Posted on 01-08-2015
A recently published article from the BMC Gastroenterology 2014, titled "The changing clinical profile of celiac disease: a 15-year experience (1998-2012) in an Italian referral center, by Umberto Volta*, Giacomo Caio, Vincenzo Stanghellini and Roberto De Giorgio.
The authors report of their clinical findings, how the presentation of what has been known in medicine as a specific set of symptoms that would have a doctor suspect Celiac disease, has changed so dramatically that non-classical versus the classical symptoms prevailed 66% VS 34%.
Classical is defined as patients with a malabsorption syndrome and non-classical as extraintestinal and/or gastrointestinal symptoms other than diarrhea.
What is so important here is the understanding of extraintestinal, meaning non classical GI symptoms or non intestinal manifestations that can range from skin inflictions, chronic reflux, cerebella ataxia (gait changes), osteoporosis, and anemia's.
This publication brings to light some very valid data that continues to be reported in both the alternative medicine realms as well as other peer reviewed medical journals.
This is an emerging science, and needs to be understood contextually.
Doctors need to continuously upgrade their knowledge in this arena, as many conditions they are treating, may potentially be rooted in either Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
There are serologic tests and genetic tests performed via simple blood tests, and biopsy's that can be performed by gastroenterologists to determine if one has Celiac disease, but gluten sensitivity has been identified as a subtype, not determined by these methods yet prevalent in our society.
Certain specialty labs have developed bio markers for gluten sensitivity, but these tests are not being routinely used by many allopathic physicians, and are typically self pay.
Many doctors only follow the paradigms set forth by their peers, and do not even recognize gluten sensitivity
as a valid condition, despite clinical evidence to the contrary.
So how does one get tested or given the opportunity to properly see if gluten avoidance can improve your health condition?
First, choose a health care provider that is versed in Celiac or gluten sensitivity.
Since there is a plethora of information available to you on the web; do some reading, but do not self diagnose! Too many symptoms overlap from many disorders.
If you suspect gluten may be a problem for you, have the blood tests performed, and see if anything "lights up" from that first.
Since there are no confirmatory tests yet available, I developed an assessment methodology to help screen for Gluten sensitivity known as Integrative Assessment Technique (IAT) as well as evaluating a patients, nutritional biochemistry, emotions and structure when needed.
It is very important to cross reference ones findings when you suspect certain diseases or disorders, so performing the appropriate blood tests combined with clinical findings and IAT results has been a judicious practice in my clinic for 30 years. Until science develops reliable testing, combined with a greater understanding of the role the gut plays in our health, we have to rely on the best of what we have.
Below is the forward I wrote for a wonderful children’s book “titled" Free to be Gluten- Free”.
Celiac disease, an inherited condition involving the small intestine, is
triggered by gluten contained in cereal grains. Gluten-containing grains that
trigger celiac problems include the different species of wheat (e.g., durum,
spelt, kamut), barley, rye, and their cross-bred hybrids (e.g., triticale, which
is a cross between wheat and rye).1 Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity have
become rising stars in today’s diagnostic arena, if the physician or health care
provider applies current knowledge and screening for this disease or sensitivity.
Diseases or disorders of the GI tract that were associated with unexplained
symptoms induced many physicians to eventually screen for this disease.
Within the past five years, current research has revealed many nongastrointestinal
symptoms that can be attributed to the ingestion of glutens.
Many patients fail to experience GI symptoms at all; only weight loss and/or
fatigue. Other associated symptoms can include mouth ulcers, bone pain and
dermatitis herpetiformis, which manifests as an itchy rash with bumps and
blisters. This condition is linked to gluten sensitivity, and skin biopsy is required
to confirm diagnosis. Other issues seen in celiac patients include Type 1 diabetes,
Down syndrome, thyroiditis, arthritis, ataxia, depression, and neuropathy.1 It’s
an emerging science, and it behooves us all to look into the role diet and
nutrition play in health and disease.
Behavioral changes in children and adults should also be viewed under this
microscope. In the field of Functional Medicine, there is a concept known
as the gut-brain interaction. The gut is considered our second brain, due to
the various neurotransmitters that our gut produces. Neurotransmitters are
chemical messengers that tell our brain how to communicate how we feel, act,
and think. If our gut is inflamed, the brain may be inflamed, and we will suffer
the consequences of this process on our physiology as well as on our emotions.
I created an advanced kinesiologic process (muscle testing procedure)
for doctors interested in alternative medicine, called Integrative Assessment
Technique or IAT. Gluten sensitivity has become part of this procedure, and,
when identified, I cross-reference this finding with laboratory analysis to
confirm the diagnosis.
Heather Spergel is a brilliant loving mother, who has taken the concept of
gluten sensitivity through pen and ink to formulate a childhood book, to reach
children and their parents on the impact of this modern-day dilemma.
To those parents who think bread or grain restriction is a death sentence,
read on—it may be a blessing!
Loren Marks D.C., DACBN
Diplomate American Clinical Board of Nutrition
Integrative Assessment Technique, Founder
200 W 57 St. Ste 1010 NY, NY, 10019
1. Food and Nutrition: Celiac Disease - Food Allergies and Intolerances. Health Canada