March 25, 2013

Gluten Linked to Autoimmune Liver Disease


Another new research study investigated the connection between autoimmune liver disease and gluten.  This study investigated whether  children with combined autoimmune hepatitis and celiac disease had higher remission rates of hepatitis while on a gluten free diet.  The conclusion of the study is below…

CONCLUSIONS:: Patients with AIH co-existing with CD achieve treatment-free sustained remission in a significantly higher proportion, when compared to patients with autoimmune liver disease without celiac disease, suggesting a possible long-term adjuvant effect of gluten free diet.

Source: J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2013 Feb 10. [Epub ahead of print]

Gluten Can Cause Liver Damage

There are hundreds of published medical studies on gluten and liver damage.  The study above is just one more piece of medical evidence.  Unfortunately, doctors don’t study nutrition and therefore often overlook this connection.  If you want to look at additional studies, click here.

I commonly see patients in my office who suffer with different forms of liver and gall bladder diseases.  Sometimes the only symptoms are abdominal and right shoulder pain.  Often times they have been diagnosed with non alcoholic fatty liver disease or gall stones.  Many or these individuals are considering having surgery to remove their gall bladder.

I would recommend anyone suffering with liver or gall bladder problems of unknown origin be genetically tested for gluten sensitivity.  Celiac testing is too inaccurate and not definitive for those who have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.  If you cannot afford testing or if you doctor won’t order it for you, go on a TRUE gluten free diet.  You can also take this simple quiz to determine the likelihood for gluten sensitivity.  Contrary to popular belief, a gluten free diet is safe even if you don’t have gluten issues.  There is no requirement in the human diet for grains.  This is simply a manufactured marketing effort by cereal companies.

No Gallbladder = Vitamin Deficiency

Remember, if you opt to have your gall bladder  removed, you will lose some of your ability to absorb and digest fat properly.  Vitamins A, D, E, and K as well as the omega 3 fatty acids all need a healthy gall bladder for proper absorption.  The side effects of these nutritional deficiencies can be devastating.  Vitamin D alone has been linked to more than 20 terminal cancers.

If you have had your gallbladder removed, you need to request laboratory testing to monitor your omega 3 fats as well as your fat soluble vitamins.  I recommend doing this every 6 months.  You should also take a high quality digestive formulation with the ingredient LIPASE (Gluten Shield works well for this).

Now consider that liver disease can cause high cholesterol… Cholesterol medications can cause liver disease…Liver disease contributes to blood sugar abnormalities…contributes to fatigue…contributes to weight gain…contributes to fatty liver…

Liver Damage = Skin Disease

In addition to gallbladder problems, liver damage can lead to skin damage.  When the liver is overstressed, it can lose its ability to detoxify appropriately.  Pollutants, drugs, potentially damaging chemical byproducts are all typically handled by the liver.  When this vital organ can’t do its job, the skin is recruited to aid in the process.  Common skin disorders connected to this are eczema and dermatitis.

We can go on and on and on.  The point is, gluten intolerance can cause liver and gall bladder problems.  Most patients diagnosed with liver disease in the U.S. are told that their disease has no known cause.  It makes sense to investigate gluten as a causative factor.

Always looking out for you,

Dr. Osborne  – The Gluten Free Warrior
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12 Responses to “Gluten Linked to Autoimmune Liver Disease”

  • Meg Bovell says:

    Wonderful information for everyone to know…
    A very important missing link to acquire..
    Much Appreciated,

  • Emme says:

    I too had my gallbladder removed. Tests show I’m not digesting fats properly. What can I do to heal? Please respond.

  • Donna says:

    Had my gall bladder removed a long time ago. Curious what you recommend as well.

  • stephanie says:

    My whole life I have noticed an elevation in Bilirubin in my blood tests. Even after being gluten free for three years!Can anyone offer an explanation for this?

  • Julia says:

    I have no thyroid or gall bladder. What do you recommend?

  • Margie says:

    Is gluten shield safe for children and if so what ages and how much do I give?

  • Trish says:

    Curious as to why no recommendations as to possible next steps, as in what type of practitioner to see or what resources to use, to possibly or definitely remedy or treat the issue??

  • Hi Trish,
    We are working on part 2 of this series. Thanks for your feedback!
    All the best,
    Dr. O

  • Yes Gluten Shield is safe for kids. Ages 5 and up can use 1-2 capsules before a meal. If capsules cannot be swallowed, you can break them open and mix with liquids.

  • Sheila Meyer says:

    Would gluten be an underlying cause of Klatskin Tumor? I am genetically sensitive to gluten and my dad died from this tumor.

  • [...] mechanisms are plural.  Pancreatic damage, liver damage, induction of nutritional deficiencies, and changes in the microbiome that influence energy [...]

  • Monica says:

    I had my gall bladder removed 5 yrs ago since then hsd put on weight diagnosed type 2 high cholestral.Nearly ayr later On HFLC diet no sugar 4 stone lighter cholestral ratio good I rarely eat grains no meat or chichen And sometimes a little fish feel good but what vitamins should i be taking with blood pressure tablets i am young 72

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