Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is found mainly in foods but may also be in other products like medicines, vitamins, and supplements. People with gluten sensitivity have problems with gluten. It is different from celiac disease, an immune disease in which people can't eat gluten because it will damage their small intestine.
Some of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity are similar to celiac disease. They include tiredness and stomachaches. It can cause other symptoms too, including muscle cramps and leg numbness. But it does not damage the small intestine like celiac disease.
Researchers are still learning more about gluten sensitivity. If your health care provider thinks you have it, he or she may suggest that you stop eating gluten to see if your symptoms go away. However, you should first be tested to rule out celiac disease.
Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health