The discussion continues to expand on celiac disease, gluten allergies and gluten sensitivity. That’s a good thing, because for a long time the link between food products containing gluten and stomach troubles was hard to identify, and it’s still in the process of being fully understood.
In short, the culprit is the gluten, or various proteins, that go into making bread, pasta, baked goods and other foods. For a small percentage of the population, gluten triggers an immune reaction that inflames the lining of the small intestine.
Celiac disease is quite serious because it compromises your body’s ability to absorb nutrients. But what if it’s not celiac disease?
Here are a few recent blogs I have come across that help shed light on the ways gluten can interfere with your digestive system and overall health, and they might give you food for thought on whether to follow a gluten-free or gluten-reduced diet.
On July 15, 2011, someone on the CNNHealth site asked whether there are degrees of gluten sensitivity. She knew she didn’t have celiac disease, but she was sensitive to carbohydrates.
In response to the question, Dr. Melina Jampolis interviewed Dr. Joseph Murray, a gastroenterology specialist at the Mayo Clinic, who broke down gluten sensitivity into two categories:
-- “Celiac lite,” which he described as symptomatic of celiac disease (abdominal pain, bloating, gas and diarrhea) but presumably without the intestinal damage of celiac disease.
-- Non-celiac gluten sensitivity, which means the symptoms are there, but the patient does not have the antibodies or genetic predisposition for celiac disease.
Although doctors can test your blood for celiac disease, there currently is no reliable test for gluten sensitivity, the Mayo expert said.
See the blog at http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/07/15/are-there-degrees-of-gluten-sensitivity/?iref=allsearch
An editor at the Harvard Medical School blogged about her father’s having the painful, skin-tingling condition called peripheral neuropathy and about finding out its possible link to gluten sensitivity.