Gluten Intolerance is not a fad: gluten & the foods you love

I. Did you know?: Facts about Gluten
II. What is gluten?
III. Where can gluten be found?
IV. 12 Warning Signs of Gluten Intolerance
V. Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease: What is the difference?
VI. The Dangers of a Leaky Gut
VII. Why Almost No One Tests Positive for Celiac Disease
VIII. Diagnosis: How can I test for Gluten Intolerance?
IX. Links to more information, past newsletters, and gluten podcast
X. What's next? A list of health topics for future newsletters.
I. Did you know...?
• 1 in 7 people in the U.S. are gluten intolerant.
• Gluten is one of the most common food allergies which often leads to additional food allergies.
• 60% of those with Gluten Intolerance do not exhibit any digestive system symptoms.
• Gluten Intolerance is implicated in approximately 50 other diseases.
Manfred certainly didn't know. At 80 years old, Manfred had enviable health and an infectious zest for life. He was always active, exercising daily, operating a landscaping business, and baking delicious and crispy rye bread. He fell ill suddenly with Ulcerative Colitis,a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that affects the large intestine. Manfred was hospitalized and given steroids to reduce intestinal inflammation. When his condition finally stabilized, Manfred still experienced terrible bouts of diarrhea. Having lived healthfully until this point, Manfred did not want to spend the rest of his life on medications which left him physically unsettled, but there seemed no other choice.
By working with the appropriate holistic practitioner, Manfred realized he was exhibiting symptoms of Gluten Intolerance. He removed gluten from his diet and the Ulcerative Colitis slowly dissipated. Now Manfred is back to building, gardening and even baking (though now, gluten-free!).

II. What is gluten?
Gluten and gliadin are two proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye that give flour elasticity.
III. Where can gluten be found?
Gluten can be found in cookies, breads, pastas, oats, couscous, spelt, some non-dairy creamers, teriyaki sauce, beer, bran, anything that uses flour and much more.
IV. Are you Gluten Intolerant? Check these 12 Warning Signs: 
1. Diarrhea, flatulence, bloating, constipation, nausea, vomiting.
2. Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
3. Implicated in neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's,andepilepsy. 
4. Implicated in autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Type I Diabetes, among others.
5. Mouth ulcers.
6. Gradual weight change.
7. Fibromyalgia, bone pain, joint pain, numbness or tingling in extremities.
8. Frequent headaches or migraines. 
9. Chronic fatigue.
10. Interstitial cystitis.
11. Psoriasis and other skin disorders.
12. Abnormal menses, infertility, miscarriage.
V. Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease: What is the difference?
Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease are delayed allergic responses to the proteins gluten and gliadin. This allergic reaction inflames the small intestine, the effects of which can be felt all throughout the entire body. Over time, this inflammation causes the villi, which line the small intestines, to atrophy. The villi, which look like shag carpeting, are primarily responsible for nutrient absorption. If the villi deteriorate, the body will be challenged to absorb nutrients. When the villi are severely compromised, Gluten Intolerance becomes Celiac Disease. Therefore, Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease are the same illness, differing only in severity. The treatments for Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance are the same - the complete elimination of gluten from your diet.
Below is an image depicting healthy villi on the left, and worn down villi on the right.


VI. The Dangers of a Leaky Gut 
Food allergens, such as gluten, trigger inflammation in the digestive tract. This inflammation creates increased permeability in the walls of the intestines, leading to a phenomenon called Leaky Gut syndrome. Partially digested or undigested food enters the blood stream through the intestinal wall, triggering an immune response to the food. Many people develop secondary food allergies due to a Leaky Gut, the most common of which are allergies to casein found in dairy products, or eggs.
VII. Why Almost No One Tests Positive for Celiac Disease
Most people who are gluten intolerant do not test positive for Celiac Disease. Doctors generally test only for Celiac Disease through a biopsy of the small intestine to check for villi deterioration and some other minimal blood tests. Unfortunately, the biopsy and blood tests most often do not screen for Gluten Intolerance, so many patients continue to suffer needlessly for years, develop autoimmune disorders, and even unwittingly pass it along to their children (Gluten Intolerance can be inherited).
VIII. Diagnosis: How can I test for Gluten Intolerance?
We recommend a complete blood test which checks for both Gluten Intolerance and an additional 96 potential food allergens. This comprehensive screening can detect secondary food allergies which may be due to Leaky Gut syndrome. Digestive Health Ann Arbor is one of the few practices that offer such an inclusive exam.