Monday, May 13, 2013

Celiac and Gluten Intolerance: No longer the "Northern European" disease.

Aretaeus of Cappadocia
History of Celiac and Gluten Intolernace

Although, Celiac disease and gluten intolerance is said to have been around for 8,000 years, it was not written about until the second century A.D. by a Greek physician named Aretaeus of Cappadocia. Then, 17 centuries would go by before it was studied again; and another 75 years would pass (early 20th century) before the medical community actually took notice. When it was finally accepted by modern medicine, it was found that there was a hereditary trait linked to Celaic. In other words, if you were not of European descent, chances were you did not have the genetic predisposition. Unfortunatey, that thinking may have kept many doctors from considering the possbility of testing for the disease in their African Aerican, Asian, Hispanic patients or patients of Southern European descent. This may have caused misdiagnosis in a lot of those patients. In other words You may be diagnosed with one chronic illness that could very well be the symptoms of gluten intolerance.

These days, it is becoming widely accepted that many people of other races and ethnicities suffer from Celiac Disease and Gluten intolerance. Why? One theory is that over the centuries, we have intermingled to the point that some genetic traits are now shared and no longer exclusive to any one race.or ethnic group. Research has also shown that it is not necessary to have a celiac gene common in Northern Europeans to get an antibody immune reaction to gluten.

Testing For Celiac

A simple blood test can help determine if celiac antibodies are present, however, there are currently no tests for diagnosing CD with 100% certainty. A blood test can come back negative and a person can still have GI-celiac disease.

If you have been tested and the tests were negative, but you still feel you react badly to wheat and other grains, you may consider simply stop eating products with wheat flour or gluten. It’s challenging, but you may notice immediate changes like I did.

Note: The Mayo Clinic suggests that regular allergy testing is not the correct way to find out about food intolerance. The immune system responds to food sensitivity with an IGA or IGG antibody. In the case of an actual allergy, which could be severe (like an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts) and even immediately life threatening, the immune response created is an IGE antibody. So, a regular allergy test will not tell you if you have sensitivity to food.