A blood test that measures "celiac-specific" antibodies has been available for over 17 years! This blood test would be the most accurate predictor of those adults who might consider a lifelong gluten-free diet--with or without a diagnosis of celiac disease. Why isn't this a routine test in America where wheat is the dietary staple? 

Gluten-Triggered Diseases

Brain and Nerves

  • Schizophrenia (a subset)
  • Ataxia balance and gait incoordination (a subset)


  • Advanced Autoimmune Liver Disease (a subset)
  • Abnormal liver function tests


  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis  a chronic severe skin rash
  • Alopecia childhood hair loss

Initiated by Gluten Antibodies are Key 

Celiac-specific antibodies may target tTG II*-rich tissue within and outside of the small intestine via circulation.  The following diseases correlate with gluten exposure and evidence of tTG II antibodies.

A pioneering perspective of celiac disease and the spectrum of gluten-triggered illness.

The Gluten Tree maps gluten's whole body effect. Celiac disease is a condition of the small intestine by definition. Gluten's effect is bound by the limit of circulation. Celiac disease is perceived here as part of a gluten-triggered process; not a singular event or the end event. The gluten-free diet is key to more than celiac disease.

I. The Tree Roots: Fundamentals Leading to Celiac Disease

  • Gluten: Protein of Wheat, Rye or Barley

  • Individual Genes

  • A Tissue Constructor (tTG II)*

* tTG II is a molecule that catalyzes tissue construction and wound healing called Tissue Transglutaminase.

Celiac Disease Fundamentals 

A Maverick's Challenge to What's Out There 



What to take away:

Gluten, the similar protein component of wheat, rye, and barley, when eaten actually undergoes irreversible chemistry with a friendly molecule (tTGII)* within the small intestine. Some product of this chemistry triggers an immune response in those with specific genes. Observation of this immune response via microscope of a biopsy specimen of the small intestinal lining  is key to diagnosing celiac disease. As gluten continues to be eaten, this immune response becomes perpetual leading to different problems in different people.  In classic celiac disease, malabsorption of nutrients by the small intestine is hallmark.  In contrast, no symptoms prove this state of the intestine. Moreover, an immune response to gluten can exist without noticeable symptoms.  


Medical societies create  the celiac disease profile including which symptoms to include. Outside of that boundary is a hidden frontier. A gluten-free diet, one without wheat, rye, and barley, can treat many serious diseases outside of the intestine. A gluten-free diet can also make many people feel great whom do not know why; some no doubt are outside that boundary.

Image Credit/Getty Images

III. The Tree Branches: Circulation

Beyond the Small Intestine Beyond Celiac Disease

The Key: Antibodies to tTG II are made as part of  the  immune response to gluten.

  • They circulate the bloodstream.
  • They are celiac disease-specific.
  • They are detectable by blood test.
  • They diminish with a gluten-free diet.
  • They target widespread tTG II.

II. The Tree Trunk: Small Intestine

The Machinery of Celiac Disease

  • Gluten's Entry Triggers a Reversible Immune Response
  • Observable by Microscope
  • Defines Celiac Disease

The Gluten Tree‚Äč

A New Model Of Celiac Disease