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Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You

Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You

SOMETHING YOU’RE EATING may be killing you, and you probably don’t even know it! If you eat cheeseburgers or French fries all the time or drink six sodas a day, you likely know you are shortening your life. But eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread–how could that be bad for you? Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of the American diet. What most people don’t know is that gluten can cause serious health complications for many. You may be at risk even if you don’t have full blown celiac disease. I want to reveal the truth about gluten, explain the dangers, and provide you with a simple system that will help you determine whether or not gluten is a problem for you.

The Dangers of Gluten

A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and “latent” celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer. (i)

This study looked at almost 30,000 patients from 1969 to 2008 and examined deaths in three groups: Those with full-blown celiac disease, those with inflammation of their intestine but not full-blown celiac disease, and those with latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (elevated gluten antibodies but negative intestinal biopsy).

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.

This is ground-breaking research that proves you don’t have to have full-blown celiac disease with a positive intestinal biopsy (which is what conventional thinking tells us) to have serious health problems and complications–even death–from eating gluten.

Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else–not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.

And here’s some more shocking news …

Another study comparing the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago to 10,000 people today found that the incidences of full-blown celiac disease increased by 400 percent (elevated TTG antibodies) during that time period. (ii) If we saw a 400 percent increase in heart disease or cancer, this would be headline news. But we hear almost nothing about this. I will explain why I think that increase has occurred in a moment. First, let’s explore the economic cost of this hidden epidemic.

The most serious form of allergy to gluten, celiac disease, affects one in 100 people, or three million Americans, most of who don’t know they have it.

Undiagnosed gluten problems cost the American healthcare system oodles of money. Dr. Peter Green, Professor of Clinical Medicine for the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University studied all 10 million subscribers to CIGNA and found those who were correctly diagnosed with celiac disease used fewer medical services and reduced their healthcare costs by more than 30 perecnt. (iii) The problem is that only one percent of those with the problem were actually diagnosed. That means 99 percent are walking around suffering without knowing it, costing the healthcare system millions of dollars.

And it’s not just a few who suffer, but millions. Far more people have gluten sensitivity than you think–especially those who are chronically ill. The most serious form of allergy to gluten, celiac disease, affects one in 100 people, or three million Americans, most of who don’t know they have it. But milder forms of gluten sensitivity are even more common and may affect up to one-third of the American population.

Why haven’t you heard much about this?

Well, actually you have, but you just don’t realize it. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity masquerade as dozens and dozens of other diseases with different names.

Gluten Sensitivity: One Cause, Many Diseases

A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)

We used to think that gluten problems or celiac disease were confined to children who had diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive. Now we know you can be old, fat, and constipated and still have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different “diseases.” To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause–which is often gluten sensitivity–not just the symptoms.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone–but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.

By failing to identify gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, we create needless suffering and death for millions of Americans. Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with better medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating 100 percent of the gluten from your diet.

The question that remains is: Why are we so sensitive to this “staff of life,” the staple of our diet?

There are many reasons …

They include our lack of genetic adaptation to grasses, and particularly gluten, in our diet. Wheat was introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages, and 30 percent of people of European descent carry the gene for celiac disease (HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8), (xii) which increases susceptibility to health problems from eating gluten.

American strains of wheat have a much higher gluten content (which is needed to make light, fluffy Wonder Bread and giant bagels) than those traditionally found in Europe. This super-gluten was recently introduced into our agricultural food supply and now has “infected” nearly all wheat strains in America.

To find out if you are one of the millions of people suffering from an unidentified gluten sensitivity, just follow this simple procedure.

The Elimination/Reintegration Diet

While testing can help identify gluten sensivity, the only way you will know if this is really a problem for you is to eliminate all gluten for a short period of time (2 to 4 weeks) and see how you feel. Get rid of the following foods:

  • Gluten (barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut, wheat, triticale–see for a complete list of foods that contain gluten, as well as often surprising and hidden sources of gluten.)
  • Hidden sources (soup mixes, salad dressings, sauces, as well as lipstick, certain vitamins, medications, stamps and envelopes you have to lick, and even Play-Doh.)

For this test to work you MUST eliminate 100 percent of the gluten from your diet–no exceptions, no hidden gluten, and not a single crumb of bread.

Then eat it again and see what happens. If you feel bad at all, you need to stay off gluten permanently. This will teach you better than any test about the impact gluten has on your body.

But if you are still interested in testing, here are some things to keep in mind.

Testing for Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac Disease

There are gluten allergy/celiac disease tests that are available through Labcorp or Quest Diagnostics. All these tests help identify various forms of allergy or sensitivity to gluten or wheat. They will look for:

  • IgA anti-gliadin antibodies
  • IgG anti-gliadin antibodies
  • IgA anti-endomysial antibodies
  • Tissue transglutaminase antibody (IgA and IgG in questionable cases)
  • Total IgA antibodies
  • HLA DQ2 and DQ8 genotyping for celiac disease (used occasionally to detect genetic suspectibility).
  • Intestinal biopsy (rarely needed if gluten antibodies are positive–based on my interpretation of the recent study)

When you get these tests, there are a few things to keep in mind.

In light of the new research on the dangers of gluten sensitivity without full blown celiac disease, I consider any elevation of antibodies significant and worthy of a trial of gluten elimination. Many doctors consider elevated anti-gliadin antibodies in the absence of a positive intestinal biopsy showing damage to be “false positives.” That means the test looks positive but really isn’t significant.

We can no longer say that. Positive is positive and, as with all illness, there is a continuum of disease, from mild gluten sensitivity to full-blown celiac disease. If your antibodies are elevated, you should go off gluten and test to see if it is leading to your health problems.

So now you see–that piece of bread may not be so wholesome after all! Follow the advice I’ve shared with you today to find out if gluten may be the hidden cause of your health problems. Simply eliminating this insidious substance from your diet, may help you achieve lifelong vibrant health.

Now I’d like to hear from you …

Are you one of the millions that have been lead to believe gluten is perfectly safe to eat?

How do foods that contain gluten seem to affect you?

What tips can you share with others about eliminating gluten from your diet?

Please let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

References:(i) Ludvigsson JF, Montgomery SM, Ekbom A, Brandt L, Granath F. Small-intestinal histopathology and mortality risk in celiac disease. JAMA. 2009 Sep 16;302(11):1171-8.

(ii) Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93

(iii) Green PH, Neugut AI, Naiyer AJ, Edwards ZC, Gabinelle S, Chinburapa V. Economic benefits of increased diagnosis of celiac disease in a national managed care population in the United States. J Insur Med. 2008;40(3-4):218-28.

(iv) Farrell RJ, Kelly CP. Celiac sprue. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jan 17;346(3):180-8. Review.

(v) Sedghizadeh PP, Shuler CF, Allen CM, Beck FM, Kalmar JR. Celiac disease and recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a report and review of the literature. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2002;94(4):474-478.

(vi) Margutti P, Delunardo F, Ortona E. Autoantibodies associated with psychiatric disorders. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2006 May;3(2):149-57. Review.

(vii) Ludvigsson JF, Reutfors J, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of mood disorders–a general population-based cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):117-26. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

(viii) Ludvigsson JF, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of schizophrenia and other psychosis: a general population cohort study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb;42(2):179-85.

(ix) Hu WT, Murray JA, Greenaway MC, Parisi JE, Josephs KA. Cognitive impairment and celiac disease. Arch Neurol. 2006 Oct;63(10):1440-6.

(x) Bushara KO. Neurologic presentation of celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2005 Apr;128(4 Suppl 1):S92-7. Review.

(xi) Millward C, Ferriter M, Calver S, Connell-Jones G. Gluten- and casein-free diets for autistic spectrum disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD003498. Review.

(xii) Green PH, Jabri B. Coeliac disease. Lancet. 2003 Aug 2;362(9381):383-91. Review.

Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (146)

  • I’m confused about Tapioca flour. I’ve read and respect your comments about wheat, gluten and grains.

    I’ve found a recipece for gluten free bread that includes
    Brown rice flour, Surgham flour, tapioca starch,yeast, salt, Xanthan Gum,eggs,olive oil,and a small amount of honey.

    My blood sugar was recently measured at 105 (just bought your book and haven’t been back to my Doctor to have insulin tests yet).

    What’s your opinion about this bread?

    • Hi Sal,

      Dr Hyman would suggest staying off ALL processed breads and refined sweeteners while controlling your blood sugars and improving insulin sensitivity. Tapioca, brown rice and sorgham flour, while gluten free are still high glycemic. Anything that raises your blood sugar and spikes insulin will contribute to overall inflammation. It is great that you are going to read The Blood Sugar Solution. You will learn exactly what to eat and what not to eat but if you have any questions, feel free to work with Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaches.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

      • My mom for years has severe stomach pains EXTREME belching she stop smoking all she drinks is water she stop eating anything with gluten in It and shes been to many doctors and they didn’t do anything for her and my mom all she eats is soup and eggs and it still goes on and every day she is in severe pain what do I do.

        • Amanda,

          Most soups have gluten in them. Check the lables and see what is in them. Maybe those are causing her pain.

        • My mother had extreme pain, belching and burning for over a year…was told it was GERD initially, ended up being esophageal cancer. Your mother should get a full work up including an EGD. Good luck to you and your mother.

    • I have diagnosed celiac disease. It took 4 years for my doctor to agree to a test…I had an endoscopy and biopsy. I was told I had celiac and was sent on my way. I knew somewhat how to eat because my mom had celiac and we had to feed her later in life. I discovered mine at age 50 and did not really have any outrageous outward symptoms…and so I cheated a LOT…now…I am in ESRD . Although my nephrologist never did a kidney biopsy to determine the underlying cause..( I am angry about that now), my transplant nephrologist in doing my first urinalysis to start my transplant evaluation stated that SHE thought that my disease was due to nephrotic syndrome based on the amount of protein in my urine as well as blood (+3 on the protein and +1 on the bld) since then, I have done tons of research on the disease and the connection to my many autoimmune issues (celiac, hypothyroid, psoriasis and probably others) and have come to the conclusion that my food sensitivities are probably the underlying cause of it all…including my ESRD. I am about to visit a dietician who practices Functional medicine and will start my journey into changing my diet. I am hoping that by doing so, I might hold off dialysis for awhile so that I can get a transplant prior to that. And by doing so, I can protect my donor kidney for many years to come.

    • The problem with tapioca flour, potato starch and all of the other ingredients in gluten free baking, is that all starches turn to sugar. If you are going to eat baked goods with all of these starches, you may as well keep eating gluten. One is as bad as the other. Do your research. Read Wheat Belly, Grain Brain.

    • This articles and other similar to this have been so helpful, have had trouble for many years, diagnosed with
      different things, as anxiety, IBS, dairy intolerance to name a few. I have researched it but need further study
      and considering going to family doctor to be tested as you had said in your article. I totally went off of just bread products
      had a lot of relief, but finding other foods that offend to. I am making a list and going to start a blog and the different
      findings i have gotten, my sister also had trouble (it runs in our family, but have not a lot of family background), and she
      has been diagnosed with Parkingson Disease, my brother has RA, and my other sister has had both hips replaced and
      she has another from of arthritis, my oldest sister died of colon cancer(started there),( I come from a family of 11 siblings).
      Food has always been a problem to me, and I have always been small until i hit the 40’s, and know in my 60’s I am overweight, tired and stomach and bowel problems a lot. Put you on my facebook and will be following you and Dr Oz. to get to the bottom of this in my life and my families health history. Thank you for your articles

  • I agree with everything said above. Wheat and gluten containing products are nothing more than big trouble. We are bombarded to consume exactly what is bad for us instead of motivating people to eat healthy. Sometimes I feel it is a conspiracy to keep people sick to keep the “big three” healthcare revolving doors wealthy. It is only up to everyone of us and spread the word.

    I have a child with Aspergers and after I took him off gluten and casein he is much more functional and more into our world. He has improved greatly and is interacting more after I took him off the above and also encourage other parents that have children with add adhd and asd to eliminate gluten and casein from their childs diets. Yes this is something that people should take in consideration. We as parents have decided to follow the protocol of the gf/cf and have seen improvements in our health.

    • This information is 100% applicable to my family. I have been gluten free for nearly 2 years after finding a fantastic Dr. I was so angry when he told me I needed to try gluten free but had paid alot to see him so figured I had to give it a try. I had been unwell for years but all put down to the fact I had Hashimotos. I recently have found I have to be completely grain, dairy, and soy free to feel in 80% less pain. Both my kids have had massive improvements also as my daughter has high functioning aspergers and Lichen sclerosis and my son has really bad asthma (gets pneumonia if not highly medicated) and was getting lots of stress fractures. He is off all asthma medication and is in amazing health in 6 weeks. He says he feels different in his body.

      There is so much more that gluten free has helped in our family but too numerous to go into. It is great that more doctors are beginning to believe as well.

    • I like your approach re kids with these issues. I’ve seen a couple of studies recently that seem to indicate there is a higher amount of Celiac disease in those with ADHD (also some say there’s more non-celiac gluten sensitivity as well in those with ADHD). Feel like it would be good with our child to do a blood test for celiac first, before trying the gluten-free and possibly dairy-free diet. If parents wait till after doing the gluten-free approach and then want to do blood testing, they mess up the blood tests (unless they make the child go back on gluten for a while). To know for sure that our child had actual Celiac, that would be a much bigger motivator to do a life-long diet in order to avoid damage to the body. If you don’t know for sure how severe your problem is, you’re likely to cheat a lot more with your diet. Of course, even if the blood tests are negative, it still might help the symptoms to try being gluten-free, since the blood tests don’t pick up everything.

  • How about oatmeal (porridge) cooked with real whole oats? I guess oat has less gluten than wheat, and it can be better tolerated than any bread baked with refined flour (where the protein is more absorbed).

    Thank you!

    • Hi Sissi,

      Dr Hyman suggests avoiding all oats (even those that claim to be “gluten free”) if you are strongly interested in assessing whether or not you have a gluten sensitivity.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • After 37 years of weekly stomach aches – I discovered I was gluten intolerant (and that I was on the spectrum) WOW – how my head cleared and my ability to digest my food improved, my anxiety decrease, my skin cleared up. Not one doctor ever mentioned this to me growing up despite multiple ER visits for stomach pain.

    Now, in my child advocacy and education work – I often point to diet and nutrition when parents or teachers come to me with kid’s behavioral issues. Food and chemicals can trigger SO much brain dysfunction and very few people are aware or willing to go there.

    Aside from my husband and daughter, I am the only one in my family to recognize and go GF – yet the osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, rheumatoid arthritis, psychiatric and neurological issues ALL exist in some form or another.

    I hope more people being to see how FOOD can be medicine or poison. Thank you for sharing this! – Lori @TEACH through Love

  • Dr Hyman
    I gave up wheat about 6 weeks ago (after reading your article about super gluten in American wheat) I still eat oatmeal but no other grains. I do feel better (my constipation is almost gone) and am losing weight. I knew that bread was a problem for me after going on the Sugar Buster’s diet years ago but wheat crept back into my diet again. Yes, I am also addicted to carbs!
    I have a question. Target has organic pasta imported from Italy. Has the wheat grown in Italy been genetically modified? I thought maybe I could continue to eat my beloved pasta if I bought it this way. Otherwise I will buy gluten free pasta from now on! Thank you for all you do to educate us – you are saving lives!!

    • Hi Leslie,
      If you actually want to eliminate gluten from your diet, you should consider buying GF oatmeal. I have full-blown celiac disease. I have found through my research that many oats are processed in facilities that process wheat which means there can very easily be gluten in standard oat products. There may also be problems with oats being grown in fields that previously grew wheat. The GF oats are grown in dedicated fields and processed in dedicated facilities.
      Also, wheat is wheat – whether organic, GMO, or not. Stick with the GF pastas.
      If you can migrate to more fruits & vegetables, you will probably find, as I did, that you don’t crave the carbs so much anymore.
      Good luck!

    • Hi Leslie,

      If you love pasta, you could also try spaghetti squash. I actually like it better than wheat pasta wih meat or tomato sauce, but I don’t like it with white sauce.

      Good luck!

      • well as squash-ta, spiralized zucchini, I absolutely love this.
        Sea salt to help get some of the water out and then rinsed in warm water before serving while draining in your colander. Season and serve with a great healthy marinara sauce. I as well toss with; EVOO sautéed mushrooms, onion, garlic, black olive, and basil sauce. Yum.

  • I have had lupus for about 15years. And it caused pulmonary hypertension (ph) It wasn’t until I saw a functional medicine Dr in Miami that I heard about gluten sensitivity. She took me off of it completely and is helping me repair my leaky gut. I haven’t had gluten for 5 mths. Didn’t really notice much change physically but my lupus and (ph) Drs stopped needing to see me monthly. I now go quarterly because my symptoms have calmed down and the tests are shockingly better. I eat very clean. My entire family supports my dietary needs. I found other sensitivities during my testing and can’t have eggs, dairy (cheese, butter, and yogurt are fine), sugar, and a few others. I make snacks from fruit, breads from almond, coconut, or ric eflour. I started sharing my experiences and recipes on my facebook page and blog I share gluten free recipes that have helped me. I normally make gluten free pizza but was in ny and had a slice there. Boy oh boy did I notice when I got home. My little lupus friend got angry and attacked my joints. It took 5 days to calm him down again.

  • All my biopsies for celiac disease were normal, but my daughter has celiac and I was suffering from nausea and vomiting. I took the Prometheus gene test which was very positive and I am “highly likely” to develop celiac. I took myself off all gluten even though I was asymptomatic. I do not believe gluten was causing the nausea, but, since I have other autoimmune diseases and a daughter with celiac, i believe it was a good life choice for me to remove gluten from my diet. Do you agree?

    • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Dr. Hyman – This article is fantastic! Back in the fall of 2011, I was one of the anti-guten free people. I thought this was of living was a new fad and was laughable at best. It was right around this time, that my husband started getting really sick. At least 4 times a week, he would be up all night throwing up and going to the bathroom. He was in pain and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

    We visited our regular family doctor who just scratched it up to him needed to exercise more (laughable) The reason this is laughable is that my husband is a retired Army Solider. he is in great shape and is generally a very healthy person.

    After we couldn’t get any answers from our normal doc, we went and saw a holistic doctor in the area. I was SKEPTICAL! I had this feeling they woudl try to remove gluten from his diet and I went in ready to fight them on it. Remember, this ‘fad diet’ wasn’t something I was going to let into my house. And sure enough… after all the testing they did, it turns out that my husband has a ‘gluten sensitivity’. We left that office saying how this had to be just the crazy doctors and moved forward.

    Right about that time, I started suffering from depression issues as well. I just scratched it up to this must be how a new mom must feel and tried moving on. Shortly after things didnt’ turn around for me, and with seeing my husband sick most every night, i knew something had to give. I called in my sister of Eat, Play, Live and sat down for a heart to heart. She explained gluten and the processed foods that we have come to knwo and love in our daily lives. It was a large educational session on the evil of gluten and what “food” is doing to us.

    I spent about a month educating myself on ingredients in the food. I tore apart my house and googled everything. I was blown away about how terrible these so called foods were. So, on January 1st 2012 I removed everything and moved to a paleo lifestyle. Within 1 month, my depression was completely gone, my husband was functional (hasnt been sick in almost a year), my energy went through the roof and I was finally able to funcation as the wife and mother I always longed to be.

    My goal for this year, is to move my children over. They eat about 70% clean now but that last 30% needs to be gone. It is our job as parents, to give not only ourselves, but our children the best lives possible. Removing the SAD is the first step in achieving that.

    Thanks for listening and thank you for the excellent article!!! I will continue to educate others through my site, Pajamas Notebook, and will continue to share your amazing work as well. It’s time to educate others, so they too can make the right decisions for themselves.

  • I eliminated gluten for several weeks and then got lazy and started again. I broke out in a rash and the dermitologist biopsied it suspeciting it is dermititis herpiformis from gluten. I haven’t gotten the biopsy results yet, but have stopped gluten and my heartburn has gone away except if I eat anything with soy or soy lecithin. I’ve tried to find information on soy lecithin but most say it is not allergenic. What do you think?

    • Hi Gina!

      Lecithin can cause allergic skin reactions in people with egg and soy allergies but typically not with gluten. Might be worth a 6 week elimination trial of gluten AND soy. You might be interested in following Dr Hyman’s The UltraSimple Diet for a complete elimination diet. Check it out!

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • I wonder why all of the diseases caused by foods these days? Back in the day, bread was a staple, and no one was sick. Jesus always broke bread, he even told us how to make it in Ezekial 4:9. Read for yourself.

    So do you suppose that our grains have Monsanto all over it? Doesn’t the grain that our breads etc are made from have 4 times more gluten then in the grains that Jesus ate or even my parents or myself and I am in my 60’s.

    Our food is polluted to say the least and people are encouraged to take drugs, that mask symptoms but do not get to the root cause. God did make our bodies to heal themselves given good, clean food. Our bodies are complex and quite a miracle of God. Yet, man keeps trying to play God and come up with garbage to put in our bodies, while the government runs around trying to discredit God and in the name of health destroy the small farmer that sticks to the ways of the past that produced nourishing food. People are obese, and sick all the time. Sickness is an industry and if we are not sick they do not make money.

    So what you write may be true, but if you take genitically engineered seeds out of the picture and all the chemicals, and go back to the way God designed the grain to be, do you think gluten would be an issue?

    Blessings to your day

      • I agree. Why is it that I have been able to eat all kinds of bread in the past with no problem, and then all of a sudden eating bread gives me bad stomach pain? Obviously something changed in the ingredients of the bread. The same goes for dairy products and soy. They both used to be good for you, now they are saying avoid them. Why? Because they too have been spoiled by profit-before-people policies forced in by greedy corporations like Monster-santo. These sick greedy SOB’s are slowing killing us all and our ignorant paid to keep quiet Federal government officials are letting them get away with murder!

  • Thank you Dr. Mark. You are such a wonderful teacher. I’ve been GF for a few years now and my older sister finally eliminated gluten over the last couple of weeks. It’s fun to hear her talk about not having the bloating and the uncomfortable feeling of an upset stomach, acid reflux. Excellent progress. Thank you for your work. It helps me teach others.

  • I have eliminated all wheat and gluten containing products from my diet, reintroduced them, and found the following after reintoduction: 1) IBS – chronic diarrhea returned; 2) energy levels dropped; 3) brain fog returned; 4) bloating; 5) pain and stiffness in joints; 6) blood sugar elevated; 7) overall blues/depression increase.

    When I am gluten and wheat free, the most obvious changes are no more IBS and a very obvious increase in energy levels. Moods are elevated, cravings gone, blood sugar normal, stiffness gone (especially in the morning!) able to focus and complete tasks at work.

    I have had some test for Celiac and was told by doctor it came in negative (4 years ago I suspected). I assumed then that that was all there was too it until I began to educate myself in an attempt to resolve my myriad of health issues, all inflammatory in nature. It is clear I have a gluten sensitivity at the very least. Thank you for your article.

    • Hi Elaine,

      Dr Hyman suggests a true elimination trial if you suspect a gluten sensitivity-meaning, take it all out 100%. If your immune system reacts to gluten, even small amounts might set off the inflammatory response. Thanks!

  • I have been gluten free for about 2.5 years now. At this point I have integrated this change into my lifestyle pretty successfully. I found that I immediately felt better. The most welcome change was the elimination of what I believed was IBS. I no longer deal with feeling bloated or experience abdominal pain after eating. I will admit that I do miss bread but the discomofort I feel if I cheat is not worth it anymore. One of the differences that I did not expect was how different my skin looks—just brighter and more even toned. I use some gluten free products and have found at least one brand of pasta that I think is as good as “regular” pasta but on a whole I find that most gluten-free products don’t taste good and are very expensive, so I just do without. As a result I find myself moving toward a plant predominant diet. I would say that the first 12 weeks were the most difficult, but after that the benefits of the change were so significant that there was no going back for me.

  • I have had thyroid issues since I was 14 and will be turning 60 this year. The last few years I have been struggling with joint and muscle pain and have my whole life struggled with my weight. I have recently been reading that Thyroid is an autoimmune disease and it made sense that I should then stay away from gluten. Since staying off gluten and anything with sugar ,also anything white I dramatically lost 70 pounds and it just stays off.I can tell if i eat anything with gluten now because I will break out in what I call a hive and itch terribly and if I eat sugar I get terrible cramps. I still am struggling with some joint pain and low energy but am feeling good otherwise. Thyroid issues affects almost all my siblings and my parents. Also would like to loose another 40 Pounds and am trying to get more walking in. Thank you for all your great info it has helped me so much. Wish I had known what I know now many years ago!

  • Bravo!! Great article Dr. Hyman. I could not agree more. Western medicine docs need to open their eyes and see what is really happening and that gluten sensitivity does exist. I have been gf for 10 years and I suffered for a year with constipation, nose sores and vertigo. In the past, I had skin rashes (more than likely dermatitis herpatiformis), migraines, and a host of other problems. All my health problems resolved after eliminating gluten and can not tolerate gf oats either. As a nutritionist I wanted healthy gf foods so I started my own company making whole grain non-GMO gf foods. Check us out Keep on keeping on!

  • I am one of the people you describe – who for years suffered a number of symptoms, which my doctor told me didn’t make sense as they appeared to have nothing in common with one another. It got to the point that I was SO ill I could barely function, could barely get out of bed. Then someone suggested it might be a sensitivity to wheat/gluten, so I decided to do as you suggested and eliminate it from my diet. Two days later I actually slept through the night. Which was a truly amazing feat given I’d suffered terrible insomnia for 15 years. Now suddenly I was sleeping again, without the use of any sleeping aids. What followed over the next few days, weeks and months was a settling down of my stomach (along with other digestive issues), the headaches stopped, as did the brain fog, racing heart, and heart palpitations. My blood pressure went back to normal, my neck stopped aching, and most importantly, I stopped having panic attacks, for which I’d also been on medication (at one time).

    I haven’t touched wheat/gluten in any form for two years now, and the only flare up I’ve had in that time was when a restaurant put a piece of bread on my plate and it touched my food.

    It is a relief to have finally figured out what was wrong and to feel good! I only wish my doctor could have been more informed so that I might not have gone through all those years of unnecessary suffering.

  • I found I had an elevated IgG level after a wonderfully persistent physician tested me. I had only been off gluten for 2 days when I started thinking “this is how good you’re supposed to feel?” I felt like I’d been given a new body. I’ve never looked back. Everything improved; my fatigue, brain fog , sluggishness, sleeplessness, sinus problems, aches and pains. It made me look at health a whole new way. I am a pharmacist and had always had a conventional medicine approach. I changed all my physicians to those who looked at health the way I now did. A homeopath helped me to heal my intestinal mucosa from all those years of trauma and a chiropractor helped me get in alignment and started me on the path to better nutrition. I learned that just being gluten free was not necessarily the healthiest diet. My husband had chronic heartburn issues and learned he was sensitive to dairy and egg. We are now gluten free, dairy free and egg free and we both feel better than we did 10 years ago! Your book Ultra-Prevention has helped me a lot along the way. Thank you for continuing to bring this issue to light.

  • I have a kidney disease, and I was told the only thing I could do to improve my quality of life was wait until my kidneys were bad enough, then get a transplant. They were wrong! I’ve eliminated gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, and a host of other items from my diet. For the first time in 18 years, I’m not in pain! My skin cleared up, my digestion is better than ever, and life is good!

    My parents have some of these same issues. I’ve asked them to try the diet, but they say, “I’m glad it worked for you, but we don’t need to make any changes. My doctor didn’t say I need to.”

    Thanks for publishing this! I’ll be passing it along!

  • Celiac disease is not an “allergy” to gluten. Please be sure to distinguish between allergy and autoimmune disease. When the terms are interchanged it does not better the public’s understanding of either. “Gluten sensitivity” is not an autoimmune disease per se. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease. There is also non-autoimmune gluten intolerance. I assume you are aware of these differences, but when speaking to the general public, please be sure to use the correct terminology in order to properly educate people. Thank you.

  • I went GF last summer. I definitely notice a difference in my digestive system, no more gas and bloating every night, however, I have been steadily gaining weight. My husband went GF with me, and he lost 18 pounds. Why am I gaining? I have been doing my own baking using almond flour, which isn’t a grain. I only occasionally prepare GF pasta and other not great substitutes. Please help me find lower calorie options for GF diets.

  • Dear Dr. Hymen,
    I looked over your very clear list of steps for the elimination diet and then the list of gluten-intolerance tests. I noticed that you don’t remind your readers that the tests are not valid if taken right after the elimination diet. A patient has to be eating gluten daily for quite a while so that any antibodies are present for the antibody tests. Only the genetic test can be taken right after an elimination diet.
    Best wishes,
    Mary, gluten-free for 27 years
    Santa Clarita, CA

    • Is this true? I haven’t heard this before. I’ve been on some form of a gluten and dairy elimination diet for about 4 years now. I had sinus surgery (septoplasty and turbinoplasty) 3.5 years ago, which helped my sinus issues a lot (I still get congestion, but I can still breathe through my nose with mild congestion). About 2 years ago I was tested for celiac disease, and none of the antibodies were elevated. I shrugged it off because I know I feel better without gluten in diet, so I figured I just have a “gluten-sensitivity.”

      I also wonder if thyroid antibodies would test normal after years of treatment? I was diagnosed Hypothyroid at age 12 – because I hadn’t grown in over 2 years! My TSH was 232 (normal range is 0.5-4 or so, the higher the TSH the lower your thyroid levels are). I wasn’t tested for Hashimoto’s at that time, but (now in my late 20s) have had Thyroid Panels that accidentally included the antibody tests and they came back normal. My mom also has hypothyroidism, and I have other auto-immune issues – eczema (MUCH better after gluten-free), raynaud’s disease, joint inflammation, etc. so it makes the most sense that my hypothyroidism would be auto-immune (not cause my environmental factors like mercury exposure).

      I sometimes eat gluten and dairy – usually on vacation – and pay for it. Too much sugar is a problem for me, too. Usually within hours I will have canker sores on my tongue, brain fog, stomach issues (was diagnosed with IBS when I was younger), and within a couple days sinus problems, sore throat, canker sores on lips, extreme fatigue and irritability.

      Probably my worst experience since I cut those foods out was when I was on vacation in Croatia 3 weeks ago. I thought I’d be able to find easy/convenient foods at the grocery store, but almost nothing was in English. The restaurants were all pizza, pasta, and seafood (which I don’t eat a lot of). Within 2 days I was miserable which continued for the rest of my week long trip, I had to call out sick from work the next 2 days afterwards, and am still not back to 100%

  • Great article. Credibility will be increased if edited prior to publishing. There is a spelling error in the last sentence, “Simply eliminating this insidious (substnace) from your diet, may help you achieve lifelong vibrant health.”

  • This is such a great article and such important information! After my pregnancy, I’m going to try a completely GF diet and write about my experience. As of now, I just limit it. Dr. Hyman’s work has been instrumental in my journey as a holistic health coach – thank you!

  • My reaction to wheat flour is worse than other forms of grains. Oats will give me just mild heartburn an hour or so after consuming it, and tummy issues a few hours later, but wheat flour causes me to start choking within seconds of eating it. I can literally feel the swelling taking place in my esophagus, and my breathing passages. If you have ever “breathed down the wrong tube” and couldn’t hold back the coughing, you have a general idea of what happens. I have passed out from not being able to draw a breath, and typically come away with broken blood vessels in my face, neck and eyes because if the violence of the coughing/ choking. Read ALL ingredients, as a lot of boxed foods have wheat flour that you wouldn’t expect to have it… Like scalloped potatoes, gravies, soy sauce, etc.

  • I have had digestive issues for years and doctors always told me i needed more fiber, i had IBS, i have been tested tested for thyroid chrons disease multiple times, nothing ever came up. No medications helped. About a month ago I had finally had it, with the head aches anxiety, depression ect so I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet, now i am feeling great no more bloating, constipation, headaches and every other symptom in the book. I have found when I reintroduce gluten into my diet I become extremely ill and my stomach goes crazy. I feel much better gluten free, there are many foods I do miss though :[

  • I have long been aware of the negative health effects of wheat and gluten and have eliminated it periodically over the past 20 years. Three weeks ago I took gluten permanently out of my family’s diet and the health results have been noticeable if not major. My head is clearer and I don’t experience the brain fog anymore. The children do not suffer as many episodes of bloating or intestinal pain and diarrhoea.

    I find gluten free baking really easy with the use of other flours such as coconut and potato, as well as almond and hazelnut meal. There are also lots of great GF websites for recipes.

    The interesting aspect is that both my older brothers and my 82 year old mother have stopped eating gluten in the last year. All of them have experienced improved health and the end of runny noses, sinusitis and propensity to getting colds and flu.
    There is also a very strong argument for eliminating all grains from your diet especially if you experience long term health challenges such as chronic fatigue.
    I would be interested in Dr Hyman’s views on other grains in the diet.

    • Hi Penny,

      Glad to hear your family is having success. Dr Hyman suggests gluten free grains such as black rice, quinoa or buckwheat for those people who have normal blood sugar control and who are not insulin resistant. For more information on Dr Hyman’s views on carbohydrates please see

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • I have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I went for almost a year without gluten among many other things, but still am struggling. I started eating stuff with gluten again and am still having pain. My doctor really wants to put me on medication but I have been fighting it for over a year now. Do you have any comments that could help me decide what to do? Is it possible that Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by fungus? I would really appreciate an answer back.

    • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I have to tell you that for the majority of my life (i’m 47) i have had symptoms of IBS, foggy brain, very low energy levels, arthritis, anxiety and weight issues. I experimennted with every diet and plan and nothing worked. I routinely would go to the doctor and he would say that i needed to exercise and lose weight. my doctor was worthless.

    I accidently stumbled on the book “wheat Belly’ and i am absolutely stunned by what i read and I am even more stunned as to what happened after I eliminated wheat flour from my diet. In the first 3 days of eliminating wheat flour, my IBS, arthritis, anxiety, foggy brain were GONE. Also, my energy levels EXPLODED to a point where my family and friends can no longer keep up with me. It’s been 7 weeks now and I have lost 34 pounds, yes 34 pounds in 7 weeks. I also had my cholseterol checked and it’s down, and my sugar is normal. I will never eat that wheat poison ever again.

    I have to thank Dr. Hyman for the great work he does and I also want to thank Dr. William Davis, who in essence saved my life.


  • I have been suffering with Seborrheic dermatitis for about 3 years. I have a steroid cream that eliminates in completely for a week but I don’t like to use it. I also have occasional joint pain. It is usually not severe enough to seek medical attention. However, about a year ago I got bursitis and had to take ibuprofen for 2 weeks. For about a week my right hand has been stiff and painful. I don’t have a ton of energy. I sleep at least 8 hours a night usually 9. I am 28 years old, normal BMI. Is there any way that gluten could cause my health problems?

  • tonight I had some issues that prompted me to look at your site I ate pizza soda and have extra marinara sauce with my dinner this evening. Not but one hour later I dumped twice and my finger joints are killing me. I do have issues when I eat gluten I get very bad headaches especially the next day after eating pizza. What do these symptoms sound like to you ? I have never been tested. I also have issues with my wrists swelling which comes and goes. I think it may also be related. I am very curious to hear what you think and I thank you for taking the time to read my post. I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Hi guys, I have read most of the above comments about gluten, etc. and just want to say how an enormous problem it is for me as well. I have known about the Blood Group Diet (Eating Right 4 your Type) for 10 years now but have only followed the diet almost to the letter for the last year due to mounting health problems like very high blood pressure, fatigue, grogginess, foggy brain and headaches among others. Being Type O blood group I have to eliminate wheat as one of the 5 red flags for my blood type. What a difference it made! I lost 2 dress sizes, felt better mentally and physically, clearer mind and extra energy so needed, as I just turned 57 years young! So look at the blood type diet as a good starting point and together with all the valuable information on Dr Hyman’s site we can all live healthier lives.

  • I have done an elimination diet for gluten myself, because while learning from IIN About the gluten sensitivity, I have notice that I am no longer that tired, I can concentrate better.
    I went back to gluten for one day eating nice flafi white bread and the fatigue was back again. I have noticed that my pain in fingers is gone when I am off gluten.

    I have sun 15 years old extremli tired and diagnosed with ADHD, we have made some changes, but he is steel tired in the morning.
    We are now going for glutenfree diet, I think the whole grain weat pasta that he love is a problem. It is hard to find, Quiona, millet, pasta in my country, everything gluten free is corn, I don’t want that in the diet.
    what is your opinion about gluten free products, there is also a lot of misliding info.
    I also recommended to my clients as Longevity Health Coach to start eating no gluten diet. Specially one with severe Fibromyalgia problem. Waiting for results .

  • Thank you for your continued research and work in the area of gluten sensitivities and Celiac Disease. My mother continually suffered from bloating of the bowel and constipation. She died of colon cancer in her early 60’s. My grandaughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 3. I had an Elisa blood test done about 10 years ago that showed wheat caused a reaction in my blood. I’ve found that I feel better avoiding wheat products. When I am with family and eat what everyone else is eating I usually pay for it, later. I am 53 and have begun feeling bloated, gassy, constipated, achy, foggy-headed,and now have osteoarthritis. I’m hoping that if I go completely ‘gluten-free’ that I can alleviate some of these ailments as they sure put a damper on my quality of life! Again, thank you so much for all that you do!

  • I have been reading that gluten is not necessarily the entire problem for those with celiac disease and related disorders but that sugars and grains also contribute to ill health. Can you tell me why you do not advocate for the removal of those foods as well?

    • Dear Sherrie,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. He does indeed advocate the removal of sugar and grains (for some people) in his book, The Blood Sugar Solution If you havent seen, please check it out!

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s virtual nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.
      In Good Health,
      The Nutrition Team

  • I had a gastric bypass in 2008 I have strong Irish blood line and 2 yrs post gastric bypass I had a grandmal seizure I have been to samsun clinic and multiple other neuro’s who state that they feel I am having continous seizures and have put me on seizure meds I have had 4 grandmal and mult pedi mal since 2010 never having them prior. I saw a homepath this year who diag me with gluten sens feeling that due to the gastric bypass and a poss gluten sensativity prior that now with the nutritional restriction I may have gone into full gluten sensitivity. I always try to grab something to eat right when my seizure start even grabbing a can of food once and trying to eat it. Since I have reduced the gluten I have had more control of seizure related issues. Has anyone else experianced this. I can not get my neuro’s to even check me for gluten they say it is not related. thank you for you time

  • Ok, I just turned 21 a little over a month ago. I think I might have a gluten allergy, I just don’t know how bad because my symptoms change just as I start to get used to them. Ok, so like 2 years ago I started to notice something was wrong with me. I was on the patch birth control going on 2 years when I noticed something odd with me and I thought it was the patch, so of course I stopped. I was getting sick more easily and I already have a weak immune system. After I stopped though, it continued. At first it was just a small prick on my side(s), that progressively got worse over time. One minute the pain was barely noticeabe, and then next thing I know I am screaming in pain because of side pains a few hours after eating, that eventually changed to going up my spine, which was the worst. The pain moved from different spots on my body. From my left or right side to up my spine a couple of times. I tried going to doctors and they told me nothing was wrong with me. That progressed into throwing up, and even a couple times with blood. Took the doctors 2 years to suggest trying a gluten free diet, but not before my small intestines were damaged. Going gluten free has almost stopped the pains, I still have them once in a while but not nearly as bad or as often. A month ago I had a full blown out pain atleast 2 times a week, but only went to doctor maybe 1 or 2 times a month. They even gave me 4 cat scans in 5 months. Ok, just a week ago I noticed that when I purposely ate a small candy with gluten because of temptation, instead of screaming in pain after a few minutes, instantly my throat kinda swelled up and it became hard to swallow. I tried again a few days later and same reaction. And it’s lasting more than an hour even after drinking something. Do I need to stop altogether, and how serious am I hurting myself now? Symptoms are changing and idk how serious they are. Am I getting worse or better? I’m a little confused

  • I believe that I have a gluten sensitivity. I have for the most part eliminated it, However on occasion when I do cheat and have a homemade dinner roll or a little piece of birthday cake, I take gluten digesting enzymes. Do you think these enzymes are effective? They are called Gluten-Peptide Digesting Enzymes. Thank you for a very informative article

  • I started a gluten challenge 2 days ago and feel awful, I usually try to avoid all grains, but wanted to make sure I dont have Celiac bc my daughter also gets severe eczema from wheat, and i figured its easier to test me than my 4 yr old.
    I have insomnia and my feet hurt upon waking. I feel nauseous. I have joint pain and shoulder tension and also lower back pain. Also, I think I am getting yellowing of the palms, feet and the whites of my eyes. Could wheat somehow cause jaundice? Thank you.

  • This article has been very enlightening for me. Purely by accident, and to support a friend I was staying with, I joined her on her gluten free diet. This was very quickly the beginning of a new life for me. Let me explain further:
    I, like my mother, had been experiencing migraines for many years and they were progressing to every week or so. I had also started to experience chronic inflammation of the joints, and being a trooper, I sucked it up and lived with it. I had also been diagnosed with chronic fibromyalgia some 15 years ago. I have always lived a full life, never giving in to any of the limitations these conditions imposed (other than the migraines)
    From the moment I stopped the gluten, no migraines, no inflammation, no so called fibromyalgia. I have not resumed gluten, however I had no idea until this article there was evidence to support my story.
    Thank you.

  • I cut out gluten about two weeks ago, and I was lucky, after a few days, and a big headache, my cravings subsided and I haven’t even missed bread, mainly because I’ve been eating foods that are more filling and am just generally not hungry. This was the first most noticeable HUGE difference. For the last two days, I’ve felt my brain fog, something I thought was just a part of who I was (scatter-brained), begin to lift. I was actually remembering things! I could think more clearly. Just fantastic. Tonight, against my better judgment, I messed up. We went to a restaurant where the manager gave us a free appetizer to congratulate me on my new job. Needless to say, it was not gluten or wheat free. I didn’t want to appear ungrateful, so I took a few bites. No big deal, right?

    I was tired today, but I had a strange wave of sleepiness come over me soon after ingesting the food. I am fully aware of the placebo effect, and yes, it might not have been related. But about an hour later, I started to have some difficulty swallowing because my tongue felt swollen. Not to the point my life was in danger, but still very annoying. And at about the same time, I began to feel sores on my tongue, as if I had bitten it in several places, when I hadn’t. Right now, two hours later, these symptoms have not subsided. It hurts to swallow, drink, speak, etc. I hope and pray that this is the extent of my reaction, but I have a feeling it might not be.

    I was just beginning to experience some really good results, I thought, from going gluten and wheat-free. The experience I have had tonight is absolutely enough for me to continue and NOT lapse again.

    To give the people on this board an idea of where I am coming from and why I chose to go gluten free, these are some of the conditions that have plagued me since about 18-19 (I am now 29).

    Dry skin
    Difficulty sleeping
    Joint pain
    Overwhelming fatigue
    Brain fog
    Keratosis Pilaris
    Hormonal imbalance

    But it’s cool. After the last two weeks, and seeing a slow but noticeable improvement in myself, I am feeling like I might have identified the culprit. I’ll keep going. As far as I am concerned, as long as I make sure I get enough fiber, it is certainly not going to hurt me to go gluten or wheat-free, ESPECIALLY if it helps with my symptoms. Wishing the best for you all!

  • My daughter has been tested 3 times for gluten issues and the doctor says everything was normal , we did not do a biopsy ( dr . didnt want to ) So I with the help of a friend whos daughter was already gluten free , I took her off all gluten and all her headaches , stomach issues are gone , how can this happen when everything was negative /

  • I was diagnosed in 2004 with intolerances of Gluton Glyadin, diary, pork, egg, I have thyroid hashimotos desease and have recently received test results of high levels of antibodies in my blood. I take Thyroxin. I suffer with dystonis in my right hand and foot. i shake a lot and suffer panic attacks, and feel very anxious shaky most of the time. I also take Blood pressure medication which includes durectics.
    I feel awful most of the time!!
    I am sure these problems are caused by Gluton, it’s taking over my life.
    I try to stay clear of Gluton most of the time.

    I take food supplement to try and stay to stay healthy. I am due to see a doctor for the best way forward. But they do not seem to know what is happening to me. I have just been percribed with Amitriptaline?? I am 66 years. Pat

  • Hi,

    I’m wondering if Dr. Hyman has dealt with specifically with pulmonary hypertension and/or pulmonary veno occlusive disease.


  • I am a 17 year old girl. For the past two and a half years I have suffered from extremely loud noises ranging from the throat to my waist. I have also had excessive gas that is usually odorless. These problems occur immediately after i eat. I have resorted to skipping lunch because that is the only way my stomach stays silent during school. I had a blood test for celiac disease in the spring and it came back negative. I have always had problems with consuming any dairy products. For the past two months I have completely eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet. It has improved my stomach issues but has not stopped the noises or gas from occurring. It has reduced the pain and I am more regular because of it. Has anyone suffered from something similar to this? Any help would be appreciated


  • I have hypothyroidism.I read that gluten triggers my body to attack my thyroid, so I went gluten free. I felt better my headaches went away and I was less bloated. Then I got a refill of the same medication Synthroid (first one made by Abbot and second Abbvie) and all of a sudden my feet felt like walking on glass and my hands are stiff, inflamed and I feel like I am a hundred and five. I went back to my doctor he took blood work for my thyroid and for inflammatories. Test came back normal. When I stop taking my medication the pain goes away. My doctor has prescribed me the generic and so far it hasn’t helped all that much. Has anyone have this problem and if so could you please tell me how you solved it… Thank you

  • I, too, found out about gluten through my own research. I have had to be extremely careful for the last two years. This last spring I found myself eating way too many fudge bars and started having symptoms of being glutened. I went over the ingredients of the foods I had been eating (none contained gluten) and came across an ingredient I knew nothing about called carrageenan. I stopped eating the fudgecycles and the pain and symptoms ceased. Here is some information I found about carrageenan.

    Carrageenan is a food additive that is extracted from red seaweed. It is used as a thickener and emulsifier and is found in dairy products, processed meat, soymilk, toothpaste, and ready to feed infant formulas. I first came across it on an ingredient list early in on my gluten free (and food label reading) life. Once I learned that it is gluten free and “natural,” I assumed it was safe for me to eat as a celiac. However, a few months ago I began developing GI upset every time I ingested it, and I cut it totally out of my diet. Based on what I have now learned, I am glad that carrageenan is out of my life and kitchen.

    There is a great deal of information about carrageenan on the web. Hope this helps somebody. My doctors had never heard of it!

    • Judy, I quickly learned that despite being completely gluten free I was experiencing GI and neuromuscular, joint and other gluten-like symptoms due to carrageenan. I also reacted to brown kombu seaweed in a can if beans. Last year I started to become ill and realized some GF products were adding algin/alginates/alginic acid derived from brown seaweeds. So long as I stay gluten, MSG and seaweed free I feel great. So be careful as even OTC and prescription drugs are using these seaweed-based emulsifiers under a variety of names.

  • 3 weeks ago I started the FODMAP diet in which most gluten and milk products are eliminated. (spelt bread is ok). I have had the blood test for celiac and was negative, and I have some first cousins who are celiac. I can go 5 days feeling great, and then suddenly have terrible stomach pain, and I’ve come to the point that I am not sure if it is food related. Yesterday I took Metamucil (psyllium) to hello constipation and my stomach pain became much worse extending to my back. I am otherwise a very fit, healthy woman. Could the psyllium have exacerbated something? Thank you

  • Could the reason gluten problems are so prevalent today be the bio-engineered corn that they would not let in the food chain some years ago. What did they do with all that corn then? How many other grains are they now bio-engineering that are not organic? How will we ever know what effects bio engineering has on our food supply. Once they are put into the crop chain, how can they be segregated or removed? More questions than answers!!

    Dr. Hyman — thanks for your articles. I wish I could find a functional doc near me. We really appreciate all your help.


  • How long do you have to not eat gluten before you notice a difference as far as depression, arthritis, anxiety, etc.?

    • read “Grain Brain” — it’s more like 7 months. Be sure to be gluten free and not just wheat free. good luck

  • I no longer have dental plaques after stopping gluten consumption. Could gluten be how dental plaques are linked to cardiovascular disease?

  • the article reads:
    “If you eat cheeseburgers or French fries all the time or drink six sodas a day, you likely know you are shortening your life.”
    this doesn’t seem accurate to me. thHFCS in the sodas is no good for sure, and the trans-fat oil in the fries is garbage, and the gluten in the bread is damaging to your gut over long periods of time.
    but a grass-fed burger on gluten free bread, hold the cheese, with homemade fries fried in coconut oil, with water instead of soda! yummy. tasty. healthy.
    in other words, the original statement is misleading because it promotes the false and commonly-held idea that fat is bad for you, and the saturated fat in the burger will kill you.
    on the contrary, saturated fat is very healthy for you.

  • I have suffered with an undiagnosed interstitial cystitus for two years. The pain is indescribable. It affects my bladder and kidneys. I have discovered that gluten is the culprit. By eliminating it from my diet I am pain free. Two days ago I was in a supermarket standing in the bakery area and I felt an immediate response to the gluten in the air. Pain immediately in my bladder and kidneys. When I got home I used citricidal in a glass of water and within one and a half hours all the pain had gone.

    I also have;
    Aspergers syndrome (Autistic spectrum disorder
    Chronic constipation
    and a myriad of other complaints.

    My brain fog is lessened without gluten as is the bloating and intestinal gas and I function better without it in my diet.People’s comments have been most helpful and I believe that other friends can be helped with the exclusion of gluten from their diet. I was particularly pleased to hear that vertigo was cleared up after eliminating gluten.

    I tried a raw food diet for a few weeks with juicing and introducing alkalinity into my diet and that too was beneficial.

    Dr. Hyman – thank you for all the advice. Sugar profoundly affects my body by raising all pain thresholds and I am only pain free when it is not in my system. That also includes all the artificial sweeteners too.

  • Tho its not stated here, I am guessing that those who don’t show any problems with gluten, should at least limit its consumption?

    My main reason being the cases of people spontaneously developing the disease, presumably after many years of too high consumption of gluten.

  • For several years I’ve had stomach issues (stomach pain, bloating, indigestion, cramping, bouts of diarrhea). Gatroenterologists put me through many tests (barium swallow, CT scan, colonoscopy, endoscopy, labs, biopsies). Multiple elevated anti-gliadin labs pointed to celiac. I tested positive for HLA DQ8. I took Nexium among other acid blockers (very hard to wean off of). I was prescribed Bentyl and Hyomax-SL. I ate Maalox and Tums like candy. Even with all of this I found very little relief. I was never diagnosed with Celiac because it could not be confirmed with a biopsy. Instead I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I made the decision to try and eliminate gluten and this has helped more than anything. It is not an easy thing to do and even with my best efforts I never know for sure if I have accidentally ingested some hidden gluten. Some times I will back slide and eat gluten. The reaction is not always immediate but my joints and a bout of diarrhea let me know I made a mistake. Due to pain in my upper right side that has been ongoing (no gallbladder) and elevated liver enzymes, I recently had extensive liver workup and CT scan. The report says I have multiple liver lesions through out the liver not indicative of cysts. The recommendation is an MRI for further investigation. I am waiting to discuss this with my Dr. on monday but I am left wondering if this latest finding has anything to do with gluten.

  • After taking natural remedies for blood pressure that I always suspected to come from bad digestion, I decided to go gluten free for a few weeks. I am allergic to food preservatives and after going gluten free my blood pressure and digestion became normal to my surprise.

    Today I ate two slices of whole wheat bread after eating a cinnamon bun the day before. My blood pressure shot up and I had stomach pain and indigestion and I felt bloated and did not know why at first.

    I now know I am gluten intolerant and I am going to go gluten free after reading your article. I have lived elsewhere and wheat has never been an issue.
    I cannot thank you enough for this information.

    Thank you and thank you again, I pray for all those affected and don’t even know it.


  • I’ve read that the adenovirus, responsible for the common cough, is coated with a portion of the gliadin protein and that there is evidence it could potentially trigger Celiac disease in people who are genetically susceptible (

    Could this mean that our immune systems evolved to fight the adenovirus, and that those who were better able to fight it in turn were more intolerant/sensitive to the gluten in their food?

  • Hi Dr Hyman
    I am a south african female and is suffering when eating especially bread and cakes. Straight after eating the above I get headaches, joint pains as well as severe pain in either the right or left side of my abdomen. My mom says its all in my head. After reading all the above I now know that I was right all along. Can this just be gluten sensitivity or something else such as IBS?

  • Graham cracker crumbs can be gluten-free, so check the label to be sure you’re buying one of these varieties.
    The gluten-free products are also dairy, soy, and nut-free.
    Fortunately for me, I already know what to look for and how to prepare gluten free foods.

  • Diabetic since 1989, insulin dependent since 2002. Legs numb with ten foot surgeries. HBP. Family wheat free since Jan 1 2013. BP down from 185/90 to 130/74. Humalog down from 140 units daily to 20. Having at least one low weekly FBG is 120s with no carb restrictions. Lost 40+ lbs and 3″ in waist, wife has lost 60# and five dress sizes. We are eating rye and barley with no problems. Wish we did this decades ago. Some feeling is returning to my feet.

  • I had been eating clean & working out following a trainers plan for three weeks. I was feeling great and tightening up. Over the weekend my daughter got married and on the drive home, my husband and I got off the plan. I’ve had gut problems for years and was even told I had “leaky gut syndrome”, but gluten wasn’t mentioned and my regular doctors didn’t seemed concerned. After straying off the plan two days ago, I was ill before we even made it home. I was ill the rest of the night and through the next day with horrible lower intestine pain. I even cried and I have a pretty high pain tolerance. My question is that everywhere I’ve read states to eat gluten in order for the tests to be correct. I don’t ever want to experience the pain I had the past two days. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Deanna,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I have read so many articles or reviews about the blogger
    lovers except this post is truly a fastidious paragraph, keep it up.

  • I am positive for CD by biopsy and by anti-gliadin, IGA and genetic testing. I’m 100% gluten free but my belly is more swollen and I’m having trouble going to the bathroom. Could it be from serious damage and what do I do now?

  • Thank you for this extremely informative article. I get severe GERT reactions from eating gluten foods. I just had a severe choking event caused by accidentally consuming some food with gluten. I am curious to know about the links to cancer. My mother had GERT most of the final years of her life, ultimately dying from lung cancer. I’m pretty sure, knowing what I know about my own body now, that she had undiagnosed celiac. I will never be able to get her back, but at least I know now what was causing so much discomfort and distress to my own immune system.

  • I stumbled upon eating gluten free 20 years ago while trying to figure out a way to eat that would not result in a bloated, distended, painful abdomen! Low and behold, three weeks into the diet . . . my fibromyalgia was gone as well as the painful bloating. This was such a surprise to me, as I had resigned myself to having to live with constant pain. Five years into eating like this, corn became a source of fibromyalgia pain as well . . . so I don’t eat that, either. I am now 58 and completely pain free . . . as long as I avoid these two things. There are so many alternative things one can eat to be happy and healthy and it was definitely a springboard to making me aware of the power of food for health and happiness. To me there was no alternative once I made the above connection because I am not willing to live my life in pain if I have ANY control in the matter . . . not even for the squishiest, crispy crusted, fragrant loaf of bread 😉

  • For over a year I had severe eczema around my eyes and on my eye lids. First it would burn and turn pink then dry up and scale off only to burn again. I did allergy blood tests that all came back fine and even saw a dermatologist. I was told the only treatment was to use prescription steroid cream but that this was bad to use on a regular basis around my eyes. I actually started to develop scarring at the corner of my eye lids.

    I used hypo allergenic soaps and laundry detergents stopped wearing all make up nothing worked. Then my doc did a fellowship in functional medicine and had me eliminate gluten from my diet. I also increased my intake of vegetables and fruits dramatically. We were not actually doing this to target the eczema but it cleared up.

    Well one week I was SOOO tired I got lazy. I bought hot pockets, bagels etc. And low and behold in a week the burning sensation around my eyes started to come back and turn pink and then I knew for sure the gluten or wheat (possibly a combo of both?) seemed to be the cause. If not the cause there is a high correlation or at least it has something else that is linked to gluten and wheat.

    I believe gluten in small amounts is ok. But we wheat today has 40x more gluten then it did 50 years ago because we like the fluffy texture it produces in baked goods. It’s certainly isn’t natural and now we have GMO contaminated wheat fields that were discovered without FDA approval (not that that means much anyway). When it was discovered export farmers lost their entire business to countries like Japan who ban GMO.

    I’ve done the dairy elimination and for me I do well on dairy but I always do organic and I have cut back a lot. I believe that our genetics also play a key role in which foods are best for us. For instance studies have suggested that a Southwestern native American diet is one of the best diabetic diets. Also it’s been noted that this Southwestern native Americans seem to develop type 2 diabetes easier. This is suspected because of their genetics they have adapted to this diet over many many generations and in a very short amount of time converted to a Western diet high in grains (especially refined grains). Prior they used mesquite like a grain which is actually a legume, amaranth which I think is a pseudo grain and native varieties of corn.

    Well that’s my student researcher soap box for the evening. I wish more studies like those Mark Hyman do and those that drive functional medicine were financed. But where is the money in curing people and taking them off their expensive medications? You can’t patent a vegetable (unless it’s GMO)

  • I eliminated all grain from my diet six months ago. The results: Cholesterol profile improved and off Lipitor, IBS cleared up, no longer take anti-inflammatories for arthritic pain in fingers, whites of my eyes no longer slightly blood shot. I had alopecia on my arms and parts of my legs – new little hairs starting to grow back, and I am very proud of them! This is proof enough to me that grain (gluten) is not good for me.

  • I am a RN who almost died from celiac disease, suffering for almost 5 years of being misdiagnosed. I was informed I was negative for celiac disease 3 years ago, but the test was performed using IgA and I am IgA deficient, having had an official diagnosis at that time & undergoing IVIG monthly. After years of ruling out everything else, it took my research and hitting rock bottom to finally figure this out!
    I had been bed-bound x3mnths, suffered severe joint pain, inflammation, hair loss, severe malnutrition that led to severe dental caries. I became so sick, that I finally told myself I was going to only eat organic, no preservatives & do everything in my power to only put healthy foods in my body. After doing this, I instantly started feeling somewhat better. This led me to do additional research where I discovered those with IgA deficiencies have to get celiac testing done with IgG. So I pulled my old labs & behold, the Rheumo tested IgA and missed the celiac diagnosis, causing me to suffer another 3 years! I am shocked being a trained medical professional as to how those afflicted with this that do not have a medical background can even get adequate medical care.
    I feel victimized by the health community, over the last 5 years, I was recommended to seek mental, I was misdiagnosed with Lupus, adrenal insufficiency & prescribed meds I didn’t need. I knew I didn’t have Lupus being a RN. Even today, I find many medical professionals instantly correlate celiac disease only with GI abnormalities! If I only had GI issues, I would be excited beyond words. The GI issues I suffer from don’t hold a candle to the other symptoms of impaired immune system, malnutrition, joint pain so severe at 42yrs old, it impacts my ADL’s.
    I am currently writing a book about my experiences and am asking others who have suffered similar experiences as mine to contact me and tell me their story. Please visit and submit your story to me. I can keep your info confidential, but my goal is to raise awareness, that this disease affects more than just the GI system.

  • After 3-1/2 years of stomach issues (gastritis flare-ups), I got tired of the GP’s telling me to take antacid drugs. I tried them a couple times. All they did was give me IBS symptoms, and heartburn/acid rebound after I quit taking them. The gastritis kept coming back, and the GPs couldn’t tell me why, but only wanted to keep giving me the drugs, which I learned to refuse. I finally went to a gastro doc, and he said my main problem is IBS. I asked him if IBS causes gastritis and he said no, but at the end of my visit he suggested an elimination diet. I got my blood tested for sensitivities and was surprised to find that wheat and gluten were printed in red, although it was only a low #1, so I was cocky and thought, “I won’t have any problems with that”. After all, I love to bake bread and ate it all the time. But when I tested it, it was very revealing. My face started to feel warm, and then I started to feel like I was fighting a low-grade fever, and then I just didn’t feel good at all and thought I was actually coming down with something, the spongy headache feeling lasted until the next day. Then I got zits on my face! Unbelievable. Before I started this ED, I sometimes had that “I don’t feel good” feeling, but just always brushed it off. Now I know where that was coming from. This is depressing to me because I love bread and can’t imagine life without it. But, if it means no more stomach flare-ups, it’ll be worth it to give it up. I just have to learn to accept it. It’s going to tough though. I never thought I would be one “those” annoying people who avoided gluten, just because it was the new fad. Now here I am seriously considering it myself. Elimination diets are truly revealing.

  • I have had. An allergy test and I’m not allergic to anything they say, but I have been diagnosed with grauloma annulare, would gluten play a part to this. Thank you

  • I have had throat inflammation in the area of the larynx for a year. More recently had some other symptoms of burning sensation on my hands and feet, and overall joint aches and pains accompanied with general lethargy. Saw GP, ENT, Gastro, and Rheumy, but nothing was detected or diagnosed. Finally, I discovered the elimination diet and reintroduction to help identify food sensitivities.
    It became evident that wheat/gluten and dairy were the culprits. As long as I keep them out of my diet, I feel great. If I slip up, I get symptom feedback in as little as twenty minutes, and it will last for hours.
    Hope this helps.

  • Hello! I have read the antibodies tests you have mentioned. Whereas my tests where negative on IgG (no IgA performed), I do have “general” anti-nuclear antibodies, and positive on ScL-70. I have been diagnosed with early systemic sclerosis, which does not require any treatment so far (according to traditional medicine, of course). I would like to know if I would benefit from eliminating gluten anyway. Since it’s such a hard thing to do (especially when I don’t have other syntoms than a mild skin condition and knee inflamation, and raynaud), I would like to be sure getting rid of gluten could actually improve my health and (maybe) keep the illness from getting worse.
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Lilian,
      The gold standard for assessing how gluten affects your health is an elimination diet. Eliminate all sources of gluten for three weeks and then add it back into your diet for three days to assess your symptoms. If you have any sort of reaction after eating gluten, then you have your answer and should keep it out of your diet.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I am so excited to see more of these articles on gluten sensitivity/intolerance in the past couple yrs. About 4 years ago I searched the internet desperately seeking how to correlate my symptoms with my lab and biopsy results. I was anemic and tired. Blamed on 3 young kids and working. Large amts of iron supplements daily under direction of my physician and my hgb/hct did not improve over 4 mos. Started with wrist/hand and shoulder pain. Thought i was getting carpal tunnel holding my blankets in the middle of night. Wrist braces. No improvement. Bilateral knee pain. Convo with trainer at gym and given specific stretches to do. No improvement. Bloodwork showed highly elevated Ttg. Dr was certain i had celiac. Intesinal biopsies negative. I was pretty much given an idk response on what to do from there. Through much inner searching on what had changed in my life…i knew raising 3 kids and working resulted in me being too busy to drink water. So i started drinking 64 oz plus daily, everyday. Knee pain had been present constantly for 3 mos….completely gone in 1 week!! I felt better and had cbc redone. My hgb/hct went up for first time. Yes i thought….just a matter of time before my hand/wrist/shoulder pain would resolve. 3 mos later it still had not. So….what was that Ttg lab all about?? I went gf…within 1 week…all the pain was gone! It had been present for 8 plus mos. Dr i worked with (im an RN) said hmmm i would be interested to aee if your symptoms came back on gluten. I stayed off gluten long enough to make sure symptoms didnt come back. They dud not. Eventually over 6 mos life situations caused me to slack on my diet and i was careless with gluten…few mos later my shoulder and wrists started to ache. Few days off gluten and aches gone. This happened several times. Told my Dr who said ok if u feel better then stay gf, “there are so many things regarding gluten that we Drs arent even aware of yet”. I started getting petechiae on my feet and ankles after weight bearing for extended period of time. Then getting if i sat too long. I would say I was 85-90% gf. Would notice worsening of petechiae about 3-5 days post gluten consumption. Less gluten and less petechiae. Recently much improvement but still only 97% gf. Splurged on gluten on vacation, joint pains within 1-2 days and now its 5 days later and largest amt of petechiae i have had in awhile. While i am still trying to determine if petechiae a certain link, it surely appears so. I will now being doing what i have not done to this point and that is to eliminate ALL gluten including sauces and make up etc. I told my story to many friends and coworkers who have gone gf over the past yr….and feel better with less bloating, constipation, headaches. I am grateful to see the knowledge that has been obtained regarding gluten in the medical world!! Drs stop overlooking gluten as a problem before presribing meds!!

  • Hi dr hyman,

    I have been diagnosed from gluten intolerance 12 years ago. I currently include gluten in my diet. I have problems related to my skin which includes dry skin, skin rashes at the the eyelids, fatigue, not interested to work, etc. I also exercise a lot everyday. So I may be fatigued due to my exercise regime.Also my blood serum reports are completely normal. I have a very severe deficiency of vitamin D as per the reports. So what should i do and what tests should be done to accurately measure this disease.

    Thank You,

    • Hi Anand,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I find that I am NCGI. If I do ingest some gluten, I will get a headache for a smaller amount, then intestinal issues from light diarrhea to intense cramping that can last days, as well as swelling and joint pain/sensitivity. I don’t hear people talk about it, but I find gluten addictive. If I have some, I will want more and it usually takes me 3 days to get away from the craving. I am getting close to 100% GF, but not quite their yet. Oh, and now that I eat a lot less gluten, if I do have gluten, I break out with psoriasis on my knuckles (didn’t have that the first year). I have become more sensitive instead of less.

  • I have had all the blood test done and they were negative . Had a biopsy done and it was positive smooth intestines and villi almost gone . My dr looks at me and said he has never seen neg. blood test and positive biopsy . So he said I don’t know what to tell you !?!?

  • I developed heart palpitations after menopause but thought I did away with them by going off dairy. Then they flared up again so I’m going off gluten. I hope this helps. I’m also going off nuts to be safe. My doctor says I’m extremely healthy for my age (63) so I’m hoping I don’t have celiac disease. Am now trying new foods that will satisfy me the way bread and dairy did. I’ve lost about 10 lbs in the process which I think is probably normal. What do you think?

  • I am 21 years old and in the past 2 years I have noticed a ton of issues all coming on at one time, and am wondering if it may be a gluten issue. I typically had seasonal allergies but have not experienced typical allergy symptoms in 2 years, but instead a CONSTANT nasal obstruction where it feels like I cannot breathe, and frequent sinus infections, as well as sinus pressure and frequent headaches.
    I never really though much of my issues just blamed it on an inconsistent sleep schedule and being a few pounds overweight. In the past year, though, I have noticed the following symptoms:
    Fatigue, often severe after eating a big meal
    Brain fog – ALL THE TIME
    Acid reflux
    IBS symptoms
    Depression and anxiety
    Mood swings
    Acne worsening
    Heart palpitations and racing heart quite often (had an EKG and Echo and everything is fine)
    Joint and muscle stiffness and pain – noticeably worse in the past year
    No matter how much sleep I get, always tired, but experience insomnia at night
    Episodes of low blood sugar (no diabetes)
    Onset of lactose intolerance
    Bloating and gas
    Recently, tightening neck back and shoulder muscles
    Tingling in hands occasionally
    Inability to focus and lack of interest
    SOMETIMES dizziness
    And I had low vitamin D in bloodwork last year, and was diagnosed with allergic asthma, although haven’t needed my inhaler in a few months
    CBC, metabolic panel, and thyroid are all fine
    Haven’t been tested for vitamin deficiencies recently

    I am wondering if I should get tested for the antibodies or just start an elimination diet. I have an appointment with an allergist next week for my nasal issues and am going to mention my concerns.

    • Hi Samantha,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

    • Hey Samantha….I’ve had a lot of those symptoms myself. Some ideas: stress. You’d be surprized. Stress can cause pretty much every symptom you’ve listed. Plain old anxiety is a problem. Especially for people too in tune with their body. It’s a vicious circle worrying about everything.

      Another thing to throw out there is Lyme Disease. Ever been bit by a Tick? Or have you been in areas known to have ticks?

      Good luck. Your much too young for all those problems.

    • Just go off carbs and polyunsaturated fat. Eat animal fat, coconut oil, olive oil and butter – add to lots of vegetables. Don’t eat gluten. Eat moderate amounts of meat. I’m enjoying Pete Evans new cook book – Paleo. Never felt so good. I had all of your symptoms for about 20 yrs. Doctors aren’t helpful with this problem – it’ll take another 20yrs before they are up to date. Save yourself a lot of ill-health and misery – just make the change. You sound like me 20 yrs ago – I should have listened to my body and not the dieticians and docs. But I have made the change and all the problems you have mentioned are improving.

    • You sound so much like me! Heart palpatations are scary. In my case my doc thought I was nuts because they never happened when I was tested. I took matters into my own hands and didn’t look back. I’ve had massive improvements to my health since starting to drink homemade kefir every day since 6 months ago. I was even very sensitive to dairy in the beginning, but not at all now. Our environments and the chemicals around us kill off the bacteria we need all the time, so keeping the guts well populated makes those little guys start to do ththe work for you and gives the guts a chance to heal.

  • I have suffered from IBS for my entire life. I am 51 yrs old and for the last 5-7 years I have had increasing bone and joint pain in my hands, wrists, feet, ankles, knees, lower back and most recently my right arm while extending it diagonally to reach out. Colleagues and friends kept telling me all my bone pain was associated with aging. I secretly have had many moments in the past years thinking it would be better to have my feet amputated than suffer the pain of initially standing and walking. The pain in both of my knees has been so extreme I had considered seeing an orthopedic surgeon to inquire about knee replacements for both knees. I was never an athlete, did not do manual labor in my lifetime, so I saw no reason for my body to be wearing out and suffering from arthritis at my age. My research into IBS convinced me to remove gluten from my diet. I didn’t realize the benefits I would gain for the bone/joint pain . I had avoided taking this step as I love bread, cakes, cookies, etc. I don’t know anyone who loves and appreciates bread more than myself. I removed gluten from diet in October 2014. Immediately – my bloating disappeared. Each day the bone/joint pain in one area or another disappeared as well. My attempt to remove gluten came with a weekly cheat day where I ate several bread sticks, or a hamburger bun or piece of cake/pie. With every occasion that I re-introduced gluten the pain returned by the next morning and felt appreciably worse than when I ate gluten regularly. I have since, completely removed gluten from my diet and have no anxiety, melancholy or regret about removing it. I don’t bat an eye at cakes or breads anymore. The absence of pain is nothing short of miraculous for me. I have daily regular bowel movements now. Gone are the raging diarrhea/constipation cycles, with the bi-weekly bouts of cramping and wretched elimination. I did not expect the bone pain to be eliminated, it has been a side benefit greater than the IBS remedy. I have not been tested for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. I don’t believe I need any testing at this point. I began riding my bicycle in July of 2014 to give my body and heart the exercise it needs daily. I ride 18 miles every morning after I wake up. Some days my husband and I ride 30+ miles on a Saturday or Sunday enjoying the outdoors. I live in a three story condo and had severe pain going upstairs after a long bike ride. I walk around telling everyone around me who will listen that I have “brand new knees”. My husband and I rode in a 50-mile Heros Bike Run on October 18, 2014, riding mountain bikes no less, and I felt fine that evening and the following day. NO KNEE PAIN. I hope relating my experience helps even one person out there to make the leap and go gluten free to resolve their IBS or bone pain issues. Thank you.

  • Hi I have Hashimotos Thyroiditis and I was told by a nutritionist and my endocrinologist that going gluten free would guarantee a reduction in Anti Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies yet I eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet for 8 weeks and my Anti Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies increased to 4 times as much so I can’t see how eliminating gluten has helped me or will help me.

    My endocrinologist firstly ordered a Celiac screen but didn’t tell me how long I needed to eat gluten for or how much I needed to consume daily. As a result I did the gluten challenge for 2 weeks and not the 6-8 weeks I found out by myself and the endocrinologist only checked my Total IgA serum after those 2 weeks were up. So does that mean I don’t have a gluten sensitivity or Celiac even though my symptoms after eating gluten such as constipation, fatigue, pale skin, weight loss and dry skin suggest otherwise? Thank you

    • Have you tried coconut oil – that’s helping me. Apparently polyunsaturated fat plays havoc with hormones – I’ve given these so called unhealthy fats up.

  • Dr. Hyman, the study in JAMA compared mortality of active and latent celiac disease, which is positive serology, or blood antibodies, for celiac but negative endoscopy. How does latent celiac (I think now referred to as potential celiac) disease compare with non-celiac gluten sensitivity? My son has positive IgG gliadin antibodies (by Cyrex Labs) but negative TtG antibodies and a negative biopsy. Thanks!

  • I have been carb sensitive for my whole life. Unfortunately after testing negative from a biopsy was told it was good for me to eat my bread and grains – I felt worse on whole grains. I have had IBS, food and chemical sensitivities, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, foggy thinking and all these things over the past 20 yrs. When I go off carbs and go to the doctor I am then sent to a dietician who listens for a while and then the bread comes back – I was told you need your healthy grains. I got the queer looks as if it was just a fad – HA! 30kg heavier and my health deteriorating I am on a paleo diet – have been implementing this diet over 2 months and feeling much better. There is a long way to go. Trying to be rid of the 30 kg in my later years, with deteriorated health, isn’t easy, but I feel so good that I will not eat gluten and will restrict carbs.All this has been so needless – the sicker I became the more medication was offered. Nearly off my meds. My latest BP reading was 126 over 66. I have cut my doc visits way back and will not willingly see another dietician ever.
    Bread and salad made me feel ravenous. Now I have a meal and feel satisfied. No polyunsaturated fats – coconut oil and leave the fat on my meat – put some butter on my vegetables – no low fat – just very restricted carbs and no gluten.

  • Hi. This article helps me realize I’m not crazy. It’s hard explaining it to people who don’t understand. I went gluten free over a year ago after experimenting for a few weeks and feeling SO much better. I wasn’t in bad shape before (active 32 year old in great health), but had struggled with tiredness, brain fog, anxiety, and mild depression. Becoming gluten free I felt so much better. This past Thanksgiving though, I decided it would be fine to splurge and I ate TONS of gluten. Just figured I’d feel pretty low the next day or two – popped a few enzymes and even did some activated charcoal. Well, the last two weeks have been horrible. I have pain and inflammation all over my body. I can hardly twist my neck, swelling in my joints, stiffness especially in the morning, head aches, numbness in my right arm…I feel as though I’m falling apart. I can hardly pick up my toddler in the morning and turning over in bed almost brings me to tears. I’ve had blood work done and the doctors are clueless. I feel like this HAS to be related to my gluten overdose (aka poisoning). Waiting to see a naturopath to get her take, but autoimmune stuff doesn’t run in my family and my symptoms seem like I have fibro or RA. Could it be possible that the gluten triggered this type of reaction? If so, how long until I feel better? This is miserable. Look forward to hearing from anyone who has had similar reactions. (I know Dr. Hyman can’t answer!) Thanks!

  • I have been gluten free for a year now, went lactose free 3 months ago, and have had GERD several years before going gluten free. I STILL have GERD problems. Note: I do NOT eat meat (20+ years), have never smoked anything nor taken drugs, not on any Rx, and never a drop of alcohol in my life-so these are not factors. Any clues anyone? THANKS.

    • I have battled GERD as well. Eliminating wheat (celiac diagnosis) helped. Then eliminating dairy helped (allergy to milk). Eliminating tomatoes has helped. I have never smoked or taken illegal drugs in my life and I have had alcohol however when my husband gave it up three years ago because he was an alcoholic and realized it was impacting his diabetes so he became clean and sober and to support him I gave it up as well. Never have been much on fried foods. I still have heartburn from time to time despite taking ranitidine and another anti-gerd med that escapes me at the moment. I would be interested to know what else might be causing this. I do not have an ulcer. We discovered the Celiac disease with an upper and lower GI to rule it out.

  • I thought gluten diets were a fad until my now husband told me he was allergic to oats, eggs, and red dye and had been tested as a child. Almost daily he complained of stomach problems: bloating, gas, diarrhea, and general fatigue. The doctor had told him he had an ulcer and was treating him for such but nothing worked. I had read about gluten intolerance and thought that if he was allergic to oats he might be gluten intolerant. I suggested a gluten free diet and he had no idea what I was talking about. He looked gluten intolerance up and agreed to try the diet as he had nothing to lose. That evening we went through all the foods in the pantry and pulled out everything that contained oats, wheat, barley and rye. This included soy sauce, gravy mixes, soups, etc. The change wasn’t necessarily immediate but within 3-4 he saw an improvement an by 2 wks he had relief from the digestive issues. Within 3 months he felt great. We did try to introduce gluten back in but found that the stomach irritation returned with a vengeance.

    For myself I found an unexpected relief. I have had dermatitis pilaris since I was a child and it would always get worse in the winter. I also would have extreme joint pain in my ankles, feet, knees, shoulders, hips and hands in the winter too. I associated this with the cold. I told my doctor about this and he said I probably had osteoarthritis and prescribed ibuprofen. I found that the ibuprofen did not work and so I was icing most of my joints. But, when I went on the gluten free diet with my husband, I found that the joint pain was gone, so was the dermatitis and so was my fatigue. I have been on a low carb diet since I was 22 for hypoglycemia but I would splurge during the holidays and that is when my joints and skin would get worse. I associated the pain and dermatitis with the cold but that wasn’t the case. I did test this theory after I had been on the gluten free diet for about 5 mos. and the pain returned and I felt like I was crippled. I dance and if I eat gluten my joints hurt so badly that I am unable to dance…the fatigue is also such that no matter how much I sleep, I am tired and hurt all over. I still have no gut issues yet, but the inflammation in my joints was such that I am convinced a gluten free diet is for me. Now, neither of us eats gluten. Every now and then I cheat maybe once a week…a cookie here or half a muffin, a small flour tortilla…and I don’t suffer any ill affect, but my husband has issues even with small amounts of gluten. For him, the affects are immediate and take a couple of days to resolve. All in all, we are both healthier and better w/o gluten as it is poisonous to us both.

  • I have cut gluten out of my diet for the most part and I seem to have gained a good control over joint pains, fatigue and even depression.

    I did cheat although a couple of weeks ago over a weeks time and I seem to have identified what I suspect to be a bursitis on my elbow.. It has been increasing in discomfort over the past week or so, and my question is,

    Is bursitis also part and in the same family as joint pains as a result of gluten intolerance? Also, can hemoroïd and cole sores too be part of a reaction to certain food intolerances as I have all 3 right now..

    Thank you.

  • For the past 10 years I have eaten a gluten free diet because whenever I ingested even a tiny amount it meant severe cramps, diarrhea, and up to 2 weeks of severe depression and brain fog. For the past 6 months I have been drinking homemade kefir daily and accidentally discovered that my gluten sensitivity has greatly deminished!! I went for it this week and tried out a bowl of minestrone soup with pasta, (something I would have previously done if I had a death wish) and while it is clear that my body still does not flawlessly tolerate gluten, by contrast it only meant a night of body aches and some gassiness. What a difference! For me, this means I don’t have to be deathly afraid of food on the rare occasion that I eat out! It is such a load off to get rid of this source of anxiety! Kefir is amazing stuff!

  • Hi
    ive had a lot of health problem for the past year since moving to another country.
    after researching gluten and the problems it causes a lot of people, most of my symptoms pointed towards this.
    i had the celiac panel done..results was abnormal IGG. doctor says thats ok and its not celiac so what does this mean??

  • Serious lower back and SI joint pain all but eliminated when I removed gluten for a four week period.

    Additionally stiffness in hands and feet reduced significantly.


  • I suffer from multiple autoimmune conditions, including Alopecia Areata and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I have read many articles that claim that gluten intolerance is linked to these autoimmune disorders. I have noticed that I have a gluten intolerance, due to the fact that I feel ill and bloated after consuming gluten products. My stomach bloats and I get skin breakouts. I also feel anxious, aggressive and depressed after consuming gluten products. I have gone for blood tests to see if I am gluten intolerant, but they have always come back negative. I have severe pain behind my knees and my muscles feel stiff most of the time. None of my doctors have been able to get to the root of my hair loss- they claim that it is stress related. I stay in South Africa, which means that we have limited recourses when it comes to lab testing. What would you recommend I should do?

  • Hello,

    I am reaching out because I’m really overwhelmed and can’t find clear answers online. What I’m really asking is if someone has Hashimoto’s but not Celiac do they need to be completely paranoid about cross-contamination the same way that a Celiac patient must? Or can I be as careful as possible but not live in quite the same fear?

    I recently found out through an ultrasound that the right side of my thyroid shows signs of disease but all of my blood tests (including antibodies) are normal. They said it could be the very beginning of Hashimoto’s.

    I have decided to try going gluten free, however I am terrified by everything I’m reading and I’m not sure just how careful I have to be. I also have OCD so that is making me completely paranoid about cross-contamination but I’m not sure to what level I need to be. For example, if I go to chipotle do I need to tell them to put on new gloves before they touch my to-go bowl? Should I avoid eating out at restaurants altogether? I am terrified of the idea that microscopic particles of gluten are damaging my thyroid and I don’t even know it because I don’t have overly obvious symptoms.
    Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.



  • I can’t believe how intolerant I am to gluten!! The symptoms arose once I had my baby.. I’m hoping it’s celiac as if it isn’t.. what the heck is going on? Endoscopy tomorrow. Positive antibody tests say I’m most likely celiac.

  • I was diagnosed with full blown Celiac Disease the day before my grandson was born. My daughter was in labor and I was teaching her lamaze breathing techniques (they don’t teach that any more??!!) because despite pain meds she was still in a lot of pain. I was on call for work and stepped out to take the call and the doctor told me that I had Celiac Disease, do not avoid wheat and get bloodwork done at your next regular doctor’s appointment. Of course at this momentous time it didn’t register with me but after he was born (the next day) and we were on the way home, I called the doctor’s office back and I understood what he said a little better. Bloodwork confirmed I had Celiac Disease. This was 1/13/15 when it was confirmed and I began my gluten free diet. Being in a small town the resources for substitute gluten free items (ie bread and pasta) are not readily available. My husband is diabetic and hypertensive so our choices were somewhat limited anyway because we need to cook together as a family (my mother in law lives with us). So, we decided to stick with the perimeter of the grocery store. The first few days were not eventful. Day 4 we went out to eat and I ordered rice. Mistake. I didn’t tell the waitstaff I had Celiac Disease. The next two days I spent in bed shivering with a sweatsuit on, the electric blanket on full blast, a quilt and it was nearly 60 degrees that day, my husband had windows open because my mother in law in the other room was cold and had the heat cranking at 70 degrees (natural gas heat). On Monday I called the gastro doctor and he said it was likely carbohydrate withdrawal and not gluten withdrawal because most of my diet was refined carbs before that. About a month later I was not feeling any better so my doctor ran other allergy tests including wheat to find that I was not allergic to wheat but mildly allergic to milk. This is when I asked to see a nutritionist because it seemed no one on my medical team could give me insight into why I was Celiac and not allergic to wheat. The nutritionist told me what to eat, how to eat, introduced me to flax seed microwave muffins which is a nearly every day breakfast. The change in diet made me incredibly constipated. I could not go but once a week IF I was lucky. So now I am taking medication to help with constipation including a double dose of miralax twice daily. I eat salad two meals a day (one as my main dish typically lunch but sometimes lunch and supper) and as a side for supper if it is not a main dish. Any suggestions to eliminate the medications and more naturally regulate my system? I have tried smooth move tea and prunes and prune juice with no effect what so ever and my doctor says miralax is very safe. I am striving to be medication free. I have lost enough weight to decrease my lisinopril by half. I am no longer pre-diabetic as a result of losing 30 pounds since October most of which has occurred since going gluten free. I am taking phentermine, an antidepressant and an antianxiety medication, stool softeners and two medications for acid reflux which ironically is the issue that got this whole thing started, they thought I had an ulcer because despite what I ate or didn’t eat I had acid reflux. Now I have noticed tomatoes give me heartburn so I no longer eat them. I keep eliminating things and there will be nothing to eat! I still have about 100 lbs to go to reach a healthy weight and a drink 1 gallon of purified water everyday and with the exception of chamomile tea I don’t drink anything else. I gave up soft drinks and caffeine when I gave up gluten. My doctor seems to think weight loss is impossible because a gluten free diet is unhealthy. Any input that would clarify this and the wheat allergy/celiac thing would be helpful. Oh I am 48 years old. I have also told my siblings and children about this diagnosis. My sister has been tested and found to have a gluten allergy but no Celiac. My children 28/23 are saying they feel fine and refuse to get tested. My brother says he doesn’t have time to get tested.

  • I was diagnosed 5 years ago with Mixed Connective Tissue Disease and also MGUS. For those who don’t know, MCTD also called UCTD (undifferentiated) is when you have symptoms from a lot of autoimmune diseases but you don’t quite fit the description of one in particular. MGUS is short for Monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. It was detected as a protein in my blood and I was told that it indicates a higher risk for bone cancer or Multiple Myeloma.

    I apologize for that long complicated paragraph but please stay with me. Three years ago, my then 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with Psoriasis. During that time I was taking medications for MCTD that can rarely cause retina detachment, while I was having my 6 month check to make sure my eyes were still doing well, I saw a readers digest article that said, some people with psoriasis noted that it went into remission when they would go on the South Beach diet, which is gluten free.

    I went home and told my daughter what I had read and she wanted to try it. I decided to be supportive and do it with her. We both found marked significant improvement in our autoimmune disease symptoms. Almost immediately we both noted a feeling of lightness. Within three days of going gluten free we both knew it was for us.

    My MCTD symptoms have been less frequent, the flares shorter and less intense. I have not missed a days work in a year. The MGUS that was being monitored by my Oncologist has become so faint it is barely noticeable in my blood tests. He was so excited that he wanted to do another bone marrow test to which I said, “no thanks!”

    It is my belief that all the symptoms that I was having, IBS, Arthritis, Gallbladder, Migraines, fatigue…. the list goes one… were related/caused by inflammation in my body. My Rheumatologist, tested me for Celiac disease by blood test but I had already been gluten free for about 3 months. It of course came back negative but he insisted after having seen the vast improvement, that I stick to it anyway. If I can eliminate a food and possibly keep myself from dying of multiple meyloma, then I will surely stick to this way of eating.

    When I ingest gluten, it is more than just IBS symptoms. The bathroom problems are minimal compared to the days of muscle fatigue and joint aching I get for a moment of pleasure in a restaurant. (trust me no amount of fluffy pancakes are worth it!)

    One thing I would like to add, when we first became gluten free we went crazy trying every substitute baked good on the gluten free shelf. My first visit to the General Practitioner after that, indicated that I had high blood sugar. She told me to get it under control or she would have to put in my file that I had type II diabetes. I listened and reduced the amounts of rice and corn I was ingesting. I then realized balance is very important. Vitamin D also hugely important. If you are not eating enriched wheat products or sitting in the sun (especially with Lupus) then you need to eat other foods high in vitamin D like Salmon.

    Anyway, it is nice to see a doctor who realizes that gluten effects more than just the intestinal tract. Thank you Dr. Hyman!

  • Hi, I was sick, brutally sick my entire life. In 81 I was born with chicken pox, then”horrible non stop colic” as my family called it, then becoming violently ill and wasting at around 4. I was tested for food allergies because they were certain it was the cause. I was not tested for celiac or gluten intolerance. This was 86 87 and we were….very poor. Since then I have flip flopped from wasting to my body hoarding weight even when I cannot eat, and I’ve had to go without food a lot because it always made me ill. When in my twenties it was called fibro, but it didn’t feel right. I tried treatments, and got sicker. By thirty I had sever neurological and physical problems along with an inability to keep any food down ever. I thought I was going to die. Until after two weeks no food, just a little water it started getting better. Then I starting eating slowly…bananas, some rice. Applesauce. Did OK there…but when I ate a piece of healthy wheat toast I became sick again. I had never heard of gluten intolerance or celiac so I googled why is wheat making me sick lol…and boy was I surprised. Every single stinking symptom I’d ALWAYS had…and that docs treated me like scum for having…and it was a simple food issue! I was sick for 33 years….but after three months gluten free I can walk without assistance, my weight is slowly stabilizing, some of my body pain is gone, my twitching is gone, my memory is better, and I am all around just plain healthier. I’m not healed, I still have issues, and my kidneys seem to struggle with the change, but the difference is night and day. I have never been tested. I never knew what it was…and after 33 years feeling like I was waiting to die I don’t need the healthcare professionals who never helped me, to tell me what’s wrong. To be truthful I doubt I’ll ever see a doctor about this or anything else if I can help it.. Being poor and celiac, I think the docs hope you just die off sooner. That’s how I was treated. But I do appreciate the articles and info you and other docs post.