Hot Topic: Gluten Sensitivity vs. Celiac

Paleo On The Go

Posted on July 22 2015

“Glutenin gives wheat dough strength and elasticity and is very commonly used in the baking process due to these desirable characteristics. Many people have severe reactions to this molecule but it never shows up on the basic gliadin antibody testing.” -READ MORE

So what conclusions can we draw from this information? Don’t trust sensationalized media headlines. If you feel better without gluten in your diet, it’s not just in your head! NCGS is a real condition, experienced by many. Even if we are, there has been a great deal of mainstream media attention knocking non celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), suggesting that NCGS doesn’t really exist (read more HERE and HERE). These findings (being reported all over media), are from one particular study on individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Reports from the ONE STUDY indicated that it was most likely FODMOPS and not gluten contributing to digestive distress these individuals were experiencing. However, many people find by cutting gluten out of their diet they feel much better in many different aspects of their life, not just their digestion. So what gives?

CHRIS KRESSER wrote an amazing rebuttal to the study, and the backlash of the study in mainstream media headlines. He states that particular study did not overturn the large body of evidence that links gluten consumption to a variety of health problems. “There is little doubt among those who are familiar with scientific literature that NCGS is a real condition.” Chris discusses all the other components in wheat people can react to, that were not addressed in the study:

“However, we now know that people can (and do) react to several other components of wheat above and beyond alpha gliadin, the component that is implicated in CD. These include other epitopes of gliadin (beta, gamma, omega), glutenin, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), gluteomorphin, and deamidated gliadin. What’s more, people can react to other types of tissue transglutaminase, including type 3—primarily found in the skin—and type 6—primarily found in the brain.” -READ MORE

gluten sensitivity caution tape

Not only are there other compounds in wheat that people are reacting to, but also the etiology is not always digestive distress. Some people find that brain fog lifts when they remove gluten. Others find that their skin clears after years of struggling with skin conditions. Some people stop experiencing anxiety or depression when they remove gluten. Many find that they have more energy, or therefore we can’t draw a single conclusion based on one study with sensationalized media headlines.

According to PRIMAL DOC’S contributor David Joggers, studies have found associations between gluten sensitivity and disorders in every part of the neurological system including the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Gluten is found to be a significant trigger in psychiatric disorders, movement disorders, sensory ganglionapathy, ataxia, neuromyelitis, multiple sclerosis, cerebellar disease, cognitive impairment, dementia, restless leg syndrome, migraines, apraxia, neuropathy, myoclonus, hearing loss and virtually every other neurological disorder.

“Gluten is made up of a sticky portion called glutenin and a protein portion called gliadin. Gliadin can be broken down into alpha, omega and gamma gliadins. Most lab tests only look at alpha gliadin antibodies but this is only a very small component of the total molecule. Often times this lab comes back negative but the individual is reacting to some of the other components of the gluten molecule.

We’re not 100% sure on the mechanism behind it, we know it exists. There are bodies of literature that prove it’s for real. Why wait for all the research to finalize an exact answer? If you feel better without gluten, you should probably remove it from your diet.

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