Research tells us that only eight percent of those adult patients suffering with celiac disease experience complete healing of their gut despite maintaining a strict gluten-free diet. Sixty five percent feel better, but only a fraction (8%) enjoy complete healing.
This is significant because too many patients suffering from celiac disease and gluten sensitivity do not enjoy the good health they deserve. Instead they suffer a variety of symptoms and many develop serious autoimmune diseases.
Such autoimmune diseases could potentially be prevented if the individuals’ gut lesions and leaky gut had been remedied.
How to Find out Why
I want to discuss a tool that we use here at the clinic to help isolate any dietary components that could be ‘confusing’ the immune system of a gluten intolerant patient to react as if gluten was being consumed. I often have patients tell me that they feel ‘glutened’ despite the lack of any gluten consumption. It’s extremely frustrating for them.
Why does this occur?
What is Cross Reactivity?
Cross reactivity is a process whereby the body consumes a protein (e.g. milk) that has similarities to the protein gluten. Due to this similarity (known as molecular mimicry) the body’s immune system reacts to this food as if it were gluten, creating symptoms that the patient attributes to gluten consumption.
Is milk gluten? No. But if cross-reactivity is occurring, it may as well be as far as the patient’s immune system is concerned. In other words, ingestion of these cross-reactive foods can irritate and inflame the immune system in much the same way as if gluten was being ingested.
Therefore in patients who are not feeling optimal despite maintaining a gluten-free diet, or continue to have a leaky gut or autoimmune disease, testing for cross-reactive foods can be a great diagnostic tool.
The test is a blood test offered by Cyrex Labs and includes the following foods:
• Cow’s milk
• American cheese
• Milk Chocolate
Once the test returns it will reveal what, if any, foods are causing a reaction. The protocol is to remove these foods from the diet for three months and then reintroduce them slowly, one at a time, to determine any negative reactions.
How to get Successful Healing to Occur
During the three months ‘off’ from these foods, the body’s immune system will get a chance to repair and, along with other measures we take, will go far towards repairing any leaky gut.
Some patients find that they are able to reintroduce several foods successfully, but there is often something they find that just isn’t their ‘friend’ and permanent avoidance is required. Dairy is extremely common, but there are others too. Oats, coffee and yeast being the most common after dairy products.
I’m not trying to depress anyone regarding further dietary restrictions. Being gluten intolerant myself, I very much understand the discipline that is required. But if a cross-reactive food(s) is the culprit underlying a lack of healing and putting one at risk for other diseases, it certainly is important to find out.
I’d like to hear from you. Have you experienced having a ‘gluten’ reaction when you didn’t eat any?
I hope this information was helpful and please do let me know any questions that you have or if you would like assistance to improve your health. That’s why I’m here! You can call for a free health analysis – 408-733-0400.
Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally. If you don’t live locally it’s not a problem.
To your good health,
Permission is granted to re-post this article in its entirety with credit to Dr Vikki Petersen & HealthNOW Medical Center and a clickable link back to this page. Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN is founder of HealthNOW Medical Center and the author of “The Gluten Effect” and eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What you don’t know may be killing you”. She has been featured in national magazines, international medical journals and is a frequent headlined speaker.