The symptoms of both coeliac disease and gluten intolerance overlap somewhat, so you will need your doctor to test you before you’ll get any answers on what might be causing your problems. Click To Tweet

If you think you may be affected by coeliac disease or gluten intolerance, don’t despair! Not only are both conditions relatively easy to manage, there are also so many ways to enjoy delicious gluten free food nowadays. You won’t miss out on a thing. If you’re worried that you have the symptoms of either, here’s what to do about it.

First things first. Visit your doctor to discuss your symptoms. The symptoms of both coeliac disease and gluten intolerance overlap somewhat, so you will need your doctor to test you before you’ll get any answers on what might be causing your problems.

What are the symptoms?

Those affected by gluten intolerance or coeliac disease tend to experience similar gastrointestinal symptoms. These might include any (or all) of the following: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation and bloating. In addition to these, if you have coeliac disease, you might feel extremely tired, or suffer from anaemia. You might also have hair loss, extreme weight loss, migraines or recurrent headaches. Thankfully, all of these unpleasant conditions will ease in both situations once the sufferer begins a gluten free diet.

How will the doctor test for Gluten Intolerance or Coeliac Disease?

After discussing your symptoms, the doctor will likely refer you to a number of tests to determine whether or not you have coeliac disease. The first test is a simple blood test. This will be able to give your doctor a very good indication of whether or not you have coeliac disease. If the blood test shows a possible result, you will likely be referred to a hospital where a biopsy will be taken to confirm the diagnosis.

If these tests are negative, but you are still affected by the symptoms mentioned above when you consume gluten, you are one of many people affected by gluten intolerance. Gluten intolerance is not as serious as coeliac disease, but it can prove very uncomfortable nonetheless.

I’ve been diagnosed. What can I do about it?

If you are diagnosed with either coeliac disease or gluten intolerance, you might be disappointed to find that, unfortunately, there is no quick way to cure either condition. However, both conditions can be managed effectively just by cutting gluten out of your diet.

Eliminating gluten from your diet can be tricky at first, as you get to know which foods do or do not contain gluten. However, in time, it will become second nature to you. These days, there are so many fantastic gluten-free alternatives out there, so avoiding gluten isn’t much of a chore at all! You don’t even need to worry about eating out – just check out some of the amazing gluten free restaurants listed right here on


If you’ve recently been diagnosed with gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, you’ve come to the right place. Here at gluten free travellers, we list the top restaurants across the world for those following a gluten free diet. Experience gastronomic delights as you enjoy globetrotting to your heart’s content! There’s no need to miss out just because you’re gluten free. And we’re here to prove it!

To ensure you are not the victim of cross contamination, take care when eating out and always make the restaurant team aware of your dietary requirements Click To Tweet

Cross contamination strikes fear into the heart of any gluten-avoider! If you’ve not heard of it before, it’s the process by which harmful gluten proteins can be accidentally transferred to a gluten free meal. And that can have terrible consequences for those suffering from coeliac disease or gluten intolerance.

Cross contamination can occur as the result of a whole range of minor slip-ups in the kitchen, many of which those without a dietary requirement wouldn’t think twice about. For example, a person with coeliac disease might become unwell if someone prepared a sandwich for them and used the same butter for both gluten-free and regular bread.

Similarly, if both breads were on the same chopping board, this could cause problems for a coeliac. Those preparing food even need to watch out for appliances such as toasters, as the gluten free and regular bread going into the same toaster would spell cross-contamination.

To ensure you are not the victim of cross contamination, take care when eating out and always make the restaurant team aware of your dietary requirements. Speak to your server at length about the consequences of being glutened and don’t eat anything unless you’re 100% confident that your instructions have been taken on board, and understood.

Make sure, when you are dining at a restaurant, that the chefs have a specific area of the kitchen used to prepare gluten-free food, and that all utensils, pans and kitchen apparatus are thoroughly cleaned before use. Also mention that gluten-free food cannot be fried in the same fryer as regular food, as this would also cause cross-contamination and could make a person with coeliac disease very unwell.

If you’re eating in a cafe or coffee shop, you will often find there are gluten free options on offer, such as brownies or gluten free sandwiches. However, if you see that these are in the same cabinet as regular food, and they’re not wrapped, you’ll definitely want to avoid these. To be safe, we recommend only eating gluten free food which is stored far away from any other food, unless it is packaged in a wrapper to keep it safe.

It’s not just dining at restaurants you’ll need to be careful of, either. The same precautions must be taken if you’re dining at a friends house. You’ll want to make sure that your friend is completely aware of the lengths they’ll need to go to to ensure your meal is gluten free. Make sure that they know that this includes different kitchen utensils, different cooking apparatus, different chopping boards and so on. If your friend is unsure, direct them to the Coeliac UK website, where you can find plenty of tips on catering for those with gluten intolerance and coeliac disease.

Cross contamination is a very real problem for those who must avoid gluten, but as long as the communication is clear and the person preparing your food is aware of the lengths which they must go to to ensure a meal is completely gluten free, you should not run into any problems. Don’t let a fear of cross-contamination stop you from enjoying eating out. Just make sure you follow our tips to keep yourself safe.

The Signs and Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance
Gluten intolerance isn’t as serious as coeliac disease, but the symptoms can still have a huge effect on the quality of life. Click To Tweet

Gluten intolerance is not the same thing as coeliac disease, but its symptoms can be remarkably similar. It’s more than just a spot of tummy trouble, too, so if you think you might be experiencing gluten intolerance it’s important to speak to a medical professional about it as soon as you can. Today we’re going to discuss some of the key warning signs of gluten intolerance, and what to do if you think you might have non-celiac gluten intolerance.


The Signs of Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerance isn’t as serious as coeliac disease, but the gluten allergy symptoms it causes can still have a huge effect on the quality of life of those affected by it. There are many gluten sensitivity symptoms, any of which might be present in a sufferer, following the consumption of food containing wheat, barley or rye. These are the main warning signs to look out for:


If your stomach swells up and you feel uncomfortable and full of gas following a meal you could be suffering from gluten intolerance. This is a classic symptom which will usually appear very soon after eating. Some sufferers report looking six months pregnant following a gluten-filled meal!

Diarrhea or Constipation

It’s normal to suffer from either diarrhoea or constipation once in awhile, but if you’re experiencing either (or both) of these unpleasant conditions regularly it might be time to look at your diet. Around 50% of people with gluten intolerance experience diarrhoea after consuming gluten, whilst 25% will experience constipation.

Stomach Pain

If you’ve recently eaten gluten and you’re experiencing severe stomach pain it could be a red flag, signalling something untoward going on in your gut. Stomach pain is one of the most common complaints from people with gluten intolerance.

Headaches and Migraines

Gluten intolerance isn’t just about digestive problems. It can also cause other gluten side effects, such as headaches and even migraines in its sufferers. So, if you’re regularly taking to a dark room with a pounding head it might be time to consider your diet.

Weight Loss

If you find yourself losing huge amounts of weight, with no obvious explanation, we recommend you speak to your doctor as soon as you can. Unexplained weight loss can be an indicator of a wide range of health problems and can be a pointer to both gluten intolerance and coeliac disease. It’s all down to poor absorption of nutrients, due to the digestive issues caused by eating gluten.

Depression and Anxiety

If you suffer from digestive issues you are more at risk of developing depression, which can have a massive effect on your life. The link between gluten intolerance and depression is thought to be related to abnormal serotonin levels in sufferers, changes in the gut microbiota and gluten exorphins, which are formed during the digestion of proteins in gluten.

Muscle or Joint Pain

If you have a gluten intolerance but regularly consume gluten, it can lead to inflammation within your body, affecting both your joints and your muscles. This causes pain, which can be severe. However, it’s reversible with the help of a gluten free diet – so don’t despair!


If you feel exhausted more than you think you should, with no apparent cause, gluten could be your culprit. An intolerance to gluten can head to anaemia, as a result of iron deficiency, which will mean extreme fatigue and a total lack of energy.

Rashes and Skin Complaints

One key indicator of coeliac disease is a skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis, an itchy blistering skin condition which can only be resolved through a change to a gluten free diet. Other skin problems which can be improved through a gluten free diet include chronic urticaria, alopecia areata and psoriasis.



Gluten intolerance causes a wide range of unpleasant symptoms in its sufferers, which go far beyond the typical digestive complaints you might imagine. Whilst many of these symptoms can have other explanations, if you’re experiencing several of these symptoms regularly, it’s definitely worth considering whether your diet may be the cause. The beauty of a gluten free diet is its ability to improve symptoms of gluten intolerance incredibly quickly. If you stick to a gluten free diet you won’t encounter these issues in the future.

Speak to your doctor to arrange a gluten intolerance test if you’re worried that you may have a gluten intolerance, or simply try a gluten free diet to see if you find your symptoms improve. If you’re interested in going gluten free, check out our blog for plenty of gluten free restaurant recommendations. A gluten free diet no longer means missing out on delicious food!

What is gluten intolerance or sensitivity
Unlike Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity/intolerance does not yet have any diagnostic medical testing. Gluten Sensitivity or intolerance is a condition that causes an individual to react after consuming gluten. Click To Tweet

What is Gluten?

Gluten is part of the tough, elastic protein found in wheat, oats, rye, spelt, barley and many other grains. Gluten binds the dough in baking and prevents crumbling – don’t let this fool you, gluten free bread is getting better year-by-year! Despite just about 90% of the good stuff on this earth containing gluten, beer, croissants, the world is becoming more educated around the understanding of gluten sensitivity/intolerance.

Unlike celiac disease, gluten sensitivity/intolerance does not yet have any diagnostic medical testing. Gluten Sensitivity or gluten intolerance is a condition that causes an individual to react (in any forms – trust me) after consuming gluten. This term is used to describe those who are unable to tolerate gluten and experience very similar symptoms to those of celiac disease, yet lack the same antibodies and intestinal damage. Gluten sensitivity should only be diagnosed after first ruling out wheat allergies, celiac disease and gluten ataxia (autoimmune condition where antibodies attack the cerebellum).

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

Many friends and family members have been tested for Celiac Disease to find out they have gluten sensitivity/intolerance. There are more than 200 symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity/intolerance including:

  • Feeling sluggish, lethargy, poor concentration
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swollen body parts and joints
  • Joint pain and/or blood in stool
  • Migraine or headaches
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Irritable bowl syndrome (IBS)

These symptoms are also associated with celiac disease; this is why it is so important to get the correct diagnosis. Cutting out gluten may seem like a difficult and limited task. Fortunately, there are so many healthy and delicious new products on the market and the world becoming educated that being gluten free is easier than you think!

Gluten sensitivity is clinically recognised as less severe than celiac disease. It cannot test positive for celiac disease on blood tests nor do individuals have the same type of intestinal damage or inflammation, though some may experience minimal intestinal damage. Gluten sensitivity is a bona fide condition, distinct from celiac disease but with its own intestinal response to gluten.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

While eating gluten is the most common cause of persistent symptoms, a dual diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is also very common. IBS is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that affects the large intestine causing it to be abnormal while there is no physical disease present. Symptoms of IBS include constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, abdominal pains, and fatigue and mood alterations.


Researchers have found an overlap in a low-FODMAP (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) diet. This diet was developed to control gastrointestinal symptoms associated with IBS, poorly absorbed in the small intestine that proceeds to the large intestine and fermented by bacteria.

Some evidence indicates that following the FODMAP diet can provide relief to approximately 75% of individuals experiencing IBS-like symptoms. This diet is maintained for a period of two to six weeks followed by the reintroduction of some foods to determine the most problematic FODMAP sources for the individual.

Always reach out to your practitioner and explore the options for treatment available. I found recording my daily intake most beneficial so I can pin point exactly what foods my body (despite my mind enjoying) does not tolerate. Google is also amazing for finding gluten free tips and restaurants but look no further than articles posted on this blog on just how easy travelling being gluten free is.

Related Tag: Gluten Free Blog

My Path to gluten intolerance
As a gluten free blogger my mission was always to find amazing coeliac friendly feeds and help people like me remove the stress that comes with the worry of catering for dietary requirements. Click To Tweet

My Story – Why I started this gluten free blog

I have always been slightly sensitive to gluten. For as long as I can remember I would feel bloated and nauseous having eaten too much pizza or overindulged in other gluten-filled foods. But in my early twenties, I was hit with a nasty case of food poisoning from a business trip to Paris – I suspect from the dodgy Croque Monsieur I had in Gard du Nord station while rushing back to get the Eurostar to London, but who knows. The obvious side effects continued for about a week and a half, including a mortifying experience at Southwark tube station whilst going home sick from work the following day where I collapsed on the platform. I would never have suspected the following nightmare 12 months and the permanent damage to my digestive system.

2 months later I was still being ill after every meal (symptoms included bad skin, bloating, nausea, constipation, diarrhoea, drowsiness and brain fog) and I was also suffering from anxiety following the tube station incident which made it difficult to travel on any public transport, let alone commute to work. Enough was enough, I took myself to the doctors numerous times, undergoing many blood tests, urine tests, ultrasounds, poking and prodding. I was prescribed Buscopan, Peppermint Oil Capsules and Fibre Supplements, diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and severe gluten intolerance and referred for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy  (CBT) and nutritional help to do the FODMAP elimination diet. In other words, I was a total mess!

Almost 3 years later and I’m finally feeling human again. A large part of this is down to self-help for my anxiety, quitting my job in London and going travelling and doing the FODMAP diet. At first, I worked out a full A4 page of foods that were causing problems, but now I’m down to just 3; gluten, onions and garlic. Travelling was one of the experiences that I feel had the most positive impact on my life and recovery, but it also worsened my anxiety at first as I constantly worried about being ill while travelling and catering for my dietary requirements in different countries. I researched every place I went but often found it difficult to find reliable gluten free recommendations, so I decided to record my gluten free travels here to help others with gluten intolerance and coeliac disease.

Following a gluten free diet shouldn’t be a burden on your holiday or stop you from enjoying new countries and cuisines. As a gluten free blogger my mission was always to find amazing coeliac friendly feeds and help people like me remove the stress that comes with the worry of catering for dietary requirements.

I live by recommendations and research so if you know a great gluten free place, let me know about it!

Happy Gluten Free Travelling!