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Finally, gluten sensitivity is considered real

Posted on March 20th, 2011 by Alison Read 7 Comments - Add Your Own »

For years I have been talking about gluten sensitivity, encouraging people to Think Outside the Celiac Box. I have witnessed my own family members test negative for celiac disease but clearly have a sensitivity to gluten. All research up to the present has focused solely on celiac disease, an autoimmune condition in which the body mistakenly attacks its own tissue, specifically targeting the villi of the small intestine, making it difficult to absorb nutrients. I tested positive for this disease, but many others have struggled to find the validation that they too are suffering from the effects of gluten.

Finally, a new study highlighted in the Wall Street Journal acknowledges the condition of gluten sensitivity! Researchers found that there was indeed some immune response happening in a group of people that was different from those with celiac disease, but also different from the control group. They still aren’t sure how a reaction to gluten can cause so many varied symptoms in people — headaches, fatigue, neurological problems, IBS symptoms, ADHD — and the list goes on, but Dr. Alessio Fasano speculates that “once immune cells are mistakenly primed to attack gluten, they can migrate and spread inflammation, even to the brain.”

The article states that 6% of the population may be gluten sensitive. I believe the number is higher, and that this will be discovered as more studies are conducted on gluten sensitivity. But the recognition of the existence of gluten sensitivity is a great first step, so rejoice you gluten-sensitive people! You are not crazy, as doctors and family members and maybe even you believed!

Other articles that address gluten sensitivity:

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  1. Alison, I read the article. It was very interesting. I also find it interesting that people still give me funny looks when I mention GF eating to them. I get the weirdest responses. I just do not understand why, if it may alleviate your symptoms or even cure them, people would not just give it a try. To me, it is better then suffering, especially out of stubbornness. Thank for sharing. As always, you are a wealth of information.

  2. I’m with you Cherie. There is still a disbelief out there that food can affect one’s health so drastically. Hopefully with more studies coming out, people will start to believe!

  3. I hope so. If only they could see…they would believe! Hope you are doing well.

  4. Alison, I read the article last week and I was sharing it with everyone! As you know I tested Negitive for Celiac but I am in one of the other groups. It does not matter to me what group because I do not eat Gluten at all. My life is so much better not being a glutton for gluten.

  5. Kirsten,
    You are a perfect example of a gluten sensitive person. You had so many celiac-like symptoms and felt like crap! I’m so glad you gave up gluten without looking back, even without an official diagnosis.

  6. Alison, Thank you for posting this. One of my twin daughters and I were diagnosed w/ Celiac over 3 yers ago. My other twin daughter was tested at the same time, but her results were negative. I always thought she had more symptoms of CD than her sister, but no one ever mentioned GS to us. It’s almost like if you test negative for Celiac, then that’s the end of it…..our doctors never talked about the possibility of GS or having her on a GF diet. Now, here we are, 3 years later and are scoping her again because she’s experiencing weight loss. Seems like they have ruled everything out but CD & GS so it’s going to be one or the other. I’m researching as much as possible, in case it ends up being GS since so far her bloodwork is normal. Anyhow, it’s a very important subject as so many people are in this same boat. Thanks again.

  7. While Celiac’s disease is very real, there is very little research to suggest that gluten sensitivity is real, or cannot be managed with a balanced diet (which is the larger issue in this country, with 40% now overweight). The head of Columbia University’s center for celiac research has taken an opposite view, and stated that a gluten free diet can be debilitating long-term because it is deficient in fiber and B-vitamin, which is found in fortified wheat, and that therefore a gluten free diet is inappropriate for people other than those with Celiac’s disease. There is great danger in amateurs promulgating nutrition advice and causing yet the next wave of fad diets and food problems.