Last week I returned from a major Nutrition and Functional Medicine conference in Portland. It is good to be back in NYC, albeit with a ‘tired but inspired’ brain. I have to digest all the info in the next weeks but it was great!
“Grains – in particular Gluten!”
Being completely blown away by a lecture by Tom O’ Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBB, regarding ‘Dietary Fueling of Neurological Disorders’, I have decided to write specicifically about gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease.
The known (and unknown) prevalence, undiagnosed neurological health implications, connection to autoimmune diseases and secondary infections esp. regarding intestinal wellbeing, warrant attention. By now everyone knows someone who has ‘issues’ with gluten, myself included…. darn, walking by a bagel shop can be ‘torture’…
A few weeks ago, the International Celiac Disease Symposium convened, and there is valuable new information that might be of interest to you:
Now we have a term GRD: “Gluten Related Disorders”
A) Celiac Disease, genetically acquired
B) Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (There is no such thing as being gluten intolerant.)
Gluten is contained in barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt. An easy acronym is ‘BROWS”, I learnt that from Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD at his NYC conference.
What is often not considered?
* Rice can be another trigger. On my MRT test, ‘rice’ came up in red. I was not aware of this and thought at times that it was the tomato paste combo.
*There is an environmental cross - connection with grass and ragweed sensitivity.
* Food sensitivities: As this is an overreaction from the immune system, TH2, supporting the innate immune system, TH1, is very important. The probiotic strain of bifidia has shown promising results in supporting environmental allergies that are interconnected with grasses, ragweed – and gluten. Balancing or bringing both ‘arms’ of the immune system more into balance can decrease the symptoms of allergies and sensitivities.
* It is not just about ingesting the allergen, transfer can be airborne as was also established with severe anaphylactic peanut allergies where no nuts where ingested.
Did You Know This About Gluten?
1) A Healthy Food?
Most grains and cereal are processed, contain gluten raises blood sugar and is hard for the body to digest. Bloating, headaches and fatigue can be triggered by ingestion.Various commercial grains are highly hybridized, stripped of essential nutrients and can be of GMO origins - they highly inflammatory.Traditionally, wheat was ground in its whole form and grains were cooked to gelatinize the starch. Did You Know: Vegetables provide a better source of fiber than grains.
2) Creates inflammation?
Yes, gluten is an inflammatory food. This can create pain, leaky gut syndrome, increased oxidation, which is linked to joint pain, asthma, osteoporosis, skin conditions, diabetes, insulin sensitivity and resistance, hormonal imbalances, oxidized lipids, autoimmune conditions and cardiovascular disease…..
3) Children’ Wellness:
“Failure to thrive” in children: Gluten can contribute to digestive concerns incl. diarrhea 3-4 times per day, lack of growth, malnutrition and brain toxicity. Regarding any digestive, skin or behavioral concern, consider gluten sensitivity.
4) In Vitro?
During the last four weeks of pregnancy, antibodies to gliadin pass from the mom across the placenta to the offspring. The nervous system of the newborn is extremely vulnerable if the mom has a gliadin sensitivity. This might not show up until adulthood and can contribute to development of psychosis as an adult.
5) Are You Pregnant?
Every pregnant women needs to checked (IgG) for antibodies to gluten. To protect the physical and mental health of her offspring a gluten-free diet is recommended during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
One can be asymptomatic, yet physiological experience an adverse reaction. As we areal different, the quantity and type of exposure can vary from person to person. Genetics can play a role esp. in Celiac Disease.
7) Your Gut Flora?
Sensitivity to gluten induces inflammation. This will affect the gut flora known as microbiata, contributes to ‘leaky gut’ and affects brain health. Health of the microbiata is linked with immune function, depression and anxiety as they influence the enteric nervous system (in your gut).
8) Your Gut and Thyroid?
Consuming gluten can adversely affect the stomach lining within five hours. This can lead to a ‘leaky gut’ with secondary microbial infections and autoimmune conditions including Hashimoto’s (check my blog). A common diagnosis of an autoimmune disease e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis, is linked to a gluten sensitivity, leaky gut, bacterial overgrowth in the gut, fatigue and joint pain.
8) Peripheral Neuropathy?
Peripheral neuropathy can be connected with a gluten (as can be Diabetes drug Metformin induced B-12 deficiency.)
9) Neurological Disease?
An ‘Early Parkinson’s s” diagnosis can be relate to a gluten sensitivity with resultant toxicity from natural chemical sensitivity, a leaky brain and toxins from secondary infections. “Leaky gut- leaky brain” - this has stayed in my brain…In any neurological disease condition, it would be advisable to eliminate gluten, as it is a contributing ‘player’ besides viral infections, environmental toxins, genetics and heavy metal exposure. In some diseases, lesions in the brain responded favorable to elimination of gluten e.g.
10) What about Gluten-Free foods?
Caution: Many gluten-free (GF0 foods contain a lot of questionable ingredients… As a nutritional consultant, I advise occasional consumption, not daily consumption, of GF foods. These, too, contain ingredients that can inflame the gut (and brain) plus affect blood sugars adversely. Additionally, gluten has addictive qualities and it is important to address underlying causal emotional/psychological factors that fuel a ‘carb addiction’.
Just eliminating food triggers is not enough. I would consider microflora (incl. bacteria, yeasts, parasite) imbalances plus a challenged gut lining. Often other symptoms have been present for a while, so I use a layered approach in my practice.
The adrenals and other stress hormones are also challenged with chronic gut issues and food sensitivities. They must be supported.
It is important to support liver function and lymphatic drainage. Food sensitivities place a burden on the entire physiology and can lead to weight gain and various other inflammatory health conditions.
How Do You Test For Gluten Sensitivity?
There are different ways, and frankly, you might come up negative – even though there is a gluten issue….
1) MRT (Mediate Release Test) test for over 160 inflammatory foods (my favorite): Blood test, not covered by insurance. Contact me if you wish to do this test.
2) Other great specialized labs: Entero, Cyrex, Bohealth, DiagnosTechs (all not available in NY State)..
3) DIY Food Elimination Diet: Avoid ALL gluten foods for 3 weeks. Then go ‘gluten – crazy’ and have a bagel, pizza and pasta party all day long! See how you feel, you might get a hint after your breakfast bagel…indigestion, bloating, constipation, foggy brain, feeling tired, headache, hypoglycemia, joint pain are just some effects to watch out for…
4) Blood markers for Celiac Disease? HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. The alpha and beta units must be tested. This test is the most accurate predictor regarding Celiac or Celiac Sprue Disease. This test is done via blood or a cheek swab. This is a popular test and must be seen in context with other tests and symptoms. However, a negative result does not exclude acquiring a gluten sensitivity....I recommend this test.
5) IgG gluten testing: blood marker.
If you would like to do the MRT testing to discover possible hidden food sources that contribute or cause your health challenges, do contact me regarding a consultation. Food can be a your ‘medicine’ – or your ‘poison’!
Talk to you later, Rika.