Research

Research

 
Functional Medicine

Functional Medicine

 
In The Media

In The Media

 
Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements


Consultations & Speaking Engagements

Dr. Thomas O'Bryan

@DrOBryan


Retrieving feed...
 

 

 

TheDr.com is your resource for Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease.

Learn how this may affect any auto immune condition.

 

 

A Brief Biography of Dr. Thomas O'Bryan

 

Dr. Thomas O'Bryan, DC, CCN, DACBN is an internationally recognized speaker and workshop leader specializing in Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) and Celiac Disease (CD).  He is a Sherlock Holmes for chronic disease and metabolic disorders.  He is a clinician par excellence in treating chronic disease and metabolic disorders from a Funtional Medicine perspective.  He holds teaching faculty positions with the Institute for Functional Medicine and the National University of Health Sciences.  He serves on the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists and the Medical Advisory Board of the National Association of Nutritional Professionals.

 

Dr. O'Bryan is always one of the most respected, highly-appreciated speakers.  His passion is in teaching the many manifestations of NCGS and CD as they occur inside and outside of the intestines.  Whether you have the opportunity to see him in person, or listen to his many radio interviews in the Media section of this site - hold onto your seats, because you're in for an Investigative Adventure.

 

Dr. O'Bryan welcomes your questions about NCGS, CD and/or functional medicine.  Please email your questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .






 

 

Natural Bovine Colostrum, Studied, Safe, Natural

 

In the past two years, health care practitioners have been hearing a great deal about bovine colostrum, a relatively new food supplement intended to optimize the immune systems of both healthy and chronically ill individuals. Much of the excitement about colostrum has been generated by testimonials, anecdotal reports as well as the marketing efforts of several new supplement manufacturers and distributors. 

 

The past 20 years has also witnessed the publication of over 2,000 research papers strongly supportive of both colostrum and its numerous components. The purpose of this paper is to provide a Review of the scientific evidence for the clinical application of a promising immune system modulator.

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dark_side_of_wheat_cover

The Dark Side of Wheat – A Critical Appraisal of the 

 Role of Wheat in Human Disease

by Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo.com

 

 

 

 


 

Part I: New Perspectives On Celiac Disease & Wheat Intolerance

 

The globe-spanning presence of wheat and its exalted status among secular and sacred institutions alike differentiates this food from all others presently enjoyed by humans. Yet, the unparalleled rise of wheat as the very catalyst for the emergence of ancient civilization, has not occurred without a great price. While wheat was the engine of civilization’s expansion and was glorified as a "necessary food," both in the physical (staff of life) and spiritual sense (the body of Christ), those suffering from celiac disease are living testimony to the lesser known dark side of wheat. A study of celiac disease (CD) may help unlock the mystery of why modern man, who dines daily at the table of wheat, is the sickest animal yet to have arisen on this strange planet of ours.  Read the entire article here.


 


 

 

In the last 3 years, the acceptance of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) in the medical community as a distinct clinical entity has gone from that of being an orphaned child crying in the world for recognition, to an accepted, unique component of the triad of gluten-related disorders.

 

Differentiating among gluten-related disorders, guides clinicians in making an accurate diagnosis and recommending specific dietary, nutritional and other medical advice; however, clinical and laboratory diagnosis is complex and evolving.ii

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Please consider this site as another excellent reference for cutting-edge information. Personalized Lifestyle Medicine - www.plminstitute.org


 


 

Recently, we have had many people asking a similar question:

Do I have to re-introduce gluten in order to have an accurate gluten sensitivity test done?
 

Dr. O'Bryan's answer has not changed.....If a person knows they are sensitive to gluten and have gone on a gluten-free diet, and want to know if they can have gluten again, then a challenge is in order (reintroduce gluten). THIS IS STRONGLY NOT RECOMMENDED. The gluten challenge has many cases of people who were damaged (some permanently) from the reaction to reintroducing gluten.


If you know you are Gluten Sensitive, and you've gone on a gluten-free diet, and you want to know "am I better", then testing while you are still gluten-free will confirm you are being successful in 'quieting down' the inflammatory cascade that occurs with Gluten Sensitivity and which sets one up for the development of autoimmune disease.  

 

Unfortunately, what we see clinically, is that about 6 out of 10 people who are gluten-free, and do the test (while still gluten-free) find their test results come back positive with elevated antibodies to the peptides of gluten.

 

This is from cross-contamination, cross-reactivity (with foods, viruses or bacteria), or a poly-reactive immune system. Without doing the test while still gluten-free, one will never know.

Read the full article

 

 


 

 

Gluten Sensitivity Testing

 

The highly anticipated gluten sensitivity and related tests are now AVAILABLE.

*New Gluten Sensitivity and Related Testing from Cyrex Labs is now available

 

Over the last few years, we have seen the correlation of Gluten Sensitivity as a common initiator of multiple pathologies.  From Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to Hepatocellular Carcinoma, from Migraines to Recurrent Pancreatitis, from Cardiomyopathy to numerous autoimmune diseases, we have seen the association of sensitivity to this protein of wheat, rye and barley with the initial manifestation of multiple pathophysiologies.


But there's been a Conundrum. What is it?  Problems associated with standard tests for Gluten Sensitivity.


The only blood tests (until now) for Celiac Disease have been extremely accurate and dependable if a person has Total Villous Atrophy (TVA).  However, when biopsy test results with anything less than TVA, the accuracy of the test drops tremendously (to as low as being wrong 7 out of 10 times).  Would you tolerate that accuracy rate for a cancer, heart disease, or even pregnancy test? Gluten has to have significantly destroyed the gut wall for current blood testing to be effective.  For the majority of people that isn't the case...especially if the brain, heart, liver, or some other part of the body is the main target of attack.

Read More

 


 

Array 1 - Antibody - Gluten Sensitivity Screen™

The mucosal immune system (saliva) acts as the primary host defense against the physical environmental factors (food, airborne molecules, viruses and commensal antigens), and plays a significant role in barrier functions. Secretory immunoglobulins IgA and IgM are important components of the first line of defense that operates at all mucosal sites.


Array 2 - Antibody - Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen™


Research confirms that the root cause for many of undesired immune reactions originates in the gastrointestinal tract. GI tract abnormality can compromise the integrity of the gut barrier and increases the entry of undigested antigens into circulation, thus challenging the immune system. Reaction to these antigens activates immune and inflammatory cascades, resulting in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, an array of antibodies, and increased intestinal barrier permeability (or “leaky gut” syndrome).

 

Array 3 - Antibody - Wheat/Gluten Proteome Sensitivity & Autoimmunity™

Current testing for Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac disease includes serum IgG and IgA against gliadin and tissue transglutaminase. These antibodies are measured against minor components of a wheat protein called alpha-gliadin. However, wheat proteins consist of alpha-gliadin, omega-gliadin, glutenin, gluteomorphin, prodynorphin, and agglutinins, any of which has a capacity to challenge the immune system. Because of this heterogeneity of gluten proteins and peptides, multiple variations in T-cell responses may occur against them. Recent medical research indicates that a large number of gluten epitopes, may be implicated in the development of Gluten Sensitivity, Celiac disease and other associated conditions.


Array 4 - Antibody - Gluten-Associated Sensitivity & Cross-Reactive Foods™


Once a patient is properly diagnosed as Gluten-Sensitive or having Celiac disease, he/she is instructed to adhere to a gluten-free diet. Brochures, books and websites help patients with this seemingly difficult process. However, a significant percentage of these patients will continue to have gluten-like complaints even after being on a gluten-free diet for months. Most countries define “gluten-free” products based on the recommendation of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization. This codex alimentarius allows the inclusion of up to 0.3% protein from gluten containing grains in the foods labeled “gluten-free." If the sensitive body is exposed to 0.3% protein, the immune system will recognize and react to the protein.

 

 

 

ARTICLES


 

WHY IS COLOSTRUM (PRP) SO IMPORTANT?


As we age, we notice it takes us a little longer to fight off a cold or flu, something aches, our energy and enthusiasm have lessened,our skin loses its elasticity and gravity takes its toll on our bodies. Our focus turns to health and anti aging products and knowledge. We each balance our own vitamins, minerals and herbs.. many times unaware of dangerous doses and combinations. We’ve looked everywhere for an answer. We’ve asked plants and minerals for something they’re unable to provide because they don’t have immune systems to produce immune factors and immunoglobulins and they don’t have growth factors for muscle, skin and bone.. With killer bugs at our doorstep, we need to look to what was designed specifically for the survival of our species. Aging, illness and death occur with the loss of immune and growth factors in our bodies. Medical science has shown in hundreds of published reports worldwide that these can possibly be replaced in the human body with bovine colostrum.

Read More



 

*New Gluten Sensitivity and Related Testing from Cyrex Labs is now available.


Over the last few years, we have seen the correlation of Gluten Sensitivity as a common initiator of multiple pathologies.  From Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to Hepatocellular Carcinoma, from Migraines to Recurrent Pancreatitis, from Cardiomyopathy to numerous autoimmune diseases, we have seen the association of sensitivity to this protein of wheat, rye and barley with the initial manifestation of multiple pathophysiologies.


But there's been a Conundrum. What is it?  Problems associated with standard tests for Gluten Sensitivity.


The only blood tests (until now) for Celiac Disease have been extremely accurate and dependable if a person has Total Villous Atrophy (TVA).  However, when biopsy test results with anything less than TVA, the accuracy of the test drops tremendously (to as low as being wrong 7 out of 10 times).  Would you tolerate that accuracy rate for a cancer, heart disease, or even pregnancy test? Gluten has to have significantly destroyed the gut wall for current blood testing to be effective.  For the majority of people that isn't the case...especially if the brain, heart, liver, or some other part of the body is the main target of attack.

Read More


 


 

 

Do I have to Re-introduce Gluten in Order to have an Accurate Gluten Sensitivity Test Done?


If a person knows they are sensitive to gluten and have gone on a gluten-free diet, and want to know if they can have gluten again, then a challenge is in order (reintroduce gluten). THIS IS STRONGLY NOT RECOMMENDED. The gluten challenge has many cases of people who were damaged (some permanently) from the reaction to reintroducing gluten Even Small Amounts of Gluten Cause Relapse in Children With Celiac Disease, Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 34:26­30, and it is no longer a requirement for diagnosing celiac disease Am J Clin Nut 1999;69:354-65.

[+] Read More

 

 


 

 

The Conundrum of Gluten Sensitivity 101: Why the Tests are Often Wrong

In this 4-part Series, we’re going to look at the World of Gluten Sensitivity, what the current science tells us, the frustrations Gluten Sensitive and Celiac patients often experience, and how to use the science in getting healthier. ……: “That gluten sensitivity is regarded as principally a disease of the small bowel is a historical misconception.1” There is a key word in this statement which I suspect was an emphasis of the Author’s message and sets the tone for this article (and this Network Movement). That key word is ‘principally’. Is Gluten Sensitivity ‘principally’ a disease of the small intestine? Point-blank answer-no, it is not. For every Gluten Sensitive patient with the symptoms of an enteropathy (Classic Celiac Disease), there are 8 with no GI symptoms2 3.

Read More

 


 

 

The Conundrum of Gluten Sensitivity 201: Why Don’t I Feel Great on a Gluten-Free diet: Is it a Sensitivity or a Cross-Reactivity to Other Foods?


Although the majority of individuals with Gluten Sensitivity and/or Celiac Disease have substantial improvement within the first few weeks of gluten withdrawal, between 7% and 30% continue to have symptoms or clinical manifestations suggestive of Celiac Disease (CD) despite being on a gluten-free dieti. That’s called Non-Responsive CD-the body is not responding the way it should.  Why is that? And why is it that so many of us do not have the amount of energy we should have given that we’re being so careful to avoid exposure to a food that is toxic to us (gluten)? We’ll take a look in this article at a common, hidden source of this lack of vitality and lack of response to a GFD. 


[+] Read More



 

Gluten Attack: Is gluten attacking your brain?

 

Gluten ataxia is a neurologic condition characterized by the loss of balance and coordination. However it can also affect fingers, hands, arms, legs, speech and even eye movements. Typical symptoms include difficulty walking or walking with a wide gait, frequent falls, difficulty judging distances or position, visual disturbances and tremor.  Experts believe gluten ataxia may be a form of gluten sensitivity, a wide spectrum of disorders marked by an abnormal immunological response to gluten.  Different organs can be affected by different types of gluten sensitivity. In celiac disease, sometimes called gluten-sensitive enteropathy, the small bowel is affected. In dermatitis herpetiformis, the skin is targeted, resulting in an itchy rash. With gluten ataxia, damage takes place in the cerebellum, the balance center of the brain that controls coordination and complex movements like walking, speaking and swallowing.  Purkinje cells in the cerebellum, key in maintaining balance, are thought to be lost in gluten ataxia.

(+) Read More

 


 

Intestinal Problems & "Whole-Body" Symptoms. Gut 201: The Intestinal Milieu

In the previous edition of The Autism File Global magazine (Issue 37, October 2010), we talked about the importance of eliminating foods a child is sensitive to.  When children have food allergies, undesirable immune responses result that affect cognition, and indigested proteins also adversely affect cognition and behavior.  So, the first step is to eliminate that which is causing adverse reactions.  The next step is to repopulate the intestinal milieu with appropriate probiotics, and that is what we will discuss here today.

[+] Read More

 


 

 

Studies have indicated an association between psoriasis and coeliac disease (CD), an immune-mediated gluten-dependent enteropathy.

Read More



 

RELATED ARTICLES

 

 

 

The Immunology Of Immediate And Delayed Hypersensitivity Reacton To Gluten Vol. 6, no 1

By: A. Vojdani, T. O'Bryan and G.H. Kellermann

The immunology of gluten hypersensitivity and celiac disease has been pursued with significant interest in the past 20 years. For the prevention of systemic diseases, most pathogens that gain entry into our bodies must be met with an effective immune response, yet in the gastrointestinal tract it is equally important that commensal bacteria and a diverse collection of dietary proteins and peptides be recognized without eliciting an active immune response or constant activation of the inflammatory pathway. This phenomenon of hyporesponsiveness to food antigens is known as oral tolerance. This oral tolerance to dietary antigens is maintained by three different mechanisms: anergy, cell deletion and immune suppression.

[+] Read More

 

 


 

 

The Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition — November 2010

New, non-invasive disease screening strategy for Celiac disease (CD): The study, which included some 5,000 Italian schoolchildren, had a specific goal, according to the abstract: “The aim was to identify CD in 6 to 8-year-old children for a timely diagnosis, start a gluten-free diet in compliant subjects, achieve the growth target, and prevent CD complications."

[+] Read More

 


 

 

American Journal of Gastroenterology Identifies Gluten Sensitivity as a “No-Mans Land”Gluten can cause functional (Irritable) bowel disorder-like symptoms in the absence of Celiac Disease.


The American Journal of Gastroenterology’s June 2009 issue explored the differentiation of Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease with respect to gastro-intestinal symptoms (both Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Functional Bowel Disorders). Researchers from Mayo Clinic focused on the “emerging concept that gluten-induced pathophysiology may constitute an underlying factor in symptom generation in a proportion of patients with IBS-like symptoms.”

[+] Read More

 

 


 

 

The Immunology Of Gluten Sensitivity Beyond The Intestinal Tract. Vol 6, no. 2

By: A. Vojdani, T. O'Bryan and G.H. Kellermann

Celiac disease and gluten-sensitive enteropathy are terms that have been used to refer to a diseaseprocess affecting the small bowel. However, evidence has been accumulated in literature demonstrating that gluten sensitivity or celiac disease can exist even in the absence of enteropathy, but affecting many organs. Based on overwhelming evidence, immunological pathogenesis has been demonstrated in the joint, the heart, thyroid, bone, and, in particular, the brain cerebellum and neuronal synapsin I. When blood samples of patients with celiac disease are tested against gliadin and different tissue antigens, in addition to gliadin antibody, a significant percentage of them exhibit elevation in antibodies against transglutaminase, heat shock protein, collagen, thyroid, myosin, endothelial cell, bone antigen (transglutaminase), myelin basic protein, cerebellar and synapsin.

[+] Read More

 


 

 

Gluten-Free Bread of Life: Celebrating Mass on a Gluten Free Diet


From: Living Without Magazine, December, 2010

There are certain milestones in our children’s lives that are forever etched in memory. For me, one such event was my son’s First Holy Communion, an important occasion (one of seven sacraments) that completes a Catholic’s Christian initiation. A lot of preparation and excitement goes into this solemn event. Mike memorized prayers and eagerly attended workshops and mini retreats. He was ready—but I was not.
[+] Read More

 

 


 

 

Celiac Disease and Reproductive Health

By: Alice Bast, Tom O’Bryan, Elizabeth Bast

Despite re-classification of celiac disease as a rare disease of childhood to a common disease affecting men, women and children at any age, most of the three million estimated sufferers remain undiagnosed. Proper education concerning the various symptoms and manifestations of the disease is necessary to increase prompt and accurate diagnosis.  Celiac disease’s potentially negative effect on reproductive health is among the most pressing matters associated with advancing awareness. Men and women with unexplained infertility, women with recurrent abortions, intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight babies and menstrual disorders are rarely screened for celiac disease despite scientific studies that indicate a correlation. In the following article, we will examine the evidence for these occurrences in a literature review, examine potential theories about their cause, and discuss the need for additional research and the addition of a celiac testing to the differential diagnosis in women with reproductive health problems.

[+] Read More

 

 


 

 

Digestive and Nutritional Considerations in Celiac Disease: Could Supplementation Help?

By:  Tom Malterre, MS, CN

Due to the increased immune activation in the intestinal tract of people with celiac disease, the digestive and absorptive processes of those affected may be compromised. Individuals with celiac disease are more susceptible to pancreatic insufficiencies, dysbiosis, lactase insufficiencies, and folic acid, vitamin B12,iron, and vitamin D deficiencies, as well as accelerated bone loss due to an increase in inflammatory signaling molecules.  Beyond strict maintenance of a gluten-free diet, research has shown benefit with additional nutritional supplementation to assist in regulation of several of these complications.

[+] Read More

 

 


 

 

A Non-Human Primate Model for Gluten Sensitivity

By:  Tom Malterre, MS, CN

Celiac disease is an inheritable enteropathy caused by dietary gluten from wheat, barley, and rye [1]. Its clinical manifestations are variable, but commonly include persistent diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, bloating, and fatigue. In some celiac patients, a pruritic, vesicular skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis accompanies gastrointestinal damage.
[+] Read More

 

 


 

 

 

Intestinal Problems and ‘Whole-Body’ Symptoms. Gut 101: The Effect of Foods— As Written for Autism One

The idea that disruptions in gut function might be implicated in systemic disease is an ancient one . From an ancient Ayurvedic text comes a definition of health as profound as any modern one: ‘A person whose basic emotional and physical tendencies are in balance, whose digestive power is balanced, whose bodily tissues, elimination functions and activities are in balance, and whose mind, senses and soul are filled with vitality, that person is said to be healthy.  The idea was further promoted in the 19th century by the great Naturopath Louis Kühne and in the early 20th century by Nobel laureate Elie Metchnikoff. Kühne proposed that an inappropriate diet led to intestinal toxicity, with increased growth of bacteria in the bowel causing disease. Elie Metchnikoff won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on the good bacteria in the intestines. One of his most famous messages to us? “Death Begins in the Colon."
[+] Read More