Was Your Test for Gluten Reactivity Complete?
Was Your Test for Gluten Reactivity Complete?
Gluten and its effect on one’s health has become part of everyday conversation. It’s mentioned in magazine articles, at restaurants, on television and in the newspaper. More and more people are becoming aware of the possible widespread negative effects on the body and on health. The most common disease associated with gluten reactivity is Celiac disease. But current research is linking gluten to more than 50 different diseases. These diseases have been shown to affect the brain, thyroid, intestines, heart, joints, muscles, nerves, skin and many other parts of the body. This research has gotten the attention of not only the research world but the general public as well. That is why more and more people are getting tested for gluten reactivity. Unfortunately many of these tests that are being performed are unreliable, outdated and incomplete. And as a result patients are given misinformation and their health suffers as a result.
While sitting down consulting with patients it’s common for patients to share that they have been tested for gluten reactivity. And many times the patient has been told that the test was “negative”. Which means that the test performed showed that the patient doesn’t have a problem with gluten. The patient then continues consuming gluten thinking that it is not part of their current or future health problems. But with further inspection of the tests performed it is revealed that the testing used was incomplete. Many doctors are not keeping up with the research and they continue to use an outdated test to determine the impact of gluten on a patient’s health.
Let’s spend a minute to discuss wheat, gluten and the digestion process. Gluten is a protein found in wheat also in rye, barley and spelt. It is also worth noting that most oats are cross-contaminated with gluten as well. When a person ingests a piece of whole wheat toast, for example, the toast is digested in the stomach and the intestines. The wheat is broken down into many different proteins and peptides, including gluten. The wheat that we are ingesting today is a totally different grain then the wheat we were ingesting years ago. This “new” wheat contains proteins and peptides that we are not accustom to. The technology used to breed higher yielding crops is creating grains that are digestive system has never been exposed to before. This is a problem. Not only is that a problem, but most of us are over consuming grains. When you sit down and examine the ingredients of the foods you eat as well counting the number of servings of grains consumed each day most are surprised. These two problems, exposure to foreign grains and over exposure to grains, leads to an over whelmed immune system. The immune system begins to react to foods that it recognizes as foreign or a threat to the body’s wellbeing. This is where trouble begins.
Now let’s go back to the testing. Current conventional testing is demonstrating 30% accuracy in determining if a patient is gluten reactive. These tests are typically assessing one or two components in the breakdown of wheat. There are many more components that can cause gluten reactivity and therefore a diseased state in the body. One of the other problems with the current conventional testing model is the fact that it totally ignores the possibility of cross-reactivity. There are several gluten-free foods that are commonly cross-reactive in the body. This means that the consumption of these foods can create a similar reaction as if one was eating gluten. Some of these foods include diary, rice, corn, buckwheat and tapioca. These are some of the reasons why we use Cyrex labs for our gluten reactivity testing.
Cyrex labs, under the direction of Aristo Vojdani, Ph.D., M.Sc., C.L.S., after years of research and development has put together comprehensive testing for the health care practitioner. The two tests that I would like to discuss in this article are Array 3 (Wheat/Gluten Proteome Reactivity and Autoimmunity) and Array 4 (Gluten-Associated Cross-Reactive Foods and Food Sensitivity). Since more than one wheat protein can cause reactivity a comprehensive test needs to address the full spectrum of wheat breakdown products. Array 4 evaluates the patient’s reactivity levels to 12 different components commonly associated with gluten reactivity and immune reactivity. This test also examines, for these 12 components, an IgG and an IgA immune response. This comprehensive panel will catch many of the patients that previously tested “negative”. This test exposes the lack of reliability with the conventional testing. As stated earlier conventional testing typically examines one or two of the components of wheat.
One of the frustrations for many patients is when they go gluten-free yet they do not get results. Many times this can be explained by cross-reactivity. Array 4, which is the cross-reactivity panel, examines a patient’s cross-reactivity to twenty-four gluten-free foods. These are foods that are commonly introduced into a gluten-free diet or are commonly over consumed. A sample of the 24 foods in this panel includes coffee, oats, hemp, quinoa and soy. It’s surprising to find out that clinically we see that diary and coffee are two of the most common cross-reactive foods. When a patient demonstrates cross-reactivity their immune system mistakes one food for another or to put another way these foods imitate wheat components in the body. Therefore these foods can create similar problems to the patients’ health.
As you can see and what more and more research is showing is that gluten reactivity is not a black and white subject. It is important and vital that patients get the most up to date and researched testing in order to determine if gluten and other foods may be contributing to their poor health. We can no longer rely on outdated tests that may be giving the patient false results. This testing is not only important for a patient’s current health but also future health. Don’t you think it would be important to know if a small change made now in your diet could prevent future health problems?
For more information on this thorough gluten testing procedure or on health topics such as weight loss, chiropractic care, diabetes, the safety of soy, Vitamin D and more, this please contact us in any of the following ways:
We have a Wellness Center located in Annapolis, Maryland:
Living Health Integrative Medicine
1833 A Forest Dr.
Annapolis, MD 21401
Our newly released book includes additional information on formal testing as well as educates and guides you to a gluten-free lifestyle:
Lose the Gluten, Lose your Gut. Ditch the Grain, Save your Brain
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