Not sure if I have a gluten problem?

Help! What should I do first?

The first thing to do it go and see your GP. He or she will be able to arrange the necessary tests. Coeliac disease is actually quite difficult to diagnose. There are literally HUNDREDS of medical problems that produce similar symptoms. Just a few are listed below:

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies (Taking a multivitamin or multimineral will NOT fix this!)
  • Allergies and intolerances, including wheat allergy
  • Gut parasites
  • Structural abnormalities of the gut or bowel
  • Excess or lack of stomach acid
  • Lack of digestive enzymes
  • Gall bladder and liver problems
  • SIBO (Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
  • Leaky gut
  • Non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)
  • Depleted or damaged microbiome (from long-term dieting, some medications and especially long-term antibiotic use)

So basically, you can’t guess or even attempt to guess! If your coeliac test is negative and your GP finds no other obvious causes, your next step should be to talk to an¬†experienced registered dietitian such as myself. I can look at your diet in great detail and try to identify any food-related issues. I will then write you a detailed plan and help you to resolve the problem. Every single person has a different physical and genetic makeup, so actually, every person needs a different individualised plan. This plan may include specific nutritional supplements, sample menu and detailed diet advice. This is not something you can do for yourself safely. It is also not a good idea to attempt any type of specialist, medical or therapeutic diet without the assistance of a registered dietitian. You can actually do yourself some permanent damage if you get things wrong!

If you test positive for coeliac disease you may be referred to the hospital dietitians who will provide you with the appropriate advice. This is a free service. Alternatively, if you prefer to seek advice privately I am here to help. Feel free to book an appointment – see above. I can take self-referrals.

You should NEVER attempt an elimination diet, a low FODMAP diet or gluten-free diets without professional help.