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Functional Neurology: Gluten Sensitivity and Brain Health

Functional Neurology: Gluten Sensitivity and Brain Health

Do you feel like grain consumption makes it difficult to focus or concentrate? Or does grain consumption make you feel like it leads to tiredness? Do you feel like grain consumption causes the development of any symptoms? Are you on a 100% gluten-free diet? Diet and environmental factors can affect brain health. Researchers and healthcare professionals have associated one specific component with neurological disease: gluten.   Brain health issues and neurological diseases have tremendously increased over the last several years. As a matter of fact, approximately 20 percent of adults in the United States have a diagnosable mental disorder and unfortunately, those statistics are expected to increase over the next few years. Depression is the most common cause of disability worldwide while anxiety affects more than 40 million Americans today. Moreover, Alzheimer’s disease is currently the sixth-leading cause of mortality in the United States.   A 2013 research study demonstrated that deaths associated with brain diseased have increased 66 percent in men and 92 percent in women since 1979. And, there’s one factor that all of these brain health issues and neurological diseases have in common: inflammation. Foods play a fundamental role in inflammation. There are many foods that will increase inflammation in the brain and body, arguably the biggest culprit is gluten.  

How Does Gluten Affect the Brain?

While only one percent of Americans are diagnosed with celiac disease every year, there are probably many more under-diagnosed cases. As a matter of fact, only 10 percent of people with celiac disease show obvious symptoms. Research studies suggest that celiac disease can ultimately manifest as a neurological disease. However, celiac disease is a severe gluten sensitivity-autoimmune disorder, where there’s also approximately 1 in 20 people in the United States living with another health issue known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity.   Gluten has been demonstrated to increase levels of the protein zonulin in the gut which may ultimately lead to leaky gut syndrome. This gut permeability causes undigested food proteins and bacterial endotoxins to pass into the bloodstream, triggering an inflammatory-immune response in the body. � Increased zonulin levels in the gut have also been associated with increased zonulin levels in the brain. In other words, a leaky gut can lead to a leaky brain.   When the blood-brain barrier has been penetrated, the brain’s immune system, or the glial cells, become activated. The activated glial cells trigger inflammation in the brain. Gluten allows other foods to pass through the gut and brain lining.   A report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discusses how there’s been a drastic change in our world throughout a considerably shortened period of time. Additionally, current food supply, soil depletion, and environmental toxins have all been barely introduced across human history. Approximately 99 percent of our genes developed before the production of agriculture, which is believed to have been about 10,000 years ago.   Researchers and healthcare professionals argue that diet and environmental factors are currently a mismatch for our genes. And, even more, recent refining, hybridization, and genetic modification of the grain supply have possibly only made matters much worse. Our genes are essentially living in a new world.   Wheat is not what it used to be. In our modern, toxic world, we have more varieties of unhealthy foods than the previous generations before us. It’s simply a matter of an individual’s own genetic interaction with gluten that determines the development of a brain health issue or neurological disease will occur.  

What Can You Do to Improve Your Brain Health?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a brain health issue or neurological disease, here are several actions you can take to promote health and wellness:  
  • Get gluten laboratory tests. Basic gluten lab tests generally only test for alpha-gliadin antibodies. This is only one of 24 varieties of wheat that your body may be sensitive or intolerant to. A wheat and gluten array will demonstrate different sensitivities or intolerances you may be having.
  • Get food reactivity laboratory tests. There are several other gluten-free proteins that can also mimic gluten. Or, you may also be having a separate food reactivity. What is generally healthy for one person may not necessarily be healthy for you or another person.
  • Get blood-brain barrier laboratory tests. Labs can evaluate blood-brain barrier permeability that causes brain health issues and neurological diseases.
  • Eat brain-boosting foods. Nourish your brain by eating a variety of brain-boosting foods, such as eggs and organ meats, among others.
  • Consider getting a functional medicine evaluation. Although being diagnosed with a brain health issue or neurological disease can be overwhelming, talking to a doctor and getting a functional medicine evaluation can ultimately help improve your overall health and wellness. Make sure to talk to a qualified and experienced doctor to find out if functional medicine is for you as well as to find out if you are sensitive or intolerant to gluten.
Dr. Alex Jimenez Insights Image
Gluten sensitivity or intolerance is the human body’s inability to break down or digest the gluten protein found in a variety of grains, including wheat. This health issue can ultimately range from a mild or moderate sensitivity or intolerance to full-blown celiac disease, a severe autoimmune disorder associated with gluten sensitivity or intolerance. In addition, research studies have demonstrated that people with gluten sensitivities or intolerances may also have brain health issues or neurological diseases. Talking to a naturopathic doctor or functional medicine practitioner can help determine if you have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance. Avoiding gluten can ultimately help improve your overall health and wellness. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Neurotransmitter Assessment Form

[wp-embedder-pack width=”100%” height=”1050px” download=”all” download-text=”” attachment_id=”52657″ /]   The following Neurotransmitter Assessment Form can be filled out and presented to Dr. Alex Jimenez. Symptoms listed on this form are not intended to be utilized as a diagnosis of any type of disease, condition, or any other type of health issue.  

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.�

  Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez   References:
  • Cole, William. �What Gluten Can Do To Your Brain (Hint: It Isn’t Pretty).� Mindbodygreen, Mindbodygreen, 30 July 2015,

Additional Topic Discussion: Chronic Pain

Sudden pain is a natural response of the nervous system which helps to demonstrate possible injury. By way of instance, pain signals travel from an injured region through the nerves and spinal cord to the brain. Pain is generally less severe as the injury heals, however, chronic pain is different than the average type of pain. With chronic pain, the human body will continue sending pain signals to the brain, regardless if the injury has healed. Chronic pain can last for several weeks to even several years. Chronic pain can tremendously affect a patient’s mobility and it can reduce flexibility, strength, and endurance.    

Neural Zoomer Plus for Neurological Disease

Neural Zoomer Plus | El Paso, TX Chiropractor Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate neurological diseases. The Neural ZoomerTM Plus is an array of neurological autoantibodies which offers specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus is designed to assess an individual�s reactivity to 48 neurological antigens with connections to a variety of neurologically related diseases. The Vibrant Neural ZoomerTM Plus aims to reduce neurological conditions by empowering patients and physicians with a vital resource for early risk detection and an enhanced focus on personalized primary prevention.  

Food Sensitivity for the IgG & IgA Immune Response

Food Sensitivity Zoomer | El Paso, TX Chiropractor Dr. Alex Jimenez utilizes a series of tests to help evaluate health issues associated with food sensitivities. The Food Sensitivity ZoomerTM is an array of 180 commonly consumed food antigens that offers very specific antibody-to-antigen recognition. This panel measures an individual�s IgG and IgA sensitivity to food antigens. Being able to test IgA antibodies provides additional information to foods that may be causing mucosal damage. Additionally, this test is ideal for patients who might be suffering from delayed reactions to certain foods. Utilizing an antibody-based food sensitivity test can help prioritize the necessary foods to eliminate and create a customized diet plan around the patient�s specific needs.  

Formulas for Methylation Support

Xymogen Formulas - El Paso, TX

  XYMOGEN�s Exclusive Professional Formulas are available through select licensed health care professionals. The internet sale and discounting of XYMOGEN formulas are strictly prohibited.


Proudly,�Dr. Alexander Jimenez makes XYMOGEN formulas available only to patients under our care.


Please call our office in order for us to assign a doctor consultation for immediate access.


If you are a patient of Injury Medical & Chiropractic�Clinic, you may inquire about XYMOGEN by calling 915-850-0900. xymogen el paso, tx For your convenience and review of the XYMOGEN products please review the following link. *XYMOGEN-Catalog-Download   * All of the above XYMOGEN policies remain strictly in force.  
Introducing Wheat Sensitivity and the Wheat Zoomer El Paso, Texas

Introducing Wheat Sensitivity and the Wheat Zoomer El Paso, Texas

Today local chiropractors will be giving a description of the wheat zoomer. We will be giving a brief description of each panel, its markers, and the basic interpretations of the test. We will also be discussing the considerations for the patients and providers before we take The Wheat Zoomer test.

What is a Wheat Zoomer test?

The Vibrant wheat zoomer has 6 test in one to identify if the patient has wheat and gluten sensitivity. The Vibrant wheat zoomer does give our patients a thorough evaluation and we ask our patients if they started to be gluten-free or was gluten-free, either from birth or not and how much gluten-contained food did they eat. One of the best ways to ensure that our patients may have a gluten sensitivity is that if they have a food diary for us to look over and that way we can determine how severe of the wheat zoomer.

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IgA vs IgG

In order for us to know about the wheat zoomer in our patient�s body, we must know about the immunoglobulins. The first one is IgA. IgA immunoglobulins are mucosal and are found primarily in the epithelial lining of the body: intestinal tract, lungs esophagus, blood-brain barrier and around internal organs. They are:

  • The first line of defense.
  • More accurate to our gut.

IgG immunoglobulins found in the blood system and are numerous in the body They are considered �systemic� and are non-specific to any one location. Not all IgG antibodies are sensitive though, some of them can indicate that an antigen has �leaked� into the blood and the immune system tagged that antigen as a �non-self�. And they are not diagnostic as IgG+IgA, but if IgA is absent, the antibodies are more relevant.

  • If the patient is recently gluten-free, the antibodies will tell us that the antigen hasn�t cleared out in the patient�s system from past weeks of eating gluten.


Celiac is a growing autoimmune disease, about 1% of the population is affective and 1 in 7 Americans have a reaction to wheat or wheat gluten disorder. The Vibrant test can determine a 99% sensitivity and 100% specify on the celiac antibodies.

  • Total IgA and Total IgG measure both the IgA and IgG to determine the patient�s reactivity to gluten
  • Cut off for IgA is 160 as well as a bottom 1/3rd
  • Not all traditional markers for celiac disease doesn�t need to be elevated if tTg2 is elevated.

Intestinal Permeability

Actin cell structure

Zonulin is the gatekeeper for the intestines and controls nutrient flows and molecules across the membrane. It is a protein complex inside the intestinal tight junctions and can be increased by either gluten and high-fat meals.


Anti-Actin, especially f-Actin is in the smooth muscle of the intestines. Actin is part of the actomyosin complex. Vibrant can isolate f-Actin to get a more accurate picture of the patient�s immune response to the intestines. While antibodies in actin can identify intestinal destruction and indicate autoimmune diseases like connective tissue disease and autoimmune hepatitis.


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is produced by gram-negative enterobacteria. It is very potent and can cause inflammation. Plus it�s one of the indications of a leaky gut. Practitioners can draw additional lab test for cardiovascular, inflammatory markers, and diabetes/insulin resistance.

Here at Injury Medical Clinic, we suggest to our patients to try a Vibrant GutZoomer to identify the source of their ailments before we add the Vibrant WheatZoomer.

Gluten-mediated Autoimmunity

Fusion Peptide is the new addition to Wheat Zoomer in 2017. It is cross-linked to tTg and can identified celiac progression from 14 months to 4 years.


Differential Transglutaminases can detect autoimmune reactions to gluten that are not celiac or are becoming celiac. However, gluten is still a trigger but react differently in the celiac autoimmune disease such as:

  • Transglutaminase 3= skin manifestations of autoimmunity like dermatitis herpetiformis, eczema, and psoriasis.
  • Transglutaminases 6= neurological manifestations of autoimmunity in the cerebellum like gluten ataxia, gate abnormalities, balance and coordination issues.

Wheat Germ Agglutinin

Wheat Germ Agglutinin is the lectin component of wheat but, it is not a component to gluten. Dr. Jimenez can detect a patient’s low level of Vitamin D absorption from the patient�s results. And Wheat Germ Agglutinin is commonly used as an additive in supplements and the supplement can still be called gluten-free due to the different protein structure.

Gliadin, Glutenin, and Prodynorphin

Gliadin and glutenin are what makes up the super protein in gluten. Most people are reacting to the Gliadin portion of gluten and gliadin binds with tTg2 in celiac and binds zonulin to a leaky gut in patients. Gliadin reacts to any antigens can indicate a sensitivity to gluten in patients and gluteomorphin are peptides in wheat and react as a euphoria receptor to the brain. Prodynorphins antibodies can indicate that gluten reacts to signaling hormones and affect the patient’s mood.

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Sadly though, patients do have a hard time withdrawing gluten in their diet since their antibodies are used to the compound and it up to us, here at Injury Medical Clinic to gently push our patients to have the will power to fix what is causing them to have ailments.

Wheat Allergin

Wheat Allergen is the true allergen body. Some patients that already know that they are allergic to wheat from a young age but it doesn�t decrease when wheat is eliminated and can remain long term after the allergic response happens.


Glutenin is the other part of the gluten compound. However it is less common to some people, but some individuals do show reactivity to glutenin, thus still have a gluten sensitivity. But there is no clinical difference to the reactivity to glutenin from high to low molecular weight.

Non-Gluten Wheat Proteins

Surprisingly Vibrant has an advantage to their test as they have a panel for patients that don�t have a gluten sensitivity but a wheat sensitivity. The Vibrant advantage to the unique non-gluten wheat panel shows us that:

  • Proteins in wheat unrelated to gluten but relevant to immune reactions.
  • It is 30% of the protein molecular weight of wheat.
  • Some individuals are more reactive to wheat proteins than gluten itself.

If they are trying to be gluten-free, patients still have to read the labels to see if any hidden wheat starches are in the ingredients. But not all food products are gluten-free if they have the wheat protein in them.


If the patient is trying to be gluten-free but previously ate gluten compound food. They can still feel the reaction if they discovered that they have a sensitivity to gluten by their practitioner. And must take precautions when they are reading the labels of the products they are going to buy and consume. In the next four articles, we will discuss what the Wheat Zoomer can provide as well as, discussing about what causes leaky gut, what actually goes on in our patient�s intestines, and wrapping up on what to do after the Wheat Zoomer heals and restores the gut barrier.

The Hidden Problem with Gluten El Paso, Texas

The Hidden Problem with Gluten El Paso, Texas

Mostly everyone in the world has a gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity when they consume food. When it comes to food that has the gluten compound, most people read the labels on the products that contain it and have cut the compound out of their diets completely. However, did you know that different foods and products have hidden gluten in them? Even though now and days we read labels from products, as well as, cutting off the source of the problem that is making us ill. Hidden additives like gluten, even in small amounts, can cause problems to those that are allergic or sensitive to the compound. Especially when it comes to the product itself, some regulations may or may not be required to label products that contain gluten.

What is Gluten?

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Gluten is the main protein that is found in many grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. It is formed by two proteins which are glutenin and gliadin. And the word �gluten� is Latin for �glue� and when mixed with water, it rises and stretches. Most gluten can be found in some bread, pasta, cereal, and beer.

But in this article, we are going to inform you 8 products that have hidden gluten. Because here at Injury Medical Clinic, we take the time to talk with our patients on what ails their bodies and work on discovering what kind of food allergen or food sensitivity they may have. As well as, finding alternatives to prevent inflammation in their bodies.

8 Products with Hidden Gluten

Prescription Medications

Medications: Yes, you�ve read that correctly, there is gluten in medication. Surprisingly though, a lot of prescription medicine contains excipients (containing gluten) that actually binds the pills together. This is mostly found in generic over the counter medications but the labeling for the ingredients are not always there.

However, labeling standards are changing due to the Gluten in Medicine Disclosure Act of 2019. This was proposed on April 3, 2019, and introduced by Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Tom Cole (R-OK). The bill�s intent was to make it easier to identify gluten in prescription medicine and it is telling drug manufacturers that it is required to label medications with the list of their ingredients, their sources and whether the gluten compound is present.

Hopefully with enough signatures and votes that the bill will be passed, however, if you are taking medication and the labels look different; always verify with a pharmacist to see if it is correct. Plus, you can always talk with your pharmacist to confirm that your medicine is gluten-free, so that way you won�t get a bad reaction from it.

Everyday Basics

Sauces and gravy: Everybody loves any sauces and gravies in the meals they prepared and are excellent in mash potatoes and Thanksgiving dinners. But sauces like soy or teriyaki do contain wheat protein, hydrolyzed wheat starch or wheat flour. While others sometimes contain soy sauce or malt vinegar.

In any recipe that contains a type of sauce for the food you are preparing, especially in creamy sauces and gravies, mostly requires a roux; which is wheat flour mixed with butter. So, whenever you are at your favorite restaurant or have a favorite meal to prepare, get familiar with the sauces, so that way you can know that if they are gluten-free or not.


Starches: When we think of starches, our minds go to the potatoes. However, wheat can also be found in starches and starch derivatives. So, whenever you are looking at products that are starchy, look at the ingredient labels and for terms like �wheat starch�, �hydrolyzed wheat starch�, or �contains wheat.�

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In order for starches that contain wheat starch to be gluten-free, the wheat compound must remove to less than 20 ppm. And especially in FDA regulated food labels, if the product says �contain wheat�, it is not safe. But food labels don�t apply to barley, rye, or oats, still continue to read the ingredient labels in the case for the wheat compound and if it is not there then the product is safe. For gluten-free starches for those who don�t want to miss out, tapioca starch, rice starch, and potato starch are perfect for frying.


Brown Rice Syrup: This type of sweetener is made from fermented brown rice with enzymes or from barley, which breaks down the starch and transforms it into sugar. Sadly though, this sweetener is not gluten-free and it can be used on its own or be used as an ingredient in a multi-ingredient product. Some companies use brown rice syrup in their products by listing it as �barley� or �barley malt.� And it is a bit problematic for those who have a gluten allergen to this sweetener.

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Soups: Who doesn�t love soups. Soup is there for us when we are sick and for comfort when it gets really cold in the fall and winter seasons. But companies use wheat flour or wheat starch as a thickener for those creamier soups that we love in a can and those thickeners can be hidden in the ingredients label. So, if you want pre-packaged soup bases and canned soups for those colder seasons, be sure to read the labels carefully, especially for those creamed-based soup bases and bouillons because they might contain gluten.


Salad dressings: Did you know that many standard salad dressings can wheat flour, soy, or malt vinegar? Not only that but it can contain wheat or gluten-containing additives as a thickener. Plus salad dressings often have artificial colors, flavorings and many other additives that can contain gluten as a sub ingredient. However, if you want to be safe and not have gluten in your salad dressings, simply put in olive oil, lemon, salt, and pepper, and you got yourself a gluten-free salad dressing.


Chips and fries: Chips and fries are the staples for a good burger or hot dog on every barbeque events and parties. Yes, the potato that makes the chips and fries are gluten-free; but the seasonings like malt vinegar and wheat starch do contain gluten. And when we are frying cut potatoes into French fries and chips; the oil that is used to make them can be cross-contaminated with gluten-containing fried foods.


Processed meats: Meat is most likely to be the last place you think that has gluten. However, processed hamburger patties, meatballs, meatloaf, sausages, and deli meats contain gluten. Wheat-based fillers are used to either improve the texture of the meat or bind the meat together. Plus, seasoned or marinated eats can sometimes contain hydrolyzed wheat protein or soy sauce with breadcrumbs are added to bulk up the product.


So if you are at the grocery store getting some food for dinner or meal prepping, it is important to actually read the labeling of the products that you are buying. Whether you have a food allergy or food sensitivity to gluten or any food products, we here at Injury Medical Clinic, listen to what is causing our patients pain to their bodies and offer solutions to fix whatever ailments that the problem is causing.


Gut Microbe Busters El Paso, Texas

Gut Microbe Busters El Paso, Texas

Now and days, mostly everyone has a gluten sensitivity or a gluten allergen in their bodies. This could happen to anyone whenever they are eating gluten-contained food or products and suddenly feel unwell or their gut acts differently throughout the day. Or they actually get tested by their physicians and realizes that they have celiac disease. In the last article and the previous one after that, we talked about the 8 products that have hidden gluten in them; as well as the introduction of the wheat zoomer we use for our patients.


Here at Injury Medical Clinic, Dr. Alexander Jimenez consults with our patients about certain zoomers that can actually aid the patient�s body. In this article, we review the factors that affect test results such as medication and fasting after taking the Wheat Zoomer, as well as, focusing heavily on the mechanism of the intestinal permeability, the structure and function of the epithelium. We also focus about important immunomodulatory metabolites, epithelial cell types and the roles in the epithelial barrier.

Intestinal Permeability

Let�s start with the mechanisms of intestinal permeability. The main purpose of the intestinal epithelium is to keep the good things in and the bad things out. While the system is complex and ever changing, it still sends out a message to the host and maintain balance both physical and biochemical as a protective barrier.� There is an abundance of antigen sampling to regulates the flow of nutrients in the host�s body, as well as, keeping an eye on the body by the mucosal immune system. Not only that, if you have an injury or an acute inflammation, the intestinal epithelium will support tissue repair by coordinating with microbiota.


Another thing that the epithelium does is that it responds to the microbial signals that will make our bodies tolerate any continuous exposure to commensal bacteria. But we do want to keep the good bacteria in our bodies but get rid of the bad bacteria, so our bodies feel good. The intestinal epithelium also convey microbial signals to the mucosal immune cells, while promoting a coordinating immune response to battle against commensal bacteria and the enteric pathogens, since these two microsomes should not be in places they are not allowed in.


While the epithelium is battling with the bad bacteria in our system, it also regulates the B and T cell response to either, control inflammation, squash inflammation, or cause inflammation on the intestinal barrier, depending on the situation. Plus the epithelium locally regulates the immune response at the intestinal barrier by influencing innate and adaptive immune responses to the body�s intestines.


However, if there is something disrupting the intestines, like chronic inflammation or leaky gut; the epithelium barrier can be compromised. In order for us to fix a leaky gut, we must learn what is causing the inflammation in the first place. The epithelium is home to many microbes, immune cells and can determined if we need the immune response on any harsh exposure. If we can learn more about these mechanisms, then we can calm down the inflammation by resetting it back to its calm, natural state.


But the immune cells in our intestinal epithelium can also cause disruption on our gut by leaking out of the protective barriers and attacking the pathogens anywhere in our system. So epithelial permeability can not only cause inflammation but prevent it in our intestines, which is both good and bad depending on the situation.


Dr. Alexander Jimenez consults with our patients with natural alternatives of healing inflammation in their gastral intestines.� If he can find the sources of what causes the inflammations in your gut, then he can work with aiding them with functional medicines while informing you what they can do to heal your gut.


Now let�s looks at the intestines and the many microsomes that they contain. Here are some microsomes we will be discussing as well as what is their key roles in the intestines; so we can figure out how to prevent a leaky gut.

The Mucosa

This is in both the small intestines and the large intestines and are completely different. The small intestines has one mucus layer and has limited microbes inside it�s mucosa, while the large intestines has an attached inner mucosa and a loose outer mucosa. The mucosa plays an important role in the intestines because it can tell �Friend� from �Foe� in the immune system.

protective mucus layer

Important Tight Junction Proteins


The tight junction is an important function in the intestinal epithelium as it is one of the barriers that separates what comes in and what comes out in our gut.


Actin: Are the structure and functions of tight junctions. But they constantly disassemble and reassemble actin filaments if they are anti-Actins. It is controlling the tight junctions cells as it acts like a contractable belt by pulling or contracting the junctions in the intestinal cells.

Actin cell structure

Zonulin: They are the �gatekeeper� proteins that are responsible for opening or closing the tight junctions. Zonulin acts the mortar of the intestines and is associated when gluten sensitivity is present, if there are low counts of zonulin thus causing inflammation.


LPS(Lipopolysaccharide): These sent out a signal to the tight junction permeability as they find signs of bacterial endotoxin by translocating across the epithelial barrier and entering circulation. LPS is made up of gram negative bacteria in the GI tract. LPS outside the epithelial cell wall and reacts to fatty acids, which can lead to obesity for individuals.

Cell Receptors Involved in the Barrier Integrity

These cells are protectors of the epithelial barrier walls as they strengthen the immune intolerance and digestive tract, as well as causing or preventing inflammation when necessary.


G Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs): GPCRs are the main players of the immune system in the epithelial system. A wide variety of substances can bind with GPCRs depending what the substances are. Short chain fatty acids, omega-3�s and any food that we eat is fermented by our gut and stimulate repair on the epithelial barrier. However if there is a consumption of low or zero-fiber in our diet, the food will not be fermented and causes inflammation.

Aryl hydrocarbon receptors

Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptors (AhRs): AhRs interact with a range of aromatic hydrocarbons like food and microbes both in and out of the gut. These receptors respond strongly to compounds found in cruciferous vegetables, thus preventing a heighten immune reaction and reducing epithelial damage as well as promoting functioning intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs).

But if we are not eating enough cruciferous vegetables, the IELs are being produced less, the epithelial barrier is compromised and will cause inflammation.


Bile Acid Receptors (BARs): BARs recognize primary and secondary bile acid. The primary bile acids comes from the liver and then transformed into secondary bile acids by microbes. BARs play an important role in in metabolic regulation, however if there is suppression of bile in the GI tract; then the intestinal barrier is more susceptible to destruction. However, if you are producing a low bile count or obstructed bile flow, it can be the result of the microbes translocating to the small intestines and causing mucosal inflammation, SIBO and leaky gut.

Epithelial Cells Involved in the Barrier Integrity


These cells are very important to the intestinal epithelial barrier as they can either protect the barrier walls or can lead them to their demised.


Dendritic cells: Dendritic cells are presenting antigen cells that are found the epithelial layer. These cells sample and present antigens it to Tcells, thus activating immune response. Dendritic cells help the Tcells tell the difference between self and non-self because if we eat commonly consumed foods or foreign antigens are present, we don�t want our immune system to rise up�most of the times.

important cells.JPG

Goblet cells: Goblet cells are very important of the epithelial barrier because they provide the mucus barrier that coats and protects the intestinal walls. Without this mucus barrier, we will sick and any harmful bacteria will come in and out of the intestinal barriers.

enteroedocrine cells.JPG

Enteroendocrine cells: Enteroendocrine cells host receptors and produce a wide range of hormones, enzymes and neurotransmitters that affect or control our appetite, digestive functions, motility and interacts with microbial communities. However, these cells can either be beneficial or not if the host diet is in played.


M cells: Microfold cells or M cells are located over the Peyer�s patches and they constantly sample outside the intestinal epithelial barriers for any microbes that pose a threat. They also present antigens from the outside to the dendritic cells to activate the Tcell response, as well as consuming the antigen by neutralizing it. Without the M cells, we risk of losing tolerance to microbes, thus causing inflammation on our intestinal barriers.


In total, we now have a deeper knowledge of our gut system as well as taking an in depth look on what our intestinal gut goes through to stop inflammation. In order to stop leaky gut, we must change our eating habits gradually when we want a healthier life. Dr. Alexander Jimenez does discuss to our patients the importance of protecting our gut with functional medicine as well as, encouraging our patients to take that first step into a healthy lifestyle.


Gluten Sensitivity Could Lead to Nerve Damage & Neuropathy

Gluten Sensitivity Could Lead to Nerve Damage & Neuropathy

Did you ever let your foot fall asleep and suffer first from numbness and then from a tingling, pins-and-needles sensation while it �awakened�? People with peripheral neuropathy suffer from those types of sensations all the time. And there�s growing evidence that peripheral neuropathy is linked with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

The Prevalence of Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition that occurs from damaged nerves in the arms, legs, hands, and feet. Commonly, symptoms experienced as a result of this are numbness, tingling, burning, and pain. The condition has a number of different causes, such as, diabetes, chemotherapy, statin medications, disc herniation and traumas, toxic metal exposure, chronic alcohol consumption and vitamin deficiencies. Now, however, scientists have linked peripheral nerve damage to gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, spelt, kamut and barley.  Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that wreaks havoc on the digestive tract.  When a person afflicted with celiac�s eats even the  tiniest bit of gluten it causes damage to the small intestine and interferes with nutrient absorption. In many cases, the inability to absorb nutrients can stunt growth, weaken bones and damage peripheral nerves resulting in neuropathy.

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Celiac disease affects one out of every 100 people throughout the world. In America, two-and-a-half million Americans are undiagnosed and at risk for serious health problems, according to the Celiac Foundation. If it goes untreated, after a while a person can develop disorders like type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, dermatitis herpetiformis (itchy skin rash), anemia, osteoporosis, infertility, miscarriage, neurological conditions like epilepsy, migraines, short stature, intestinal cancers, and now nerve damage.

It was approximately five years ago that researchers first discovered a possible link between celiac disease and neuropathy. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Neurology has found celiac disease patients are at an increased risk for nerve damage.   �It�s quite a high figure, compared to many other outcomes in celiac disease,� the study�s coauthor Dr. Jonas Ludvigsson, a pediatrician and professor at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, said in a statement. �There is a real association between celiac disease and neuropathy� [and] we have precise risk estimates in a way we haven�t had before.�

Furthermore, Swedish researchers studied medical records between 1969 and 2008 from over 28,000 patients with celiac disease and compared them to 139,000 people who were never diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder. Those with celiac disease were 2.5 times more likely to suffer from nerve damage also known as neuropathy.

Meanwhile, non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a newly-recognized condition, and physicians who are performing research on this topic say tingling and numbness in the extremities represents one of the most common gluten sensitivity symptoms. blog picture of young woman pointing to red button that says receive care today

In another study, researchers screened 215 patients with peripheral neuropathy. A total of 140 of these had �idiopathic neuropathy,� meaning there was no apparent medical reason for their peripheral neuropathy.

The researchers tested those 140 people for antibodies to gluten using two celiac disease blood tests, the AGA-IgA test and the AGA-IgG test. Although these tests are not thought to be very specific to celiac disease, they can detect if your body views gluten as an invader and is generating antibodies against the protein.

Thirty-four percent of those tested � 47 people � had high antibodies to gluten in one or both of those tests, compared with a 12% rate of high antibodies to gluten in the overall population.

The researchers also performed endoscopies and biopsies on those people in the study suspected to have celiac disease, and found that 9% of those in the �unexplained neuropathy� group actually had celiac. The celiac disease genes � i.e., HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 � were found in 80% of all peripheral neuropathy patients.

Celiac, Gluten Sensitivity Symptoms & Neuropathy

New research has revealed that peripheral neuropathy actually is one of the most common non-digestive symptoms of celiac disease, and gluten sensitivities, according to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. In fact, it�s possible to have no noticeable gastrointestinal symptoms of celiac disease, but instead to have mainly peripheral neuropathy and other neurological symptoms.

Researchers analyzed medical records of over 28,000 patients with biopsy-confirmed celiac disease and then they followed up with all the study participants after a median of 10 years to see if they had developed nerve damage. They found that those with celiac disease had a 2.5-fold increased risk of developing nerve damage over a period of time as compared to the control population.

How Gluten Sensitivity Causes Nerve Damage

Neurological symptoms such as peripheral neuropathy,  migraines and brain fog are even more common in non-celiac gluten sensitivity, according to Harvard Medical School�s Dr. Alessio Fasano, one of the lead researchers in the field of gluten sensitivity. Dr. Fasano says up to 30% of people he�s diagnosed with gluten sensitivity have neurological symptoms � a much larger percentage than people with neurological symptoms in celiac disease.

Dr. Fasano: Gluten Sensitivity May Affect 6% to 7% Overall

Dr. Fasano, director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, published the first study looking at the molecular basis for gluten sensitivity and how it differs from celiac disease. He also participated in the research concluding that celiac disease incidence is one in every 133 people.

According to Dr. Fasano, gluten sensitivity potentially affects far more people than celiac disease. He estimates about 6% to 7% of the U.S. population may be gluten-sensitive, meaning some 20 million people in the United States alone could be sensitive to gluten.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity in this population can include digestive problems, headaches, rashes and eczema-like skin symptoms, brain fog, fatigue, and peripheral neuropathy. Almost one-third of those he�s diagnosed as gluten-sensitive report brain fog and headaches as symptoms, he says.

Dr. Ford and Dr. Fine Say Percentage Could Be Far Higher � Up To 50%

Dr. Ford, a pediatrician in Christchurch, New Zealand and author of The Gluten Syndrome, says he believes the percentage of people who are gluten-sensitive actually could be much higher � potentially between 30% and 50%.

�There are so many people who are sick,� he says. �At least 10% are gluten-sensitive, and it�s probably more like 30%. I was sticking my neck out years ago when I said at least 10% of the population is gluten-sensitive.  My medical colleagues were saying gluten sensitivity didn�t exist. We�ll probably find it�s more than 50% when we finally settle on a number.�

Dr. Fine, a gastroenterologist who founded and directs the gluten sensitivity testing service Enterolab, agrees that gluten sensitivity probably affects half the population.

Another large percentage of Americans have autoimmune disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic headaches and/or microscopic colitis, which place them at high risk for gluten sensitivity. About 60% to 65% of people with those conditions test positive for gluten sensitivity through Enterolab, Meanwhile, about 20% to 25% of people with no symptoms are diagnosed with gluten sensitivity based on Enterolab testing results, says Dr. Fine.

�When we did the math, we came up with the number of about one in two are gluten-sensitive,� he says.

Neuropathy Found in People with Gluten Sensitivity

A study published in 2010 in the journal of Neurology found that a gluten free diet led to stabilization of the neuropathy for many of the patients in this study.

Over the past many years, gluten has been shown to induce an autoimmune antibody response to nerve cells, myelin sheath (protective coating around nerves, as well as receptor sites on cells that bind neurotransmitters (chemicals that allow nerves to communicate).

It has also been discovered that gluten can contribute to the breakdown of the blood brain barrier. This allows chemical toxins to leak into the blood supply of the brain itself .

In addition, it has become a well researched fact that Gluten sensitivity can damage the gut inducing malabsorption of vitamins and minerals (such as vitamins B1 and B12). Gluten sensitivity has been linked to the following list of neurologic conditions:

� Anxiety
� Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
� Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
� Peripheral Neuropathy
� Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders
� Depression
� Gastroparesis
� Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS)
� Schizophrenia
� Facial Palsy Disorder (Bell�s Palsy)
� Bipolar Disease
� Tremor and spasm
� Autism
� Sensory Nerve Damage
� Multiple Sclerosis
� Parkinson�s Disease
� Migraine Headache
� Vertigo
� Tinnitis

So it goes without saying, if you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity/intolerance or if you suspect you may have these conditions, going gluten free is imperative for the health of your nerves and your GI tract.  If you are unsure, then try the � GLUTEN FREE FOR 3 � challenge.  Go completely gluten free for just 3 days and keep a journal to log in how you feel and sleep during those 3 days.  If you feel better, overall, then chances are high that you are gluten picture of a green button with a phone receiver icon and 24h underneath

For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Additional Topics: Early Intervention After Auto Injury

When a person is involved in an unexpected automobile accident, the most common type of injury which often results from the incident is whiplash. Whiplash is identified as a neck injury caused by the sudden, back-and-forth motion of the head during a car crash. Whiplash can cause a variety of symptoms and complications if left untreated, which is why seeking medical treatment immediately after being involved in an auto accident is essential in order to help people recover quickly without developing further issues.

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