Gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance, or Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a condition when the body rejects any form of gluten and causes several symptoms after consuming it. In simple terms, the body has a negative response to gluten and results in intestinal and/or extraintestinal reactions. 

Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. It is also commonly found in foods such as bread, pasta, pizza, and cereal. The compound provides nutrients like fiber and B vitamins, magnesium, and iron. 

Gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar to celiac disease, an immune reaction that occurs on consuming the compound but gluten sensitivity is less severe. It is important for one to diagnose their condition before taking any measures. 

Gluten sensitivity symptoms

Gluten sensitivity should be carefully noticed and monitored as the symptoms are quite common for other medical conditions. It is also important to note that most of these symptoms may have no relation to digestion, so one must not come to a conclusion without diagnosing. The symptoms may be skin-related, mood-related and/or gastrointestinal system-related. Some of the most common gluten sensitivity symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue 
  • Bloating 
  • Stomach ache 
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Headache 
  • Pain in arms and/or legs
  • Numbness in legs and/or arms

These symptoms are quite common in gluten sensitivity and are less severe than celiac disease. 

Gluten sensitivity rash

Gluten sensitivity rash usually occurs in people who do not experience any type of gastrointestinal symptoms. Dermatitis herpetiformis, or gluten rash can commonly be seen on the knees, elbows, lower back, buttocks and the back of the neck. The rash typically looks like reddish-purple bumps and takes several days to heal. 

Gluten sensitivity test

The medical field has not yet narrowed down any specific tests to determine if the person is gluten sensitive. So many proceed with celiac disease tests as the condition is a severe version of gluten sensitivity. Also, it is important to note that a negative test for celiac disease does not determine that one does not have gluten intolerance. The common tests followed for gluten sensitivity tests are: 

  • Blood test
  • Biopsy 
  • Endomysial antibody (EMA) test
  • tTG-IgA test
  • Total serum IgA test
  • Deamidated gliadin peptide (DGP) test 
  • Testing for genetics (mostly done to eliminate celiac disease)

Gluten sensitivity diet

The thumb rule for a gluten sensitivity diet is to avoid gluten. Some of the key foods to avoid if you are gluten sensitive are:

  • Wheat 
  • Barley 
  • Rye
  • Breads 
  • Condiments
  • Baked goods that contain gluten
  • Wheat-based pasta
  • Beverages like beer, premade coffee, chocolate milk
  • Processed foods containing gluten   

Foods to consume if you are gluten intolerant are:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Animal proteins
  • Gluten-free grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fats and oils

Taking gluten sensitivity supplements can help you get enough nutrients to maintain good health despite your gluten intolerance.