Thursday, 15 November 2007

Neurologic Manifestion of Gluten Sensitivity

It is not accurate for people to say that eliminating gluten will 'cause' gluten sensitivity.

As a matter of fact is has been "proven" that one of the three things required to "cause" celiac disease is ingestion of gluten.

Of course this makes sense because ingestion of gluten is what causes damage:

Gluten Ingestion A Cause of Activation in Intestinal Damage

"immune-mediated enteropathy triggered by the ingestion of wheat gluten or related rye and barley proteins in genetically predisposed individuals carrying the human leukocyte antigens (HLA)-DQ2 or -DQ8"

So, if you have these genes and ingest gluten, you could be risking your health, possibly for the rest of your life. How so? Because of the possibility of establishing refractory (untreatable) celiac sprue.

Why is refractory sprue a risk? Here's my big pet peeve - because testing will only show positive with end stage damage. It's like waiting until you have a heart attack to live a heart-healthy lifestyle - In my view that's ridiculous! Don't even get me started on the ridiculous "boardroom decision" about what level of Marsh lesion is required to get a 'gold standard diagnosis' and the possibility offered to you that diet might work for you! (And if the damage is patchy enough, they won't catch a spot with a lesion and you'll never get a diagnosis!)

How about this one, you have diabetes but it's not bad enough to treat with diet... we'll wait until you require ample medication to deal with other issues as they arise... then we'll look at altering your diet so that you don't get worse. Again, ridiculous! So why do people with gluten sensitivity have to wait to be 'end stage' before getting preventive treatment!!!

Also, many people who will never experience "true" celiac disease may only have neurological issues present like, depression, fibro, headaches, seizures, multiple sclerosis, ataxia. Of course not all together but these are only a few things that I've heard of/experienced resolution on a gf (and sometimes more) diet.

Science is only now beginning to see that neurological implications can manifest without 'apparent' intestinal mucosal alterations:

Neurological Presentation of Celiac Disease

"However, more recent studies have emphasized that a wider spectrum of neurologic syndromes may be the presenting extraintestinal manifestation of gluten sensitivity with or without intestinal pathology."

Please note: "without intestinal pathology"

I know that my first symptom is headache, my second is depression (I'll experience a fairly sharp downswing - even on a good day where nothing has 'gone wrong'). I have no bowel issues that are as blatant as these two neurological symptoms.

And yes, I have to be extremely careful... Lindt chocolate, who uses barley malt has been a prime cause of symptom upheaval for me on several occassions! :embarrassed: I kept trying it because I really didn't want it to be true. :embarrassed:

Please also see
Great Gobs... I mean, Blogs of Gluten for a link to the Renegade Neurologist's post about Seizures and Gluten.

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