This post is published with permission from Dr Philip Agrios, DC, DACBSP, D.PSc. and was first published in his email newsletter. I was intrigued by this article because I am gluten-free and I talk about my own personal steps back to wellness here.
It’s just a lot of hype…
When people ask what I do, I explain to them that I work with chronically ill patients, mainly autoimmune disease in a holistic way using nutrition and personal coaching.
Sometimes I get this response, “I guess you believe in that gluten-free stuff. You know, it’s just a lot hype if you don’t have celiac disease! That’s what my doctor told me.”
That was a comment from someone recently and unfortunately, other people say similar things to me. So here’s the research.
What the research says…
A new study from Columbia University Medical Center in conjunction with the University of Bologna, Italy, found that patients with a wheat sensitivity or what’s called, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCWS), who have gastrointestinal symptoms, may be reacting to a body-wide inflammatory immune reaction. Celiac patients may not present this way.
I have seen this for years in my practice. People come in for what they think is musculoskeletal pain throughout their body but the main cause is not their muscles, but a chronic toxicity.
The body then responds with a rampant inflammatory reaction usually because of what they are putting in their body, on their body and the inflammatory thoughts they are expressing daily
I had a patient once who said to me that she wished she had cancer because her family would finally believe her–they thought she was faking.
I hear sentiments similar to this so many times from patients because their doctors tell them that their blood tests are normal and the pain is in their head.
“Our study shows that the symptoms reported by individuals with this condition are not imagined, as some people have suggested,” study co-author Dr. Peter H. Green, Phyllis and Ivan Seidenberg Professor of Medicine at CUMC and director of the Celiac Disease Center, state.
“It demonstrates that there is a biological basis for these symptoms in a significant number of these patients.”
Co-author of the article, Dr. Umberto Volta, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Bologna, states, “These results shift the paradigm in our recognition and understanding of non-celiac wheat sensitivity, and will likely have important implications for diagnosis and treatment”
One of culprits for these types of patients’ immune response comes from Leaky Gut Syndrome which is a breakdown of the intestinal barrier which protects your body from the toxins in your intestines.
Your doctor usually will typically order a basic blood test called transglutaminase 2 (TG2) to detect if you may have celiac disease. If this comes back normal, you are told you can eat gluten.
Are there additional tests I can ask for?
However, what you aren’t told is that there are many other forms of blood tests to determine if you have a problem with gluten.
There is transglutaminase 3 and also 6 (affects the brain) as well as different gliadins and other markers.
Take a look at Array 3 from Cyrex Labs at for an expanded list. I use this lab because they are on the cutting edge of autoimmunity reactivity.
In the above study, one of the markers used to determine the integrity of the intestinal barrier was lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-binding protein. This is also one of the markers that Cyrex Labs uses in Array 2 to determine if you have Leaky Guy Syndrome.
The good news is you have the opportunity to have the very same markers ordered by me that were used by these researchers.
You should realize–NCWS affects an estimated 3 million Americans and the majority of them are clueless that they even have this.
Are you one of them?
1. “Intestinal cell damage and systemic immune activation in individuals reporting sensitivity to wheat in the absence of celiac disease. Melanie Uhde (CUMC), Mary Ajamian (CUMC), Giacomo Caio (University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy), Roberto De Giorgio (University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy), Alyssa Indart (CUMC), and Elizabeth C. Verna (CUMC). GUT July 25, 2016.