If you’re in and out of the doctor’s office a lot, but never seem to walk away with an answer to your health problems, you may have an issue with gluten. The problem is that many of the reactions that people who are sensitive to gluten have are so similar to other conditions, it may be hard to diagnose the problem at first. You may be someone who has an immediate response to gluten or the problems may build up into something bigger over time. To help you figure it out, here are five of the most common reactions that may indicate you have a problem with gluten:
1. Skin Rash
You may itch or you may not. Your skin could just get red or maybe you get little pimple-like bumps on your arms. Regardless of the specific kind of skin reaction, if your skin breaks out after eating gluten ? or if it just seems inflamed all of the time ? you may need to go gluten-free for a few weeks to see if the symptoms improve.
With the stress of everyday life, you may get headaches now and then. But if they’re a chronic problem, gluten may be the reason for your discomfort. Some people experience tension headaches; migraines for others. If you walk around in a “fog” or notice changes in how you feel mentally, any or all of it could be related to consuming gluten.
3. Stuffy Nose
If winter just ended or it recently rained and now it seems your nose is running more than usual, it could be seasonal allergies or it could be your body reacting to gluten. For people sensitive to gluten, eating it can make your body think you’ve encountered a foreign invader. If it attacks your sinus cavities, you’ll start to experience inflammation in your nasal tissue not long after eating gluten. Consider starting a gluten-free diet to see if your breathing improves.
4. Stomach Cramps
We’ve all eaten food at some point that just didn’t “sit with us right,” so most of the time someone feels pain in their stomach, they simply state they made a poor food choice ? or ate too much at the buffet ? and go on about their day. But sometimes stomach cramps mean more than junk food that’s weighing heavily on you. It could also mean gluten has caused an autoimmune response in your digestive tract or worse, you’ve developed leaky gut due to recurring exposure to gluten.
5. Joint Pain
The problem with joint pain is that many people have it, whether they’re active or not. If someone overworks their joints, they feel pain; if they don’t get enough exercise, they can feel discomfort and stiffness. The problem with gluten is that it can cause pain as well in the form of inflammation. Many people don’t recognize this as a food allergy or sensitivity because we physically put our bodies through so much in one day. A gluten-free diet, however, could possibly be a solution.