Gluten-free food seems to be the fad these days. Lots of people want to eat gluten-free food even though they have no idea if it actually works for their benefit. Often, they will spend more money just to make sure that the food they eat is gluten-free. It has gotten to the point where people ask if turkeys and other meat have gluten in them. (For the record, they do not – at least, not in their base forms. If they are cooked with gluten-containing products then of course they will.) If one wants to know if they should continue eating gluten, then it would be a good idea to check if they have the symptoms of gluten intolerance or sensitivity.
A note of caution must be made, however. For some reason unknown, the prevalence of celiac disease, which is the most well-known gluten intolerance disease, has been rising over the last several decades. If it really must be known if one has an allergy of any sort, there are skin prick tests (usually run in battery to cover several possible allergens) available at good hospitals. One may ask a doctor if this can be done to detect allergies for them.
- Chronic non-resolving diarrhea. Coeliac disease presents as such because it irritates the intestinal walls, preventing the absorption of other food. This symptom is chronic because usually, one does not know that they have celiac disease in the first place, and continue to eat foods containing gluten. If one has chronic diarrhea, one could try to stop eating gluten-containing foods for a period of time to see if it abates.
- Dermatitis herpetiformis. This does not actually concern any form of herpes. The name just implies that the skin lesions look like the classical herpes symptom. This is another classic manifestation of celiac disease when one eats gluten-containing food. Dermatitis herpetiformis looks like red rashes with little blisters up to a centimeter large filled with watery fluid, often symmetrically found on the elbows and upper forearms. Again, it can be tested as a symptom of celiac disease if one would stop eating gluten-containing food for a period of time to see if they abate. However, it must be noted that not all patients with celiac disease present with this condition.
- Gluten ataxia. Ataxia is a symptom wherein the body loses full control of its movements. This is not to say that they body fails to move according to the will of the patient, but that the patient loses the fine control of movement that normal people will have. This may be harder to notice in some people than others, but it will be almost immediately noticed by the patient, who will suddenly complain (in about their 50s) that they seem to not be able to move right. About one in four people with ataxia have it as a symptom of gluten insensitivity, and will often be confused because they do not present with the more classical symptoms of celiac disease mentioned above.
- Myopathy. The symptoms of myopathy are somewhat like the above ataxia, and may at times be linked to the ataxia. In this case, it can present as sudden muscle weakness and chronic cramps. The condition can improve if it is caused by a diet with gluten and if the gluten in the diet is removed.
These are only some of the more common symptoms of gluten intolerance. There may be others, but keep in mind that just because one presents with these symptoms does not immediately mean that they have gluten intolerance. If one has these symptoms, it would be best to consult with a doctor while stopping the intake of gluten, because these symptoms could be indicators of more severe diseases.