Most people with Celiac disease have been misdiagnosed and have run the gamut of doctor visits to figure out what’s going on, just to find out that they are in fact allergic to a protein found in the regular human diet- gluten. "Gluten-free" is a marketing buzzword now that many consumers have heard, and most react with a snub and an eye roll. They shouldn’t. Even cross-contamination of gluten on safe foods can lead to symptoms and pain for 6 months to a lifetime if left untreated for too long! If you're allergic to gluten and suffer from Celiac disease, bread can be deadly. It can also cause peripheral neuropathy, which ranges from mild annoyance to incredible pain.
Peripheral neuropathy has many, many causes- but today we focus on Celiac and how it impacts the nerves.
What is Celiac?
Celiac disease is different than gluten sensitivity- it’s an allergy to gluten, a complete intolerance that kicks off an autoimmune response. When someone with Celiac disease ingests gluten, or something that has merely touched gluten, or even if they themselves touch gluten, their body springs into an inflammatory state. Weak intestinal lining allows gluten into the bloodstream (in those who suffer from gut-related Celiac) and also doesn’t allow for optimum nutrient absorption, so a connection between B-12 absorption and neuropathy has been suggested.
Some quick facts:
- Neuropathy may affect up to 23% of those diagnosed with Celiac.
- Up to 97% of people with Celiac haven’t been formally diagnosed.
- 83% of people with Celiac are misdiagnosed.
- Celiac sufferers are 5x more likely to develop peripheral neuropathy.
Sources of Gluten:
- graham flour
- wheat germ
Gluten can also hide in popular processed foods and beverages like:
- bakery items
- breading (used to coat chicken or other fried foods)
- broth or flavored cubes for soup
- canned baked beans
- chocolate milk
- deli meats
- egg substitutes
- energy bars
- flavored coffee or tea
- french fries (store-bought, fast food)
- fruit filling
- hot dogs
- ice cream
- imitation meat
- non-dairy creamer
- processed cheese
- roasted nuts
- root beer
- sauces and marinades (salad dressing, syrup, soy sauce)
- wine coolers
...and as ingredients by different names:
- avena sativa
- brown rice syrup
- caramel color
- fermented grain extract
- hydrolyzed malt, vegetable or soy
- natural flavors
- modified food starch
- phytosphingosine extract
- amino peptide
- cereal (rye)
...and even in makeup, medication and lotions!
What’s Celiac Like?
With Celiac disease, you can expect:
- Mouth Sores
- Shortness (yes! Because of the malabsorption of nutrients as children, height can be affected)
- Mental fog
- Fatty, floating stool
- Stomach pain and vomiting
Symptoms have some core similarities, but there are some other reported co-conditions:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
- Smooth/shiny red tongue
- Brittle bones
What can you do for PN when you have Celiac?
The good news is this: if your neuropathy is a direct result of Celiac, going completely gluten-free will remove the allergen and stop the disease progression- which will, in turn, stop the neuropathy. Celiac can be confirmed via a blood test and then an endoscopic procedure that can confirm the diagnosis through the biopsy.
However, if your neuropathy is tied to a lack of vitamin B-12, an underlying autoimmune condition, or completely idiopathic, the ReBuilderⓇ can bring you relief. While you’re waiting for your diagnosis, the ReBuilderⓇ could be sending gentle pulses between contact points on your body, reconditioning the nerves to send the right signals back up to your brain and bringing you relief. Questions? Click the orange button below and give us a call!