If you suffer from abdominal pain, flatulence, diarrhea, and/or weight loss or weight gain, you may have an allergy to gluten. (In children, symptoms can include diarrhea, abdominal signs of malnutrition such as short stature, anemia, dental defects, failure to distension thrive and delayed development.)

Gluten, a substance found in wheat and many other grain products, can trigger a digestive and autoimmune disorder called celiac disease in people with a gluten allergy. Celiac disease results in damage to the lining of the small intestine when foods with gluten are eaten, making it hard for the body to absorb certain nutrients, in particular fat, calcium, iron and folate.  With food allergies, symptoms are usually triggered within minutes of eating the food.

In a sensitivity to gluten or wheat different from Celiac, and more difficult to pinpoint, the body releases a different type of antibody which may not be apparent until hours or even days after eating the food. Gluten sensitivity may produce the same symptoms as celiac disease, and if left unchecked can lead to similar long-term complications.

The only way to know for sure whether you have an allergy or sensitivity is to have an assessment. Comprehensive celiac profile testing is recommended.  It asses for gliadin IgA and IgG antibodies, as well as anti-tissue transglutaminase IgA, present in celiac disease.

NEX Wellness offers comprehensive food allergy and sensitive laboratory testing in Binbrook and Burlington. After testing, our naturopathic doctors can work with you to eliminate gluten and/or wheat from your diet as necessary. While most people see improvement within a few weeks, results vary from one person to another. If you are concerned about a potential allergy or sensitivity to gluten, contact us to schedule an appointment for an assessment.