Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time For Doctors to Reconsider Gluten

This article from the Wall Street Journal Online brings some interesting info to light that many in the paleo world had already suspected.

"For the first time, we have scientific evidence that indeed, gluten sensitivity not only exists, but is very different from celiac disease," says lead author Alessio Fasano, medical director of the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research.

The news will be welcome to people who have suspected a broad range of ailments may be linked to their gluten intake, but have failed to find doctors who agree.

"Patients have been told if it wasn't celiac disease, it wasn't anything. It was all in their heads," says Cynthia Kupper, executive director of the nonprofit Gluten Intolerance Group of North America.
That is significant.  The mainstream medical community is going to have to wake up and start recognizing gluten as a potential cause for their patients' problems.  There are now more accurate tests that more completely assess gluten sensitivity.  Doctors need to be made aware of this too. 

Below is a few more interesting lines from the WSJ story that hit on something I wrote about  a while ago.

Those with gluten sensitivity didn't have the flattened villi, or the "leaky" intestinal walls seen in the subjects with celiac disease.  Their immune reactions were different, too. In the gluten-sensitive group, the response came from innate immunity, a primitive system with which the body sets up barriers to repel invaders. 
People can eliminate gluten on their own and see how they react.  You don't need a doctor to do this.  You know your body best.  If your health improves, then stay away from gluten. Here is a synopsis from a survey of people who voluntarily chose to not consume gluten in January of this year.
 I find these results striking. Participants overwhelmingly improved in every health category we measured. Although the data may have been somewhat biased due to the 53% response rate, it's indisputable that a large number of participants, probably the majority, benefited from avoiding gluten for a month.
I know plenty of people whose health would benefit by eliminating gluten from their diet.  I am going to pass this on to them.  I would strongly encourage you to also consider whether you should experiment with eliminating gluten.  If you do it and don't see any health changes, oh well.  At least you don't have to worry about gluten being a cause of your ailments.



Kris @ Health Blog said...

I've done a bit of research on gluten myself, and it does seem that it is much more common than previously thought.

It may be a key player in the development of modern health problems.

Jan said...

"Patients have been told if it wasn't celiac disease, it wasn't anything. It was all in their heads."

I had a chit of a girl (like 20) who was training to be a dietician/nutritionist and working as a waitress, tell me that if I wasn't diagnosed with Celiac, then I should NOT be avoiding gluten (this happened during a discussion engendered by telling her NO bread of any kind). When I asked her why, she said because we need to eat more whole grains and less animal products.

So I ordered the 16 ounce prime rib...and left her a lousy tip.

Chuck said...

it is unfortunate what the young, future experts in health fields are being taught.

Lisa@The Nourishing Homemaker said...

One of my children has a gluten sensitivity and I tried to explain it to his doctor. He said that what I was talking about was Celiac, which is not what I was talking about, and he doubted that my son had it. He said it was probably just a virus. A virus that only shows up when he eats gluten and disappears when he doesn't it eat. Amazing virus!