Most people who experience gluten intolerance symptoms do not realize that what they are experiencing is related to any type of medical condition, causing them to delay in seeking out medical attention. Gluten intolerance occurs when the immune system is activated in response to the ingestion of gluten. The immune system then begins destroying portions of the small intestine that are used for nutrient absorption. While gluten intolerance is not always detrimental, it is a condition that can begin to have a profound effect on the body when left undiagnosed. For that reason, it is important to be aware of the more common symptoms associated with gluten intolerance. Here are 4 of them:
1. Digestive Complications
Some of most commonly reported symptoms of gluten intolerance are digestive complications. These symptoms can include abdominal cramping, bloating, water retention, constipation and diarrhea. The problem here is that the reaction of the immune system affects the body’s ability to absorb protein from gluten, mainly because the small intestine is disabled from absorbing it. When this happens, it can cause cramping in the abdominal cavity as well as digestive upset.
2. Fluctuations of Weight
Another common gluten intolerance symptom is a fluctuation in weight. While some patients report losing an excessive amount of weight for no apparent reason, others claim gaining large amounts of weight. This all relates back to the digestive system and its ability to absorb protein from gluten.
The reason for the difference here is that everyone’s body reacts differently to conditions of the immune system, and the immune system is largely responsible for aiding in the function of other body systems. This is why a sudden change in weight is not uncommon with gluten intolerance.
3. Fatigue and Depression
While depression is more of a physiological symptom, it is definitely one that occurs in patients with gluten intolerance. Because of the problems that this condition produces for the digestive tract, it can create a situation in which a patient becomes moderately or severely malnourished. When this happens, it is only natural that a patient would feel somewhat fatigued and devoid of energy.
However, the fatigue and depression associated with gluten intolerance often go hand-in-hand. When a patient becomes so tired after only minimal hours of activity, it stands to reason that the mental status of that patient could change, which is why depression is commonly noted with gluten intolerance.
4. Secondary Infections
To most people, it would seem as though a sinus infection or a urinary tract infection has absolutely nothing to do with gluten intolerance; however, they can, unfortunately, be linked together. Because gluten intolerance triggers a response from the immune system, the entire immune system is cast off into a weakened state. When this happens, the main purpose of the immune system is compromised, and it leaves the body vulnerable to developing secondary infections. Most secondary infections related to gluten intolerance occur within the eyes, sinuses, urinary tract and digestive tract.