I want to dispell some myths. In my research that led me to develop the CEP- I discovered that 99% of the population has a gene that is associated with Gluten Sensitivity. And this gene may be affecting you more than you think it is.
These genes inside of you are about more than just gluten, its also about anything that may look similar- like other foods or parts of you.
Now so-called “experts” will say there are two Celiac genes- but they would be wrong. While most Celiac’s have one of two genes, there are a chunk of Celiac’s that have another of 4 genes.
I could write a book of the things “experts” don’t know about gluten.
I cannot tell you how often I see gene tests that tell me that a patient carries a celiac gene. I cannot tell you how often I catch an undiagnosed or misdiagnosed Celiac. Would you believe that nearly ALL of my complex cases carry a celiac gene?
Now carrying a gene does not make you Celiac- but it may qualify you for “pre-celiac”
Never heard of “Pre-Celiac”?
let me explain
Long before a person becomes Celiac, they are carrying the gene. This gene is already a part of the immune system. it is already working, trying to recognize invaders and tagging them for attack. Way before it tags a body part for attack, it identifies that there is an invader. This may happen years before antibodies are developed that attack our own body (like in celiac) and the self-antibodies may never be produced. But it may still see a piece of food in our blood stream (where it does not belong) as a foreign invader- because it is.
The presence of this foreign invader, causes an inflammation response.
If this inflammation response is in the gut, you may get bloated or swollen or constipated. If it is in the brain, it may cause ADD, depression, anxiety or any other gluten related disorder. Years before a Celiac becomes a Celiac (if the gene ever gets “turned on”, which most of the time it does not- at least we think), their body may develop a gluten related disorder or side effect. And many times, this disorder may go away when they take away gluten and its cross reactives. This person was “pre-celiac” the whole time.
But what if the gene never gets turned on? This person can also develop gluten related disorders.
Case Study 1. A child is born normal and well adjusted in every way. It later develops ADD or OCD and later in life gets either a or some Autoimmune or Neurological Disorder(s). This person may never get celiac although she carries the gene from birth. Her sister does not carry the gene and does not get gluten related disorders.
Case study 2. A child develops type 2 diabetes (which is a gluten related disorder) and their health disorder stops progressing after they go gluten free. They are checked yearly and never diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Later they give up dairy (a cross reactive that the body confuses with the gluten “family” of foods) and they need less insulin. Later, upon the elimination phase of the CEP, they find that mushrooms (also a cross reactive) cause fatigue, headaches and all over inflammation.
The reactions can be anything and for some can take a long time to build up in the system, making it hard to figure out that it is effecting you. I’ve seen it take weeks for noticeable symptoms to emerge. I’ve seen symptoms be as small as disturbed sleep and hair loss to severe fatigue and tachycardia, muscle spasms or even headaches. But they may also incur psychosis or seizures or even panic attacks or anaphylaxis.
So how do you know if you carry a gene? You can get tested. A standard Celiac Gene test only tests for DQ2, DQ8 and will tell you if you carry a DQ3, if you read it carefully). But it will not tell you if you carry a DQ1, 7, or 9, which are sometimes associated with Celiac Gene.
So are you Pre-Celiac? Well first I have to ask if you are experiencing pre-celiac symptoms? Are you having widespread inflammation that gets better with a gluten free diet? If it gets better and does not completely get better, then a protocol such as the CEP is a good way to identify other foods that may also be causing problems. You can get an antibody test to common gluten cross reactives, but it may not show antiobodies if you are not producting them yet- and only producing inflammation.
You can try to dothe CEP by yourself but it will be much more successful with a CEP practitioner to help you tune into your reactions, track the data of your progress, help you identify patterns and also help you make sure that you are “gluten free enough”. For those of us with leaky gut and leaky brain (which are evident if you are having a gluten related disorder), then gluten free foods may still be triggering inflammation in your body.