Questions and Answers on GLUTEN
(Part 2)

1. What are the symptoms of GLUTEN sensitivity?

The inflammatory and autoimmune responses that arise from gluten sensitivity can impact almost any organ system, including your brain, muscles, skin, and bones, your liver and heart, and your endocrine system.

Here are the more common symptoms

  • General vague feeling of unwellness
  • Unexplained health problems
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and Pains
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Recurrent canker sores
  • Gastro-intestinal symptoms
    • Nausea, gas, bloating, digestive upset, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain
  • Neurological symptoms
    • Numbness in the extremities, impairment in mental functioning, depression
  • Dermatological symptoms
    • Rashes, itching, blistering
  • Gynecological symptoms
    • Infertility, early menopause

2. What diseases are associated with GLUTEN sensitivity?

As I said above, gluten sensitivity can affect any organ system.

A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten.

Here are the common disease associations

  • Auto-immune diseases
  • Thyroid disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Addison’s disease
  • Autoimmune liver disease
  • Sjorgren’s disease
  • Type 1 (autoimmune) diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis

Gastro-intestinal diseases

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Irritable bowel Syndrome

Neurological diseases

3. Is it possible to develop a GLUTEN sensitivity in adulthood?

It is not unusual for people to develop gluten sensitivity and even celiac disease later in life and although it’s well described, it’s currently unclear exactly why this happens.

4. How is it diagnosed?

The hallmark of a celiac diagnosis is either having specific antibodies in the blood or damage to the intestinal villi in the small intestine when a biopsy is done.

The classic antibodies checked in the blood are

  • IgA anti-gliadin antibodies
  • IgG anti-gliadin antibodies
  • IgA anti-endomysial antibodies
  • Tissue transglutaminase antibody (IgA and IgG )

But both of these are often negative with gluten sensitivity!

Therefore the best test for gluten sensitivity is to eliminate gluten completely from your diet for 2-4 weeks and see how you feel. But you must eliminate gluten completely including all the hidden sources.

Then after the 2-4 weeks, you introduce it again and see how you feel. You will know if you have a gluten sensitivity as some of the symptoms which had disappeared will come back.

5. What do you suggest?

My experience has shown me that eliminating gluten grains helps at least three quarters of the patients who come in to see me as it decreases their “total load”. It seems to give their system a break and makes it easier for them to recover from whatever they have. This could be because their body is expending less energy to deal with this hard to digest protein, giving it more energy to do other processes.

So my suggestion to anyone who thinks they may be sensitive to gluten is to eliminate it from their diet and see how they feel. Gluten sensitivity has such far reaching effects in the body — going without it is one relatively easy path to explore and it will be worth it to your health in the end. I promise, removing gluten from your diet isn’t as difficult as it seems. You can have a perfectly natural, delicious, and nutritious diet without gluten. There are many gluten free grains to choose from….rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, buckwheat.

6. Can I eat oats?

Oats, although considered a gluten grain, does not contain the “gliadin” protein that people have a hard time digesting and breaking down. Gliadin is found in all gluten cereal grains except oats. The problem is that oats are usually handled with the same farm machinery and stored and milled in the same facilities as the other gluten grains and gliadin contamination happens. So pure oats are fine.

7. What resources do you recommend?

For all sorts of info on being gluten free, try these sites

For a gluten free shopping guide, try this book

For gluten free recipes, try these sites

For gluten free products, try these sites

For gluten free oat products (pure oats), try these sites

PIONEER IN FUNCTIONAL AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINEFor Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How To Be Well, The New Health Rules, 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat, Revive and Total Renewal.After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalities.In 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non- Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness.He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, "If antibiotics are right, he'll try it. If it's an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things."In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives.