Celiac’s Disease Ruled Out, Have You Been Told It’s All In Your Head?

….They May Be Right!

The common misconception is that if you have gluten intolerance, you must have Celiac’s disease. And, if you don’t have Celiac’s disease, then you don’t have a gluten problem. However according to Dr. Datis Kharrazian latest book Why Isn’t My Brain Working? The classic test for Celiac’s disease tests only for an immune reaction against TG-2 (transglutaminase-2) an enzyme that helps bind proteins together and are involved in the digestion of wheat.

However when it comes to brain health, you need to be aware of TG-6 (transglutaminase-6) which is found throughout the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Gluten can trigger an immune reactivity response to TG-6, leading to autoimmune destruction of brain and nervous tissue AND IT WILL NEVER SHOW UP ON A TEST FOR CELIAC’S DISEASE!!!

So when they said it’s all in your head, they were right-but for the wrong reasons.

Additionally, Another enzyme in the transglutaminase family is TG-3 and is found in the skin. Gluten allergies can show up in your skin as itchy red blisters on the knees, elbows, buttocks, back and other areas of the body. Again, this transglutaminase-3 enzyme won’t show up for a Celiac’s disease test that only tests for transglutaminase-2.

Autoimmune reactions to TG-6 and TG-3 are known as “extra-intestinal manifestations”.  The reason for the immune system attacking your very own body is because the protein structure between your body and the gluten/gliadin are similar and a “cross reactivity” occurs and your immune cells attack the invader and everything else that seems like the invader. So, you must eliminate the invader.

Although you may have already tried a gluten free diet and didn’t quite get the amazing results you expected, you probably sabotaged yourself. Most people will try a gluten free diet for a couple weeks and use that as a gauge. The problem is, if your gluten allergy, sensitivity or intolerance affects your nervous system, then results could take months, even upwards of a year to calm things back down. And when I say calm things back down, we’re talking about reducing the inflammation in your brain and nervous system attacking itself. So, if you’re going to go gluten free, make the commitment to 6-9 months.

If you’ve been to the doctor or doctors repeatedly and haven’t found an answer to your problems, look to the things you do every day and make significant changes. Start with the food you eat, cutting out common allergens such as soy, corn, eggs, dairy, wheat and all other gluten and non-gluten grains, sugar (all forms), fungi & mushrooms, alcohol, beans & legumes, nightshade foods, canned and processed foods and coffee.

Keep a journal of your symptoms. Write down how you feel each week, check your weight, your complexion and your mental status (foggy, clear, sharp, forgetful, energetic, sleepy, etc.)

But give it time. Some people have a quick response and others take more time. If you’ve been dealing with your issues for a long time, then give it the time it needs. Remember, this could make the difference between finally finding an answer to your problems or having a lifetime of symptoms that most likely only worsen without answers. If that doesn’t work, then see an appropriately trained healthcare professional that knows about this stuff.

When it comes to gluten, start with the gut but don’t forget that it can affect the entire body including your skin and your nervous system. And if that’s the case, then maybe they were right all along. It truly is all in your head.

Yours in Health

Dr. Todd Narson

Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians


1.    Kharrazian, D. Why Isn’t My Brain Working pp 123-160

2.    Transglutaminase 6 antibodies in the diagnosis of gluten ataxia.

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Cascella NG, Santora D, Gregory P, Kelly DL, Fasano A, Eaton WW. Schizophr Bull. 2013 Jul;39(4):867-71. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbs064. Epub 2012 Apr 19. 6.    Transglutaminase 6: a protein associated with central nervous system development and motor function.

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