Gluten and AIP Diet: Can All Foods Be Re-Introduced?


My first exposure to the word "gluten" was through my acupuncturist who suggested I get tested. These 2002 test results came back positive and I proceeded to do my own research on what to do because my doctor had no clue what gluten was or what the test results meant. In 2009 I was diagnosed through a stool test by a functional medicine doctor as having Celiac. Not having a lot of direction I continued to research because just avoiding the "traditional" gluten sources of wheat, barley and rye was not providing full relief. I learned about the Cyrex Lab tests and in 2015 did the Array 3, 4 and 10 tests that are most appropriate for testing different aspects of gluten. 

Why were these tests important or different? Keep in mind that most gluten tests are looking for antibodies to one protein, "alpha gliadin". There are, however, several other "gliadins" just for wheat alone. And, each grain has it's own gluten proteins. Cyrex labs does testing on far more than just the typical "alpha gliadin" which will provide a much more accurate result and, hopefully, avoid false negatives. With that said .....

Can all foods be re-introduced?
If eliminating gluten has not improved health conditions, many turn to an AIP (autoimmune protocol) diet. This is a diet that eliminates most inflammatory foods ... gluten, grains, dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes, night shades. It is very restrictive but not impossible to follow. The goal is ultimately to reduce and/or eliminate the body's inflammation level.  Doing so should see a marked improvement in a person's health. 

Once this is achieved, the goal is then to re-introduce foods back into the diet one-by-one to see if it is tolerated. This is a very slow process over a period of several days just for the re-introduction of one food. If it is tolerated, then the next food can be re-introduced. If you are a Celiac, however, not all foods can be re-introduced.


Autoimmune Reactivity (Cyrex Array 10 test)
This is a test for foods that your body gives a "delayed immune response". Because proteins change under different food preparations, it tests for raw and cooked. It also tests for "oleosin" as some people "may not have a reaction to the proteins in seeds or nuts such as sesame, peanuts, and others; however, they may react to the protein oil in a seed or nut. This is why someone may react to both peanut and peanut oleosins, or may have a reaction only to peanut oleosins. In the latter case testing only for peanut and not peanut oleosins would give a false negative".

Gluten Cross-Reactivy (Cyrex Array 4 test)
These are foods that your body thinks is gluten and so, when eaten, will produce results similar to the ingestion of gluten. These are foods you will most likely never be able to re-introduce again.  

Case in point;  Months ago I re-introduced eggs. These were not the normal store-bought eggs. These were from healthy, antibiotic and chemical free, pasture-raised eggs. I seemed to do well with them. However, I noticed my health seemed to be deteriorating ... more sinus congestion, reduced energy and strength, waking up during the night to aching knees. I was stubborn and didn't want it to be the eggs. However, I revisited my tests results over and over again researching what the results meant.  
There are 3 categories: 
  • In Range (Normal)
  • Equivocal (range between negative and suspicious low positive)
  • Positive
For eggs the reference range was 0.2-1.7. This is where "normal" and "equivocal" would fall into. My egg result on the "gluten cross-reactive and foods sensitivity" test was a whopping "2.64"!  In addition, on the "immune reactivity" test, egg white (cooked) was 2.79 and egg yolk (cooked) was 2.12. How did I ever think I would be able to re-introduce eggs?! Definitely wishful thinking.  I have removed the eggs for at least a month now and I already have seen improvements with my sinus congestion and am no longer waking up to my knees aching during the night. So interesting how I did not notice an immediate reaction but literally over months there was a decline. 

Knowing which foods your body tolerates is certainly a key to good health. However, knowing HOW and WHERE those foods could impact your body is equally important. Did you know gluten and brain tissue have proteins with identical amino acid sequences? This means the immune system can mistake brain tissue for gluten and will attack and destroy it. This is called "cerebellar ataxia". Studies have found that significant improvement has occurred following a gluten-free diet. So, even a "little bit" can do damage. 

You do not need to have Celiac Disease for the brain to be affected. 
  • Depression
  • Brain fog
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Cognitive decline
  • Irritability
  • Poor focus and concentration
  • Neuromotor issues
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Early hearing loss
  • Neuropathy
  • Dementia, and so on
The Cyrex Lab tests do require a doctor's order. However, If you are not quite ready for that, these Health and Wellness Scans can provide insight to which stressors are putting your body out of balance including life-styles such as gluten.