Think you're not affected by eating gluten? You likely are and you may want to learn more. There is a spectrum in severity of gluten related reactions from mild to severe. The symptoms, if felt, can present in all parts of the body, not just the digestive tract, and often involve neurological, endocrine, thyroid, joint, dental, and skin conditions, plus cancer. Celiac disease has over 300 known symptoms, although many diagnosed with celiac disease are asymptomatic.
(See HERE for the most common symptoms.)
There is no specific treatment for gluten related conditions other than to avoid the gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten often causes "Leaky Gut" Syndrome, which leads to a host of medical problems. It is the specific protein Gliadin, found in gluten, which is most problematic in individuals.
There are three main forms of gluten reactions:
Two of the best books on the subject of Gluten Reactions are:
Celiac disease is the most commonly known term of all the gluten reactions. In celiac disease, gluten triggers the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine, eventually eating away that lining in a process known as villous atrophy. This is caused when the wheat protein gliadin “is partially degraded (i.e. deamidated) by the enzyme tissue transglutaminase, the effect of which is to activate susceptible host T-cells to mistakenly identify and attack intestinal villi as if they were 'foreign' invaders” (Sayer Ji, 2013).
How common is it?
Approximately 1 in 133 Americans (more than 3 million) have celiac disease. However, 97% of Americans estimated to have Celiac Disease have not yet been diagnosed.
Celiac disease has a genetic component; it is prevalent in 1 of 22 people with first-degree relatives (parent, child, sibling) who also have the disease. 30% of the US population is estimated to have the genes for celiac disease (U. Chicago, n.d.).
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