Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance: Going Gluten Free for Good

Gluten intolerance and other gluten related illnesses are hard to diagnose, leaving the victim feeling hopeless for a way to feel better. Learn the symptoms of gluten intolerance so we can stop the cycle of this terrible autoimmune disorder.

Autoimmune disorders are called the silent killers, and in many ways, they are as scary as they sound. They are well known for having far ranging symptoms, making it quite possible that just about everyone on earth has a disorder.

The even more frustrating part about it is that they are hard to test for… especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for! Many people go to the doctor’s office because they “just don’t feel right” and it takes years until they finally get answers. In this article, you will hopefully receive enough information to be able to recognize the symptoms of gluten intolerance.

Understanding gluten

Alright, first of all, we need to set the facts straight about what gluten even is. There’s a scene in the film This Is The End, when Seth Rogan and Jay Baruchel are in the car and Seth tells Jay that he’s on a cleanse. Jay is perplexed and they begin to banter. Then, Seth exclaims, “Look man, if you stopped eating gluten, you’d feel way better all day.

Whenever you feel shitty, that’s because of gluten.” To which Jay replies, “That’s not true. Who told you not to eat gluten? You don’t even know what gluten is.” They argue for a moment about whether Seth actually knows what it is, until Seth says, “Gluten’s a vague term. It’s something that’s used to categorize things that are bad. You know? Calories. That’s a gluten. Fat. That’s a gluten.”

As ridiculous as this seems already, after they finish bickering about what gluten is, in the next scene they are both eating burgers in the car (which probably contain gluten). Obviously, we know that gluten is not a vague, blanket term to describe just any bad thing, but it is a blanket term to describe the type of proteins that are found in wheat, rye, barley and triticale products.

The three things that have the most gluten are wheat, barley and rye. Celiac (Celiac disease is caused by gluten intolerance) explains where these substances are usually found:

Wheat is commonly found in:

baked goods

  • breads
  • baked goods
  • soups
  • pasta
  • cereals
  • sauces
  • salad dressings
  • roux

Barley is commonly found in:

  • malt
  • food coloring
  • soups
  • malt vinegar
  • beer

Rye is commonly found in:

  • rye bread, such as pumpernickel
  • rye beer
  • cereals

Gluten intolerance (celiac disease)

It is very hard to note all of the symptoms that you may feel with gluten intolerance. Everyone has a different experience with it, and experiences a wide range of different symptoms at different times.

Outside factors, dietary changes, stress and other things can also affect your symptoms. It is believed that there are over 300 different symptoms of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, but here are some typical symptoms from Dummies:

Gastrointestinal symptoms: These are some of the “classic” — although not the most common — symptoms of celiac disease:

constipation face

  • Abdominal pain and distension
  • Acid reflux
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas and flatulence
  • Greasy, foul-smelling, floating stools
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss or weight gain

Non-gastrointestinal symptoms: Interestingly, although gluten sensitivity and celiac disease affect the gut, most people’s symptoms are not gastrointestinal in nature. This partial list includes just some of the more than 250 symptoms not centered in the digestive tract.

  • Fatigue and weakness (due to iron-deficiency anemia)
  • Vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies
  • Headaches (including migraines)
  • Joint/bone pain
  • Depression, irritability, listlessness, and mood disorders
  • “Fuzzy brain” or an inability to concentrate
  • Infertility
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Dental enamel deficiencies and irregularities
  • Seizures
  • Clumsiness (ataxia)
  • Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)
  • Respiratory problems
  • Canker sores (apthus ulcers)
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Eczema/psoriasis
  • Rosacea (a skin disorder)
  • Acne
  • Hashimoto’s disease, Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus erythematosus, and other autoimmune disorders
  • Early onset osteoporosis
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Bruising easily
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Muscle cramping
  • Nosebleeds
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Night blindness

If you are interested in seeing the whole list of 300 symptoms you can see it here!

If gluten intolerance (celiac disease) is left untreated, the symptoms will worsen and there will be very serious long term health issues. This is a list of those issues as stated by celiac:

  • Long-term health conditions
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia
  • Infertility and miscarriage
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Central and peripheral nervous system disorders
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Intestinal lymphomas and other GI cancers (malignancies)
  • Gall bladder malfunction
  • Neurological manifestations, including ataxia, epileptic seizures, dementia, migraine, neuropathy, myopathy and multifocal leucoencephalopathy

Testing for gluten intolerance

gluten warning

There is gluten intolerance (celiac disease) and gluten sensitivity. They both explain a situation where a person is having a bad reaction to gluten, but gluten intolerance is celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Many people are tested because they think they are gluten intolerant, but the test results come back negative.

Naturalnews says that “traditional gluten intolerance blood testing looks for only one of six polypeptides in wheat, gliadin. There are five others: wheat germ agglutinin, glteomorphin, gltueinin, prodynorphin, and omega gliadin. Any one or a combination of these five can cause anyone to have reactions to wheat.”

The best way to know if you have sensitivity to gluten is to completely remove all gluten from your diet for a few weeks and then slowly reintroduce it. If you feel better without the gluten or you feel terrible again once you bring it back in, then you know you have a problem. The great thing about that is that you also know the best solution – to rid your diet of gluten forever.

Is gluten bad for everyone?

Sydney Lupkin from ABCnews spoke with Kristen Kirkpatrick (a registered dietitian) about common gluten myths. In this interview, Kristen explains that gluten is not inherently bad.

And when asked whether it will make those who can tolerate it fat, she says, “Gluten does not make you fat. Calories make you fat regardless of where those calories are coming from, whether they’re coming from brown rice, which is gluten-free or a wheat bagel.” So, if you’re looking for a culprit for weight management issues, gluten is innocent until proven guilty.

Newly intolerant

So, you just found out you can’t have gluten. Let me guess… you think your whole world has just crumbled because you can’t eat all those yummy, delicious, scrumptious things you used to love before your newly found intolerance? Lucky for you, gluten intolerance is not a new thing. There are tons of great recipes and bloggers to guide you. You are not alone! And we’re here to help.

Here are a few of our favorite gluten free recipes. And yes, these recipes do taste as good as they look!

Karina’s gluten-free wheat-free chocolate muffin recipe

gluten-free wheat-free chocolate muffin recipe


  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup organic quinoa flour (or GF oat flour)
  • 1/2 cup potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup organic light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or light olive oil
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup rice milk – start with less
  • 1 tablespoon Ener-G Foods Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup warm water till frothy
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice or rice vinegar


  1. Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ingredients. Mix until the batter is smooth- it will be slightly sticky. If it climbs the beaters use a figure eight motion to control the batter better.If the batter is too thick, add in a little rice milk at a time until it becomes smooth- like a thick version of cake batter.
  2. Stir in:
    1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (omit for nut-free)
    Heaping 1/2 cup of vegan chocolate chips
  3. Spoon the batter into twelve lined muffin cups. Swirl and smooth the tops with a wet finger if you need to. Top each muffin with a pecan, chopped walnuts, or a couple of chocolate chips, as you prefer.
  4. Bake in the center of a hot oven until domed and firm, but springy. About 17-20 minutes. Remove the baked muffins from the pan as soon as possible and cool on a wire rack (this keeps the bottoms from steaming).

Cook time: 20 min

Yield: One dozen muffins

Karina’s creamy detox soup recipe with coconut milk

creamy detox soup recipe with coconut milk


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or organic coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli, rough cut
  • 3 cups of stemmed greens, packed (spinach, kale)
  • Fresh water, as needed
  • Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons each: chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, and mint
  • 1 cup light coconut milk, or more, to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot set over medium heat and stir in the garlic, onion, and ginger (this seasons the oil).
  2. Add in the broccoli and greens. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables- not too much. You can always thin the soup later, if you need to.
  3. Bring to a high simmer. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a medium simmer. Cook until the broccoli and greens are tender- maybe 15 minutes or so.
  4. Add the chopped parsley, cilantro and mint. Season with sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
  6. Return the pot to the stove and add in the coconut milk. Stir and heat through gently (don’t boil the pureed soup).

Taste test and adjust seasonings.

Serve with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

Serves 4.

Karina’s best gluten-free pizza crust recipe

best gluten-free pizza crust recipe


  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup GF millet flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons organic light brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups warm water (between 110 – 115ºF)
  • 1 teaspoon organic light brown sugar – for proofing the yeast
  • 1 packet (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil1/4 cup beaten organic free-range egg whites (or egg replacer for two eggs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon light tasting rice vinegar


  1. Grease two 12-inch pizza pans (or baking sheets) and dust lightly with gluten-free cornmeal or rice flour. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the GF flours and dry ingredients.
  3. Proof the yeast in 1 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar.
  4. Add the proofed yeast and water to the dry ingredients. Add the oil, eggs and vinegar.
  5. Beat the dough until smooth and sticky. Add the remaining 1/4 cup water if you need to. The pizza dough should be creamy smooth and not too thick- it’s not sturdy like typical bread dough. It almost borders on batter.
  6. Using a silicone spatula divide the dough in half. Scoop each half onto the center of a prepared pizza pan. Using clean, wet hands press down lightly and flatten the dough to create a thin, even pizza shell, with slightly raised edges. You’ll have to rinse your hands more than once to do this. Take your time to smooth out the dough with wet palms. Have patience, you will be rewarded with a lovely crust. Promise.
  7. Set the pizza shells in a warm cozy spot to rest and rise a bit- about 15 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  9. When the oven is hot, place the two pizza pans side by side on the center rack (if your oven is too small to accommodate both pans on one rack, you’ll need to use two racks; rotate the pans half way through baking time to avoid overcooking on the lower rack).
  10. Bake for ten minutes till golden.
  11. Remove from the oven. Preheat the broiler.
  12.  Brush the pizza shell with extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and fresh garlic.
    Sprinkle with Italian herbs.
  13. Top with your choice of fresh vegetables and herbs (and sauce, cheese, cooked meat etc). Drizzle extra virgin olive oil all over the top.
  14. Broil briefly to melt the cheese, 4-5 minutes. Don’t over cook.

Makes two medium thick 12-inch pizzas or baking sheet style rectangles (a thinner crust makes a larger size).

We hope you learned everything you needed to know about the symptoms of gluten intolerance from this article. If you or someone you know has gluten intolerance and would like to share some words of wisdom in the comments, please feel free to do so!

Also, don’t forget to like and share this article to spread awareness about celiac disease and prevent misdiagnosis of autoimmune disorders.

About the author


Lauren is a writer and painter. When she's not painting or writing, she enjoys cooking, exercising, playing music, singing, and getting lost on YouTube for hours on end.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment