Gluten Sensitivity links to brain fog

I've only just read that Dr Alessio Fasano, world leading expert on all things celiac and gluten, says that neurological symptoms like brain fog are seen in around a third of gluten sensitives, more than in celiac disease. Depression and anxiety also are seen more often with gs than celiac.

I found that my brain fog went after going g free. I was never sure if it was a coincidence. Seems not, so another great reason to try going g free, having first ruled out celiac of course.

(Report of this comes from Jane Andrews talking to dr AF in Very Well, Aug 2016)

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22 Replies

  • That's interesting.... Might explain why many don't test positive for celiac disease but seem sensitive to all manner of grains. I feel much better being gluten free too. Always have, so never understand why I sometimes slip back into being non-gluten free. I often wonder, too, how affected we are ( on a global scale) by pesticides and herbicides that grains are subject to.

  • Gluten sensitivity is an immune reaction, whereas celiac is an auto immune reaction, according to dr AF, so the different mechanism may explain the differences in symptom intensity.

  • I never had any gut issues with gluten, mine were all severe migraine like headache, shoulder neck aches and pains. Doc told me to take 6 painkillers 4 tims a day for a week for the pain! I went to a complementary therapist for a massage for the above and she thought it could be gluten related. I eliminated and after 3 days, all the pain went, including brain fog and heavy head. I didn't realise how bad it was until I felt better. When I reintroduced gluten, the reaction was very obvious, as it was when I accidentally got glutened. I think the non gut symptoms of gluten sensitivity/intolerance are very under reported as much of the focus is on the gut. I never bothered getting tested for celiac as had to eat gluten every day for 6 weeks and I just wouldn't have been able to function. My hypo is now Hashis and I seem to be getting sensitive to other grains, so trying to go grain free now

  • I too felt much better after going gluten free. Stomach issues disappeared as did the brain fog. While I was still eating gluten, I did a home test for coeliac and it came back negative. My conclusion is that I'm sensitive to gluten and this report seems to back this up. Thanks for sharing

  • I suffer with colitis found out after having tests, find I am much better going gluten free, find corn and wheat cause me problems, even find pain killers like parecetamol have maize starch in. Your have to check what they use as a filler. Best of luck

  • Gluten is an excitotoxin, it has glutamate which can overexcite the brain. Most grains have some sort of gluten component.

    Furthermore, diets high in carbohydrates, whether sugar, grains, etc. promote intestinal microbiome imbalances, candida, etc. which can malabsorption of nutrients the brain needs.

    Ketogenic diets are the best for clearing brain fog, but a Paleo Diet, which is less drastic and easier to live with, is the next best thing.

    Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas is a good read.

  • I can't believe how bright I feel in the two week since going gf. Amazing. Joint pains - gone. Brain fog - gone. I did 40 squats yesterday. Unbelievable.

  • I'm pretty new to all of this and have found out so much from the forum - without it I would have left the Docs back in Dec without hope. The forum has been a springboard for finding out about everything linked to my Hashi's - currently that is focused on nutrition and the gut.

    Last weekend I decided to go grain + gluten free, made easier because I'd already stopped having added sugar and always felt 'just not right' in the past when I'd had too much gluten food, and it's getting easier to do by the day. I've been reading like there is no tomorrow and came across Dr Alessi Fassano from a link that was posted a day or so back.

    Attached YouTube video - watch from about 52 mins - lady asks about link with Hasimoto's, then watch the whole thing. Amazingly insightful.

    I am also 5 days on 75 mcg levo which I take at night, and about 10 days off HRT.

    Brain fog is definitely improving and other symptoms are easing.

    I can't praise this forum enough :)

  • Apparently it is a protein (think I got that right) called Gliadin which causes the problem. Lectin in other foods also not good for those that seem to react to gluten.

  • Yes I think gluten has a lot to answer for. I feel like I have had flu if I eat it, joints swell, depressed, lethargic, swollen...

  • I read Dr. William Davis's book entitled Wheat Belly last summer. I was on a quest to get help from an auto immune condition called exfoliative keratolysis (hand and foot peeling). Within two weeks my skin was clearing up and I haven't had another flare up since. And now I have been dx. with Hashimoto's. Just one more reason to stay gluten-free!!

  • These are all very interesting reports. I want to emphasise for anyone new to the issue though, please do a celiac test ( can be got on the internet) before going g free, because really you want to know if you have an auto immune condition.

    If you go g free without a test and there are big improvements you will not want to go thru the pain of going back on gluten.

    And the celiac test only works if you have been eating quite a lot of gluten for several weeks.

    I didn't know this when I went g free, and I really wish I had.

  • Very interesting reading. I had ceiliac test which came back negative as I knew it would because I don't eat gluten at all. I told my doctor this but he said there were other indicators of ceiliac like changes in red blood cells. Does anyone have any info about that. I also now have a B12 deficiency which the Dr says is linked to my gut problems.

  • Well I don't see what the point is of a celiac test without gluten, and I'd want the gp to explain. Maybe he got confused, because the size of red blood cells can be a clue to b12 deficiency, though it's not a very useful indicator. Big red cells can suggest PA, but if you also have iron deficiency, common in young women, you can have small red cells or normal lookig red cells because the iron deficiency complicates the picture.

    How low was yr b12, what was your fbc, and have you gone across and read up on the PA forum, which is v good too.

    Autoimmune gastritis, which can end in pa, overlaps in a major way with Hashis. But Hashis, all by itself, causes malabsorbtion.

    Don't supplement b12 or folate till you have tested for pa including the mma test.

  • Thanks for the information. My B12 was 163 from blue horizon. What is FBC? I'm afraid it's too late re testing for PA as Ive already started with a B12 injection every three months. If I'd known then what I know now I should have asked for a PA test first!

  • Full blood count.. FBC.

  • Haha obvious really. Thanks

  • I think all our answers lie in the gut. Heal our guts heal all the other symptoms.

    Gut flora plays a huge role in mediating our entire immune response. The human gastro-intestinal tract houses the bulk of the human immune system, about 70% of it!

  • I can't see me going back on gluten, apart from those times when you're out and it's impossible to avoid without making a fuss🤔.

  • funny you should mention that...i went gluten free last year after having problems with iron absorption...the GP told me not to bother but i ignored him and went strict gluten free for about a year now....ive always suffered with brain fog and sluggishness.....but since going gluten free things have improved A LOT

    I'm sure that now and then a bit of gluten is in the things i eat, maybe a sauce or whatever, but I'm not overly concerned....i know I'm gluten intolerant i avoid all cereals, bread, pasta etc and glutenous foods....and i feel so much better i dont bloat anymore either and the weight dropped off...

    its so easy to avoid gluten...and to be honest i avoid a lot of carbohydrates too....i feel better on a protein and veggie diet....

    thanks for posting this

  • I've noticed so many more foods are being produced gluten free.....coincidnce? i think theres a food industry out there thats been poisoning us for decades....

  • The g free foods are increasing because there is a massive market for them. Interesting tv programme last night where a Dr was examining the science behind "clean eating", rightly criticising some writers for making unscientific claims, but falling into a similar trap himself, in failing to make clear the grey areas. He pointed out that around 1 percent is celiac, but did not mention Fassano's finding that around six per cent more are gluten sensitive... he interviewed Fassano and obviously rated him, but stayed off that area. But seven per cent of the population is a big market.

    There was an interesting mention of an unpublished experiment with mice which I didn't fully get, but it may have found that problems with gluten have to be triggered by four conditions, I think one of those was a disturbed gut flora. If anyone clocked the full info there, please post!

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