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Gluten Intolerance is All in Your Head (i.e., Brain)

Gluten Intolerance is All in Your Head (i.e., Brain)
January 17, 2016 Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Blog GlutenFor many of us, gluten intolerance is “all in our head”.  The key to the problem is silent Autonomic Nervous System dysfunction in our brain.  

Gluten is a protein molecule found in wheat, barley, and rye.  Gluten gives dough elasticity, helping it rise and often gives food a chewy texture. 

Some individuals become sick eating gluten because they have developed an autoimmune disorder in the small intestine called celiac disease that is fueled by gluten in their diet.

Other people notice that cutting gluten out of their diet makes them feel better even though medical tests show they do not have celiac disease.  These people have non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

People blame gluten sensitivity on a condition called leaky gut; medically this is known as increased intestinal permeability.  Gluten is capable of passing through the space between intestinal cells called tight junctions.

When patients with gluten sensitivity eat gluten it leaks through the tight junctions across the gut and triggers an inflammatory reaction.  This causes a host of intestinal and systemic symptoms (cramping, achiness, joint pain, rashes, and fatigue).  But this is not the complete picture.

Studies are now showing that gluten leaks across the gut of all individuals whether or not they have symptoms.  It is just that some people do not develop inflammation to gluten.  So the reality is that we all have leaky gut but not all of us develop inflammation.  The difference lies in the way our immune system reacts to the gluten.

Mechanically, our brain controls our digestion through the Autonomic Nervous System.  The Autonomics control our digestive tract, nutrient storage, bladder control, and gastrointestinal motility.

Interestingly, we are also learning that the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the Autonomic Nervous System regulate the immune system as well as the permeability of the tight junctions of the intestinal tract.

In my experience, many patients feel better when they restrict gluten from their diet.  But their real problem is not the gluten causing inflammation; it is the underlying Autonomic damage they have suffered from silent (emotional) or physically traumatic concussions that causes the inflammation.   

And after a few months of treatment designed to restore Autonomic function, my patients not only feel much better in a variety of ways but their gluten intolerance is also gone.  In other words they can enjoy bread, pasta, and beer again.

Symptoms from gluten in your diet are indicative of possible underlying Autonomic damage that is usually repairable.  The answer to fixing gluten intolerance might just be “in your head” where you Autonomics are.

© Copyright 2016.  Dr. Patrick M. and Jean R. Nemechek.  All rights reserved.

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Noelle
Noelle

Hi Dr Nemechek, we started the modified protocol for anxiety 2 months ago, and started 1/8tsp inulin 10 days ago. My daughter is recently diagnosed with celiac disease and has been commenting on how her stomach feels after the inulin. I wanted to check with you that the inulin is ok for people with celiac disease? Do you know if there is a specific inulin that is better for a person with celiac? Many thanks in advance, NK

Krissy
Krissy

Hi Dr Nemechek, My son is 4 year old ASD, been on the protocol since March 2018. In May he was diagnosed with celiacs disease as well. Since he is immune compromised he is constantly sick. I’m aware a healthy gut is key to a healthy immune system and the protocol will build that up. But is there anything that can help boost his immune system along with the protocol? His blood test levels were very high and the specialist advised it could take 2 years or longer before everything normalizes. While he’s making great progress on the protocol, these… Read more »

Gaelle ndeou
Gaelle ndeou

Hello Dr Nemecheck ,first of all I would like to thank you and your wife on behalf of my little boy with ASD for making that protocol available for all.therefore I got a concern regarding my little guy and I hope you can help me with it.my son is 4 year old ,severe autistic and non verbal .one of the main cause with started the protocol was because of drooling. He can have like up to 3 shirts change during the day.he got a sinusitis historic .And my occupational therapist is at lost with the drooling .so we have seen… Read more »

Kasia Rygalik
Kasia Rygalik

Dear Dr. Nemechek, My son has been on your Protocol for one full year and… I’d say he is 90% recovered from Autism! He is 2 years, 8 months old, a sweet, affectionate little boy, sleeps through the night, and is starting to talk. I am forever grateful to you for sharing your Protocol so generously with people around the world. I especially loved the “no special diet necessary part” 🙂 And here is the thing… My son still has digestion issues after all this time on inulin (we worked up to 1 tsp per day) and very little appetite.… Read more »

ROSANNA
ROSANNA

buenas! tengo muchos síntomas pero lo más desgastante es la fatiga y la hinchazón abdominal, según las pruebas de laboratorio no soy celiaca pero si suprimo el gluten mejoro considerablemente.
Quiero probar con el protocolo, Tengo 45 años… qué es lo que debo comprar de la tienda? y cómo lo debo iniciar?

Anonymous
Anonymous

So your protocol doesn’t help with Celiac Disease then? Just Gluten sensitivity?

sasmita
sasmita

Hello Sir, Plz help….!!!!! 16 days on protocol..Imprved a lot..more words,eye contact improved,more engaged,responding to name call Dose was – 1/16 inulin, half spoon evoo,dha After 10 days given 1/8 in morning and 1/16 in night..for 2 days..did not see any much changes…Introduced MB12 as she was having deficiency After 2 days increased the inulin dose to 1/16 morning, 1/16 afternoon,1/8 dinner. Due to teeth grinding given neem + turmeric 2 times a day suspecting worms From last 3 days..seeing regression…eye contact has decreased,not seeing the mastered words, no new words, lot of meltdowns,totally lost…in her world..not responding to name… Read more »

Bayyinah Muhsin
Bayyinah Muhsin

Do you treat children with your Autonomic Brain-Nerve treatment plan? My 5 year old has been diagnosed with autism. He has been on your protocol for 4 months now and we see the improvements you speak about.

The problem is he has developed extreme constipation. We think it might be gluten intolorence. What do you suggest? He is not adverse to taking the fish oil. Should we increase it?

Victoria
Victoria

Dr. N, Upon consuming Gluten, my stomach immediately (within a couple to 15 minutes) blows up like a football and is very painful. I get severely ill for at least the next 3-5 days after too, all due to my nervous system going into an acute stress response on day 1. I’m being referred for Gluten Ataxia to be investigated due to the longer term symptoms caused but one thing no-one can explain to me is why, a particular type of food allergy medication works so well at stopping this 5 day chain reaction from progressing, if taken early enough… Read more »

poorna
poorna

My daughter is autistic and will complete her 9 yrs in April 2017. How can we use lnulin and fish oil pls suggest.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.
Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

The details are in the post and read some of my blog comments for additional information

Kerri Martin
Kerri Martin

I have a gluten intolerance. It’s so bad that I get extremely bloated and gassy.

Julia French
Julia French

This kind of attitude has caused me much pain and migraines throughout my life. I am 66 years old and just got my labs back saying I have Celiac Disease. Please stop saying that Gluten Intolerance is all in your head! The proper thing is say is to GET TESTED!! Thank you

Rachel Tallman
Rachel Tallman

Hi I have these symptoms of gluten intolerance. They developed before my colon cancer diagnosis four years ago or more, as I have had stomach discomfort of bloating and constipation for many years. I have retained these symptoms since my partial collectemy surgery, three years ago. I found eliminating gluten from my diet has significantly helped. I am now cancer free after the removal of 20 cms of my colon. I live a “normal” life and am very grateful that my cancer was found before it had metastasized and that I did not require chemotherapy. I am very curious what… Read more »

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