7 Shocking Facts About Gluten That Just Might Relate To You!

You can listen to the article here.


Until very recently, Celiac Disease was thought to be the only severe form of reaction against gluten and that it presented itself in young underweight children who have celiac genes and chronic diarrhea. We now know that Celiac Disease can occur at any age, in any body type with a variety of bowel patterns and it’s even possible that the celiac genes may be absent. Additionally, we finally know that a strong reaction to gluten also exists among those with Gluten Sensitivity, a condition distinct from Celiac Disease. Those of us who are intolerant to gluten and have never been diagnosed with Celiac Disease have always known this to be true but admittedly, we could finally breathe an ʻit’s about time’ sigh of relief when the medical director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research, Dr. Alessio Fasano, stated in the August, 2010 American Journal of Medicine: “For the first time, we have scientific evidence that indeed, Gluten Sensitivity not only exists, but is very different from Celiac Disease.” While the prevalence for Celiac is thought to be about 1:100, research proposes that gluten sensitivity could be as common as 1 in every 20 individuals.

That said, let’s move on to some of the more shocking facts about gluten and its potential ravaging effects on your health.

Shocking gluten fact #1: Your response to gluten can be silent!
That’s right, out of the 4 categories for gluten reactivity: (typical = within the digestive tract, atypical = outside of the digestive tract, latent = manifestation later in life and silent), the possibility that your reactions could be silent, otherwise known as subclinical symptoms, is very real. This basically means that your reactions are beneath your experiential radar and you really don’t know that they are happening, however, the physiological damage is still taking place. I have an eagle eye out for this person because their persistent health issues will go on unexplained and the potential is very high for a slow but steady decline in their health.

Shocking gluten fact #2: Your gluten response may have nothing to do with your digestive tract!
I alluded to this in #1. The atypical category of response is one that lies outside of your digestive system. Most commonly, these areas include your brain, skin, joints, liver and thyroid gland. So when’s the last time you had joint aches and pains, a skin rash or maybe you already have a thyroid problem? Did you ever think that a food could be connected to the reason why you have these conditions?

Shocking gluten fact #3: Traditional lab testing may not reveal your gluten problem!
Traditional labs are testing for 3-4 antibodies that act against gluten proteins and related intestinal enzymes. This is good, but they omit testing for additional antibodies
against a handful of other gluten related proteins that are equally damaging and can cause tremendous compromise to your health. A specialty lab like CyrexLabs is doing comprehensive testing for the larger group of gluten proteins and their related antibodies. It’s important to know that testing options other than the lab your doctor is most familiar with are available.

Shocking gluten fact #4: Neurological issues from gluten far outweigh digestive problems from gluten!
This should truly stun you into an introspective silence. Neurological issues mean that the nervous system is involved. That could be anything from mood and attention issues to full blown nerve cell problems like multiple sclerosis. Back in 2007 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, an article revealed this finding:
“patients with a gastrointestinal dysfunction represent only 1/3 of patients with neurological manifestations and gluten sensitivity.” So within the plethora of sources that could be causing your or your children’s moodiness, irritability, poor attention span, lack of focus, headaches or numbness–do you include gluten as one of those possible sources?

Shocking gluten fact #5: Gluten can form addictive, opiate-like substances that can be measured in your bloodstream.
It has long been known that gluten can form opioid substances called gluteomorphins and that these compounds can be measured in your bloodstream. Although most well known by the families and patients in the Autism spectrum population, gluteomorphins can be formed in anyone and can have the same opiate-like results of addiction, reduced pain perception thus increased pain tolerance, sedation, euphoria and constipation. That’s right, that feeling of being addicted to your favorite bread, pasta or crackers is real!

Shocking gluten fact #6: Intolerance to gluten can be connected to the formation of autoimmune Type 1 diabetes.
A study published in 2009 showed that almost 10% of Type 1 diabetics have Celiac Disease. It has been shown that the presence of particular antibodies (GAD 65) have been correlated to the onset of Type 1 diabetes and that these antibodies actually decrease along with the antibodies against gluten once someone follows a gluten free diet. This particular type of autoimmune induced diabetes has been called Type 1.5 (vs Type 1 or Type 2). Watch for Type 1.5 diabetes to hit the health news media before too long.

Shocking gluten fact #7: Your immune system can perceive other foods as ‘gluten look alikes’ and therefore can produce a negative reaction against those foods as well!
Just when you think omitting gluten was the final answer to your unexplained health problem prayers, there’s more. Unfortunately, for some people, eliminating gluten from their diet is just the first food of several more to go due to this confused immune system situation called cross reactivity. Among the more common foods that are cross reactive with gluten are: coffee, dairy, corn, chocolate and sesame. This is a very important
area to address for those who already follow a strict gluten free diet and still don’t feel well. Cross reactive food testing is available also with CyrexLabs.

I hope these shocking truths about gluten have helped you realize that health issues related to gluten are indeed serious ones and that all of the recent hype about gluten is not fad or fallacy but fact!

About Sheila Wagner PT, CN, BCHN

Sheila’s cutting edge ability to uncover hidden source(s) of health issues when no one else has is the first piece to her step wise approach in solving your persistent health complaints.

+Sheila Wagner is the ultimate expert assisting people nationwide to finally fix their health through 1:1 consults, group programs, lectures and classes.

Opinions & Feedback:

  1. Yulia Brockdorf, RD, LD, CDE, CNSC says

    THIS IS VERY INTERESTING INFO!! “Among the more common foods that are cross reactive with gluten are: coffee, dairy, corn, chocolate and sesame. ” COULD YOU, PLS BE KIND TO EMAIL ME OR POST A REFERENCE? THANK YOU!!

  2. What you know about food and its effect on the body never ceases to amaze me, Sheila. It’s scary that the effects of gluten can show up in places other than the gut (like joints, for instance). Thanks for sharing this information.

  3. Wow I needed to read this post several times to really let this information sink in. Amazing the effect gluten can have on our bodies!

    • Yes Heidi, gluten intolerance is actually a very serious issue due to the resulting debilitating and life threatening health issues that can result.
      It’s too bad that it is being seen as a fad by some instead of the critical health issue that it is!

  4. Wow! Sheila – I had no idea there were so many different ways Gluten can negatively affect your body. I had really only heard of it causing digestive problems … and to think you may have to cut out even more foods as well to get healthy! Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    Jennifer Bourn, Bourn Creative

  5. Sheila,
    I have learned so much about this topic from you and others in the last few years.
    I never knew anything about any of this before. Amazing information.

  6. Oh my Sheila. I had no idea how many area of the body gluten can affect. I was especially amazed that other foods can be gluten look alikes. I never thought eating gluten free was a fad, but I certainly didn’t think I needed to change my eating habits. Thanks for sharing these valuable facts Sheila.

  7. You always provide such interesting information, Sheila! I know about these food allergy addictions. I had it with dairy in my teens. My life changed enormously for the better when I stopped my half-gallon-a-day habit!! You ROCK! XO, Katherine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share Your Comments: