August 9, 2011

Gluten Sensitivity Spectrum – Not Just a Celiac Issue

 

The Gluten Autoimmune Spectrum

The following picture displays some of the more common manifestations of gluten induced diseases.  Problem is, many people, doctors, nutritionists, and the media are mostly in the dark when it comes to the different diseases linked to this food protein.

Different manifestations of gluten induced damage

The following is an abstract from a recent paper published in the journal,    Rev Neurol. 2011 Sep 1;53(5):287-300.

Gluten sensitivity is a systemic autoimmune disease that occurs in genetically susceptible individuals on ingesting gluten. It can appear at any age, then becoming a permanent condition. It is more frequent in women, as happens with other autoimmune diseases. Celiac disease is the intestinal form and the most important manifestation among a set of gluten-induced autoimmune pathologies that affect different systems. Neurological manifestations of gluten sensitivity, with or without enteropathy, are also frequent, their pathogenesis including an immunological attack on the central and peripheral nervous tissue accompanied by neurodegenerative changes.  The clinical manifestations are varied, but the most common syndromes are cerebellar ataxia and peripheral neuropathy. Finally, gluten sensitivity is associated to a varying degree, with other complex diseases and could influence their evolution. The early detection of cases of gluten sensitivity with neurological manifestations and subsequent treatment with the gluten-free diet could provide remarkable benefits to the patients.

Dr. Osborne's CommentsThis research study is just another study of an ever growing list of medical research documenting the existence of gluten sensitivity in the absence of celiac disease.  Why is this important?  Most doctors don’t know the difference.  Most doctors aren’t aware that gluten can contribute to hundreds of symptoms, syndromes, and diseases.  Many of these symptoms manifest not in the gut, but in other tissues and organs.

Common examples of gluten related conditions are:

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10 Responses to “Gluten Sensitivity Spectrum – Not Just a Celiac Issue”

  • Tracy says:

    Very interesting.

    I continue to wonder why many claim “celiac is the…most important manifestation.” Some of the other things gluten can cause –ataxia, for one– are devastating physical conditions. Why is celiac more important than ataxia or any other condition caused by gluten?

  • Crystal says:

    I have a 9yr old daughter who has been suffering from some sort of intestinal bowel issue…the doctor tested her once for celiac disease, it came back with a borderline positive result….they herrefuse to retest her …the more ive read and been self educating….the more concerned I am…and finding a support group of people who know and understand…..

  • Forget the blood tests and biopsies. There are inaccurate. I would recommend genetic testing if you want a definitive answer.

    http://www.glutenfreesociety.org/genetic-testing-for-gluten-sensitivity/

    All the best,
    Dr. O

  • maria says:

    My fibro was greatly reduced for a time when first starting a gf diet. However over the years it did start to get worse again.

  • Martha says:

    My fibromyalgia has improved quite a bit after giving up gluten. I still have flare ups, but they are less severe than they were before I gave up gluten. And I do notice that if I mess up, or cheat, that I feel it for the next few days.

    As a child, I had sensitivity to both dairy and processed sugars and the combination of meat and potatoes~ diagnosed by a Naturopath Dr. So it doesn’t surprise me that wheat is now added to the list.

  • Jennie says:

    I was diagnosed with Celiacs when I was 23. Its been three years now, and it changed my life. I went from 276lbs to 150lbs, and it was confirmed…I was misdiagnosed as a child with ADHD. The gluten was speeding my brain up like speed. It is so great to think clearly now.

  • Kerry says:

    I have battled with gut, immune and other disorders since I was a child. I have been tested a few times for celiacs and have always tested positive. I have been on a gluten free diet on and off for 10 years now and know that I definitely feel better off gluten than on it. Just recently I have tested positive to autoimmune antibodies although it is not clear which one it is until further testing. If I had of known the dangers of gluten 10 years ago I would have not treated gluten so lightly. My daughter is now also being treated for gluten sensitivity although again it has been undiagnosed. The sooner there is a more straight forward testing routine for gluten sensitivity the better.

  • Becky Rider says:

    I do not have celiac disease; I am gluten intolerant.

    I have had hormonal disruptions and imbalances my entire life; I have had neurological issues as an adult, and I have had psychological disorders throughout my life.

    Clinically, I have none of these conditions at this time. I have been gluten free since 2005, and grain free since 2009.

    These issues did not fully resolve until 2010, after being grain free for one year.

    Don’t play with this! If you are sensitive, avoid all grains (without cheating), and you will be amazed at how your body can heal you.

  • Jennifer Swift says:

    My symptoms were not related to the intestines, mine are muscular. I get such extreme muscle fatigue sometimes I have trouble breathing. When I have a reaction to food I need reading glasses when I’m good, no reading glasses, that’s how bad the muscle reaction is. I was told by many different doctors I was fine (could be depressed, which I was because no one would help me). No one suggested food as an issue. Even now I get poo poo’d when I tell doctors about my food sensitivities. If I didn’t go through the process myself I would still be suffering. I am now “grain” free, dairy free, sugar free, nightshade free, chicken egg free, it’s a process but it’s well worth it. There’s sooooo much info out there, you really don’t need doctors, patience and the desire to change.

  • David says:

    I realized I was gluten sensitive almost three years ago. I’ve been grain free for almost three months. My health has improved greatly! The point I want to make is that you should not wait for a positive test result if you think you may have an issue with gluten and grains. Just take some time to plan ahead and start a gluten free and grain free diet. It’s likely you will see improvements in your health quickly. You will feel empowered as your health improves and will want to explore and experiment with wonderful new foods and recipes. Here’s a tip – Sweet potatoes are a wonderful and versatile food. I frequently make sweet potato mash, sweet potato chili and sweet potato fries and they’re all wonderful! Also, look into the Paleo Diet. It dovetails perfectly with a gluten/grain free diet. All the best to all of you. I wish you the best of health!

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