Gluten Related Disorders

There seems to be some confusion in regards to gluten sensitivity versus celiac disease.

Gliadins (contained within gluten) are the proteins found in  wheat, barely, and rye. We (at least for some of us) have really not been exposed long enough to evolutionarily adapt to ingesting gluten as the age of agriculture introduced it to us only 10,000 years ago (I know that seems like a really long time but evolution is a SLOW process).

Celiac Disease is when your immune system thinks gliadin is a foreign substance and starts destroying the gastrointestinal lining.  However, individuals can present with skin rashes, migraines, poor hair and nail growth, poor balance, fatigue, nutrient deficiencies such as iron deficiency, and even other autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disease.

Gluten sensitivity is when your immune system (and maybe other systems) reacts to gluten but does not destroy the gut.  It can cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, but it can also cause inflammation in other areas of the body. Most people who are gluten sensitive may feel joint pain, commonly in the lower back just above the hips (called the sacroiliac joints).  Others may get migraines or headaches and fatigue especially a few hours after ingesting gluten.

I’m also finding that when individuals go on a gluten-free diet but reintroduce it at some point, they have extreme mood swings and behavioral changes that they can’t explain.

There are some great websites for review:

http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2012/01/the-gliadin-effect/

http://bodyecology.com/articles/beyond-gluten-free-how-corn-and-oats-are-becoming-just-as-troublesome-as-wheat-gluten#.UoljUZGM5g0

http://www.glnc.org.au/grains/grains-and-nutrition/gluten-in-grains/

 

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