Before you try to cut gluten from your diet, it’s worth learning about how common this condition is, and how best to help you avoid it.  If you’ve tried to cut gluten from your diet and you haven’t seen results in a few weeks, you may be sensitive to gluten.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley that can be found in numerous foods, including bread, pasta, and some beers.  But gluten sensitivity can also cause digestive problems, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.  It can also lead to a number of other health issues, including depression, fatigue, headaches, and skin disorders.

Gluten is a protein found in all grains, and the main reason people react to it is because it is found in high-fiber cereals, whole grains, and other foods with significant amounts of fiber. Gluten can also be found in the water of a wheat-containing person who has celiac disease. If you’re unsure whether you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, read this guide to learn the signs and symptoms of gluten sensitivity so you can take a test at home.

Gluten is a protein found in some grains, including wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten-free diets have become very popular in the past few years, with many people trying to avoid gluten due to health concerns or to improve their digestion. At this time, there is no medical test that can determine if you are gluten sensitive. If you want to find out if you are sensitive to gluten, you need to give it a try.

There’s a lot of talk about gluten and gluten sensitivity around these days. In fact, just a few weeks ago, PN’s own Ryan Andrews published an excellent essay titled “All About Gluten.”

Is gluten sensitivity, though, anything you should be concerned about? Is it just a “Hollywood trend” that will fade away as fast as it appeared?

Well, a slew of fresh research findings suggest that this gluten thing could be a major issue. Indeed, new research on gluten and its harmful effects on health, particularly brain function, is beginning to seem a little concerning.

A quick look at gluten

Gluten is a sticky protein found in a variety of grains that aids in the binding of materials. It’s the “glue” that keeps bread from falling apart, keeps sauces from curdling, and gives cheese spreads, canned meats, and a variety of condiments their smooth texture.

Gluten, a composite protein made of gliadin and glutenin.

Gluten is a protein that is made up of gliadin and glutenin.

Gluten can be found in a variety of foods, ranging from oats, bran, and cereal to the less obvious ketchup, soy sauce, chewing gum, and salad dressing. To be honest, if you eat any processed food, you’re probably eating gluten.

Check out Ryan’s article for more information about gluten and where it may be found.

Gluten-free meals are, surprisingly, one of the fastest-growing segments in the nutritional world today — and for good reason. If you’re gluten intolerant yet continue to consume gluten-containing products, you’re likely to suffer from some sort of health problem.

Gluten sensitivity vs. celiac disease

Before going into detail about gluten sensitivity, it’s important to distinguish it from its cousin, Celiac illness. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects a variety of body systems. However, the digestive tract is its primary focus.

Gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, simply indicates that gluten in the diet triggers an immunological response. Anti-gliadin antibodies in the serum, feces, or saliva can detect this immune reaction for you clinical kinds.

The main distinction between the two is whether or not there is intestinal damage.

Celiac disease is caused by gluten sensitivity along with intestinal damage.

Gluten Sensitivity = Gluten Sensitivity + No Intestinal Damage

You might think that gluten sensitivity, like Celiac Disease, affects only a small fraction of the population. If that’s the case, you might be startled to learn that anti-gliadin antibodies can be found in up to 35% of non-celiac illness patients.

Gluten and its effects on your health

The importance of gluten sensitivity, both in terms of ordinary health concerns and some unusual health conditions, cannot be stressed. It is, in fact, a major event. But, rather than taking my word for it, let’s look at some of the evidence.

Gluten and women’s health

Stillbirths, spontaneous and repeated abortions, late onset of menarche, amenhorhea (no menses), anemia, and early menopause were all found to be more common in gluten-sensitive women.

One study suggested that “celiac illness should be included in the screening of reproductive disorders” because of the potential harmful influence of gluten on women’s hormones and reproductive system.

Mood disorders and gluten

Gluten sensitivity has been linked to schizophrenia and depression. Gluten sensitivity appears to be a causal factor for schizophrenia in patients who are genetically predisposed to the disease.

“A substantial reduction, if not complete remission, of schizophrenia symptoms has been documented in a number of investigations after commencement of gluten withdrawal,” according to one study.

Gluten and the human brain

Gluten has a unique effect on our nerve system and is no longer thought to be a stomach problem. Our perception, mood, and quality of life are all governed by our brain and neurological system. When our neurological system deteriorates, so does our quality of life.

Gluten sensitivity has been linked to seizures, neuropathies, ADHD, Alzheimer’s, MS, migraines, and even EEG anomalies in studies (brain wave abnormalities).

“Gluten sensitivity can be predominantly, and at times solely, a neurological disease,” according to one study.

Gluten and the metabolic process

Gluten sensitivity has been linked to a reduction in the absorption of important minerals including zinc.

Zinc is absorbed in the duodenum and jejunum, the two sections of the small intestine most impacted by celiac disease lesions. “These findings suggest that trace metal insufficiency is another prevalent dietary consequence of adult celiac disease,” the researchers write.

Zinc is required for a number of processes, including immune system function, hormone production, brain function, taste and smell, and digestive function.

Gluten and bone health

Many studies have found a link between gluten sensitivity and bone loss. Reduced calcium absorption is one of several mechanisms that have been proposed. “Continued long-term benefit of gluten removal on bone metabolism in celiac patients,” researchers discovered.

Gluten, blood sugar, and diabetes are all linked.

Gluten has been linked to both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. “The greatest reported prevalence of celiac disease in Type 1 diabetes was found in this population-based investigation across Europe. A gluten-free diet improved the clinical outcomes of celiac disease patients (GFD). All children with type 1 diabetes should be screened for celiac disease.”

Gluten and mental illness

Exomorphins, which are partial peptide digests of gluten, have been demonstrated to have euphoric characteristics in the body and brain that are similar to morphine. Celiac patients have aberrant blood flow patterns in the brain at rates comparable to ADHD children, according to studies. Celiac disease has also been reported to be more common in children who have dyslexia.

Hundreds of more research have been published that show gluten has a deleterious impact on practically every area of a person’s physiology.

That’s correct, this isn’t some passing fad of tree-hugging, tie-dye T-shirt-wearing hippies. Gluten sensitivity is real, and it’s creating serious health problems for a rising number of people, even if they don’t show symptoms.

Gluten testing at home

Gluten isn’t something we should all be afraid of, as stated above. After all, gluten sensitivity affects approximately 35-40% of the population. So don’t get the impression that I’m recommending that we all go gluten-free right now.

But, and this is the crux of the problem, many of us have no idea whether we are in the 60-65 percent of the population that can handle gluten or the 35-40 percent who can’t. As a result, it’s critical that we find out.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to get tested, the best of which (at least for now) appears to be a mix of stool and saliva testing provided by EnteroLab (www.enterolab.com).

And now for the fun part. You can perform the test on your own. You simply order a test kit from the company’s website, do the tests at home, return the kit to the lab, and wait a few weeks for the results.

Of course, interpreting the test is beyond the scope of this post, but if you are interested in this type of testing, Enterolab’s tech support will be able to assist you with your results.

The gluten-free way of life

gluten-free

So, let’s say you take the test and find out you’re hypersensitive. So, what’s next? You’ll have to eliminate all gluten from your diet.

Going gluten-free isn’t an easy lifestyle shift, though. It’s more equivalent to a meat eater switching to vegetarianism. Gluten is so widespread in our culture that avoiding it requires intentional effort. And, because many of our comfort foods contain gluten, it necessitates a shift in mindset.

When many of my patients are hesitant to go gluten-free because they don’t want to give up some of their favorite foods, I simply remind them, “Would you rather have your bagel or your brain?” That’s all there is to it.

If you have a gluten sensitivity, every time you eat it, it is harming some part of your body. It could be your thyroid, brain, or joints, or any combination of these. You must also avoid gluten for the rest of your life.

This does not imply that you must be gluten-free the majority of the time, or that you must eat only one Ms. Fields chocolate chip cookie each week. Gluten has been shown to persist in your system for up to 8 months, making every gluten exposure a long-term event. Isn’t that a little doom and gloom? Totally, and it’s a bummer, but it’s the truth.

Gluten sensitivity is similar to peanut allergy in many ways. Gluten, even in little amounts, can cause serious difficulties. So, once again, which comes first: your brain or your bagel?

Additional assistance

There are additional things you can take to protect yourself if you’ve decided to avoid gluten.

Aside from avoiding gluten wherever possible, a couple of unique enzymes have been discovered to aid in the breakdown of gluten exposure. It is not, however, a permission to consume gluten. Instead, if you know you’re gluten-intolerant, you can take these enzymes on a daily basis to assist you keep gluten from sneaking into your diet.

DPP IV is an enzyme that aids in the digestion of gluten proteins, according to research (dipeptyl dipeptidase IV). This enzyme is generally found in intestinal cells, and celiac sufferers are known to be lacking in it. If there is any damage to the intestinal wall in non-Celiac patients, DPP IV will be reduced, increasing vulnerability to gluten and thus harm.

To protect against harm from accidental gluten exposure, gluten sensitive people who maintain a gluten-free diet should take a few capsules of a supplement containing DPP IV every day.

Summary

Gluten sensitivity is a serious illness that affects many people. If you have a gluten sensitivity test and continue to eat gluten-containing items, your health and performance will be jeopardized.

Thankfully, we don’t have to rely on guessing or speculation when it comes to gluten sensitivity. We can be certain about gluten issues now that genetic testing is accessible.

Get tested and find out if you’re interested in improving your performance and preventing future health problems.

References

To see the information sources mentioned in this article, go here.

Female fertility, obstetric, and gynecological history in celiac disease, Sher, KS, Mayberry, JF. Digestion, vol. 55, no. 4, pp. 243-6, 1994.

LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, LM Kotze, 2004 Aug;38(7):567-74 in J Clin Gastroenterol.

N. Molteni, M. T. Bardella, and P. A. Bianchi. Women with untreated Celiac Sprue face obstetric and gynecological issues. 1990 Feb;12(1):37-9. J Clin Gastroenterol. 1990 Feb;12(1):37-9.

Headaches and CNS white matter abnormalities linked to gluten sensitivity, Hadjvassioulu M, et al. Neurology, vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 385-388, February 2001.

Celiac disease can manifest itself as a neuromuscular condition. 1997;63:770-775 in J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry.

EEG Research Findings in Children with Celiac Disease According to Dietary Variations, Paul V, Henkerr J, Todt H, Eysold R. 1985; 40: 707-709. Z.Klin.Med., 1985; 40: 707-709.

M. Hadjivassiliou, M. Hadjivassiliou, M. Hadjivassiliou, M. Hadjivas Epidemiology, genetic susceptibility, and clinical aspects of gluten ataxia. 685-691 in Brain.

Neurological consequences of celiac disease, Tengah D et al., 2002. 393-398 in Postgraduate Medical Journal.

Gluten sensitivity as a neurological disorder, Hadjivassiliou et al., 2002. 560-3 in J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry.

U. Volta et al., 2002. Anti-neuronal antibodies and clinical symptoms in celiac disease with neurological problems. 1276-1281 in Scand J Gastroenterol.

A. Tursi et al., 2001. Antigliadin and anti-endomysium antibodies are uncommon in celiac disease that is asymptomatic or silent. 1507-1510 in Am J Gastroenterol.

Dietary treatment of gluten ataxia, Hadjivassiliou M, et al., 2003. 74: 1221–24 in J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry.

Will, AJ. 2000. Coeliac disease neurology and neuropathy. 493-496 in Neuropathy and Applied Neurobio.

A. Cross and P. Golumbek. 2003. Celiac disease’s neurologic manifestations 1566-1568 in Neurology.

M. Hadjivassiliou, M. Hadjivassiliou, M. Hadjivassiliou, M. Hadjivassiliou, M In the development of gluten ataxia, the humoral response is important. 1221-1226 in Neurology.

Gluten, the Major Histocompatibility Complex, and the Small Intestine, Gastroenterology 102:330-354, 1992. Marsh M. Gluten, the Major Histocompatibility Complex, and the Small Intestine, Gastroenterology 102:330-354, 1992.

The gluten connection: the link between schizophrenia and celiac disease, Kalaydijian AE, et al. Acta Psychiatr Scand, vol. 113, no. 2, 2006, pp. 82-90.

NW Solomons, et al. In celiac sprue, zinc supplementation is important. 1976 Apr;29(4):371-5 in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Calcium absorption and bone mineral density in celiac patients after long-term gluten-free diet and appropriate calcium consumption. Pazianas M, et al. Osteoporos Int., 2005, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 56-63.

General celiac disease screening is recommended in children with type 1 diabetes, according to Spiekerkoetter U, et al. 2002 Apr;34(4):192-5. Horm Metab Res. 2002 Apr;34(4):192-5.

Clinical advantage of a gluten-free diet in type 1 diabetic children with celiac disease diagnosed by screening: a population-based screening research with a 2-year follow-up, Hansen D, et al. Diabetes Care, November 2006, 29(11):2452-6.

C. Zioudrou, R. Streaty, and W. Klee (1979). Food Proteins Derived Opioid Peptides 2446-2449 in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 254(7).

P. Usai, A. Serra, B. Marini, S. Mariotti, L. Satta, M. F. Boi, A. Spanu, G. Loi, and M. Piga (2004). Adult coeliac disease: 99mTc-ECD brain SPECT investigation of frontal cortical perfusion anomalies linked to gluten intake and associated autoimmune illness. Aug;36(8):513-8. Dig Liver Dis.

K. Paul, J. Todt, and R. Eysold (1985). The Effects of Dietary Variations on EEG Research in Children with Celiac Disease. 707-709 in Zeitschrift für Klinische Medizin, vol. 40, no.

Z. Kozlowska: (1991). Results of a study on children with coeliac disease who had been on a glutethen-free diet for a long time. Psychiatria Polska, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 130-134.

Range of Neurologic Disorders in Patients with Celiac Disease, Zelnik et al. Pediatrics, vol. 113, no. 16,72-1676, 2004.

AM Knivsberg (1997). In dyslexic children, urine patterns, peptide levels, and IgA/IgG antibodies to dietary proteins were examined. Jan-Mar;1(1):25-33 in Pediatr Rehabil.

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A condition known as celiac disease can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or race. The cause is undiagnosed and usually goes undetected for years. Like other autoimmune diseases, celiac disease damages the small intestine, which leads to diarrhea, bloating, and pain. The gluten in wheat, barley, rye, and spelt damages the small intestine, causing inflammation and damage. If undiagnosed, this disease can lead to the loss of blood, hair, and teeth. In rare cases, a severe form of celiac disease can lead to damage and death of the small intestine. This disease has been known to affect up to 1% of the general population.. Read more about gluten test kit amazon and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you test for gluten intolerance at home?

A gluten free diet is the only way to test for gluten intolerance, as it is a medically-recognized condition.

How accurate are at home gluten intolerance tests?

The accuracy of home gluten intolerance tests is not known.

Can you test for gluten sensitivity?

I am not a medical professional and cannot provide such information.

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  • gluten intolerance test online
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