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Success in Curing Gluten Intolerance

It’s been a long road.15A51E7D-F2D4-49F4-B277-5F2B7DCFBAC8[1]

I’ve wanted to write this up for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve been too nervous. I keep waiting for the old gluten symptoms to spring up, but so far…nothing. It’s been three weeks that I’ve added spelt back into my diet and so far I haven’t had any issues. Spelt is the last thing I gave up way back at the beginning of this blog’s existence actually, and now it’s the first thing I’ve put back in my diet after years of actively trying to heal my gut. My personal symptoms include bloating, headaches, fatigue, general malaise, and acne. I realize these sound like odd things to string all together, but the fact is that when I used to eat wheat, those issues plagued my life, then when I’d stop they’d stop, then when I’d eat wheat either as an experiment or by accident, sure enough, those symptoms would immediately be back. So far though, these last three weeks have been symptom-free despite eating spelt once about every other day. It isn’t much but I was so nervous to do it that it took about a month of thinking about it before actually eating a bite of spelt. (By the way, spelt is a variety of wheat with a lower than average gluten content which is why it is more tolerable than regular wheat flour.) My protocol started two years ago which I detailed here, but I also ended up adding adaptogens to my daily life which balance all the bodily systems, digestive herbs every day, and I’ve used Renew Life’s IntestiNew powder for a few months to really rebuild the intestinal lining. I also did a candida cleanse about a year ago b/c it’s important to your digestive health to make sure you don’t have an overabundance of candida in your system which many many people do because of antibiotic use and sugar-filled diets. If you are working to overcome food intolerances, here are some things to consider:

  1. Stop eating the trigger foods (of course)
  2. Take probiotics~ the highest potency ones you can find, and take different brands each time you need a new bottle. Talk with your doctor or naturopath about the dosing because most likely they will recommend higher dosages than on the bottle. This is especially true if you’ve been on antibiotics (ever) and never taken probiotics before.
  3. Heal intestinal lining by taking glutamine and herbs targeted towards such, and also by eating foods that are not overly taxing on the digestive system. These can vary by people, but you know what sits in your gut or causes you to bloat and have digestive distress and what feels good to your body when you eat it. By taking digestive enzymes before you eat and incorporating digestive herbs into your diet, you are also aiding the healing process.
  4. Give it time. Depending on how long it’s been an issue in your life, it could mean 3 months to 2 years of work. Trust your body, your intuition, and your medical professionals, but especially your body. Food intolerances can arise at any time in a person’s life but they don’t have to last for the rest of that person’s life. You can beat it, you can heal, and you can have optimal health.

Herbarium signCuring food intolerance is not something to undertake alone. I’ve worked with my physician, naturopath, and a GI specialist, plus I am an certified herbalist who’s worked in the natural foods and products industry so I know about what supplements are out there. Please work with health professionals of your own before trying to heal yourself, but hopefully this post will encourage others to heal and not just live with food intolerances indefinitely.

celiac disease · food · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free lifestyle · gluten free symptoms · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms · gluten intolerant · health

IgA Deficiency, Celiac Disease, and Gluten Sensitivity

I’ve written before about my own path to figuring out my gluten issues and it seems everyone has a diagnosis story like mine, though most are far more involved and long-lived, with the average person waiting 10 years for a proper CD or gluten sensitivity diagnosis. Just recently I read that another reason gluten issues are misdiagnosed is due to false negative blood tests~ if you have an IgA deficiency, the blood test for gluten reaction can come up negative even if it is positive. This is a big deal because: “Immunoglobulin A (IgA) deficiency is 10 to 15 times more common in patients with celiac disease (CD) than in healthy subjects.” That is a quote from Clinical and Vaccine Immunology. Another article on Food Matters gives further evidence of the link between IgA deficiency and food allergies and intolerances, such as:

“A significant number of allergic individuals have associated IgA deficiency, and there is evidence that IgA deficiency is linked to the development of gastrointestinal food hypersensitivity. (5)

Increased susceptibility to food allergies is now associated with IgA deficiency. (2,4)”

And, “IgA deficiency is much more common among those with celiac disease (gluten intolerance) than the general population.”

A very readable article on this issue can be found here: Gluten Intolerance & Celiac Disease.

Just something to know so you can advocate for yourself and your loved ones. You can also work on healing your intolerance by healing your digestive system. Here’s what worked for me. 

 

 

 

 

 

celiac disease · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms

Celiac Symptoms

This feels a little like a PSA, but I thought this was a really nice list that one can go through and then take to their doctor because it covers some things not everyone would think of to talk about with their GI doctor.

Here’s the link where you can actually submit your answers and (I believe) then print out the symptoms in a handy take-to-your-doc sheet: Celiac Checklist

And here’s the checklist if you just want to browse through it:

Anemia

YesNo

  • Fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    YesNo

  • Failure to Thrive
    YesNo

  • IgA Deficiency
    YesNo

  • Malnutriton or Vitamin Deficiency
    YesNo

 

 

Behavioral or Central Nervous System Conditions

  • ADHD
    YesNo

  • Anxiety
    YesNo

  • Brain Fog or Foggy Mind
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Depression
    YesNo

  • Developmental Delay
    YesNo

  • Headache or Migraine
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Irritability
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Lack of Muscle Coordination (Ataxia)
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Seizure
    YesNo

Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • Abdominal Pain
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Acid Reflux (Heartburn)
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Bloating
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Constipation
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Diarrhea
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Gas
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Lactose Intolerance
    YesNo

  • Lymphoma or Intestinal Cancer
    YesNo

  • Pale, Foul-Smelling Stool
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Unexplained Liver Problem
    YesNo

  • Vomiting
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Weight Loss or Weight Gain
    YesNo

Muscular Skeletal Conditions

  • Arthritis
    YesNo

  • Bone or Joint Pain
    YesNo

  • Fibromyalgia or Muscle Pain
    YesNo

  • Numbness or Pain in Hands and Feet (Peripheral Neuropathy)
    YesNo

  • Osteopenia or Osteoporosis
    YesNo

  • Short Stature
    YesNo

Reproductive Conditions

  • Delayed Puberty
    YesNo

  • Infertility
    YesNo

  • Menstrual Irregularities or Missed Periods
    YesNo

  • Miscarriage
    YesNo

Skin and Dental Conditions

  • Discolored Teeth or Enamel Loss
    YesNo

  • Eczema
    YesNo

  • Itchy Skin Rash (Dermatitis Herpetiformis)
    YesNo

  • Loss of Hair from your Head or Body (Alopecia)
    YesNo

  • Recurrent Mouth Canker Sores/Oral Ulcers (Aphthous Stomatitis)
    YesNo

Other Conditions and Autoimmune Disorders

  • Please mark any conditions that apply:
    Autoimmune HepatitisAddison’s DiseaseCrohn’s Disease; Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseChronic PancreatitisDown SyndromeIdiopathic Dilated CardiomyopathyIgA NephropathyIrrtitable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)Juvenile Idiopathic ArthritisMultiple SclerosisPrimary Biliary CirrhosisPrimary Sclerosing CholangitisPsoriasisRheumatoid ArthritisSclerodermaSjogren’s DiseaseThyroid DiseaseTurner SyndromeType I DiabetesUlcerative Colitis; Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseWilliams Syndrome

Family Member

  • 1st Degree Relative with Celiac Disease (Parent, Sibling, Child)
    YesNo

  • 2nd Degree Relative with Celiac Disease (Aunt, Uncle, Grandparent, Niece, Nephew, Cousin or Half-Sibling)
    YesNo

Diet

  • Currently Eating a Diet Containing Gluten (Wheat, Rye, Barley)
    YesNo
celiac disease · food · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free · gluten free lifestyle · gluten free symptoms · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms · gluten intolerant

New Research on Gluten and Brain fog

This is the worst part when I accidentally ingest gluten and absolutely the hardest thing to explain to people who don’t have a gluten issue~ the ‘brain fog’. This article adds to growing research into an often cited but hard to study complaint of brain fog in celiacs and those gluten intolerant. They liken the brain fog to a .05 blood alcohol level, which is an interesting attempt to try to wrap some definition around something as hard to grasp as ‘fog’ but I would classify it as that feeling when you are getting sick and feverish and your brain just feels like it needs a nap before computing, but maybe that’s because gluten makes me tired, oh so tired, and so all I think about are naps. Probably everyone experiences it a bit differently, but it certainly points to early detection being more and more important if we want our children to have the best experience as possible in school. The article notes that they are still not sure why that happens since one theory was a lack of micronutrients making it to the brain when the digestive system is impaired, but that did not in fact seem to be the case. Another theory has to do with the gut bacteria, always super important when talking about brain health, but it could also be the gluten itself. Whatever it is, I’m just glad enough people have cited the issued that it’s being studied.

celiac disease · food · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free · Gluten free eating · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten free symptoms · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms · gluten intolerant · health

Gluten Intolerant Symptoms

Schar just shared this infographic on their Facebook page. If you don’t already follow them, I heartily recommend doing so if you like nice visuals along with your gluten-free tidbits. And if you are planning a visit to Italy, this is definitely a company to know because as I understand it, they have played a major role in making the land of pasta a safe place for Celiacs and the like.  As far as the picture below goes, I can check off more than half those symptoms myself~ how about you?

schar

celiac disease · food · Food allergies · food sensitivities · gluten free symptoms · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms · gluten intolerant

Celiac Awareness Month

Did you know all children in Italy are automatically screened for Celiac? They, as a society, are much more aware of gluten issues in general which is about reason number 172 that I would like to be there right now, although with the sun warming up around here Washington feels pretty good. It’s been a long grey winter though and I just don’t trust this sunshine to stick around long. Whatever the weather where you are, check out this infographic that Gluten dude is kindly sharing:

celiac-disease-symptoms-500

I’ve never been tested for celiac but as a gluten intolerant person, I can attest to a very large proportion of these.

celiac disease · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free · Gluten free eating · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms · gluten intolerant

Brain on Gluten cont.~ News from Living Without Magazine

Neurologic Effects of Celiac Disease 
A study featured at the International Celiac Disease  Symposium looked at neurological dysfunction in celiac disease. More  than half of the study’s 73 participants—newly diagnosed  adults at a celiac clinic in the U.K.—had neurological symptoms.  These included frequent and intractable headaches, balance problems and  sensory symptoms. White matter abnormalities were spotted in the brain  scans of a number of these participants and some had TG6 antibodies.  (TG6 antibodies have been linked to neurological dysfunction in celiac  disease.) Findings suggest that neurological dysfunction is common in  newly diagnosed celiacs, write researchers.
A U.S. study, also featured at ICDS, found that  neurocognitive effects like brain fog are common after exposure to  gluten in those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity  alike. A whopping 89 percent of celiacs and 95 percent of those with  non-celiac gluten sensitivity reported experiencing neurocognitive  effects due to gluten, specifically, difficulty concentrating,  forgetfulness, grogginess, detachment and mental confusion. Symptoms  often began 30 minutes to an hour after gluten exposure and lasted  several days. Results were based on a preliminary online survey  completed by 1,143 individuals with celiac disease and 253 with  non-celiac gluten sensitivity. More work is planned.

This is the exact article I found in my email box this morning from Living Without. Fascinating.