DIGESTIVE NEWS & REVIEW:
It is well known that if you have gluten intolerance then you may have digestive symptoms such as IBS, constipation, diarrhoea. There are also many more conditions that could be a red flag for gluten intolerance that you hadn’t even thought of. Let’s look at these now…
Skin problems – Psoriasis, hives, dermatitis herpetiformis,eczema and keratosis pilaris (chicken skin rash) all arise from potential gluten triggers. As skin is our biggest organ it makes sense if something is happening on the outside it is being caused from the inside. Skin issues generally arise from malabsorption problems in the gut from damage that gluten does to the small intestines.
Dental problems – Cavities, broken teeth, tooth decay and gum disease could all be caused by gluten intolerance. Gluten causes inflammation in the body and causes the body to produce an immune response (it attacks) to proteins that produce teeth enamel.
Neurological problems – Depression, anxiety, ADHD, mood disorders, peripheral neuropathy (tingling in hands and feet), dementia, epilepsy, brain fog, loss of balance and gait problems can all have a direct link to gluten and is often overlooked as a cause especially as many patients with these conditions present with no digestive issues at all.
Joint pain – Especially prevalent in hands, wrists, elbows and knees.Again there may not be any digestive symptoms accompanying this pain. It is often diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis or aging.
Fatigue – Often if you are waking tired after a good nights sleep and you are feeling fatigued or if you have a meal that has gluten in it and you become tired further investigation is needed. Our energy will be impaired if we are not getting proper nutrient absorption. Digestion is an high energy dependant process.
Infertility – Unexplained infertility for both men and women, frequent miscarriages or hormonal problems for women. There is a percentage of people who fall into these categories that when tested are either Coeliac or gluten intolerant. Again they generally do not have gastrointestinal complaints. The exact mechanisms for this are not known as yet but they think gluten interferes with hormonal signalling and thyroid imbalance.
Autoimmune Disease – Unless you are diagnosed with Coeliac’s disease where you cannot eat any gluten you are unlikely to know that if you have been diagnosed with other auto-immune conditions, gluten is not your friend. If you develop one auto-immune disease you are likely to get another one so it is worth eliminating gluten from your diet.
There are several auto-immune diseases that are linked to gluten intolerance; Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Vitiligo, Sjogren’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves disease.
If you suffer from any of these issues, get tested before taking yourself off gluten. A simple blood test to start and then a biopsy of your small intestine. You do need to be eating gluten continuously to get the best result.
About Our Digestive News and Review Columnist – Ange Sinclair
Ange Sinclair, founder of Digestive Detective is a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist. She has a special interest in Digestive Disorders. She helps you beat the bloat, purge your pain and find the root cause of your problem using nutrition, herbal medicine and supplements.
Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s professional knowledge and opinion. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.