A recent article in USA Today, entitled Study finds non-celiac gluten sensitivity is not imagined, is proclaiming old news for those of us who specialize in treating conditions due to food sensitivity.
Yawn. This is no shocker if one has been paying attention to world-wide research for the past 25 years or more. And it has not just been limited to non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
While it is true that in some people, gluten triggers an immune reaction that is systemic and can have far-reaching consequences, this recent research out of Columbia University merely confirms a small portion of what has been shown in work largely done outside the United States. We actually know from both the scientific research and enormous volumes of treatment outcomes that not only can gluten be a trigger for inappropriate immune response, but any number of other foods and food chemicals can also cause wide-ranging problems.
Published research has documented illnesses due to food-stimulated immune response that includes the following: irritable-bowel syndrome (diarrhea, constipation or both combined), migraine and other headaches, fibromyalgia, and more. But through 1996, this aspect of immunological research was primarily investigated in Europe, not the USA.
Yet some physicians to this day question the link between food sensitivity and illness. This despite the fact that, supporting the idea that immune reactions to food underlies or contributes to various medical conditions, many research articles have been published in journals and books such as Headache, Pediatric Neurology, Lancet, Current Opinion in Immunology, Allergy, Cephalalgia, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Medical Hypotheses, Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, Journal of Pediatrics, Annals of Allergy, Recenti Progressi in Medicina, Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, Food Allergy and Food Intolerance, 2nd Ed, Pediatric Review, American Clinical Laboratory, Gastroenterology, Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, Current Opinion in Immunology, Gut, Bailliere’s Clinical Gastroenterology, Digestive Disease Week, and more.
Even the growing number of doctors who understand and accept that in some people food causes illness — even wholistic doctors — are typically neither trained nor have the clinical tools at hand to do any more than make food-elimination suggestions that amount to shooting in the dark.
It is largely a subset of registered-dietitian nutritionists who have access to the most accurate and helpful blood test as well as the time, training, and protocol to follow through and most fully resolve the link between food sensitivity and illness.
Also, be aware that there is no such thing as universally-appropriate diets to treat food-sensitivity problems including IBS diets, migraine diets, fibromyalgia diets, etc. Every individual is unique and requires a customized approach.