Recent Blog Articles

Harvard Health Blog

Itching rash or tingling toes: Is gluten the cause?

September 21, 2011
  • By Kay Cahill Allison, Former Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

photo of Kay Cahill Allison

Kay Cahill Allison, Former Editor, Harvard Health

Kay Cahill was editor of Harvard Health Publishing’ Special Health Reports from 1998 to 2012. Before joining Harvard Health, she created content for a variety of media including newspapers, television, books, radio, and electronic publishing. She … See Full Bio
View all posts by Kay Cahill Allison


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


Corey Christofel
February 2, 2012

This is an excellent article, thank you Kay. is a website that I work with that has more info on Recognizing the signs of celiac disease, along with much more content about how to live gluten freely!

January 16, 2012

It takes years to get diagnosed correctly.So many people are getting misdiagnosed or diagnosed with something they don’t have.Which can be very dangerous for the person, if there given medication or operated on for something they don’t have. Celiac is rare not everyone has it, celiac is so misunderstood.Celiac suffers are short stature,failure to thrive, delayed puberty (females are flat chested, if you or they haven’t developed breast by the time your or there 13 you or they are probarly suffering from celiac),dermatitis herpetiformis (sometimes could be mistaken for hives),joint pains,swelling,burning sensation,chest pain,back problems, loss of teeth.Celiac suffers can’t tolerate gluten at all there gluten intolerant.If your not very tiny and thin the size of a jockey.Your probarly not suffering from celiac.But you still could be gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance and suffering from something else, even thou you don’t suffer from celiac.

November 16, 2011

I’m 42 and I have peripheral neuropathy. I’m not diabetic and the doctors have not been able to figure out what’s causing it. I had a biopsy done for celiac but it came negative. Can it still be gluten?

Kay Cahill Allison
November 16, 2011

The research paper in the Journal of Neurology (see original blog above ) suggested peripheral neuropathy as a possible symptom of gluten sensitivity which is different from celiac disease. So you could have symptoms of gluten sensitivity even if you don’t have celiac disease.

I read a research paper in the journal Neurology that said peripheral neuropathy can be a symptom of gluten sensitivity. It made me wonder if my father’s condition was linked to an undiagnosed gluten

Dee Ragin
October 21, 2011

Thank you for this article. So many people are being misdiagnosed. Most people are not aware of the many problems this intolerance can cause. Especially when gone untreated. I suffer from gluten intolerance. Once I discovered the issue, my whole quality of life changed. No more allergies, no more pre-diabetes test results, and peri-menopausal symptoms disappeared. Thank God for a little information that made me take a look at what was causing all of my issues.

lizzy shafir
September 24, 2011

yes, people are becoming more aware of the problem of gluten intolerance, but there is an interesting point a naturapth mentioned to me.
He said that the flour being used in most grain products is mostly rancid because grains begin to go rancid soon after the kernel is ground and this rancidity of our grain products may be causing allergic symptoms which might actually not be gluten intolerance if people would grind their grain freshly every day.
[URL removed by moderator}

September 24, 2011

Wow, never knew that Gluten could be the cause of that! Sorry about your loss for your father. Great article.
[URL removed by moderator]

Stacy Malinow
September 24, 2011

Please support the petition for the Girl Scouts to sell a gluten free and allergen free cookie. [URL removed by moderator]

Ben VanderVeen
September 22, 2011


I was happy to come across your article, indeed gluten sensitivities can be very hard to track down and diagnose. I was ill with dermatitis herpetiformis for a number of years before getting proper diagnosement and treatment. Gluten was causing a skin reaction, and it didn’t occur to me that it was food related until I stumbled on some articles online. I was the one who requested the doctor do a biopsy that revealed my condition. The number of people who are under or mis-diagnosed in this country is very high for gluten allergies, Celiac disease, etc.

Thanks again for your insight.


[URL removed by moderator}

Commenting has been closed for this post.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.