A test for intolerance will determine if an individual has some adverse effects when he consumes gluten. This is a condition also known as gluten insensitivity (GS), and there are many people around the world who are affected by it. Gluten is a protein contained in 4 types of grains―wheat, rye, barley, and spelled (a kind of wheat)―so it is impossible to completely avoid its consumption. But by carrying out this test, one can at least determine if he/she is sensitive to it.
Gluten has certain glue-like properties which leads various food items like bread to appear the way they do. It is this very property that causes some side effects inside the body as well. It is very hard for intolerant people to digest it, and this inadvertently leads to the growth of certain kinds of bacteria and yeast within the body. This then leads to various symptoms and problems, and in order to avoid this situation, one should undergo examination.
Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
Here are some commonly found symptoms that may induce a doctor to recommend a test for gluten sensitivity.
- Mouth ulcers
- Poor immune system
- Sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Skin problems
- Gastrointestinal problems like flatulence, diarrhea, bloating etc.
- Malabsorption symptoms
These symptoms are signs for other diseases and conditions as well, so the doctor will need to thoroughly examine the patient to determine the exact cause of the condition, and to see if he really does possess a gluten allergy. He will also ask him a lot of questions, and these answers will be extremely useful in the diagnosis.
Testing for Gluten Intolerance
The best way to know if you are gluten sensitive, is to undergo a clinical examination. These are conducted by doctors to determine if an individual who is displaying symptoms, is actually having this problem. Here are some of the most common tests employed for this purpose.
- A stool fat test, in order to check the malabsorption level of gluten
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) for signs of inflammation in the intestines
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP) to look for further signs of inflammation
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) to check for anemia
- Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Vitamin E tests to check for vitamin deficiency
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) to check electrolyte, protein and calcium levels
Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive system disease that is closely related to this problem. If an individual has contracted this disease, he will have difficulties in absorbing vital nutrients from the food that he consumes. The villi of the small intestine will also be damaged as a result. All this leads to the surfacing of several malabsorption symptoms, as the individual is not absorbing as many nutrients as he should be. But remember, simply being gluten intolerant does not mean that one has Celiac disease.
Testing at Home
If you are unsure about your condition and are hesitant to visit a doctor, you can test yourself for gluten intolerance at home itself. You will have to purchase a kit from the market. This is easily available at most medical stores, and are not very expensive. You will be required to take a tiny prick of blood from your finger. The test checks for the antibodies that are present in the blood if one is gluten intolerant, and this helps determine the situation. You need to follow the instructions that are given on the kit, but before you do so, you must consult with your doctor and ask him if it is alright for you to carry it out yourself. In most cases, this is a pretty safe procedure, and you will know your results soon.
Remember that this is simply an amateur test, and if you are not convinced with the result, you must visit a doctor for a proper examination. Once the outcome is determined, you can decide on the next step accordingly.