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gluten_sensitivity_danger_real

Yes, Gluten Sensitivity Is Very Real

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t see an article either in print or on the Internet indicating that the notion of going gluten-free is entirely overblown. Typically, the conclusions often sounds something like, “While only about 1.6% of Americans, those with confirmed celiac disease, need to be on a gluten-free diet, there is absolutely no reason for anyone else to adopt this diet.”

Statements like these are generally made to convince people who may be considering eliminating gluten or who may already be on a gluten-free diet, to go back to eating gluten-containing foods. Clearly, for those of us who have done the research to understand how gluten can affect certain people, pushing back against this type of sentiment has always been a challenge.

Generally, our response has always been supported by well-respected, peer-reviewed, scientific literature. As such, it was really very heartening to see this wonderful scientific review in the Journal of the American Medical Association in August of this year.

The authors clearly support the notion that non-celiac gluten sensitivity is in fact very real indeed, and, according to the authors, very common.

Further, the researchers call attention to the fact that individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may not only have gastrointestinal issues but other issues as well, including arthritis, depression, cloudiness of consciousness, headache, irritability, muscle pain, neuropathy, anxiety, anemia, and coordination difficulties.

And again, this report is put out by the American Medical Association and was written by researchers affiliated with some of the most well respected institutions in the world including Harvard Medical School and the European Biomedical Research Institute.

No doubt, we will continue to see nonscientific publications from naysayers as it relates to the notion of gluten sensitivity apart from celiac disease. I think it is very important in debates centered on these very important topics that we do our very best to support our positions with well-respected research.

  • DJ Helriggle

    This absolutely has to be true. I have been off of gluten for two weeks and I feel amazing! My depression and anxiety has abated, I’m clear headed, full of energy and I’m losing weight…nice bonus! Other than going on a low-carb diet and supplementing with probiotics, I haven’t made any other lifestyle changes. I’m not an expert, but in my mind, it has to be the gluten. Years ago, one of my doctor’s told me that, “Gluten is nasty stuff.” I wish I would have listened to him.

    • David Perlmutter

      Never too late to start taking steps to improve your health. Wishing you all the best DJ.

      • DJ Helriggle

        Thanks Dr. Perlmutter! Your books have changed my life!

    • Dr. Brian R. Ferguson

      As a doc who consistently recommends a gluten-free diet, can you teach me 1. what you WISH your doc had said, instead of ‘Gluten is nasty stuff’, that would have been more effectual? and 2.What was it that led you to make that change THIS time? What was the tipping point? I would appreciate your input to help me leverage teaching moments with my patients for whom I suspect a GF diet is worth considering.

      • DJ Helriggle

        Hi Dr. Ferguson! I guess I really didn’t appreciate my doctor’s sense of urgency surrounding gluten. This was way before there was much research on how bad it is for you. If he would have said, “Don’t eat gluten,” and told me why, I may have listened. The tipping point was my depression and anxiety. Both conditions were out of control, despite being put on multiple medications. I knew there had to be a better way, so I began to do some research and that’s what led me to Dr. Perlmutter. Getting physically active, cutting out gluten and sugars, supplementing with probiotics and taking advantage of other natural solutions has changed my life! I’m off of 2 of my three anti-depressants and should be clear of all of them within a few weeks.

        • Dr. Brian R. Ferguson

          Thank you, DJ. I appreciate your transparency and for sharing your experience. I wish you continued success in your journey to health.

      • Jody Bladin

        It’s awesome that you recommend gluten-free to your patients. When I first came across a esoteric practioner I was very bloated and felt heavy and very uncomfortable in the stomach and 15 kilos heavier than I am now.
        She just presented it to me by saying, try it and feel how your body feels in a couple of months. She also explained to me how it had changed her life too. That gluten is just like a glue that sits in the stomach causing havoc and how there is so much more gluten in our products today than ever before.
        It makes a huge difference if you live it too, people can see and feel the difference in you and you can explain your experience of what you live.
        I knew I had an opportunity here, I could either stay the way I was, or I could do this and see what happens.
        example: It’s a bit like a doctor telling you to give up smoking and yet he smokes himself. The patient is not going to listen if you are the smoker.
        More and more people are starting to realize how the body rejects gluten.
        I also made the choice to stop consuming dairy and refined sugar……….my choice no allergies etc.
        My body is amazing now compared to where it use to be.
        I’m so glad I chose to give it ago that day. Hope this helps.

  • Francis

    Some gluten free products are loaded with carbs. Which makes it a little difficult, its a learning process, alrhiugh beneficial

    • David Perlmutter

      Absolutely! Need to be careful with all of those.

  • Jody Bladin

    Choosing to be gluten free and dairy free was one of the best choices I have made. My body thanks me everyday. NO more bloating and feeling like I have bricks weighing me down in my stomach. My body feels so free and light now. I would never go back.

    • David Perlmutter

      Wonderful to hear you’ve found the lifestyle plan that works for you.

  • Grace

    First of all THANK YOU Dr. as I am just learning about how important the diet is on our health.
    I am curious if there are any studies on the consumption of IPA beer? As you know it has exploded the market and I was enjoying them until I started having weird gurgling coming from my gut. I wonder if the hops has an effect on the bacteria in the gut? I realize that alcohol is very bad for your health but I do enjoy a beverage now and then and the hops laden beer seemed to be the only one that gave me this gurgling reaction.
    Thanks again Dr. and I am learning so many beneficial and healthy alternatives from you and your colleagues. Life saving and I am spreading the word. It is a difficult task as we all grew up in a totally different world. Change is hard for people, especially if it takes effort.

    • David Perlmutter

      Best to avoid: gluten and carbs.

  • Luc Chene

    Dr Benkim has been told by some of his patients that the reaction to wheat was much less with European wheat, than American wheat. Indeed in Europe, there was no such thing as Dust Bowl because of poor soil management.
    In Texas an article of the ADA in 1942 wrote about a ‘cavity free town’ they found out that the soil was extremely rich in minerals.
    So, one aspect of gluten problems could be mineral depletion.

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