As a doctor who has written a book on the subject of gluten, I am writing about this very important, although often overlooked consequence of celiac and gluten intolerance – hidden infections.
The mechanism revolves around the inflammation that is created in the small intestine with the ingestion of gluten for many years. This inflammatory response weakens the immune system of the intestine thereby allowing pathogenic (disease causing) organisms to gain a foothold. Every 10 minutes our small intestines are exposed to pathogenic organisms. A healthy immune system destroys them but a compromised immune system can’t defend itself adequately.
These organism can cause a myriad of health problems including gastrointestinal symptoms, arthritis and joint inflammation, obesity, hormone imbalance – just to name a few.
Anyone with celiac or gluten intolerance is at risk for these infections which can be bacterial, parasitic, amoeba or yeast. I find a stool test to be the most accurate way to detect them but there are some labs I prefer over others due to their sensitivity and accuracy.
To find out more information and to schedule a free consultation, call 408-733-0400.
Hope this helps anyone curious.
Dr Vikki Petersen
Also, if an infection is found it is critical to retest to ensure that it’s been eradicated. And lastly, since the immune system of a celiac or gluten intolerant individual can take a few years to reestablish once gluten and any offending organisms have been removed, annual testing is probably a good idea for a couple of years.