Celiac disease is a severe autoimmune disorder triggered by introducing gluten in the body. Less familiar, there is also another gluten intolerance type that affects people. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity, known as NCGS, has been linked to similar symptoms. The non-celiac component of gluten intolerance isn't as life-altering as the immune disorder, but it can be just as frustrating and uncomfortable. Learn more about how your body might respond to gluten and ways to reduce painful symptoms
Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity vs. Celiac Disease
Healthcare specialists typically run two tests to confirm the presence of the autoimmune celiac disease. Serology testing checks for levels of specific antibody protein in the blood that react to the presence of gluten. Genetic testing is generally used to rule out celiac disease by searching for the existence of human leukocyte antigens.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a condition rather than an autoimmune disease and is typically first identified by the patient. The intolerance is then confirmed through elimination and observation protocols. Doctors will instruct patients to follow a gluten-free diet for six to eight weeks to monitor symptoms. Once the elimination phase is completed, gluten is added back into the diet to determine the effects.
Main Symptoms of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
When patients communicate their concerns to healthcare providers, the most common symptoms are often shared with other conditions, which is why it is so important to know what to look out for in order to find the proper non-celiac gluten sensitivity treatment.
Bloating is a common symptom of both conditions, and it may come with or without a visibly swollen belly. No matter, it is a painful, tight feeling of pressure in the abdomen caused by excess gas.
Diarrhea and Constipation
NCGS can also cause stomach trouble in the bathroom. Diarrhea is a watery, loose, often urgent passing of stool usually accompanied by cramping and abdominal pain.
Constipation, alternately, is when stools are too hard, difficult to pass, or do not feel complete. Any significant number of issues can cause constipation. However, dehydration and low fiber content are typically top contenders.
Headaches are one of the most common symptoms people report to their doctor. They can be challenging to pinpoint to any one cause. There are two types of headaches; primary headaches are attributed to those who suffer from chronic headaches, and secondary headaches are attached to a medical condition. Recurring headaches are also symptomatic of dehydration.
Since gluten sensitivity takes much of your body's energy to battle painful symptoms, it can be an exhausting affair. Malaise and constant low energy are consistent with gluten sensitivity.
Stomach and Body Pain
Your stomach is the battleground for gluten sensitivity, which is why most people complain about stomach pain that can even keep them up at night. However, NCGS can affect your entire body due to its systemic properties.
Brain fog is the feeling of constantly struggling to get through regular tasks that used to be routine or mundane. Brain fog makes it difficult to remember things and engage in everyday activities—those who suffer from it report that they feel like they're sleepwalking while awake.
How to Reduce Your Symptoms
Many of the symptoms for non-celiac gluten sensitivity are just as severe as celiac disease. As a result, the impetus for treating the symptoms right away to get much-needed relief is a priority for patients and healthcare providers.
Gluten Free Lifestyle
One way to ease symptoms is to adopt a gluten free diet.1 Eliminating all forms of gluten from your diet — as well as your cosmetics and personal care items — will help remove painful responses to the substance. Your doctor will refer you to a nutritionist to help plan and support the transition to new food choices.
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Drink Plenty of Fluids
Since dehydration is the cause of many symptoms in tandem with gluten, drinking plenty of fluids and especially water, is essential for maintaining good health on the road to recovery. For most people, the general formula for water intake is to determine your current weight and divide that number by two; the answer, in ounces, is how much water you should drink each day.
Polisorb is a fast and easy way to relieve stomach discomfort and other uncomfortable symptoms of gluten sensitivity. Children and adults can take Polisorb as soon as the first signs of discomfort set in or in anticipation of a potential issue. It's as simple as mixing the Polisorb with water (or any other clear liquid or tea) and drinking. Within 15 minutes, relief will be on the way, and you can even continue treatment for two days if symptoms persist.
Drink Herbal Teas & Cleanses
Herbal teas and cleanses can also help reduce nausea. However, the two are typically best imbibed in a particular sequence. Starting with herbal tea and then moving to an appropriate cleanse will help hydrate and clear your system. Cleanses to detoxify might be necessary due to any gluten in your system. To restore gut health, an herbal cleanse is the best approach. Ending the sequence with additional water or peppermint, chamomile, and ginger teas will help increase hydration and continue to tamp down nausea.
Additional probiotics have been linked to improved gut health.2 While stomach discomfort may be unavoidable at times with NCGS, adding probiotics to your system might help decrease diarrhea and maintain hydration.
Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements
While removing gluten from your diet will benefit your health, some essential nutrients might be left out in addition to the inflammatory gluten proteins. Replacing nutrients by taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements helps restore balance.
Athletes typically turn to glutamine peptides. While it is a helpful amino acid, it routinely contains gluten. For an alternative, choose L-glutamine supplements for similar benefits.
Another way to boost amino acids for healthy hair, nail, and skin growth is to imbibe collagen supplements. Since gluten interaction often affects joints, collagen helps reduce inflammation.
While symptoms may be similar between two people suffering from non-celiac gluten sensitivity, no two experiences are alike. Strive to be compassionate and supportive if someone you love is living with gluten sensitivity because it can be a frustrating and exhausting experience.