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3 Reasons Gluten Intolerance May Be More Serious Than Celiac Disease

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Recent news stories have downplayed the significance of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, even going as far as suggesting that it doesn’t exist. But a growing body of evidence has proven that gluten intolerance is not only real, but is potentially a much larger problem than celiac disease.

non-celiac gluten sensitivity
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is more common than once thought. iStock.com/jeka1984

I previously wrote an article called “Is Gluten Sensitivity Real” which critiqued a spate of news reports suggesting that nonceliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) doesn’t exist. These news stories referred to a study indicating that some people who believed they were reacting to gluten were actually reacting to a class of poorly absorbed carbohydrates (which include wheat, among many other foods) called FODMAPs.

You can read the full article above for details, but the takeaway was that the study those stories were based on in no way disproved the existence of NCGS, nor did it overturn the large body of evidence that links it to a variety of health problems ranging from type 1 diabetes, to allergies, to schizophrenia, to autism spectrum disorders. There is little doubt among those who are familiar with the scientific literature that NCGS is a real condition. 

Yet despite this, we continue to see headlines in the media like this:

These stories—and many other like them—argue that nonceliac gluten intolerance is rare, and that people who eliminate gluten from their diet are just silly fad followers. In this article, however, I’m going to present three reasons why NCGS is not only a bonafide condition, but may in fact be a much more serious problem than celiac disease.

#1: Celiac Disease Is Far Easier to Diagnose Than NCGS

According to some estimates, for every diagnosed case of celiac disease (CD), there are 6.4 undiagnosed cases that remain undiagnosed—the majority of which are atypical or “silent” forms with no damage to the gut. (1) This silent form of CD is far from harmless; it is associated with a nearly fourfold increase in the risk of death. (2)

I believe that patients with NCGS are even more likely than patients with CD to go undiagnosed. Most gastroenterologists today know how to screen for celiac disease. They will typically test for antibodies to antibodies to alpha gliadin, transglutaminase-2, deamidated gliadin, and endomysium, and if positive do a biopsy to determine if tissue damage is present.

However, we now know that people can (and do) react to several other components of wheat above and beyond alpha gliadin, the component that is implicated in CD. These include other epitopes of gliadin (beta, gamma, omega), glutenin, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), gluteomorphin, and deamidated gliadin. What’s more, people can react to other types of tissue transglutaminase, including type 3—primarily found in the skin—and type 6—primarily found in the brain. (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

Why the “gluten intolerance haters” are wrong.#gluten #glutenintolerance

So, imagine a scenario where the patient is reacting to deamidated gliadin, glutenin, gluteomorphin, and either transglutaminase-3 or -6, but not reacting to alpha gliadin or transglutaminase-2—which are the antibodies used to screen for CD by most doctors. They will remain undiagnosed, and may continue to eat gluten for the rest of their lives, putting themselves at serious risk for autoimmune and other diseases.

This is not a hypothetical situation. In fact, I see cases like this all the time in my practice. Here is a screenshot from a recent test I ran on a patient. I use a much more thorough test for wheat and gluten intolerance called Array 3 from Cyrex Laboratories. Unlike other tests, it measures antibodies not only to alpha gliadin and transglutaminase-2, but also many of the other components of the wheat protein I mentioned above, as well as transglutaminase-3 and 6.

gluten chart copy

This patient is not reacting to alpha gliadin or transglutaminase-2. Had they been tested by their conventional doctor, they would have been told that they do not have celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

However, as you can see, she is reacting quite significantly to several different components of wheat, including:

  • Native and deamidated gliadin and gluteomorphin, which are compounds produced during the digestion of wheat.
  • Glutenin, which is the other major fraction of the wheat protein, along with gliadin.
  • Gliadin-transglutaminase complex, which indicates that the patient is experiencing an autoimmune reaction to wheat.
  • Transglutaminase-3, which is expressed primarily in the skin, and to a lesser extent in the brain and placenta.
  • Transglutaminase-6, which is expressed in the brain and nervous system.

When this patient consumes wheat or other gluten-containing foods, she may not experience the classic digestive symptoms associated with CD or NCGS, because she is not producing antibodies to transglutaminase-2 (which is mostly expressed in the gut). Instead, her intolerance of wheat could manifest in skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, and in neurological or brain-related conditions like depression, peripheral neuropathy, or ADHD. (9, 10)

Worst of all, if this patient had not had this test, and had continued to eat wheat and gluten for the rest of her life, it’s likely that she would have been at much higher risk for the long list of serious conditions that are associated with gluten intolerance, such as multiple sclerosis, ataxia, diabetes, and even Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). (11, 12, 13, 14)

Unfortunately, this patient is not the exception—she is the rule. I’ve seen so many test results just like this, where the patient would have been misdiagnosed as not having gluten intolerance had they gone to a conventional doctor.

This presents another obvious problem, of course: if very few health care providers are doing the correct testing for gluten intolerance (like the panel from Cyrex above), then how can we possibly know what the true prevalence of NCGS is? We can’t—but given everything I’ve written above, we can certainly suspect that it’s much higher than currently believed.

According to Cyrex Labs, 1 in 4 people that take the Array 3 panel test positive for some form of wheat or gluten intolerance. Granted, this is not a representative sample, since most people that take the Cyrex panel are dealing with chronic illness of some kind.

Even with the limitations of current testing, however, some researchers have speculated that NCGS may affect as many as 1 in 10 people. (15) I suspect this is accurate, if not conservative.

#2: Current Cultural Attitudes toward NCGS Mean More People Will Remain Undiagnosed

There has been a big backlash in both the mainstream media and on social media channels against the idea of gluten intolerance. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, uninformed journalists and armchair Facebook scientists continue to argue that NCGS is some kind of widespread collective delusion—simply a figment of the imagination of anyone who claims to experience it.

And for reasons that I do not fully understand, they do so with an almost religious fervor.

The “gluten intolerance haters” seemed to emerge in force after a paper published by Gibson et al. in 2013 made the rounds in the media. This study found that a group of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were not sensitive to gluten, but instead were reacting to a group of poorly absorbed carbohydrates called FODMAPs. (16) Aside from the fact that this study did not in any way disprove the existence of NCGS, from a practical perspective the study findings would not have changed the behavior of most people with IBS who identified as being gluten intolerant, since wheat and many other gluten-containing grains are FODMAPs and should thus be avoided by these patients.

More importantly, however, in the last two years since the Gibson paper new studies have been published that directly contradict Gibson’s findings and strongly suggest that patients with IBS do, in fact, react adversely to gluten—and not just FODMAPs.

For example, a new double-blind, randomized trial out of Iran was specifically designed to determine whether a group of IBS patients reacted to gluten specifically, or simply improved for other reasons on a gluten-free diet. (17) Here’s how it worked:

  1. 80 patients followed an “almost-gluten-free” diet (dietary compliance was considered optimal if consumption of gluten was below 100 mg/day, the equivalent of roughly 1/8 tsp of wheat four).
  2. After six weeks, the 72 patients that complied with the diet and experienced significant improvement were then randomized into two groups: Group A, and Group B.
  3. Group A (35 patients) was given a 100 g packet containing a gluten meal (free of FODMAPs). Group B (37 patients) was given a placebo packet (100 g) containing rice flour, corn starch, and glucose.
  4. Patients in both groups consumed the powders for six weeks, while both groups continued on gluten-free diets.

After six weeks of the diet symptoms were controlled in only 26% of the gluten group, compared with 84% of the placebo group. In the gluten-containing group, all symptoms—especially bloating and abdominal pain—increased significantly one week after starting the gluten.

The authors point out that it is important to properly identify gluten intolerance and distinguish it from FODMAP intolerance because some recent research suggests that long-term low FODMAP diets may have adverse effects on the gut microbiome. One study found that a low FODMAP diet compared with a habitual diet reduced the proportion and concentration of Bifidobacteria, one of the most beneficial species of bacteria in the colon. (18) (Authors note: I will be exploring this issue in more detail in a future article.)

But I would add another equally serious consequence of misdiagnosing gluten intolerance as FODMAP intolerance, which is the increase in risk for numerous and sometimes serious diseases that occurs when someone with NCGS continues to consume gluten.

#3: Many Doctors and Patients Aren’t Serious Enough about NCGS Treatment

This last point is a natural consequence of the first two. If detecting NCGS in conventional medical settings is unlikely, and there is a strong cultural backlash against it, where does that leave the millions of people that are likely suffering from NCGS without even knowing it?

Even if they do suspect that they are gluten intolerant, they might be dissuaded from pursuing a strict gluten-free diet by their friends, social media contacts, or even their doctor, all of whom are likely uninformed on this subject and do not understand the deficiencies in conventional testing or the complexity of the topic.

Based on the research I’ve reviewed in this article, and several others I linked to here, we should be more aggressive—not less—in diagnosing and treating gluten intolerance.

We need greater access to test panels like Cyrex Labs Array 3, which is the only commercial test outside of a research setting that screens for antibodies to many of the proteomes in wheat, instead of just testing for alpha gliadin. We need better training for doctors on how to recognize the myriad of symptoms and conditions associated with gluten intolerance, so they don’t make the common mistake of assuming that the patient isn’t gluten intolerant if they don’t have digestive problems. And we need some prominent journalists to educate themselves, step forward, and take responsibility for treating this as the serious, potentially life-threatening problem that it is.

Even without access to tests like Array 3, an elimination/provocation trial where gluten is removed completely from the diet for 60 days and then reintroduced is still considered to be an accurate method of assessing gluten intolerance. Doctors should be much more proactive about recommending this to patients, and despite the claims of some mainstream nutritionists and dietitians to the contrary, there is no risk to removing gluten from the diet. (19) If anything, people on a gluten-free diet are more likely to increase their intake of essential nutrients, especially if they replace breads and other flour products with whole foods (rather than with gluten-free flour alternatives).

Finally, it’s worth pointing out that many people that are intolerant of gluten are also intolerant of other food proteins found in foods like dairy, eggs, and unfortunately, coffee. Studies have shown that about 50 percent of patients with CD show intolerance to casein, a protein in milk. (20)

This may explain why up to 30 percent of CD patients continue to have symptoms or clinical signs after adopting a gluten-free diet. (21) For this reason, I recommend a completely grain- and dairy-free diet during the gluten challenge period.

633 Comments

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  1. This is fascinating. Could it shed any light on this great mystery that has plagued me for 20 years? What could possibly be the common denominator here…

    I have a strong gastric reaction (putrid gas 4-7 hours later) to…
    – Almost all forms of bread, including standard wheat bread, rye and sourdough. The worst are supermarket breads stored in plastic, and heavy German rye.
    – Baked grains, such as cookies and toasted muesli.

    I have no reaction at all to…
    – Pasta.
    – Raw muesli.
    – Crepes made with wheat flour.
    – Also, when young I backpacked through Switzerland and could not afford to buy much food. I lived on local wholewheat bread, cheese, fruit and yoghurt for 10 days. I had no reaction from all that bread, which was totally bizarre.

    What factor could possibly unite all these variables?

    • Could be yeast. Everything you react to has yeast, everything you don’t react to doesn’t—except the bread you ate when you were young.

      • Just my two cents –

        The Swiss wholewheat may provide a clue: I grew up in Europe eating bread that was slow risen by natural and local yeasts, and to which no conditioners, preservatives, or other extraneous miscellany was added. It was fresh and mold-free, having been bought the same day.

        So it may be the yeast strains, the additives, or post-production molds. Any or all three. Heavy plastic does make me suspicious of mold. Or it may be a case of different wheat strains, and/or, as you were young, no GS of any sort yet expressed

        • Thanks for those thoughts. Interesting. The weirdness has always been that yeast, per se, can’t be the (sole) variable. Toasted grains have the same effect, and sourdough has the same effect. Even fresh, home made, additive-free bread is dreadful.

          A food technologist once speculated that I might be reacting to proteins(?) formed at high temperatures – so bread, cookies and toasted muesli, but not pasta or raw muesli.

          Then again, I do have a skin allergy to Saccharomyces cerevisiae, so my gut almost certainly hates it too.

          The notion of possibly different yeast strains in Swiss bread is interesting. The reaction was very well established at that time, which is why I was so surprised that I was unaffected.

          Then again, what’s with the yeast-free toasted grains and sourdough?

          One other variable is that if I avoid bread for long enough, I can eat some for a day or two and be quite OK. But if I fall into a habit of eating it regularly, things turn bad and stay bad, even for a few days after I’ve stopped.

          I’d love to get to the bottom of it!

  2. I’m NCGI. I didn’t realise this until I have up grains when going Atkins and then Paleo. Prior to this I had explosive bowels, stomach cramps, bloating and reflux; all this disappeared when I stopped grains.

    I do still eat bread from time to time, as I like it, normally when we eat out at restaurants. And, guess what, the days after I will have stomach pains and loose stools or even diarrhoea.

    Good news is that the lower levels of gluten in beer don’t set it off, so my very bad, and only vice, is safe!

  3. Great article, Chris, I’ll be sure to reference it when I’m challenged on my gluten free decision. Is there a similar test that detects dairy intolerance as I eat a very clean diet but with dairy and still have a runny nose and bouts of flaky skin. I’ve found supplementing with Vit D3 and K2 really helpful for the skin, a tip I picked from a Robb Wolf podcast but I can’t shake the clear runny nose. I’m guessing I’ll have to exclude dairy for 30 days but that’s not going to be easy as I try and eat a low carb diet and heavy cream and cheese are convenient foods for this lifestyle, I don’t touch milk but have yogurt occasionally, too. Maybe I’m answering my own question as I write this… Thanks for all you do,

    Tony (from sunny Scotland, not! Hence the Vit D…)

  4. I have suffered for many years with bloating, wind, stomach cramps weight gain and many more symptoms, i stopped eating bread and had seen a improvement, i went to my doctors as i then started to lose weight after so long of weight gain. They tested me for ceolicas which came back within normal levels, i mentioned to the doctor that i had cut bread an d wheat from my diet but he succusted it would be in other foods. I then had a camera but down into the stomach and had some tissue from the stomach tested, that game back fine, my stool sample came back at 33, so they have said all good, so i have started to introduce wheat back into my diet and all the symptoms have come back worse, constipation bloating(where i look pregnant) but i still have slow weight lose. I don’t know what else todo i can’t afford a private blood test, so i think i will just have to stay on a wheat and glutin diet. What do you Think?

  5. The patient in your example has raised IgG antibodies to many components of wheat but IgA is normal almost everywhere.

    What is the significance of IgG antibodies? It is my understanding that in food intolerance testing, these antibodies usually indicate exposure to a food and may even indicate tolerance rather than a problem.

    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/igg-food-intolerance-tests-what-does-the-science-say/

    This article write has strong views, but it is backed up with links to interesting studies. But I tend to think they are probably right. You hear stories about people who eliminated foods on the basis of IgG testing, only to later show that they are now supposedly intolerant of all the new foods that they swapped into the diet to compensate for the stuff they took out.

    Ignoring the IgG results, it wouldn’t necessarily mean your patient could eat gluten though. Your patient has raised IgA antibodies to native and de-amidated gluten … and isn’t de-amidated gluten peptides one of the newest tests for celiac disease? Is this test related?

    I think there’s still a lot of science that we don’t understand.

    • Deamidated gliadin and gluteomorphins are formed during the process of digesting gluten. Therefore gluten would definitely be a problem for this patient, and that was confirmed by elimination/provocation protocol.

      Deamidated gliadin is one of the first tests used to screen for CD now.

    • I would add that I agree that there’s a lot that we don’t understand, and ultimately there is no test that I trust 100%. If a patient does an elimination / provocation protocol and reacts strongly to gluten, but all tests (including Cyrex) are negative, then I am going to advise them to remove gluten from their diet.

      The converse is a little trickier. If a test says a patient is reacting immunologically to gluten, but they don’t notice any reaction after eliminating/provoking, I’m less comfortable advising them to continue eating it. What if their reaction is “silent”, i.e. it is affecting them adversely but that effect is not apparent to them?

      • I appreciate the response, and agree with the sentiment – at the end of the day, if you feel better off not eating gluten then don’t eat it. So I don’t.

        I cut out gluten on the basis of fecal sIgA antibodies to gluten… another test again. I didn’t know whether to trust the test, so I did the elimination and challenge.

        I had actually no idea that I was reacting to something I was eating, since my only digestive symptom was constipation, and that hadn’t really registered as a problem, it was just my ‘normal’.

        I did get the standard celiac tests before going gluten free but they showed nothing. In fact, I got tested twice because I wanted to be sure I was doing the right thing.

        The gluten challenge for the second test gave me weird cortisol rushes in the middle of the night (actually pretty scary) and throbbing in my lymph nodes under my arms – so I’m pretty sure it’s an immune response of some sort.

        I hope scientists figure this stuff out soon and stop equating FODMAP intolerance with gluten sensitivity. I can eat FODMAPs with impunity, in fact I find some of them highly beneficial, but at the same time my immune system hates gluten.

      • I completely agree with you Chris. I am one of those people who have a nearly silent reaction – just some minimal bloating. And I err on the side of – not putting my body into harm’s way (to the best of my ability). I can live without gluten. But I can’t live (at least, optimally) with an auto-immune disease.

        The real issue to me is getting the mainstream medical community to support my healthy choices (don’t prescribe me substances that will compromise my immune system) – even if they can’t acknowledge (or test for) NCGS.

        I am appreciative of functional practices that evaluate and treat root causes.

  6. My friend has severe reaction to any slightest amount of gluten but tested as a non coeliac. The consultant told her that he actually thinks she is a coeliac but current medical tests cannot positively identify the condition in some people.

  7. I absolutely love bread but for the past few years I have found that if I eat it on an empty stomach (i.e. breakfast) I get palpitations. However if I eat a little with other foods there is no problem for example a well filled chicken sandwich and a glass of wine eaten in the evening made me feel absolutely great. However am I doing myself harm by eating bread in such circumstances or is to OK because my body seems able to cope if the bread is eaten when I have food in my stomach ? ( Buckwheat (sarasin), millet, rye all have the same effect but chick pea flour is OK and rice only makes me feel bad if eaten several times over the period of a few days). It seems to be the high protein foods which dissipate the bad effects of bread. Why?

    • It’s hard to say why for sure. However, the human body is quite resilient and is able to build up a tolerance to things that it reacts to. For example, if someone is gluten intolerant and they eat gluten regularly, their *obvious* reaction may lessen over time.

      However, we have to wonder what the cost of that “buffering” against gluten is. Several studies show increased risk of many different diseases with NCGS, so even though someone with NCGS may not have obvious reactions in the gut every time they consume gluten, that doesn’t mean they aren’t being affected by it.

    • When I was having palpitations, I found that I was also having blood glucose issues. I initially blamed all my symptoms on an allergy/intolerance. However, I found that carbs like wheat and white rice just really spiked my blood glucose and made me feel terrible. Getting my glucose numbers under control has really alleviated many symptoms. There may be an allergy component as well because anything that stresses the system can raise blood glucose. Anyhow, I’ve eliminated the problems foods and I feel well.

      The fact that you feel better when you combine carbohydrates with protein and alcohol (can improve insulin sensitivity) could point to your body having problems regulating blood glucose…for whatever reason.

  8. I got quite ill traveling last year with a really violent bout of vomiting, after that I seemed to suffer from the symptoms of GERD, which I find to be totally unbearable. So after many months of trying to work out what the problem was, I did an elimination diet and dosed up on probiotics and supplements to try and restore by gut health. I was convinced it had to be bacterial related.

    Well, it turns out I am reacting to gluten, when I tried to reintroduce, I was gluten sensitive. This was Sept 2014. I have continued to try and restore my gut health through diet and supplements and have on occasion tried to reintroduce gluten. I seem to be less sensitive but still not able to eat it.

    I on occasion still have the GERD symptoms and that does not seem to be related to the gluten. I was just saying to my husband I probably need to try and figure out if it is gluten or wheat I am sensitive to now.

    I am trying to work out if this is actually an imbalance, i.e. it will correct itself, or if this is my new normal.

    • Were you ever tested for parasites? two years ago I did have much distress with acid reflux, at least that is what I was told I had. But with more investigation, and tests, I found that I had three different parasites that were causing most of my problems. Along with the parasites, I was egg, soy, gluten, and dairy sensitive, also vit D, and vit B12 deficient. After treating the parasites, the sensitivities were gone. I still stay away from the things I was sensitive to, since it just feels better all around.

  9. My son is nearly 14 years old. When he was 5 years old he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, he presented with facial tics at that time too. By the age of 10 his diagnosis was upgraded to Tourette Syndrome and he was placed on Lovan for anxiety control. By the age of 13 his attention deficit was becoming a challenge at school and disastrous medical trials of vyvance and Ritalin ended with increased tics, social isolation and depression. He was taken off those meds and is now on 20mg daily of Strattera for attention and of 20mg daily of lovan for anxiety. While his anxiety and attention is fairly controlled he started to get severe abdominal pains and slowed bowel movements at roughly 12 years of age. A med trial off drugs did not improve his abdominal pains so I removed all dairy and carbs from his diet (we essentially went paleo). Despite having to reintroduce the neurological meds my son has been pain-free since dietary changes and we’re waitlisted for gluten testing with a gastroenterologist. I’m very tentative about the appointment because I suspect his gluten issues will be dismissed if not graded as coeliac disease. I aim to request Array 3 testing, do you know if this is available in Australia where we live? If not, how do I go about obtaining a referral to a country where we can have such tests conducted? My heart is heavy, I suspect much of this problem may have started when he was placed on a proton-pump inhibitor as a 10 week old baby with reflux. I wish I’d known then what I know now. Chris, thanks for your amazing articles (and books!), Julia

    • Unfortunately I don’t think Cyrex Array 3 is available in Australia. In this situation I would not wait for testing to confirm gluten intolerance if your son has significantly improved by not eating it. It is not an essential nutrient and there is little downside (other than the inconvenience, which is IMO minor compared to what’s at stake here).

      • Thanks Catriona, kind of you to give me this info. I have found a GP here who is also a trained nutritionist and works from a wholistic health centre. I’ll print out the Pyroluria questionnaire for her to look through with me. A brief review indicates to me that Michael does not have this. I’m very grateful to you for sharing this info.

  10. I’m curious about the differing amounts of gluten in different strains of wheat. I was alerted to this by a conversation with a French chef, who refuses to bake anything with local (South African) wheat flour, as it is too strong and not fine enough. He imports his flour, a softer flour. I travelled in Europe for 3 weeks last year and ate bread with abandon, at first because it was cheap and abundant, later because I had no IBS symptoms. Once home, eczema and IBS returned, and I stopped eating wheat again.

    After a period of abstinence, I’ve found I can tolerate spelt, which is apparently low in gluten. So my question is, for people who can tolerate small quantities of gluten, is it worth searching out sources of lower-gluten wheat flour? Or was my European experience simply a result of being on holiday, and less stressed?

  11. I know I am gluten intolerant because when I do not consume gluten I have better digestion: less bloating, gas, constipation; and less fatigue. I have been battling with autoimmune diseases for years (arthritis & graves disease) and I suspect they came about because of gluten intolerance leading to leaky gut. I know how I feel and I will not listen to anyone who tries to tell me gluten intolerance is fake.

  12. I feel much better after eliminating bread and pasta. But I wouldn’t ask my primary care doctor about such a complicated blood panel. Here in Germany even Vitamin D is not standard blood work.

    I’m still not where I want to be with remaining stomach problems. Finding a more knowledeable doctor is totally impossible.

    The mother last year almost died from carbs (ruptured intestines). I wasn’t able to change her diet one tiny bit, because she “needs her bread”. At least I can get some MCT oil into her from cooking with it.

  13. Hi Chris!
    How validated are these tests? Many doctors and researchers are very skeptical towards Ig-testing in NCGS as they are not telling the full story. I could suspect that in these patients you also see Ig-reactions against harmless food proteins (maybe due to compromised gut or skrewed immunity). What is your experience?
    Lars

    • This test covers both IgG and IgA. The Cyrex panel is unlike other IgG and cytotoxic food intolerance tests. I am not 100% certain in its validity, but Vojdani (director at Cyrex) is a respected and published immunologist and I’ve found it to be a useful clinical tool.

  14. Hi Chris, thanks for another thought provoking article. I have been gluten free for a couple of years now due to colitis and leaky gut. I consume daily bone broths to heal and seal my gut and take four high strength probiotic capsules daily to reconstitute the good bacteria. What I’d like to know is whether raw cacao is detrimental or beneficial to my health? Is there any compound in raw cacao that could cause problems? I ask because I make a superfood chocolate which only contains cacao, coconut oil, coconut syrup, ground amaranth, chia and flaxseed, almond butter, peppermint oil and coconut. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, Jacqui

  15. Having had gut issues all my life, I realised wheat was triggering my terrible bloating, stomach pains and foul flatulence. Tests have come back negative for CD. After a year of what I think was chronic fatigue (dr thought it may be a mosquito virus but tests came back negative) I have finally embarked on completely GF diet and have been paleo since Jan. I am still suffering and just wish when I was initially diagnosed with IBS back in 2001 that I was told to exclude gluten back then. I am sure my health would not have reached the crisis it has now. My daughters both show signs of intolerances and I have had to fight a disbelieving husband to trial one of them as GF. Without a medical diagnosis, it is very hard to convince people it’s not all in your head.

  16. I posted a question re cured arrays but it appears it’s been blocked, is there a reason?

    • I can’t find another comment by you in the pending queue (we moderate comments), the spam or the trash. Can you please try reposting your comment?

  17. I stopped eating gluten about 8 years ago to help my son who I thought might have CD (who was about 11 or 12 at the time). I told him I’d do it with him. Turns out he doesn’t have CD but I had NCGS (and he might possibly too but that’s a whole other story). I immediately got more energy and while I didn’t really have digestive issues, I generally felt better, not having realized that I hadn’t been feeling great all those years.
    In years past I could eat a bite or two of a bagel or cookie occasionally w/ no repercussions.
    Now, I’m 4 years Paleo. The cleaner I get, the more sensitive I get to the “old ways”. Twice in the past year I have accidentally eaten gluten. Once, there were bread crumbs mixed into egg salad that I didn’t realize till 2 days later when I was throwing up and my belly was so painful and bloated I looked like I was pregnant. It took me a month to get better from that w/ the help of my Functional Med. doc. Just a few weeks ago I ate 1 bite of a side dish in a restaurant and realized there was flour in the sauce. One bite….Again, I was sick….not as bad as the 1st time, for about 3 weeks. Gas, bloating, stomach aches. My doc suggested I carry an enzyme that breaks down gluten (can’t remember the name) for the unsure eating out times.
    I find it easiest to always eat at home or take food w/ me. Going out to eat I’ve found a safe haven in Mission Heirloom in Berkeley. I don’t have to ask a zillion questions and I am confident that I am getting non contaminated clean food.
    I find most people in the Bay Area to be fairly tolerant, and also curious. What can people say when I say “Gluten makes me really sick”!!!?? I’m very outspoken about my Paleo lifestyle and how it has helped me and many others. When I have clients (I own a Pilates studio) who complain of various health issues I always ask them if they’ve ever thought of a change of diet. I often get “I could never give up (blank)!! OK then….let me know when you are sick of being sick….I can help guide you. I know lots of people who I am SURE are gluten intolerant and more. I have to pick my battles to fight. My husband came on the Paleo bandwagon about 3 years ago. He lost a bunch of fat around his middle and stopped having a skin condition that had plagued him for years. For a while he stopped snoring, but that came back.
    I’ve never had an MD ask me what I eat, or even comment when I mention that I am gluten intolerant.
    I could go on and on but I’ll stop here. Thanks for a great article Chris.

  18. I went gluten/dairy/soy free a year ago and noticed so much improvement in the way I felt.
    Chris, now I’ve discovered I’m iodine deficient, have MTHFR mutation, small fiber neuropathy, it’s taken years to get my Vit D from 17 to 40, among others. Could any of these be related to any possible missing nutrients from removing gluten/dairy/soy from my diet?

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<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container gform_legacy_markup' action='/3-reasons-gluten-intolerance-may-be-more-serious-than-celiac-disease/comment-page-2/' novalidate> <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_9_1" class="gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_9_2" class="gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false" ><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id="field_9_4" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='9738' /></div></li><li id="field_9_5" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Food Additives' /></div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Food+Additives' /> </div> </form> </div>
[gravityform id="9" title="false" description="false" field_values='popup_name=Diet-Heart Myth']
<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container gform_legacy_markup' action='/3-reasons-gluten-intolerance-may-be-more-serious-than-celiac-disease/comment-page-2/' novalidate> <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_9_1" class="gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_9_2" class="gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false" ><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id="field_9_4" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='9738' /></div></li><li id="field_9_5" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='Diet-Heart Myth' /></div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=Diet-Heart+Myth' /> </div> </form> </div>
[gravityform id="9" title="false" description="false" field_values='popup_name=B12']
<div class='gf_browser_unknown gform_wrapper qc_box_container_wrapper gform_legacy_markup_wrapper' id='gform_wrapper_9' ><form method='post' enctype='multipart/form-data' id='gform_9' class='qc_box_container gform_legacy_markup' action='/3-reasons-gluten-intolerance-may-be-more-serious-than-celiac-disease/comment-page-2/' novalidate> <div class='gform_body gform-body'><ul id='gform_fields_9' class='gform_fields top_label form_sublabel_below description_below'><li id="field_9_1" class="gfield field gfield_contains_required field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_1' >Email<span class="gfield_required"><span class="gfield_required gfield_required_asterisk">*</span></span></label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_email'> <input name='input_1' id='input_9_1' type='email' value='' class='large' placeholder='Your Email' aria-required="true" aria-invalid="false" /> </div></li><li id="field_9_2" class="gfield health-concern field field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><label class='gfield_label' for='input_9_2' >I want to improve my...</label><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_select'><select name='input_2' id='input_9_2' class='large gfield_select' aria-invalid="false" ><option value='' selected='selected' class='gf_placeholder'>I want to improve my...</option><option value='Weight' >Weight</option><option value='Energy' >Energy</option><option value='Digestion' >Digestion</option><option value='Brain' >Brain</option><option value='Overall Health' >Overall Health</option><option value='All of the Above' >All of the Above</option></select></div></li><li id="field_9_4" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_4' id='input_9_4' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='9738' /></div></li><li id="field_9_5" class="gfield gform_hidden field_sublabel_below field_description_below gfield_visibility_visible" ><div class='ginput_container ginput_container_text'><input name='input_5' id='input_9_5' type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' aria-invalid="false" value='B12' /></div></li></ul></div> <div class='gform_footer top_label'> <input type='submit' id='gform_submit_button_9' class='gform_button button' value='Download eBook' onclick='if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} ' onkeypress='if( event.keyCode == 13 ){ if(window["gf_submitting_9"]){return false;} if( !jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity || jQuery("#gform_9")[0].checkValidity()){window["gf_submitting_9"]=true;} jQuery("#gform_9").trigger("submit",[true]); }' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='is_submit_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_submit' value='9' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_unique_id' value='' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='state_9' value='WyJbXSIsIjVkYTAyNjYxOTg4ZDNhZGQwOTU0Yzc4NDcyNDk5YmM4Il0=' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_target_page_number_9' id='gform_target_page_number_9' value='0' /> <input type='hidden' class='gform_hidden' name='gform_source_page_number_9' id='gform_source_page_number_9' value='1' /> <input type='hidden' name='gform_field_values' value='popup_name=B12' /> </div> </form> </div>
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