Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Is Gluten Causing Your Hormonal Imbalance?



What Do Fatigue, Overweight, PMS, etc All Have in Common?


Fatigue is the most common symptom plaguing most patients. Trouble sleeping, weight issues, PMS, headaches, fertility or libido issues, and achy joints are also very common and can all be affected by hormonal imbalance that continues after gluten has been removed from the diet in the gluten intolerant individual.  The trouble with trying to resolve such symptoms is that the root cause can vary. If every patient with fatigue had a thyroid problem, it would be easy to correct because we would know exactly where to look.

If you’re gluten intolerant you may have suffered from some of the complaints listed above prior to discovering your celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. But perhaps now, despite your gluten-free diet, some of these same symptoms continue to plague you.  If so, read on.

Do You Have Any of These Symptoms?
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight trouble
  • PMS
  • Migraines
  • Infertility or miscarriage
  • Achy joints or muscles
  • Allergies
  • Light headedness
  • Frequent illness, weak immune system
  • Asthma


While the list is long, believe it or not, there is a common cause to all of them.  I’m not saying it’s the only cause, but I want to discusswhy someone can be found gluten intolerant, successfully institute a gluten-free diet, and yet continue to suffer from many of the above symptoms.

The Problem May Be Your Stress Gland

There is a gland in your body, of which you have two, called the adrenal glands. They sit atop each of your kidneys and they are the master of multi-tasking! If I asked you if one part of your body was responsible for:


  • Providing you with strong energy
  • Maintaining a healthy weight, 
  • Keeping your immune system strong,
  • Decreasing inflammation
  • Maintaining stable mood, 
  • Anti-aging, 
  • Controlling sleep quality, 
  • Balancing hormones, 
  • Handling allergies, and more… 

 What would you say?

You might think to yourself that if there was one body part responsible for all those things then you better start treating it well! You’d be very right in your analysis.

As you’ve probably guessed the aforementioned adrenal glands are responsible for handling that very long job list and, unfortunately, those very same adrenal glands tend to be quite stressed in the gluten intolerant individual.

Gluten Intolerance Can Damage Your Stress Glands

Why? Because adrenal glands are sensitive to, and get very stressed with, unstable blood sugar. Stable blood sugar comes from eating healthy food that your body finds nourishing. As you well know if you’re gluten intolerant, gluten, for you, is a poison. Therefore years of eating gluten created unstable blood sugar and thereby put a tremendous strain on your adrenal glands.

Due to the many, many jobs that the adrenal glands are responsible for, simply removing gluten as a stressor is typically insufficient to restore them to normal function. They need to be ‘re-set’ with a nutritional and dietary program, to restore their good health. This explains why many who are gluten intolerant continue to suffer with the symptoms mentioned above.

Therefore, even if your gluten intolerance has been diagnosed and you’ve instituted a strict gluten-free diet, if you haven’t also found a clinician who understands and specializes in restoring health and function to the adrenal glands, you may very well continue to suffer with the symptoms associated with adrenal stress.

Treatment is Easy and Drug-Free

The good news is that the treatment to normalize adrenal function is not at all difficult.Here at the Clinical Nutrition department of HealthNOW we utilize a natural program that involves no dangerous drugs or surgery. There are lab tests to determine the level of adrenal malfunction occurring, and these are called functional specialized lab tests. They differ from traditional adrenal lab tests that only look for disease, not malfunction. I mention this because I want to ensure that there is no confusion created when I mention adrenal function lab testing. We are measuring 'function' and therefore are looking for signs of malfunction rather than only looking for disease, which in the case of adrenal glands is quite rare, although dangerous.

If you ask your traditional medical doctor to test for adrenal malfunction he or she will test for adrenal disease – once again a rare occurrence – and will likely pronounce your adrenal glands ‘fine’ because they are not diseased. While adrenal gland disease is rare, adrenal gland malfunction is extremely common. It is this latter condition that we are speaking of here.

This is an important distinction because I want to make sure that if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue that you aren’t given a ‘clean bill of health’ incorrectly. Unfortunately this happens often. If it took you a while to receive a diagnosis of gluten intolerance then you understand this phenomenon. Sadly this area of health is fraught with misunderstanding and it is the patient who ultimately suffers, unnecessarily.

We Can Help!

If you need any help finding a clinician to help you, feel free to contact me. Normalizing adrenal function is one of our areas of expertise and patients visit us from across the country as well as internationally at our destination clinic to receive this treatment. If we cannot find a clinician close to you that specializes in this then we are more than happy to see you here. The good news is that the treatment is natural and inexpensive.

Should you be interested in receiving assistance, consider contacting us for a free health analysis - call 408-733-0400. We are here to help!

I look forward to hearing from you.

To your good health,

Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”
Awarded Gluten-Free Doctor of the Year 2013

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