Are Your Symptoms Related to Gluten?
All right. Let’s see here. What are we going to really be talking about today? The unexpected symptoms of gluten exposure. What does that really mean, the unexpected symptoms? Most people think about gluten sensitivity, and what do they think? They think that gluten sensitivity is the same thing as celiac disease. The reality is, is they’re not the same thing.
We can make this statement: everyone with celiac disease is gluten sensitive. We cannot make this statement: everyone with gluten sensitivity will develop celiac disease. Not true. Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are not the same thing. Think of it like this, gluten sensitivity is not a disease. It is a state of genetics. You either have the gluten sensitive genes, or you don’t.
If you have them, and you eat gluten, then your body views gluten as an enemy, and it mounts an immune response. For some people, that immune response leads to intestinal damage. That’s celiac disease. For some people, that immune response does not lead to intestinal damage. For some people, that immune response leads to neurological damage. It leads to liver damage. It leads to skin damage. It leads to pancreatic damage. For some people, it leads to thyroid problems and thyroid damage. For some people, the problem leads to joint pain, joint damage, diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and dermatomyositis, etc.
Keep those things in mind, that again, gluten sensitivity is not a disease, it’s a state of genetics. If you have gluten sensitive genes, and you expose them to gluten, then the response is going to be an inflammatory immune response that leads to tissue damage. If that tissue damage occurs in your small intestine and causes villous atrophy, that’s what doctors call celiac disease.
However, if that damage does not cause gastrointestinal problems, and it leads to damage in other areas of your body, most people get a misdiagnosis. They just get told, “You have a thyroid problem.” Or “You have a joint problem.” Or you have some other type of disease, but gluten is never really associated with their condition, and that’s where the problem is, because that’s where they keep going on eating gluten, and unbeknownst to them, it’s actually the gluten that’s creating the damage. Then over time, what happens is accumulated damage continues to destroy their tissues, and they end up sicker, and sicker, and sicker, but being told that a gluten-free diet might not help them.
That’s why we’re having this show tonight, again, it’s to help those of you who have maybe been told that going gluten-free is not the right move. Yet maybe you’ve tried a 30-day trial gluten-free diet, or maybe the diet of No Grain, No Pain. You went on that. You felt better. But still you were told that you didn’t have a gluten sensitivity, even though you felt better. Again, we’re going to be talking about those strategies.
We’ve got [Dahlia 00:02:43] chiming in from Atlanta. [Allie Mays 00:02:46] from Indiana. Good deal. Thanks for tuning in tonight.
What are some of the unexpected symptoms of gluten sensitivity? What I’m putting up there is a simple diagram to help you understand whether or not going gluten-free is the right move. Some of the symptoms that you see here … This is broken down into different areas of the body. It’s some of the more common symptoms of gluten sensitivity, and so some of them are not what we would typically think.
As you go through this, and what you can do with this little diagram, if you go to glutenfreesociety.org, and type in “gluten sensitivity quiz,” you’ll pull this up, and you can actually print it out. You can take it home. Actually, you can print it out at home, you can fill it out. Or you can just take the quiz, this very same quiz, as online, you can take it there. It will give you an answer as to whether or not going gluten-free is the right move for you. Again, if you go … Let’s see if I can pull that up for you. Give me just a second here, and I’ll put up a URL for you to dive into. Here we go. I’m going to push that up, and that way you have it in front of you.
A lot of those symptoms in that quiz is listed right here, and if you’re not quite sure whether or not going gluten-free is the right move for you, make sure you click on that, and you can go, and you can take this quiz. You don’t have to do that right now. We’re talking. But you can take this quiz at a later time.
What are some of those symptoms? In the gut, we’ve got a lot of people with celiac disease might experience, for example, the gas, the bloating, the intestinal cramping, and the pain. But a lot of people with celiac disease also will experience vomiting or diarrhea, meaning they become very, very malnourished due to those two primary symptoms, and then they start suffering with vitamin and mineral deficiencies. That can lead to anemias. That can lead to difficulty gaining weight. Severe weight loss. That can lead to nutritional deficits. That’s what we would consider the classic gut symptoms. Most of those related to celiac disease.
But some people don’t experience those classic symptoms to that degree. Some people have, more specifically, they don’t have weight loss at all. As a matter of fact, a recent study showed that the vast majority of people with gluten sensitivity don’t suffer with weight loss, they actually suffer with weight gain. In essence, more people, instead of losing weight, actually gain weight and become overweight or obese. And part of the reason why is the gluten-induced inflammatory cascade causes elevations of cortisol, which leads to muscle loss and weight gain. Again, many people have weight gain and not weight loss.
This is why a lot of people get misdiagnosed. They go to their doctors, and they’re not vomiting. They don’t have diarrhea. They’re not losing weight. So the doctor never even measures for gluten. Or never even suspects gluten as part of the issue. Instead, the doctor just says, “Hey, we’re not worried about gluten. This is IBS. Or this is some other type of bowel disease.” Keep that in mind, that weight gain is one of the predominant symptoms of gluten sensitivity, even over weight loss.
Another common problem that’s linked to gluten sensitivity, that it can crop up, is something called SIBO. So if you’ve not heard of SIBO before, S-I-B-O. SIBO stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and in this type of scenario, this is one of the things gluten can do is it can feed the wrong kinds of bacteria. When those wrong kinds of bacteria are being overfed, they grow out of control.
These are types of bacteria that would be normally present in a GI tract, but when being overfed, they grow out of control, and then they can start to create the symptoms of severe bloating. Even if you drink a cup of water, you might see severe bloating. Anything you eat, your intestines seem to bloat, like you get pregnant belly almost instantly. This is a common hallmark symptom of SIBO.
Some people also have severe brain fog, and severe mental fatigue, if you will. A lot of these same people with SIBO will develop acne as a problem, so a lot of facial acne. Remember, SIBO … and gluten can cause SIBO syndrome, so again, SIBO, if you are having a SIBO problem, you might be gluten sensitive. A lot of people don’t talk about that. A lot of doctors don’t talk about that.
As a matter of fact, one of the most common treatments for SIBO is to put a person on an antibiotic, and particularly one called rifaximin. A lot of doctors will just use the antibiotic, and they won’t mention gluten at all, and so they’ll use the antibiotic to suppress bacterial overgrowth in the gut, but they won’t take away the cause. The cause being, again, can be gluten sensitivity. Keeping that in mind, that’s a common, common manifestation. You’ve got to be aware that that can happen.
One of the other predominant types of sub-sets of symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity don’t have much to do with the gut at all. They’re neurological symptoms. One of the original names for gluten sensitivity, so if we go back in time, right? We say, “Okay, what did many doctors actually call neurologically-induced problems that were related to gluten?” One of the names for, originally, gluten sensitivity, was “bread madness.” Bread madness, meaning that people that would eat a lot of bread would actually develop schizophrenic-like disorders. Schizophrenic-like behavior.
We look at schizophrenia, and one of its nicknames is bread madness, and this goes back over several decades. This has been around for quite a long time, but a lot of doctors don’t make that correlation. As a matter of fact, most patients who get a mental diagnosis of schizophrenia, or multiple personality disorder, or bipolar disorder, or depression, what ends up happening is they get medicated. They get medicated with different types of mood-altering medications, like Abilify, or SSRIs, or MAO inhibitors. These are very, very common types of medications that are used in these types of patients.
But again, gluten sensitivity, gluten … For several reasons. One, one of the families of proteins that’s found as a chain in gluten is actually called a gluteomorphin. This type of protein can stimulate morphine receptors and create gluten addiction, and it can create gluten happiness, if you will. Meaning, just like if you were taking morphine, it can reduce pain. It can make you happier. It can make you care less. If you’re high anxiety, it could actually suppress that. This is where some people actually gravitate toward eating grain, because they’re actually self-medicating because of the gluteomorphins.
This is also one of the reasons why some people eating a lot of gluten have chronic inflammation, but their inflammation is somewhat suppressed because the morphine effect causes a pain reduction, and so they’re not feeling as much of the pain as they’re on their gluten diet, because it actually, again, one of the proteins in gluten can hit morphine receptors, causing a pain reduction-like effect.
Some people say, “Oh, I don’t have a problem with gluten.” And they have a huge problem with gluten. It’s just that gluten not only causes the inflammation, but also masks the inflammation because it suppresses pain through morphine receptors. It’s one of those kind of tricky ways, and again, if you’re not testing for this type of thing, and looking to identify it, you could miss it altogether.
Some of the other neurological symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity, some of the other diseases associated neurologically with gluten sensitivity, one is cerebellar ataxia. This is like generalized dizziness. It’s when somebody gets dizzy, and they can’t walk. They get up. They have a hard time keeping their balance. Some people will develop vertigo. That can sometimes be coupled with tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. Again, that dizziness when trying to walk and that ringing in the ears, these can be symptoms of gluten sensitivity.
Another common, common symptom of gluten sensitivity is depression. Another one is epileptic seizure disorder, and I see this very, very frequently in my office. People come in, they’ve been pre-diagnosed with an epileptic seizure disorder. They’ve been put on medicines, said “The problem is not getting better, it’s actually getting worse,” and one of the reasons why is epileptic medicines cause B-12 and B-1 deficiencies, which can also lead to neuropathies after six to twelve months, and so their problems just progressively get worse.
The key with this is, if you’ve been diagnosed with epilepsy, you definitely want to have genetic testing to rule out gluten sensitivity gene patterns, because it’s very, very common. As a matter of fact, here’s how common it is, there’s a show on Discovery Channel called Mystery Diagnosis. You may have seen this show before, but Mystery Diagnosis. It was a couple of years ago, they did a special on this very thing. How a young child, his mom had celiac disease, and it was very, very fortunate that the pediatrician was on his game, because the child was developing an epileptic seizure-like disorder. Because the mother had a history of celiac disease, the pediatrician knew the neurological consequences of gluten, and was able to pick up on that and get a proper diagnosis for the child.
In essence, the child’s epileptic disorder was being caused as a result of gluten. There was no GI symptom at all. There was no diarrhea. There was no vomiting. There was no gastric pain. There was no abnormal bowel movements. It was strictly epileptic seizure disorder that was manifesting as a result of gluten exposure. Again, gluten can be a very, very big neurotoxin. Don’t underestimate its capacity to damage nerves.
That brings us to the next one, which is neuropathy. Neuropathy can be numbness and tingling of the extremities, the hands, the feet. Neuropathy can manifest as sharp, shooting, stabbing pain down the arms or down the legs. Some people have a migrating neuropathy, where it travels from side to side. Some people have a burning neuropathy in their feet, meaning that when they walk, it burns. These are common, common manifestations of gluten-induced neurological manifestations.
Again, if you’re struggling with chronic neuropathy, and the doctors are all out of luck. They don’t know why you have it. It’s not trauma induced. You don’t have a herniated disc in your neck pinching a nerve, but you’ve just developed this chronic neuropathy, it’s very potentially possible that it could be gluten-induced. Certainly, there are other causes for neuropathy, and gluten is not the only cause, but again, if you’ve got a neuropathy, and you don’t know why, this is one of the elements that you want to make sure that you have investigated to rule it out.
Another common neurological symptom associated with gluten sensitivity is restless leg syndrome. That actually has to do with gluten inducing or changing the bacteria, or the microbiome. Gluten can introduce a microbiome change that can lead to restless leg syndrome. There have been a few studies documenting this pretty well. Keep in mind, if you suffer from restless leg, a lot of doctors will prescribe … There’s a medication called gabapentin. That’s pretty much the mainstay for treatment in that type of situation. The problem with that is that gabapentin, one, it becomes less and less effective, but two, long-term use can affect you in other ways.
One of the ways it affects you is your gut motility. Gabapentin can cause your guts to slow down, so it can lead to chronic constipation. Which again, if you’re gluten sensitive, and that’s the cause, and every time you eat gluten, now you’re constipated, so the gluten stays in your gut longer. It’s doing even more damage, because your body’s not expelling it out properly, because you’re constipated. This can become a much bigger problem for you.
The same thing happens with pain medications, like the opioids. Some of the medications that people take that suppress bowel function, that cause a sluggish bowel, can lead to longer gluten exposure time. Again, if gluten is the cause of the neuropathy. Gluten is the cause of the RLS. Gluten is the cause of the chronic pain, and the pain medications actually are causing constipation, keeping gluten inside of you longer, and not allowing it to escape. Then you can become [inaudible 00:14:50]. Basically, you allow that toxin to stay in you even longer, and it can create even bigger long-term problems for you. So again, keep those things in mind as potential symptoms for gluten exposure.
As far as pain, as a general rule of thumb, one of the more common ways we see gluten manifest is chronic migratory arthritis. Meaning you can get joint pain in the arms, the elbows, the wrists, the knees, the shoulders. Even the neck. The spine. Muscles can get very, very stiff. Some people oftentimes refer to a disease called “stiff man syndrome.” Well, these type of symptoms can be caused as a result of chronic gluten exposure, to chronic inflammation that it creates.
Very, very important. If you’re struggling with chronic pain … You’ve tried chiropractic. You’ve tried pain medications. You’ve tried physical therapy. You’ve tried toga. You’ve tried stretching. You’ve tried exercise, and mobility, and none of that seems to work, and none of that seems to give you any relief for any length of time.
It’s very possible that it can be a gluten sensitivity that’s creating that chronic inflammation. In essence, the pain can be coming from your food. That’s actually why I wrote No Grain, No Pain. That was the premise of the book, was to eliminate or alleviate pain from food as a result of eating the wrong things.
Other symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity that are commonly not credited, meaning that a lot of, and I see this very, very frequently, people struggling with PMS. Women particularly, obviously. Premenstrual syndromes, where there’s hyperhydration, so this swelling of the legs. This swelling of the extremities. The craving. The anxiety. The depression. The cramps. The severe stabbing pains. The heavy loss of blood. These are actually can be hormonal changes that gluten induces.
Gluten can cause hormonal disruption of estrogen, progesterone. It can cause inflammation around the receptor sites of these hormones, leading to malfunctioning, and that can lead to a lot of your PMS-type symptoms. If you’re struggling with heavy, heavy PMS, you might give the No Grain, No Pain 30-day diet challenge a try, and see if that doesn’t help alleviate your next cycle.
Other symptoms … One of the predominant hormone symptoms of gluten sensitivity, and this has been really documented in medical literature and in studies, is spontaneous infertility or spontaneous abortion or spontaneous miscarriage, or unexplainable infertility. We know infertility’s on a massive rise right now. In essence, we’re seeing more infertility today than we’ve ever seen in the history of mankind. And part of that has to do with environmental estrogens in plastics and in pesticides, but part of that has to do with gluten sensitivity as well. More people are eating more gluten in this century and this decade than we’ve ever seen before, so gluten exposure is much, much higher. But gluten sensitivity, again, can cause those hormonal changes that can cause, or lead to, infertility.
Another hormonal symptom that is common with gluten sensitivity is PCOS, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome. And this has to do with the blood sugar variation. A lot of doctors treat PCOS with a diabetic medication called metformin, because it’s a blood sugar disorder, and gluten is notoriously known for triggering or contributing to blood sugar problems, including diabetes and including PCOS.
Another hormonal dysfunction, another hormonal problem associated with gluten sensitivity, probably one of the more common ones as well, is hypothyroidism, particularly autoimmune hypothyroidism, which is also sometimes referred to as Hashimoto’s disorder. If you have been diagnosed with a Hashimoto’s as a disease, and your antibodies are out of control, remember one of the triggers to elevations in thyroid antibodies is actually gluten exposure. If you’re not already on a gluten-free diet, you might consider it as a part of helping you alleviate that problem before it becomes much more aggressive.
[Lori’s 00:18:54] asking, “What is the name of the book?” It is called No Grain, No Pain. I’m going to put a link up here for you Lori. Let’s see here … Here we go. If you go here, you can find Barnes and Noble links, and you can find Amazon links, and if you put your receipt number into this website, which I just posted for you, we’ll give you a free leaky gut guide back. It’s a 60-plus page guide on how to recover from longstanding leaky gut damage, so you can get that for free if you use your receipt and enter it at that website there. It’s just a gift that we have for you, if you want to pick up a copy.
Lorraine from Canada: “Have your book No Grain, No Pain. Diagnosed with DH … ” DH, for those of you that don’t know, is dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a blister-like skin disorder that can also be one of those symptoms of the skin associated. That’s a great transition, thanks for chiming in Lorraine. It’s a great transition into skin disorders commonly linked to gluten sensitivity. Again, as you’re tuning in, if you like this information, hit that like button for me. Actually hit that love button or that flower button for me. Let me know this information is valuable to you.
But let’s talk about skin disorders that we know gluten can cause. Number one, DH, dermatitis herpetiformis. Probably the most well-researched of all the skin diseases that we know gluten can induce. But let’s talk about a couple of others that are quite common. Vitiligo. Vitiligo is that depigmentation disorder of the skin. It’s an autoimmune response, where your immune system attacks the pigment producing cells within the skin.
I’ve seen cases of vitiligo reverse. I’ve seen cases of vitiligo where the progression was so bad, where we were able to halt the progression. In some cases, where the damage is so extensive, I’ve seen where a gluten-free diet did not reverse the damage, but it stopped the progression of the damage. But I’ve actually had a number of patients with re-pigmentation of vitiligo going on a gluten-free diet.
Again, vitiligo, gluten is not the only cause. Just like with a lot of these diseases, gluten is not the only cause. There are other triggers. There are other manifestations, or triggers that can lead to manifestation, but gluten is a big one. Gluten is a very, very big one.
Another common skin disorder that we see associated is psoriasis. It’s also highly linked to psoriatic arthritis, those two are twin diseases. One affects primarily the joints, the other affects the skin. But psoriatic arthritis will obviously cause arthritic pain, where as psoriasis will cause lesions, rash lesions, scale-like lesions on the skin. It can be debilitating, because if it gets on the face and the arms, it’s extremely embarrassing. People become very anxious to go out in public, because the disease can affect the skin to such a great degree.
Where I see a lot of psoriasis are in beer drinkers. That’s probably the crowd I see more psoriasis in than some of the other crowds. People who drink a lot of heavy intake of beer, but again, and that’s because a lot of your beers are wheat derived. But that’s not all. Meaning that you don’t have to be a beer drinker to develop psoriasis. Psoriasis is just another skin condition that we see gluten create or contribute to. Another one is eczema. Eczema, very, very common manifestation of gluten sensitivity. Obviously, eczema has other causes, but gluten can cause it quite commonly.
One more I’ll list on the skin conditions is hives. An actual hive outbreak. To clarify, some people have hives not because of gluten sensitivity. They have hives because of a wheat allergy. They’re not the same thing. I know that can get confusing, but a gluten sensitivity means the immune system is reacting to gluten, and a wheat allergy means that a different part of your immune system is reacting to the proteins in wheat in such a way that it causes a hive outbreak.
Don’t confuse the two. You can be wheat allergic and gluten sensitive. You can be wheat allergic and not gluten sensitive, and you can be gluten sensitive and not wheat allergic. I know, it gets confusing. I have a really great video tutorial on that topic. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll put a little link up for you. You can watch this tutorial on the differences between allergy, sensitivity, intolerance, because that’s just another topic that a lot of people get confused on, and I want to make sure you’re not confused.
Let me just put that in real quick for you. Here you go. It’s coming your way, so you can take some time a little bit later on, and go back, and watch that video tutorial, but it’s a great tutorial on all those unique scientific differences. If you consider yourself to be that nerd who wants to study this stuff, and know, and understand a little bit more, make sure you watch that video. If you’re struggling with a chronic health condition, make sure you watch it, too, because it could mean the difference between how you were potentially misdiagnosed.
Okay. Let’s see here. Kim: “Just purchased your book. So informative. Thank you. Diagnosed with celiac disease and your book is a bible to me.” Thank you so much for that, Kim. I’m so glad you’re finding it helpful. Keep us updated. I’d love to hear your success stories. That goes for all of your. Love to hear your success stories as you’re making diet changes, and you’re going grain-free, gluten-free, and you’re finding improvements. Share those with us.
We try to share those stories with our audience, and the reason why is because your story may save somebody else’s life. Your transformation may impact somebody else’s life who’s struggling with the same problem, and just needs to know that there’s hope. That they can maybe make that diet change and move in the right direction. It’s super important that you just share your story with us as well, and we’ll share that with everyone else through Gluten Free Society’s outreach.
Let’s see here. Adnan chiming in: “Lack of zinc and B vitamins can cause similar symptoms?” If you’re referring to skin disorder, yeah. Zinc deficiency, especially. One of the reasons why is zinc makes a protein called retinol binding protein, or RBP, which carries Vitamin A, and that’s very, very critical. Remember, Vitamin A is necessary for skin regeneration. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to skin inflammation and aggressive acne, which is why doctors oftentimes want to prescribe synthetic Vitamin A for patients suffering with acne. That drug is called Accutane. Don’t recommend that drug, but certainly Vitamin A might be a better answer.
Okay, let’s see here. We talked about skin disruption, so maybe let’s move into some other problems associated with gluten sensitivity. I really want to talk about the liver for a minute, because a lot of people struggle with a liver issue, and they’re trying to do detox, and they’ve been told they need to do detox, and what ends up happening is basically they’re not able to. They’re on supplements to do detox, because they haven’t changed their diet, they’re not really detoxing very well because, i.e., the gluten in their diet is damaging their liver to such a great degree that they can’t make a recovery.
Gluten can cause liver disease. There’s actually a name for it. It’s called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. But there’s another type of liver disease that’s linked to gluten exposure, and it’s an autoimmune hepatitis. Meaning that gluten can cause an autoimmune reaction that causes your own immune system to attack your liver and destroy it. Keep in mind, if you’ve got a diagnosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, meaning you don’t drink alcohol, and you don’t take drugs that damage the liver, and you just don’t have a reason as to why you could have this, think gluten first.
Think yeast infection second. Those two oftentimes go hand-in-hand. A lot of people with gluten sensitivity have a yeast overgrowth, and a lot of people with a yeast overgrowth have gluten sensitivity. They can be mutually exclusive, but they don’t have to be. They oftentimes come in that pair. But both can cause damage to your liver.
One of the other organs, which is attached to your liver, is the gallbladder. A lot of people get their gallbladder surgically removed, and it’s not necessary. They’ve just got an overly aggressive surgeon, or an overly aggressive doctor. They go and they do what’s called a HIDA scan, measuring their gallbladder ejection fraction, and it’s low, and the doctor says, “Oh, your gallbladder’s broken. We’re going to have to remove it.” That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. That’s like, “Your ankle’s broken. We’re going to have to chop it off at the foot.” It doesn’t make sense, but it happens every day.
Gallbladder surgery’s one of the most common surgeries delivered in U.S. hospitals. It doesn’t make sense that everybody needs their gallbladder removed just because of a HIDA scan, but again, that’s just what happens. A lot of people, that’s the advice they get, and that’s the advice they follow. But gluten can cause gallbladder dysfunction. It can cause cholecystitis.
Several reasons why. The inflammation that can cause basically a cloggage of the gallbladder, so the gallbladder’s not ejecting bile adequately. And when that happens, remember one of the things bile helps is bile helps detoxify. Aside from helping you to digest and absorb your fat, your Vitamin A, your Vitamin D, your Vitamin E, your Vitamin K, your Omega-3 fatty acids, bile is necessary to help you prevent re-toxification. It helps you detoxify. Bile binds onto toxins, and it helps you poop them out.
Again, if you remove your gallbladder, and reduce your body’s ability to secrete bile into your small intestine, and you haven’t changed your diet to be gluten-free, if gluten caused your gallbladder dysfunction, and you continue to eat gluten, you’ve just taken out an organ that actually helps you detoxify from the very gluten that you’re eating that caused the organ dysfunction in the first place. I know, it’s a huge source of frustration for me, because I see so many people who come to me after they’ve had their gallbladder removed. Of course, after you’ve had the surgery, you can’t put the organ back in.
But you have to deal with the long-term consequences of not having adequate bile secretion into your small intestine, and its long-term consequences are fat malabsorption, and when you’re not absorbing fat properly, and it’s coming out in your stool, in essence, you’ve got fat coming out into your stool, remember fat’s an acid, so it can increase the acidity of your colon. That increases the risk for certain types of diseases. One of them being colon cancers. Keep that in mind, before you make that decision to go have your gallbladder out. You might want to get a second opinion. You might want to try the No Grain, No Pain diet, and get that grain out of your diet, see if your gallbladder starts to recover. You might want to try those things first, because ultimately, again, once you have the organ removed, you can’t get it back. There’s no way to replace it once it’s gone.
It may not be a very successful surgery. A lot of people that have that pain. That shoulder-blade, that right shoulder-blade pain, or they have that kind of pain underneath their ribcage on the right side, they get the gallbladder removed under suspicion that it’s a problem, then they get it removed, and the pain doesn’t go away. In essence, the surgery was wrong. It was a complete failure. Now they’re dealing with a lack of a gallbladder. Again, sometimes going grain-free, sometimes going gluten-free can be a lifesaver for that particular situation.
One of the questions coming in right now is “What do you do? If you’ve already had your gallbladder removed, how do you support your digestion?” We actually have a formula designed for people that have had a gallbladder removed. It’s called Ultra Digest GB. I’m going to put that in for you, Annie … Annie’s asking that question right now, “Any advice moving forward without a gallbladder?” Yes. No gallbladder. Here’s that link for you, coming up right now, so you can check that out.
That’s what I would recommend that you take, because the enzymes in it help you to process and break down fat, so that it helps support your ability to digest and absorb fat, even in the absence of a gallbladder. That’s what we have. A lot of those types of people that they come to see me that have already had that done. That’s what we keep them on indefinitely, because they just don’t have that capacity to do it.
One of the other things, going forward, that you can do, Annie, is also have a good functional medicine doc. Or if you’re comfortable with the doc you already have, have them run vitamin and mineral testing on you, where they’re measuring for vitamin and mineral deficiency.
Particularly Vitamin A, D, E, and K, and omega fats, because if you’re deficient in those, again, that’s what your gallbladder helps you to process and digest. Vitamin A deficiency can cause a lot of problems, including cancer. Vitamin D deficiency can cause 19 types of terminal cancer. It’s known trigger for autoimmune disease. Vitamin D deficiency can create or contribute to the development of diabetes and high blood sugar dysregulation. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to immune dysregulation.
You don’t want to become deficient in fat soluble vitamins. Vitamin E is one of the most potent antioxidants that our body needs to help defend us from free radical damage, which basically helps to reduce our risk of developing diseases like cancer. Vitamin K is necessary for normal blood clotting and bone calcification, so Vitamin K deficiency can cause osteoporosis. It’s now being linked to heart disease. A number of different major, major problems associated with fat soluble vitamin deficiency disease. Again, without that gallbladder … really, really hard to make a comeback on that, unless you’re supporting it. That’s one of the things that I recommend that you look at doing.
Again, I mentioned I wanted to talk about the liver a little bit, so if you’ve got a diagnosis of gallbladder disease, cholecystitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, autoimmune hepatitis, go get yourself checked immediately. Get your genetics run. Do the genetic testing for gluten sensitivity. That’s what I want to talk about next. I want to talk about the lab testing for gluten sensitivity, because many of you have either been mislead, or misdirected on what is an accurate way to assess whether or not you have a gluten issue.
There’s only one way to assess whether or not you have a true, genetic gluten sensitivity issue. Remember, gluten sensitivity is not a disease. It is a state of genetics. If you have gluten sensitive genes, and you expose them to gluten, the longer you expose them to gluten, the more inflammation you produce. The more inflammation you produce, the more tissue damage that results of that inflammation, and the more your body can break down. This is why we don’t care about antibody testing as it relates to gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, because it can be very misleading.
Part of the reason why … so if you had, for example, anti-gliadin antibody testing, anti-tissue trans glutaminase testing. Even if you’ve had other types of antibody tests, that measure some of the other kinds of gluten-based proteins, realize that a lot of those tests come back false negative, because you have an immune problem. Meaning that your body may not be making enough IGG or IGA.
And I see this all the time in patients, when we measure their antibody levels, their antibody levels are low. Then you go back, and you try to measure their antibody levels to certain proteins that are found in grain, like glutens, you get a false negative test result. That doesn’t mean they’re not reacting to gluten. It means their immune system is not working properly, and so the test result itself doesn’t show a reaction, not because there’s not one, but because they’re not capable of producing enough of the antibody to show a reaction on a lab test. Very important that you understand that, because those types of tests have a very high, high level of false negative.
If they’re positive, they’re positive. But if they’re negative, there’s a high degree of false negative on those tests, so if you’ve had them done, and you didn’t catch them, it doesn’t mean you’re not gluten sensitive. It just means that the test that you ran came back not gluten sensitive.
The other problem is that, with gluten sensitivity, is a lot of doctors, it’s the way they define what gluten is. A lot of doctors will define gluten as a sequence of protein found only in wheat, barley, and rye. They’re testing this one sequence called alpha-gliadin, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye. It is a gluten protein that is linked to celiac disease. All of those things are true, but it’s not the only form of gluten. There are lots of different forms of gluten.
As a matter of fact, in 2010, a group of Australian researchers discovered 400 new forms of gluten, just to give you an idea of the quantity of different kinds of gluten, and 40 of these new forms of discovered gluten were more toxic to celiac patients than alpha-gliadin. If you’ve had the alpha-gliadin test done, and it came back negative, it doesn’t mean you’re not reacting to some of these other 400 forms of gluten, and it doesn’t mean that you’re not having inflammation as a result of those.
The problem is, today, there’s not a commercial lab that can measure all of these different forms of gluten. We can measure genetics, and there’s a nice video on the genetics of gluten sensitivity on Gluten Free Society. If you want to learn more about the genetics, and I’m actually getting ready to … Those of you who know my good friend. Dr. Ben Lynch, who’s got a great book coming out called Dirty Genes. He’s actually getting ready to interview me on this very topic of gluten sensitivity gene patterns, which we’re going to go into detail on. Make sure you go check out Dr. Lynch, because he’s got this summit coming up on this very topic, as well, and I’m going to be talking about that in much greater scientific detail than what we have time for tonight.
Again, if you’ve had a blood test for gluten. If you’ve had a blood test for gliadin. If you’ve had an anti-tissue trans glutaminase blood test. If they’re positive, they’re positive. But if they’re negative, it doesn’t mean that you’re negative, and you could still be reacting to gluten. If you really, truly, want to know what your propensity to react to gluten is, you want to get genetic tested. HLA-DQ alpha one, and HLA-DQ beta one testing.
Many of you might have the next question that I sometimes see coming across, is “Does that mean like a 23 and Me test? Where I can get some of those markers?” No, because a 23 and Me will not pick up on all the genetic variances that we see with gluten sensitivity. A 23 and Me will only pick up on the variances for celiac disease. There are some genes that are gluten sensitivity genes, but also celiac genes, and that’s all 23 and Me picks up.
It doesn’t pick up on what are called the non-celiac gluten sensitive genes. Remember that celiac disease is just one type of problem associated with gluten sensitivity, and 99% of people with celiac have HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 patterns. But the vast majority of people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity don’t. If you’re not having the right genetic testing done, those markers won’t be detected, and you’ll get a false representation of whether or not a gluten-free diet is the right move for you to be healthy.
Again, I highly recommend if you’re going to do any kind of testing at all to get a definitive answer, you want to look at genetic testing, because again, the other tests, the blood tests, are not super accurate. The other genetic tests are not comprehensive. Then if you look at some of the other tests that sometimes are done, which it’s the test for celiac disease, which is an intestinal biopsy, where the GI doctor’s looking for something called villous atrophy.
Villous atrophy is a flattening of the intestinal folds. It can be present, but realize this: your small intestine has a surface area the size of a tennis court. When a doctor does a biopsy, they’re usually taking three microscopic cross-sections of your small intestine. Remember, that’s like picking up three tiny pebbles off of a tennis court, and saying that these three tiny pebbles represent the entire tennis court. They don’t, and so you can get false data from a biopsy as well.
You can get a false negative biopsy. As a matter of fact, it’s quite common. Most people have thee of four false biopsies before they get a positive one, because it can take 10 to 20 years of damage before the villi start to flatten. That’s one of the problems with the biopsy, is that if it’s positive … rather if it’s negative, it doesn’t mean that you’re not reacting to gluten.
Here’s the other conundrum. If it’s positive, it doesn’t mean you’re reacting to gluten, either. Because corn can cause villous atrophy. Parasites can cause villous atrophy. Soy can cause villous atrophy. Pesticide can cause villous atrophy. Again, just because you have a positive villous atrophy test doesn’t mean that gluten is the thing that’s causing it. Some people even get a false celiac diagnosis.
I’ve had patients, they’ve had what’s called tropical spue, meaning they had a parasite infection, not a gluten sensitivity. There’s actually new research coming out that certain classes of blood pressure medications cause villous atrophy as well, and so these people that are taking these blood pressure medications actually show up with villous atrophy. They don’t have celiac disease. They have a blood pressure medication poisoning. Again, there’s a lot of problems with that type of testing, which is why I recommend genetic testing over any other form, because it’s just more accurate, and it’s going to give you an indicator of whether or not your body is going to create an inflammatory response if it’s exposed to gluten.
That’s a breakdown on lab testing. Let’s take a few minutes, and I want to get some of the questions answered. We’ve got a lot of them coming in. Let’s see here … “Diagnosed with hyperthyroid. Can it related to gluten sensitivity? Yes! That’s Graves’ disease. Graves’ can also be a manifestation. The opposite of hypothyroid, or Hashimoto’s, is Graves’ disease, and this is a common problem that can be linked to gluten sensitivity. There certainly are other triggers for Graves’. A parasite is a common trigger. I would say get with your doc. Make sure they’re running tests to measure, rule out infection, rule out parasite. But definitely you want to rule out gluten sensitivity. Again, genetically, that’s the proper way to do that. Good question.
Kayla’s chiming in: “What if after you work out, your muscles get really sore for three days? It’s discouraging. What do you suggest to not get that sore?” Well, first of all, let’s classify that. That’s delayed onset muscle soreness. If you’re getting sore for that long … It’s very common to see somebody that’s getting sore that long being malnourished. Protein malnourishment. Particularly branch chain amino acids. Branch chain amino acids are basically the amino acids that help rebuild your muscle after a workout. That’s valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Those are the three branch chain amino acids.
I recommend, if you’re getting super sore after your workouts that you supplement with two to three grams of branch chain amino acids, and three to five grams of l-glutamine. Glutamine is the predominant amino acid lost after a workout, in the muscle, and it can produce a lot of muscle soreness. But the other thing is to just have your nutritional status checked, and make sure you’re taking care of things. If you’ve got a zinc deficiency, that can be a problem. Vitamin A deficiency could be a problem. A copper deficiency. B-5 deficiency. There are a lot of things that can create that intense muscle soreness for three plus days after a workout, and a lot of times, that’s associated with just not having your nutrition dialed in as well. Try the branch chain amino acids first. Try the glutamine as a post-workout, and that might be quite helpful for you to reduce your muscle soreness.
Donna’s chiming in: “My friend was diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, a neurological disorder after the voice muscles in the larynx. Literature says the muscle spasms are caused by abnormalities in the central nervous system, and the cause is unknown, and the treatment is Botox injections. Could gluten sensitivity be a cause of this, too, and could diet change reverse it? My friend dismissed the idea since it is a neurological disorder.”
Gluten is a known neurotoxin, so the answer to your question is it’s very, very plausible. I’ve actually seen a couple of cases of dysphonia go away with gluten-free diets. That being said, I haven’t read a ton of medical literature on the topic, so I can’t come back and say “Hey, there’s five studies that show that dysphonia is cleared up as a result of a gluten-free diet.” But because gluten is a neurotoxin, and that’s the diagnosis, a neurological disorder, that very well could be the case.
Again, there are a number of those. There’s reflex sympathetic dystrophy. There’s autonomic nervous system disorders that can be caused by gluten. It’s not a stretch, by any sense of the word, to say, “Hey, maybe 30 days of this might be helpful.” It certainly won’t hurt her. That’s where I would start. I would start with that as, “Hey, do a 30-day trial. What do you have to lose?” Because the other alternative is Botox injections. Does that make sense? Botox injections for the rest of your life so that you can speak properly? That doesn’t make any sense to me.
Okay. “How about high IGA?” Well, without understanding the pretense of that question, so Penny … High immunoglobulin A oftentimes is associated with infection. If you had your IgA levels tested, and your total IgA, and they’re coming back really, really high, it’s oftentimes sign of an infection. It depends on where you had it tested. You can test IgA in the saliva. You can test it in the blood. You could test it in the stool.
If it’s high in the stool, you might have a yeast overgrowth. You might have a bacterial infection. If it’s high in the saliva, you might have, especially if you’ve had root canals and other dental work done, you might have an infection in the oral cavity. If it’s high in the mucous in the mouth, you might have an infection in the sinus cavity. A number of different things that that could mean. It could also mean that you’re reacting to certain things that you’re eating. Especially if it’s high in the saliva and in the GI tract. You could be having food reactions.
Okay. Good questions. “When testing for fat in the stool, do you eat a certain amount of fat, and avoid digestive enzymes in prep for several days?” I would avoid digestive enzymes just to get a true measure of whether or not you have fat malabsorption. But I wouldn’t change your diet. I wouldn’t necessarily eat more fat or less fat. I would eat what you typically eat, because we want to see is whether or not your diet and your situation currently is creating a trigger of fat [inaudible 00:45:50]. Is your gut broken to the level that it’s not absorbing fat? Hopefully that’s helpful for you there.
Let’s see. Emelda, how are you? “I don’t have a gallbladder.” Go back and re-listen to the replay of this, Emelda, because I talk about what you can do if you don’t have a gallbladder.
Tracey, saying, “I’ve had full Exome done. Sometimes I wish I didn’t know all that I do know now.” Yeah, some people will say that ignorance is bliss. I disagree. I think knowledge empowers, in that it’s just as long as you know what to do with the knowledge. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss, if you have TMI, right? Too much information with not enough to do with it.
Let’s see here. I don’t know what that means, Michael Chang. “I have anti-gliadin antibodies on.” I’m going to assume you mean on your blood test? So you’re reacting to gliadin, which is specifically alphagliadin, which is a sub-fraction of gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye. Yes, you’ve got a problem there. But I would go further genetic testing, because based on that test result, many people will tell you to avoid wheat, barley, and rye, but they’ll tell you that it’s safe to eat corn. That it’s safe to eat rice. That it’s safe to eat oats and sorghum and millet. It may not be safe at all. Especially if you’ve got a gluten sensitive gene pattern, it’s not going to be safe for you.
Next question coming up, “What type of doctor for genetic testing?” A good functional medicine doctor. I have a training program for doctors all over the world, and I’m going to put up a couple of links for you. One, if you want to get genetic testing done, you don’t even actually need a doctor to do that. Although I do encourage everyone to work with a doctor, and have a relationship with a doctor if you’re struggling with chronic illness.
But my experience is that, a lot of times, doctors don’t want to order tests. If that’s your doctor, this is the test. This is the proper test. It’s the one that will measure all the different genetic alleles that need to be looked at. I’m going to plug that in right now. You’ll be able to see that popping up on your feed in just a minute here.
Again, that’s the one that I would recommend if you’re looking to actually get an identification. Then if you go to that same website, at glutenfreesociety.org, there’s a tab that says “GF Doctors.” All the doctors that are trained in our protocol are listed on that website. If you’re looking for somebody local who you know has been properly trained in gluten sensitivity, that’s where you can look to find that doc.
Okay. I’ve got time for maybe one or two more questions here. What is my opinion on real sourdough bread? Don’t eat it. It’s not gluten-free. The sourdough, the bacteria that produces sourdough effect. Yeah, does that eat up some of the gluten? Does it maybe make it gluten-light? Yeah. But it’s not gluten-free. One breadcrumb of gluten can cause inflammation for two months.
You’re really playing with fire when you go and have sourdough bread. I’ve had so many patients think that, and then they come back in after they’ve started eating it, without letting me know or asking the question, and they’re highly inflamed, and they’re starting to go back in the other direction again. I just don’t recommend doing sourdough bread. Not if you’re truly gluten sensitive. Good question.
Question coming in from Misty: “Please address the scleroderma community. Many are on the fence regarding going grain free in my group.” The reality is this, Misty. I’ve never seen a case, and I’ve seen a lot of them, of scleroderma that didn’t respond to a grain-free diet. Not a single case in 16 years.
That being said, does that mean that all scleroderma is going to respond only to a grain-free diet, or that grain-free is the solution 100% for scleroderma? No! There’s multiple triggers. With autoimmune disease, just like with any disease, there are multiple triggers, but one of the biggest triggers for autoimmune disease, particularly even scleroderma is grain, is gluten. I don’t know how else to put it more point blank than that.
If you have diagnosis of scleroderma, and you’re not grain-free, and you’re on the fence, at the very least, consider a six-month stint. I’m answering a second question by answering this. That’s about how long you need to go grain-free to really, really get the impact of it. Some people feel better a lot quicker than that, but if you’re struggling with a chronic, painful disease like scleroderma, you need longer than a week or a month. You might need longer than that. You’ve really got to be off of it long enough to shut down the inflammatory cascade, and start rebooting some of your hormone system.
Hopefully, that’s helpful for you, Misty, and I hope your community maybe takes that to heart a little bit better, and many of them may get on that, and start experiencing that benefit. Because they will, and when they do start sharing that with more of the members of your community. Because that’s what it’s all about. We want to get these people help.
Hopefully Gina, that answered your question. “When you remove gluten from your diet, how long does it take to notice changes?” Generally, for most people, a couple of months. Sometimes faster, and sometimes slower. Always, you want to give it at least six months. Never sooner than that. Simply because one, it takes two months to get gluten out of the system and to reduce the inflammatory cascade. Remember, small amounts of gluten can create inflammation for up to two months. You don’t ever want to go less than that.
Many people experience benefit or improvement before that. That doesn’t mean their disease or their problem goes away before that, but they start to experience the real symptomatic benefit changes before that. Again, it’s different for different people, and certainly there are variables and other factors. Everybody’s different. No two people are alike. No two people’s conditions are alike.
Melanie’s asking, “How can this this help autistic children?” It can. Gluten-free, casein-free diets are rampant in the autism community because they work. That’s not to say that it’s a catch-all or a cure-all. There are a lot of factors in autistic disease. I see parasites frequently. I see heavy metal poisoning, especially mercury, cadmium, copper. Excessive copper poisoning in a lot of these kids with autism. There’s a lot of factors with that.
Again, it’s getting with somebody who’s got experience with autistic disorders, and has got experience in functional medicine. That’s the best thing that you can do. But autism, typically, tends to respond extremely well to a gluten-free diet. Good questions.
Let’s see here … Oh, I’m glad to hear that. Kimberly is chiming in, and I’m going to say, she says, “Thank you for addressing scleroderma. I have been gluten-free since 2010, and it has been a game changer.” Thank you for saying that, because there’s so many people probably listening that have that disease, that just, like Misty said earlier, may be on the fence. It’s very, very good to hear that testimonial from you, that it’s been a game changer for you, because that may help other people make that decision.
Next, and last question, because I’ve got to run. I’ve got another appointment tonight. “Will blood tests show celiac disease?” Yes, and no. Again, blood tests, it just depends. The anti-tissue trans glutaminase testing, and the anti-gliadin antibody testing, those two are the blood tests, typically, that are measured. You can also do anti-endomysial antibody testing. They can show suspicion of celiac disease.
But according to medical diagnosis, so if you want to know what the official medical diagnosis, is that you have a positive biopsy for villous atrophy. That’s what medical doctors call definitive diagnosis. I don’t agree with it, but if you’re looking for the actual diagnostic criteria, it’s that you have a positive villous atrophy on a biopsy. Then the blood test is only the suspicion that leads the GI doctor to do the biopsy.
The whole system, the diagnosis of this whole thing, is backwards. That’s just the medical criteria. That’s what I’m telling you, it’s the medical criteria. Do I think that that’s right or correct? No! Because it leaves a lot of people out in the dark. It leaves a lot of people out in the rain as it relates to gluten sensitivity. Because so many more people have gluten sensitivity issues that are non-GI. That are non-celiac. So many have non-celiac gluten sensitivity than have actual celiac disease. That’s the problem is, that if you rely on a medical diagnostic classification of criteria that are antiquated and are not super accurate, then a lot of people fall through the cracks of the diagnosis.
I’ve got to end it on that. Last thing, for those of you … We’re going to do this again next Monday, but also, we’re going to do it again this Friday. I’ve got a special guest, Chris [Kresser 00:54:51], we’re going to be talking about his new book coming up, so if you would like to ask Chris Kresser some questions, make sure you tune in. Next week, we’ll be on again at 6:00, 6:00-7:00. I hope to see you then.
Again, share this episode with somebody that you love. Those of you, especially, tonight, in the scleroderma community. Share this with those people. Let them know. Let them know there’s help. Let them know there’s hope. The more we share this information, the more we get it out there, the more people we can help.
If you haven’t read No Grain, No Pain, go pick your copy up immediately. It’s kind of what I call “pre-reading for the Dr. Osborne Show.” If you read it, you’ll come to the show with better questions. You’ll come to the show with a greater understanding of what I’m talking about, and the ability to help yourself even more. That’s what the show’s designed to do, is to help those people who have read No Grain, No Pain really, really implement it, so they can get on the fast-track to health.
Again, pick your copy up, if you haven’t already. We’ll see you back next Monday. Again, make sure you hit the like button and share this with somebody else. Have a great evening. We’ll see you next week.