If you’ve read any of my stuff or hear me talk at all then you know I recommend eliminating (or dramatically reducing) gluten from your diet. I have a lot of patients who ask me if I’ll test them for Celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Yes, I’ll test them but I often recommend against testing for gluten sensitivity.
Why would I recommend AGAINST testing for gluten sensitivity?
Simple. It doesn’t matter if they are sensitive to it or not. Gluten has been associated with numerous other medical problems including things like Multiple Sclerosis, Schizophrenia, Parkinson’s Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease to name a few. Many of these conditions don’t show up for decades. Therefore, I believe it is prudent to reduce gluten exposure in order to reduce the risk of these illnesses.
Some people are more sensitive to gluten than others. Symptoms manifest differently in different people.
SO, HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE GLUTEN SENSITIVE?
One thing you can do is take a look at your hands for Braly’s Sign…
Braly’s Sign was first described in 1953 by an English Gastroenterologist, Dr James Braly. The majority of Celiac patients have a short 5th finger and this is Braly’s Sign. (J Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2000; volume 31 (Suppl.3):S29. NEJM, August 18, 1999).
In short (pardon the pun), the tip of the 5th finger (pinkie finger) is shorter than the crease of the last joint of the 4th finger (ring finger).
This test is merely an association and NOT diagnostic. If you have it then it doesn’t mean that you necessarily have gluten intolerance. The converse is true as well. Not having Braly’s sign doesn’t mean you don’t have gluten intolerance. I just found the association interesting!
You can see an example of Braly’s Sign here. Notice that the pinkie finger is shorter than the distal IP joint crease depicted by the red line.
Of course, the best option for checking for gluten intolerance is to simply cut it out completely for 30 days and see how you look, feel, and perform.
If you are looking for medical therapy for Celiac Disease or Gluten related issues then visit us in our clinic! Give us a call at Revolution Health & Wellness Clinic or visit our website.
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