Tag Archives: food allergy testing
The classic symptoms of celiac disease are bloating, diarrhea, and vomiting. Weight loss and fatigue are common, as is failure to thrive and grow normally in children. However, not everyone who has celiac disease or gluten allergy shows these symptoms. Many may only suffer from fatigue and anaemia, and some have no symptoms at all.
In the case of small children, a red flag is the onset of digestive difficulties and failure to thrive shortly after the introduction of wheat products into the diet. In adults, an often overlooked symptom is an extreme fondness for products containing wheat– someone with gluten allergy symptoms may lapse rhapsodic about the taste of a relatively bland food like bread or pasta, and miss it or even crave it if they don’t eat it every day.
This may seem odd (and a bit cruel), but it’s actually part of the body’s attempt to protect itself. When a person with celiac disease or gluten allergy eats wheat, it causes an immune response and painful inflammation in the gut. The body’s response to inflammation and pain is to release endorphins, which produce a barely-noticeable-but-definitely-there “buzz”, to cover the pain; the same sort of buzz that a hospital patient gets from a dose of morphine, or a drug addict from a shot of heroin.
So, just as the heroin user and the hospital patient may become addicted to opiates, the person with celiac or gluten allergy symptoms becomes addicted to the small “high” that follows a meal containing wheat. It’s completely unconscious, of course– if asked, the person will say that they simply love the taste of the bread, pasta, or whatever– but it can be a strong hint of some sort of wheat intolerance or gluten allergy.
If some or all of these symptoms sound familiar, there are a few different ways to proceed with getting a more accurate diagnosis. These include antibody testing, endoscopic analysis, genetic testing, elimination diets, and challenge tests, which will be discussed more fully in other articles.
Your doctor can help guide you in determining your next step.