Too often people people who are suffering from symptoms caused by gluten intolerance or celiac disease are misdiagnosed. Doctors and specialists know how to treat the symptom, but not the cause of the symptom. A medical band-aide if you will.
But I receive e-mails every day from people who, even after a hand full of misdiagnoses, believe their symptoms may somehow be relative to gluten. I love hearing from these folks, because just as my chance meeting with famed gluten-free cookbook author Jacqueline Mallorca helped me in getting diagnosed, I am happy to “pay it forward” if you will, and help others figure out what’s plaguing their bodies.
The first thing I tell people is that my symptoms were not all the “norm.” So if yours aren’t either, don’t fret, every symptom of gluten intolerance has yet to be documented and studied. It’s just too new for medicine to keep up. Here are just a few symptoms that could point to gluten sensitivity:
- Skin Disorders: Acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis herpetiformis, dry skin. All of these painful skin conditions have been associated with gluten sensitivity. I personally suffered from an onset of terrible acne on my body in my late 20s, it wasn’t until I finally went gluten-free both inside and out that my skin returned to its natural clarity.
- Hormonal Upset: According to Drs. Petersen’s The Gluten Effect “The balancing efforts of the hormonal pathways are constantly trying to “cool things off” when a stress occurs. Of all of the stresses that demand a response from the adrenals, it is inflammation (such as that created by gluten sensitivity) that demands a constant anti-inflammatory response.”
- Neurological Symptoms: Migraines, forgetfulness, depression, each of these painful disorders has been linked to gluten sensitivity. “Physical illness can affect one’s mind . . . and scientific evidence is indeed showing that gluten sensitivity can be a root cause of depression.” (Source: The Gluten Effect)
- Constipation: Though IBS with diarrhea is more commonly associated with gluten sensitivity, for some people, their body’s reaction is just the opposite. Another common form of IBS is constipation. IBS manifests itself in 25% of gluten sensitive individuals.