Gluten Sensitivity

Are you sensitive to gluten and don’t even know it? Could low energy, digestive issues or joint pain be impairing your health? If so, you could be one of millions of American’s who have gone undiagnosed for gluten sensitivity.

Typical reaction to foods that are firing up your immune system include:

  • Skin eruptions, eczema, cold sores, acne
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Digestive complaints Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Heartburn
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Lung or nasal congestion
  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Headaches or migraines

If you experience any of the above symptoms then you will probably want to consider the possibility that you may have gluten sensitivity.
Wheat contains lectins (wheat germ) & protein (gluten). Gluten is made of giladin & glutenin. Wheat is stored in a silo for up to 2 years after it is harvested until the price is right for it to go to market. During this storage process enzymes can act on the wheat and affect the components of the wheat increasing the possibility that it could react with a person’s immune system. This can result in gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance or Celiac disease (aka Coeliac Sprue disease or gluten enteropathy). Wheat that has been genetically modified (GMO) may also be contributing to the problem. Oats do not contain gluten, however, because oats are frequently stored in silos that previously stored grains that had gluten the oats are contaminated unless purchased from a gluten-free farm.
Additionally, a certain percent of the population has a gene (HLA-DQ8 or HLA-DQ2) that predisposes them to susceptibility to have an immune reaction if they eat wheat.
Gluten Sensitivity Includes:

Wheat
Spelt
Kamult
Oates (not specific from gluten-free farm)
Rye Barley

Hidden Sources of Gluten:
Soy sauce
Food starches
Food emulsifiers
Food stabilizers
Malt extract, flavor, syrup
Dextrins

Until recently the only test available for gluten sensitivity was the alpha gliadin test. Celiac (aka Sprue) disease is diagnosed by a positive alpha gliadin test and an endoscope exam that revealed an eneropathy (damage to the microvilli lining of the small intestine which can result in problems with absorption).
Gluten is made of gliadin + glutenin. There are 4 types of gliadin (alpha, beta, gamma & omega) and glutenin which has been shown to be toxic. Gluten isn’t very water soluable and therefore doesn’t mix well with other foods (like milk) without changing the food’s qualities. In the food processing industry, gluten is treated with acid or an enzymatic treatment producing deamidated gliadin which is soluable in water. The immune system reacts even greater to deamidated gliadin than to gliadin. To increase identification of the immune response to gluten 3 peptides are useful (deamidated 15 mer, deamidated 17 mer, and deamidated 33 mer).
In the cytoplasm of most cells and in high concentrations in the connective tissue of the small intestine is the enzyme tissue transglutaminase. When the cell receives gluten this enzyme removes an amino group and then adds the remainder of the gluten peptide to an existing protein. Transglutaminase bound to gliadin can act as a “neoantigen” activates the immune system and is strongly linked to Celiac disease.
When a person with gluten sensitivity eats gluten their intestinal tract promotes inflammation. The gluten actually is acted on by the immune system which produces iNOS (Inducible Nitic Oxide) which damages the GI (Gastro-intestinal) barrier and results in “Leaky-gut” syndrome. This results in macro molecules breaching the gastro-intestinal (GI) barrier and entering the bloodstream. These larger food particles then are exposed to the immune system and can result in additional food sensitivities.
Common food sensitivities include:

Gluten
Dairy
Eggs
Corn
Soy
Yeast

When the immune system is responding to these food allergies the chemical messenger molecules (cytokines) that the immune cells use to talk to one another cross over the brain blood barrier (BBB) resulting in activating the microglia (immune defense cells in the brain) The analogy of this is like giving a chihuahua a bazooka, in general, a chihuahua is readily excitible and a bazooka can cause massive indiscriminate distruction to brain tissue, most commonly reported by patients as “Brain fog”.
Gluten sensitivity is also known to lead to prodynorphin antibodies. Prodoynorphin is an opiod that is a basic building block of endorphins (like in the runner’s high). Prodynorphin has been shown to play a central part in many process in the brain including how well people feel about themselves, their memories and their perceptions of pain. People who don’t make enough prodynorphin are vulnerable to drug addiction, schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and a form of epilepsy. If gluten sensitivity leads to prodynorphin Ab that can reduce the levels of prodynorphin and potentially lead to neurochemical deficiency and lead to personality disorders.
Some individuals will actually go through opiod withdrawal when they go on a gluten-free diet.
Additionally, gluten sensitivity can have a “cross-reactivity” with other foods most commonly casein protein in dairy and rice protein and also including:

Rice Chocolate
Rye
Barley
Buckwheat
Sorghum
Millet
Amaranth
Quinoa
Spelt
Sesame
Corn
Potato
Tapioca

This is concerning because levated antibodies to gluten have been found in patients with migraine headaches, thyroid disorders, ADHD, Type I Diabetes, Crohn’s disease, IBS, Rheumatoid arthritis and even Cancer. Individuals with gluten sensitivity have an increased risk of developing autoimmunity to their own tissues.
Tissue autoimmunity include:
Myelin antibodies (Ab) – multiple sclerosis (MS)
Cerebellum Ab – attacks the brain results in balance problems (gait issues, car sick, sea sick, nausea looking down a flight of stairs, etc.)
Parietal Ab – exophageal reflux disorders (GERD)
Islet cell Ab – Diabetes
Thyroid peroxidase Ab – Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism (90% of all thyroid problems)
Cardiolipin Ab – heart related problems
GAD (glutamic acid decarboxylase) Ab – stiff man syndrome.
Intrinsic factor Ab – required for Vit B12 absorption (used in many biochemical reactions in the body including brain chemical production).
Fortunately, a new diagnostic test became available in January 2011 that will allow us to test all of these areas when checking for gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease.
If there are so many different areas that can produce an immune response and if you are only tested for one of them, then a lot of the people being tested for gluten sensitivity aren’t being diagnosed properly! We can order your test panel when you come in for your evaluation. In the meantime it is extremely important for anyone who suspects that they be gluten sensitive to get off of ALL Gluten containing foods.
I spoke with Dr. Tom O’Bryan, the worlds leading authority on Gluten research who told me that they tested 316 people and 70% tested with the new test panel tested postive for gluten sensitivity.