Jul 022016
 July 2, 2016

gluten and nerves


There are an amazing number of symptoms related to Gluten Intolerance.  It depends on your own body’s weaknesses as to where they will strike.  Many people are not aware that gluten can cause nerve problems and nerve pain, but it is one of the main ways gluten intolerance presents itself.
“Gluten intolerance can affect nearly every tissue in the body, including the brain, skin, endocrine system, stomach, liver, blood vessels, smooth muscles and even the nucleus of cells. Celiac Disease and NCGS (Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity) are associated with an astonishing variety of diseases, from schizophrenia and epilepsy, to Type 1 diabetes and osteoporosis, to dermatitis and psoriasis, to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism to peripheral neuropathy (damage to nerves that exist throughout the body and carry information to and from the spinal cord.)  Because the range of symptoms associated with gluten intolerance is so broad and nonspecific (e.g., can be attributed to any number of conditions), many patients and doctors don’t suspect gluten may be the cause.” chriskresser.com



Gluten has been identified as a potential neurotoxin, and many people with gluten sensitivity do not manifest symptoms of classic celiac disease, but instead develop nerve damage.   In a study done by Neurologist,Dr.Marios Hadjivassiliou, a consultant neurologist at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, England, the average age for nerve damage to develop was 55.  A correlation was found between patients with idiopathic neuropathy (nerve damage of an unknown cause) and the presence of gluten intolerant genes.

Below is a small list of some of the more commonly known:

  • Headaches
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Vertigo/Ataxia/Balance Problems
  • Tinnitus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet (Neuropathy)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (pain, swelling, and blood vessel dysfunction {dilation or constriction} of an extremity)
  • Alzheimer
  • Depression
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy
  • Schizophrenia

from glutenfreesociety.com

These gluten-related neurological symptoms seem to take much longer than gastrointestinal symptoms to improve, and only seem to get better on a diet that’s free of trace gluten.

“Gluten can cause B-vitamin deficiency through changes in intestinal bacteria as well as through damage to normal gut bacteria.  It also often causes general vitamin deficiencies and even malnutrition because gluten irritates the lining of the intestines, causing them to become inflammed.  In this state it is difficult for them to absorb nutrients, which is one of their main functions.  This causes vitamin  and mineral deficiencies and sets the body up for disease.  Spray vitamins are absorbed through the mucous membranes of the mouth and go directly into the blood stream, by-passing the problem of intestinal absorption.


Most medical doctors use a test that does not show gluten intolerance, only gluten sensitivity.  The right tests are for antigliadin antibodies and endomysium antibodies After having one of the standard gluten sensitivity tests (not these tests) years ago, I was told I was not sensitive to gluten.  It was years before I found out that I was, indeed, gluten intolerant, during which time my symptoms and sensitivities grew and multiplied.  It’s much easier to avoid illness than it is to cure it.


Common ENVIRONMENTAL factors that can contribute to neurological symptoms and nerve damage include:

Aspartame (Nutrasweet)


Chemical pesticides, fungicides, and herbacides commonly sprayed on non organic produce

Mercury exposure (present in some vaccines)

Lead exposure

Cadmium exposure

Aluminum exposure (excessive)

B-vitamin deficiency states (especially vitamins B1, B12, B6, B3, and folate) “

from Dr. Peter Osborne @Glutenology.com

“For many people a gluten-free diet isn’t enough”.

“Some grains that don’t contain gluten, such as corn, oats and rice, contain proteins that are similar enough in structure to gluten to elicit an immune response in people with Celiac Disease or Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.”

“In addition, about 50 percent of patients with CD show signs of intolerance to casein, the protein in milk. This may explain why up to 30 percent of CD patients continue to have symptoms or clinical signs after adopting a gluten-free diet. For this reason, I recommend a completely grain- and dairy-free diet during the gluten challenge period. (A Paleo diet is an excellent choice.)”  Chris Kresser

We are only now starting to understand all the effects of this hybrid grain that started all these problems, but finally it is being addressed, and we can be thankful for that.






  2 Responses to “Gluten and Nerve Problems”


    Has any seen research on the connection between vagus nerve dysfunction and gluten sensitivity? If so could you please tell me where to look?

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