Athlete Fatigue? You may have Celiac Disease!

How much can Celiac Disease affect an athlete's performance?

Athlete Fatigue and Celiac Disease!
Athlete Fatigue and Celiac Disease!

Are you experiencing an unusual amount of fatigue lately? Recent studies show that fatigue is common for people with celiac disease and this issue is heightened due to many more factors.

But what are these factors and what the hell is a celiac disease?

In this article, we take a look at celiac disease in the context of athlete fatigue. However, in order to know the importance of this issue, it’s important to better understand the basics of celiac disease.

What is Celiac Disease Exactly?

Celiac disease is quite a common disorder in which eating gluten can cause damage and inflammation in the small intestine. In fact, an immense survey shows that at least 1% of Americans are affected by celiac disease and the negative health issues that come about due to this disease.

As you may know, gluten is a protein found in several grains such as rye, wheat and barley. For this reason, eating gluten can lead to serious nutritional problems and digestive issues for some people.

And how might you know whether you are affected by celiac disease?

You can simply take a celiac disease test.

And it’s true, athlete fatigue is a common sign that you might need to take a celiac disease test. After all, tiredness is one thing but excessive fatigue can suggest that not all is okay.

At the same time, fatigue is just one sign and a post on Healthcare Weekly recently outlined some of the many symptoms which indicate how you might be vulnerable to celiac disease.

Other Common Symptoms and Signs – Do You Have Celiac Disease?

  1. Athletes with Ongoing Diarrhea

It’s the one symptom that most athletes dislike talking about – diarrhea. However, watery stool is one of the most common signs of celiac disease and more than 70% of celiac disease patients will experience this symptom. Just so you know, in some cases, this can even result in chronic diarrhea.

That being said, there are more than a few reasons for diarrhea such as other food allergies or intestinal problems. In other words, frequent diarrhea is the only a warning sign in this respect.

As for getting over these bouts, athletes can use treatment to resolve the issue within a few days.

  1. Feeling Bloated Can Suggest an Athlete Suffers from Celiac Disease

Bloating is another obvious symptom of celiac disease as gluten can cause inflammation in the digestive system. In a similar study to the one above, the vast majority of people with celiac disease will experience bloating before their initial diagnosis. Needless to say, athletes are severely impeded by feeling bloated and this tends to continue until gluten is entirely removed from their diet.

Now, that’s not to say that celiac disease is the main reason or cause for bloating but rather to give another example of the common symptoms. After all, constipation and other digestive problems can also cause bloating for athletes.

  1. Some Athletes Experience Excessive Gas

Some athletes experience gas more than others but the truth is, excess gas is a common sign of celiac disease. More specifically, this is what happens when celiac disease is left untreated.

You see, gluten can cause an athlete to produce excessive gas and constipation or indigestion can have similar implications, celiac disease is a common reason. For this reason, you should know that excess gas along with any other symptoms on this list may suggest that you have celiac disease.

As always, it’s worth noting that occasional excess gas is normal for just about every athlete.

  1. Malnutrition and Significant Weight Loss

A significant loss of weight can suggest that you might want to take a celiac disease test.

Simply put, your body needs to absorb vital nutrients to stay healthy and celiac disease impairs the ability of your body to absorb these nutrients. As a result, some athletes will lose weight and develop a distinct issue with malnutrition. In most instances, there will be no good reason for this loss of weight and only treatment or changes to diet can rectify the problem.

As if that’s not enough, this lack of nutrition can also lead to iron-deficiency anemia. In case you might not know, this means that the body is lacking in a healthy number of red blood cells.

But there is good news…

Establishing a gluten free diet can help athletes regain this weight. In fact, studies with people of all ages have shown that the correct diet is often enough to rectify issues relating to weight loss due to celiac disease (check out this cautionary article on risks associated with a gluten free diet though).

  1. Depression is a Symptom of Celiac Disease

Let’s not hide from the fact that depression can severely detract from the performance of an athlete. Believe it or not, depression is also a sign of celiac disease which means that gluten products can potentially result in same. Needless to say, there are also many other causes for depression.

Anyway, the point is, Celiac disease can increase the risk of depression and cause an athlete to feel more tired than usual. And this takes us back to athlete fatigue…

Why Athlete Fatigue is Linked to Celiac Disease

It’s true, fatigue and a decrease in energy levels is prevalent in athletes with celiac disease. However, studies have proven that a gluten free diet can greatly alleviate any such issues. In this sense, if you want better sleep, it might help to remove gluten from your diet. If you want to combat nutritional deficiencies, gluten-free might be the way to go. And if you want more energy as an athlete, it might be worth avoiding rye, wheat, and barley or taking a celiac disease test at the very least.

Final Thoughts

Thankfully, there are many nutritious foods that can stand in for gluten products. Also, getting rid of processed food can’t be a bad thing and this is true about anything that can improve your health.

Celiac disease is a serious risk to athletes and if left untreated, there are far worse consequences waiting in the wings. With this in mind, it provides peace of mind to take a test or visit your doctor, while taking proactive steps to improve your health, ability and performance as an athlete.

I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.