Clear, supportive gluten intolerance advice

Eliminating wheat and gluten may seem another fussy-fad diet to those blissfully free of symptoms, but the bloating, gut discomfort and brain-fog symptoms experienced by some is very real.

Gluten is a tricky protein to digest and modern wheat has changed from the crops grown and eaten by earlier generations. We now have complex configured hybrids of wheat, new to the human population, bred to contain much higher levels of gluten.

Gluten-related disorders is the consensus term recently agreed by a panel of 16 physicians from seven countries for conditions triggered by gluten. It is now accepted that reactions to gluten are not limited to Coeliac Disease, and ‘Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity’ though hotly debated in the media, has become a recognised condition. Whilst sharing similar symptoms these gluten-related disorders are in fact quite distinct and have been placed into 3 categories;

  • Wheat allergy (which produces a fairly swift reaction just from contact)
  • Gluten sensitivity (Immune-mediated, producing a slower reaction of intolerance)
  • Coeliac disease (Autoimmune; including dermatitis herpetiformis, gluten ataxia)

Next generation gluten testing

Due to the limitations of gluten tests in the UK, I use Cyrex Laboratories in the United States, which offers the next generation of gluten testing.  It measures various IgA and IgG antibodies that can be made to multiple fractions of wheat and gluten by the immune system, as well as 6 different transglutaminases.
This is far more comprehensive than any tests available here in the UK, enhancing both the sensitivity and specificity of serological assays for gluten sensitivity, and can be used to detect ‘silent coeliac disease’ or its overlap with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  Approximately 50% of patients with IBD appear to have gluten sensitivity. If gluten immune reactivity is not identified and addressed in these patients, their clinical condition is not likely to improve.
Cyrex Lab also offer a cross-reactivity panel, using the same blood draw, to see if any cross-reacting proteins from other foods are perpetuating the same immunological reaction, initiated by the gluten peptides.  Cross reactivity from other foods can explain the failure of many Coeliac patients to achieve resolution of their symptoms. If indicated, the elimination of cross-reacting proteins, like casein – a protein in milk – can bring about real improvement for a Coeliac patient.
To find out more about how we can help investigate and support gluten-influenced health issues, please contact us and book an initial appointment.

DID YOU KNOW?…

. . . Healthy gut bacteria LOVE apples? And as our gut microflora underpins our immune function, perhaps an apple a day really DOES keep the doctor away!

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