If you've been tested for celiac and don't have it, but continue to exhibit gluten intolerance symptoms, now what?
My friend Stella is one of those people who, like me, has learned to research the heck out of health issues. She has to. Her life is riddled with health problems, yet she has no health insurance. She can't just afford to go see the doctor whenever she pleases.
Although Stella experienced much relief and most of the symptoms went away, some of her symptoms persisted, one of which was severe mood swings.
This was especially the case when she ate out at restaurants, when food was most likely to be cross-contaminated with wheat.
But she knew that she couldn't go back to eating wheat and other gluten containing grains.
So together we embarked on more research.
We discovered that there is actually such thing as non-celiac gluten intolerance.
In his book Healthier Without Wheat, Dr Stephen Wangen, one of the top gluten free doctors in the US, states that: "celiac disease is not only defined by villous atrophy, it is villous atrophy".
However, it is known that many people who are gluten intolerant may not show villous atrophy, yet they continue to experience symptoms.
And what are some of these symptoms?
Well, just like in people that have celiac, gluten intolerance symptoms are not just limited to digestive ones.
They are far and wide ranging, including but not limited to:
Dr Wangen states that according to recent studies, it is estimated that non-celiac gluten intolerance afflicts up to about 15% of the world's population(!) and that it is 30 times more common than celiac.
According to some experts working with gluten sensitive patients, most physicians tend not to pay too much attention to the issue of gluten sensitivity once celiac has been ruled out.
The unfortunate thing is that celiac is defined pretty narrowly, and the absence of testing positive for celiac does not in itself rule out gluten intolerance.
Once again, remember our body is very intuitive. If you eat food made with wheat etc and you continue to exhibit the above symptoms, or some of them, are you going to ignore what your body is telling you because you haven't tested positive for celiac?
For me, what I did was I eliminated certain grains by going on a gluten free diet. I don't need anybody's permission to get rid of wheat from diet for goodness sake.
It's unbelievable that some people would argue that wheat is such a necessary part of our nutrition. Are you kidding me? Sure if you're a starving kid in Sudan and the only thing you've got to eat is wheat-made stuff.
But for everyone else?
Educate yourself and don't buy the bullshit, some of which may be well intentioned but bullshit all the same.
But if you have gluten intolerance symptoms and you'd rather have a more definitive answer, there are medical tests designed to do just that.
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