gluten free diet and gluten sensitivity

Is there a supplement to decrease the symptoms I get from eating gluten?

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien Ask Dr. Kimberley, Food, Health Leave a Comment

Hi Dr. Kimberley,
I’ve never had issues with gluten until the last year or so (I’m now 53). While I don’t get major intestinal distress, I do get some bloating. The biggest issue is that I get nasty bleeding blisters on my scalp. Is there a supplement that I could try to take that might minimize my reaction?
Thank you for the great question! What you are describing sounds like dermatitis herpetiformis. This is an itchy and sometimes blistering rash that can occur as part of an immune response to gluten.I would recommend that you get screened for celiac disease to ensure that what you are experiencing is a gluten sensitivity and not a result of an autoimmune reaction (read about the difference between celiac disease and a gluten sensitivity here). You can request this test from either your naturopathic or medical doctor. It is also important that you ask your doctor to test how much IgA immunoglobulin your body is producing, since you can receive a false negative result for celiac disease if your total IgA is low. Approximately 1 in 100 people have celiac disease, but only 1 in 10 celiac sufferers actually know that they have the disease. It pays to get tested!


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Hi Dr. Kimberley

I’ve never had issues with gluten until the last year or so (I’m now 53). While I don’t get major intestinal distress, I do get some bloating. The biggest issue is that I get nasty bleeding blisters on my scalp. Is there a supplement that I could try to take that might minimize my reaction?

Debbie


Hi Debbie,

Thank you for the great question! What you are describing sounds like dermatitis herpetiformis. This is an itchy and sometimes blistering rash that can occur as part of an immune response to gluten.

I would recommend that you get screened for celiac disease to ensure that what you are experiencing is a gluten sensitivity and not a result of an autoimmune reaction (read about the difference between celiac disease and a gluten sensitivity here). You can request this test from either your naturopathic or medical doctor. It is also important that you ask your doctor to test how much IgA immunoglobulin your body is producing, since you can receive a false negative result for celiac disease if your total IgA is low. Approximately 1 in 100 people have celiac disease, but only 1 in 10 celiac sufferers actually know that they have the disease. It pays to get tested!

Unfortunately there is no supplement or medication that can prevent the inflammation and/or autoimmune reaction that results from the consumption of gluten in sensitive or celiac individuals. However, the symptoms associated with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity can be effectively avoided with 100% gluten avoidance. Although this can be a difficult dietary adjustment at first, I find that the majority of my patients experience weight loss, increased energy, improved concentration and greater vitality with complete avoidance of gluten (in addition to the resolve of their initial symptoms!). These types of dietary shifts take people from feeling “ok” to truly transforming their health. I hope that through my blog and recipes (all of which are gluten and dairy-free) you are provided with the support and inspiration to give gluten-free a try!

 

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About the Author

Dr. Kimberley O'Brien

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Dr. Kimberley O'Brien is a Naturopathic Doctor with a medical practice in Nelson, BC. She is the founder of Healthy Life Redesign and creator of the Elimination Diet Meal Plan online program. Her mission is to help you own your health and live a life you love!


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