Over on the TrulyGlutenFree site, I am always taking about complex issues to do with gluten and the gluten illnesses including, but by no means limited to, Coeliac disease.
I saw this quick run-down of the top 6 symptoms to check for gluten sensitivity and I agree with every one of them. I had most of them myself!
Most people have no idea at all that they are gluten sensitive – and I am not just meaning you bloat up/get wind after eating bread here, although that can be an early sign, of course. Again, it was mine.
These symptoms can be a sign of many other things but my advice knowing what I now know about the prevalence of gluten sensitivity in these illnesses, and the consequences of not being diagnosed for years, is always to check it out.
Anyway, I thought these might be a useful checklist for you. Most people have at least 2 or 3 of these symptoms in my clinical experience. I had one in each category 🙁
Six common symptoms of gluten intolerance
(1) Obviously, there are gastrointestinal (GI), stomach, and digestive problems. These can include one or some of the following: Gas, bloating, queasiness, abdominal cramping, constipation, diarrhea, or an alternating combination of both – IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
(2) Headaches and/or migraines.
(3) Fibromyalgia is not a disease, it’s a syndrome. Getting a medical diagnoses is bogus. You don’t need to be told you have muscular and connecting tissue aches and pains. That’s what fibromyalgia means. Fibro= Connective Tissue; Myo= Muscle; Algia= Pain. Thus fibromyalgia. (Ed: this means chronic muscle pain really)
(4) Emotional issues involving chronic irritability and sudden, irrational mood shifts.
(5) Neurological issues, including dizziness, difficulty balancing, and peripheral neuropathy affecting nerves outside the central nervous system and resulting in pain, weakness, tingling or numbness in the extremities. (Ed: restless legs comes under this too. As does migraine if we are being clinically correct!)
(6) Fatigue, whether chronic or almost after every meal. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is, like fibromyalgia, a syndrome, not a disease. If that’s what you’re diagnosed with, it means your doctor can’t locate the cause of your fatigue. (Ed: I find many people with low adrenal and thyroid problems that will not pick up are gluten sensitive, both of these are reasons for chronic tiredness, of course.)
If you read the full post, the elimination diet is a really good idea but my personal opinion is that all grains can potentially be a problem – there has to be some reason the vast majority of coeliacs do not heal even on the traditional gluten free diet. I was off traditional gluten for almost 6 years before realising I had to come off all grains if I had any chance of stopping the progressive illnesses developing any further. That’s what the TGF site is all about.
For an idea of how to test for gluten sensitivity, see my gluten test protocol here.