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Science Proves Gluten Sensitivity Is All In Your Head... Or Is It?

October 06, 2014 3 min read

go-ahead-its-gluten-free Yup. According to a recent article published on Buzzworthy.com, scientific studies are now suggesting that gluten sensitivity may just be a psychological factor. The same scientists who also told us that gluten sensitivity does, in fact, exist. Confusing, eh? We all know that Celiac disease does exist, but what about non-celiac gluten sensitivity, then? Celiac disease is a medical condition in which eating foods containing gluten damages the lining of the small intestine and inhibits the absorption of vital nutrients. Celiac Gluten is usually found in:
  • White Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Durum
  • Wheat Graham Flour
  • Spelt
  • Wheat Germ
  • Wheat Bran
  • the list goes on....
Some common symtoms of Celiac Disease are:
  • abdominal bloating and pain
  • chronic diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • irritability and behavioral issues
go-ahead-its-gluten-free Frightening, right? However, some people actually suffer from the same symptoms without actually having Celiac Disease. The term coined for this is called non-celiac gluten sensitivityand is usually self diagnosed. Peter Gibson, a scientist and researcher who first posed gluten as an issue back in 2011, has recently published a follow up study that completely goes against his original findings. A recent article published by Business Insider speaks more on the recent  follow up study by Gibson: "Since gluten is a protein found in any normal diet, Gibson was unsatisfied with his finding. He wanted to find out why the gluten seemed to be causing this reaction and if there could be something else going on. He therefore went to a scientifically rigorous extreme for his next experiment, a level not usually expected in nutrition studies. For a follow-up paper, 37 self-identified gluten-sensitive patients were tested." According to Real Clear Science's Newton Blog, here's how the experiment went: 
  • Subjects would be provided with every single meal for the duration of the trial.
  • Any and all potential dietary triggers for gastrointestinal symptoms would be removed, including lactose (from milk products), certain preservatives like benzoates, propionate, sulfites, and nitrites, and fermentable, poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates, also known as FODMAPs.
  • And last, but not least, nine days worth of urine and fecal matter would be collected..
  • The subjects cycled through high-gluten, low-gluten, and no-gluten (placebo) diets, without knowing which diet plan they were on at any given time.
  • In the end, all of the treatment diets — even the placebo diet — caused pain, bloating, nausea, and gas to a similar degree.
According to the official study, there were no effects of gluten in patients with self reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity after after dietary reduction of fermentable, poorly absorbed, short chain carbohydrates. Is there a test for gluten sensitivity? Not currently, which could be one reason why it gets so misdiagnosed. However, good ole Doctor Oz does offer his two cents by creating a gluten sensitivity quiz: Do you have:

Digestive system

  • Frequent bloating or gas
  • Diagnosed with IBS or acid reflux
  • Daily diarrhea or chronic constipation

Neurological and skeletal symptoms

  • Migraine or headaches
  • Joint pains or aches
  • Brain fog

Hormonal and immune symptoms

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Ongoing fatigue
  • Chronic eczema or acne
Results Four or more symptoms indicate that gluten may be impacting your health. But even one symptom, if severe and chronic, can be a sign of a gluten sensitivity. You may want to consult your doctor or try going gluten-free for 2-4 weeks, according to Doctor Oz. One great thing though is that there are tests for Celiac Disease. What are your thoughts on the recent study? Come visit my blog by double clicking the image below: URLSmall Featured Image Source: Human Events  

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