Navigating the wheat free, gluten free diet

Posts tagged ‘Dysbiosis’

When Gluten-free Isn’t Good Enough

Dramatic reenactment

Today I’m taking a small detour from my smiley, happy posts (though hopefully the wit will remain) because I feel like crap.  Professional blogs aren’t the place to complain – that’s what Livejournal is for – but suffice it to say, I’ve been frustratingly ill-feeling for the last week or so, and no amount of gluten-free food (or no food at all) seems to be doing the trick.

Side note to my parents, who probably read this:  The above is fiction. Creative license. Carry on.

Anyone who knows me knows I’m not one to wuss out and go straight to a doctor, so I sought comfort from the trusty Internet instead, and saw that the reputable Celiac.com had only last month posted an article called “Gluten-free But Still Feeling Ill.”

The author, Dr. Vicki Petersen, discussed concerns about Celiac patients not being provided with follow-up care after a diagnosis, and that’s something I can attest to.  After being diagnosed, it was pretty much “Don’t eat gluten, and have a nice life.”  The experience has made me reluctant to ask that particular physician any further questions.

Dr. Petersen then highlighted four or five conditions related to Celiac Disease that people rarely find out they have after physicians send them on their way. Unfortunately for stubborn, non-wuss me, this means more research in the coming weeks, and probably finding a new doctor. The conditions range from somewhat obvious (infections – our immune systems already attack us; might as well throw in an infection) to the comically badly named (Leaky Gut? Really?).

The article mentions nutritional deficiencies (got that covered with my daily multivitamin) as possible causes, as well as dairy sensitivity, something I ruled out days ago after two whole days with no dairy and no relief.  You can have my pizza and beer, but no one is taking away my Feta cheese and ice cream, too.

Then Petersen talked about a condition called Dysbiosis, an imbalance of good bacteria and bad.

Yes, there is good bacteria. That’s why we eat yogurt, I think.  Petersen explains Dysbiosis like this:

“Because the ‘bad’ bacteria are pro-inflammatory in nature, they can be responsible for creating some of the initial problems with celiac disease, as well as helping to perpetuate them despite following a gluten-free diet.”

This concept fascinates me, and I’ll probably devote an entire post to it after some research with non-Internet entities.  Plus it sounds 10 times cooler than “Leaky Gut.”

-Taylor

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