The following excerpt was taken from a recent ABC News story on gluten sensitivity based on interviews with Dr. Fasano and Dr. Peter Green (both of these doctors are leading celiac researchers):
…recognize gluten as an invader and unleash attacks on the small intestine, producing diarrhea, abdominal pain, along with fatigue, headaches and joint inflammation. Over time, celiac disease can lead to malnourishment, osteoporosis, neurological conditions, and in rarer cases, infertility or cancer.
An estimated 3 million Americans, or 1 in 133, have celiac disease (the source of the website name for Shepard’s campaign, 1in133.org). However, most of them aren’t aware of it, in part because it can strike at any time. Only 200,000 to 220,000 Americans have been diagnosed, said Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, also a summit sponsor.
Gluten disruption of the nervous system can lead to nerve damage, neurological diseases, mental disorders and more.
Another 300,000 to 600,000 Americans avoid gluten because of wheat allergy, Fasano estimated. A third group within the growing gluten-free constituency comprises the 18 million to 20 million Americans who Fasano estimated suffer from gluten sensitivity, with pain, fatigue, headaches and brain fog much like that of celiac patients. However, his research has found that although they don’t make the same antibodies that define celiac disease, they have an inflammatory reaction to gluten.
An emerging group of people with gluten sensitivity have such psychiatric and neurological disorders as schizophrenia, ADHD, depression, and bipolar syndrome, and “a higher rate” of some antibodies, said Dr. Peter H.R. Green, director of the Columbia University Celiac Disease Center in New York, another summit sponsor.
Dr. Green was quoted as saying:
“Schizophrenia used to be called bread madness”
It wasn’t very long ago that both Dr. Green and Dr. Fasano denied the connection between gluten and mental disease. Now both of them are publicly confirming the connection. This is fantastic news! Many patients with undiagnosed gluten sensitivity have mental and neurological disorders as a result of gluten exposure. This mainstream admittance that gluten intolerance and brain disruption are connected will help a lot of people get the proper diagnosis and the help that they need.