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Can Gluten Cause Kidney Problems

Common Causes Of Abdominal Pain

Can gluten-related kidney damage be reversed? Plus more answers!

Having abdominal pain can be a mild inconvenience or have a significant impact on your well-being. There are several reasons why you may have abdominal pain, ranging from minor muscle strains to appendicitis that requires surgery.

Our skilled providers at Smart Clinic Urgent Care often deal with patients suffering from abdominal pain. Here are the six most common causes.

What Is The Difference Between Celiac And Gluten Intolerance

Even though Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease and gluten intolerance has not advanced that far and may never do so, the symptoms are identical. In fact, the only way one can tell if it is celiac is by a test that shows major degradation of the villi of the intestinal wall. This is an advanced form of gut permeability or leaky gut.

A compromised intestinal lining leads to food allergies, loss of self-tolerance, autoimmune reactions and eventually autoimmune disease. Most people who have chronic intestinal symptoms have some form of gut permeability. With celiac, the destruction has compromised the absorptive ability of the intestine, which results in malnutrition and other problems.

You may be on your way there, or almost there already, but if the test does not show a specific amount of destruction, you will not be given the label of celiac. So you can have antibodies attacking your intestinal tissue but if that degree of atrophy or destruction has not yet occurred, you will be told you do not have celiac. But you do have symptoms.

“So, fine. What’s causing these symptoms then?” Good question.

Answer: “Gluten intolerance that is not celiac disease, or not full-blown celiac yet.”

Maybe you’d like to remove the gluten from your diet before it becomes so advanced?

What Is Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder thatâs triggered when you eat gluten. Itâs also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy.

Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, rye, and other grains. Itâs what makes dough elastic and gives bread its chewy texture.

When someone with celiac disease eats something with gluten, their body overreacts to the protein and damages their villi, small finger-like projections found along the wall of their small intestine.

When your villi are injured, your small intestine canât properly absorb nutrients from food. Eventually, this can lead to malnourishment, as well as loss of bone density, miscarriage, infertility or even neurological diseases or certain cancers.

If your celiac disease isnât better after at least a year without gluten, itâs called refractory or nonresponsive celiac disease.

Most people with celiac disease never know that they have it. Researchers think that as few as 20% of people with the disease get the right diagnosis. The damage to your intestine is very slow, and symptoms are so varied that it can take years to get a diagnosis.

Celiac disease isnât the same thing as gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. People with gluten intolerance may have some of the same symptoms and may want to avoid gluten. But they donât show an immune response or damage to the small intestine.

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How To Treat Gluten Intolerance

There are measures that can be taken to repair some of the damage done by gluten or other offending things such as drugs, viruses, bacteria and environmental toxins. The success of your program depends on the amount of damage, compliance, and state of your immune system. Some people only need a few months most need many months or even up to 3 years. And in some instances, with, for example, celiac or autoimmunity towards the lining of the intestine, the best you can hope for is to arrest the progression of the disease.

The most important measure for all stages of damage is to remove gluten in all forms and from all sources from your diet. This is a learning process. You need to read, ask, keep a diary of your symptoms, even if you think they’re unrelated, and read some more.

However, removing all possible allergens and finding you still have problems such as inflammation is frustrating. What’s important to know here, is that once the cascade of inflammation has been set in motion, it can perpetuate itself. In other words, you may need to break that cycle first or at least simultaneously remove the gluten and other offending foods or supplements.

Leaky Gut Revive is a powdered formula that encourages the repair of the lining of the intestines and is invaluable to add to your program. Just know that taking this or any product without removing the inflammatory triggers will not be nearly as effective.

How Common Is Brain Fog In Celiac And Gluten Sensitivity

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You may not find brain fog on the short list of common celiac disease symptoms, even though many people with celiac disease report it. Some newly diagnosed celiacs suffer from brain fog for years, although they don’t often realize it until they start to eat gluten-free. But, despite this, it’s not clear whether gluten causes brain fog, or what mechanism might be involved.

Mild deficiencies in cognitive functions can actually be measured. In fact, studies of people newly diagnosed with celiac disease show that those mild deficiencieswhich involve slight impairments to memory, attention, executive function, and the speed of cognitive processingin fact improve over the first year after those newly diagnosed people begin eating gluten-free.

“Thus, cognitive impairments associated with brain fog are psychologically and neurologically real and improve with adherence to a gluten-free diet,” said one researcher at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia who looked at this issue.

However, the researcher also noted that it’s not clear whether the problem truly is gluten: “There is not yet sufficient evidence to provide a definitive account of the mechanism by which gluten ingestion causes the impairments to cognitive function associated with brain fog, but current evidence suggests that it is more likely that the causal factor is not directly related to exposure to gluten.”

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Thoughts On Gluten Damages The Kidneys

  • Kristinesays:

    This is very interesting. My son was born with chronic renal insufficiency and now at 13 years old he has stage III kidney disease. I wonder if this may help him with his disease process. I did have my daughter tested and she does have HLA-DQ 2,3 which I believe makes her gluten sensitive, although her stool study did not show above range. I have Hashimotos also and think this could predispose me to gluten issues and perhaps my son as well.

  • Sarah-Jane Martinsays:

    I have autoimmune interstitial nephritis and was diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease. My Mother is Coeliac and I was advised to go GF by a friend who was aware of the effect gluten could have on the body in someone who may be gentically pre-disposed to be.such as leaky gut syndrome etc. I had no symptoms of Coeliac disease but in view of my circumstances, I had no alternative but to try it after all, the possibility of not having to have a transplant was very compelling. 2 years on and I have been discharged from hospital and my Creatinine levels just get better and better. Although my Consultant wasnt interested in my GF theory for my improvement, my Doctor was very interested.

  • Lorrainesays:

    Very interesting. Its terrible that most nutritional advice from doctors is to eat a diet high in whole grains. The very thing they need to avoid.

  • says:

    Robin,Genetic testing for gluten sensitivity is the cheapest and most accurate route to take. You can read more about it here

  • Anonymoussays:
  • Concerns With Conventional Treatments

    When a skin condition arises, most people schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. And more often than not, oral and topical medications are prescribed.

    For example, steroid medications are commonly used to reduce skin inflammation. However, they only mask the symptoms. They dont address the underlying problem. So as soon as you stop taking them, your symptoms will return. Plus, steroids are not safe to take long term. Potential side effects of topical steroid medications include:

    • Skin thinning and discoloration
    • Calcium deficiency

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    What Is A Gluten

    This is essentially a diet that removes all foods containing or contaminated with gluten. However, since gluten-containing whole grains contain fiber and nutrients including B vitamins, magnesium, and iron, its important to make up for these missing nutrients. Along with consuming naturally gluten-free foods in their whole form like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, and poultry, the following whole grains are also inherently gluten-free:

    Its also key not to rely on processed gluten-free foods that may be high in calories, sugar, saturated fat, and sodium and low in nutrients, such as gluten-free cookies, chips, and other snack foods. Often, these foods are made with processed unfortified rice, tapioca, corn, or potato flours.

    What Is A Urinary Tract Infection

    Gluten and Celiac Disease

    A urinary tract infection, often referred to as a UTI or urine infection, is an infection of the urinary system. Usually, a urinary tract infection is caused by bacteria from the anal or genital region spreading to the bladder. If left untreated, the infection can continue to spread, eventually reaching the kidneys in the upper urinary tract.

    UTIs are a very common condition, mostly affecting women, although men can also develop UTIs. Symptoms can include frequent and painful urination, an odd smell to the urine, the presence of blood in the urine and pain in the lower abdomen. Fever, nausea and upper abdominal pain may be a sign that the infection has reached the upper levels of the urinary tract.

    With prompt antibiotic treatment, most people recover quickly. However, if left untreated, a urinary tract infection can develop into a serious condition with a number of complications.

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    How Do I Start A Gluten Free Diet

    Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change, and like anything new, it takes some getting used to. You may initially feel deprived by the diets restrictions, especially if you are not having troubling symptoms.

    It may help to try to focus on all the foods you can eat instead of the foods you shouldnt eat. You may be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available.

    Step 1: Remove all foods in your kitchen that contain gluten .

    Step 2: Create a meal plan for at least one week that includes 3 meals a day and snacks and make a shopping list

    NKIs Printable Gluten Free Shopping List

    Step 3: Take a list of food ingredients that contain gluten including derivatives to help you when reading food labels at the store.

    NKIs Printable

    Step 4: Keep a journal of how you feel and stick with the gluten free diet for at least 6 weeks.

    Signs Of Kidney Disease

  • Youre more tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating. A severe decrease in kidney function can lead to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood. This can cause people to feel tired, weak and can make it hard to concentrate. Another complication of kidney disease is anemia, which can cause weakness and fatigue.
  • Youre having trouble sleeping. When the kidneys arent filtering properly, toxins stay in the blood rather than leaving the body through the urine. This can make it difficult to sleep. There is also a link between obesity and chronic kidney disease, and sleep apnea is more common in those with chronic kidney disease, compared with the general population.
  • You have dry and itchy skin. Healthy kidneys do many important jobs. They remove wastes and extra fluid from your body, help make red blood cells, help keep bones strong and work to maintain the right amount of minerals in your blood.Dry and itchy skin can be a sign of the mineral and bone disease that often accompanies advanced kidney disease, when the kidneys are no longer able to keep the right balance of minerals and nutrients in your blood.
  • You feel the need to urinate more often. If you feel the need to urinate more often, especially at night, this can be a sign of kidney disease. When the kidneys filters are damaged, it can cause an increase in the urge to urinate. Sometimes this can also be a sign of a urinary infection or enlarged prostate in men.
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    Gf/df Diet Promotes A Regulatory Gut Microbiome

    The microbiota plays a major role in the induction and function of the host immune system. The diet can have a major influence in the characteristics and diversity of the microbiota. To assess the impact of GF/DF diet on the microbiota, we performed 16S rRNA gene analysis on DNA extracted from fecal samples at day 0 and at day 26 . Taxonomic composition analysis showed a significant increased fraction of Bacteroides, Lachnospira and Faecalibacterium in the samples collected after the camp as compared to the ones collected pre-camp . At the species level, an increase of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii was observed . Overall, the summer camp with GF/DF diet promoted a favorable microbiome modification with potential immune regulatory phenotype.

    Figure 3 Analysis of the microbiota in all participants before and after GF/DF intervention. Taxa plots representing the relative frequency of bacteria at genus level in fecal samples collected before and after the camp. Each color represents a bacterial genus and each column represents a patient sample. Difference in fecal relative abundance of genera Bacteroides and Lachnospira before and after the camp. Fecal relative abundance of species Faecalibacterium prauznitzii before and after the camp. Wilcoxon matched pair test was performed to assess differences in relative abundance of operational taxonomic units , asterisks show significant values after correction for multiple testing by FDR< 0.1. *unadjusted p< 0.05 **unadjusted p< 0.01.

    Gluten Sensitivity & An Overactive Bladder

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    People who have gluten sensitivity — either a simple intolerance to the gluten proteins found in wheat, barley and rye or the more serious autoimmune condition celiac disease — suffer from a wide array of health problems that range far beyond their digestive systems. In fact, it’s not unusual to experience an overactive bladder if you have gluten sensitivity, and it’s possible that following a gluten-free diet can help you tame the problem.

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    How Is The Infection Spread

    It is difficult to spread a UTI between individuals, as the type of bacteria causing the infection is almost never contagious.

    The most common way that a UTI is contracted is through the movement of bacteria from the anus to the urethra, either when wiping after going to the toilet or during sexual intercourse. Taking care during each of these activities can help to prevent the transfer of bacteria, which may then have the opportunity to overgrow.

    Vigorous sexual intercourse may also lead to symptoms of UTI or cystitis in women , although there may be no bacteria present.

    Food Labelling And Gluten

    All packaged foods have an ingredient list printed on the label.

    The product ingredient label may not list ‘gluten’ as a component. However, under mandatory labelling standards, all ingredients and food additives derived from wheat, rye, barley, triticale or oats must be declared on food labels in Australia. Processing aids must also be declared if they are present in the final product.

    There is an Australian Food Standard for foods labelled ‘gluten free’. When these foods are tested, there must be ‘no detectable gluten’. Currently, this test is sensitive to 0.0003 per cent , which is the lowest amount that can be detected .

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    Atypical Symptoms Of Celiac Disease

    The best known symptoms of celiac disease are digestive in nature chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, and unintended weight loss. However, celiac disease is much more than a digestive problem. Some of the top atypical symptoms are anemia, bones disease, elevated liver enzymes, neurological problems like migraines, short stature and reproductive problems. Learn more about each on below.

    Ibs And Other Functional Gi Disorders

    Gluten and Celiac Disease

    Functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome , functional abdominal bloating and distention, functional constipation, and functional dyspepsia may cause problems with gas symptoms.

    Functional GI disorders are related to problems with how your brain and your gut work together. These problems can cause you to feel more bloating or abdominal pain or can affect how gas moves through your intestines.

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    What Is The Outlook For People With Celiac Disease

    The outlook for people with celiac disease varies. After adequate treatment and regular medical follow-up, the prognosis is excellent. People who are not treated or who do not respond to treatment may suffer some complications of the disease or even die earlier than what is generally considered normal. However, celiac disease is rarely fatalmost people who are diagnosed and who do not eat gluten do well.

    Pretzels Chips And Crackers

    Ready-to-eat snack foods like pretzels, chips, and crackers tend to be lacking in nutrients and relatively high in salt.

    Also, its easy to eat more than the recommended portion size of these foods, often leading to even greater salt intake than intended.

    Whats more, if chips are made from potatoes, theyll contain a significant amount of potassium as well.


    Pretzels, chips, and crackers are easily consumed in large portions and tend to contain high amounts of salt. Additionally, chips made from potatoes provide a considerable amount of potassium.

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    Samples Collection And Outcomes

    Saliva samples were collected at baseline for genetic testing. During the camp, random morning urine samples were collected weekly and 24h-urine samples were collected once . Venous blood was collected at two time points in EDTA-tubes and serum-separating tubes , the latter were centrifuged within 2 hours for immediate serum separation. Morning random urine, stool, 24h-urine, serum and blood were also collected after the camp . Stool was transferred into 2mL vials with and without RNA later. Urine, stool and serum samples were shipped on ice, EDTA-tubes in room temperature. All samples were shipped overnight to Boston and were processed within 36 hours from collection. Serum was aliquoted and frozen at -80 degrees Celsius. 300 uL EDTA-whole blood was used for analysis by flow cytometry, the remaining volume was used for peripheral blood mononuclear cell -isolation by a standard Ficoll procedure and stored in liquid nitrogen until further analysis. Urine was centrifuged at 3,200 rpm for 5 minutes and stored in -80 degrees Celsius.


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