How to Recognize Gluten Allergy Symptoms

Gluten allergy symptoms vary with each individual. Use this information to identify the most typical symptoms associated with gluten allergies.


  • Step 1: Consult your doctor if you feel you have symptoms of gluten allergy. Tests are available to look for characteristic antibodies present in the blood of those who have gluten allergies.
  • FACT: The Food and Drug Administration first proposed a regulation for "gluten-free" product labeling in 2007.
  • Step 2: Be on the lookout for autoimmune diseases. People with gluten allergies often have diseases in which the immune system attacks the body's healthy cells and tissues.
  • TIP: Long-term complications may include malnutrition, liver disease, and cancers of the intestine.
  • Step 3: Watch for symptoms unique to children. Malabsorption of nutrients during childhood can lead to failure to thrive in infants, delayed growth and short stature, delayed puberty, and dental enamel defects in permanent teeth. Children with gluten allergies may also exhibit irritability.
  • Step 4: Be on the alert for non-gastrointestinal symptoms, including unexplained iron-deficiency anemia, fatigue, bone or joint pain, arthritis, bone loss or osteoporosis, depression or anxiety, tingling numbness in the hands and feet, seizures, missed menstrual periods, infertility or frequent miscarriage, canker sores inside the mouth, and dermatitis herpetiformis.
  • Step 5: Be on the alert for gastrointestinal symptoms -- especially in infants and young children. Symptoms may include abdominal bloating and pain, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, and weight loss.

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