If you notice that you tend to not feel so well when you eat foods that contain gluten, a protein that is found in wheat, barely, and rye, then it’s possible you have a non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Gluten sensitivity is an ailment in which your body cannot tolerate gluten. While this is similar to Celiac disease, the difference lies in the severity of the affects, the antibodies, and the intestinal damage seen in those with Celiac. Gluten sensitivity is not uncommon, with an estimated 18 million Americans diagnosed with it. Gluten sensitivity can lead to many symptoms, some of which are not directly related to digestion. Below are some of the most common symptoms caused by a gluten sensitivity:
- Bloating and Gas
- Abdominal Pain
While all these symptoms can also be brought on by other issues, if you notice a pattern of them occurring after eating foods with wheat, barely, or rye, it may be a gluten sensitivity. There is currently no test to detect if someone has a gluten sensitivity. If you believe you may have a sensitivity to gluten, avoid foods with gluten in them for some time. If participating in a gluten-free diet decreases the severity of your symptoms or even eradicates them all together, gluten sensitivity may be the source of your complications and it would be in your best interest to continue avoiding gluten.
Being gluten sensitive does not pose any real threat to someone’s overall health, but it could negatively affect your wellbeing and the discomfort can certainly impact your day to day life.
Author: Sophia Galvez
Editor: Kaitlyn Longstaff
Public Health Scientist: LaCher E-W, MPH