This is a guest post by Julia Wiesniewski, who lives gluten free to help with her fibromyalgia.

If you are reading this blog, then likely you or a loved one has gluten sensitivity. Chances are, though, that you are unaware of all the different kinds of health conditions that are associated with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Here is a list of conditions and disorders that you may not have realized are associated with a gluten sensitivity or allergy.

  1. Blood deficiencies.
    An inability to absorb gluten is associated with a deficiency in many vitamins and minerals in the blood. You need to visit your doctor to take a blood test and determine if you need to start a supplemental regimen. The deficiencies range from Vitamin A to Zinc.
  2. Addison’s Disease.
    People with celiac disease are 11x more likely to develop Addison’s Disease according to a Swedish study. Addison’s disease is when the adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormones causing symptoms similar to IBS, which brings me to my next point.
  3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
    Symptoms of IBS include bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. If you experience discomfort often during the month, you should see your doctor to see if IBS is responsible.
  4. Fibromyalgia.
    IBS is found in 30-70% of fibromyalgia patients. Fibromyalgia can have many symptoms that range from chronic pain and fatigue to episodes of extreme pain. There are many support groups, such as the FMS Community, that help those suffering from this illness find support.
  5. Arthritis.
    Anti-connective tissue antibodies are found in increased numbers in patients with celiac disease. Arthritis is becoming more and more manageable with new drugs on the market.

As with any kind of diet or disease that affects the nutrients you receive from food, there can be widespread effects throughout your body. Don’t let this list scare you into thinking that you have any of these conditions. Talk to your doctor about your concerns in terms of your health and s/he will help you.

Lastly, living gluten-free can be a very manageable lifestyle. You don’t have to give up all your favorite foods like bread or pasta. You can buy a gluten free bread maker, gluten free flour or gluten free pasta. There are many of us living without gluten and our community can provide a lot of support.

Thanks Julia!

Julia Wisniewski has been living with Fibromyalgia her whole life. She blogs for Bready, the gluten free bread machine company, about her experiences with FM and living without gluten for GF communities. In her free time, she likes to read and her guilty pleasure is reality TV.