Celiac disease, a painful autoimmune digestive disorder, has sparked a remarkable change in the way most of us eat. Sufferers of the disease and those with gluten sensitivity have been removing gluten from their diets for many years, but now, it may be high time the rest of us give it a whirl.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, rye, and barley which can be found in most processed cereals, bread, and grains. Gluten helps maintain the elasticity of food during the fermentation process and so many companies use in their food products to make ingredients stick together and become chewier.

There may be some surprising symptoms related to gluten intolerance.

1. Distended Stomach or Bloating

A distended or bloated stomach can be a direct and immediate result of gluten consumption and is a fairly common sign of gluten sensitivity. When these symptoms worsen or persist ask your doctor if a complete probiotic supplement regimen is right for you.

2. Diarrhea or Gas or Constipation

Any number of these symptoms can occur simultaneously after eating foods that contain high levels of gluten and may be a sign of intolerance. These symptoms occur as a way for the body to expel harmful gluten allergens as it tries to keep the digestive system in balance.

Constipation, essentially the opposite of diarrhea, is also a symptom of non-celiac gluten sensitivity and is characterized by infrequent, hard, painful bowel movements, which can also be a result of a high-gluten diet.

a person sleeping on a bed

3. Acne, Flushed Complexion, or Rashes

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity can manifest itself as a chronic skin condition like a rash, acne, or red/flushed cheeks, but these skin conditions could also be hormonal. In fact, dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), characterized by rashes and chronically itchy elbows, knees, buttocks, back, and the back of the neck, has been associated with gluten sensitivity.

4. Joint Pain or Numbness in Extremities

Tingling, pain, or numbness in the joints or extremities is abnormal and should be a clear sign of a health problem like gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Complete elimination of the gluten protein for an extended period of time is one possible way to identify if these symptoms are linked to gluten intolerance, but be sure to consult a medical professional for confirmation and a comprehensive treatment plan.

Sesame Soba Noodle Salad

Difficulty: Easy 
Time: 10 minutes 
Serves: 6


1 8 ounce package of 100% Buckwheat Soba Noodles
1 cup raw shredded Carrots
2 cups raw Sugar Snap Peas
2 tablespoons Sesame Oil
Juice of 2 Limes
1/4 cup of freshly chopped Cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Cook the soba noodles per the directions on the package.

2. Drain soba noodles and rinse very gently in cold water until they are cool to the touch.

3. Gently toss soba noodles in a mixing bowl with the shredded carrots, sugar snap peas, sesame oil, lime juice, cilantro, and a dash of salt and pepper.

4. Enjoy it all week.

Healthy Ingredients:

Soba noodles are Japanese noodles made from buckwheat flour. These spaghetti-like noodles can be served both hot or cold, and their delicious nutty flavor complements many dishes from stir-fries to salads. Buckwheat flour packs a nutrition punch, serving up powerful doses of vitamin B6, folate, manganese, iron, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus, as well as fiber and protein.

a bowl of noodles with vegetables

Photo Credit: Kerem Hanci Photography

The Bottom Line

Whether you're following a gluten-free, macrobiotic, vegan, or a well-balanced whole food diet, you'll find that soba noodles are a wonderful addition to your arsenal of health protectors.