Could I Be Sensitive to Gluten?

Autumn Frandsen, ND

If you’ve experienced any of the following symptoms, the answer is YES.

Disproportionate fatigue


Excessive weight gain or loss

Emotional issues involving chronic irritability and sudden, irrational mood shifts often moving into depression/anxiety

Neurological issues, including dizziness, difficulty balancing, and peripheral neuropathy affecting nerves outside the central nervous system and resulting in pain, weakness, tingling or numbness in the extremities.

Gas, bloating, queasiness, abdominal cramping, constipation, diarrhea, or an alternating combination of both – IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

Fibromylagia or any unexplained muscle or joint pain

Late onset seasonal allergies

Rashes/ Hives

Macrocytic anemia

While a person may not have celiac sprue, a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk for thyroid disease, kidney failure and cancer, they can still experience the above symptoms when consuming gluten. According to recent studies, there has been a four-fold increase in the incidence of celiac disease in the past 15 years and an even greater in increase in the incidence of gluten intolerance or sensitivity. The question is: “why?”

The herbicide, Round-up contains glyphosate, which is known to preferentially disrupt the beneficial bacterial growth in the GI tract. This antimicrobial is sprayed on the wheat supply in the United States toward the end of the growth season to ensure that the growth of the plant is not stunted (even disrupts natural growth of plants). The late application ensures that we are exposed through our food sources.  Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes which are used to detoxify the body of environmental chemicals.  Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other minerals associated with gluten sensitivity can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong ability to chelate these elements. Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids.damage Glyphosate exposure causes reproductive issues, kidney damage, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma which match the incidence rate in Celiac Disease. The exposure to glyphosate often causes thyroid issues and autoimmune presentations.

What Can We Do to Protect Ourselves?

First and foremost, eliminate gluten, corn, and soy from your diet. All three of these foods have been found to have high levels of glyphosate. That will not completely alleviate exposure as even some fish, foul, and cattle have detectable amounts in their bodies, but it will greatly reduce the load. Secondly, repopulate your gut with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacter probiotics. Glyphosate is particularly lethal to these bacteria. Load up on antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid and NADH. FAR infrared saunas are also very helpful in detoxifying chemicals from the body.

Healing up the gut lining is essential to minimizing other allergies that could develop due to the gut permeability caused by gluten associated inflammation. Some things to do at home:

Drink herbal teas like slippery elm, marshmallow, and licorice.

Drink aloe juice.

Drink homemade bone broth to nourish the cells and soothe the stomach

Eat organic foods.

There are various desensitization programs and drainage programs offered at wellness facilities, including the allergy program at NIHA.

What Testing Can be Used to Determine if I have a Gluten Sensitivity?

There are several diagnostic tools that can be utilized including those covered by insurance and specialty labs. Typically symptom picture is one of the most important components to diagnosis but other methods include tissue transglutaminase Ab and endomysial Ab detection in blood, IgE and IgG reaction to the gluten or gliadin proteins, endoscopy and/or biopsy of the microvilli in the small intestine with intraepithelial lymphocytosis measurement (celiac disease diagnosis specifically). There are drawbacks and benefits from each one of the various testing methods and part two of this segment will outline this for those interested.

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