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Causes and Symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis

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Image is from Arthritis Foundation Blog

Juvenile arthritis is a disease that affects children ages 16 and under, and it involves inflammation of the tissue that lines the inside of the joints. This tissue is called synovium.

What are the Causes?

Most forms of juvenile arthritis are caused by a malfunction of the immune system, which places it in the category of autoimmune disorders. An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body attacks it’s own healthy cells and tissues. The result is inflammation of the synovium.

However, not all cases of juvenile arthritis are autoimmune. Another cause is labeled an autoinflammatory condition. The disease process behind an autoinflammatory condition is different from that of an autoimmune disorder.

While autoinflammatory conditions result in inflammation and involve an overactive immune system, the similarities between it and an autoimmune disease end there. With an autoimmune response, the body releases proteins called autoantibodies that attack the body. An autoinflammatory condition involves a more primitive part of the immune system, and the reason it malfunctions remains unknown.

What is Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis is the commonly accepted term for the seven different types of arthritis that affect children. These are:

  • Systemic
  • Oligoarticular
  • Polyarticular with a negative Rheumatoid factor
  • Polyarticular with a positive Rheumatoid factor
  • Psoriatic
  • Enthesitis-related
  • Undifferentiated

What are the Symptoms of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis?

General symptoms include:

  • Joint pain
  • Tenderness
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth
  • Swelling

These symptoms last for more than six continuous weeks. The following symptoms are specific to each type of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis:

  • Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – Arthritis symptoms with or preceded by an intermittent fever that lasts for at least two weeks. One or more of the following symptoms accompany it: lymph node, liver, or spleen enlargement, inflammation of the lining of the lungs or heart, a flat, pale, pink rash that does not itch and can move from one part of the body to another.
  • Oligoarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – Arthritis affecting one to four joints for the first six months of the disease.
  • Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Negative Rheumatoid Factor) – Arthritis in at least five joints for the first six months of the disease and all tests for the presence of Rheumatoid Factor proteins are negative.
  • Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (Positive Rheumatoid Factor) – Arthritis in at least five joints for the first six months of the disease and two out of three tests for the presence of Rheumatoid Factor proteins are positive. Tests must be taken at least three months apart.
  • Psoriatic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – Patient has both arthritis and psoriasis or arthritis and at least two of the following: a relative diagnosed with psoriasis, nail splitting or pitting, or inflammation of one entire toe or finger.
  • Enthesitis-related Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis – This occurs where a joint capsule, tendon, or ligament attaches to the bone. The most common locations are the Achilles tendon behind the ankle and around the knee. Both arthritis and inflammation must be present or either one with at least two of the following: inflammation of the sacroiliac joint with inflammatory bowel disease or acute inflammation of the eye, enthesitis arthritis, arthritis in males over six years, a positive HLA blood test, a family history of ankylosing spondylitis, or inflammation at the base of the spine or in the lower back area.
  • Undifferiented Arthritis – Symptoms do not fit with any of the six previous categories.

Researchers now believe that both environmental and genetics play a part in the development of juvenile arthritis.

 

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National Women’s Health Week

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Image is from Women’s Health.gov

Annually, the United States Department of health and human service office on women health leads Americans in observing a national women week. It often begins on the popular Mother’s Day and stretches to a period of one week. This year, the Americas celebrate the 18th anniversary of women health week which commences on May 14th and ends on May 20th, 2017. The primary objective of this liturgy is to inspire all women to have a priority in their health and to have a prodigious care of themselves. This year’s celebration emphasizes on the advantages of integrating active and preventive health activities in the day-day do about.

Steps to Take for a Better Health During National Women’ Health Week

The following steps will help you achieve a better health:

Get Moving

Physical activities such as jobbing, aerobics, going to the gym are the most important things that your health needs. It is of importance to your health since it lowers the risks of contracting the disease that is the leading cause of women’s health; the heart disease. For instance, get at least 2 to 3 hours of aerobics every week, have at least 2 hours each week to strengthen your major muscle groups, and finally, reduce your chances of falling by doing balance training.

Get Recommended Screenings and Preventive Care

You can do a regular check up with your health care providers to prevent yourself from getting diseases, disabilities, or injuries. Moreover, it is said that prevention is way better than cure; therefore, preventive care will detect the disease early thus having an initial treatment.

Take Healthy Foods

Food is integral to our life, but at times, it becomes toxic. Therefore, you ought to practice a healthy eating lifestyle such as:

  • Including foods such as greens, fruits, grains, fat-free milk and any other dairy products, low salted lean meat, trans and drenched fats and low added sugars in your healthy eating plans.
  • Women need to have 400 micrograms of folic acid each day for cells that their body generates every day to develop healthily. The only significant ways you can get this folic acid is by eating vitamins rich in folic acid or eating a bowl of breakfast cereal that has folic acid each day
  • Avoiding smoking and drinking too much.
  • Checking on your weight and getting to know if you need an excellent and effective guide to shed off some weight to stay healthy and fit.

Prioritize your Mental Health

You need to have a stable mind and a physically fit body to stay healthy. Evidence has it that a stable and healthy mind is associated with an improved body health. To have a stable mental health, you should:

  • Get a sufficient daily sleep – Enough rest has a noticeable impact on how you do your daily activities and your mood for the day. Psychologists say that adult human beings need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to have a robust mental health
  • learn healthy ways of managing stress since a healthy mind is the one which is free from fear.

Practice Healthy Behaviors

  • Protect your body from the Ultraviolet rays which may damage your skin and eyes, exposing your premature skin may result in skin aging and cancer. Therefore, you are advised to Wear sun cream, sun protection glasses and have a step by step guide on skin protection.
  • Per the research, 18 women die daily in the U.S. due to an overdose of the prescribed painkillers. Therefore, you are advised to follow the doctor’s prescription diligently when taking these drugs.

 

 

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What to Avoid: Gluten Allergy

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Do you or a family member suffer from frequent or infrequent brain fog, lethargy, painful stomach maladies or a combination of each? The struggle is real. The acknowledgement of gluten allergies in the last decade has recently illuminated the often debilitating symptoms that affect upwards of 18 million people in the United States. One grain of wheat could make the difference between a better quality of life and barely getting by. So what can you do to stop something so seemingly insignificant from negatively impacting the way you live? Discover what to look for and what to avoid in your day-to-day routine to avoid needless pain and suffering.

Show Me the–Ingredients

When going gluten-free, consummate foodies may find the “food lifestyle” change a little daunting. It doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ways you can satisfy your taste buds and avoid the dangers gluten allergies can bring to your everyday nutriments.

1. Be vigilant. It’s simple, read the nutritional information! Do this and at the very least you will be aware of the possibility of gluten in your food choices.

2. Don’t just read the ingredients, read by the asterisk. For gluten sensitive stomachs, cross contamination of food items in factories that also process nuts, soy and wheat products can affect the most sensitive of stomachs. Many packaged products have additional information marked by an asterisk at the beginning or end of their ingredient list. If the product is produced in the same building as wheat products, you may want to set the food item back on the shelf.

3. Know your trigger words. Dextrin, barley, bleached flour, bulgur, beer, brown flour, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, various malt products and yeast products in food can cause the troubling and debilitating symptoms of a gluten allergy attack. If you see any of these in the ingredients, it’s best to steer clear and opt for a clearly marked “gluten-free” substitution.

4. Stay positive and look for options. The more options you find to replace gluten-rich products with gluten-free delicious alternatives the less tempted you’ll be to indulge in that little bit of tainted decadence that can bring on fogginess, cramping, nausea or shooting pains.

5. It is best to abstain. If you can’t find the information you need to determine without a doubt that what you put in your mouth is untouched by gluten, don’t bite. If there is a snack you just can’t live without, do the research. With gluten allergy awareness quickly becoming a must-have for food-producing companies in the current market, food companies post gluten information on their websites for quick and easy answers.

6. Expect nothing. What you may think as naturally gluten free, may be contaminated in processing and packaging. Gluten-free products are not guaranteed to remain gluten-free. Some companies may change the ingredients they use at their own discretion. Many companies engage in their own comprehensive food-testing and may have discovered gluten contamination in the process. If you peruse the numerous gluten-free food lists online that are periodically updated online, what was once gluten free could now be off the list.

Gluten isn’t just found in various foods. Shampoos, cosmetic products, medications, vitamins and even stamps and envelopes may all contain a form of gluten. From hot dogs to precooked flour dusted French fries, gluten is an ingredient that continues to find its way into our lives, but it is possible to avoid it. Thankfully as awareness grows, so does the list of food alternatives. Protect yourself by never making assumptions and you’ll be able to exemplify what it means to live a gluten-free life!

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Celiac Disease

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Image is from Gastroenterology Consultants Orlando

Celiac Disease: Patient Guide and Treatment Information

For people with celiac disease, going gluten-free is a medical necessity rather than a choice. Celiac disease is a serious digestive disorder that is triggered by the protein gluten. When people with celiac disease eat foods that have gluten, such as barley, rye and wheat, their immune system responds by damaging the intestine. Over time, this results in the body being unable to absorb nutrients. Celiac disease leads to a host of problems, including:

  • Malnourishment
  • Osteoporosis
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Cancer

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Here are some of the symptoms of celiac disease. If you have these symptoms, check with your doctor for an official diagnosis. There are many other diseases that could be causing these symptoms, as well.

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Swelling in the abdomen or feeling of fullness
  • Foul-smelling, pale stools that float
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed?

Celiac disease can be diagnosed by your physician. They will ask you for a complete family medical history. Then, you physician may order a physical exam and other tests, such as genetic tests, blood test or a biopsy.

Treatments for Celiac Disease

There is no cure for celiac disease. The only treatment is to remain on a gluten-free diet. Following a gluten-free diet will significantly reduce the symptoms of this disorder and may eventually end the symptoms altogether as the villi of your intestines are healed. Eating any gluten at all will restart the damage to your intestine. Therefore, you will have to remain on a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life.

In some cases, the damage to the intestines is so significant that eating a gluten free diet will not help. If this happens, the only way to get nutrients is intravenously.

Living with Celiac Disease

Living with celiac disease requires a big change in your diet. A true gluten-free diet will limit what you can eat. You cannot eat many of the staples, including:

  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Crackers
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Ice cream
  • Instant coffee
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Yogurt
  • Pizza
  • Processed foods

Read food labels carefully before eating any food to be sure that it does not contain wheat or any other type of gluten. Some patients with celiac disease can eat oats and others cannot. So, if you have celiac disease, ask your doctor whether or not you should consume oats. Just be aware that packaged oats are sometimes contaminated with wheat.

It is also a good idea to pay close attention to over-the-counter capsules, vitamins and tablets as many of these contain wheat starch, which is used as a binding agent in capsules and tablets. Gluten is present in barley so avoid beer. Brandy, whiskey, wine and other alcohols are fine as they do not contain gluten.

It is always a good idea to work with a dietitian, who can provide you with more information about a gluten-free diet.

When eating in restaurants, you will have to ask what the ingredients are in each dish that you order. Eating just a small amount of gluten will cause some people with celiac disease to vomit or have severe diarrhea that lasts for hours.

Even though you have celiac disease, you can still enjoy a healthy diet. You can get pasta and bread that are made from other types of flour, such as rice flour. In addition, many food companies have significantly increased their gluten-free offerings over the last couple of years as gluten-free has become quite popular. In addition, you can enjoy fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and meats, as long as they have not been artificially processed.

 

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Lupus Symptoms

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Image is from Lupus Foundation of America

Millions of people suffer with the autoimmune disease known as Lupus. This chronic inflammatory disease affects a person’s immune system. Rather than fighting to protect your body from viruses and bacteria, the immune system actually attacks various organs and tissues. Since, Lupus can affect different parts of the body, its symptoms vary greatly from person to person. The intensity of these symptoms also varies greatly, but most people experience flares, which will worsen and improve randomly.

Below is a look at some of the main symptoms of Lupus.

  • Anemia – Characterized by lower than normal levels of red blood cells in the body’s blood.
  • Chest Pain – Chest pain that occurs when taking a deep breathe. This can be caused by an inflammation of the pleura membrane that surrounds the lungs, also referred to as Pleurisy.
  • Dry or Swollen Eyes – Lupus can cause dry eyes or even swelling and pain in the area surrounding the eyes.
  • Fatigue – Lupus oftentimes causes extreme fatigue that is typically more severe during and immediately after a flare.
  • Fever – Many patients experience unexplainable fevers.
  • Hair Loss – Depending on which organs and tissues are affected, Lupus may cause hair loss.
  • Headaches – Many Lupus patient complain of severe headaches, which may be accompanied by confusion or even memory loss.
  • Joint Pain – Lupus can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness of joints in the areas affected by the disease,
  • Photosensitivity – Some Lupus patients also experience a sensitivity to the sun and the light. In these cases, it is best to avoid direct sunlight when possible.
  • Rash – Many Lupus patients, but not all, experience a distinguishable rash on their face. This rash typically takes on a butterfly shape and spreads from the bridge of the nose outwards over both cheeks.
  • Raynaud’s Phenomenon – This phenomenon causes a person’s fingers and/or toes to turn a whitish or bluish color when subjected to intense stress or extreme colds.
  • Shortness of Breath – In addition to chest pain, Lupus patients may experience periods of shortness of breath.
  • Skin Lesions – These types of lesions are most common among those whose Lupus affects their skin. Overexposure to direct sunlight should be avoided because this can worsen the lesions.
  • Swelling – Lupus patients commonly show signs of swelling in their feet and legs.
  • Unusual Blood Clotting – When Lupus affect the blood cells, a person may experience unusual blood clotting.
  • Ulcers – Some people with Lupus also experience frequent ulcers in the nose and/or mouth.

Lupus is sometime referred to as “The Great Imitator” because its symptoms are very similar to several other medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems and fibromyalgia. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss these concerns.

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Understanding Celiac Disease

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Image is from Dr.Starpoli

Celiac Disease is a genetic, digestive, autoimmune disorder that is characterized by damage to the small intestine when you consume gluten. Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, and wheat. If you have Celiac Disease and ingest gluten, your body reacts with an immune response that attacks and eventually damages the villi in the small intestine. Villi are tiny, finger-shaped projections that line the small intestine and promote nutrient absorption. Malfunction of the villi can lead to malnutrition.

Diagnosis

Celiac Disease is diagnosed symptomatically, along with a blood test to look for a high level of certain antibodies and a biopsy of the small intestine. An estimated 1 out of every 100 people worldwide have the disease. It is also hereditary, so if you have a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with it, your chances of developing the disease increases to approximately 1 out of 10.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin rash
  • Weight loss

While Celiac Disease cannot be cured, it can be managed, so that you can go on to live a long, healthy life.

Treatment

There is only one treatment for Celiac Disease and that is to eat a gluten-free diet. Fortunately, there are many foods that are naturally gluten-free such as:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Eggs
  • Nuts

There are also a growing number of gluten-free products that are being developed by manufacturers.

There is, however, a little bit more to managing Celiac Disease than just eliminating gluten from your diet. You also have to make sure you are getting the proper amount of nutrients and vitamins including:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Fiber

Weight gain can also be a problem for you if you are treating Celiac Disease, because you are now absorbing more calories from your gluten-free food.

Life with Celiac Disease

There are several steps you can take to live more healthfully:

  • See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) – He or she can help you to understand what foods are safe to eat and what you should avoid. An RDN can also help you with meal planning and what to do when eating in a restaurant. They will also ensure that you are receiving the proper vitamins and nutrients from your gluten-free diet and help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Try Alternate Grains – There are several grains that can be used in place of grains with gluten. These include: corn, rice, amaranth, sorghum, millet, quinoa and teff. There is also a large variety of plant foods and starches you can consume, such as: potato, buckwheat, flax, lentils, soy, tapioca, yucca, wild rice, and Indian rice grass. You can also speak to your grocer and ask for some of these alternatives to be put in stock. Most grocers will do their best to accommodate you.
  • Learn about Ingredients – Many foods contain gluten even if they are barley, rye, and wheat-free. For example, soy sauce, malt, and modified food starch all contain gluten. Most processed foods and condiments contain gluten, as well. If you have Celiac Disease, it is critical to start reading ingredient lists on labels.
  • Look for Gluten-Free Labels – While manufacturers are creating more and more gluten-free foods, if it doesn’t say gluten-free on the label, don’t purchase it. Something as seemingly innocuous as a rice mix can have traces of gluten in it.

While it may seem overwhelming at first, it can actually be fun to create your own gluten-free recipes. After awhile, you will know exactly what products you can enjoy to live a healthy, happy, productive life.

 

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5 major Risks for Women’s Health

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Image is from Duke Health

It is common knowledge that men and women are different. They have physical differences, emotional differences, and behavioral differences. They also have many health differences. The major risks for women’s health differ from that of men. The best way for a woman to boost her health is to know the five medical conditions that are of the greatest risk to her.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women. According to the CDC, heart disease is responsible for 29 percent of deaths in women. While more men die of heart disease, more women go under-diagnosed. This is because women present with different symptoms than men. Some women will have the typical chest pain when having a heart attack, however, some have symptoms such as jaw pain shoulder aches, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. There are several factors for women developing this disease.

  • Age
  • Hereditary
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Diabetes

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer in women. The best way for a woman to beat the cancer is early detection. Women who are over 35 or who have a family history of breast cancer should have annual mammograms. Women should also start doing self-breast exams as early as their teens. There are several risk factors for breast cancer.

  • Age
  • Genetic mutation
  • Family history
  • Personal history of cancer
  • Race (white women have a greater risk than African-American women
  • Abnormal breast biopsies
  • Obesity
  • Never giving birth

Osteoporosis

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Osteoporosis affects 44 million Americans each year. Of that number, 68 percent of them are women. Osteoporosis causes brittle bones, a hunched back, and bone loss. The behaviors that women develop when they are children and throughout their teens plays a significant role in the development and progression of the disease. There are several risk factors for this disease.

  • Female sex
  • Age
  • Small boned
  • Ethnicity (White and Asian women are more prone)
  • Smoking
  • Diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  • Family history
  • History of eating disorder

Depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 12 million women are diagnosed with depression each year, as opposed to the only 6 million men. Depression can be triggered by hormonal changes or lack of connection with other in their lives. Some women suffer from mild depression, some suffer from clinical depression, and some suffer from bipolar depression. There are several other risk factors for any of these types of depression.

  • Family history
  • History of heart problems
  • Chronic illness
  • Substance abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Childhood history of abuse
  • Stressful events (job loss, death, divorce)
  • Vitamin deficiency or thyroid disease

Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases attack the body’s immune system. They can also destroy or alter the body’s tissue. The most common types are lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. About 75 percent of the autoimmune diseases diagnosed occur in women. Unfortunately, these types of diseases can be very difficult to diagnose. It is not uncommon for a woman to need multiple visits to multiple doctors to finally get the correct diagnosis. This is because we don’t know much about these diseases. It is still not known what makes the body attack itself. Until doctors and researchers have a better understanding of the disease, it will continue to pinpoint possible risk factors of developing an autoimmune disease.

The best defense that a woman has against developing any of the above conditions is to understand the risk factors. There are some lifestyle changes that a woman can make to reduce their risk of developing any of these conditions.

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Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

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Image is from Livestrong.com

Gluten sensitivity, otherwise known as gluten intolerance can manifest worse than IBS like symptoms and stomach problems. It can affect other bodily processes and not just the digestive system. It wreaks havoc on your skin, the largest organ, bones, mouth, and endocrine system. You may have a myriad of symptoms that don’t make sense to the physician and may mean they are clueless you’re reporting back to them with symptoms of gluten sensitivity. The currently available drugs only tend to treat symptoms and looking taking care of the underlying issue. This is why doctors are quick to give medication that might only ease your current suffering.

If you feel that the physician is not attending to you like you would wish i.e. they don’t listen to you properly, then it may be time to visit a new doctor.

Below are some symptoms you would want to look keenly

Depression and anxiety

Depression is a grave concern for many. There are myriad symptoms of depression

Including

  • Hopelessness,
  • Appetite changes,
  • Low energy,
  • Anger
  • Sleep changes

While some patients may need medical attention to correct the never ending imbalances with depression, others may not necessarily need. However, the underlying causes of depression are often not investigated. The study has confirmed that glutamic intolerance has a hand in anxiety, depression and mood disorders. The moment you remove gluten from the diet, depression, and anxiety shall have been solved.

Autoimmune diseases

Consumption of gluten has been linked to several autoimmune diseases. You can always know when autoimmune issues are developing before they can show up and their symptoms start to manifest. This will give you ample time to adjust your dieting and lifestyle to alleviate chances of developing full blown autoimmune disorder. Below is a list of some autoimmune diseases usually known to be relating to glutamic sensitivity.

  • Celiac diseases
  • Vitiligo
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Type 1 diabetes

Vital to mention is that this condition is very prevalent.

Low immunity

If you have noticed that the frequency in which you fall sick is relatively higher than normal, then think about gluten being an issue.

IgA is a group of antibodies which occur in the tears, saliva as well as the gastrointestinal tract. Reflect on this class of antibodies as your first line of defense whenever an infection comes to attack you. When you have a sensitivity to gluten, the first sign is a reduced number of IgA antibodies. This means you don’t have a proper defense in place to keep you safe.

Dental issues

Cancer sores, cavities, tooth decay and broken teeth are all indicative of gluten sensitivity. The levels of calcium of gluten sensitivity can be waveringly level due to malabsorption which may lead to weak bones and teeth. A DEXA scan is, therefore, imperative. It’s one of the surest ways of determining calcium levels and the overall health of your bones.

Migraine headaches

Though gluten doesn’t have a hand in all migraines, it has often been linked to many cases. A research was carried out to gauge the migraine headaches in individuals sensitive to gluten. In those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, there was a report of chronic headaches on 56% of the individuals, 30% of those suffering from celiac disease and then 23% of the patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

The above are some of the symptoms of glutamic intolerance.

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