Do you experience a bit of brain fogginess that others don't? Or maybe you're always dealing with stomach issues and want to find the culprit. If you notice that as your diet changes, your symptoms do too, then you may have a gluten intolerance. Over the past few years, living a gluten free lifestyle has become much more common. There are many reasons why people choose to follow a gluten free diet. However, the most prominent reason is a gluten allergy. If you’re still trying to figure out how to know if you're gluten intolerant, this blog post is for you.
While some individuals choose to follow a gluten free diet willingly, many others are being diagnosed with gluten related issues. As the amount of individuals with gluten intolerance grows, so does the selection of gluten free foods. Before you completely eliminate gluten from your diet, read on to discover if you need a gluten allergy test.
Note: Be sure to consult your doctor or health professional for a definitive answer about food sensitivities and dietary changes.
What Does a Gluten Allergy Test Help With?
Many people are intolerant to gluten, and the severity ranges from experiencing a gluten allergy to being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Gluten sensitivity, gluten allergy and celiac disease are some of the most common terms used to describe someone's intolerance levels. To better understand how your gluten intolerant symptoms measure up, let's dive into each a bit more.
Gluten sensitivity is the most moderate form of a gluten allergy—those who are sensitive to gluten experience mild symptoms like upset stomach, headaches and brain fog. Many individuals living with gluten sensitivity have never been checked for it and may not realize that eating gluten-filled foods contributes to their digestive issues.
Those with a gluten allergy experience more severe reactions to gluten than individuals that have gluten sensitivity. They may be well aware of the symptoms they encounter, and usually, these symptoms are severe enough to affect their daily life. This being so, they may not have been checked for a gluten allergy and will continue to consume it.
Unlike a gluten allergy, celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which a person's immune system responds negatively to gluten. This reaction causes high levels of inflammation, which can eventually lead to damage to the small intestine. Because the immune system is not working correctly, it restricts the number of nutrients being absorbed and can lead to malnutrition. While celiac disease is severe, it's not always easy to diagnose. It's essential to get tested thoroughly if you suspect you have this condition.
Signs That You May Have a Gluten Intolerance
If you suspect you may have some level of gluten intolerance after reading more about gluten sensitivity, learning more about the most common signs and symptoms will help you determine if you need to get checked. While the list of symptoms is long, including everything from nausea to fatigue, there are some more common indicators that can help you discover how severe your reaction to gluten may be.
Digestion issues, no matter how severe, can drastically impact your daily life. As one of the most common signs of gluten intolerance, it's important that you take note of how you feel after each meal. If you've been struggling with problems with digestion most of your life without relief, then eliminating gluten from your diet it's a great start. If you begin to incorporate more gluten free meals into your diet and your digestion issues ease up, it is a vital indicator that gluten could be the culprit.
While not all digestive issues can be attributed to a gluten allergy, some of the most common include diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain. That being said, not all individuals with a gluten allergy experience stomach issues.
Looking for a dish that's easy on the stomach? Try out this Lemon Blueberry Danish recipe.
Though technically, brain fog isn't a medical condition, there's no denying it's a gluten allergy symptom. Individuals who experience brain fog will know when they have it. Some of the leading indicators of brain fog include feeling tired (even after long hours of sleep), trouble concentrating, headaches, forgetfulness and confusion. High levels of inflammation brought on by gluten sensitivity are believed to be the cause of brain fog.
Searching for a brain-boosting recipe? This Almond Mocha Smoothie is sure to do the trick.
Notice new rashes on your skin? While skin problems can arise for various reasons, they are a relatively common sign of gluten sensitivity. Rashes, dry skin and dandruff are often gluten intolerant symptoms. If you've tried practically everything and your skin remains more sensitive than ever, there's a good possibility that it's linked to your diet. Talking to a health practitioner is the best way to determine what your next steps should be.
When to Take Gluten Allergy Test
If you've read over the signs of gluten intolerance and feel that you may have an aversion to gluten yourself, then it's time you take a gluten allergy test. The first step in taking a test is to reach out to your primary care physicians and express your concerns. Your doctor will then administer a test that will check your levels of gluten sensitivity. If your examination reveals that you are sensitive to gluten in any form, then it's time to switch your diet over to a gluten free one.
Gluten Free Recipes
While changing up your diet may sound overwhelming, it doesn't have to be so. With more and more individuals avoiding gluten each year, the options for gluten free foods are growing. Gluten free bread, pasta and baked goods are readily available on grocery store shelves, and gluten free recipes are popping up everywhere. Need a bit of help getting started? We've got you covered. Keep scrolling to discover a few of our favorite gluten free recipes that are great for beginners.
Grain Free Paleo Cinnamon Rolls
Who doesn't love cinnamon rolls? Especially when they're fresh out of the oven. While going gluten free may mean you have to adjust your diet, it doesn't mean that you have to give up your favorite foods. These Grain Free Paleo Cinnamon Rolls show just how easy it is to turn a traditional breakfast into a delicious gluten free one. By using our Grain Free Flatbread Mix, a delicious cinnamon roll batter is created and ready to satisfy all of your breakfast cravings.
Grain Free Blueberry Muffin Mix
Searching for a quick on-the-go gluten free breakfast? You've found it. This tasty Grain Free Blueberry Muffin Mix skips the grains altogether. A recipe similar tasting to that of traditional blueberry muffins, just the aroma alone will leave your mouth watering. Made in minutes, these tender and flavorful treats make for the perfect energizing breakfast or snack.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Pesto
A warm lunch recipe too good to pass up, this delicious Sweet Potato Gnocchi is entirely gluten free. A sweet potato-based soft gnocchi is tossed in a unique pesto made with sage, parsley, basil and hazelnuts to create a truly satisfying lunch.
Baked Keto Coconut Shrimp
Feeling like something a little lighter for lunch? This Baked Keto Coconut Shrimp is the perfect option. Keto, paleo and gluten free it's a recipe that can be whipped up in minutes. The ideal lunch or appetizer, serve this shrimp with your favorite barbecue sauce and enjoy!
Easy Gluten Free Pizza
Prepare for your next family pizza night with this Easy Gluten Free Pizza recipe. A gluten free pizza that's simple and delicious, it's sure to be a hit at the dinner table. Made with our Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour, this pizza can be topped with whatever you like, as long as it's free of gluten! In this recipe, we chose to top our pizza with fresh vegetables, and hummus making it a vegan dish.
Gluten Free Calzone
Enjoy your favorite Italian comfort food classic without the gluten. This savory Gluten Free Calzone recipe is the epitome of comfort food. Its chewy crust is made with our Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Flour and stuffed with the toppings of your choice. Our favorite toppings include a mix of Italian sausage, sauteed peppers, onions and hummus.
If you're showing signs of gluten intolerance or just want to learn more about gluten sensitivity in general, then this guide is a great place to start. Upon learning more about gluten and how it affects your system, be sure to check in with a doctor to see if a gluten free diet is right for you. If it is, we encourage you to try out some of the recipes on this list and notice how great you feel afterward. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, we wish you the best on your health journey.