(NaturalHealth365) A groundbreaking study conducted by immunological and pediatric specialist at Mass General, Dr. Alessio Fasano reported that gluten intolerance, a health concern separate from celiac disease may affect up to 6 to 7 times more people than celiac disease.
While going gluten free may seem like a healthy-fad diet, I’ve been suggesting gluten-free diets for the past 15 years. For many, avoiding gluten – in the diet – may not be necessary. But, for those who have a true allergy or sensitivity – and not know about it – pioneering researchers, like Dr. Fasano agree that the effects can wreak havoc on the entire immune system, if left improperly tested or ignored.
Does your family physician understand how to test for gluten allergies?
Biopsy was once the gold standard to rule out celiac disease, but many patients undergo this test, show no appreciable results and still suffer from what conventional healthcare providers write off as a “junk” diagnoses such as chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, non-specific depression and anxiety or unexplained allergic symptoms. The bottom line is that without comprehensive testing, the gluten some people are putting in their bodies could be throwing their immune systems into an ever-continuing downward spiral.
The tests you want to rule out gluten intolerance:
- AGA (antigliadin antibodies)-IgA
- tTG (anti-tissue transglutaminase)-IgA
- EMA (anti-endomysial antibodies)-IgA
- Total serum IgA
If after testing your results show no appreciable findings yet signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance remain, consider even more sensitive immunological testing found in the reference section below.
Do you have a genetic predisposition for gluten sensitivity?
Remember, your genes don’t change, so whether you are eating gluten or not, genetic tests will determine whether you are potentially predisposed to celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. The following two tests can be used to rule out a genetic predisposition:
Of course, it’s a good idea to align yourself with a healthcare provider who specializes in environmental medicine because the interpretation of these test is a crucial element in designing a wellness program that’s best for you.
A note about whole family health and gluten sensitivity.
Chances are if you test positive for celiac disease or gluten intolerance someone else in your family will as well. This is especially important for your kids. While a blood test will not show gluten sensitivity, if you have not been eating it, a genetic test will show a predisposition.
Can lactose intolerance be caused by gluten sensitivity?
The good news for those who think they’re suffering from an allergy to dairy milk products is that eliminating gluten from the diet may remedy the issue. If you have already been diagnosed with sensitivity to the proteins in dairy, then a true allergy may exist, but if lactose seems to be your issue, gluten could be the underlying culprit to the sensitivity.
The tiny finger-like projections that line the small intestine called cilia are responsible for producing lactase, the enzyme that metabolizes and breaks down lactose. Because gluten can damage these cilia, the physiological action of producing lactase is diminished and lactose intolerance takes place.
I have found when patients eliminate gluten from their diets, lactose intolerance often disappears because cilia are now free from inflammation-causing proteins and can heal to their optimal physiological state. Of course, the quality of the dairy products you consume are very important and will be discussed in future articles – stay tuned.