Conditions like celiac disease, wheat allergies, and other illnesses that fall under the category of gluten intolerance have only recently gotten significant attention in the medical community. Symptoms related to gluten intolerance that were long seen as over exaggerations of mild discomfort, such as brain fog, fatigue, and stomach upset, are finally being recognized as an indication of a medical concern. A greater understanding of gluten intolerance has been cultivated over the last decade thanks to widespread research, and as a result has led to far more diagnoses of gluten intolerance-related diseases like celiac disease.
Do you suspect that you may be gluten intolerant? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Chanu Dasari, a top Henderson gluten sensitivity specialist. He will evaluate your symptoms and recommend the best treatment plan for you.
Gluten is found naturally in cereal grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. It is a storage protein that helps create the soft, chewy texture of baked goods, and also helps leaven and maintain the moisture in most grain-based foods. Because of these desirable properties, it can also be used as an additive in highly-processed foods to improve the consistency and moisture content
Gluten is often found in foods that we consume every day, such as bread, pasta, crackers, baked goods, veggie burgers, breaded meats, pizza, and flavored chips. It can also be found in soy sauce, gravies and sauces, beer and some wines, and many more common grocery items.
Check the back of the labels of the items in your pantry— you’ll probably find that at least half of them, if not more, contain wheat or gluten.
Many people who have gluten intolerance may not be aware of it, as the symptoms can be difficult to recognize. People with gluten intolerance often brush off their symptoms as regular, nonmedical discomforts. You may be suffering from gluten intolerance if you frequently experience problems like:
Experiencing an ongoing combination of these symptoms is a likely sign of some form of gluten intolerance.
Your doctor will likely want to begin investigating your suspected gluten intolerance by testing for Celiac disease.This refers to an autoimmune disease where the lining of the small intestine is damaged when you ingest gluten. In order to reach a diagnosis of Cielac disease, your doctor will probably take blood samples for lab analysis. They may also recommend an endoscopy test to examine the lining of your small intestine for any abnormalities.
If it turns out that you do not have Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity could be the next diagnosis that you explore. Since there are few proven methods to test for this, your doctor may have their own approach to diagnosing this issues. They may analyze the results of your blood test for a positive AGA-IgG blood test, which typically indicates gluten sensitivity due to the presence of gluten antibodies. Another common test is simply recommending that you stop consuming gluten and pay attention to how it affects you. If your condition improves, then you are probably suffering from gluten intolerance.
The only known treatment for gluten intolerance that currently exists is following a strict gluten-free diet. Medical experts don’t exactly see eye to eye on all the details of this, however— some think that all gluten should be strictly and permanently eliminated, while others believe that supplements can help their patients continue to consume small amounts of gluten.
It is important to note that removing gluten from your diet yields no additional health benefits besides clearing up symptoms of gluten intolerance. If your test results come back negative, or eliminating gluten from your diet does not improve your symptoms, you can introduce it back into your diet. Because symptoms of gluten intolerance are commonly associated with other conditions, it is advised that you consult your doctor about finding other possible diagnoses so that you can properly treat your discomfort.
Dr. Dasari is committed to providing the best care to all of his patients. He is an affiliate of Henderson Hospital, providing the best inpatient and outpatient surgical care closest to his patients. If you believe that you may be suffering from gluten intolerance and would like to have your symptoms evaluated by Dr. Dasari, contact his clinic, Minimally Invasive Surgery, at (702) 602-6600 to schedule a consultation.