hashimoto's disease, Sjögren's syndrome or lupus erythematosus. Maybe you're losing your hair. You may have eczema or psoriasis, swelling and inflammation.

Eating gluten for some may trigger migraines. You may have joint and bone pain, osteoporosis and muscle cramps. Gluten ataxia is a neurological abnormality involving clumsy and jerky movement which may respond well to a gluten-free diet.

You may be deficient in a number of vitamins and minerals, weakened from iron-deficiency anemia, bruising easily or developing canker sores. You may suffer from lactose intolerance or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Focusing your thoughts may be increasingly difficult.

Add a Comment2 Comments

Glutenista Glutenfree

Thank you for sharing insights on gluten sensitivity. Too often articles focus on just Celiac Disease, while there are many reasons someone must live gluten-free.

Thank you for helping to raise gluten-free awareness!
Glutenista [website link removed by EmpowHER moderator]

October 15, 2010 - 9:44am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

hope this helps you, I had acid reflux and awful painful heartburn. My friend told me to check acidrefluxcure.co as it helped him get rid of acid reflux and his post nasal drip. I've been following acidrefluxcure.co advice for about 4 months now and I feel much better, also at work people are not avoiding me anymore so it seems to have cured my bad breath as well.

October 14, 2010 - 11:29pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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