Gluten can cause problems everywhere
Unfortunately, gluten can play havoc everywhere in your gut. I am often asked “Where does gluten cause damage?” Well, it also can affect you in many of your other organs. This is true whether you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (these are also called “Gluten Related Disorders”).
If you are sensitive to gluten, then your elegant gut mechanisms can be disrupted in many places. This is the basis of the host of potential symptoms. Every part of your gastro-intestinal tract (your gut) can be affected – not only the small bowel, but also your mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small bowel and colon. I call these “the target organs”.
In addition, there are other target organs in your body, outside of your gut, that can be directly involved: these include your brain, nerves, joints, skin and your immune system.
On top of these troubles, there can also be problems with the poor assimilation of foods and minerals. This can end up causing all of the symptoms from nutritional deficiency (also called malabsorption). These include: anaemia, iron deficiency, tiredness, osteoporosis, low immune function, weak muscles and nerve damage.
Where does gluten cause damage?
Perhaps the most frequent symptom that people experience is tiredness and exhaustion. This can come on gradually, so that it can be hard to recognise.
I like to call the possible symptoms for gluten “The Big List!” What follows are the headings of “The Big List” of symptoms from gluten sensitivity/ celiac disease. As you can see, this is a very big list. I recommend that you first think of food allergy before dismissing your symptoms as just another virus or cold or chronic ill-health.
- Tired, exhausted, lethargic
- Uncomfortable tummy
- Lack of energy
- Bloating and gas troubles
- Gastric reflux or heartburn
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Poor weight gain
- Over weight
- Not growing well
- Eating problems
- Runny nose and sinus problems
- Chronic iron deficiency
- Osteoporosis, bone and joint pains
- Eczema or bad skin
- Hives, urticaria
- Itchy dry skin
- Headaches or migraine
- Feel depressed or moody
- Find it hard to think clearly
- Poor sleep
- Hyperactive or cranky
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Mental health problems
If you can answer “yes” to one or more of these problems, then you (or your child) have a high chance of having a food allergy or being gluten-sensitive. If you have had long-standing symptoms of any description, then you might be gluten-sensitive. You need to be tested. so “Where does gluten cause damage?” – the answer is everywhere.
We can help you more through the eClinic.
By Rodney Ford