Wheat is in a lot of things that we eat on a day to day basis, even if we aren’t aware of it necessarily. This is simply a fact of our modern diet that comes from factory-made foods and the prominence of grocery stores. But wheat-inclusive food can become a problem if you find out that you are suffering from wheat intolerance. Whether it’s from a confirmed test result or just your own suspicious, watching for symptoms of wheat intolerance will help you figure out how to adapt your eating routine so that you can enjoy a better relationship with your favourite foods, even the ones that seem to be giving you problems. It’s all about finding alternatives!
Common symptoms of wheat intolerance
While this is not a list of all symptoms of wheat intolerance that are possible, these are often thought to be the most common and disruptive of symptoms that you can watch for in your daily meals.
- Frequent digestion issues when eating wheat products: Unfortunately, indigestion is simply a part of life for all of us at some point. If you notice a pattern developing after eating wheat products, however, it could be due to an intolerance that you’re dealing with as well.
- Symptom severity changing depending on the amount of wheat: Another thing to keep an eye out for when eating known wheat products is that the reaction and symptoms that you are having will often be worse depending on the amount of it that you eat. The simple fact is that the more of the “bad” — intolerant — food that you eat, the larger and more severe the reaction is going to be. If you eat less of the food, you may notice very mild symptoms that show you that you’er still able to eat your favourites. You just need to monitor your amounts carefully
- Headaches: Symptoms of wheat intolerance don’t have to involve just the stomach. Persistent headaches of varying degrees of pain can also be signs of food intolerance, studies show . If you notice one after every meal, it’s something to think about, since that’s no one’s idea of a good time.
- Fatigue: From leaden limbs to just feeling exhausted after a meal for no apparent reason (other than the classic “turkey coma” feeling where you’ve simply eaten too much), this is another sign that our body is trying to tell you it can’t digest the food you are eating.
- Muscle and joint pain: Tightness in the muscles, as well as pain in the joints seemingly everywhere on the body, are also signs that your body is temporarily struggling to keep functioning at a high level and needs some support for you in terms of what you’re eating. Studies suggest that it can even mimic fibromyalgia symptoms in terms of frequency and randomness .
- Flare-ups of mental health conditions: If you are prone to depression or anxiety, research has shown that eating regular meals with wheat in them can create a flare-up of either, or both, of these conditions . If you notice that you are struggling with this more than usual, your diet could be to blame.
Benefits of getting a food intolerance test
If you aren’t sure if these symptoms are wheat-related or not, it’s always a good idea to get a sensitivity test done. Symptoms of wheat intolerance can be hard to separate from other non-related health and diet issues, so taking a test is going to tell you once and for all what you’re reacting to and even how bad intolerance is, which can be helpful if you want to enjoy a little bit of wheat now and again. Research suggests that women are more likely to have higher amounts of food intolerance than men, especially if they are doing it through oral/food testing .
Studies have shown that misdiagnosing a food intolerance can have negative results in nutritional health (due to avoiding foods unnecessarily), general health and well-being due to not eating a full, balanced diet, and even finances, due to shopping in natural food stores or splurging on alternatives . While a food intolerance test will still recommend that you make changes to your diet, having the confirmed results of a test will make sure that you are making the right changes that won’t create those same problems.
You don’t have to give up all of the foods that you love when you find out that you have a wheat intolerance, but you will need to make sure that you aware of the symptoms to expect and, of course, where you can expect them (i.e., what foods are wheat-rich and which ones are not). If you find that you are dealing with a lot of abdominal discomfort and have connected it to wheat-rich foods, you aren’t alone. Studies show that discomfort in the stomach after eating wheat is one of the most common symptoms . This will help you get your food-related life back on track in no time at all.
Lastly, getting a food intolerance test done is important for staying on top of your health on a broader level as well. It’s thought that having sensitivities to gluten and wheat are connected with IBS, but the connection between the two is often unclear and overlooked . Taking a test may rule out a food intolerance, which could lead to proper identification of an underlying health concern such as IBS.
You deserve to feel better about your digestive health, and a food intolerance test will be a key helper in that.
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 Potter, M.D., Walker, M.M., Jones, M.P., Koloski, N.A., Keely, S. and Talley, N.J., 2018. Wheat intolerance and chronic gastrointestinal symptoms in an Australian population-based study: association between wheat sensitivity, celiac disease and functional gastrointestinal disorders. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 113(8), pp.1036-1044. Avaialble at: https://journals.lww.com/ajg/Abstract/2018/07000/Wheat_Intolerance_and_Chronic_Gastrointestinal.21.aspx
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