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  • Dr. Vikki Petersen D.C, C.C.N
    Dr. Vikki Petersen D.C, C.C.N

    Is Your Gut Creating Nervous System Trauma?

      Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Summer 2012 Issue

    Caption: Image: CC--Double-M

    Celiac.com 11/25/2017 - We have long known that gluten intolerance, both celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, are highly associated with neurological symptoms. Migraines, ataxia (unstable gait), seizures, schizophrenia – the list is long. But a recent research study just published last month sheds some new light on exactly what the mechanism may be. Understanding why these debilitating symptoms occur as a result of a gluten intolerance will, hopefully, go a long way toward increased awareness among the lay public and clinicians alike. It is certainly true that too many millions of Americans suffer the effects of a gluten intolerance unknowingly. They only know that they feel unhealthy but have no idea that gluten is the culprit.

    The digestive tract is sometimes called the second brain. Some say that is because it is second in importance to the brain. After all, if the food that is consumed doesn't turn into fuel that can effectively feed the 10 trillion cells in the body, those cells will be unable to perform their job and keep the body healthy. In fact, poor digestion is absolutely linked to poor health and increased onset of degenerative disease.

    This article in Current Pain and Headache Reports looks at another possibility for naming the digestive tract the second brain, and it simply stems from anatomy. The digestive tract actually has a ‘mind of its own'; more correctly, it has a nervous system of its own, called the enteric nervous system. ‘Enteric' simply means having to do with the intestine. This nervous system, according to research, is very similar to the brain housed in the head in that it is bathed in similar chemicals (called neurotransmitters – which, interestingly enough, are mostly produced in the gut!). It sends and receives impulses and records experiences and is influenced by emotions. Some proof of the latter: Have you ever been nervous and had diarrhea?

    This particular study stated that experiencing ‘adverse events' created a state of hypervigilance (a state of being overly responsive - not a good thing) in the nervous system which was associated with migraines and IBS. Such ‘hypervigilance' was previously only associated with the central nervous system – the one attached to the brain in the head. This group of researchers suggests that the initiation of hypervigilance may very likely lie in the enteric nervous system also.

    What this means is that if the small intestine is genetically sensitive to gluten and gluten is ingested, it could set off a nervous system response that could create disabling diseases, such as migraines and IBS, but likely others as well.

    The take-away message is that it is truly critical to diagnose gluten intolerance as soon as possible. Once that hurdle is surmounted it then needs to be followed with a program of nutrition, lifestyle and diet that will ensure healing of the small intestine and a ‘calming' of the hypervigilant nervous system. You may sometimes hear this referred to as healing a leaky gut.

    Here at HealthNOW we often see this clinically in patients who seem intolerant to many different foods and can't seem to enjoy stable improvement of their symptoms, even after they eliminate gluten from their diet. The reason for this insufficient improvement is that a comprehensive follow-up program is missing – a program that addresses what we call the Secondary Effects of Gluten. This entails evaluating for any other food sensitivities, cross reactive foods, a tendency towards autoimmune disease, the presence of any infectious organisms, healing the leaky gut, balancing the probiotic population, and more.

    While increasing awareness of the presence of gluten intolerance is absolutely critical, neglecting the secondary effects, as mentioned above, can result in long-term ill health that is truly preventable.
    Have you experienced such symptoms? Have you removed gluten but are only partially healthier? I'd love to hear from you.

    To your good health.



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  • About Me

    Dr. Vikki Petersen, a Chiropractor and Certified Clinical Nutritionist is co-founder and co-director, of the renowned HealthNow Medical Center in Sunnyvale, California. Acclaimed author of a new book, "The Gluten Effect" - celebrated by leading experts as an epic leap forward in gluten sensitivity diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Vikki is acknowledged as a pioneer in advances to identify and treat gluten sensitivity. The HealthNOW Medical Center uses a multi-disciplined approach to addressing complex health problems. It combines the best of internal medicine, clinical nutrition, chiropractic and physical therapy to identify the root cause of a patient's health condition and provide patient-specific wellness solutions. Her Web site is:
    www.healthnowmedical.com

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/28/2015 - Immune-mediated cerebellar ataxias include gluten ataxia, paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, GAD antibody associated cerebellar ataxia, and Hashimoto's encephalopathy.
    Despite the identification of an increasing number of immune-mediated cerebellar ataxias, there is no proposed standardized therapy.
    Recently, a research team set out to develop guidelines for treatment of immune-mediated cerebellar ataxias.
    The research team included H. Mitoma, M. Hadjivassiliou, and J. Honnorat. They are variously associated with the Department of Medical Education at Tokyo Medical University in Tokyo, Japan; the Academic Department of Neurosciences at Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK; the University Lyon 1; INSERM, UMR-S1028, CNRS, UMR-5292, Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, Neuro-Oncology and Neuro-Inflammation Team, 7; and the National Reference Centre for Paraneoplastic Neurological Diseases, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hôpital neurologique in Bron, France.
    For their study, the team evaluated the efficacies of immunotherapies in reported cases using a common scale of daily activity.
    Their resulting analysis focuses on the importance of removing autoimmune triggers (e.g., gluten or cancer), evaluating immunotherapy (e.g., corticosteroids, intravenous immunoglobulin, immunosuppressants), and adjusting according to each sub-type.
    Source:
    Cerebellum Ataxias. 2015 Nov 10;2:14. doi: 10.1186/s40673-015-0034-y. eCollection 2015.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/16/2017 - Cerebellar ataxias can be caused by a wide range of disease processes, either genetic or acquired. Establishing a clear diagnosis requires a methodical approach with expert clinical evaluation and investigation.
    A team of researchers recently published a description of the causes of ataxia in 1500 patients with cerebellar ataxia.  The research team included M Hadjivassiliou, J Martindale, P Shanmugarajah, R A Grünewald, P G Sarrigiannis, N Beauchamp, K Garrard, R Warburton, D S Sanders, D Friend, S Duty, J Taylor, and N Hoggard.
    They are variously affiliated with the Academic Department of Neurosciences, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Sheffield, UK; Sheffield Diagnostic Genetics Service, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK; the Department of Gastroenterology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Sheffield, UK; and the Department of Neuroradiology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Sheffield, UK.
    All patients in the study were referred to the Sheffield Ataxia Centre, UK, and underwent extensive examination, including, where appropriate genetic testing using next-generation sequencing (NGS).
    The team followed-up patients on a 6-month basis for reassessment and further investigations, as needed.
    The team assessed a total of 1500 patients over 20 years. Twenty per cent of those patients had a family history of ataxia, with the remaining having sporadic ataxia.
    The most common cause of sporadic ataxia was gluten ataxia at 25%. They found a genetic cause in 156, or 13% of sporadic cases, with alcohol excess causing 12% and a cerebellar variant of multiple system atrophy causing 11% of sporadic cases.
    Using NGS, they obtained positive results in 32% of 146 patients tested. The most common ataxia they found was EA2. A total of 57% of all familial ataxias were supported by genetic diagnosis. The most common genetic ataxias were Friedreich's ataxia (22%), SCA6 (14%), EA2 (13%), SPG7 (10%) and mitochondrial disease (10%).
    The diagnostic yield following attendance at the Sheffield Ataxia Centre was 63%. Immune-mediated ataxias are common. Advances in genetic testing have significantly improved the diagnostic yield of patients suspected of having a genetic ataxia.
    Making a diagnosis of the cause of ataxia is essential due to potential therapeutic interventions for immune and some genetic ataxias.
    Gluten is a culprit is 25% of sporadic ataxia cases, and clinicians should keep this in mind when diagnosing patients, as many of these cases can be reversed with a gluten-free diet.
    Source:
    J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. doi:10.1136/jnnp-2016-314863

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 08/10/2017 - Gluten ataxia is defined as sporadic ataxia with positive antigliadin antibodies without an alternative cause. Gluten ataxia patients often receive MRS at baseline and again after a period on a gluten-free diet.
    A research team recently set out to evaluate the effect of gluten free diet on magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) of the cerebellum in patients with gluten ataxia.
    The research team included M Hadjivassiliou, RA Grünewald, DS Sanders, P Shanmugarajah, N Hoggard. They are with the Academic Departments of Neurosciences (M.H., R.A.G., P.S.), Gastroenterology (D.S.S.), and Neuroradiology (N.H.), Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.
    The team included 117 consecutive patients with gluten ataxia in their report. Sixty-three followed a strict a gluten-free diet with elimination of antigliadin antibodies, 35 ate a gluten-free diet, but still tested positive for antigliadin antibodies, while 19 patients were not following a gluten-free diet.
    The N-acetylaspartate (NAA)/creatine (Cr) area ratio from the cerebellar vermis increased in 62 out of 63 (98%) patients on strict a gluten-free diet, in 9 of 35 (26%) patients on a gluten-free diet, but positive antibodies, and in only 1 of 19 (5%) patients not on a gluten-free diet. The NAA/Cr ratio decreased in all 14 ataxia control patients (cerebellar variant of multisystem atrophy), while the researchers saw no differences in the MRS results between patients with celiac disease and those without.
    Better NAA/Cr ratios seen on follow-up scans supports previous findings that gluten ataxia patients see clinical improvement a gluten-free diet
    Such improvements can occur regardless of existing enteropathy, so patients with positive serology and negative duodenal biopsy should still maintain a strict a gluten-free diet.
    Source:
    Neurology. 2017 Jul 19. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004237.doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004237.

    Dr. Vikki Petersen D.C, C.C.N
    Celiac.com 10/27/2017 - It has long been understood that two autoimmune diseases, celiac disease and type 1 diabetes are related. They share common genes and the incidence of celiac disease is higher among type 1 diabetics. There have been some anecdotal reports regarding children diagnosed with type 1 diabetes who were put on a gluten-free diet soon after their diagnosis and for a period of two years or more didn't require any insulin. The thought was that the gluten-free diet effectively halted the progression of the diabetes, at least for the duration of the study.
    Studies of mice have shown that despite utilizing a genetic strain of mice that were strongly in-bred to increase the risk of type 1 diabetes, 2/3 of them did not do so when a drug was administered to prevent leaky gut. This study was performed by Dr. Alessio Fasano at the University of Maryland Celiac Research Center. Dr. Fasano is one of the world's acclaimed researchers in the area of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
    Leaky gut is associated with the initiation and continuation of autoimmune disease and Dr. Fasano's work with these genetically predisposed mice shed a great deal of light on the power of an undamaged gut lining to effectively forestall development of a genetic condition, in this case type 1 diabetes.
    A recent study out of Immunology, dated August 22, 2012, is titled "Dietary gluten alters the balance of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in T cells of BALB/c mice". The title is a mouthful but here is what the researchers out of Denmark found:
    Their initial premise was based on the idea, as I mentioned above, that dietary modifications, specifically a gluten-free diet, could reduce the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. The question they posed was, "How did this occur?"
    They discovered that wheat gluten induced the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals called cytokines that would damage the intestinal lining and immune tissues of the small intestine. More importantly, a gluten-free diet didn't just neutralize the negative effects just mentioned, but it actually caused the production of anti-inflammatory chemicals that would provide protection for the immune system and gut. So, while gluten is a known bad guy, a gluten-free diet doesn't just take the negative away, it actually induces a positive, healing response.
    Clinically we frequently see this with patients. As soon as we meet a patient with any history of autoimmune disease, we quickly test them for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity via lab tests and a 30 day elimination diet. If we discover any negative immune reaction to gluten, we begin a strict gluten-free diet.
    Happily, we often see stabilization, if not reversal, of their autoimmune disease. We support the gluten-free diet with our other protocols for normalizing gut permeability (healing a leaky gut) and strengthening the immune system. Taken together this program yields excellent results.
    If you know anyone suffering from an autoimmune disease, please show them this article. Gluten could be a component in furthering their disease and a gluten-free diet could be a positive influence in their journey to improved health.
    I hope this was helpful. Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions. And if your health is not at the level you would like, I can also offer you a free health analysis. Call us at 408-761-3900.
    Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally and we would be delighted to help you.
    To your good health.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 11/27/2017 - For centuries, physicians have used cannabis to treat numerous disorders. Modern research shows that various cannabis compounds can alleviate symptoms from numerous conditions, including neurological disorders, cancer, rheumatism, epilepsy, sexual disorders, pain, among others.
    Many people with celiac disease suffer from neuropathy, which causes nerve pain, among other symptoms. Neuropathy can be difficult to treat. Nerve pain is a debilitating symptom that can significantly impair a patient's quality of life. Could a new cannabis patch change that?
    Some researchers think so. One California-based company, Cannabis Science, is developing an innovative new medicinal patch specifically designed to treat nerve pain. In addition to celiac related neuropathy, the patch could be helpful in treating nerve pain from many illnesses including fibromyalgia, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
    The National Institute of Health estimates that over 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia, which has no known cure, and is difficult to treat. With diabetes on the rise in the U.S., diabetic nerve pain is also on the rise.
    When placed on the patient's skin, the patch developed by Cannabis Science delivers a measured dose of high potency cannabidiol (CBD) extract. CBD is the second major cannabinoid in marijuana after THC, but CBD has no psychoactive effects, so it won't get people high.
    When the patch is applied, the CBD is first absorbed into the blood, then moves to the central nervous system, where it delivers pain relief.
    Numerous studies have documented CBD's “anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. More recent studies have shown that CBD provides relief from many kinds of pain.
    In addition to nerve pain, CBD has been shown to relieve inflammatory pain. Some studies have shown CBD to be more effective than current medication in treating inflammatory pain, such as pain from arthritis.
    As researchers home in on the pain-relieving properties of cannabis, look for more treatments to be developed, including treatments that may helpful for peopl with celiac disease.
    Read more: cannatech.news

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    Hello Everyone, Hope this finds you well. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a compassionate and caring Doctor may it be Functional or Medical etc. in the Vancouver area? I have contacted the Celiac groups, however they are not allowed to release names. Thank you kindly in advance for your time. Happy Healing.  
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