For the last couple years, the issue of gluten sensitivity has been a hot topic of conversation. More and more we see food companies and restaurants being increasingly accommodating to the needs of those claiming a gluten-intolerance.
Celiac disease is a very real thing, however, there are many who believe that those who don’t necessarily have the disease still have a hard time tolerating gluten.
Those that consume wheat but have a sensitivity to gluten may experience such symptoms as fatigue, depression, brain fog, migraines, hormonal imbalance, skin issues, and arthritis. What some experts are finding is that gluten-sensitivity may be linked to problems with the thyroid system.
Gluten and the Thyroid System
The thyroid system may very well be the matrix of our very health. Our whole body and health depends on the proper functioning of our thyroid system. In fact, if your thyroid system starts to malfunction, so will the rest of your body.
One such problem that negatively affects the thyroid system and therefore our body is a low-functioning thyroid. A low-thyroid problem is considered to be an autoimmune disorder, meaning, that the immune system is triggered and goes into hyper-drive trying to attack the invader.
So what is it about gluten that causes the thyroid system to go haywire? First things first, gluten is a hard protein found in wheat and other grains such as barley, rye, and triticale. Anyway, when gluten is ingested, it passes from the gut lining and enters the blood stream.
The immune system is then triggered and registers this protein as an invader, sending out antibodies to eliminate the threat. Unfortunately, when this happens, the immune system accidently registers the thyroid as gluten and goes in for attack, causing a whole laundry list of unpleasant symptoms.
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Many experts believe that gluten sensitivity is not just relegated to those suffering from Celiac disease. Some studies are showing that there may be several different manifestations of gluten-sensitivity.
If you feel that you are suffering from a gluten sensitivity, make an appointment with your doctor to set up a full panel of gluten sensitivity tests. If you feel that your gluten sensitivity is the result of a low thyroid, your doctor will be able to perform a series of tests to determine the cause of your symptoms and what you can do to remedy them.
Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity
Its possible that you may be suffering from a gluten sensitivity or an intolerance and you don’t know it. This is because gluten sensitivity may manifest itself in many forms and symptoms, not just symptoms relegated to your stomach either.
In fact, some symptoms may be neurological, causing one to believe they are suffering from something else. The truth is, a gluten sensitivity can attack any part of your body, whether it is the endocrine system or your skin.
Contained within gluten is a substance called gluteomorphins, an antibody that can mimic the affects of morphine. This substance can cause brain fog or may make you feel like you’re “out of it.”
Other studies have found that antibodies found in gluten may also cause inflammation, which may contribute to the brain fog feeling. Other neurological issues may result from a gluten sensitivity, such as a tingling sensation or numbness in the extremities, and weakness.
If you’ve suffer from migraines, you know how much they can disrupt your day or impact the overall quality of your life. People that suffer from food sensitivities may be more prone to headaches; this includes a gluten sensitivity.
While not all people who suffer from a gluten sensitivity will develop headaches, one study found that over half of people that do suffer from migraine headaches ended up being sensitive to gluten. Those suffering from migraine caused by gluten can cure their headaches 100% by removing gluten from their diet.
When the body detects gluten in the blood stream and has an autoimmune response, your joints may experience painful inflammation. As it turns out, inflamed joints and muscle pain are common symptoms of gluten sensitivity.
Another inflammatory reaction caused by a gluten sensitivity is rashes on the skin. Such skin conditions that may stem from gluten sensitivity are acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
When your body goes on the defense against a perceived threat (gluten in this case), inflammation may occur underneath the top layer of skin, causing uncomfortable and unsightly skin conditions. Those suffering from skin conditions from a gluten sensitivity may experience redness, burning, itching, and blisters.
A gluten sensitivity may make itself known by throwing of your hormonal balance, especially in women. Women suffering from a hormone imbalance due to a gluten sensitivity may experience fatigue, irregular menstruation, irregular sleeping patterns, hot flashes, or weight gain or weight loss.
Research has found that women suffering from a gluten sensitivity often experienced an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
A gluten sensitivity can have a serious affect on your mood, leading to feelings of hopelessness, low energy, lack of appetite, erratic sleep patterns, feelings of anger, etc.
Because depression is a very serious condition, some people may have to go onto medication to correct this problem. Studies have found that there is a strong link between gluten intolerance and sensitivity and anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders.
Those suffering from anxiety stemming from a gluten sensitivity may experience panic, chest pains, a racing heart, trouble breathing, and feelings of loss of control. Some people may experience less severe emotional issues, such as moodiness and irrationality.
If your depression, anxiety, or shift in mood is the result of a gluten intolerance or sensitivity, these issues will usually be resolved once gluten is removed from your diet.
Weak Immune System
When your body is too busy fighting a perceived threat in gluten, there is not enough defenses leftover to protect you from actual infections. The result is a weak immune system and a tendency to get sick easily and often.
This type of immunodeficiency is common in other autoimmune disorders such as lupus, Grave’s disease, and Type 1 diabetes.
Fatigue is one of the more common symptoms of a gluten sensitivity; its also one of the hardest symptoms to get rid of once you remove gluten from your diet. In severe cases, fatigue related to gluten sensitivity may be debilitating.
Although fatigue can be the result of a number of other health issues, a sensitivity to gluten may be responsible if all other possible causes are ruled out.
When you ingest a good your body doesn’t like, your stomach may be one of the first parts of your body to go into revolt. Those suffering from a gluten sensitivity may experience abdominal pain, bloating, and gas.
Some people with a gluten sensitivity may experience symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome, with either diarrhea or constipation. Fortunately, once you remove gluten from your diet, these unpleasant symptoms will go away.