Celiac.com 12/29/2018 - Imbalance and clumsiness may not be the most common symptom of the nervous system related to gluten intolerance but one of the most researched areas. Physicians use the term “ataxia” to describe poor coordination and balance. It can affect your walking and your ability to stand. While many systems contribute to your balance your cerebellum in the brain is the location that organizes all of the information and navigates your movements precisely.
Some doctors claim that ataxia is one of the most common disorders produced by gluten in relationship to our nervous system. Poor coordination and clumsiness does occur with gluten intolerance and affects children as well as adults. Evidence suggests that this is all due to the immune system’s reaction to gluten itself. In people who are genetically at-risk for gluten sensitivity, gluten induces an immune attack against the protein gliadin and this antibody not only attacks gliadin in the gut but also attacks tissues far away from the intestines. In this case, through the bloodstream, these antibodies travel to the cerebellum and attack the Purkinje cells. As these cells become inflamed from the immune attack, the ability to integrate all the “balance information” is impaired, and coordination suffers. Symptoms like poor balance and coordination can result.