March 21, 2012

Facial Palsy and Gluten Sensitivity – A Connection is Found


A recent paper published in the Journal of  Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry discusses a strong connection in patients with facial palsy induced by gluten.

Recurrent peripheral facial paralysis (PFP) is an uncommon disorder that often occurs in the setting of family history. In 2001, we observed a patient with recurrent PFP who manifested symptoms of coeliac disease (CD) several months later. Because of this observation and because neurological disorders may be the only manifestation of atypical forms of CD…

Study Source:

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry doi:10.1136/jnnp-2011-301921

 What is Facial Palsy?

Facial palsy is a disorder characterized by paralysis of muscles in the face.  It can be caused by a Herpes virus, and in sometimes caused as a result of inner ear infections.  New research links gluten intolerance to this neurological disorder.

Gluten Sensitivity & Nerve Damage

There are numerous studies linking gluten intolerance issues with damage to the nervous system.  Some doctors believe that the primary way that this protein induces damage is through nerves.

  • Dr. Charles Parker, a psychiatrist has great experience with gluten damaging brain tissue.
  • Dr. John Symes, a veterinarian has discovered a connection between gluten intolerance and epilepsy in dogs and cats.
  • Dr. Hadjivassilliou has discovered a link between gluten and multiple neurological diseases including cerebellar ataxia, nerve pain, numbness and tingling, dizziness, and more

Gluten can also contribute to neurological problems by inducing nutritional deficiencies…

Resolution of Nerve Disease on a Gluten Free Diet

Many patients experience a complete resolution of nervous system symptoms after going on a gluten free diet.  I have personally seen the following conditions improve or resolve in my Houston clinic:

  • Migraine headache
  • Nerve entrapment syndromes (carpal tunnel disease, cervicobrachial syndrome)
  • Chronic nerve pain (reflex sympathetic dystrophy)
  • Neuropathy (numbness and tingling of the hands, feet, on the torso, etc)
  • Bipolar disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Autism
  • Vertigo
  • Epilepsy

Although gluten is not a catch all for people with nerve disease, it is a known neurological toxin and intolerance/sensitivity should be ruled out in patients immediately.  Other common environmental factors that can contribute to neurological symptoms and nerve damage include:

  • aspartame (Nutrasweet)
  • Caffeine
  • Chemical pesticides, fungicides, and herbacides commonly sprayed on non organic produce
  • Mercury exposure (present in some vaccines)
  • Lead exposure
  • Cadmium exposure
  • Aluminum exposure (excessive)
  • B-vitamin deficiency states (especially vitamins B1, B12, B6, B3, and folate)

Need help going gluten free?  Check out the Glutenology Health Matrix Here <<==

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One Response to “Facial Palsy and Gluten Sensitivity – A Connection is Found”

  • Donna Dean says:

    Have had chronic Restless Leg Syndrome for many years. Dr’s just don’t know what to do for it. Work 11 hours a day and it is extremely difficult to get even 3-4 hours rest. Many nights I kick my legs all night or get up and walk, rub my legs or take another OTC sleeping pill. Sleeping pills don’t work most of the time. RLS also affects me in the day time whenever I have to sit for a period of time. I try to be gluten-free. Any ideas? Thank you

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