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How To Know If You Have A Gluten Allergy

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Wheat allergies, Celiac Disease, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are three different types of conditions that can affect your body, and all three of them are caused by eating wheat or gluten. 

But how do you know which one you may have?

And perhaps most importantly, how do you know if you have any of them?  

This is a tricky one. And to be honest, the only way to know for sure if you may be suffering from a legitimate gluten allergy (or any other type of condition) is to talk to your doctor. 

But in the meantime, you can look at your symptoms and try to figure out what may be going wrong. 

In fact, keeping a diet and symptom journal may even give you an advantage as your doctor tries to give you the most accurate diagnosis possible. 

Let’s dive in and talk about it. 

A Wheat Allergy

Wheat is one of the top 8 allergens in the United States. It’s basically an immune response to a protein present in wheat (one of which may be gluten). 

For children, this is actually a fairly common allergy. But about 65% of children with wheat allergies outgrow it by the time they’re 12 years old. 

Symptoms Of a Wheat Allergy:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hives/rash
  • Nasal congestion 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Eye irritation

If you have a wheat allergy, symptoms can show up within a few minutes of eating the offending food. Or, they can begin up to two hours later. 

Celiac Disease

A lot of people think that Celiac Disease is the same as a wheat allergy. But they’re actually different. 

Celiac Disease is actually an autoimmune disorder. It causes your body to respond in an abnormal fashion when gluten is introduced into your system. 

Celiac disease can destroy your villi, which are vital parts of your small intestine. For this reason, it’s a very serious disease. 

Symptoms Of Celiac Disease:

  • Gas
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Constipation
  • Foul-smelling, pale stool
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Stomach pain

This disease can also lead to digestive problems, which can lead to a host of other symptoms, including:

  • Tingling of the hands/feet
  • Missed periods
  • Infertility/miscarriages
  • Headaches
  • Canker sores
  • Joint pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Anemia 
  • Fatigue 
  • Depression/anxiety

Celiac Disease can be difficult to diagnose, because it’s easy to mistake for other problems. 

Therefore, talking to your doctor about the issue, and being very specific when describing all of your symptoms, is important. 

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

This condition, also known as NCGS, is a bit more mysterious. 

Evidence of a gluten-related condition among those who don’t have Celiac Disease, who also aren’t allergic to wheat, is growing—but scientists aren’t sure what causes it. 

Symptoms Of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity:

  • Brain fog
  • Fatigue
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches

When Should You See A Doctor For A Gluten Or Wheat Allergy?

If you think that you may be suffering from any one of these conditions, making an appointment with your doctor should be the first step. 

Your doctor can help you to run tests to determine whether or not you may indeed be suffering from one of them, and can help you to determine which steps you should take next.

The biggest thing to remember with any of these conditions is that you need a doctor to help you. 

Don’t try to treat yourself. 

These conditions can be dangerous, and it’s important that you get the medical care you need so that you can take care of yourself to the best of your ability.

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