Good evening y’all! I hope you are having a good week so far and hope it stays pleasant! Just think, we already made it through two days of the week, so we are almost half way there!
Y’all already know I have been battling with what I thought was a nasty stomach bug, but after doing a little research I do not think that is the case anymore. Of course I haven’t seen a doctor about it because I do not have insurance, but I think I figured it out on my own. I am about 99.9% sure I have developed Gluten Intolerance. I guess that is actually a good thing because understanding what is going on and understanding how to handle it will provide me with some relief or at least I hope it will! Obviously I am not a doctor, but I think I am familiar enough with the body I have lived in for almost 38 years. I am going to share with y’all what I have learned and please if you have any other helpful tips or ideas, please let me know!
I first want to clarify a few important details I have learned! Gluten Intolerance is often confused with other issues, like Celiac Disease or food allergies, but there are some differences and similarities. Gluten is a protein found mainly in wheat, barley and rye. This protein can cause digestive problems like gassiness, abdominal pain or diarrhea. With food allergies, the immune system overreacts to a particular food causing various reactions and levels of severity. Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that can damage the small intestines, but Gluten Intolerance almost mimics this.
Signs & Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance:
- Bloating: This is when the belly is swollen or full of gas after eating. This is very common and does occur in 87% of individuals with Gluten Intolerance.
- Diarrhea, constipation and smelly feces: About 50% of individuals with gluten intolerance deal with diarrhea and 25% experience constipation. This is when you would experience inflammation in the gut after eating gluten. This damages gut lining, leading to poor nutrient absorption.
- Abdominal Pain: This is something else that is very common with Gluten Intolerance. 83% of individuals living with this intolerance experience abdominal pain.
- Headaches: About 10-12% of the Western population experiences migraines. People with Gluten Intolerance are prone to migraines.
- Feeling Tired: This is also being very common, leading to 60-82% of individuals with Gluten Intolerance experience this. People with this condition are prone to fatigue and tiredness, having very low energy. Gluten Intolerance can cause iron-deficiency anemia. This is a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues
- Skin Problems: There is a blistering skin condition called Dermatitis Herpetiformis, which is a manifestation of gluten-sensitive enteropathy, commonly known as celiac disease. This is not as common and can improve once on a Gluten-Free Diet!
- Depression: Depression is not as common and only affects 6% of those living with this intolerance. People with digestive issues seem more prone to both anxiety and depression.-Even though depression is not too common, there are a few theories for how Gluten Intolerance can lead to depression.*Abnormal serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter allowing cells to communicate and is commonly referred to as “Happiness” hormones.
*Gluten Exorphines, these peptides are formed during digestion of the gluten proteins. The gluten proteins may interfere with the Central Nervous System, which may raise the risk of depression.
*Changes in gut microbiota. This is increased harmful bacteria and decrease beneficial bacteria increasing the risk of depression.
- Unexplained Weight Loss
- Iron-Deficiency Anemia: This causes symptoms such as low blood volume, fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, pale skin and weakness.
- Anxiety: This can affect anywhere from 3% to 30% of people worldwide. Involves feelings of worry, nervousness, unease and agitation. People with gluten intolerance are more prone to anxiety and panic disorders.
- Autoimmune Disorders: Even though Gluten Intolerance is a separate issue from Celiac Disorder, I thought it would be good to share this as well. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder causing your immune system to attach the digestive tract after consuming gluten. Typically people with gluten intolerance also have another autoimmune diseases to cope with.
- Joint and Muscle Pain: There is a theory that people with Celiac Disease have a genetically determined over-sensitive or over-excitable nervous system. Gluten exposure may cause inflammation in gluten sensitive people. This inflammation may result in wide-spread pain, including joints and muscles.
- Leg or Arm Numbness: Neuropathy symptoms involving numbness and tingling in the arms and legs.
- Brain Fog: This issue affects up to 40% of those with Gluten Intolerance. Forgetful, difficulty thinking, feeling cloudy and mental fatigue.
After learning more about this the things I deal with almost make more sense in a way. Battling with stomach issues for over on month, numerous headaches/migraines, constant feeling of fatigue, obnoxious levels of anxiety, nervousness, worrying and quick agitation, dizziness at random times, weakness, joint and muscle pain, numbness and cloudiness in my mind. I always blamed so many of these symptoms on Multiple Sclerosis and maybe that is still the case, but maybe it is a Gluten Intolerance causing more of it.
I am doing my best right now to change my diet, but it really isn’t easy. I bought several gluten-free products at the grocery store, clementines and carrots, but honestly have not seen much of a change. Logically, I have only been trying this for a couple of days and I know it takes time for this type of change, but at least I am trying! Do y’all have any advice you would be willing to share? I know you always have great ideas and fantastic suggestions that I do appreciate!
Thank y’all for stopping by my site today and I am sorry this was a little longer than most of my posts, but there was so much information to share. I hope you have a lovely and relaxing evening and of course I hope you are feeling well! I know it often takes me longer to respond to your comments, but I promise to respond as quickly as I can! Please never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love , comfort and many positive vibes!