Monday, June 03, 2013

Celiac Aside, Is Self-Treating with a Gluten Free Diets the Right Thing to Do?

While the existence of gluten sensitivity is, at this point well established, I wanted to write this post to address a common misconception. And that is that some people adopt a gluten-free diet who perhaps don’t need to.

Just a few weeks ago, a study was published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology.The authors wanted to address the topic of people adopting a gluten-free diet without a celiac diagnosis.

Dr Murray and his team from the Mayo Clinic evaluated 137 patients on a self-treated gluten free diet and compared them with 443 patients with known celiac disease. Those on the self-treated diet had a history of diarrhea, abdominal distention, flatulence, cramping, itchy skin, oral inflammation and constipation. These symptoms were more frequent in this group as compared to those with celiac who presented with more anemia and malaise (fatigue).

Upon testing it was discovered that 2% of those self-treated patients actually had celiac disease and 59% of them carried the gene for celiac disease. This was compared to 94% of those with confirmed celiac disease who carried the genes.

Interestingly, both groups had the same incidence of celiac disease in their families.

As far as gaining benefit from the gluten free diet, both groups had an extremely high response rate – 98% with the celiac patients and 94% with the self-treated group.

What does this mean? It means that individuals do not adopt a gluten-free diet just for the heck of it, as is sometimes implied. But rather, they have intelligently discovered for themselves, whether due to a missed celiac diagnosis or a missed gluten sensitivity, that their body does much better gluten-free.

Do you follow a gluten-free diet despite no formal diagnosis? If so, do not doubt your decision or self awareness. You are doing the right thing!

I hope this was helpful and validating if you fall into this category. Studies such as these will start to show the true incidence of gluten sensitivity in our society and give credence to those who have chosen to follow a gluten-free diet despite no formal celiac diagnosis.

If your health is not to the level you desire, please consider calling us for a free health analysis.

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To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP

IFM Certified Practitioner

Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”

Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”


Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 2013 Apr 29. [Epub ahead of print] Human Leukocyte Antigen Genetics and Clinical Features of Self-treated Patients on a Gluten-free Diet.


Sorbeo said...

This is a great write-up, and one that helps to dispel many of the myths surrounding the benefits of going gluten-free.

Going gluten-free can be of great benefit to many people and is an absolute must for people who suffer not only from Celiac Disease, but also (potentially) people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn's Disease and other ailments.

That said, sometimes after years of gluten consumption, the damage has been done and diet modification isn't enough; in cases like that, digestive enzymes can be of real benefit.

Team Sorbeo

Wholesale Gluten Free said...

A gluten-free diet is not a proven way to lose weight, however. You will only lose weight if your gluten-free diet involves portion control and healthy foods to keep your calorie intake below your daily calorie burn rate.