Found in a variety of foods, such as breads, pastas, rice, cereal, soup, and even salad dressing, gluten is a protein the binds ingredients together. While it is most common in foods that contain wheat, gluten can also be found in barley, oats, rye, and other grains. Unfortunately, an estimated 18 million people in the United States suffer with a gluten sensitivity that can cause pain and discomfort. Allergy testing is the most effective way to determine if you have a gluten sensitivity, but you may also notice a few other signs of this allergy. Using this guide, you will understand a few common signs that you may have a gluten sensitivity.

Digestive Issues

In individuals without allergies, gluten is digested in an efficient and effective manner. However, when a person with the allergy consumes gluten, antibodies attack the proteins, reducing the ease of digestion.

This can cause many issues in the digestive tract including the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Reflux
  • Stomach cramps
  • Bloating

Many patients that have IBS, or Irritable bowel syndrome, do not even realize they are sensitive to gluten. If they remove gluten from their diets, they will most likely see a decrease in their symptoms of IBS.

Brain Fog

You may not believe your diet can impact your ability to think clearly, but brain fog is a common symptom of a gluten allergy. Although it can affect your thought process, brain fog can also cause you to feel excessively tired.  You may experience concentration issues, memory lapses, and confusion.

Brain fog can wreak havoc on your life, preventing you from being creative, speaking properly, or completing simple daily tasks.

Skin Conditions

If you are allergic to gluten, you may also develop skin conditions. Keratosis pilaris is one condition that causes  hard bumps to develop on the skin's surface. Keratosis pilaris is also known as chicken skin, since it creates a hard, dry, and itchy rash on your skin. The rash may affect multiple areas of your body including your arms, buttocks, elbows, hairline, and torso.

Dermatitis herpetiformis is another condition that can affect your skin due to a gluten allergy.  Dermatitis herpetiformis causes a burning, itchy, and blistering rash to form on your skin. The condition causes intense discomfort and pain, so the complete removal of gluten from your diet will be necessary.

Avoiding food allergies may seem annoying, but it is imperative for many people who want to live a healthy, comfortable lifestyle. If you are experiencing one or more of the above symptoms of gluten sensitivity, visit your doctor for allergy testing. To learn more, contact an allergist like Oak Brook Allergists.