For most Americans gluten is not an issue, but it can be a serious problem for the 1 percent of the population with celiac disease (gluten intolerance). Sometimes individuals may not have celiac disease but can have a sensitivity to gluten. Gluten sensitivities affect roughly 6 percent of Americans and can be managed by a gluten-free diet. However, if you suspect you are sensitive to gluten, see your doctor before going on a gluten-free diet. Varying the grains in your diet—not relying on just gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye—is a viable solution.
The most important action is to get a proper diagnosis from your doctor. Some of the most common symptoms are not exclusive to celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Here are a few examples of symptoms to keep in mind: diarrhea, unexpected weight loss, vomiting, anemia, abdominal pain and distention, fatigue, joint pain, foggy mind, and tingling of the extremities. If any of these symptoms persist, it’s best to seek medical attention.