A listicle: a key format for any blog post. Excellent for readability and likeability (both great for share-able content).

This post stemmed from a health and well-being website that wanted to address stomach illnesses, specifically those that are similar to gluten intolerance. I think the fact that I am a coeliac myself helped greatly, nevertheless, I enjoyed my research and had excellent feedback from the client!

7 Conditions Commonly Misdiagnosed as Gluten Intolerance

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This stomach problem is one of the most commonly misdiagnosed conditions, especially when it comes to gluten intolerance. With many of the same symptoms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can cause bouts of stomach cramps – ranging from acute to severe, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhoea. IBS tends to be more common than gluten intolerance, with every one in five people being affected by it at some point of their lives. Main triggers of IBS are stress and the consumption of eating certain foods, spicy foods being a common culprit, the latter being the main reason why gluten intolerant people experience their symptoms.

Crohn’s Disease

As another life-long disease, Crohn’s Disease is similar to gluten intolerance as it affects the small and large intestine. The symptoms are similar as they can include acute to severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea, fatigue and weight loss. Crohn’s Disease flares up and goes into remission for weeks or months at a time, dependent on the individual. Compared to gluten intolerance and IBS however, Crohn’s Disease is a relatively uncommon condition, with 115,000 people in the UK suffering from it. Similarly, people who suffer from Crohn’s Disease can find some relief in their symptoms by following a strict diet, however depending on the severity and the individual person, treatment can vary from person to person.


Giardiasis (also called Giardia is another similar illness to gluten intolerance, which can cause symptoms such as diarrhoea, a gassy stomach; flatulence or bloating; abdominal cramps and nausea. The condition derives from an infection with a parasite that has contaminated water. Most commonly this parasite is found in untreated waters such a rivers and lakes. Individuals who have this condition can have it treated by medicine from their doctors, or if they are lucky enough, it will go away by itself by passing through their system.

Cystic Fibrosis

With symptoms such as a poor digestive system, poor appetite, lack of energy and weight loss, Cystic Fibrosis can be misdiagnosed as a gluten intolerance. However, many of the other symptoms such as respiratory problems caused by thicker-than-normal mucus and a severe cough are the most obvious symptoms that point to Cystic Fibrosis. It can also cause frequent chest infections and occasional wheezing and shortness of breath. With no cure for this condition, there are many treatments available such as medicines from your doctor, plus home treatment methods that include respiratory and nutritional therapies.

Wheat allergy

Though wheat is part of the gluten family, an individual allergy to wheat is different to gluten intolerance. The symptoms of a wheat allergy include nausea, stomach cramps, indigestion, diarrhoea and vomiting – all of which are similar to gluten intolerance. However, with a wheat allergy condition, other symptoms include skin rashes, headaches, sneezing and a runny nose. Similarly to gluten intolerance, a wheat allergy is treated by the individual remaining on a strict wheat-free diet, and is also advised to stay away from non-food items that contain wheat, such as bath products or Play-Doh.

Type 1 Diabetes

With symptoms including weight loss, stomach cramps, vomiting and fatigue, Type 1 diabetes can be misdiagnosed for a gluten intolerance. However with other symptoms such as more frequent urination, extreme thirst, and some blurred vision, Type 1 Diabetes can be noticed sooner rather than later. Again, as there is no cure for Type 1 Diabetes, there are many ways to treat it and relieve the symptoms to help the individual live a normal life. By using insulin injections and monitoring blood glucose levels, Type 1 Diabetes can remain under control.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis can be commonly misdiagnosed as gluten intolerance, with many similar symptoms such as recurring diarrhoea, stomach cramps that can range from acute to severe, fatigue, weight loss and the need to go to the toilet more often. However this condition can have flare ups every few weeks or months, dependent on the individual, which can cause symptoms such as high fever, painful joints, mouth ulcers and irritated eyes. Treatment can include various types of medication, although in severe cases surgery may also be an option. Similarly to Crohn’s Disease, the aims of treatment are to reduce symptoms and maintain a remission as there is no cure for the condition.”

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