A Beach Sunset and Celiac Disease and the Brain

ISO 100 ƒ/22 at 4secs

Haven’t posted in awhile as life sometimes gets in the way! I recently spent the weekend in Southern California and was able to catch an incredible sunset. This was taken in Carlsbad, CA just south of the jeddy. I almost got completely wet as I miss judged the rising tide!

I edited this photo in Adobe Lightroom 5 and OnOneSoftware PerfectPhoto Effects 8. I’m really enjoying the Perfect Photo studio and can’t wait to try out Version 9 when it comes out soon! OnOneSoftware is currently having a pre-launch sale that includes a discount and added bonus materials…. Check it out here!

The New York Times recently published a fascinating article Can Celiac Disease Affect the Brain?

The article is a good review of where medical science is right now in regards to Celiac Disease and the brain. Some good anecdotal evidence from clinicians all over the globe that turned to a gluten free diet to see symptoms resolve like:

WHEN Andre H. Lagrange, a neurologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, saw the ominous white spots on the patient’s brain scan, he considered infection or lymphoma, a type of cancer. But tests ruled out both. Meanwhile, anti-epilepsy drugs failed to halt the man’s seizures. Stumped, Dr. Lagrange turned to something the mother of the 30-year-old man kept repeating. The fits coincided, she insisted, with spells of constipation and diarrhea.

That, along with an odd rash, prompted Dr. Lagrange to think beyond the brain. Antibody tests, followed by an intestinal biopsy, indicatedceliac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the gut triggered by the gluten proteins in wheat and other grains. Once on a gluten-free diet, the man’s seizures stopped; those brain lesions gradually disappeared. He made a “nearly complete recovery,” Dr. Lagrange told me.

There are also plenty of cases where neurological symptoms had no resolution with a gluten free diet. Neurological disorders are very complex. Celiac disease is very complex. It’s easy to take a few success stories and run with them, but treating human beings isn’t that simple. That doesn’t mean that removing gluten from a diet isn’t a worthy trial:

By one recent estimate, meanwhile, one in three Americans dabbles in a gluten-free diet. That vastly outnumbers those thought to have celiac disease — about 1 percent — or the (still unmeasurable) percentage of people with gluten sensitivity, estimated at slightly higher. And yet, the prevalence of celiac disease is indeed rising. Symptoms are increasingly understood to manifest beyond the gut, including occasionally in the brain. Gluten sensitivity may yet prove to be real and measurable.

In the future I think the research will show that gluten is an issue, for some it’s the only issue. For others it will be a small contributor to something else. I believe this is the tip of the ice berg and am hopeful that the research will help to uncover more in the future.

A couple of questions come to mind though. There are plenty of Celiac patients that don’t get better on a gluten free diet alone. I know personally I hit a wall in my recovery only removing gluten. It’s impossible to expect all Celiac patients with neurological issues to have resolution as well. Lots of research is being done correlating Celiac Disease to other diseases, maybe this research will help the celiac community figure out how to heal. When will a Celiac patient be able to know they have fully healed? Right now we are all guessing by how we feel!