Gluten Sensitivity: More Common than Once Thought

Naturopaths have long suspected gluten to be a trigger, if not the cause of some of the symptoms their patients report. Many patients experiencing a range of symptoms from IBS to migraine headaches have experienced relief  from their issues by removing gluten from their diet.  A recent article entitled, “Clues to Gluten Sensitivity“, provides information that explains why a gluten free diet has been beneficial to many patients. It also includes opinions from experts regarding how gluten interacts with the body and how this may contribute to the overall inflammation experienced by those with a gluten sensitivity. 

Take Home Message:

  • Gluten protein triggers the innate immune system (a primitive immune response), which causes inflammation in the body. This is different from celiac disease, which is an antibody response.
  • Not all people are not born with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease- it is likely triggered by our food.
  • Celiac disease is on the rise. It is being diagnosed in people who are middle aged and older.
  • Agricultural changes to our food (eg genetically modified organisms or GMO) has led to increased amount of protein in our grains, which may be contributing to the rise in both celiac and gluten sensitivity.
  • There is no definitive laboratory test for gluten sensitivity at this time.
  • More research is needed to know the exact mechanism of the sensitivity and understand its role in disease.

Gluten Free Portland is a great resource for those living gluten free in the Portland area.

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About The Author

Dr. Jolene Brighten

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Dr. Jolene Brighten is a Functional Medicine Naturopathic Doctor and the founder of Rubus Health, a women’s medicine clinic that specializes in women's hormones. She is recognized as a leading expert in Post-Birth Control Syndrome and the long-term side effects associated with hormonal contraceptives. Dr. Brighten is the best selling author, speaker and regular contributor to several online publications including MindBodyGreen. She is a medical advisor for one of the first data-driven apps to offer women personalized birth control recommendations.