Posts Tagged ‘celiac’

Leaky Gut Syndrome and Autoimmune Disease

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

A recent paper published in the Annals of the New York Acedemy of Sciences connects intestinal permeability (AKA leaky gut syndrome) with the development of autoimmune diseases.  The authors base their findings on what we know of celiac disease and Type I Diabetes.  Both diseases share the same HLA-DQ genetics.  As well, they both share the same environmental trigger -Gluten.


Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 May;1165:195-205.

Most people assume that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are the same thing.  This archaic thought is rapidly changing.  Although it is well established that gluten often impacts the villi of the small intestine, it has been shown to affect the body in a variety of other ways.  These differences account for the massive failure of doctors to diagnose gluten sensitivity.  Below is a diagram of environmental triggers to intestinal permeability (leaky gut).  You will find that gluten sensitivity can directly and indirectly contribute to this problem.  To the keen observer, this diagram illustrates why simple antibody testing fails to accurately diagnosis gluten sensitivity.  Antibody production is only one lab component of a multi-faceted problem.

Click on image to enlarge…

How Does Gluten Play a Role in All of These Factors?

  1. Gluten – Gluten directly impacts intestinal integrity through zonulin production.  Zonulin is a protein that causes directly causes leaky gut.
  2. Antibodies – Gluten contributes to antibody formation.  Antibodies can cause the secretion of inflammatory chemicals leading to tissue damage.  Additionally, through a process called molecular mimicry, antibodies can cross react with the tissues of the body causing autoimmune disease.  Lab tests measuring these antibodies are typically not associated with gluten because most doctors are not trained adequately to identify the connection.
  3. Medications – Many medications commonly contain gluten leading to a direct effect.  However, many chronic health conditions caused by gluten sensitivity are misdiagnosed leading to medicine prescriptions that are not only unnecessary, but can be detrimental to the gastrointestinal tract.  Anti-acid medications are a common example.  These medications predispose to infection and lead to abnormal bacteria presence in the gut.  Over utilization of antibiotics to treat viral infection is another example.
  4. Stress – Although not a physical stressor, gluten is a chemical stressor on the body.  Chemical stress comes in many forms.  One of them is vitamin and mineral deficiency.  Loss of key nutrients causes a fundamental breakdown in the body’s ability to modulate the healing and repair process.
  5. Bacteria – Gluten ingestion causes detrimental changes in intestinal flora (AKA gut dysbiosis) predisposing to infection.  This is one of the reasons why so many yogurt companies are adding beneficial bacteria to their products.  Gut dysbiosis is an epidemic in the U.S.
  6. Cytokines – Gluten induces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines (chemicals that damage cells).
  7. Neurotransmitters – Gluten causes neurochemical changes in the production of neurotransmitters (chemicals that allow the nervous system to communicate).  Examples include: serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, epinephrine, and histamine.  Gluten is also a neurotoxin that has been shown to damage nerve tissue.  This is the reason so many with neurological disease (autism, ADD, bipolar, schizophrenia, neuropathy, epilepsy, etc.) do well on a gluten free diet.
  8. Digestive chemicals – Gluten can damage the intestine, the pancreas, the liver, and the gall bladder.  All of these organs play a pivotal role in the body’s ability to produce digestive chemicals and enzymes.  When this mechanism is compromised, digestive processes start to break down and become ineffective.

Sum it all up –

Leaky gut contributes to autoimmune disease.  The only known cause for any autoimmune disease is gluten sensitivity.  We are blind fools to ignore this connection because it does not fit the status quo of the allopathic medical paradigm.  If you have autoimmune disease and have not investigated gluten sensitivity as a contributing factor, you should.  Learn more about genetic testing for gluten sensitivity now!

You can read more about gluten sensitivity on our gluten free resource page…

Gluten Intolerance and Infertility

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Human Reproduction JournalInfertility issues are becoming more and more common.  As many as  7.1 million  Americans experience infertility problems.  A study in the medical journal Human Reproduction identified gluten sensitivity in as many as 8% of women with unexplained fertility problems.  The doctors involved with this study recommend screening for gluten intolerance as “part of the diagnostic workup of infertile women, particularly when no apparent cause can be ascertained after standard evaluation.”

Source: Human Reproduction; 14(11):2759-61 1999.

Dr. Osborne Comment

Ever wonder why so many people have to see fertility experts just to have a baby?  The body has an innate intelligence that prevents pregnancy when the health status of the mother and/or father are poor.  To force pregnancy through unnatural means is a dangerous practice.  Miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, birth defects, infant developmental problems are common among those having children through fertility treatments.  Gluten intolerance is a modern plague on human fertility.  It is often overlooked when physicians perform infertility lab work-ups on couples.  The following conditions are known to contribute to fertility issues in both men and women.  They are also linked to gluten sensitivity:

  • PCOS – poly cystic ovarian syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Amenorrhea (absence of menstrual cycle)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Disorders of the endocrine system
  • Nutrient malabsorption
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Spontaneous abortion
  • Multiple miscarriages
  • Low sperm count in men
  • Low sperm motility
  • Abnormal sperm shape

The above study estimated that 8% of infertility issues are linked to gluten intolerance.  Unfortunately, this number is based on lab tests that are flawed.  Testing serum antibodies in those with immune problems often times yields false negative results.  This can be misleading to a number of people.  I commonly see patients for infertility in my office who have had antibody tests come back falsely negative.  Greater accuracy can be obtained using HLA-DQ genotyping.  This testing is non-invasive and can be done online…

Remember…Your body has God’s innate intelligence built in.  It is designed to prevent pregnancy when the health of the mother and baby would be compromised.  If you are considering having children perform the following first:

  1. If you have had any of the above problems, get checked to see if you have gluten intolerance.
  2. Check you vitamin and mineral levels before attempting to have children.  Nutrient deficiencies can hinder internal development of the baby and can also cause complications to the mother during pregnancy.

Related Articles

Nutritional Influences of Fertility

Natural Approaches to Infertility

Gluten Intolerance & IBS

Gluten Sensitivity Causes IBS

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

A new review in the American Journal of Gastroenterology recommends that those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) be genetically tested for gluten sensitivity intolerance.  The Review elucidates the role of diet in the progression of IBS symptoms.  The authors further state that the classic signs of celiac disease are often absent for those suffering with IBS even thought gluten is the culprit.

IBS Gluten Testing Diagram

Source: Am J Gastroenterl2009;104:1587-94.

Dr. Peter Osborne Comment

This article is a major breakthrough in the advancement for gluten sensitivity recognition.  Traditionally IBS sufferers are told to “eat right and limit their stress”.  IBS typically manifests as symptoms of gut pain, bloating, gas, and loose bowels.  Endoscopic and other common diagnostic tests are most often negative leaving people without answers.  Medical treatment of IBS is largely unsuccessful.

Food intolerance and allergy and infections are the most common contributing factors in the development of irritable bowel symptoms.  It is important to have a physician evaluate these areas.  If you haven’t watched my video on gluten sensitivity, I highly recommend you do so now as gluten is a major cause of IBS.

If you would like to be genetically tested for gluten sensitivity and your doctor won’t help you visit this link and you can get a home test kit sent to you.

Related Articles:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome