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Figuring out whether or not you have a sensitivity to gluten unrelated to celiac disease (CD) or wheat allergy can be a confusing and frustrating process. The scientific evidence is there supporting the fact that non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) does in fact exist, yet arriving at a definitive diagnosis isn’t always easy, and for most it’s a down right challenge. Read on to find out how to navigate a NCGS diagnosis and how to overcome the challenges you might face during the process. What Is NCGS? NCGS refers to an intolerance to gluten that results in intestinal symptoms, most commonly bloating and gas, and sometimes extra-intestinal symptoms like anxiety, behavioral changes, brain fog, depression, fatigue, headaches, joint pain, rashes, and tingling in the extremities – all of which subside when gluten is eliminated from the diet. To date, it’s estimated that between 0.6 and 6% of the population have NCGS.…

Jenny didn’t have much in the way of bowel symptoms, just bloating after meals and some constipation. She came in to see me because of severe fatigue, brain fog, thinning hair, and a history of infertility, and she wanted advice on what supplements might be helpful for these problems. As soon as I heard her rattle off this list of seemingly unrelated symptoms, however, I suspected an underlying autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases tend to travel in packs, since whatever is stimulating the immune system likely affects multiple organs, and are most common in women. I have lots of patients with autoimmune combinations like Crohn’s and psoriasis, or celiac disease and hypothyroidism. Jenny’s blood work came back showing slightly abnormal thyroid function consistent with an underactive thyroid, which could definitely explain some of her symptoms. So I sent her to my local go-to thyroid expert. He checked some additional labs that…

While often publicized as a healthful choice, a gluten-free diet (GFD) can have its drawbacks. Based on a talk given by gastroenterologist and celiac disease expert, Dr. Peter Green, studies show that a GFD can result in the following: not enough fiber, low levels of B vitamins, and low iron high salt, fat, and sugar intake gluten contamination (a potential issue for those with celiac disease) increased heavy metals (lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and tin) increased consumption of corn mycotoxin elevated food costs While these are legitimate concerns, Dr. Chutkan works with a number of celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) patients and has found that the majority of these drawbacks are due to a diet rich in packaged gluten-free foods. With some mindful dietary modifications and additions, these concerns can be addressed and overcome. Low fiber, B vitamins, and iron levels; high salt, fat, and sugar intake Most gluten…

Alternative and complimentary medicine websites make false claims about celiac disease and noncebiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) that may harm patients. A study published this month analyzed celiac disease and NCGS claims made by 500 websites of practitioners in 10 U.S. cities, including those of chiropractors, naturopaths, homeopaths, acupuncturists, and integrative medicine practitioners. The American Journal of Gastroenterology Claims were classified as true, false, or unproven. Of 232 claims made by the practitioners, 138 of them were classified as false or unproven – nearly 60% of all claims. These claims were most often advertising techniques for diagnosing and treating celiac disease and NCGS. Diagnosis and treatment tools for both celiac disease and NCGS are not always readily available from conventional doctors, and therefore, patients often resort to online searches and non-physician medical practitioners to diagnose and treat their symptoms. While some of these practitioners are knowledgeable and their information scientifically based, some are…

If you follow a gluten-free diet, whether it’s because of non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or for other health reasons, a good slice of bread may be one of the main things you miss from your previous diet. But science shows that you may not have to miss out after all, and sourdough bread might be your solution! First let’s take a look at sourdough bread and what makes it so different from other breads. Sourdough bread (the traditional way of making gluten-containing bread prior to the mid 1600’s), instead of baker’s yeast, is made with a starter culture rich in Lactobacilli bacteria. Why is this so important? Lactobacilli, besides being great for the gut microbiome, makes the bread more nutrient rich by neutralizing the undesirable phosphorus, or phytic acid, found in the wheat’s bran. (Studies show that sourdough fermentation can neutralize phytic acid by up to 90%). Phytic acid in conventional bread binds to…

Should I avoid gluten is probably a question many of us have asked ourselves over the last few years. Here is some useful information that may help you get to the right answer. As you may know, gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) can trigger an immune response in some individuals, causing damage to the small intestinal lining as well as other symptoms related to fertility, bone health, nutrient absorption, and neurological pathways, to name a few. Other people don’t feel so well when they eat gluten but don’t have any sort of immune reaction. Gluten intolerance can be classified into 3 main buckets: · Celiac disease- a condition in which gluten triggers an immune response that damages the intestinal lining. This condition affects approximately 1% of the population. · Wheat allergy– an allergic reaction to proteins found in wheat, most common in children. Symptoms include nausea and anaphylaxis. · Non-celiac gluten…

Avoiding gluten is the number one therapy for treating celiac disease, yet a new study finds that GF labels are overwhelmingly unreliable. Using a portable device designed to detect gluten (Nima), crowd-sourced data was collected measuring the risk factors for and rates of gluten contamination in restaurant foods labeled GF. Results found that out of the 5,624 tests performed, 32% of restaurant foods labeled GF actually contained gluten, with dinner foods being the most likely to be contaminated. The most problematic foods were pizza and pasta with a contamination percentage of 53.2% and 50.8% respectively. There was also a geographic significance to gluten contamination: GF labeled foods were more likley to contain gluten in the Northeast U.S. as opposed to the West. American Journal of Gastroenterology Takeaway: While restaurant gluten contamination rates have not yet been investigated for clinical significance (for example, how the sometimes vey low levels of contamination the device…