Both celiac disease and gluten namely the duodenum and sensitivity are conditions in jejunum. Normally the intes­tines contains a velvety lining that contains finger-like projections called villi. These villi would be analogous to a shag carpet. This is where we get our absorption of our nutrients. However, with CD these villi are flattened, shortened or in grains such wheat, barley, spelt and rye. The body’s immune system response is not just isolated to the gastrointestinal tract but, can cause inflammation by the immune    system throughout the body and brain! These conditions can lead to an enormous num­ber of symptoms and other conditions that are often mis­diagnosed, treated improperly or go untreated for years.

The existence of celiac disease (CD) is often suspected when there are chronic spells of diar­rhea, malabsorption, muscular weakness/wasting, general swelling, anemia, low blood calcium, low B vitamin levels, vitamin D deficiency and osteopenia / osteoporosis. Many times, these symptoms will vary in intensity and frequen­cy. This often can to treatment of the symptoms of CD and not the actual cause of CD.

Most physicians will confirm CD with a battery of blood tests, but ultimately a biopsy of the intestines is done to actual examine the tissue change of the lining of the upper portion of the intestines, namely the duodenum and jejunum. Normally the intes­tines contain a velvety lining the contains finger-like projec­tions called villi. These villi would be analogous to a shag carpet. This is where we get our absorption of our nutri­ents. However, with CD these villi are flattened, shortened or missing, there are increased “crevices” in the intestinal lining and there is a huge in­crease in white blood cells called lymphocytes that in­vade the lining. So it almost looks like there are bald spots, flattened spots, holes and stains in the shag carpet.

Gluten sensitivity (GS) is very similar to CD and involves an immune system response but, does not seem to demonstrate the same intestinal changes or level of symptoms as full blown CD. However, GS should not be ignored and it can cause huge problems in the body. Often, if someone is not having a lot of gastrointes­tinal symptoms they can have what they call “silent” CD or GS. Both “silent” CD or GS can have effects particularly on the nervous system, brain, musculoskeletal system and many other organs in the body.

Remember that these are body wide immunological responses and are not just restricted to the gastrointestinal tract. From the journal of Gastroenterolo­gy 2001,” For every sympto­matic patient with CD there are eight patients with CD and have no gastrointestinal symp­toms”. From the same journal January 2004, “CD “out of the intestine” is even more fre­quent than CD within the in­testine.” Here are some symp­toms and disease associated with CD and GS.

DIGESTIVE: Diarrhea, ex­cessive flatulence, bloating, lactose intolerance, abdominal pain, fatty/light colored stools, fatty liver degeneration, liver cirrhosis, decreased pancreatic enzyme production, gastric reflux, gall bladder dysfunc­tion, sometimes sensitivities to corn, oats and dairy.

  • GENERAL: Weight loss, fluid retention, easily bruised (lack of Vitamin K), chronic fatigue.
  • BLOOD: Folate, VitaminB12, and iron related anemias, clotting factor abnormalities, increased homocysteine, in­creased arterial plaquing.
  • BONE: Loose teeth or lose of teeth, poor tooth enamel, oste­oporosis, osteopenia, bone or joint pain. Most of this is due to poor absorption of calcium, other minerals and Vitamin D.
  • NERVOUS SYSTEM: Periph­eral neuropathy, poor balance, muscular weakness, migraine headaches, numbness and tin­gling.
  • BRAIN: Mental fogginess, depression, ADHD, ADD, schizophrenia and seizures.
  • MUSCULAR: Muscular weakness, muscle cramping, sporadic inclusion body myo­sitis (IBM). IBM is the most common cause of muscular degeneration in patients over 50 years of age.
  • SEXUAL: Infertility, sponta­neous abortion, lack of menstruation, low infant birth weight.
  • SKIN: painful mouth ulcers, dermatitis herpetiformis, pso­riasis. Dermatitis herpeti­formis is a itchy, blistery skin rash that can occur on most areas of the body and looks similar to a breakout of shingles.
  • AUTOIMMUNE: Rheuma­toid arthritis; Systemic lupus, Sjogrens, and a very common thyroid disorder called Hasimoto’s thyroiditis.

 

Please note not everyone will show these problems, but of­ten do show up later in life, general are worse if the im­mune response is more intense or if the patient has more Se­vere leaky gut problems. Some patients may only demonstrate behavioral prob­lems or migraines.

Hidden Sources of Gluten and Help to Go Gluten Free

Gluten is added to many of our foods and here are some red flags when you read la­bels, be aware of: emulsifiers, flavoring, hydrolyzed plant protein, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, stabilizers, malt, maltodextrin, binders, fillers and starches. These products may contain gluten. Some other products that may con­tain glutens are gravy, broth, marinades, spice mixtures or blends, soup thickeners, mustard, salad dressing, roasted nuts, egg substitutes, soy sauce, some medications, some vitamin supplements, beer, wine, certain distilled spirits, wine coolers, luncheon meats or cold cuts, some cos­metics and personal hygiene products.

This really becomes over­whelming at first if someone is trying to go gluten free. It is helpful to know that a lot of regular grocery stores now have gluten free products.

To help out the FDA in 2004 had a new law called, Food Allergen Labeling and Con­sumer Protection Act or known as FALCPA. This re­quires that FDA regulated packaged food to clearly on the label when a food or an ingredient in a food is or con­tains proteins from one of the eight major allergens: milk, eggs, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish soy and WHEAT. This includes medications and vitamin supplements. In order to be listed as “gluten free” manufacturers need to have under 20 parts per million of gluten in their product. We will list some helpful websites later in our newsletter.

Testing for CD and GS

There is no one specific test that confirms that someone has CD or GS. However, many blood tests can be done to highly suggest that one may have CD or GS. The patients symptoms, other physical findings and other diagnostic tests help to confirm that a patient does have CD or GS. Another “test” to confirm this is by going on a gluten free diet and noting if many symp­toms dissipate or are signifi­cantly reduced.

The “gold standard” of CD diagnosis is performing a bi­opsy and looking for flattening of the villi, increased crypts, and invasion of the lining by T lymphocytes. However, this should be the last test to per­form and certainly if symp­toms are chronic and severe this test should be performed sooner.

There are many blood test to suggest that someone has CD or GS. There is a genetic test looking for the “celiac genes” called HLA Q2 and HLA Q8. If either one of these test is positive this does not mean you will get CD or GS , but merely indicates you have the potential coding for these dis­eases. It has recently been found that there are other ge­netic markers for CD and GS.

The other tests involve look­ing for antibodies to the pro­tein alpha gliadin. The anti­bodies measured are IgA, IgG or 1gM (these are immuno­globulins). They can be meas­ured in the blood, saliva and stool. It is believed that the stool testing may be better at detecting earlier signs of GS because the immune reaction initially starts on the surface of the gut before spreading to the immune cells found in the lining of the intestines. Anoth­er gliadin antibody test is called deaminated gliadin pep­tide (DGP) that may be more sensitive than antibody tests mentioned earlier. Two more antibody tests are There is no one specific test that confirms that someone has CD or GS. However, many blood tests can be done to highly suggest that one may have CD or GS. The patients symptoms, other physical findings and other diagnostic tests help to confirm that a patient does have CD or GS. Another “test” to confirm this is by going on a gluten free diet and noting if many symp­toms dissipate or are signifi­cantly reduced.

The “gold standard” of CD diagnosis is performing a bi­opsy and looking for flattening of the villi, increased crypts, and invasion of the lining by T lymphocytes. However, this should be the last test to per­form and certainly if symp­toms are chronic and severe this test should be performed sooner.

There are many blood test to suggest that someone has CD or GS. There is a genetic test looking for the “celiac genes” available and seem to be more specific for CD especially if there is damage to the lining of the intestines or active de­struction at the time of the testing. They are anti­endomysial antibody and anti- tissue transglutaminase anti­bodies (IgA & IgG). These tests will strongly suggest the existence of CD.

The combination of these bat­tery of tests would suggest that someone does have CD or GS. However, further testing using applied kinesiological testing can many times identi­fy these sensitivities. It is im­portant to have someone eval­uated because it is estimated that 3 million in the US have CD but, 95% go undiagnosed!

What Causes CD and GS

Gluten is the protein portion of several grains and is used in breads and other products be­cause it provides a soft, chewy texture, helps the dough to rise and maintain its shape. Gluten actually consists of two major classes of protein gliadins and glutenin. The most studied are the gliadins, but the glutenins probably also cause problems with those that have GS and CD. These proteins are found in all forms of wheat, includ­ing durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, malt, couscous, bulgar, triticale, einkom, farina, udon and faro. Similar proteins are also found-in barley and rye. Oats come from a different family of grains and do not contain the same immune stimulating proteins as wheat. However, there are some pa­tients that can react to oat pro­teins and should be checked.

Gluten seems to cause an in­crease of a protein in the lin­ing of the intestines and at the blood-brain barrier in the brain called zonulin. Increased levels of zonulin allow these gluten proteins to pass through the tight junctions between the cells. They then enter and begin to cause a immune sys­tem response that causes in­flammation at the gut level and also in the brain tissue. Antibodies are produced and circulate throughout the body causing further inflammation and immune system responses in other tissues.

Natural Treatment for CD and GS

Obviously one of the ap­proaches to helping those with CD and GS is to decrease the immune system response in the intestines by eliminating the proteins that elicit the re­action … GO GLUTEN

FREE. Here. are some good websites that have recipes, places to purchase gluten free products, provide additional information about CD and GS:

The next step is to help repair the damaged intestines and diminish the inflammation and the persistent leaky gut prob­lems. There are several prod­ucts that we have available that are mixtures of various herbals and other compounds that help heal leaky gut. Other products such as fish oils, car­nithine, zinc carnosine, Vita­min.A, Vitamin D, reserva­trol, green tea extracts, an extract from rosemary called carnosol and probiotics all help in repairing and decreas­ing the abnormal immune re­sponse in the intestines and in other parts of the body.

Another factor not discussed is the connection between dysbiosis, imbalanced micro- flora in the intestines and CD or GS. Certain overgrowth of microorganisms may lead to the leaky gut and lead to im­mune system reactions to oth­er proteins found in grains like wheat.

Lastly, supplying lost nutrients especially B vitamins, Vitamin K, Vitamin D and minerals like iron and calcium.