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Are you convinced gluten can give you gastrointestinal problems? You should probably talk to a physician before giving up bread and pasta, or you could read this article. A new research study revealed that many people who have gluten-free in their diet have not been tested for celiac disease.

Apparently, it is important to go through physician-supervised testing before engaging in a gluten-free diet to see if the nutrient is the actual root cause of the problem. By taking out gluten from one’s daily diet ahead of any medical testing, it would be difficult to tell if it is the trigger of a particular gastrointestinal disorder.

Researchers from Alfred Hospital and Eastern Health Clinical School at Monash University in Australia gathered 144 people who claimed to have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). But as it turns out, 44 percent of them had gone gluten-free without consulting a physician or without any medical supervision. Even more interesting is that 72 percent of the group did not even meet the criteria for NCGS.

What’s more, 69 percent of them had not even undergone celiac disease testing while 24 percent continue to experience gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome despite going gluten-free.

The lesson the researchers want to impart is not to self-diagnose a gluten-related gastrointestinal issue. If you think you have one, consult with a physician. Here are some of the telltale signs that you need to see a doctor:

  • You have recurring gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, abdominal distention, bloating or sudden weight loss.
  • You lack vitamin B12, folate or iron.
  • You have a family history of celiac disease or related gastrointestinal issues.

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