Gluten Allergy Symptoms

Gluten allergy symptoms. Credit: Shannonlee/Pixabay

These days, it’s not uncommon to encounter a person with a gluten allergy or celiac disease. According to the Statistic Brain website, about 1 in every 133 people in the U.S. have celiac disease. Restaurants and food manufacturers are becoming more aware of this and adjusting their menus and product offerings accordingly. However, there are hidden sources of gluten in many foods. Also, some people may experience gluten allergy symptoms and not know that the reactions are related to diet. Here are 10 symptoms associated with gluten intolerance that you may not have been aware of.

1. Infertility

There’s definitely a connection between gluten intolerance symptoms and infertility in both men and women. This may be largely due to the fact that celiac disease and gluten allergy can cause malnutrition, which can make it difficult to conceive. However, medical professionals aren’t absolutely sure what exactly causes infertility in people who are gluten-intolerant.

If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten allergy, adopting a gluten-free diet permanently could be the solution to fertility problems.

2. Thyroid Disease

According to the Celiac Central website, a number of period who have thyroid disease, an autoimmune disorder, are also allergic or intolerant to gluten. This is because thyroid disorders and celiac disease look very similar genetically. So, people with gluten intolerance are much more likely to have thyroid issues than the general population. In fact, studies have shown that thyroid patients are 4 to 15 times more likely to have celiac disease. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the thyroid’s tissues, is usually the thyroid-related condition that affects individuals who also have a gluten allergy. A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology in 2007 asserts that individuals with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis should be tested for celiac disease, and vice versa.

3. Painful Joints

When the body is contaminated with gluten, an inflammatory response is the result. The inflammation could cause pain the joints, which is often thought to be rheumatoid arthritis. Eliminating gluten from the diet can rid the body of this symptom almost immediately.

4. Skin Rashes

When the immune system is exposed to gluten, it can produce histamine, which causes a number of symptoms, include hives and rashes. Many people with eczema or psoriasis can get rid of gluten allergy symptoms by taking gluten out of their diets.

5. Asthma

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shares that there is a strong connection between gluten intolerance and asthma. A condition known as Baker’s Asthma, which was first observed in 1700, was common among bakers who worked with large amounts of flour. The flour cause respiratory congestion and wheezing, which are also signs of asthma. This was the first correlation made between asthma and exposure to grains. Later, it was discovered that Baker’s Asthma was actually an IgE response. IgE is an antibody that the immune system makes. It prompts the release of histamines, which lead to wheezing, trouble breathing and heavy coughing.

6. Migraines

Migraines can be a sign of several medical problems, but these severe headaches are likely a sign of a gluten allergy when combined with a skin rash and anemia. When a migraine develops an hour or two after eating a food that contains gluten, this is an indication of gluten intolerance.

7. Lactose Intolerance

If you find that it’s difficult for you to digest milk and other foods that contain dairy, it’s likely that you have gluten intolerance as well. Gluten can damage the lining of the stomach, you will have trouble producing lactase, the enzyme needed to digest milk. Many people who can’t tolerate gluten also can’t digest casein, the protein milk, so it’s best to eliminate both milk and gluten from your diet.

8. Fibromyalgia

A number of physicians believe that fibromyalgia is not a disease, but a symptom of a disease. Tissue inflammation is one of the main fibromyalgia symptoms, and is also a sign of a gluten allergy. Pain in the joints is also a sign of fibromyalgia, but could be your body’s way of telling you that you’re gluten-intolerant. Taking gluten from your diet could help to rid you of other fibromyalgia symptoms as well, such as headache and chronic fatigue.


There is substantial evidence that ADHD and gluten intolerance are connected. Both children and adults who have celiac disease that is undiagnosed are much more likely to have ADHD than the rest of the population. One study involving 67 individuals aged 7 to 42 with ADHD revealed that 15% of these individuals tested positive for celiac disease. The incidence of celiac disease in the general population is only 1%. Once these people started a gluten-free diet, the individuals and their parents reported improved function and behavior.

10. Depression/Anxiety

Some medical evidence also suggests that gluten can change the way the brain works, which is why many people with gluten intolerance are prone to depression and anxiety. This could be due to the fact that gluten inhibits the body from absorbing certain nutrients that are essential healthy brain function. A gluten-free diet can help to boost and balance the mood. Those who are gluten-sensitive are more likely to experience depression than those with celiac disease, but the exact connection between gluten intolerance and depression is not yet known.

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, it’s best to visit your doctor for through testing to determine if gluten intolerance is the result. Adopting a diet that is completely free of gluten may be a challenge initially, but it can do wonders when it comes to improving your health…