"Gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity both cause terrible abdominal pain and bloating that can make it difficult to carry out normal activities. Traditional testing for gluten related issues often involves painful blood testing and embarrassing stool sampling, which may cause individuals to shy away from treatment. However, left untreated, gluten intolerance can lead to more serious issues, including malnutrition. Nutrition Response Testing, a gentle, yet effective, way to both analyze and treat your body for a number of illnesses, allows me to analyze your body in a less intrusive manner, then develop a nutritional plan to help your body heal naturally."
-Juliana Mazzeo, MS, CDN, Director
Nutrition Wellness Center of Nassau County
What is Gluten Intolerance and Gluten Sensitivity?
Gluten intolerance (GI) and gluten sensitivity are terms sometimes used interchangeably to describe an adverse reaction to gluten; however, researchers have determined that gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity are indeed different. While both conditions cause an uncomfortable reaction to gluten, the protein found in rye, barley, and wheat, researchers suggest that gluten intolerance more accurately describes the reaction that occurs with celiac disease, while gluten sensitivity causes its own intestinal response to gluten. According to researchers, there are marked differences between genes regulating the immune response in the gut and intestinal permeability, or the ability of the digestive tract's mucous layer to hinder undigested food proteins, bacteria, and antigens from filtering into the gastrointestinal barrier. Celiac disease often causes a high degree of permeability or leaky gut; however, research shows that this in not the case with gluten sensitivity. It is estimated that more than 10 million Americans have gluten sensitivity, a number greater than those with Celiac Disease.
Common Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance and Gluten Sensitivity
Both conditions share common symptoms, such as diarrhea and abdominal pain, etc.; however, gluten sensitivity does not cause flattening of the absorbing villi, intestinal inflammation, or long-term intestinal damage, if left untreated, like gluten intolerance. Some common symptoms of gluten intolerance include:
While gluten sensitivity can cause intestinal damage, gluten sensitivity often displays non-GI symptoms. Symptoms generally appear within a few days after consuming gluten and can include:
Common Causes of Gluten Intolerance and Gluten Sensitivity
For both gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity, dietary intake is a primary cause of the reaction. Certain foods, such as bread, pasta, and cereals, may contain wheat, barley, or rye, which contains the gluten protein. However, research suggests that gluten alone may not be the only symptom trigger in gluten sensitive individuals. Studies show that poorly digested carbohydrates, or FODMAPs, may also trigger symptoms in gluten-sensitive individuals.
Genes in conjunction with environmental factors, such as gut bacteria, gastrointestinal infection, and even infant feeding practices, may also increase your risk of developing gluten sensitivity, or Celiac Disease. Individuals with type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Down Syndrome, Addison's disease, microscopic colitis, or autoimmune thyroid disease are also at greater risk of developing gluten intolerance. Sometimes the onset of gluten intolerance occurs after intense emotional stress, such as following surgery, pregnancy, or childbirth.
Treatment of Gluten Intolerance and Gluten Sensitivity
Because gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity display similar symptoms, it is important to obtain a proper diagnosis in order to treat your condition properly. Nutrition Response Testing is an accurate, scientifically verifiable method of assessing the exact cause of your gluten reaction and has been proven effective when all other methods have failed.
Utilizing the modern principles of Nutrition Response Testing, I can determine whether your gluten issue is caused by gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity, then prepare an effective nutritional plan, which includes gradual diet planning and whole food supplements, to get your system back on track. Before you know it, you'll be pain-free, bloat-free, gas-free and back to enjoying everyday life.
Left untreated, gluten intolerance, a more severe form of gluten sensitivity, can cause malnutrition. When people with gluten intolerance, or Celiac Ddisease, consume foods containing gluten, their immune system develops antibodies to the foreign substance, or gluten, which attack the lining of the small intestine, damaging the hair-like structures responsible for nutrient absorption.
Once the villi become damaged, the person is no longer able to absorb properly nutrients, which causes undernourishment, no matter how much they consume. Gluten intolerant individuals also run the risk of developing osteoporosis because the malabsorption of vitamin D and calcium, which causes a loss of bone density. Also, gluten intolerant individuals may become susceptible to cancer of the intestines, seizures, miscarriages, and birth defects.
Gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity are real conditions that need to be addressed thoroughly. Also, it is equally important to be diagnosed correctly to treat your condition and prevent it from transitioning into a more serious illness. If you believe you suffer from gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance, I can provide the proper testing to rule out one or the other, then construct a dietary plan in accordance with your gluten reactivity.
Please contact us today for a free consultation.