THE MORE GLUTEN MOM CONSUMES WHILE PREGNANT
"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"?
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.
OLDER RESEARCH ON GLUTEN SENSITIVITY
I’ve long suspected that everyone has some degree of sensitivity to gluten, even if they’ve never been formally diagnosed and even if they don’t notice any overt symptoms after eating it. Mark Sisson from the September 5th 2012 issue of his blog called Mark's Daily Apple (How Common is Gluten Sensitivity?).
The point I would like to get across is that according to the latest research, only a small fraction of those who are Gluten Sensitive actually have Celiac Disease. However, many of the same things that are true about Celiac Disease are also true of non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. I tell you this so that when you read some of the conclusions of the research I am going to present today, you can have a better understanding of what is going on in the field of Gluten Research by substituting the words "Gluten Sensitivity" for "Celiac Disease". Although there will be many who will argue against this point to the bitter end, the proof is in the fact that I see miracle after miracle after medical miracle, simply as the result of pulling patients off of Gluten.
To get the ball rolling, I will mention a study that was published in the March, 2010 issue of Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. The study, (Celiac Disease) concluded that, "In the last year, work has shown that the prevalence of celiac disease has increased dramatically, not simply due to increased detection. Also, undiagnosed celiac disease may be associated with increased mortality." We are going to discuss both of these topics today and then end by asking ourselves why Celiac Disease is increasing dramatically. But first let's look at a study that gives us a glimpse into how much higher the incidence of mortality (death) really is.
GLUTEN SENSITIVITY & INCREASED MORTALITY
The elephant in the corner is that we already know that the vast majority of those with Celiac Disease are never diagnosed, and that the vast majority of those with Gluten Sensitivity do not actually have Celiac Disease. In fact, if you look at the results of a study that was published in a 2006 issue of the medical journal Gut, you learn that Gluten Sensitivity is somewhat like an iceberg, where as much as 90% of it lies unseen below the water's surface. This begs the question of how big the 'Gluten' iceberg really is. Gut told us eight years ago that, "these figures suggest that the current ratio of clinically diagnosed to undetected cases — that is, “the size of the iceberg”—in the UK is approximately 1 in 8." In other words, 87.5% of the iceberg is hidden under the water. The whole while, THE TITANIC roars on full steam ahead (HERE also).
GLUTEN & TYPE I DIABETES
The "islets" they are talking about here (Islets of Langerhans) refers to the part of the pancreas that makes hormones (Glucagon, Amylin, Somatostain, Pancreatic Polypeptide, Ghrelin, and yes, Insulin).
In other words, if your mom or dad are Gluten Sensitive, you have a much greater chance of developing the Autoimmune form of Diabetes (Type I) than someone with a non-Gluten Sensitive mother. And as astounding as it might seem, early adherence to a Gluten Free diet has been shown to halt the development of Type I Diabetes in this group. Need more evidence? A Danish study published just last month showed that a Gluten Free diet done prenatally (via mom's diet) or early in life via mother's milk, significantly reduces the risk of developing Type I Diabetes --- a big deal considering incidence in America has skyrocketed in recent years to 3 million, is increasing by about 3% per year, and increased by almost 25% over during the decade of the 1990's.
GLUTEN AND THE BRAIN
SLIPPED DISCS AND THE RELATIONSHIP TO GLUTEN-INDUCED INFLAMMATION
"Systemic or chronic inflammation has a domino effect that can seriously undermine your health... Many experts now see inflammation as arising from an immune system response that’s out of control.... Common allergens like casein and gluten (proteins found in dairy and wheat) are quick to spark the inflammatory cascade.... So the first step in cooling inflammation on a cellular level is to pay attention to your diet." Cherry picked from Causes Of Inflammation by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
The thing is, even though the word "INFLAMMATION" is bantered around constantly, I don't find one in a thousand people who really knows what it is. More importantly, I find few people who know what drives it or how to effectively squelch it. Although there are lots of different things that can drive Inflammation, one of the more common in our "CARB-ADDICTED" society is GLUTEN (wheat protein). After our discussion, Larry and his wife started a GLUTEN FREE PROGRAM immediately. The results were pretty amazing.
When I saw him on Friday, he said that he started getting dramatically better within a couple days of starting the diet. With the insane numbers of people showing some degree of Gluten Sensitivity, but most doctors failing to acknowledge it (HERE), we are seeing a largely preventable health disaster taking place in this country. Follow Larry's lead and see what happens to your health and your pain. You've got nothing to lose and everything to gain, whether your problem is BACK PAIN, some other sort of pain (HERE), or even some sort of NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEM. Start by following the links and progress from there.
LINKING GLUTEN TO ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
“That gluten sensitivity is regarded as principally a disease of the small bowel is a historical misconception. Gluten sensitivity can be primarily and at times exclusively a neurological disease.” Dr. Marios Hadjivassilou from a 2002 issue of the British Medical Journal's, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. He is defeating the argument that there is no such thing as "non-celiac" Gluten Sensitivity.
"After speaking with Perlmutter, Dr. Oz agreed that consuming healthy fats and limiting carbs can help prevent and even reverse conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and ADHD. Perlmutter is not alone in his assessment that a low-carb, high-fat diet can curb disease. Cardiologist William Davis, author of Wheat Belly, said it can reverse diabetes. And obesity expert Dr. Eric Westman said a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet produces rapid weight loss without exercise or calorie-counting. Dr. Westman detailed how the ketogenic diet accelerates weight loss without deprivation in his book A Low Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet Manual." From an article in the October 21, 2013 issue of Examiner.com called Dr. Oz: Low-carb, high-fat diet can reverse Alzheimer's, diabetes, ADHD. After consulting with Dr. Perlmutter, Dr. Oz is changing his stance on eating a diet high in whole grains and avoiding fats.
"Mayo Clinic researchers have uncovered a new link between celiac disease, a digestive condition triggered by consumption of gluten, and dementia or other forms of cognitive decline." From the October 12, 2006 issue of ScienceDaily (the research was published in that month's issue of Archives of Neurology).
The benefits of "Low Carb" are really nothing new. Not only was cardiologist Dr. Robert Atkins talking about the numerous health problems associated with processed carbs, grains, and sugar back in the early 1970's (1972's The Atkins Diet Revolution), there were many before him preaching the same message. DR ROYAL LEE and others were warning people about the dangers of processed grains clear back in the 1920's. There were several early nutritional pioneers who understood that the modern milling process leached virtually all the nutrients from grains, leaving nothing but empty carbohydrates. In fact, in one of his newsletters, Dr. Lee wrote that, "The vitamin of flour is lost as soon as its oils becomes rancid, a change that occurs in a few days after the milling of the grain unless the flour is refrigerated".
We are being duped to think that the products we are purchasing and consuming under the auspices of "Whole Grain" are wholesome and healthy. The fact is, we live in a society whose way of eating is based largely on processed grains. On top of that, our government is telling us we should consume up to 14 servings of grain a day (HERE), while the majority of the sugar comes from grain as well (HFCS). The truth is, it is difficult to avoid grains in our society. But it is increasingly looking like this might be a necessary step in avoiding CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DISEASES as well as a host of Neurological Diseases such as PARKINSON'S, EPILEPSY, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, HASHIMOTO'S THYROIDITIS, NEUROPATHY, and numerous AUTOIMMUNE DISORDERS.
Who is correct in this argument? The studies are all there for everyone to look at. All I can tell you is that person after person who makes the commitment to go GLUTEN FREE sees substantial changes not only in their GUT HEALTH (LEAKY GUT SYNDROME), but in their neurological systems as well. This should not be a surprise considering what we already know about the NEUROLOGICAL EFFECTS OF GLUTEN and the fact that most (80%) of one's Immune System is found in the Gut (HERE). Let's play the devil's advocate though, and say that Gluten has nothing whatsoever to do with Alzheimer's. It's almost a moot point. Why? Because we know beyond the shadow of a doubt that HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX CARBOHYDRATES (such as those found in grains) do cause / contribute to Alzheimer's Disease (HERE) simply because they contribute to UNCONTROLLED BLOOD SUGAR and INSULIN RESISTANCE. Believe whomever you wish, but if the doubters are wrong, and non-celiac's with Gluten Sensitivity are creating AUTOIMMUNE RESPONSES against their own brains; the results will be disastrous (see Dr. Hadjivassilou's 12 year old quote from the very top of the page).
I guess you could always look at the bright side. If you do get Alzheimer's, it will probably only be a short mater of time until you are unaware of the fact. Trust me on this one. I never see people who cut sugar and crappy, processed carbs from their diets who feel worse after doing so. Furthermore, the leap from Low Carb to Gluten Free is a small one. If you value your brain, take the plunge.
COULD THERE BE A CONNECTION TO GLUTEN?
"New research draws a connection between gluten-induced leaky brain damage and seizure disorders (epilepsy). We know that gluten sensitivity can cause seizure disorders. Additionally, we know that gluten sensitivity can contribute to blood brain barrier permeability (leaky brain). Now add to this the fact that a leaky brain will contribute to seizures and epilepsy. Thus the circle is complete. When added together these elements create a viscous unending cycle of perpetual food-induced damage. If you ask the doctor what the cause of the disease is, the most common reply is – “The cause is unknown (unknown etiology), but most likely genetic.”" From an article on the Gluten Free Society's website (Leaky Brain, Seizures, Epilepsy, & Gluten Sensitivity). This article was tackling several studies from 2009 and 2010. By the way, LEAKY BRAIN SYNDROME is a close relative of LEAKY GUT SYNDROME.
For starters, a 2006 study on the link between GLUTEN (Celiac Disease) and Epilepsy was published in the November 2006 issue of Neurologist. Listen to the what the authors had to say, "There is a well-documented relationship between epilepsy and celiac disease, including a syndrome characterized by epilepsy, occipital calcifications, and celiac disease. This case emphasizes the need to include celiac disease in the differential diagnosis when investigating the etiology of epilepsy......" All you need to be aware of with this study is that here is Celiac Disease is a Gluten-induced AUTOIMMUNE attack against the Small Intestine. Most cases of Gluten Sensitivity are NEUROLOGICAL IN NATURE and do not necessarily cause the GI symptoms so commonly associated with Gluten.
Harvard Medical School's Dr. Kenneth Mandl (a pediatrician) recently looked at insurance claims of 2.5 million Americans. He found that if you have Epilepsy, you were much more likely to have Autoimmune Diseases such as PSORIASIS, RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, NEUROPATHY, or any number of others. Listen to what Dr. Mandl's team writes in JAMA Neurology. "Epilepsy is a debilitating condition, often with neither a known etiology nor an effective treatment. Autoimmune mechanisms have been increasingly identified. Epilepsy and autoimmune disease frequently co-occur; patients with either condition should undergo surveillance for the other. The potential role of autoimmunity must be given due consideration in epilepsy so that we are not overlooking a treatable cause." Oh, for those of you who have children, they are even more affected by this phenomenon than are adults ---- 520% instead of 400%. But then again, none of this is brand new information.
- "The aim of this review is to present current knowledge of the role of immunity in relation to seizures, with a particular emphasis on clinical data available in childhood. More specifically, various autoantibodies involved in autoimmune encephalitis and epilepsy and general pathophysiological hypotheses on the role of immunity in seizure genesis are discussed, specific epilepsy syndromes in which autoimmune components have been studied are summarized..." From the September 2017 issue of Pediatrics (The Immune System in Pediatric Seizures and Epilepsies)
- "Autoimmune encephalitides ("autoimmune epilepsies") may account for epilepsies of so far unknown cause. More than a dozen autoantibodies have been found with this constellation... In the first decade of this century, IgG autoantibodies against proteins on the surfaces of neurons were identified as markers and pathogens in autoimmune encephalitides that in approximately 80% of cases are accompanied by repetitive focal seizures..." From the June 2017 issue of Epilepsy Currents (Autoimmune Epilepsy: Encephalitis With Autoantibodies for Epileptologists)
- "The increasing incidence of new-onset seizures with age is well known. Often, the etiology cannot be clarified. Our findings suggest that autoimmunity should be considered an important etiology in patients with late-onset seizures. Testing for neural antibodies and brain MRI may be worthwhile in this patient group." From the September 2017 issue of Epilepsia (Prevalence and Outcome of Late-Onset Seizures Due to Autoimmune Etiology)
- "LGI1-antibodies are closely associated with a limbic encephalitis which is characterized by confusion, disorientation and seizures, frequently with medial temporal lobe inflammation on imaging [LGI1 is a cancer-suppressing protein]. The seizures include typical medial temporal lobe events and more distinctive semiologies including bradycardia, piloerection, and faciobrachial dystonic seizures (FBDS). These multiple seizure descriptions appear in several separate reports." From the August 2017 issue of Seizure (LGI1-Antibody Encephalitis is Characterized by Frequent, Multifocal Clinical and Subclinical Seizures)
- "The range of neurologic dysfunction in gastrointestinal diseases is broad and spans the spectrum from peripheral to central processes. Peripheral neuropathy, myopathy, myelopathy, cerebrovascular events, epilepsy, encephalopathy, and cerebellar dysfunction have all been described. Neurologists should be aware of the possibility that an underlying gastrointestinal disease process may be present in and responsible for the neurologic dysfunction that has prompted referral of an individual for evaluation." From the June 2107 issue of Continuum (Gastroenterology and Neurology)
- "In its classic presentation, Hashimoto's encephalopathy is a neuropsychiatric syndrome with cognitive impairment, hallucinations, myoclonus, tremor or ataxia, associated with elevated anti-thyroid antibodies. In some cases, not all the associated features are presented... The patient was diagnosed with an autoimmune encephalopathy with elevated serum and CSF anti-thyroid antibodies. None of the antiepileptic drugs were successful.... We suggest that Hashimoto's encephalopathy should be suspected in otherwise healthy patients with unexplained new-onset focal recurrent auditory seizures which do not respond to antiepileptic drugs. The presence of anti-thyroid antibodies in the CSF supports this diagnosis." From the March 2017 issue of Epileptic Disorders (Auditory Seizures in Autoimmune Epilepsy: A Case with Anti-Thyroid Antibodies) I only bring this up because HASHIMOTO'S DISEASE --- an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid --- affects tens of millions of Americans.
- "Seizures are a frequent manifestation of autoimmune encephalitis. Although seizures are frequent in all types of autoimmune encephalitis, the risk for chronic epilepsy is dependent on the antigen." From the June 2017 issue of Current Opinions in Neurology (Seizures and Risk of Epilepsy in Autoimmune and other Inflammatory Encephalitis)
- "Epilepsy is recognized globally as one of the most common neurological diseases, characterized by seizures and cognitive impairment. With unknown causes, lots of epilepsy patients have a poor response to antiepileptic drugs and thus have to live a life with low quality. Accumulating evidences support the role of autoimmune-mediated factors in patients with antiepileptic-resistant seizures, which eventually help to crystallize the concept of autoimmune epilepsy. In this comprehensive article, we present an overview of some most common autoimmune antibodies believed to be potentially pathogenic for autoimmune epilepsies...." From the April 2017 issue of Frontiers in Neurology (Advances in Autoimmune Epilepsy Associated with Antibodies....)
- "Autoimmune neurological diseases are an important group of pathologies in neuropaediatrics. The central nervous system was considered to be an immunologically privileged organ, as it protects itself from the surroundings by means of the blood-brain barrier. In recent years, however, reports have been published of a growing number of disorders produced by antibodies that react against neuronal or glial proteins and give rise to a wide variety of clinical conditions (epilepsy, encephalopathy, movement disorders, etc.). There are a number of clinical conditions that are highly suggestive of an autoimmune pathology in which we do not find any specific antibodies." From the May 2017 issue of Revista de Neurologia (Autoimmune Pathology in Neuropaediatrics)
Although there were dozens of studies on this topic (maybe hundreds), the last three studies above brought up a point that you need to be aware of whether or not you have autoimmune epilepsy --- the idea that while scientists have figured out many of the auto-antigens in various autoimmune diseases (the tissues, cells, proteins, organs, glands, enzymes, hormones, etc) that your body decides it's going to make antibodies against and start attacking, they have not figured them out all of them. Why not?
Think for a moment about how many different specific proteins there are in the human body --- millions upon millions, with each one requiring it's own special test. Furthermore (and probably more importantly), just because they figure out what specific protein your body is attacking doesn't mean that there is a good medical solution (i.e. drug) for dealing with it. All you have to do is look at my posts on AUTOIMMUNITY to see that. Not surprisingly, the "go to" drugs of choice are IMMUNE-SUPPRESSANTS (drugs that try and slow down a run-away immune system --- America's number one form of medical therapy).
Last year, researchers at Mayo gave epileptics a combination of prednisone (a CORTICOSTEROID, which suppresses the Immune System) and Immunoglobulins. After this combination stopped the seizures in 10 out of 29 of the participants, and slowed them down in 8 others, they essentially concluded that if you are one of those people whose epilepsy is not responding to drug therapy, you had better suspect that it is Autoimmune. Here is part of the opening paragraph of Mayo Clinic's Autoimmune Neurology page
"Autoimmunity, a main component in nervous system disease, is a misguided immune response to the body's own organs. Neurological autoimmunity can target virtually any structure within the central or peripheral nervous system and often in a highly specific way... When the cell type that is targeted occurs in many different CNS structures, the syndromes that result may be diverse.... Cytokines, autoantibodies, and other immune factors culminate the disease process."
Could Gluten be a significant factor in this? I have already showed you that huge numbers of Autoimmune Diseases start with Gluten Sensitivity (HERE). I have also mentioned numerous times that the KETOGENIC DIET used to treat many people struggling with various forms of seizures (including Epilepsy) has been around for nearly a century. Furthermore, I have shown you the link between virtually all of the Neurological Diseases and Gluten (HERE). What more do you want? Folks; it's time to go GLUTEN FREE --- especially if you or a child has seizures of any sort.
GLUTEN SENSITIVITY IS MOSTLY NEUROLOGICAL
"Both Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity may present with a variety of neurologic and psychiatric co-morbidities, however, extra-intestinal symptoms may be the prime presentation in those with Gluten Sensitivity. However, gluten sensitivity remains undertreated and underrecognized as a contributing factor to psychiatric and neurologic manifestiations." From the March 2012 issue of Psychiatric Quarterly (Neurologic and Psychiatric Manifestations of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity).
"Symptoms of gluten sensitivity can be numerous and vary widely from individual to individual. With gluten ataxia, the focus of disease activity is in the brain, specifically the cerebellum, the center that controls coordination and complex movements like walking, speaking and swallowing. Often, the peripheral nerves located outside the spinal cord are also involved, leading to chronic and progressive neuropathy, a disease affecting the nervous system that results in feelings of numbness, tingling or pain. Symptoms of gluten sensitivity with neurologic manifestations are slurred speech, loss of coordination in upper and lower limbs, difficulty with normal walking, ocular problems, chronic headaches. It may affect the fingers and hands, the arms or legs, the body, speech or eye movements. In children and young adults, gluten ataxia can also cause developmental delay, diminished muscle tone, learning disorders and ADHD." From the winter 2007 edition of Living Without (All in Your Head - Untreated Gluten Sensitivity)
"The Mayo Clinic, Dr. Tom O'Bryan, and others have stated that celiac disease is primarily a neurological disease.... These effects include significant neurological and mental health disorders, learning disabilities, and problems with cognitive and motor skills. More than 57 million Americans have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, an estimated one in four-to-five adults. One food substance has increasingly been associated with neurological symptoms - Gluten: a protein found in the cereal grains wheat, rye, barley, and related species. Gluten sensitivity can lead to neurological and mental health effects in various ways, including: Triggering inflammatory autoimmune responses throughout the nervous system; Producing narcotizing effects on the brain; Inducing changes in brain perfusion, or blood flow". From Neurological Effects on the Gluten Free Choice website.
Much of this attitude has to do with the fact that while few doctors would argue that Celiac Disease (an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE of the Small Intestine) exists, according to the last link in the previous paragraph, the majority of these same doctors would say that Celiac Disease is where the whole "Gluten Sensitivity" thing not only begins, but ends as well. In other words, if you don't have Celiac Disease, you can't have a problem with Gluten, because there is no such thing as non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Truthfully, with internet medical research databases such as Pub Med available today, a person could not only debate this thought process with one hemisphere of their brain tied behind their back, but could literally write a book on the subject as well (actually, there are numerous books on this topic already out there). Here are a few of the studies on the neurotoxicity of Gluten.
In the May 2002 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou (a British Neurologist and Professor of Neurology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals) wrote, "With clinical manifestations primarily confined to the gastrointestinal tract or attributable to malabsorption, it was logical to assume that the target organ and hence the key to the pathogenesis of this disease was the gut.... Patients with an enteropathy represent only a third of patients with neurological manifestations and gluten sensitivity." Stop. Did you catch that? Only a third of the patients with Gluten Sensitivity actually have enteropathy (PATHOLOGIES of the Gut, aka the digestive tract). In other words, most people who are Gluten Sensitive have no Gut symptoms --- or at least no overt Gut pathologies (positive intestinal biopsy). This was not new information when it came out 12 years ago.
In still another study from 1999, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published an article by Dr Conleth Feighery in their "Fortnightly Review" simply called Coeliac Disease. In the article, he compared the amount of undiagnosed Celiac Disease to the amount of diagnosed Celiac Disease by using the analogy of an iceberg. An iceberg only has about 10% of its mass visible above the water. Dr. Feighery (an Immunologist at St. James Hospital in Dublin, Ireland) used an iceberg diagram to show that the same thing is true with Celiac Disease. His article said that only about 12.5% (1 in 8) people with Celiac are ever diagnosed. These findings were echoed in a 2006 issue of Gastroenterology by Fasano and Catassi, and then again in a 2006 issue of the medical journal Gut, when van Heel and West stated that, "The current ratio of clinically diagnosed to undetected cases is approximately 1 to 8".
However, the largest, possibly most important and least understood group of diseases that appear to have links with CD are those with a statistical association, such as epilepsy, the neuropathies and myelopathies, the ataxias, and male and female infertility. With these conditions, the story is only beginning to unfold, and responses to diet are less evident. Dr. Duggan --- a gastroenterologist and professor of medicine at the University of Newcastle, Australia ----- goes on to tell us who has the most problems with sensitivity to Gluten. "Those of northern European ancestry." By the way, did you notice that the Gluten-associated neurological problems mentioned by Dr. Duggan are "less evident" to dietary responses (i.e., a Gluten-free diet) than the standard GI symptoms. Stick around and I will show you not only why this is, but how to remedy most cases of it as well.
Here's the thing folks. I could go on and on and on. The January 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology stated that, "Our findings demonstrated an increased prevalence of thyroid disorders with CD." The Polish medical journal Przegl Lek published an article almost five years ago stating that, "Celiac disease is the status of the autoimmune answer provoked by gluten ingestion in genetically predisposed people. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can coexist with other diseases, such as diabetes mellitus type 1 (DMID) and thyroid gland diseases. The frequency of the incidence of celiac disease in DMID patients was 9.71%." So; almost 1 in 10 Type I (Autoimmune) Diabetics are Celiacs. You should be starting to notice a trend. The thing you absolutely must grasp about this post is that most of studies we have looked at today pertain to those with Celiac Disease. We know two very important facts about full-blown Celiac Disease as compared to those who "only" have Gluten Sensitivity.
- THERE IS AN INCREDIBLY LOW RATE OF DIAGNOSED CELIAC DIAGNOSIS: We know that at best, only 1 in 8 Celiacs is ever diagnosed. It seems like these numbers get worse in every succeeding study. The rate for Celiac Disease most currently touted here in America is between 1 in 133 and 1 in 100. This means that in the United States, at least 3 million people have Celiac Disease. Again; you cannot forget that the vast majority of these individuals are never diagnosed (the "gold standard" for diagnosing Celiac Disease is intestinal biopsy).
- CELIAC DISEASE IS A TINY BLIP ON THE SCREEN OF GLUTEN SENSITIVITY: The real kick in the teeth is that the vast majority of those who are sensitive to Gluten are not Celiacs. How can this be? As I stated earlier, Celiac Disease is a very specific Autoimmune Disease of the Small intestine. There are thousands upon thousands of other bodily tissues (hormones, neurotransmitters, etc are also included here) that your own Immune System could decide to start making antibodies against as well. The small intestine is only one of many, but is the only one that carries the label of "Celiac". This means that you can be every bit as sensitive to Gluten as someone who has Celiac Disease (or even more so), and not have a single one of the traditional GI symptoms so commonly associated with it (gas, bloating, IBS, etc, etc). Again; this is because the majority (60 - 80%) of all symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity are neurological.
As to how we got here? For the most part, it's part of the age-old story we've been following since the Tower of Babel. Man thinks he can do better than God (HERE'S a great example of this phenomenon). We have genetically tinkered with and hybridized our grains until they are genetically unrecognizable to our own bodies. And what happens when our body fails to recognize a protein as "safe" or "natural"? After determining it's "foreign," it mounts an Immune System response and attacks the devil out of it. Relentlessly. Unmercifully. The resulting INFLAMMATION drives a host of severe Endocrinological / Neurological health problems that we are finally starting to associate with Gluten. For more information on this topic, just go HERE or HERE. For information on going GLUTEN FREE, just click the link. You'll have to figure much of this on your own because your medical doctor is behind the eight ball on this topic (HERE). But I will warn you beforehand............
WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING
Furthermore, Gluten Sensitivity tends to run in families. This means that if you are Gluten Sensitive or have a family history of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES of any kind, or any sort of neurological health issues, it would serve you well to educate your progeny about this matter. It could be the difference between life and death. And when you add to the mix, our national over-consumption of SUGAR & CARBS, unbridled ANTIBIOTIC USE, and POOR GUT HEALTH (including LEAKY GUT SYNDROME and DYSBIOSIS), you can begin to see the magnitude of this situation.
UNDERSTANDING THE GLUTEN, LEAKY
GUT, AUTOIMMUNITY CONNECTION
"Once people's Immune System begins making antibodies to Gluten; for reasons that are not yet clearly understood, these same Immune Systems often begin making antibodies to self. This is called Autoimmunity..... Autoimmune Diseases tend to travel in packs, like wolves. This is because your problem is not the disease itself, but the fact that your body is making antibodies to itself and will continue to make antibodies to itself until you dry up the source of Inflammation and fix the Leaky Gut." From the UNIVERSAL CURE section of my Blog.
The AMA hated Dr. Lee because of his stance on the relationship between nutrition and health (or lack thereof). As outlandish as it might seem today, until the 1980's, the official stance of the AMA was that as long as a person was getting enough calories and their RDA's for the various vitamins and minerals, nutrition could not be the major factor in one's health. In fact, at one of Lee's many legal proceedings, Dr Elmer Nelson, head of the FDA's Nutrition Division, said this in response to Lee's assertions. "It is wholly unscientific to state that a well-fed body is more able to resist disease than a less well-fed body." One of the things these various organizations specifically attacked Lee for was his work on GUT HEALTH and Leaky Gut Syndrome.
A foundational health principle you'll absolutely have to understand if you ever hope to make a dent in your CHRONIC AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE(S) (HERE is a short list of some of the more common Autoimmune Diseases) is something that is most widely known as LEAKY GUT SYNDROME (the medical research community refers to it as Increased Intestinal Permeability). Despite the fact that the biggest number of practicing physicians either don't know anything about it or completely deny it's existence, listen to what Dr. Lee wrote nearly 70 years ago.
So, how in the world does a "Leaky Gut" lead to allergies / sensitivities? Instead of me taking a lot of time to explain something I already went into detail about, I will let the venerable heart surgeon, Dr. Oz do it for me (HERE). Just understand that due to UNCONTROLLED INFLAMMATION, the "tight junctions" (small gaps) between individual cells in the Gut (intestines) become "loose", which allows the tight junctions to get looser. This lets increasingly large particles of undigested foods and proteins into the gut. Your body recognizes these as foreign and begins to mount an Immune System attack on them by creating antibodies. Here is where it begins to get crazy. Listen to what Royal Lee said 60 years ago about this phenomenon of Leaky Gut Syndrome and its effect on health (this is transcribed from a lecture given in the mid 1950's).
"Don't forget now, there are two kinds of antibodies. There are natural tissue antibodies and there are antibodies to foreign proteins. Most of our textbooks on immune reactions discuss nothing but the antibodies that are developed against foreign proteins. In this next period of scientific development of this physiological reaction, you're going to hear more about natural tissue antibodies. They've been discussed and described but you won't find them in the textbooks yet."
The thing that the FDA, AMA, and other organizations despised him for above all else (they literally hounded him to an early grave with the constant law suits and legal battles), was his work on the relationship between Autoimmunity and malnutrition / nutritional deficiencies. You see, Dr. Lee discovered something all these decades ago that we still don't really understand today. He discovered that there was a part of the nuclear matter of certain kinds of cells that would work against Autoimmunity (slow it down or sometimes even stop it) without grossly suppressing the Immune System like immunosuppresive drugs such as Corticosteroids do. Take a look at this video describing the general way the Anti-Autoimmunity factors that Lee incorporated into dozens of his nutritional formulas work. He called these Anti-Autoimmunity factors Protomorphagens, or PMG's for short
Secondly; although Whole Food Nutritionists have been successfully using Dr. Lee's work / products for decades to help people suffering with all sorts of Autoimmune Diseases, the science is beginning to catch up with his mind. One break-through occurred a couple of years ago, when blood tests were finally developed for a number of the more common Autoimmune Diseases. Enter Cyrex Labs. Founded by one of the world's premiere Immunologists (Dr. Aristo Vodjani, MD), Cyrex is not only the world's top lab for testing for GLUTEN SENSITIVITY / GLUTEN CROSS-REACTIVITY, they are also testing for things like Increased Intestinal Permeability (Leaky Gut Syndrome), and is, as far as I am aware, the only lab I'm aware of that is testing the blood for specific Autoimmune Antibodies. Although the ANA blood test (Anti-Nuclear Antibodies) has been around for a long time, all it does is tell you if you have Autoimmunity in your system. The Cyrex test goes much farther and tells you which specific tissue(s) / enzyme(s) / protein(s) your Immune System is making antibodies to. And they are regularly adding to THIS LIST (Array 5 is the Autoimmune Antibody list). Let's look at one example of an Autoimmune Disease where Lee's knowledge (he had largely figured this thing out back in the 1940's) and Vodjani's incredible grasp on immunology can be seen working symbiotically.
GLUTEN AND CHRONIC PAIN
Several recent studies have tried to prove that there is a link between the gluten-free diet and chronic pain. Gluten is the protein portion in certain grains such as wheat, rye, barely, and other grains. In most patients, it is one of the top reasons for inflammatory processes in the body, and with inflammation comes pain. Patients who are sensitive to gluten don’t actually digest it, so it ends up sticking to the upper portion of the intestines where it is supposed to be digested. Since a foreign substance is now stuck to the intestine, this triggers the immune system into action to get rid of it. The intestines then become inflamed and the continual immune system response that occurs through the body causes pain. Certain types of pain have been shown to reduce by eating a gluten-free diet. Chronic abdominal pain is the biggest, but migraines and other headaches, all over body pains, and joint pains (such as arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis) may also benefit from going gluten-free. - The Pain Center of Arizona (Is There A Link Between Gluten and Chronic Pain?).
- INFLAMMATION: Inflammation is the root of nearly all non-genetic health conditions --- and even a few that people like to blame on "BAD GENES". Gluten is a known driver of INFLAMMATION, and if Inflammation is not controlled, it will lead to a wide variety of health problems including....
- AUTOIMMUNITY: Here's the scoop people. Out of control Inflammation is heavily linked to Autoimmunity in the peer-reviewed literature (HERE is a list of Autoimmune Diseases). The critical thing to remember about AUTOIMMUNITY is that once your system is Autoimmune, all bets are off as far as what tissue the body will decide to make antibodies against and attack next. Autoimmune Diseases frequently travel in packs, like wolves. In other words, where you find one, you are likely to find many. By the way, SYSTEMIC TENDINOSIS and SYSTEMIC ADHESIONS OF THE FASCIA can both fall into this category of "Systemic Autoimmunity".
- FIBROMYALGIA (ADRENAL FATIGUE) / CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME: Google "Fibromyalgia Gluten" and you get over 1.5 million hits. To learn the truth about FIBROMYALGIA, just click the link.
- ENDOCRINE PROBLEMS: This covers a lot of ground in the Autoimmune / Inflammatory Disease area. Some of the specific problems include nearly all THYROID DISEASE, including Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, ADRENAL FATIGUE, which we just covered, and a wide range of others, including various forms of BLOOD SUGAR DYSREGULATION. If you are interested in learning more about the Endocrine System, visit ENDOGUT --- the site about the relationship between the Endocrine System, the Gut, and the Immune System.
- LEAKY GUT SYNDROME: Speaking of "Gut", why not take a moment to understand LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. Although you might find the occasional exception to the rule, you cannot have Gluten Sensitivity without having a 'Leaky Gut'. However, many people can and do have Gluten Sensitivity, without having Celiac Disease --- a very specific Autoimmune Disease of the small intestine.
- NEURODEGENERATIVE DISORDERS: Some of the neurologically degenerative diseases that have been associated with Gluten include things like ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, PARKINSON'S DISEASE, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, various forms of NEUROPATHY such as Restless Leg Syndrome, and even SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE. In fact, the largest class of symptoms of Gluten Intolerance fall into the NEUROLOGICAL CATEGORY.
- ARTHRITIS PAIN: Gluten is frequently a factor whether your problem is due to DEGENERATIVE ARTHRITIS or an Autoimmune form of arthritis such as RHEUMATOID.
- OBESITY: I could have included this in the first bullet point since OBESITY is considered to be an "Inflammatory" condition. Even people who are not technically Gluten Sensitive, will often have problems with grains. Think about why this is. What do you feed a beef if you want to put weight on it. No, not grass. You feed them grain. Grain is what INCREASES BLOOD SUGAR and causes the metabolic pathways of "Fat Storage" to kick in. HERE are some tips as far as losing weight is concerned.
- MYSTERY PAIN OR MUPS: As crazy as it sounds, these two problems account for as much as 40% of all doctor visits here in America. It's certainly not that everyone with MYSTERY PAIN or M.U.P.S. is going to be Gluten Sensitive. But if neither you nor the doctor(s) treating you has any real idea of what is going on, for Pete's sake, go GLUTEN FREE. If you are interested in seeing how this all fits into a 'big picture', HERE is a short post on the topic.
WHY HASN'T MY DOCTOR TESTED
ME FOR GLUTEN SENSITIVITY?
Just the other day, I was treating a woman with PIRIFORMIS SYNDROME and her husband was having trouble wrapping his mind around the reason that a biblical food such as wheat could be so problematic as far as health was concerned. I not only talked to him about THIS, I told him of the study I saw at one of DATIS KHARRAZIAN'S seminars a couple of years ago that talked about the fact that in Australia, there were six proteins recently found in wheat that were not in existence twenty years ago. This is the result of genetic tinkering (GMO) and intense hybridization that has left us with grains that are radically different from the grains we were eating 50 or 60 years ago.
All of this information is great, but what would I do if I thought I were Gluten Sensitive? Because my entire family is at least moderately Gluten Sensitive (and because PARKINSON'S DISEASE runs in my family), I have had to educate myself about this topic.
DESTROY CHRONIC PAIN
BY GOING GLUTEN FREE
GLUTEN CROSS REACTORS are foods that have a close enough molecular shape to Gluten that your body will recognize them as such. If you do not cut the Gluten Cross-Reactors out of your diet, you can go GLUTEN FREE, and wind up thinking Gluten is not your problem because you still have all of your problems / symptoms. The healthier you are, the less likely you are to have a problem with the cross-reactors ---- especially things like eggs or potatoes. But if you are going to do it, why not go and DO IT RIGHT.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
Brain Based Therapy
Can You Help
Cardio Or Strength
Cold Laser Therapy
Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
Evidence Based Medicine
Gluten Cross Reactivity
Ice Or Heat
Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
Platelet Rich Therapy
Post Surgical Scarring
Re Invent Yourself
Rib And Chest Pain
Scar Tissue Removal
Sleeping Pills Kill
Stay Or Go
Stretching Post Treatment
Tensegrity And Fascia
The Big Four
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Whole Body Vibration