Quote of the Week

Two-thirds of people with a gluten sensitivity experience neurological symptoms instead of gut symptoms. This is because the tissue most affected by a gluten sensitivity is nerve tissue.

The majority of Hashimoto’s [autoimmune hypothyroid] patients are gluten-sensitive or have celiac disease, which means gluten can play a role in their depression and anxiety.

Gluten cross reacts with dairy, meaning the immune system recognizes dairy as gluten. Many patients find their mood disorders significantly improve by eliminating these two foods from their diet.

Dr Datis Kharrazian

This is all true and what I’ve been banging on about now since 2009!

Most people think gluten causes gut problems but, clinically, I find that is not the case. Coeliacs maybe, but the vast majority of people who have a gluten type illness, including NCGS (non-coeliac gluten sensitivity) have non-gut symptoms including effects on the adrenals, thyroid, skin, nervous system and much more.

I agree that I see mood disorders and neurological symptoms most often. Think: migraine, anxiety, depression, vertigo. General fatigue, including of the brain as brain fog/poor cognitive function, is also really common in-practice. It’s a kind of gluten red flag for me as a clinician.

I do indeed find that most adrenal and thyroid patients are gluten-sensitive in some way. And, just to clarify, when I say ‘gluten-sensitive’, I mean could be not digesting gluten down properly, could be intolerant to it, could be NCGS, could be coeliac or all of the above. It is NOT JUST ABOUT COELIAC DISEASE. I say that in caps because it does indeed need shouting. So many people dismiss gluten as an issue if they’re told (often in error) that they are not coeliac. It’s so much more complex than that.

And, yes, dairy is the number one cross-reactive food to gluten. This means the body sees it as gluten because of its structural similarity and reacts in the same way. However, dairy is by no means the only one. All the main grains – and especially the ubiquitous and hidden corn – are also cross-reactive.

For more info on gluten illness, check the TrulyGlutenFree section of the website. There are several pages there so make sure you use the menu to go through them.

Good reminder, thanks Datis.

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