Sunday, April 1, 2012

Gluten Allergy Symptoms in Adults

Gluten allergy is often associated with celiac disease. And there is also a condition that called as ‘gluten sensitivity’. People with gluten sensitivity may have similar symptoms of celiac disease after eating gluten, but they have negative test of celiac disease.

And as the name suggests, gluten allergy is a condition for people who have problem with foods that contain gluten. What is actually gluten? It is a protein (a kind of specific protein) that can be found in certain foods, such as pasta, crackers, bread, etc. The next question, what are gluten allergy symptoms in adults?

In people with celiac disease, their immune system can harm the body’s small intestine after eating certain foods that contain gluten. This condition will make the body be unable to absorb nutrient optimally. Therefore, they should do properly their celiac disease diet!

Small intestine has three major sections; the final section is familiar known as ileum, the middle section is familiar known as jejunum, and the first portion is familiar know as duodenum. Check the image below to figure out each section of small intestine!

Image credit to

Generally, gluten comes or is derived from grains, such as; rye, barley, and wheat. Read also what are gluten free and gluten foods?

Moreover, celiac disease can cause osteoporosis and iron deficiency, or even can increase the risk of lymphoma. Therefore, this disease should be treated properly as soon as possible. Before exploring more about gluten allergy symptoms in adults, let’s explore first the causes of the disease!

Causes of celiac disease!

Celiac disease in children is often associated with the problems of bones to grow. If the disease is not treated, the disease can generate serious health problems. Call a doctor immediately if (without no clearly reason) your children experience diarrhea or loss of a lot of weight, or feel tired & weak for many days.

Unfortunately, there is still no clearly answer about the causes of celiac disease. But some doctors believe that the genetic factor may have a big role. In other words, your chance of the disease is higher if you have a family history of celiac disease (particularly for a close family member history).

Gluten allergy symptoms in adults

The symptoms are usually closely associated with the degree of malabsorption, and therefore they can be severe symptoms, mild symptoms, or without any symptoms. Generally, gluten allergy symptoms in adults can be divided into 2 major categories; (a) those because of malnutrition (including mineral & vitamin deficiencies), and (b) those because of malabsorption!

Gluten allergy symptoms in adults due to malabsorption

As well we know that fat, proteins, and carbohydrates are 3 top categories of dietary nutrients. In adult’s patients with celiac disease, the absorption of these dietary nutrients can decrease significantly after eating foods that have gluten. And finally, this condition can cause some symptoms like:
  1. Steatorrhea (increased fat in the stool). There also may be floating oil (due to undigested fat) on top of water in the toilet bowl.
  2. Abdominal bloating.
  3. Foul-smelling gas (flatulence).
  4. In people with celiac disease, the lactose are more likely to be difficult to split become galactose & glucose. And this condition can lead to excessive flatulence, distention, and abdominal pain. And these symptoms are more common in patients who also have lactose intolerance.
  5. Diarrhea! In people with celiac disease, it is usually caused by the lack absorption of fat and malabsorption of lactose.
Gluten allergy symptoms in adults due to malnutrition and (mineral or vitamin deficiencies)!

Celiac disease can lead to the lack of ‘vitamin or mineral’ and malnutrition, which then can cause:
  1. Weakness in muscles, and ‘tingling or numbness’ in the legs & arms! This can occur due to ‘magnesium & potassium’ deficiencies.
  2. Nerve damage, which may include poor balance, numbness in the legs & arms, or muscle weakness. Nerve damage is usually caused by deficiencies of ‘thiamine & B12’.
  3. Bone fractures (osteoporosis), which can be caused by the vitamin D deficiencies.
  4. Fluid retention & weight loss. Weight loss is usually caused by poor intake of fat, proteins, and carbohydrates. But some people with celiac disease don’t always experience weight loss because they have good appetites that can be helpful to compensate for the decreased absorption of nutrients. Therefore, there are also some patients who are more likely to experience fluid retention instead of weight loss.
  5. And in women with celiac disease, their risk of infertility can be higher. Moreover, they are more likely to experience lack of menstruation.
  6. Excessive bleeding, which is caused by poor absorption of vitamin K!
  7. And another common gluten allergy symptom in adults is anemia. The poor absorption of iron & vitamin B12 can cause anemia!
Note: Don’t jump directly to the conclusion to make a diagnosis of celiac disease! To get more detailed information about gluten allergy symptoms in adults and a clearly diagnosis --> discuss more with a doctor!

-- Illustration's image credit to ‘shutterstock’