Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain, diarrhea, or it may present a variety of extra-intestinal symptoms including headaches and migraines, lethargy and tiredness, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity, autism, schizophrenia, muscular disturbances as well as bone and joint pain.
Gluten is defined as those proteins, commonly found in wheat, triticale, rye, barley or oats to which some persons are intolerant and can develop a sensitivity to at any point in life.
Until recently, the terms gluten sensitivity and celiac disease were used interchangeably. However, emerging research is beginning to identify the differences that exist between celiac disease, wheat allergy and gluten sensitivity. If the medical history of a patient, along with clinical tests, rule out celiac disease and wheat allergy, a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity may be considered. Treatment for all three conditions is a gluten-free diet. The difference being that with wheat allergy drugs may be administered, whereas in the case of celiac disease a gluten-free diet needs to be adopted since even ingesting very small amounts of gluten-containing food could cause damage. In the case of gluten sensitivity, the withdrawal of gluten from the diet may only need to be temporary.
Wheat, in addition to creating gluten sensitivity, is also an appetite stimulant, it makes you want more – more cookies, cupcakes, pretzels, candy, bagels, muffins, tacos, pizza. For some people wheat is addictive much like a drug and can influence behavior and mood. Imagine, something as simple as wheat can effect the central nervous system much like nicotine or crack cocaine. The good news is, research has shown that the drug-like neurological effects can be reversed by eliminating gluten from your diet.