As many of you know, Dr. Karen, Cecelia, and myself are gluten free. It’s not just because we’re in Boulder, it’s because we both have a family history of gluten sensitivity, we both have serious reactions to gluten, and we know the serious repercussions of consuming this indigestible “food”.

Going gluten free can be life changing! Not only from a health perspective, but it usually significantly changes what you eat. For some, this is the answer to their health problem. For others, it is merely a step. Here are some ideas why this is so. Have you had blood work for celiac / gluten sensitivity but the results were “normal”? However, did you ever wonder how accurate those tests were?

Testing for gluten sensitivity can be quite tricky, especially if you do not have full blown Celiac Disease. In fact, according to the New England Journal of Medicine, testing is only 100% sensitive for those will full blown Celiac Disease. But, if the lining of their stomach was only partially destroyed, test sensitivity can plummet to 31%! With this huge discrepancy in testing results, think of how many people are potentially missed with traditional testing? Could it be you?

Did you know that the majority of people with Celiac Disease and or Gluten Sensitivity do not have gastrointestinal symptoms and are therefore not checked? The British Medical Journal in 1999 emphasized this point by stating that for every patient with overt gastrointestinal signs and symptoms there are 8 other patients who do not have gut symptoms.

Probably the most significant issue in the scope of identifying celiac disease is the fact that celiac disease / gluten sensitivity can manifest via blood in at least 24 different antibodies, yet only a couple are tested. For example, did your doctor ever mention that the commonly tested gliadin antibody is only one of four variations (alpha is commonly tested)?

Or, that if you don’t have a complete loss of GI function the accuracy of the tests plummets? This is a frustrating scenario for potentially thousands of people who have had blood tests, told they were not Celiac, when the test may have actually been false negative or not comprehensive enough to detect a problem. But, it’s not a big deal right? I feel fine and I don’t immediately react when I eat wheat, rye, or barley so I don’t have a problem, right? Truth is, the devil is in the details!

According to the Journal of American Medical Association in 2009, those with gluten sensitivity had a 35% increased risk of death compared to a 39% increased risk of death in celiac disease. Furthermore, the study indicated those patients having gut inflammation related to gluten had a staggering 72% increase risk of death. So, how excited are you now to eat that bagel?

The truth is that many people will continue to eat this toxic protein until their symptoms are severe and debilitating. The problem is if they seek help from even a gastroenterologist it is likely they will receive the same testing that has failed our general population for decades. Ok, so now that we have established this conundrum, is there an alternative to limited traditional testing? Why yes there is!

Enter Cyrex labs. Cyrex labs offers four different panels that will help redefine our ability to properly screen for gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease. The panel I’m most excited about tests 24-tissue antibodies and comprehensively screens our tissues for gluten related immune reactions ($325).

There is no other test like it on the market. This test is the brain-child of Dr. Aristo Vojdani, of which some of you may know as the author of the introductory chapter in “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms” by Datis Kharrazion, DHs, DC. He concluded from research that people react differently to the myriad of variations in wheat/gluten and these various reactions cannot be properly screened for unless all variations of antibodies are tested.

So, take heart if you have been screened before and you were told everything is “normal”. If you think there may be a chance this is affecting you then there is now a solution to properly screen your body! With this new testing, we can begin the healing process so that your health can once again soar! Please contact the office if you are curious about whether gluten may be impacting your health and your options for properly screening you through blood work.