Did you know that mortality rates are twice as high in untreated gluten sensitive individuals compared to those with celiac disease, even on a gluten free diet?
According to the largest study published in the medical journal American Journal of Gastroenterology, those with gluten sensitivity had a 72% increased rate of mortality compared to those with celiac disease. It is mind boggling the amount of misinformation out there about gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Let’s address gluten sensitivity for now.
I’m not a doctor, but with a little research and some homework it’s not too hard to find thousands of actual research data points about all aspects of celiac disease, and more specifically gluten sensitivity, as well as the effect of gluten on dozens of illnesses.
Why is gluten sensitivity more dangerous, yet the most underestimated and least treated?
Well, for one, most doctors don’t have the time to read and research all the new studies published in all the different medical and scientific journals and still have time to tend to their patients’ needs. Some perhaps don’t care to! I realize my last statement will ruffle few feathers, but it’s the sad truth. Our health system is partially to blame for this, there is simply no money in telling someone stop eating wheat and all other gluten containing products and you will be fine! And in doctors’ defense, let’s be honest, most of us don’t want to hear that from our doctors, we want a quick fix, and we want it now! Notice I said quick fix, not prevention or elimination! We expect to get a prescription from our doctors; we have been psychologically predisposed to walk out of that office with a piece of paper in one hand with a promise for an immediate cure. Or shall I say relief!
And that’s only half the problem. If someone is diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, and the misinformed or hardly trained staff members pass on the little info they have to patients, then, the patient is left on their own to learn more about gluten sensitivity. And with so many online resources underestimating the seriousness of gluten sensitivity compared to celiac disease, most people are left with the belief that as long as you are not a celiac, there is no harm in consuming a little gluten from time to time. NOT SO!!! Celiac disease is nothing other than the end stage of gluten sensitivity! The toll that eating gluten for years, even decades, takes on the intestinal lining creates a ripple effect. If you are not a celiac (yet) but have gluten sensitivity, you are slowly but surely damaging some organ or tissue in your body, your intestines, your liver, your brain, your heart or muscles.
Bottom line is that not all information online is accurate or scientifically backed. This is a scary statement I found online from a “celiac/GS coach”: (the quote has not been altered)
“Gluten intolerance is similar to celiac; someone with gluten intolerance may experience some of the symptoms of celiac, but once the gluten has passed from the body their system clears up and the symptoms go away with little long-term effect. This is based on current medical research and opinion, but no conclusive evidence is available.
Treatment for Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance
The only successful treatment for celiac and gluten intolerance is a gluten-free diet. If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, a strict gluten-free diet reduces the risk of having a gluten reaction considerably. If you are celiac you must eat foods that are gluten-free. For celiacs, continued consumption (even the tiniest amount) may cause damage to the small intestine. For those that are gluten intolerant, ingesting gluten should not cause damage but will consistently produce unwanted symptoms.”
So, what is the problem with that statement?
First, it is worrisome to know that many individuals’ lives will be affected by the lack of that “coach’s” knowledge. Second, while it is true that your body will clear or detoxify from gluten over a period of 2-3 weeks, provided you are fully on a gluten free diet and not using any gluten containing products, including toiletry. Research and studies are clear: gluten sensitivity is a permanent disorder!
And because many underestimate the danger of gluten sensitivity simply because the initial symptoms such as brain fog, lack of energy, bloating, joint pain, and many of the other issues may not seem to be as painful as the symptoms for celiac individuals. Therefore gluten sensitivity often remains untreated, and even worse, gluten sensitive individuals are told they would be fine with gluten containing foods because they are not celiac. Until they become celiac!
Many will develop far worse diseases such as cardiovascular disease, neurological problems, seizures, liver damage, autoimmune problems and many other diseases. In which cases, gluten is seldom considered as the culprit. Therefore, mortality will become inevitable since gluten consumption is not completely stopped. Degeneration of organs and tissues that are already weakened continues and increases.
If you suspect that you may have any reactions to gluten, be sure consult with your doctor or find a certified gluten practitioner like myself and others throughout the country and get the treatment you deserve.
It’s your life; make it a healthy and a happy life!