Chronic Pain, Autoimmune And Wheat Gluten.
Dr Richard Hagmeyer Naperville Institute For NeuroMetabolic Solutions.
Over the year advances have been made in the field of Chroic Pain Syndromes, Fibromyalgia, Restless Leg Syndrome and many autoimmune conditions. While Medicine has advanced in the field of Tecnology, imaging and laboratory testing, for many suffereres, the treatment has still been centered around a pharmaceutical “medication for everything “approach.
Instead of finding the root causes of our illnesses, medications simply treat the symptoms similar to what a bandaid does for a cut. A recent study shows that Americans consume over 70% of the world medications, yet we only make up approximately 3% of the world’s population. I don’t think that this comes as a surprise that Americans are getting sicker and sicker despite taking more and more medications. This is especially true as it related to Chronic Pain and autoimmune conditions.
Chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses rank among the top health concerns that we often treat with drugs rather than investigating and searching for the underlying cause. These medications are able to, in some instances make life bearable but leaves many patients wondering if there is a better way. Merely masking the symptoms can have serious side effects down the road. For many sufferers the cycle goes on and on from one doctor to the next.
It seems there must be a better way to approach chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses than the rows and rows of pill bottles stacking up in our medicine cabinets.
Thankfully, there is a better way. One of the approaches that is making headway has been in the field of neuroimmunology. Simply put, this is how the immune system and nerve system are interconnected. An area of special interest to many researchers including myself is the affect certain foods have on the immune system. Gluten in particuliar, the protein found in wheat, barley, malt and rye, oats may be one of the culprits behind chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses.
I can state from my personal and clinical experience, patients who suffer with chronic conditons, If gluten is eliminated for 90 days there is often a drastic improvement. By identifying Gluten sensitivities as well as others you can easily treat, manage and improve Chronic Pain Syndromes, Fibromyaliga, Restless Leg Syndrome and many autoimmune conditions through diet.
Gluten and Auto immune Diseases
The latest numbers indicate that as many as one in every 5 people have some form of gluten-sensitivity.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2010 Jun;14(6):567-72
Many people have undiagnosed gluten intolerance, which triggers an autoimmune response.
Auto-Immune disease is the #1 cause of morbidity and mortality in the industrialized world and we now know that there are many environmental triggers.
Some of these triggers include medications, vaccines, infection, viruses, parasites, leaky gut, Inflammation, gluten protein, milk proteins, and vitamin deficiencies.
The most prevalent and common environmental trigger today is the food we eat, especially gluten. If you have gluten intolerance, your body can’t digest this protein. Your body sees it as a invader and begins to attack itself in an effort to eradicate the pathogen from your body. This can lead to a wide variety of autoimmune related health problems such as inflammation, thyroid problems, psoriasis and eczema,Hashimoto’s disease, a wide range of digestive issues, and fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, among others.
In addition to triggering an autoimmune response, gluten also causes other health problems. As gluten passes through your body and into your intestines, the gluten protein damages the villi in your intestines. The prime function of intestinal villi is to increase the surface area for the absorption of nutrients into your body. When your villi are damaged, the extraction of energy producing vitamins is lost. This is why health problems such as anemia (iron deficiency), B12 deficiency, Vitamin D deficiency and chronic fatigue are so common.
The traditional medical community typically responds to these chronic pain, autoimmune and nutrition related health problems through drugs which at best treat the symptoms. Thyroid medications for thyroid malfunctions. Anti-inflammatory drugs for inflammation and chronic pain. Iron supplements for anemia. Steroid creams for eczema and psoriasis.
However, if you have a gluten intolerance, these drugs and treatments will not be effective because each time you eat gluten, you simply perpetuate the cycle. The drugs fight a constant battle against an ever present poison in your body and the drugs will never win.
IS THERE A BETTER APPROACH? WHAT CAN I DO IF I SUFFER WITH CHRONIC PAIN, RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME OR AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE?
Progressive thinking doctors and scientists have proven the clear link between gluten, autoimmune illnesses and chronic pain. However, too many doctors in the traditional medical field still fail to adequately test or even look for signs of gluten intolerance in patients with autoimmune illnesses. Many doctors still think the only indicators of gluten intolerance are related to celiac sprue, just one of the ailments caused by gluten intolerance.
We live in a day and age, though, were patients can and do stand up for themselves. If you have struggled for years with an autoimmune illness or chronic pain, have tried all the drugs and then some, and still do not know the underlying cause of your health troubles, then it is time to start asking about gluten intolerance.
Testing for gluten antibodies has progressed in recent years and more and more doctors are starting to understand the nuances of gluten intolerance, Thanks in part to the current gluten free diet trend.
Modern medicine has given us much, but sometimes, traditional doctors can’t see the forest for the trees. Chronic pain and a cabinet full of medicines that do not work does not have to be your fate. It’s time to find out the cause of your pain and take measures to heal your body.