As I sat at Otto’s on Friday night, cider in hand, I overheard a conversation at the bar. The topic was gluten sensitivity. As I listened, I was reminded of how many people are misinformed about the severity of gluten intolerance. As they laughed and made jokes, I felt myself getting fired up. It’s what I call ‘passion for what I do’.
Not only am I a Nutritionist and Certified Gluten Practitioner, I am also gluten intolerant.
Like many others, I have long suspected that I have a problem with gluten but my tests have always come back negative. Most traditional doctors test 3-5 markers for Celiac Disease and if they come back normal, declare gluten as safe to eat. What about the many people who feel better off gluten but test negative for Celiac?
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) describes individuals who are unable to tolerate gluten and experience symptoms similar to those with celiac disease. However, these folks lack the evidence of intestinal damage. They don’t have full-blown celiac disease but they DO have reactions to the gluten proteins themselves.Many recent news stories suggest that NCGS doesn’t exist. Yet there is growing evidence to the contrary, in fact, showing that NCGS may be more of a threat then CD. So what happens if you are reacting to gluten but all your tests come back negative?
Let me give you a visual. Meet Jill. She is 36 years old and has suspected gluten sensitivity for years. She was tested by her doctor who told her she did not have Celiac Disease. He said there was no need for her to eliminate gluten at this time. (Sound familiar?) Jill went off gluten anyway because she knew that she felt better without it. This is what happens to Jill when she accidentally gets gluten through cross contamination, meaning, she doesn’t even eat gluten, but let’s say, has oats that have been processed in the same machinery as gluten.
Even though Jill has very clear symptoms, not everyone does. Some manifest gluten sensitivity as eczema, cold sores, irregular menses, anxiety/depression, bone loss, fatigue, etc. all things that you wouldn’t necessarily correlate with a food allergy.
So how would we know that this person is reacting to glu