Today I share my personal story of gluten poisoning and how it caused vertigo, dizziness nystagmus, nausea and vomiting.
I was on a cruise in February of this year. The cruise line did a really good job of kind of accommodating mine and my family's food restrictions. I have Celiac disease plus several autoimmune tissue reactions.
Obviously, I don't eat gluten---but I also don't eat dairy and I don't eat soy.
For a couple of days on the cruise everything was great...
And then the Tuesday night at dinner something I'm not supposed to eat made it through. I'm not sure how it happened, but something made it through.
12:06 am (by the cabin clock) I woke up with wicked nystagmus.
Nystagmus means your eyes are jerking rhythmically...slow one direction...fast back to the other side.....slow one direction...fast back to the other side.
I woke up with this nystagmus and the sensation that the room was moving around me...Vertigo.
I couldn’t keep my eyes focused on any one thing for more than a second. I got viciously nauseous...ended up sitting in the bathroom floor and vomited my guts out on and off for almost six hours,
This was not seasickness.
I got exposed to something at dinner to which I have a serious sensitivity and caused a big time immune system reaction.
Why did I get vertigo nausea and nystagmus? Why not diarrhea or a headache?
Keep reading as I explain it.
This night scared me because...
when a person has one autoimmune disease, it's very easy to get ANOTHER autoimmune condition.
So, I got very worried that I had just experienced evidence that my immune system had successfully targeted my cerebellum. I already have ONE autoimmune condition.
I have Celiac disease. In Celiac disease your immune system is targeting your small intestine and trying to kill it. Once it’s done that, then the immune system can attack anything else it wants because you have lost the normal tolerance to yourself.
Normally you shouldn’t attack and kill yourself. Your immune system makes a few antibodies to tissues here and there-- but there shouldn’t be a lot of antibodies to a tissue.
But when your immune system successfully targets and attacks a tissue...
- the small intestine in Celiac disease
- cartilage in Rheumatoid Arthritiss
- the pancreas in Type 1 Diabetes
- the thyroid gland in Hashimoto's
...When you have one of those it’s like the levy holding back the river has broken.
Your tolerance for yourself, as they call it, has been broken. So, now you can start to attack other tissues and develop other types of symptoms....other types of problems.
Well, whenever I got this exposure (poisoning) to gluten--I assume that's what it was, and keep in mind, I haven't eaten gluten in a very long time--- I had a BIG immune system reaction to it: the Vertigo, nausea and nystagmus.
These symptoms point to the possibility that I could very well now have an autoimmune attack on my cerebellum (in the brain).
Or, there is another mechanism that might be possible... and I’ll go ahead and tell you.
When I did my own Cyrex testing I tested positive for high GAD65 antibodies. GAD is a chemical that helps you convert glutamate--an excitatory "gas pedal" neurotransmitter ---into GABA, an inhibitory "brake pedal" kind of neurotransmitter.
If you have high GAD antibodies, that means your immune system is killing your GAD. You'll have a lot of gas pedal but not a lot of brake pedal.
The three places in the body with the most GAD activity are:
- the cerebellum
- the basal ganglia
- the pancreas.
Autoimmune attack against GAD can cause anxiety, blood sugar problems, or cerebellar symptoms such vertigo, nausea and nystagmus.
I don't have the anxiety or the blood sugar fluctuations...but I sure did suffer the vertigo, nausea and nystagmus.
If you already know you have an autoimmune disease, and you've had a bad reaction to something you've eaten that caused symptoms similar to mine....room spinning, nystagmus, nausea...that might have been a signal that your autoimmune problem is expanding into other tissues.
What do you do about it?
You need to work with someone who is a good health detective. Somen one who can look for what's perpetuating your autoimmune problem---what's triggering it--what's making it worse.
This goes way beyond just getting rid of gluten.
You have to look for things like hidden parasitic infections, viral infections, Vitamin D deficiencies, nitric oxide, glutathione...it gets complex.
Today I wanted to share with you how truly awful it was to have vertigo, nausea, nystagmus for almost eight hours.
I sat in the bathroom in the state room of the cabin on the cruise ship for almost eight hours...propped up against the toilet with a towel wedged against the side of my head trying to keep my head still.
I was unsteady and had some dysequilibrium for a couple of days. I was back to normal farily quickly because I know what kind of vestibular rehab to do on myself, and what kinds of nutritional amd metabolic measures to take to dampen this autoimmune flare-up.
I can identify with those of you that have had vertigo (and continue to have it).
I don't ever want to feel that again. So, I'm going to make triple sure that my food is super clean -- at least as much as I can control-- and not contaminated with gluten, dairy or soy.
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THE PLACE FOR ANSWERS
Dr. David Clark, DC
Functional Neurologist (FACFN)
Diplomate College of Clinical Nutrition
Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist
Vestibular Rehab Specialist (ACNB)
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