Do you think this whole gluten-free thing is just a fad or is it real?
There’s been a lot of debate on gluten in the health world and even in the media.
Many medical doctors claim that if you don’t have celiac disease than you don’t have to worry about gluten because the whole gluten sensitivity thing is really just a fad.
Why does this six-letter word strike up so much controversy?
Here to talk about it is my dear friend Dr. Tom O’Bryan.
Dr. Tom is an internationally recognized expert on the complications of non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) so who better to join us on The Randy and Christa Showto give us “a grain of truth” on the topic. 😉
Here’s how the interview went:
Christa: Is it true that many people often go undiagnosed or get false negatives when tested for gluten sensitivity?
Dr. Tom: This is a major issue because the common celiac disease tests that are done today are not sensitive enough to identify all the possible ways a person may have a problem with gluten.
Christa: So what is the most accurate testing out there for both celiac and Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity?
Dr. Tom: For people with advanced cases of celiac disease the test is called transglutaminase and that’s a very good blood test. Studies shows its 97% to 99% accurate. The problem is that researchers compare this test with the blood of people who have end stage celiac disease and their intestines are worn down. So if your intestines are really worn down then this test is very accurate.
However, if you have partial wearing down in your intestines or if you only have the inflammation and your body is just staring the whole process, the test is only accurate 27% to 30% of the time.
This means, 7 out of 10 times the test comes back saying there is no problem when there really is a problem. The chances are, this test won’t catch an early stage of celiac or gluten sensitivity.
Fortunately, there is a more accurate test that looks not just at transglutaminase but also at the earlier markers of celiac disease. That’s called gliadin transglutaminase complex, which identifies the earlier mechanisms in the gut that are occurring, as opposed to having celiac disease, which is the end stage.
The third test mentioned is for gluten sensitivity, which is called alpha gliadin.
The test for celiac disease looks at the end stage, when the microvillus is completely worn down. The earlier test, gliadin transglutaminase complex looks for the earlier stages so we can catch it before its too late.
Christa: Who should get tested?
Dr. Tom: Anyone who is not feeling well should consider a food sensitivity as the potential problem and get properly checked. We don’t want to find out when it's already too late. It’s like cancer or any other disease, the earlier you catch it, the better it will be.
Christa: What are the main reasons to avoid gluten?
Dr. Tom: It’s causing a lot of problems by giving us less blood flow into the brain, making our hormones out of balance and giving us digestive issues. If you keep consuming gluten on a regular basis and you have a sensitivity (not celiac), you are exposing your body to a slow form of poison.
Christa: What are the symptoms of gluten sensitivity?
Dr. Tom: Most doctors were trained that the main problem lies in the gut/intestines with bloating, gas and diarrhea. That’s actually the old school of knowledge. Now we know that for every 1 person who has a problem in the gut there are 8 who don’t.The main system of the body is the brain, that’s where we mostly see a problem, however, it could be the joints, muscles, bones or most anywhere.
For example, if we pull a chain, the chain will always break at the weakest link. Wherever your genetic weak link is, that’s where you will get the symptoms. When you eat a food that you are sensitive to, that’s pulling on the chain because it’s causing inflammation in your body. So wherever the inflammation is accumulating, that’s where you will have your symptoms,
If you have brain fog, memory loss, seizures, attention deficit disorder, fatigue, digestive issues, joint pain, muscle pain, or bone loss, you should get checked for gluten sensitivity right away.
Christa: What are the top 5 benefits for people with gluten sensitivity who stop eating gluten?
Dr. Tom: The most common system that is affected by sensitivity to gluten is the brain. Therefore, we see most improvements on people with brain fog, seizures, attention deficit disorders (children or adults), but also on people with fatigue, joint pain, skin lesions, rashes, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
In children who have a sensitivity to gluten where it’s affecting their brain, when they are taken off gluten, they improve in school, get better grades and participate more in class.
Christa: What do you say about non-celiac gluten sensitivity being a fad?
Dr. Tom: There was a study done by Professor Umberto Volta, chair of the Celiac Society in Italy, where the government designated 37 medical specialty centers for gluten related disorders. They had over 17,000 people who thought they may have a sensitivity to gluten (not celiac disease).
When they asked about their symptoms, 68% of people reported a lack of well-being, 64% fatigue; others reported brain fog, joint pain, skin lesions, dizziness or asthma.
ALL the patients felt better when going off gluten.
These were all patients without celiac disease, so the conclusion was, Yes; absolutely some people have sensitivity to gluten. The old way of thinking was, if you don’t have celiac, you don’t have a problem, but we now know that’s nonsense.
To dive deeper into this topic, you can find Dr. Tom at thedr.com. He recently interviewed one of his mentors, Dr. Jeffrey Bland who he calls “the godfather of functional medicine” on this same topic. That interview can be found here.
If you have food sensitivities and are in need of supplement support to feel safe eating out, try our new Food Sensitivity Support Formula that destroys the proteins in gluten, dairy, soy, corn, rice, fish, and peanuts within 90 minutes of consumption (it’s really hard to find another enzyme that can do this so quickly).
This is an incredibly effective shield to use when eating out or as a tool to clean up OLD gluten and casein (dairy) molecules when you are newly eliminating these foods from your diet.