What are the symptoms of wheat intolerance?

Wheat intolerance causes damage to the small intestine that may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

Gastrointestinal symptoms of wheat intolerance

You may experience wheat intolerance symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these wheat intolerance symptoms can be severe:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Abdominal swelling, distension or bloating
  • Chronic or persistent diarrhea
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive gas
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability in childrenNausea with or without vomiting
  • Pale or fatty stool
  • Vomiting

Other symptoms of wheat intolerance

  • Easy bruising
  • Growth delay in children
  • Headache
  • Itching skin
  • Joint pain
  • Malaise or lethargy
  • Muscle cramping
  • Rash
  • Tooth discoloration, including white, yellow or brown spots, may be the first symptoms of celiac disease, especially in young children; permanent tooth problems can cause serious health issues
  • Weight loss

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

Rarely is wheat intolerance serious or life threatening. However, such symptoms as diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain may lead to serious dehydration. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness
  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions
  • Decreased urine output
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Severe abdominal pain


What is wheat intolerance?

Wheat intolerance is the hallmark of celiac disease, a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and disturbs the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, or gluten intolerance. The damage to the intestine that occurs with this condition is due to an immune reaction against gluten, a protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye. After th... Read more about wheat intoleranceintroduction


What causes wheat intolerance?

Wheat intolerance is commonly associated with a family history of the disorder. The exact cause is unknown, but when a person with celiac disease consumes products containing gluten, the body’s immune response to the gluten damages the lining of the small intestine. This intestinal damage leads to malnutrition and related complications.

What are the risk factors for wheat into... Read more about wheat intolerancecauses


How is wheat intolerance treated?

Treatment for wheat intolerance begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine whether you have wheat intolerance, your health care provider will ask questions related to your dietary intake (what you eat) and the symptoms you are experiencing. You may be asked to undergo diagnostic testing.

Treatment of celiac disease involves following a gluten-fre... Read more about wheat intolerancetreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Digestive System, Celiac Disease

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