Gluten intolerance can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms, and receiving a diagnosis can be the start of a markedly better life. However, the truth is that plenty of other diseases are commonly misdiagnosed as gluten intolerance—a mistake that can cause long-term damage and dramatically undermine quality of life. Here are seven conditions that cause similar symptoms to gluten intolerance and that should always be considered during an investigation of gastric symptoms.
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
With many of the same symptoms as gluten intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can cause bouts of stomach cramps (ranging from acute to severe), bloating, constipation and/or diarrhoea. IBS is more common than gluten intolerance, as one in five people are affected at some point of their lives. The main triggers of IBS are stress and specific foods (e.g. spicy meals), but your doctor might mistakenly think you are gluten intolerant since many IBS “trigger meals” also contain gluten.