How To Tell If You Have Gluten Intolerance

According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness as many as 18 million Americans have gluten sensitivity. This is a little bit different than having celiac disease. When someone with celiac disease eats gluten, what happens is their body overreacts to the protein, damaging the small finger-like projections called villi found along the wall of the small intestine. Those villi then can’t absorb nutrients from food like they’re supposed to, which leads to a host of problems. Learn more about gluten intolerance and celiac disease with this quick video quiz.

If you are suffering from gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, these are symptoms of what disease?

Is it a) gluten intolerance b) IBS c) food poisoning d) all of the above? Some of you seeing the name of the quiz probably said A, but it’s actually D. It’s all of them. This is why getting a proper diagnosis can be so difficult when it comes to gluten intolerance.

Which of these is NOT a symptom of celiac disease?

Is it a) headaches b) weight gain c) joint pain d) rash? The correct answer is B. Weight LOSS is a symptom, but not weight gain.

How you doing so far?

Celiac disease affects how many people in the United States?

Do you think it’s a) 7 million people b) 3 million people c) 1 million people d) 750 thousand people? According to the University of Chicago Medicine, at least 3 million Americans have celiac disease. So, it’s B again!

How many people do you think don’t even know they have celiac disease? Actually, wait, let’s make that an official question.

According to WebMD, what percentage of people with celiac disease never know they have it?

Is it a) 40% b) 30% c) 20% or d) 10%? The correct answer is C 20%. Partly, this is because the damage done to the intestine is very slow. This also explains the varied symptoms.

Ready for the next question?

Gluten intolerance means you have to eliminate what percentage of gluten from your diet?

a) 100% b) 90% c) 80% d) 70%

Did you guess C? Because some people think they can follow the 80/20 rule. That’s a myth. The answer is A 100%. You can’t have ANY gluten. So, be vigilant! Speaking of vigilance…

Is gluten found only in food?

Is it a) yes or b) no? We probably lead the witness here. It’s B, no. Gluten can be found in toothpaste, mouthwash, even on the backs of stamps or in the glue to seal an envelope.

Final question.

Who’s at risk for celiac disease?

Is it people who a) have family members with the disease b) had a stressful event in their life c) already suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or d) any of the above? You probably don’t think stress or RA are risk factors and probably picked A. However, they are indeed risk factors, so the correct answer is D.

So, that’s it! How did you do? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook & Twitter pages. As you can see, gluten intolerance is tricky. If you have the symptoms and suspect that you might be part of the 20% who don’t know if they suffer from celiac disease, get tested here:

*Sources: WebMD, University of Chicago Medicine: Celiac Disease Center,, Forbes

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