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Gluten Intolerance Symptoms

Gluten Intolerance Symptoms

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Are You Having Gluten Intolerance Symptoms? 

Here is a helpful list of gluten intolerance symptoms:

  • anemia 
  • anxiety 
  • abdominal pain
  • bloating or gas
  • brain fog, lack of focus
  • depression or mood swings
  • diarrhea 
  • constipation
  • fatigue 
  • autoimmunity 
  • headaches
  • joint pain 
  • skin rash or eruptions


Gluten Intolerance Symptoms

Identifying a gluten intolerance can lead to informed dietary choices, potentially alleviating symptoms and improving overall quality of life.

What is Gluten Intolerance?

Gluten intolerance is when your body cannot tolerate gluten, the protein in grains. The symptoms you have can affect your everyday life. You may suffer from gluten intolerance symptoms even if you test negative for celiac disease. This is called nonceliac gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

Some gluten intolerance symptoms will affect your gut, but others will not. Many people suffer from neurologic symptoms and skin eruptions caused by gluten.

For me, the symptoms of gluten intolerance came on suddenly at age 10. It started in my gut with diarrhea and constant upset stomachs. As I got older, the symptoms became neurologic too. In high school and college, I had brain fog, poor memory, and fatigue which was unlike me.

In college, I came down with Lyme disease. My health drastically improved when I stopped eating gluten-containing grains; removing the gluten calmed down the autoimmune attacks.

My youngest son was born allergic to the sun. As a mom, I did the right thing, covering his head to his toes with sunscreen and dark-colored clothes. Then one day, I had an ah-ha moment. He is my son, and I have autoimmunity and gluten intolerance symptoms; he must have them too. So we removed gluten from his diet, and he could go out in the sun again without a problem.

What is a Gluten Belly?

Gluten intolerance test

A gluten belly includes a bunch of gut symptoms that occur minutes to hours after you eat gluten. 

Symptoms of a gluten belly can consist of gas, acid reflux, stomach ache, diarrhea, and gut inflammation. You may go about your day feeling great, eat food containing gluten, and then you start to experience sudden gluten intolerance symptoms in your gut. 

I will never forget the day I was in Marietta, Ga, walking around the square and enjoying the shops. We ate at the pizza shop, and it was delicious. But a few minutes after the meal, my belly started to swell. I looked pregnant or gained 10 pounds in a snap of a finger. I had no idea back then that I had a gluten intolerance. 

My pizza-causing gluten belly is a perfect example of what is a gluten belly. 

What Are the First Signs of Being Gluten Intolerant?

Here is a simple list of the first signs of being gluten intolerant. 

  • Bloating – your belly is full of gas after you eat gluten
  • Diarrhea that comes on suddenly after you eat gluten 
  • Abdominal Pain 
  • Headache that comes on slowly or suddenly 
  • Dizziness -you may be feeling fine, eat gluten, and then feel a lack of balance or feel like the room is spinning 
  • Skin problems – you may feel like your skin is starting to itch or break out after you eat gluten. 
  • You may start to feel tired right after you eat gluten when you felt fine before hand. 
  • You may experience a sudden increase in pain a few minutes to a few hours after consuming gluten.  
  • Brain fog is a huge issue for many people with gluten intolerance symptoms.

Can I Suddenly Become Gluten Intolerant?

In my 30 years in this field, I have heard how people go through life feeling fine, and then something happens, and they suddenly have gluten intolerance symptoms. Here are some examples of how someone suddenly became gluten intolerant. 

One young girl was going about life, and she and her mom were in a car accident, and she was tossed from the car. Thank goodness she landed ok on some grass. Mom brought her daughter to see me because she suddenly developed food intolerance symptoms. She did not understand why and wanted to pinpoint what her daughter could and could not eat. We ran comprehensive food intolerance testing and included gluten intolerance too. She had a few IGG and IGA food reactions, but most of her intolerances were to gluten grains. We removed gluten from her diet, and her symptoms of brain fog, stomach pain, and a high-stress feeling disappeared. The stress of the car accident and her family history of poor eating habits triggered autoimmunity and sudden gluten intolerance.

When a woman becomes pregnant who was born into a family with autoimmunity (known or not known), the immune system will sometimes attack the fetus. Then the woman will have a miscarriage.

If the woman has a good pregnancy and carries to term, sudden gluten intolerance may develop due to autoimmunity. And sometimes, the autoimmune thyroid conditions of Hashimoto’s or even Grave’s disease start after the baby is born. (Remember that autoimmunity can be triggered by gluten). Many times I have met with a new mom that describes sudden gluten intolerance symptoms. We run comprehensive bloodwork to ensure things are ok, plus gluten intolerance tests every time the new mom has a gluten intolerance triggered by pregnancy. 

Sometimes the baby has early gluten intolerance symptoms and sometimes develops as the child ages.

Lastly is a story about a young man that was fine at birth. He had no signs of a gluten intolerance. After age ten, he started showing symptoms of hyperactivity and lack of focus. Then at age 25, he and his fiancé planned a wedding. Let’s say there was some stress. They contacted me because this healthy and happy young man suddenly had gut and autoimmune symptoms.

We ran some labs, and he tested positive for gluten intolerance. We removed gluten from his diet, and not only did his gut improve, but so did everything else.


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