When most people think of Gluten sensitivity they often think of gluten sensitivity and the damage it causes in the Gut (bloating, gas, acid reflux, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation). However, the more we study gluten sensitivity, the more we begin to understand the damage it can cause to areas outside the gut such as the skin and brain.
Gluten sensitivity can be broken up into two categories-
Gluten Sensitive Enteropathy (ie celiac disease) and
Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (Neurological problems, Skin problems and any other problem gluten is connected to). Skin disease is common in those with gluten sensitivity.
The most commonly seen skin affliction is called dermatitis herpetiformis. But there is also a connection to psoriasis and eczema.
What is Dermatitis Herpetiformis?
Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a chronic disease of the skin marked by groups of watery, itchy blisters that may resemble pimples or blisters. The ingestion of gluten triggers an immune system response that deposits a substance, lgA (Immunoglobulin A), under the top layer of skin.
IgA is present in affected as well as unaffected skin. Dermatitis is a hereditary autoimmune gluten intolerance disease linked with celiac disease.
The lgA deposits under the skin result in eruptions of red raised patches of skin, similar to the beginning of a pimple, that can develop into small watery blisters. The itching and burning of the eruptions are severe and the urge to scratch them is intense. Scratching will further irritate the eruptions.
Eruptions commonly occur on pressure points, such as around the elbows, the front of the knees, the buttocks, back, face, and scalp but can appear anywhere on the body. Eruptions are usually bilateral – occurring on both sides of the body. 60% of those diagnosed are men and the most common age at diagnosis is 15 to 40 years old.
If you are experiencing a skin condition and you visit a dermatologist, chances are they will recommend a traditional gluten free diet (eliminate Wheat, Barly, Rye and Oats).
If you’re like most people a Gluten Free Diet will not be enough to achieve a cure.
What Can I Do To Cure My Gluten Induced Dermatitis?
Here are several steps to help heal your skin naturally. Medications cannot fix this problem. Start by
Step 1 Eliminate all grains (watch my video titled “Common mistakes people make when first attempting a gluten free diet”)
Step 2 Eliminate all cross reactive foods (See my article on Cross Reactive Foods)
Step 3 Hidden sources of gluten such as medications, personal hygiene products (Hidden Sources Of Gluten)
Step 4 Heal a leaky gut. (Learn more about healing a leaky gut)
Scientists at the Medical University of Silesia in Poland decided to find out whether or not antibodies for celiac disease could be found in the blood of those with psoriasis. They already knew that psoriasis was seen in some patients that had celiac disease without symptoms (called non-celiac gluten sensitivity) plus the fact that a remission could be seen in the psoriasis with a gluten-free diet. A remission of the psoriasis could even be seen in those who had had psoriasis for years.
The researchers took blood serum samples from 67 patients with psoriasis as well as serum from healthy people without the disease. They looked for antibodies against transglutaminase enzyme and against gliadin. They found that patients with psoriasis had higher antibody levels of both transglutaminase and gliadin for IgA. Both of these correlated with psoriasis activity. (1)
The researchers concluded that these results clearly show that there is an association between psoriasis and celiac disease/ gluten intolerance.
You can also download our Comprehensive Guide to Titled
The Hidden Sources of Gluten PDF
Interested in working with a Functional Medicine Practitioner who can guide you through this maze of confusion? Contact us today! We will partner with you and help you get your life back.