Dr. Vikki on Cross-Reactivity: For Some, Gluten isn’t the Only Villain

I was checking out the ever-wonderful Heidi of Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom on facebook the other day, and wanted to share a link she posted.

The link was to one of Dr. Vikki Petersen’s videos, on the difference between cross-contamination and cross-reactivity. It’s an important one, and I highly recommend watching the video – especially if you just aren’t feeling as good as you think you should, despite being safely gluten-free.

In a nutshell, here’s what Dr. Vikki goes over:

Most of us are familiar with the idea of cross-contamination (and many of use are also familiar with the act of it, sadly). However, sometimes a person can have a bad reaction to a food, even though that food really is gluten-free. In those cases, the problem is not hidden gluten in the food – it’s that the person’s body is mistaking some other molecule for gluten.

Often in cases where the gut is especially traumatized (but also in other situations), there are a number of foods – dairy, other grains, etc. – that can trigger a negative reaction. Happily, there’s a blood test that can tell you if you’re reacting to any of 24 different commonly cross-reactive foods. Heidi’s helpfully given the name: Array #4, from Cyrex Labs.

Even more happily, a few months away from whichever other foods prove damaging will generally give the gut enough time to heal – and those foods can then be reintroduced (still staying away from public enemy #1, gluten).

Of course, there are also many people who find that they have a legitimate, permanent aversion to other foods (soy, corn, dairy, etc.) – so it seems prudent to speak with your doctor or dietician, instead of trying to self-diagnose or designing your own elimination diet.

Have you found any cross-reactive foods since being diagnosed? Were you able to bring them back into your diet?

4 thoughts on “Dr. Vikki on Cross-Reactivity: For Some, Gluten isn’t the Only Villain”

  1. I did the Cyrex lab test and it registered buckwheat, hemp, millet, sesame, dairy and one other that I can’t remember right now. So I’ve been off those for about 2 months. Seem to be doing better. It’s been 2 years since I was diagnosed with celiac so hoping that this current up trend continues.

  2. My daughter, diagnosed with Celiac five years ago, has thrived on gluten free diet until January, 2011. Two hospitalizations and a missed semester of school later, we did the Cyrex Array #4 test. Per Cyrex, she is cross reactive to dairy, chocolate, oats, casein and coffee. Off of all five for three weeks with no improvement yet. She is 14 and has trouble keeping weight on. The dairy free is very tough for her. A chiropractic neurologist, who ordered the test because our pediatrician wouldn’t, says she needs to stay off dairy and the other cross reactors forever. We’re not sure how long she will stick it out without improvement to show for the effort.

  3. ive noticed peas and most cheese, for awile on and off noticed milk was up and down then gave it up (a couple yrs after gluten) heavy proteins or sugars also. now take betatine hcl and enzymes, good fibers/cleanses, prebiotic, probiotic and went on anti candida diet and am starting to gain back weight – am 5’8 and dropped to 105. chronic epstein had become active and a medicine had given me a problem and low wbc, tics, and had heavy metal poisioning also. its important i think to get other things checked if ones not working alone.

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