So I personally went through a lot before figuring anything out about having Gluten problems. Almost three years ago know I discovered that gluten was not a safe thing for my body, but it took quite a bit to get there. I have most likely had this condition my whole life and never known it. When I was about 12 I started having some problems with weight gain as well as worsening anxiety and depression. My doctor assumed I was lazy. At about 15 I started to have severe heartburn to the point where I barely ate one meal a day as the pain was unbearable. My doctor gave me heartburn medication, which only made it worse. Eventually a nurse suggested taking gluten out of my diet as I may have celiac disease. When I removed gluten my world changed. It stopped the heartburn, it fixed what was originally thought to be IBS, it helped acne and skin abnormalities, it stopped headaches, I lost weight, the list goes on and on. My whole world brightened and became worth living.
How To Know
I was informed to go off of gluten to test myself, this however has made it impossible to be accurately tested. Many believe that I have celiac disease rather than just a gluten sensitivity due to the fact that the symptoms were severe and affected more than my digestive system. In Canada, to be tested for celiac disease you must still be on gluten, and have been on for at least three months. This is an impossibility for me as the pain and suffering is too much, therefore I will never know what I should truly be diagnosed with. This also prohibits me from tax rebates, as my gluten free food products could be taxed as medical expenses.
The link below discusses the process of being tested, and how it needs to be done prior to having a gluten free diet:
The Best Way To Go
But I Love Gluten...
Ahh, the moment of realization that some of your favourite foods may no longer be able to be your favourite. I thought the same thing. However, it wasn't actually that bad. At first I thought I wouldn't be able to eat some of my favourite foods, like every pasta dish known to man. I am in love with pasta, but surprisingly gluten free didn't entirely ruin this for me. Since even my becoming of gluten free there have been many advances in the food available. Gluten free pasta being a big part of that as well.
It Can Still Look and Taste Good
What Should I Do?
Personally, I believe that if you feel as though you may have an intolerance or celiac disease go see your healthcare practitioner and request to be tested before going of gluten. As you can see it makes it much more difficult if you go off of gluten first, even though that is what was suggested to me by a healthcare provider. If you have any symptoms that you feel may be associated with celiac disease you should go see your doctor, such as unexplained stomach pains, IBS like symptoms, uncontrollably rashes or acne, so on and so forth.
Some of the symptoms can be found on this website: