The most common gluten allergy symptoms are gastrointestinal. This disease presents in highly individual ways, but it usually follows a progression from basic gastrointestinal symptoms that may go unnoticed toward serious problems with malnutrition. Occasionally, the disease may cause skin problems. Most people who have this disease experience a wide variety of gastrointestinal problems, but none can precisely be said to be the most common.
All gluten allergy symptoms are caused by consumption of products containing gluten. For other allergies, such as an allergy to bee stings or cats, the cause of the reaction usually becomes apparent because it is not always present. Gluten, however, is in a wide range of foods, not all of which are obviously wheat-based, making the allergy harder to find. Moreover, because many people eat foods containing wheat daily, it can be very difficult to note a marked change because the condition is likely constant. Given this problem, it is very common for people experiencing gluten allergy symptoms to feel generally ill but refrain from seeking treatment until symptoms become much worse, which then allows for retrospective understanding of the prior minor problems.
Minor digestive problems are very common gluten allergy symptoms. Diarrhea, upset stomach, and bloating are all very common reactions to gluten. More serious physical ailments might include severe constipation, foul stools, or abdominal pain. Sometimes a stool sample can even be used to diagnose this illness, as the diarrhea is described as pale and foul.
When the condition evolves into a more serious problem, gluten allergy symptoms become more severe. Anemia, weakness, and fatigue are all problems that result from damage to the body caused by an allergy to gluten. Serious problems, such as osteoporosis or stunted growth, can be irreversible. Some people experience muscle cramps, sores, or tingling in the legs and feet. Weight loss is also common.
There are also symptoms related to the general malaise associated with gluten intolerance. A person may not understand that he or she is not feeling well because the problem builds up over time. People who are suffering from malabsorption may become irritable or may even experience a decreased ability to think. This frustration can lead to problems with stress and may exacerbate the allergy.
Some people claim that gluten allergy symptoms consist solely of general malaise or fatigue. While this is true, the symptoms must be causing an actual allergic reaction in order to be attributed to gluten. Given how vague gluten allergy symptoms can be, it is important to seek a diagnosis from an actual doctor. Even if removing gluten from the diet does reduce the symptoms, there is no way to tell how much of the improvement is due to placebo or simply eating better in general. A gluten allergy is a serious claim and should always be verified scientifically.