Gluten Intolerance and Tourettes Syndrome

One of the lesser known triggers of Tourettes Syndrome is gluten when celiac disease is present.  Like Tourettes syndrome, celiac disease or gluten intolerance, is a genetic predisposition triggered by an environmental variable.  While researchers still don’t fully understand the connection between celiac disease and Tourettes, the statistical overlap is such that if you suffer from one you should investigate the other.  So what is celiac disease?

In the case of gluten intolerance, you will uncover layers of complexity and confusion. Many people don’t fully appreciate how pervasive gluten is within the regular diet, and they often don’t have an understanding of just how challenging celiac disease often is. Additionally, very few people understand the distinction between a gluten sensitivity, a wheat allergy and a fully diagnosed case of celiac disease.

Gluten intolerance operates as a blanket phrase for three different disorders: gluten sensitivity, a wheat allergy and celiac disease. A sensitivity to gluten exists whenever a clear response to consuming gluten is diagnosed however the tests for celiac disease come back negative. This is sometimes termed non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Celiac disease is technically a disease of the autoimmune system triggered by eating gluten. Celiac disease will be identified by genetic test a blood test or a biopsy of the intestinal lining. An intestinal biopsy is an effective way to test for celiac disease since this is the place the immune system attacks, and causes damage.

Wheat allergies are different from celiac sprue disease because allergies cause a histamine response similar to other food allergies, for example a peanut allergy. Celiac disease leads to an autoimmune response, which means it will cause the body to attack itself with time, although the signs may not be as apparent as they are with allergies.

According to statistics on gluten intolerance practically one percent of people have celiac disease. The figures are the same for men and women with a wheat allergy. The attention-grabbing thing is that virtually 10% have some type of gluten sensitivity.

Gluten allergies resemble other allergic reactions and will include swelling, hives or a rash. Celiac disease symptoms are a little different; these symptoms can include constipation or diarrhea, bloating or cramping, flatulence, weight loss or gain. Certain people experience silent symptoms or they don’t experience symptoms.

Because celiac disease is missed all too often it is important for doctors and also patients to understand gluten intolerance testing and when to do it. Too many people experience problems for a long time before getting diagnosed correctly.

If understanding gluten intolerance is new to you the good news is there are some good resources available. Arm yourself with knowledge and take note of indicators; you may want to try managing your Tourettes Syndrome with a gluten-free diet.

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