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Celiac disease =/= gluten sensitivity (WSJ article)

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  • Celiac disease =/= gluten sensitivity (WSJ article)

    Study Sheds Light On Gluten Sensitivity - WSJ.com

    Finally. They're figuring out that gluten sensitivity is not necessarily the same thing as celiac disease. About damn time.
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  • #2
    I dislike how they call general gluten-free eating a fad. Oh yeah not eating glass is such a fad. Gliadin still causes intestinal permeability no matter who you are. Not that "crap in a box" (according to Mark) is much of an improvement. I tried eating some white rice a while ago and got bloaty far beyond anything dairy and nuts can do.

    Anyway what would the biochemical difference between sensitivity and celiac be? I know celiac is when they can't break gluten down into its constituents and the immune system has to go to war with the proteins, causing all sorts of collateral damage.

    Anyway I am glad that they are finally recognizing that gluten is seriously bad for some people (I think all people) and that celiac isn't the only problem with it. Could have saved Griff a lot of inflammation and could have saved me from having skinny bones.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

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    • #3
      They are incorrect in their little chart on the bottom of the article indicating that gluten sensitive people might be okay with a small amount of gluten. It's good that it is in the news. Maybe doctors will suggest a gluten issue when their patients have GI problems. I wish my former docs had thought of it. Would have saved me years of pain.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Stabby View Post
        Anyway what would the biochemical difference between sensitivity and celiac be? I know celiac is when they can't break gluten down into its constituents and the immune system has to go to war with the proteins, causing all sorts of collateral damage.
        I read a fascinating study recently published by Fasano. It may be available for free, but I had a friend who's a researcher download and send it to me. Anyhow, I'm thinking that the difference is basically that Celiac is a specific manifestation in the small intestine. Gluten instigates other autoimmune reactions as well, but they're just now finding the links and it will probably be many years before this is generally accepted. The markers would likely be which AI disorder a person ends up with.
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        • #5
          Voila!

          http://somvweb.som.umaryland.edu/abs...Rev%202011.pdf
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          • #6
            I was pretty happy to see that article, too. It's one step away from 'Whole wheat is good for everyone except these weird coeliac types who can't eat because there's something wrong with them (but not with it, obviously, because it's a Whole Grain which is a sacred food)' and towards reality. Hooray.

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            • #7
              Both my grandmothers died of GI cancers (different types). I have no interest in consuming even small amounts of gluten with that sort of history. My celiac antibody test came back negative because I was eating gluten-free at the time and my doctor didn't know that you must be eating gluten for the test. I'm not interested in repeating it with gluten in my diet, and my doctor is happy to accept the alleviation of symptoms on a GF diet as good enough evidence.
              “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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              • #8
                Now I just hope doctors pay attention to this research. . .

                Years ago, when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, they initially thought I probably had Crohn's, since I had all the joint symptoms plus ANY time I put food in my stomach I was in the bathroom and in pain within 20 mins (yeah, for a year I never ate any food away from home). So I went through all the scoping, blood work, etc with a GI doc. . . who decided since I was negative for Celiac and Crohn's, I must have IBS and gave me a prescription for a med with lots of fun side-affects to control my 'digestive upset' and suggested a high fiber diet - he actually had several brands of high fiber (read wheat based) breakfast cereal that he specifically recommended. Since the problem (as I've come to find) is gluten, that was pretty much like handing a diabetic a candy bar and insulin together as a 'treatment plan'.

                Lucky for me it wasn't too long after that I ran across Cordain, and then MDA. ONE WEEK of eating primal, and I didn't have IBS symptoms anymore - go figure!

                I’m with Stabby; I don’t think grains are good for anybody. . .What blows me away is that, over the years, I’ve met people that have been diagnosed with true Celiac, and they WILL NOT change their diet, because they don’t want to give up bread, pasta, etc. . . They would rather take meds to control their symptoms. . .Wow!!!
                A ship in harbor is safe - but that is not what ships are for. ~John A. Shedd

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Owly View Post
                  Both my grandmothers died of GI cancers (different types). I have no interest in consuming even small amounts of gluten with that sort of history. My celiac antibody test came back negative because I was eating gluten-free at the time and my doctor didn't know that you must be eating gluten for the test. I'm not interested in repeating it with gluten in my diet, and my doctor is happy to accept the alleviation of symptoms on a GF diet as good enough evidence.
                  It's interesting looking back through our family history at how many people (on both sides!) died of "abdominal cancer" before they started pinpointing it further. I have one aunt who is definitely celiac - I've been tested, but it was while I was gluten-free. I'm actively refusing to get an official diagnosis, because I'd like to be able to do silly things like get life insurance in the future. The only treatment is a gluten-free diet, and I don't need a prescription for that!
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                  • #10
                    Hmm. Going off gluten transformed my life, I don't really care whether I fit the diagnostic criteria for the manifestation of gluten intolerance which the mainstream has termed "celiac disease". But it is a good thing if it becomes accepted by the mainstream that sets of symptoms not within the classic celiac umbrella can still be caused by gluten (I gained a huge amount of weight rather than lost, and stomach problems were one of my lesser symptoms, so celiac wasn't one of the things they considered, hence I am self-diagosed by the gold standard test for gluten intolerance- trying a gluten free diet!).

                    My grandma died of oesophageal cancer, I can't help wondering if that was gluten related consider it is generally caused by GERD and that was one of my main symptoms.

                    I have a friend was was seriously ill with celiac for 10 years. Don't ask me how they didn't diagnose her when she has classic symptoms- weight loss (she went down to 6.5 st), severe stomach problems etc. She now has osteoporosis and pernicious anaemia, and is in remission from bowel cancer.
                    Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

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                    • #11
                      JenniferK--I have Crohn's and diabetes. I was given the same advice when I was diagnosed with Crohn's. AND I was LITERALLY handed insulin and a candy bar when diagnosed with diabetes. Oh, it was cleverly disguised as a "low glycemic protein bar" to keep my blood sugars level, but it was peanut butter and chocolate. Candy.

                      I had even asked my GI doctor to look for celiac signs when he did my colonoscopy, but he never once mentioned it afterward. I have the feeling he found Crohn's and then just quit looking for anything else.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by apple View Post
                        I had even asked my GI doctor to look for celiac signs when he did my colonoscopy, but he never once mentioned it afterward. I have the feeling he found Crohn's and then just quit looking for anything else.
                        He probably should have told you that he wasn't going to be able to check for celiac...you need an endoscopy since it affects the small intestine, not the colon. I hate it when doctors just ignore instead of having a conversation. grr.

                        I think this is one of those things where the science just isn't able to keep up with what's going on in the real world. A ton of people are having intolerance symptoms (even if they were always fine before) and people are trying gluten free diets, feeling awesome and telling their friends. I guess that makes it a "fad diet", but if people are feeling better, so what? Of course lots of people don't know why they're doing it and are just replacing wheat with other grains. I did it that way 10 years ago and no surprise my GI symptoms didn't go away while I was relying on corn and rice. I therefore decided it wasn't really gluten and brought it back into my diet.

                        Interesting that the article says that they estimate celiac at 1% of the population and intolerance at 6%. I would put money on intolerances being more like 40%.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pitter View Post
                          He probably should have told you that he wasn't going to be able to check for celiac...you need an endoscopy since it affects the small intestine, not the colon. I hate it when doctors just ignore instead of having a conversation. grr.

                          I think this is one of those things where the science just isn't able to keep up with what's going on in the real world. A ton of people are having intolerance symptoms (even if they were always fine before) and people are trying gluten free diets, feeling awesome and telling their friends. I guess that makes it a "fad diet", but if people are feeling better, so what? Of course lots of people don't know why they're doing it and are just replacing wheat with other grains. I did it that way 10 years ago and no surprise my GI symptoms didn't go away while I was relying on corn and rice. I therefore decided it wasn't really gluten and brought it back into my diet.

                          Interesting that the article says that they estimate celiac at 1% of the population and intolerance at 6%. I would put money on intolerances being more like 40%.
                          Yeah I think they are massively underestimating.
                          Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf

                          Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                          Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                          "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                          Harold Whitman

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                          • #14
                            It would be good if more study were done to see about a possible link between gluten and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's and Ulerative Colitis (UC).

                            I had UC from 1986 to 1991, and had to have surgery for it. I'm on a site for people living with it, or living after it (a lot of people get a replacement colon called a j-pouch). Discussions of gluten are very common there. Some people report being tested negative for gluten intolerance, but they stop it and feel better anyway.

                            When I was seeing a doc for UC, wheat or gluten was never even mentioned. I pressed the doc for an explanation of why this disease happens, and he said the cause was unknown. Uh huh.

                            It's always been a pet theory of mine that a lot of people get these diseases due to gluten, or at least it lowers their resistance and contributes to it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DFH View Post
                              It would be good if more study were done to see about a possible link between gluten and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's and Ulerative Colitis (UC).
                              Check out the link I posted on the first page. Alessio Fasano is one of the top Celiac researchers in the world. He's linked not only IBD but also AI disorders and other diseases to gluten. Some of the paper is a bit too heavy for me but most of it is quite readable.
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