I tested negative for Celiac. Can I still be sensitive to gluten?

In short, YES! There are 3 major categories of wheat or gluten-related diseases: celiac disease, wheat allergy, and gluten sensitivity. It can be very difficult to distinguish between the three based on symptoms alone. For this reason, food allergy/sensitivity testing can be very helpful in identifying what type of food allergies you may have.

Celiac disease

  • Affects approximately 1 in 132 individuals
  • Confirmed by a 3-part test: antibodies to gluten in the blood, atrophy of the small intestine (biopsy), and improvement with a gluten-free diet

Wheat allergy

  • Confirmed by the presence of IgE antibodies to wheat (blood test)
  • Food “allergy” symptoms tend to occur within 24 hours of eating the allergenic food (peanut allergies, for example, involve IgE antibodies)
  • Can present like celiac disease with symptoms including: asthma, eczema and digestive issues

Gluten sensitivity

  • Estimated to be 6 times more common than celiac disease!
  • Confirmed by presence of IgG and/or IgA antibodies to gluten (blood test)
  • Gluten sensitivity can be difficult to identify through food journaling because the symptoms resulting from the sensitivity can occur 24-72 hours after eating gluten and do not always affect the digestive system (see below)

The most common symptoms that can be caused by gluten sensitivity are (and frequency):

  • Abdominal pain (68%)
  • Eczema or skin rash (40%)
  • Headaches (35%)
  • Foggy mind (34%)
  • Fatigue (33%)
  • Diarrhea (33%)
  • Depression (22%)
  • Anemia (20%)
  • Numbness in arms, finger or legs (20%)
  • Joint pain (11%)

If you suffer from one of more of these conditions, consider eliminating gluten from your diet for a minimum of 3 weeks to see if you improve. Food allergy testing can also help identify food allergies and sensitivities to a variety of foods.

Contact me to find out if food allergy and sensitivity testing is right for you!

Source: Doherty, C. (2012). Defining Gluten Sensitivity. NDNR. www.ndnr.com

7 reasons to go Gluten Free

With all the hype surrounding gluten-free diets, it would be easy to dismiss this new found “miracle” diet as just another fad. I used to think that too until I really started to investigate why gluten is harmful to our health and why so many of my patients (myself included!) see dramatic changes in their health when they eliminate gluten.

7 reasons to go Gluten-Free:

1. It’s not your grandmother’s wheat

Wheat, the greatest source of gluten in most diets, has dramatically changed over the past 100 years. Wheat now has almost twice as many genes as the original species. And more of those genes code for gluten which means our bodies did not evolve eating this type of wheat!

2. It spikes blood sugar & insulin

Carbohydrates found in wheat (and other grains) contain a substance called “amylopectin A” which makes our blood sugar levels skyrocket. The body responds by dumping large amounts of insulin into our blood stream. This combination of high blood sugar + high insulin increases your risk for weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and maybe even cancer.

3. It can contribute to the development of food sensitivities

When we eat foods like wheat and gluten, they can cause significant damage and inflammation in our digestive systems and cause a condition called “leaky gut”. Having a “leaky gut” can cause you to develop food sensitivities, allergies, skin problems and more!

4. It increases your “bad” cholesterol

Gluten can raise fat molecules in the blood (triglycerides) and “bad” cholesterol levels (LDL). To make matters worse, gluten promotes the formation of “small LDL” molecules which are even more dangerous and increase your risk for heart attack and heart disease.

5. It makes your body more acidic

Every food you eat either increases or decreases the acidity in your body. Foods that are more “acidic” such as gluten can increase inflammation in the body which has been linked to arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

6. It makes you hungry

Ever notice how eating carbs makes you crave more carbs? Gluten has effects on both your blood sugar and chemicals in your brain that give you a temporary euphoric feeling. Once that feeling is gone you’ll likely be looking to fix your next sugar craving.

7. It makes you age faster

Gluten and processed carbohydrates create AGEs (advanced glycation end products) which are essentially sugar molecules that bind to proteins in the body. These AGEs have been linked to cataracts, dementia, wrinkles, and premature aging.

Want to see if going gluten free is right for you?

Book your complimentary 15-minute session with me to learn about your options and see if food allergy testing may be helpful.