Foods containing gluten have become a dietary villain to some extent, in the last decade. It turns out if a carb isn’t highly refined, it’s not necessarily “bad.” But, the fact is, many people have a true sensitivity to gluten.
Since the VitalityMDs team takes a holistic approach to treating our patients, we have integrated something called functional medicine into our care here. Dr. Russell Bartels and Dr. Burt Webb view your medical and emotional health as interwoven and never static.
The functional medicine philosophy pays great attention to finding the root cause of a condition, and to the fact there’s always interconnectedness between symptoms and diagnoses. In other words, no patient’s health problem stands alone or isolated.
The Vitality MDs team applies this principle to the problem of gluten-sensitivity, specifically.
What is gluten sensitivity?
Some use the terms “gluten-sensitive” and “gluten intolerant” interchangeably, but it can be argued that they’re separate problems.
Celiac disease is actually an autoimmune disease that causes small intestine inflammation when you eat foods that contain the protein gluten, which is in wheat, barley, and rye. There’s a genetic component too, so if your family members have celiac disease, Dr. Bartels and Dr. Webb will want to know that.
There’s also a diagnosis called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or NCGS, that is found to afflict people even if they don’t have a diagnosis of celiac disease. These people experience a variety of symptoms, from bloating and abdominal pain to bowel issues.
The unpleasant array of symptoms that result from a problematic reaction to gluten — whether it’s a diagnosis of celiac disease or NCGS — are things we can treat.
How can I tell if I have gluten sensitivity?
By the time we see you for a formal evaluation, you’ve likely concluded that gluten is in some way responsible for your:
- Abdominal swelling and pain
- Skin problems
- Joint or muscle pain
- Numbness in the extremities
- Weight loss
This list contains a plethora of symptoms, but gluten sensitivity also affects your mood and brain. You can experience depression, exhaustion, a lack of mental clarity, and anxiety when you’re gluten-sensitive as well.
How is gluten sensitivity treated?
In the past, especially for those with celiac disease, the only treatment that was considered successful was complete abstinence from eating gluten. However, a holistic and preventive functional medicine approach considers other factors and offers additional solutions.
Studies show that airborne allergens may be related to gluten intolerance and that cross-reactivity exists for some, where their immune systems lump other non-gluten foods in with the gluten-containing ones and react similarly.
Since your intestines are compromised by gluten insensitivity, when we create your treatment plan, we’re sure to address nutrient absorption issues that nearly all patients live with. We address this by giving you supplements of whatever you’re lacking, which may include vitamin B12, calcium, folate, vitamin D, and iron.
We also examine environmental factors that may be related to your problems with gluten, such as toxins in your home or office, and if you’re exposed to mold regularly.
When you come to us with gluten intolerance, we review your:
- Detailed medical history
- Whether you have relatives with gluten sensitivity
- Your individual nutritional profile
- Your immune system
- Your environmental exposure to toxins
We’re also dedicated to raising your awareness about the presence of gluten in foods and products you might not know about. It’s not just bread, cakes, and crackers that are the culprits when it comes to your discomfort. Gluten is found in soy sauce, beer, skin and beauty products, vitamin supplements, and even toothpaste.
A thorough diagnostic outlook on treating the gluten-sensitive
When we treat you for gluten sensitivity, we want to examine the problem from every angle and create an integrative treatment.
We provide advanced testing for gluten sensitivity and offer treatments like nutritional counseling, supplements, medications, healthy lifestyle advice like effective stress management, and more.
Armed with that knowledge, we can deduce the primary and underlying causes of your condition and provide you with the most targeted, successful strategies for relief.
Don’t go another day with gluten-related discomfort
Schedule a consultation with our team today to investigate whether your symptoms could be related to gluten sensitivity or pursue treatment if you have a diagnosis. Call our office or request an appointment by reaching out to us on our website.