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consideration for the impact it is having teins in gluten, as well as against tissue
on our health. transglutaminase, an enzyme that cross
Normally, when we ingest protein links proteins making them resistant to
from food sources there is no immune degradation and against endomysium,
response. This is called oral tolerance. the sheath that surrounds individual
When patients have an allergic reaction muscle fibers. These antibodies do not
to an ingested protein there may be an trigger the release of histamine, though
immediate or fairly immediate response they can in a patient with a severe ana-
(minutes to hours) following exposure. phylactic reaction to any of the gluten
The patient may develop a rash, hives, grains. IgA and IgG antibodies cause
itching, swelling of the airways, nausea, infiltration of lymphocytes into the mi-
stomach cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, crovilli of the small intestines which in
wheezing and shortness of breath. If the turn causes inflammation. Continued
reaction is very severe it can lower blood exposure to gluten and this chronic in-
pressure to the point of collapse. This is flammation eventually causes complete
an IgE mediated response, an acute hy- atrophy and flattening of the microvilli.
persensitivity response. One side of the When this happens the patient has
IgE antibody binds to the offending food full blown celiac dis-ease and the pres-
protein in an effort to destroy it while the ence of these antibodies should be de-
other side of the IgE antibody binds to tectable in blood when measured. Prior
a mast cell which in turn releases hista- to this, antibodies may not show up in
mine into the bloodstream causing the the blood. Unlike acute hypersensitiv-
above symptoms. Although acutely life ity reactions, delayed hypersensitivity
threatening, the effects of this type of al- reactions do adversely impact health by
lergic reaction have no long term ill ef- causing; chronic inflammation through-
fects on the body. out the body from the overproduction
When a patient with celiac dis-ease of inflammatory cytokines; severe tis-
or gluten sensitivity ingests gluten, plas- sue damage from the overproduction of
ma cells produce IgA and IgG antibod- nitric oxide and permanent end organ
ies against gliadin, one of the two pro- damage to many organs in the body in-
cluding the nervous system and brain.
The impact of gluten on the brain
is disturbing to say the least. As noted
above, gluten causes inflammation of
the brain and nervous system which
clearly impacts function. Gluten is also
broken down in the gut into opioid
like compounds called gluteomorphins
that alter brain chemistry and function,
which in turn affects behavior. Gluten
also contains glutamate, a substance
which causes excessive excitation of
brain cells which ultimately results in
brain cell damage and brain cell death.
So as we pour more gluten into bodies
that are not genetically adept at process-
ing these foods, we see more and more
dis-eases of the mind (and body) causing
tremendous disability in our society. This
has certainly contributed to the wide-
spread use of many mind altering drugs
to manage and control mood, behavior
and the ability to function and stay fo-
cused in our world. Taking gluten out of
our diets then, may allow us to get off of
these drugs.
The gold standard for diagnosing
celiac dis-ease is intestinal biopsy. How-
ever, without the presence of total vil-
18 NaturalNutmeg
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