Celiac Disease Is More Common Than Most Doctors Realize
Many doctors still consider celiac disease to be relatively rare , so if your doctor doesnt bring up the possibility of celiac disease, you need to speak up and be your own health advocate.
According to recent research published in the BMC Journal, The mean delay to diagnosis from the first symptoms was 9.7 years, and from the first doctor visit it was 5.8 years. What this means is that, on average, it is taking doctors nearly six years to properly diagnose celiac disease after a patient first visits his or her doctor complaining about symptoms. Right now, millions of people all over the world are walking around with celiac disease but dont realize it.
In addition, please note that just because you test negative for celiac disease does not mean with certainty that you still do not have some form of gluten intolerance. It also does not preclude the possibility of a wheat allergy. For more on these distinctions, please read gluten intolerance symptoms.
Note that as of March 2011, a gluten sensitivity may exist as its own clinical entity, separate from celiac disease. Many doctors and researchers currently believe the only way to distinguish this form of gluten intolerance from celiac disease is to do an intestinal biopsy. This new condition has become widely known as NCGS, for non-celiac gluten sensitive.
Are Gluten Intolerance And Celiac Disease The Same Thing
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are different. People with celiac disease have an autoimmune response to gluten. This means their bodies try to fight against gluten as if it were a virus. This reaction causes inflammation and damage to their digestive tracts. Celiac disease is the result of an abnormal gene. People with celiac disease also have high levels of certain antibodies in their blood, which are substances that fight gluten.
Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease cause a lot of the same symptoms. But people with gluten sensitivity dont have an abnormal gene or antibodies in their blood.
Diagnostic Protocol For Gluten/wheat Sensitivity
This standardized diagnostic protocol was developed by leading researchers in the field of gluten-related disorders at the 3rd International Expert Meeting on Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity in October 2014 . This stipulates a uniform two-stage dietary process for which a modified version of the gastrointestinal symptom rating scale is used. Patients use this scale to assess the effects the introduction of a gluten-free diet and the reintroduction of gluten on their symptoms. Both gastrointestinal and extraintestinal symptoms are rated on a scale of 1 to 10. This questionnaire is designed to standardize diagnosis.
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Gluten And Behavior Disorders
Partial peptide digests of gluten, called exomorphins have been shown to have psychoactive properties that have morphine-like properties in the body and brain. Studies have shown abnormal blood flow patterns in the brain in celiac patients at rates similar to ADHD children. Also, celiac disease has been found more frequently in children with dyslexia.
There are literally hundreds more studies demonstrating the negative impacts of gluten in susceptible individuals to virtually every aspect of their physiology.
Thats right, this isnt some fly-by-night, tree-hugging, tie-dye T-shirt wearing hippy craze. Gluten sensitivity is very real and causing major health issues for a growing number of people, even if they dont have symptoms yet.
How Do You Get Tested For Gluten Allergies
Allergies to gluten are relatively common. According to studies, one in 167 seemingly healthy children and one in 111 adults have some type of allergy to gluten. Celiac disease, one of the more severe and common gluten allergies, is said to affect one in every 100 people, with an increased risk for those who have a family member diagnosed with the disease. Gluten allergy symptoms and the severity and frequency of these symptoms can range dramatically in different people. Therefore, making a diagnosis of this allergy can be difficult and is often missed.
Some people suffer for many years from gluten allergies before a diagnosis is made. Most doctors have to see severe gastrointestinal problems before they’ll consider ordering an intestinal biopsy to diagnose celiac disease. An intestinal biopsy, considered the “gold standard” for diagnosing celiac disease, is a procedure that involves placing a camera into the digestive tract and taking a sample of the small intestine to send for a biopsy. Celiac disease is diagnosed based on the biopsy of the intestine, and it is determined by the presence of damage to the villi . However, not all people with gluten allergies, or even celiac disease, will present with gastrointestinal symptoms.
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How To Treat Gluten Intolerance And Celiac Disease
Eliminating gluten from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross-contamination, medications, or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body. The 80/20 rule or we dont eat it in our house, just when we eat out is a complete misconception.
A Lancet article published in 2001 states that for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, eating gluten just once a month increased the relative risk of death by 600%.
The outward manifestation of eating gluten may be mild bloating or a headache. Inside your body, your immune system is being stimulated and the effects may last for three to six months.
For many, simply removing gluten completely from their diet isnt enough. The damage that has been caused to the gut lining must also be repaired. Leaky Gut Revive can be a powerful ally in repairing your gut in conjunction with functional medicines 4R program.
Additionally, I often find that there are other infections in the gut that need to be addressed and corrected. Parasites, Candida overgrowth, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth , and other imbalances can all be impacted by the cross-reactivity of gliadin sub-fractions in non-gluten grains.
When in doubt, go without. Youre not missing any vital nutrients by not eating gluten. In fact, you may well be improving your life dramatically!
Substitutes For Common Gluten Foods
There are many foods that contain gluten. Hence, it can get quite difficult to switch from it to a diet free of gluten.
But theres nothing to worry about as you can also try gluten-free substitutes for foods that are rich in gluten.
Here are a few substitutes for gluten-rich foods you can include in your platter:
- For beer, you can switch to wine or spirits
- In the case of burgers, you can go for gluten-free burgers
- Soba noodles can be replaced by noodles made of beans and lentils
- You can try going for tamari sauce instead of soy sauce
- There are medications rich in gluten too. In such cases, you can go ahead with certified gluten-free medicines.
- In the case of barley malt, try red wine, apple cider, or rice vinegar.
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Gluten Intolerance: Foods To Eat And Foods To Avoid
With the gluten intolerance symptoms checklist out of the way, you now need to plan your diet to be sure that no gluten in any form enters your body.
To do so, your mind should be clear about the foods you can take and the foods that have to be avoided.
Thus, here weve got a few examples laid down to help you plan your eating routine.
Firstly, well talk about the foods that you can eat.
A Potential Problem With Gluten Intolerance Testing
I want to mention that one potential problem with gluten intolerance testing is that gluten is made up of several hundred peptides and gliadin is made up of 12 different sub-fractions. Most modern-day gluten intolerance testing focuses on only the alpha-gliadin Therefore, there is considerable room for error and false-negative tests.
However, a lab called Cyrex Lab tests for these sub-fractions and may help to minimize false negatives in gluten intolerance testing. Cyrex also offers an Array 4 test to check for gluten cross-reactivity with other grains.
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How Do I Manage It
If you’re confident you are intolerant to a particular food, the only way to manage this is to stop eating the food for a while and then reintroduce small quantities while monitoring how much you can eat without causing symptoms.
Check food labels to see which sorts of foods to avoid.
If you think your child may have a food intolerance, check with a GP or dietitian before eliminating foods from their diet, as a restricted diet could affect their growth and development. Cows’ milk, for example, is an important source of calcium, vitamin D and protein.
Blood And Genetic Tests
To find out if you have celiac disease, you may first get:
HLA genetic test. This looks for the HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 genes. If you donât have them, itâs very unlikely that you have celiac disease. You may get a blood test, saliva test, or a swab of the inside of your cheek.
These tests arenât enough to show that you have celiac disease. But if the results show that you might, or it seems very likely you might have celiac disease, your next step is endoscopy.
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It Is Important To Understand That Celiac Disease And Gluten Sensitivity Are Two Different Things
There is still a lot to be understood about gluten sensitivity. What is known is that it is not the same mechanism as celiac disease. Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is an umbrella term for several different conditions such as FODMAP intolerance, ATI intolerance,. In these other situations, people are reacting to other parts of the wheat., not the gluten component.
The celiac tests dont diagnose gluten sensitivity, and the intestinal biopsy* doesnt show it. They are not the same disease. The diagnostic process is different, and the treatments are almost always different.
*The biopsy is a confirmation test for celiac disease. It is only done if the blood screening test is positive or there is a high suspicion of celiac disease for other reasons. The celiac disease test I am referring to in this article is a simple blood test.
Why An Allergist Can Help
An allergist can help manage gluten sensitivity since researchers believe gluten sensitivity may stem from the immune system. Researchers know a wheat allergy occurs when your immune system recognizes a protein in wheat as an invader. Therefore, eating wheat can trigger a reaction.
An allergist receives specialized training in allergies and the immune system. Therefore, an allergy doctor understands whats triggering this response and how to diagnose it. They also have the necessary training to provide intervention and help reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
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How Do You Test For Gluten Intolerance In Your Dna
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is a type of autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack parts of the intestinal tract finger-like projections known as villi, that absorb nutrients. In the presence of gluten a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley products a person with celiac disease will experience chronic inflammation of the intestines, and their villi will shorten and eventually flatten out. Chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, and abdominal swelling are all notable symptoms of classic celiac disease.
What Happens If Celiac Disease Goes Undiagnosed?
If a person with celiac remains undiagnosed and continues to consume gluten, they will often develop more serious secondary problems such as anemia, malnutrition, infertility, migraines, joint pain, and more. Unfortunately, according to the National Institutes of Health , it is more common to for a person with undiagnosed celiac disease to experience a range of secondary health problems without any gastrointestinal symptoms than it is to have the classic symptoms.
What Genes Are Involved In Gluten Sensitivity
The genes that are involved in gluten sensitivity include HLA DQ8 or HLA DQ2 genes. Particular doctors believe that HLA DQ3 and HLA DQ1 are also involved in gluten sensitivity. People get two copies of HLA DQ genes from their parents. Depending on the copies that you get from your parents, you may be gluten intolerant or insensitive to gluten.
Gluten intolerance is quite common in many people. You may have this intolerance if you are allergic to wheat or if you are suffering from celiac disease. Gluten intolerance is also common in people who have non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Doctors have observed this sensitivity affects people from the same family.
As a way to reduce its symptoms, you can take probiotics. However, before taking these medications, you need to determine the dissimilarities in non-celiac gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. These two conditions have similar symptoms, but only celiac disease damages the small intestine, making it unable to absorb nutrients. DNA tests can determine whether you are gluten intolerant due to celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
You can conduct at-home tests with our Nutrition DNA Testing Kit, which can help determine whether or not youre predisposed to gluten sensitivity, as well as a wide range of other nutritional needs and eating behaviors. Order your kit online, or give us a call at 417.319.1047 for more information.
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Symptoms Of Celiac Disease
Although digestive issues are common in children with celiac disease, most adults do not experience these symptoms. Instead, the following signs are often a red flag for celiac disease in adults:
- Liver and biliary tract disorders
- Osteoporosis or osteopenia
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Seizures or migraines
- Unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
Whether or not you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is crucial to undergo celiac disease testing if you have a first-degree relative with the condition, as this puts you at a one in ten risk of developing celiac yourself.
However, if you suspect that you have gluten intolerance rather than celiac, the single best way gluten intolerance test is to remove it from your diet, note how you feel without it, and how you feel when you add it back in.