Gluten Awareness: Celiac Disease

How many gluten sensitive people realize that exposure to gluten dramatically alters the brain, immune and endocrine functions? An immune response triggered by sensitivity to gluten can and may affect other organs besides the gut, with the central and peripheral nervous systems especially venerable. People with gastrointestinal absorption problems, gas, belching, unexplained skin rashes, chronic fatigue, liver disease, and anemia need to be tested and treated for gluten sensitivity.

Celiac disease is the most common lifelong disorder in both, the United States, Canada and Europe. It is a chronic immune inflammatory disorder of the small intestine initiated by the consumption of dietary wheat, barley and rye. Common symptoms are chronic diarrhea, emaciation, inflammation, and histological cellular changes with malabsorption. Many patients do not have the common dramatic symptoms, but instead are presented with mental, emotional, and neurological disorders.

A large study in Sweden has shown 2-6 times the risk of fatal liver disease of people later in life with Celiac disease. However, patients that adhere to a strict gluten-free diet for over a year had normalized when tested. The most important finding in this study is that people who continued with an active Celiac disease had an 8-times increased early death from liver cirrhosis. This may be one of the explanations for non-alcoholic cirrhosis.

Current statistical studies show that there are eight times more patients with Celiac disease that do not display gastrointestinal symptoms compared to patients with full-blown Celiac disease. This makes it easy for someone to have Celiac disease and never have it diagnosed properly. With Celiac disease, the villi, which are essential for nutrient absorption, atrophy resulting in nutritional deficiencies. This explains why for years in our clinic, we have seen patients on excellent diets, taking whole food nutritional supplementation, and in spite of this, they continue to suffer from chronic conditions as if they have severe deficiencies of essential nutrients. Unless the small intestine is treated, healed and recovered; diet, nutrition and life-style changes will not be sufficient for a full recovery.

If you have unexplained conditions and symptoms that are unresponsive, contact our clinic for further information. We also do consultations for healthcare providers needing guidance on how to diagnose and treat their own patients.


  1. Should you suffer from allergies, there are lots of issues you can do around your house to prevent them from flaring up and causing you discomfort. It’s crucial to decrease allergens both inside and outside of your property to be able to decrease triggers and experience relief from the frequently debilitating symptoms of allergies.

  2. Great article. Fascinating that we can get so many different symptoms from a gluten reaction. It’s very concerning that it’s a growing problem for so many of us and also that many gluten free grains still can cause harmful reactions.

  3. This is the bit that really stnads out for me: Most were asymptomatic or had atypical presentations This observation is very common in CD, and one has to ask the question, why is the atypical presentation the most typical? i.e. why does what is regarded as a gut disease predominantly present as having atypical symptoms outside of the gut?

  4. I agree. Celiac was once ocnsidered a clodhhoid disease. Studies have shown that most often, chidren who were diagnosed with Celiac, grow up to be adults with unexplained symptoms. All Celiac’s know that this is one of the most difficult dignoses to make. Many doctors still treat the individual symptoms, without treating the underlying cause, which is the very food we consume to stay alive. I have found that, in retrospect, i have had symptoms all my life. Having been misdiagnosed, it took my Uncle, then my Grandfather almost dying, and being dignosed with Celiac sprue to bring the disease to my attention. Seems my family was full of undiagnosed Celiacs, and we have all benefitted from a gluten free diet.

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