When you hear that someone has an issue with gluten, the first thing that comes to mind for most people is coeliac disease. Since this is a popular medical issue that is most commonly read about or learned about, it makes sense that it would be the first thought in your mind. That being said, there is another alternative: gluten intolerance.
When should I get a gluten intolerance test?
What if you are just having a bad digestion day? Do you need to get an intolerance test still? No, but it is important to be aware of when you are having negative food reactions and what you are eating to cause them. This can often be the first sign that you do, in fact, have some sort of sensitivity or intolerance that is causing a problem.
If you have any of the following concerns on a regular basis, or for a long period of time, these are all examples of when a gluten intolerance test is going to be a good idea.
- Excessive bloating: Bloating happens sometimes due to over-eating or eating foods that simply cause stomach bloat (ex: beans), but if you notice bloating happening pretty much every single day, and for reasons that can’t be pinned to eating habits, it could be a sign that you are dealing with gluten intolerance — especially if you discover that gluten food products are the common factor. The bloating could be mild to severe, but if it is often or severe enough to bother you, it’s something to get checked out.
- Regular abdominal discomfort: This is much the same as above, but the abdominal discomfort could apply to a few different things. Maybe it’s cramping or a rumbly stomach after eating, or simply a stomach that is nauseous and just unhappy. If you notice this happen an hour two after almost every meal, it’s a sign that there is something going on in your digestive tract that could use a professional eye.
- Severe, long-term fatigue: Fatigue is one of those things that could belong to a lot of different things. If you notice that you re constantly drag out and tired to the point of struggling to function on daily activities, this chronic fatigue may just be from your body’s attempt to digest the gluten that it is intolerant to.
Are there other reasons to have these symptoms?
Yes, there are other reasons that you can have these symptoms, which probably seems obvious when you read them. Often an allergy can even be assumed when it really is an intolerance (which simply requires moderation rather than total avoidance).
A lot of food intolerances often go undiagnosed, sometimes for an entire lifespan. This is partially due to the randomness of the symptoms as well as the assumption that an intolerance is actually an allergy. That’s why getting a gluten intolerance test is so important for long-term health. Not only will it allow you to discover if you really do have an issue with gluten, but it can also even alert you to other intolerances that you may not have even been aware of.
A food allergy and a food intolerance are totally different things, but both carry their own importance in proper testing, diagnosis, and recording within your medical history. Better safe than sorry when it comes to an intolerance test.