Are any of these symptoms familiar?
- Recurring headaches or migraines
- Fatigue and body weakness
- Skin disorders, rashes, or allergies
- Moodiness, depression, anxiety, and fluctuating mental-emotional states
- Recurring infections
- Digestive discomfort
Celiac disease is more common than you think.
The last four decades have seen a drastic increase in the number of celiac cases per year. In recent years, it is not uncommon to find markets and even restaurants advertising gluten-free options. Studies point out that:
- Five times as many Americans have celiac disease today than in the 1950s. (1)
- Celiac disease rates have doubled every 15 years since 1974.
- Around 1 in 100 Americans are affected by the disease.
With stats like these, it is important to ask questions! Celiac disease is a gateway disease. In other words, the chronic inflammation and gut permeability pave the way for other serious conditions to arise. These are health issues like:
- Other autoimmune disorders like Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, which can literally wipe out the endocrine system.
It is possible that, at first, symptoms of celiac disease may not be apparent.
- Spasms and pain migrating around the abdominal area
- Alternating diarrhea and constipation
While this uncomfortable feeling can persist for hours, you may just chalk it up to “something that you ate”. Because these digestive issues happen frequently, you also may think that you have “weak digestion” and forget about it. Over time, the systemic effects of celiac may prompt you to seek a doctor.
Taking the Right Steps Before Diagnosis
Because poor digestion can seem like a minor thing, it may take a while to get a diagnosis. Sometimes, it can take as long as ten years! Additionally, a diagnosis is made at the far end of the disease spectrum. In other words - when it’s too late.
- Celiac disease is degenerative; meaning, the destruction of intestinal tissue takes time.
- Once doctors can spot intestinal microvilli that are worn down completely, you can be diagnosed.
- This is unfortunate since much can be done to heal the gut wall during the beginning stages of celiac disease.
Wheat gluten, which is a protein, is most attributed to wheat sensitivity. However, the body can react to any molecule in wheat.
- Most food sensitivity tests will only test for alpha gliadin, which is one part of gluten.
- There are other elements in wheat gluten that a person can develop an immune response to, such as beta, omega, and gamma gliadin.
- Only testing for alpha gliadin can give a false negative.
A simple rule of thumb: If your body shows any reaction to a food or drink, in the digestive tract or elsewhere, do not consume it. Many antibody tests that screen for autoimmunity and allergies are still in the process of being developed! (2) Keeping a food diary can help you determine which foods your body reacts to.
The Big “WHY?”
Why are rates of celiac disease rising so dramatically? Doctors and researchers cannot yet tell us why.
What we do know is that modern food processing has changed the nature of wheat and other grains, making them far more toxic than they ever have been. For example, deamination is a modern food processing technique that alters the structure of wheat and makes it far more troublesome to our immune system.
Some suggest that modern society is far “too clean”. We are exposed to fewer diseases, and our immune systems are weaker for it. This is called the hygiene hypothesis.
- Remember, microbes outnumber our own cells 10 to 1. (3)
- In fact, communities of microbes living in our body are so vast that science even refers to them as the “forgotten organ.” (4)
- These communities have a collective metabolic force equal to that of an organ.
While we would like to think that living in an industrialized, modern society has given us some control over the microbial population living in our bodies, it is safe to say that “too clean” only supports the genesis of new, smarter bugs, rather than fewer bugs.
Industrialized microbes and modern birth methods, such as Caesarean section (C-section) can drastically affect what types of microbes populate the gut. This is because in a C-section, the infant does not pass through the vaginal tract and misses out on all of mom’s native bacteria. Instead, whatever bacteria happen to be floating around in the environment and on peoples’ skin will populate the newborn’s gut. A number of immune-related disorders have been associated with C-section birth. (5) (6) (7)
Getting the Right Bacteria into the Gut
Inoculating the gut with beneficial bacteria can heal the lining of the gut and support a healthy immune response. Studies show that good microflora:
- Protect the gut lining.
- Are an important team-player in the immune system.
- Repair damaged or inflamed areas within the gut. (8)
Eating for health actually feels good. The more damaged intestinal tissue is, the more you will need to limit your diet. By turning down the inflammatory response in your body, healing the gut, and regulating the immune system, you can actually halt the progressive degeneration associated with celiac disease.
- The Body Ecology Core Program is equipped with all the tools you need to create a thriving microbial community in your gut.
- Tools like InnergyBiotic repopulate the gut with good bacteria. Drinking 2 ounces every night gently changes the ecology in the digestive tract.
- Vitality SuperGreen is formulated with a potent form of glutamine that has been shown to rebuild intestinal microvilli.
What to Remember Most About This Article:
Celiac disease is more common than many people realize, and rates have risen dramatically in the past four decades. Roughly 1 in 100 Americans are affected by celiac disease, which can lead to dementia, osteoporosis, and other serious autoimmune disorders if left untreated.
Here are six signs that you could be suffering from celiac disease:
- Recurring headaches or migraines
- Weakness or fatigue
- Skin rashes or allergies
- Depression, anxiety, or moodiness
- Chronic infection
- Digestive discomfort
Begin supporting your gut with beneficial bacteria found in probiotic beverages to halt the degeneration caused by celiac disease.
- Alberto Rubio–Tapia, et al. Increased Prevalence and Mortality in Undiagnosed Celiac Disease. Gastroenterology 1 July 2009. Volume 137; 1, 88-93. DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2009.03.059
- Zimmer, Carl. “How Microbes Defend and Define Us.” New York Times: 2010 July 12. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/13/science/13micro.html?_r=3&pagewanted=1
- O’Hara, Ann M. and Fergus Shanahan. “The Gut Flora as a Forgotten Organ.” EMBO Rep. 2006 July; 7(7): 688–693.
- C. Rousseau, F. Levenez, C. Fouqueray, J. Dore, A. Collignon, and P. Lepage, 2011. Clostridium difficile colonization in early infancy is accompanied by changes in intestinal microbiota composition. J. Clin. Microbiol. 49:858-865. doi:10.1128/JCM.01507-10
- “Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection Among Healthy Newborns—Chicago and Los Angeles County, 2004.” JAMA. 2006;296(1):36-38.
- G. Biasucci, et al. “Cesarean delivery may affect the early biodiversity of intestinal bacteria.” J Nutr. 2008 Sep;138(9):1796S-1800S.
- P. A. Swanson, A. Kumar, S. Samarin, M. Vijay-Kumar, K. Kundu, N. Murthy, J. Hansen, A. Nusrat, A. S. Neish. Enteric commensal bacteria potentiate epithelial restitution via reactive oxygen species-mediated inactivation of focal adhesion kinase phosphatases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1010042108