Am I suffering from gluten allergy symptoms? Recently, I have been noticing more and more gluten free snacks and products on the store shelves. There is good reason for this as people are recognizing gluten allergies more often and going towards gluten free lifestyles. That is not to say that a gluten allergy is more common today, but perhaps just more often diagnosed.
I have been suffering from nasal problems for the past few years. Recently, I also started to suffer from frequent headaches. Since Z.E.N. was a baby, he has had some skin problems and mild digestive issues. His pediatrician has never found anything and I never thought about gluten, until now, since I’ve been hearing so much about it. So of course, I’ve been doing some research on it.
Experts say the first step to diagnosing a gluten allergy is looking for and recognizing gluten allergy symptoms. These are not always the traditional food allergy symptoms of hives, itchiness and even anaphylaxis, though they can be. A gluten allergy can manifest in the body in many ways.
If there are digestive tract issues, like gas, bloating, constipation or general discomfort, that could be a signal there is an underlying allergy to gluten. Another common, but often overlooked, symptom is problems with the skin. If you have really itchy skin, eczema outbreaks or dry patches, it could be a reaction to gluten. Z.E.N. has had rashes on his cheeks since he was about one. His pediatricians just brush it off as dry skin but I wonder.
General malaise is another sign, and can include just not feeling well and headaches. Of course, the biggies like vomiting and anaphylaxis are possible with an allergy to gluten, too, but are not as hard to decipher.
Gluten intolerance symptoms are similar and often people look at them in the same way. If you or your child can eat small bits of gluten and be all right, it is probably an intolerance to gluten, but if you cannot eat any gluten without an reaction, then it is more likely an allergy.
Because gluten is found in so many products, the side effects are often mild, but consistent because gluten is ingested on such a regular basis. Once packages and ingredients are studied and thoroughly read, it is clear how easy it is to ingest gluten without even knowing it. Luckily, there are more and more options out there for those who need to, or want to, go gluten free. I definitely want to try to at least reduce the gluten intake in our house.
Once the gluten is reduced or eliminated from the diet, improvements in health should supposedly start happening. Maybe the headaches will go away and skin will clear up, or stomach aches will no longer be an issue. If this is the case, then gluten probably is something to stay clear of. If nothing changes, then it’s time to look closer at the diet and see if one way or another some gluten is sneaking in.
When making adjustments to the diet, remember to still eat the important foods you need and try to be creative with substitutions. For instance, use alternative flours, like rice or spelt, when baking, make lasagna with zucchini ribbons instead of pasta and wrap a sandwich in crisp lettuce leaves.
Here are some more great articles about gluten allergy symptoms:
Are you suffering from gluten allergy symptoms? What tips can you share about managing your diet?