Gluten sensitivity is more than celiac disease. Up to now, testing for non-celiac gluten sensitivity has been very poor, with mostly false negative results on blood and saliva testing. Even some biopsies, done in the small intestine can be false negative, if not done precisely enough. People are not then diagnosed definitively, and their life is in jeopardy.
Cyrex Labs, in Arizona, has developed an antibody test of wheat that tests 23 proteins to which your immune system could be reacting and creating antibodies. The typical standard gluten serum screen that most physician’s run tests 2-4 of these proteins, which most of the time will give false negative results. Then you will think there is no problem and continue eating gluten containing foods.
Most physicians simply do what’s called a celiac panel to screen for celiac disease and do not acknowledge there is a condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Despite good research to the contrary, the debate rages about whether this condition exists at all, much less how to test it. What is even scarier is that, even when you have actual celiac disease (defined as an autoimmune disease that affects the small intestinal villi that absorb most of the nutrients from food. The analogy is that these are like a shag carpet or billions of sea grass waving in the ocean and they get flattened when the immune system attacks them and causes villous atrophy), physicians fail to diagnose it properly through blood work or biopsy.
The gold standard to diagnose this condition is a small intestine biopsy, but what isn’t as well known is the number of “false” negatives that occur with this diagnosis due to physician incompetency in finding the exact layer of cells that indicate this or not realizing that celiac disease isn’t an all or none condition: there are degrees of villous atrophy and they may find it in its’ beginning stages and not call it celiac disease because it hasn’t advanced into full villous flattening. To the extent of this condition, malabsorption begins to occur, preventing nutrients from the diet to be absorbed, and then many secondary conditions can happen.
Another part of this picture of gluten sensitivity is that you can suddenly develop full celiac disease with villous atrophy, even though you have only been diagnosed with non-celiac sensitivity. Small intestine biopsies are not common and most people will not get these, so it is imperative that if you are diagnosed with non-celiac sensitivity, based on antibody testing, that you stay completely off of gluten for the rest of your life. Small amounts, even .3 micrograms (the amount in a communion wafer), will cause intestinal inflammation and continue the march of destruction that could continue a known celiac disease state or promote this state in the future.
Remember, gluten sensitivity mimics 255+ conditions and diseases and most people that are sensitive have no symptoms at all! So test and not guess about this very important issue. The younger and sooner you diagnose this, the less health conditions you will suffer in the future. Call or email now for info on how you can get this testing and put together a diet for the rest of your long, happy and healthy, life.