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Subscriber Newsletter May 11, 2015

A Gluten Free Works Notification for Health Guide Subscribers
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Subscriber Newsletter

Dear Subscriber:

Welcome to the Gluten Free Works Health Guide Newsletter!

A dietitian told me about teenage girl she was working with who had been institutionalized three times for anorexia nervosa before being correctly diagnosed with celiac disease. Doctors thought it was all in her head.

A little boy in Alberta Canada was misdiagnosed with autism by an autism specialty center, when celiac disease was the underlying disorder causing his symptoms. An astute physician noticed multiple nutrient deficiencies and tested him positive for celiac disease. The boy fully recovered when gluten was removed from his diet and his missing nutrients were replenished.

Both these children recovered when the correct diagnosis was made and treated properly.

With 1/3 of the population suffering from one or more mental disorder, how many people are being missed?

Our feature today describes the many varied ways gluten and celiac disease can perturb the mind. These are important to understand as over 50% of newly diagnosed suffer from celiac disease. From my experience, neurological disorders arise and dissipate depending on whether a person’s individual nutritional needs are met.

Our tip describes how to identify related disorders and nutrient deficiencies that cause them.

Please email us questions or topic suggestions at info@glutenfreeworks.com.

Thank You!

-John Libonati, Publisher
Gluten Free Works Health Guide


How Gluten Perturbs the Mind 

The brain is a delicate organ, where billions of cells, electrical and chemical reactions have to interact correctly to function optimally.  When something unbalances brain chemistry, interrupts reactions or damages the cells, brain dysfunction results. Gluten does all these things – whether or not you have celiac disease.

Neurological disorders from gluten can arise in either, or both, of the following ways.  Gluten can penetrate the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, by its own mechanism, travel to the brain where it can damage or disrupt cells or cause inflammation.  This is the direct effect of gluten on the brain.  Gluten can also lead to malabsorption of nutrients in celiac disease.  In this case, the body does not absorb the nutrients it needs. Nutrients are chemicals. The brain, therefore, does not receive the chemicals it needs to function correctly and problems develop.

Nervous system disorders have been found in over 50% of newly diagnosed celiacs.  The list of nervous disorders is long: autism, gait ataxia, gluten ataxia, progressive myoclonic ataxia,chorea, tremors, brain atrophy, cerebral perfusion abnormalities, cortical calcifying angiomatosis (cerebral calcifications), dementia, headaches, epilepsy, chronic fatigue andchronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, multiple sclerosis, vasculitis of the central nervous system, chronic maladaptive anxiety, apathy, depression, inability to concentrate, insomnia,irritability, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and peripheral neuropathy.  New disorders are being added as the link between gluten and the mind is researched.

These nervous disorders can include either hard or soft disorders.

Examples of hard disorders would be epilepsy, ataxia (motor abnormalities), myoclonus, internuclear ophthalmoplegia, multifocal leukoencephlopathy, dementia and peripheral neuropathies.  Hard disorders, besides peripheral neuropathies, do not respond to gluten restriction – so identifying gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease early is critical.

Soft disorders in celiac disease include a broad range of what are considered common neurological disorders.  Hypotonia (flaccid muscles in babies), developmental delay, learning disorders and ADHD, headaches and cerebellar ataxia are examples.  Importantly, there does not seem to be a difference in whether people with infantile-onset gastrointestinal symptoms, those with late onset symptoms or are asymptomatic (have no symptoms at all) develop soft disorders.

This means you may never experience a gastrointestinal symptom, yet still suffer from neurological disorder due to celiac disease.

Recovery from these neurological disorders usually depends on length of time gluten has been digested. The gluten-free diet can result in complete recovery, improvement or no recovery depending on the amount of damage incurred. This means the earlier gluten is removed from the diet, the greater the likelihood of successful recovery.

For these reasons, anyone with an unexplained neurological disorder that does or does not respond to traditional treatment should be screened for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

Tip: Review the neurological disorders listed in the Health Guide. Follow the 6 Step Process listed for each condition to discover how to correct it. Some of these neurological deficiencies are due to specific nutrient deficiencies. Some improve with nutritional replenishment, but others will only stop the progression, so time is of the essence. If the neurological disorder is due to a deficiency, then look up that deficiency to find symptoms or health problems that may, or may not, be neurological in nature, but are related nonetheless. Many times people are surprised to find their separate disorders are related, but have been treated by separate specialists as distinct diseases.

Author: John Libonati

Sources:

  1. Neurological Disorders, Gluten & Celiac Disease
  2. Gluten Free Works Health Guide, Neurological Disorders Category

Neurological Disorders in Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Dozens of hard and soft neurological disorders stem from gluten. Fifteen are listed below but you can find seventeen more at the Health Guide.

Multiple Sclerosis

What Is Multiple Sclerosis? Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system characterized by patchy inflammation of the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells that produces multiple and varied neurologic symptoms and signs due to demyelination. Q: What …

Read More »


Apathy

What Is Apathy? Apathy is an abnormal emotional state that is characterized by indifference to things which others find interesting, moving or exciting, and diminished motivation to perform regular daily activities. The neural mechanisms of apathy are postulated to involve …

Read More »


Chronic Fatigue / Lassitude / Tiredness

What Is Chronic Fatigue? Chronic fatigue or lassitude is a state of weariness not relieved by rest and the inability to do normal physical or mental work. Q: What are causes of chronic fatigue? A: Chronic fatigue can be a …

Read More »


Vasculitis, Cerebral (Cause of Stroke, TIA, and Seizure)

What Is Cerebral Vasculitis? Cerebral vasculitis, also called vasculitis of the central nervous system (CNS), is an autoimune attack against elastin fibers in the walls of arteries that bring blood to the head. Early recogniton may reduce poor outcomes.1 Cerebral …

Read More »


Schizophrenia

What Is Schizophrenia? Schizophrenia is a thought disorder characterized by psychotic symptoms and inappropriate and bizarre behavior. Schizophrenia involves dysfunction in any of these areas: Cognition which are thinking skills that include intellect, language, mathematical ability, memory, perception, reasoning, judgment, …

Read More »


Depression

What Is Depression? Depression is a mood disorder characterized by absence of cheerfulness, dejection, and loss of interest or pleasure in living, making the person dysfunctional and unable to cope with or perform tasks of daily living. More than a …

Read More »


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 

What Is Chronic Syndrome Fatigue? Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating illness characterized by persistent or relapsing overwhelming and incapacitating fatigue not relieved by rest, having a definite onset and often accompanied by numerous symptoms involving various body systems. This …

Read More »


Anxiety, Chronic

What Is Anxiety? Anxiety or worry is a distressing emotional state of mind or mood that is characterized by a vague uneasiness, unpleasant feelings of apprehension or anticipation of danger and by interference with normal functioning, ranging from mild qualms …

Read More »


Tremors

What Are Tremors? Tremors are repetitive patterns of involuntary muscle contraction and relaxation originating from disorder in the basal ganglia of the brain. See image of hand tremor (to left) courtesy of Antonio Piedade. Rythmic shaking may affect various parts of …

Read More »


Peripheral Neuropathy 

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy? Peripheral neuropathy is a syndrome involving damage to one or more peripheral nerves characterized by impaired nerve transmission. Peripheral nerves are nerves of the body outside the brain and spinal cord. Q: Why is nerve transmission impaired? …

Read More »

Inability to Concentrate 

What Is Inability To Concentrate? Inability to concentrate is a mental dysfunction characterized by trouble fixing the mind on one subject to the exclusion of all other thoughts. What Is Inability To Concentrate In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?

Read More »


Dementia

What Is Dementia? Dementia is the term used to describe a group of symptoms that show significant deterioration of an individual’s intellectual and social abilities. The deterioration in intellectual function is progressive and is characterized by memory and cognitive impairment involving deficits …

Read More »


Insomnia

What Is Insomnia? Insomnia is a distressing sleep disorder that includes inability to fall asleep, inability to stay asleep, and inability to get deep sleep depending on the type of insomnia. Q: What are the types of insomnia? A: There …

Read More »


Tetany

What Is Tetany? Tetany is a painful feature of low blood calcium or low blood magnesium causing hyperexcitability of all nerves which in turn stimulates involuntary sudden, intermittent and repetitious tonic spasms of muscles. Tonic spasms are steady rather than jerky. Causes include …

Read More »


Migraine (Headache)

What Is Migraine? Migraine is a neurologic disorder characterized by reduced cerebral blood flow that causes a severe headache. The pain is usually on one side of the head, pulsates, and is aggravated by bodily exertion that increases blood pressure. …

Read More »


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