Gluten: Myths and Truths

Many children and adults are plagued with gluten dietary problems, and unfortunately this medical condition may go undetected for years if not properly diagnosed.
Diagnosis has been slippery and unclear.   Luckily, things are getting better.  Articles and
research findings about gluten issues are hitting the media, and public awareness has grown.  Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, founder of HealthNOW Medical Center and co-author of “TheGluten Effect” , presents an excellent summary of the misconceptions and
truths about diagnosing gluten intolerance. She points out that the standard tests may pinpoint celiac disease but often miss gluten sensitivity and intolerance.  Please read over her excellent summary and click on the link provided for the entire article and her helpful website. http://www.healthnowmedical.com/blog/2011/05/16/gluten-intolerance-increasing-awareness-even-of-your-dr/.   Remember, taking control of your gluten free
journey is so important!

 

What are Some Common
Misconceptions?

1. If a person doesn’t have celiac disease then they don’t need to remove gluten from their diet

2. The gold standard test for celiac disease diagnosis is an intestinal biopsy. If that is negative, there is no need for a gluten-free diet, regardless of blood testing or symptoms.

3. If their lab tests are negative (for either celiac or gluten sensitivity) then they are fine to continue eating gluten.

4. If a person has no digestive complaints and/or is not underweight, there is no reason to test them for gluten intolerance.

What is the Truth

1. If a person doesn’t have celiac disease, that doesn’t mean that they are not gluten sensitive. Gluten sensitivity affects a minimum of 10 times the number of people who have celiac disease. A conservative estimate puts that at 20 million Americans
suffering with gluten sensitivity.

Considering it is known to decrease life expectancy, it is vital that we not miss the diagnosis of either of these debilitating conditions.

2. An intestinal biopsy is not a sensitive test. It requires marked damage of the small intestine before it shows positive. Dr Fasano, one of the leaders in celiac research, has stated quite recently that he too no longer considers it the gold standard; not even
close.

3. Even with the recent improvement of lab tests, we still suffer from a lack of sensitivity. The newest tests are a leap forward, but what really is the gold standard?

Many of us feel that it is embarking on a 30 day gluten-free diet. One must be 100% gluten-free for this to work –no cheating.

When done correctly, this free home test, can very clearly tell you what your body thinks about gluten.

4. All too often, doctors are locked into the notion that an individual with celiac disease will present with severe digestive problems. While that certainly can be the case, more often the individual has mild or absent digestive problems but instead complains of skin
problems, fatigue, depression, migraines or joint pain, to name but a few.

It is truly maddening to hear that a doctor refused to test a patient solely because they did not have digestive problems or they were overweight – another misconception.

 

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