new to the gluten free journey?


Gluten in the Diet Triggers Many Neurological Problems

Headaches, Depression, Nerve Damage, and Seizures… What They All Have in Common Recent research identified that 70% of gluten intolerant patients had social phobias. Depression was found in 52%. These are neurological manifestations of the disease, or are related to the disease, and they’re not the only ones either.
Italian researchers found that 22.5% of the patients with gluten sensitivity had headaches, depression, epilepsy, neuropathy & nerve entrapment syndromes such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
The immune system was clearly involved in about 42% of the patients, as antibody reactivity to neural(nerve) antigens was detected. Interestingly, those who had antibodies to neural antigens did not necessarily have neurological problems. This indicates that these problems may take awhile to manifest.
Also noted was that if patients changed to a traditional gluten free diet, the follow-up lab work still revealed the same antibodies. In other words, only eliminating wheat, barley, and rye, didn’t change the immune system response in those with gluten sensitivity.


Gluten Damages the Nervous System

This research demonstrates yet again the universal effect gluten can have on the body. In this case, patients developed symptoms that effected the nervous system such as headache, depression, neuropathy, and seizures as a result of being sensitive to gluten. Of note is the fact that traditional gluten free diets focused on only eliminating wheat, barley, and rye did not resolve all of the patient’s problems. Additionally, the diet did not eliminate the presence of antibodies on follow up lab testing. Remember that gluten is a protein found in all grains. Many research studies are identifying other grains as a problem with those with gluten sensitivity. It is important to remember that substitute grains like millet, sorghum, rice, etc have not been adequately studied to be used as substitutes. Many people with gluten intolerance have symptoms that persist even after going wheat, barley, and rye free. This is largely due to the fact that they continue to consume:
  1. Highly processed foods with a strong potential for gluten cross contamination
  2. Other substitute grains that contain different types of gluten that continue to do damage to the bodies immune system
  3. Genetically modified versions of grains with the potential to confuse the immune system.
This is one of the many reasons why I recommend eliminating all grain from the diet for those diagnosed with gluten intolerance.

Confused about gluten? Watch this free video and get educated…

Dr. Osborne – The Gluten Free Warrior Dr. Peter Osborne

12 Responses

  1. I started having migraines when I was 24 and pregnant with my first child. Hormones triggered them, I figured, and then I started having them all the time. Food triggered them, I figured, so I kept a food diary and identified a few things to avoid, but I had more and more severely painful and prolonged episodes. By the time I was 45 I was having two, 2-3 day migraines a week. I had them the whole time I was raising my children. I had them at work and ended up working at home (for a variety of reasons, including migraines and severe gut symptoms, chronic sinus infections, fatigue, and other symptoms AND sick kids). I finally figured out I was gluten sensitive (at 45) and immediately went on a truly GF diet. The migraines went away after 48 hours! Didn’t expect it, but it happened. I see a naturopath now who could have told me to avoid gluten long ago, but I went for 20 years sometimes using but often turning down one scary prescription after another (that sometimes didn’t work anyway), or just toughing it out, like during pregnancies. I have four children and had four spontaneous abortions at around 12 weeks (doctors then didn’t know why, I assume it was from malabsorption of nutrients). Anyway, after being on a GF diet for a few months I went to a gastroenterologist to have a colonoscopy and upper GI exam just to rule out anything else because I’d had so much pain for so long. I told her I was severely gluten sensitive and on a GF diet and just wanted to make sure we weren’t overlooking anything. She told me to “not listen to ‘gluten nazis'” that she “knew nothing about kids and gluten” (or adults apparently), and to do a gluten challenge (I declined). She said I shouldn’t change my life so drastically by going on a GF diet if I wasn’t a celiac and I had already told her my migraine history. Call it whatever you like, so I’m not a true celiac, who cares? I told her that even without considering the long list of my other ailments and symptoms that were also improving, if I could avoid two, 2-3 day migraines a week, I’d have to be crazy to not be on a GF diet. Her nurse called me a few days later to tell me I had IBS and they had a prescription for me (“For what?” “For the cramping.” “Did I say I had cramping?” . . . ) and if they could answer any more of my questions to just call. I had some questions, alright, but they weren’t very polite. Much, much better now and head ache free. Gluten sensitivity and other things from my mom’s side of the family, migraines and other things from my dad’s side, and my kids, my mother and I (dad’s a healthy 84 year old) are breaking the pattern, figuring it all out. Striving for grain free since four of us still have trouble simply gluten free. Thanks a million for all your good information.

    1. Your Welcome Christy! Thanks for sharing your story with us. Glad you are moving toward a TRUE gluten free (grain free) diet.
      All the best,
      Dr. O

  2. Thank you for continuing to publish this information. It’s extremely important to spread this knowledge. I am gluten intolerant with Celiacs by medical diagnosis & labs. I’ve experienced numerous bouts of depression, anxiety attacks, mood swings, along with migraines that come in 3 yr cycles starting at age 33.

    I’ve been traditional gluten free for 2 years but still experienced lingering health issues. Only after removing ALL grains and following a true gluten free diet over the last 1 month have my remaining health issues begun to resolve. It’s astounding how much better I feel and I can easily see & feel the inflammation leaving.

    Articles like these are invaluable. Please keep them coming. My sister also has classic gluten intolerance symptoms but is in denial due to a false negative blood panel. I’m sharing info like this with her in prayer & hope that one day she will open her heart & mind and make a change.

    God speed!

  3. I have had migrane headaches for over 20 years. I have taken every medicine out there. I am so sick of meds. I still get frequent headaches and the drs. just want to prescribe more meds. I tried everything! It can be so depressing and the meds have side effects too! I think I am going to try gluten free. I eat pretty healthy now, but I will research this and try. Thanks for sharing your story. There just might be an end to this all! Excited!

  4. Great post. Our family went gluten free because of our son’s rheumatoid problems and quickly discovered there was way more to it than that! We all had different symptoms resolve gluten-free, but decided to take it a step further and do the GAPS diet. Reading that book as well as Healthier Without Wheat and participating extensively on the forums really opened my eyes to the range of negative effects gluten and grains in general can have on the body.

    I, especially have a lot of nebulous neurological issues. I noticed that they seemed especially tied to hypoglycemia and probably malabsorbtion as well. I’m now doing a gluten challenge after a year gluten free and the longer it goes on the worse I get.

    I’ve got a lot of posts about all this on my blog.
    You can start with our story if you are interested.

  5. I have microscopic colitis and also have to be gluten free, so there are many things evidently that cause the problem. However, my Gastroenterologist never mentioned being gluten free to help my problem, just meds that people said didn’t work. I accidently happened onto a support board for the colitis & found out that all of them worldwide had to be gluten free to have any relief. It took me almost a year to get some relief, as my intestines were that damaged, I guess. I later asked my Dr. why he never mentioned it to try, it would’ve saved me so much misery. His answer was that he can’t recommend it because there’s no Gold Standard Test for proving it helps. The Drs. are sooo behind the times that I sometimes wonder if all of them don’t own a part of Big Pharma. It wouldn’t have hurt him to say it has helped some people, ya know?

  6. I started having bouts of vertigo approximately 9 years ago. Through medication and reducing my salt intake, I managed to control the vertigo, but by then I had lost some hearing in my right ear. At the same time I had terrible digestive problems which doctors attributed to IBS. They also called it “nervous colitis” and told me to relax. They gave me meds that never fixed the problem and finally my husband took me to a great doctor, whose first question was “are you allergic to anything?” I said no because I thought he was referring to respiratory symptoms. I had a blood test to make sure I wasn’t allergic to anything or if I was an undiagnosed celiac. Came back positive for “wheat, gluten and dairy allergies”. Anyway, as soon as I took the diet seriously my overall health got much better. Things I took for personality traits suddenly disappeared, like irritability, mood swings, anxiety and depression were all pretty much gone.All my digestive problems are gone too. My vertigo has been reduced somewhat, but my question for you is: could my vertigo be caused by the buildup of gluten in my body?

    1. Mariana,
      Yes, gluten can cause vertigo. There is a disease called cerebellar ataxia that presents with dizziness and loss of balance. It has to do with the fact that gluten can cause and autoimmune inflammation against the brain and cranial nerves. The nerve linked to vertigo is a cranial nerve called the vestibulocochlear nerve.
      You might find this article helpful on your journey –
      All the best,
      Dr. Osborne

  7. I have recently been diagnosed with epilepsy… after no history. I was on a grain free diet. Went to visit family ate a ton of grain for a week. 4 days after being home i had a headache/migraine all 4 days then dizziness then vertigo then a leg twitch. Decided to go to the hospital and had a grand mal after an mri. Please tell me… are there any blood tests to verify gluten sensitivity for neurological symptoms??

  8. I understand. I suffered for years. Averaged 20 migraines a month. Stomach problems. Many other problems from severe anxiety to tingling in hands and feet. I finally figured it out myself. Now. Rarely a stomach issue or a migraine

  9. I have had IBS issues, mood problems and brain fog for all my adult life. I have tried lots of meds that don’t work. I had headaches every day. I was advised by a nutritionist to cut out all artificial sweeteners as I was having a lot (thinking they were stopping me gaining weight – they weren’t) . Within a couple of days my headaches went as did my joint pains (that I had been told were due to Hypermobility). IBS and mood continued to be an issue so cut out gluten and this was the game changer. IBS was drastically reduced, brain fog and moods were much improved and also lost weight easily. I had previously had a coeliac test that was negative but felt that bloating, nausea and diarrhoea after eating it was worth eliminating. I have a chronic cough and post nasal drip that I am hoping will now respond to the removal of gluten. Fingers crossed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sing up to our newsletter for 10% off your first order!

Receive the latest strain releases, exclusive offers and 10% OFF welcome discount.