gluten intolerance – 4 symptoms you need to know

Is gluten making you tired?

gluten intolerance – 4 symptoms you need to know


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When it comes to gluten intolerance, most people think of digestive symptoms. Bloating, weight gain, constipation, diarrhoea and good old flatulence often top the list. And while these are all very common symptoms of gluten intolerance, they are not the only ones to watch out for. Gluten intolerance is an insidious thing sometimes – it can creep up on you and affect your entire wellbeing, not just your digestion.

Low energy levels

If I eat gluten, I usually know about it 30-60 minutes later… I go from being all bright and chirpy to… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz… For others it can manifest as a more generalized fatigue throughout the day, or if left untreated over the long term, it can be a major factor in chronic fatigue.

Foggy brain

Similar to fatigue, but with this symptom, energy levels may be ok, but it’s like your brain has checked out for the day – the lights are on but there’s no one home! Vagueness, forgetfulness, and a foggy, mind numbing feeling that no amount of caffeine can shift… Yep – you guessed it – it could be gluten related (which means it could be easily fixed!!!).

Joint pain

When we eat foods that we are intolerant to, it can cause inflammation in the body. Joint pain is one of the most common inflammatory conditions. In particular, rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune condition) often responds well to a gluten free diet (along with some alkalising greens and anti-inflammatory herbs), but even generalized joint and muscle pain have been known to improve after going gluten free.


Ever had ringing or buzzing in your ears that just won’t quit? That’s tinnitus, and it drives people mad! It can sound like a mosquito buzzing constantly near your ear, a high pitched beeeeeeeeeeep, a whooshing sound, or even a dull roar. I used to suffer from it myself – I always thought I’d have it forever because I wrongly assumed it was the legacy of being a nightclub DJ (one of my many talents from my youth!), but it magically went away after switching to a gluten free diet and taking a whole lot of magnesium supplements.

Of course, gluten intolerance is not the only cause of these symptoms. If you suspect you have a food intolerance or if you have any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to get a health coaching session to learn about foods to eat, foods to avoid, and what sort of testing is available to pinpoint your problem foods.



  • Gerry Desmarais
    Posted at 12:05h, 09 August Reply

    I am interested in knowing more about gluten free diet and gut health. Getting my gut healthy seems to me an obstacle and if I can get that right, I think I may make steady progress.
    I’m 57 and wish to get back to a happier me, free of stress and feeling not myself.
    I don’t want to point fingers at anybody but myself as it is only that allowed things to deteriorate and now in the past 12 months I have kicked myself in the butt and decided to get back the mojo I lost…This is where I hope you may be able to help.

    Kind regards

    • Jules
      Posted at 09:52h, 11 August Reply

      Hi Gerry, Congratulations on taking the first steps to regaining your health! It sounds like you are motivated to make progress, which is fantastic. I have a “7 Days to Gluten Free” program which is being launched in a few days, which you may be interested in doing. It gives you the tools you need to eat a healthy, gluten free diet for 7 days, with a meal planner, recipes, daily emails and more. You can check it out here:

  • Ingemar Djurhuus
    Posted at 08:51h, 02 August Reply

    I have got tinnitus and want to read your book.

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 11:08h, 03 August Reply

      Thanks Ingemar. I only have recipe books out so far, but there’s also plenty of great info on this blog to help you if you’re thinking of going gluten free 🙂

  • Sylvia Ng
    Posted at 09:02h, 03 January Reply

    This post is really relevant for me. I developed tinnitus with sinus congestion a few months ago after a surgery and I’m now suspecting that the surgery changed my system and I now have some sort of food sensitivity. How long did you have to stay off wheat before your tinnitus got better? And how much magnesium did you take?

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 10:14h, 03 January Reply

      Hi Sylvia,
      I’ve stayed off wheat and gluten and will continue to do so. Some people can go back to eating wheat after doing a complete gut healing program (which involves diet and supplements), but many people feel better if they stay off the gluten indefinitely. At the moment I take around 300mg of magnesium amino acid chelate per day (150mg twice a day). However, that’s a pretty high dose – you might want to start on a lower dose or speak to a practitioner first. Hope this helps! 🙂

  • Sharon
    Posted at 08:33h, 31 March Reply

    Hi Just a question.. I have been off and on wondering if i am Gluten intolerant for the past couple of years.. my Immune system is always struggling although eating a fully vegan diet. I have suffered constipation most of my life regardless of how much fibre through lots of fresh fruit and vege i eat . I have always had polaris keratosis on my arms and it starts to get better when i eat no Gluten. I have insomnia and get only 4-5 hours sleep per night and most recently i have been having a buzzing feeling in my anal canal near the end. I have had severe eye twitches as well no matter how much magnesium i take and yes i am always exhausted.
    Just wondering your thoughts, thanks sharon

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 14:22h, 05 April Reply

      Hi Sharon, pilaris keratosis has been linked to gluten sensitivities, and in particular coeliac disease. It would be wise to be screened for those first. If you’re eating something that you are intolerant or allergic too, it may prevent you absorbing vitamins and minerals (like the magnesium you mentioned), as the gut may have trouble absorbing nutrients. It sounds like a good time to see a naturopath who can offer testing, look at your whole case history and then suggest treatment.

    • butmond
      Posted at 10:11h, 10 February Reply

      This “anal thing” – I guess it’s parasites-

  • Judy
    Posted at 08:59h, 28 September Reply

    Been on a gluten free diet since April when got test results back that I had a gluten and egg intolerant . Still having some side effects of dry mouth and problems with my ears filling up at night. Wonder how long it takes to get rid of all the side effects?

    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 11:46h, 29 September Reply

      Hi Judy, I would have thought you would have noticed more changes by now. Perhaps there are other imbalances on top of those food intolerances that have been overlooked? Are you working with a naturopath or health practitioner to investigate other potential issues?

  • Jo
    Posted at 04:15h, 05 August Reply

    It’s very helpful reading your comments I’ have been on a glutten free diet for over 10 yrs I’m 63 yrs old .I’m still learning I’ve just start with dry and dire sinuses ringing in the ear. And just found all these are connected I used eat chicken mealy every night but I’ve found out the chicken are feed on rye. Unless their cor fed since I’ve found this out I’ve been eating loads of fish I feel a lot better. Now. Also I’m abut behind with tecnology. There’s a great ap on your smart phone with a scanner which you can zap food as you go around the supper market GF I hope

  • John
    Posted at 22:00h, 14 September Reply


    I was speaking to a colleague in work yesterday about diet and asked him about my tinnitus. He said he stopped eating foods with gluten and that should help. Then I googled ‘gluten and tinnitus’ and these four symptoms came up. I am a DJ and musician so I haven’t been kind to my ears! Thanks for the advice. Anything else I can eat to help my tinnitus?


    • Jules Galloway
      Posted at 22:33h, 12 October Reply

      Hi John, I used to be a DJ too (before I became a naturopath) so I feel your pain! I think that any foods that help reduce inflammation are always a good idea, but to be honest, for me it’s always been about which foods to avoid – and gluten is at the top of that list.

  • G Sutherland
    Posted at 04:57h, 19 July Reply

    Yes. I’ve had chronic tinnitus for decades . After about 3/4 months gluten free, I suddenly noticed one day that it had completely disappeared. I would never have thought it possible. Another thing that’s improved is my range of movement. Now about to bend and flex my legs much further than before. Oh and muscle tremors have gone too.

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