Manual Medicine: advanced therapeutics for healing

Gluten Sensitivity Frequently Asked Questions

Medicine Buddha
Medicine Buddha

Gluten sensitivity is becoming more and more prevalent in today's culture. It can be a contributor to many illnesses. Many people have some sensitivity to gluten even though they might not be aware of it. The following are some frequently asked questions that may help you understand gluten and gluten sensitivity.

1. What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It’s the sticky stuff that gives cohesiveness and elasticity to bread and pastries.

2. What is Gluten Sensitivity?

Instead of the body digesting the gluten protein, it recognizes it as an enemy and fights it. The body is then considered sensitive to or intolerant of gluten.

3. If I don’t have any digestive symptoms, I don’t have gluten sensitivity, right?

No. You may have other symptoms that are not digestive (particular to Celiac Disease) and still have gluten sensitivity. The following conditions have been linked to gluten consumption and people with these conditions have shown notable benefit from a gluten free diet (according to recent medical literature):

4. Is gluten sensitivity an allergy?

No. Unlike wheat allergies and Celiac wherein there is a histamine reaction when exposed to gluten, someone with a gluten sensitivity instead has a Food Immune Reaction (FIR). This is more complicated than an allergic reaction. There is no histamine reaction with an FIR. The presence of gluten activates a pathogenic immune response. The body incurs the effects of long-term exposure. This can be devastating to organs and tissues throughout the body. It may take a long time before any symptoms appear but the destruction is under way.

5. Is gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance the same thing?


6. What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly reacts to gluten as if it were a poison. The immune system reacts by destroying the part of the small intestine that absorbs vital nutrients. Malabsorption can lead to serious illness and wreaks havoc on the digestive tract.

7. What are the symptoms of Celiac Disease?

Symptoms of CD can include bloating, gas, diarrhea, weight loss or gain, constant fatigue or weakness, headaches, infertility, depression that does not respond to medication, abdominal pain, bone pain and anemia. For children, symptoms include failure to thrive, short stature, distended abdomen, dental enamel defects, and unusual behavior changes (tantrums, delayed speech, drooling). Celiac disease is tricky, however, and sometimes has no outward symptoms.

8. How common is Celiac?

One out of every 133 healthy adults in the United States (University of Chicago Celiac Disease Program, 2006) has CD and accompanying digestive problems if they eat any foods with gluten.

9. Is Celiac genetic?

In most cases yes, though someone with gluten sensitivity can develop
Celiac with prolonged exposure.

10. What is the treatment for gluten sensitivity and Celiac?

The treatment for both of these is the same. Follow a gluten-COMPLETELY- free diet. When gluten is taken out of the diet, the small intestine and other affected tissues in the body has a chance to heal and a return to full health can be expected. Additionally, supplement support for healing the intestine and other tissues is recommended. You can enquire about this.

11. What are the long-term complications of undiagnosed Celiac disease?

They include malnutrition, lymphoma, osteoporosis, neurological complications and infertility, miscarriage, and a hyperactivated immune system (causing inflammation), among other things listed above.

12. Does spelt contain gluten?

Yes, there are smaller amounts of gluten in it but it is still gluten. It has a
protein structure similar to that of wheat.

13. Do oats contain gluten?

Not by nature. It can be contaminated in three ways.

  • By the fields it’s grown in if other gluten grains have grown there.
  • By the trucks it is delivered on if the truck is used to deliver other grains
    as well.
  • By the machinery it is cut on, if the machines cuts other grains as well.

14. How do I know if I have gluten sensitivity?

Have your doctor take a saliva or stool test and have it sent to one of two labs (Entrolab and Immunosciences Lab). This will determine if you have Celiac, but it will not verify a sensitivity or intolerance. For this use “Manual Medicine” bodywork which has manual diagnostics to determine if you are sensitive. Ask Alexandra more about this.

15. What can I eat if I eliminate gluten?

You can eat everything except wheat, barley, rye and their derivatives.

16. Will I be able to go out to eat at restaurants?

Most definitely! You just need to ask some simple questions and look for gluten-free (GF) labeling. The ones to be particularly cautious of are Italian, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese. There is often wheat products used in these venues.

17. Will I ever be able to eat gluten again?

There is a very good chance that many people with gluten sensitivity will be able to have gluten in their life again. After eliminating gluten from your body and healing your tissues, you may be able to have it again from time to time. It’s called a “Gluten Vacation”.

☞ Little know fact: Tephlon pans hold onto old gluten.

© 2007 - 2016 Alexandra Kaufman