Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease

Gluten has been shown to be associated with many different diseases that can affect every aspect of the body and mind. This can be due to intolerance or, more concerning, a diagnosis of celiac disease. These conditions can first present as vague symptoms such as irritability, behavioral problems, memory problems, fatigue, tingling in legs, easily broken bones, heartburn, skin rashes and bloating to name just a few. Unfortunately, the time it takes for a diagnosis to be made after the first symptoms appear is often greater than ten years. In that ten year lapse, individuals can experience a great amount of distress and various health conditions can move from mild to severe states of disease.

There are some very important points to understand if you believe you or someone you know might have celiac disease, gluten intolerance or a gluten-related condition. Celiac disease requires lifelong abstinence from gluten where other conditions may not. Once someone is on a gluten-free diet the testing for celiac disease is much less reliable. Therefore it is important to have a thorough evaluation by a knowledgeable physician before assuming a gluten-free diet.

“Although we’ve been eating wheat for thousands of years, we are not engineered to digest gluten. We are able to completely digest every protein we put in our mouths with the exception of one—and that’s gluten. Gluten is a weird protein. We don’t have the enzymes to dismantle it completely, leaving undigested peptides that can be harmful. The immune system may perceive them as an enemy and mount an immune response.“

~Dr. Alessio Fasano