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Gluten Sensitivity: Fad or Fact

By Dr. Michael Veselak, D.C.


Every patient in our office with a chronic illness has a gluten sensitivity. On a weekly basis numerous patients enter my office complaining of headaches, fatigue, bloating and joint pain.  They report they just don’t feel well but their lab tests are normal.  Some have been tested for Celiac disease with no positive findings.  Can they be gluten sensitive without having Celiac.

I will tell you not only in the clinical setting gluten sensitivity in fact exists but it has been proven scientifically that it exists and it is different from Celiac.  I did some research with patients that were suffering from different chronic illnesses, like diabetes. I went to Pub Med and typed in celiac and diabetes. I was shocked to see over 1000 studies pop up associated with diabetes and gluten.

What is gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains.  However, the wheat is not the problem. The problem is the way we refined and changed the wheats structure through genetic modification in an attempt to yield more crops so we can sell more. Consequently, wheat became extremely prominent and very inexpensive as a food source.  Our standard American diet began consuming wheat between 3-6 times per day. 

Go to your local grocery store and walk through the aisles and see how much of our products contain gluten.

Why are people sensitive to this protein?  It has been argued that the wheat in this country is so genetically modified are body has a difficult time digesting it and through time our body will trigger an immune response to this form of protein.

When we digest food our body will break the food down into lipids, proteins and carbohydrates and then get absorbed into the bloodstream.  However, after many years of eating gluten we have a difficult time breaking down this protein.  It wears down the filter system in our gut and enters the bloodstream as a whole molecule.  This triggers an immune response as our immune system does not recognize this molecule and attacks it. 

Eventually our immune system can’t  handle it.   The nervous system is generally the first area it attacks.  Symptoms that include migraines, fibromyalgia, ADHD are all related to gluten sensitivity. 

Also the same gene HDLAQ, that carries Hashimotos, an autoimmune thyroid, carries out gluten sensitivity. 

In our office we utilize a very specific and sensitive lab test from Cyrex that determines a persons gluten sensitivity. This test also tells us if the person has a autoimmunity to the skin, gut or nervous tissue.

Did you know that there are 18 foods that cross react to gluten. So you can be gluten free but if you eat common foods such as potatoes, corn, soy, dairy, milk chocolate that these foods can react the same way as gluten.  We recommend a test from Cyrex labs to determine which foods the body cross reacts to because these will need to be eliminated also.

With 80% of our immune system in our gut, we strongly believe that supporting our patients with an anti-inflammatory diet we can help them achieve better health.

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