GLUTEN SENSITIVITY IN THE NON-CELIAC
TRUTH OR FICTION?
"There's no question that gluten can affect your neurological system: people with both celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity report symptoms that range from headaches and brain fog to peripheral neuropathy (tingling in your extremities). Neurological illnesses such as epilepsy, depression and anxiety also are common in those who react to gluten." Medical Author Jane Anderson, from May 2014's Gluten-Related Neurological Symptoms and Conditions
The reason I am bringing this up is because I have seen a spate of recent articles --- many by physicians or researchers with fancy titles and lots and lots of letters behind their names ---- telling us that unless you are actually diagnosed with Celiac Disease, your problem has nothing whatsoever to do with Gluten. In fact, a recent poll of America's doctors revealed that over half believe this to be true (HERE). But as we all know, just because the majority rules, does not necessarily mean they are right. Part of the problem seems to be the way that many experts look at Gluten Sensitivity.
Some of the problems being associated with Gluten in the peer-reviewed literature are downright freaky. For instance, how long have we known that there is an intimate link between FIBROMYALGIA and IBS? Actually, we've known it for a very long time. But that "anecdotal" evidence recently became "empirical" with a study that was published in a 2013 issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy. In this study (Remarkable Prevalence of Coeliac Disease in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome plus Fibromyalgia in Comparison with those with Isolated Irritable Bowel Syndrome), we learned that 7% of those struggling with Fibromyalgia also had Celiac, which is far less common that non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Here are the study's conclusions.
"Interestingly enough, these seven patients were started on a gluten-free diet (GFD), showing a remarkable improvement in their digestive and systemic symptoms on follow-up. The findings of this screening indicate that a non-negligible percentage of IBS/FMS patients are CD patients, whose symptoms can improve and in whom long-term CD-related complications might possibly be prevented with a strict lifelong GFD."
Another of these "crazy" problems that is sometimes associated with Gluten is Schizophrenia (no pun intended). Although Schizophrenia is not nearly as common as some of the other problems we have discussed in the past as being associated with Gluten, the two have been linked together by the scientific medical community for over 60 years. After a 1954 article showed that almost 10% of a group with Celiac Disease had Schizophrenia, an article by F.C. Dohan (M.D.) published in the 1966 issue of the American Journal of American Nutrition, further explored the link between Gluten and Schizophrenia. Listen to the conclusions that were written 48 yeas ago.
"The percent change in pre-war values during World War II in the number of women admitted to hospitals for the first time with Schizophrenia in five countries, was found to be significantly correlated with the percent change in the amount of wheat and wheat plus rye consumed."
I want to look at Gluten and Tinnitus / Vertigo (sometimes referred to as Meneire's Disease). Although these two problems are quite different from each other, they are related because both have to do with the inner ear (and many people with one, also have the other). Read this abstract from the March 2012 issue of The Laryngoscope (a journal for ENT's).
Wheat is one of the most common food allergens found in patients with Meniere’s Disease. Gluten from wheat has been identified to have a etiopathogenetic role in celiac disease, IgE hypersensitivity to wheat disease, and recently to [non-celiac] gluten sensitivity. There were 58 adult patients with definite Meniere’s Disease, 25 healthy volunteers, and 25 patients with grass pollen rhinoconjunctivitis [allergies] tested with skin prick test to gliadin [Gluten]. A total of 33 Meniere’s Disease patients (56.9%) proved to be sensitive to gliadin.
In the March 2012 edition of Nutritional Neuroscience (Effectiveness of the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet for Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Based on Parental Report), we find some damning evidence. Although many will scream that this is not really EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE because it is not a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study (it is a survey), the conclusions are difficult to dismiss. "Overall, diet efficacy among children whose parents reported the presence of GI symptoms, food allergy diagnoses, and suspected food sensitivities included greater improvement in ASD behaviors, physiological symptoms, and social behaviors compared with children whose parents reported none of these symptoms, diagnoses, or sensitivities. Parental report of strict diet implementation, indicated by complete gluten/casein elimination and infrequent diet errors during and outside of parental care, also corresponded to improvement in ASD behaviors, physiological symptoms, and social behaviors."
And what about this study from PLoS One a year ago this month (Markers of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity in Children with Autism)? "Children with autism had significantly higher levels of IgG antibody to gliadin [Gluten] compared with unrelated healthy controls. A subset of children with autism displays increased immune reactivity to gluten, the mechanism of which appears to be distinct from that in celiac disease. The increased anti-gliadin antibody response and its association with GI symptoms points to a potential mechanism involving immunologic and / or intestinal permeability abnormalities in affected children." Stop for a moment. If you are wondering what these "intestinal permeability abnormalities" in the affected children are, look no further. Can anyone say "LEAKY GUT SYNDROME"?
Why is this post's hypothesis true? In other words, why is non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity far more common than Celiac Disease? It's really quite easy to understand. For reasons which are not completely clear, once people begin making antibodies against today's MODERN VARIETIES OF WHEAT and SIMILAR GRAINS (Gluten Cross-Reactors), they begin making antibodies to self (HERE). This is called AUTOIMMUNITY, and believe me when I tell you that it can be a nightmare (HERE is a list of some of the more common Autoimmune Diseases). When the tissue being attacked by your own Immune System is in the Small Intestine, we call it "Celiac Disease". What, however, do we call it if your Immune System decides to attack any of the tens of thousands of different tissues that are outside of your Small Intestine? How about Fibromyalgia? Or THYROID, ALZHEIMER'S, TYPE I DIABETES, PARKINSON'S (many are saying that this is a form of something called "Gluten Ataxia"), DEPRESSION, NEUROPATHY, etc, etc, etc, etc..... (search my site using the words "Gluten Neurological" to see dozens of others)? In other words, telling someone they have Celiac Disease only means that they are having Gluten Sensitivity in their Small Intestine.
If you or someone you love are dealing with health problems that no one can get a handle on of figure out, I would advise you to read THESE POSTS first. To learn more about the best way to go GLUTEN FREE, just follow the link.
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