If you haven’t heard of gluten cross-reactives, then you need to know.
I look at a lot of food intolerance tests. And I also run a lot of elimination diets (the CEP is one of them, just targeted at a specific genotype). And I’ve noticed that those with gluten related disorders (like hashimotos, endometriosis, sjogrens, and more) all have sensitivities in what i call “the Celiac Pattern”. This means that they only react to foods that follow the pattern that cross reactives follow: People tend to react to grains and grasses, seeds, rhizomes (like cassava and arrowroot) and a specific group of exceptions like eggs, fungi and milk. If someone isn’t familiar with the pattern, or what is in the pattern, then they will not see the pattern.
The genes that make these foods matter
For those who carry a celiac gene (DQ1, DQ2, DQ3, DQ7, DQ8 or DQ9) then they may react to these foods way before any antibody is produced. It is not uncommon to see antibodies to these pattern of foods even in those who are not diagnosed or suspected of being Celiac. That is becasue a Celiac gene does not have to be “turned on” (attacking the intestines as it does in Celiac Disease) to be reacting to foods: causing an inflammatory response and triggering an autoimmune reaction. It may instead choose to attack the Thyroid, Hypothalmus/Pituitary, Myelin Sheath (the fatty layer that protects nerves that is attacked in MS cases), joints or other parts of the body. It may choose instead to simply cause wide-spread inflammation.
Unfortunately, your doctor will only look for 2 genes when he does a Celiac gene test, regardless of the fact that several have been identified. And by doing so, he will eliminate a portion of those who are the biggest risk for carrying the genes most likely to become Celiac, according to the 3% of cases that have been successfully diagnosed (not a good representation of the other 97% that are undiagnosed, in my humble opinion). For that reason, I do not believe that getting a celiac gene test is the best way to know for sure. It can tell you if you are carrying one of the 3, but if your practitioner isn’t thorough or is miseducated, he may read it wrong and mistakenly tell you that you are not Celiac because you don’t carry a DQ2 or DQ8. The standard lab test to check your genetics for Celiac Genes only test for 3 genes and only report a positive if 2 of them are found, making a side note for those that carry a DQ3 that most doctors miss when reading the test. But this DQ3 is a signifigant gene. And anyone who tells you otherwise, is misinformed. This is not to negate the impact of carrying one of the others: the DQ1, DQ7 or DQ9 for which there is no test that I am aware of that accurately tests for these genes.
Unfortunately, popular tests like 23 and me also do not give the information necessary to diagnose properly. I have tried on more than one occasion to use the 23 and me information to see if a client carried specific genes pertaining to the CEP protocol. The test was unable to provide the necessary information. It can tell you sometimes if you carry a celiac gene, but unfortunately is not reliable to provide all the information needed to prevent a false negative.
But if you do not know if you carry one of these six genes, then what do you need to know?
First: are you sick with multiple diagnoses or with complex neurological diseases?
If you answered yes, then this may be important to know about these.
Second: Do you have over 12 of these symptoms.
If so, then the chances of you carrying a Celiac Gene is pretty high.
Third: Have you healed your gut and is it still healed?
If you are suffering from leaky gut syndrome, then cross reactives are important because leaky gut is a signifigant cause of food sensitivities. If your gut is still unhealed, then you may continue to lose foods.: this means that if you become sensitive to a food while carrying a celiac gene, you may not get it back (you may be sensitive to it for life). However, foods that are not a part of the Celiac Pattern can be returned to your menu once your gut is healed. If it becomes leaky again (this can happen from toxin exposure, stress or dietary influences) then you may lose additional foods.
In order to prevent losing foods forever, then the CEP protocol removes foods that are a part of the Celiac Pattern until the gut is healed. If this alone is not enough to remove dietary irritation, then cross contamination will also be examined and measures taken to eliminate cross contamination (Your CEP provider can help you with this). You are likely to need to eliminate cross contamination if 1. you have leaky brain or 2. your body’s immune system is particularly sensitive and is on “high-alert” to any invasion. The more severe or complex your case is, the more likely that cross contamination is an issue and should be addressed.
While the CEP is much more than gluten, gluten cross-reactives, cross-contamination and healing the gut, these pieces are the foundational pieces of beginning the journey. While you can easily find a partial list of gluten cross-reactives on the web, knowing the pattern can help you identify others that may be affecting you: and may be keeping you from getting well.
A food sensitivity test is a great place to begin, but there is no one panel that tests for all gluten cross-reactives: even the ones designed to test for gluten-cross reactives only test for the most common ones: they do not test for all. In order to test for all, you would need to do very extensive testing. This may be expensive and in that case, the CEP would be more comprehensive and affordable.
Also, removing foods that you do not react to yet is crucial while you are healing your leaky gut. In the time it takes to heal your leaky gut, you may lose your favorite foods in addition to others. For that reason, it is recommended to remove all cross reactives- you would hate to lose your favorite healthy foods like mushrooms, chocolate or oatmeal.
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