Important tests to discover if you are gluten sensitive

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genetic test results(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
  • AGA-IgG
  • 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:

  • HLA-DQ2
  • HLA-DQ8

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.

References:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/13
http://www.advancedglutentest.com
http://www.massgeneral.org/children/doctors/doctor.aspx?id=19184
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3088693

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  • Elle

    I have a daughter-in-law that has put herself and her kids of a gluten-free diet. I really worry about the kids because they have not been diagnosed with celiac or an allergy or anything like that. I read that when you take kids off of grains that they don’t develop the enzymes needed to digest them so it basically handicaps them for life. I don’t see any reason to take a food group away from adults or kids unless there is definitive proof that they have an issue that elimination of a food group would help. Or am I missing something here?

  • Julie Fisher

    This is a very interested article. Since GMO wheat is different from what our parents and grandparents consumed, it presents a whole new problem. A gluten free diet doesn’t necessarily mean a no-grain diet.

    There are many healthy whole grains that one can use such as amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, rice, teff, wild rice and some times oats can be used. You have to look for oats, which have a gluten free label. Oats can be processed in the same plant that processes wheat. It is many times grown near wheat.

  • Dr Bye

    There are many mistakes in this article. first the finger like projections in the intestinal lining or not cilia they are micro villi. second we inherit our Genes but our environment can turn them on or off this is called epigenetics. third we are all lactose intolerance as we lose the ability to make lactase at around age 3 to 4 years old. finally We are not designed to eat grains so eating grains goes against our design.