Celiac disease is a genetic condition that may affect as many as 1 in 100 people worldwide.
Most celiacs suffer for more than a decade and visit more than 5 practitioners before they are diagnosed. All the while, serious damage is taking place inside their bodies. The good news is that, while the condition itself is permanent, celiac damage can be reversed.
When a celiac person eats wheat, it destroys the surface area of the small intestine where vitamins and minerals should be absorbed, opening the body up to inflammation, infection and mysterious health problems. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition, meaning the body’s immune system becomes confused and starts to inappropriately attack the body itself. Once a person has one auto-immune condition, they are likely to develop another unless the cascade of inflammation is calmed. Along with lifelong avoidance of wheat, careful avoidance of cross-reactive foods and personalized intestinal healing protocols, inflammation can be calmed and healing can begin.
While digestive distress is common in overt celiac disease, “silent” celiac disease can be present without the expected GI symptoms, although the intestines are still damaged inside. This less overt but equally real version of celiac disease can lead to neurological damage to the brain, insomnia, depression, hearing loss, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, skin rashes, rhinitis, dental problems and more.
Non-celiac gluten or wheat sensitivity is separate condition that may run in families affected by celiac genes. It is estimated that 6 times as many people have non-celiac gluten sensitivity than celiac disease! Siblings of celiacs commonly suffer from wheat related symptoms that may be even more overt than those of their celiac relatives. A sensitivity is an IgG, IgA or IgM immune system reaction. It is also possible to be allergic to wheat, which is an IgE immune system reaction. A person can have multiple different reactions to wheat all at the same time.
As a Certified Gluten Practitioner, LEAP (Lifestyle Eating and Performance) Therapist and clinician user of specialized autoimmunity testing through Cyrex Labs and Vibrant America Labs, I can help you identify your unique reactions to wheat and heal your body for a healthy future.
Celiacs are also quite likely to develop dysbiosis, a bacterial imbalance in the intestines, due to the inflammation within. I use a variety of functional health tests to determine a course of healing. The gut health tests look for a much wider variety of friendly and unfriendly flora than you may be tested for in a regular medical practice, and we can use probiotics, functional foods and natural healing agents rather than drugs.