Ataxia is a loss of muscle coordination. When the several known causes for ataxia come up negative, look try a gluten-free diet.
There are several known causes of ataxia which is what doctors most commonly look for. If these tests come up negative, the doctor labels the conditions “idiopathic ataxia.” This simply means that the doctor doesn’t have a bloody clue what’s causing the problem. Rather than admit this, they blame it on the condition by calling it “idiopathic.”
If you find yourself diagnosed with idiopathic ataxia, there is one more thing you can try, and you can try it without your doctor’s help.
Idiopathic Ataxia and the Gluten Free Diet
In some cases, going on a gluten free diet reduces or eliminates ataxia.
According to some studies, 41% of those with idiopathic ataxia have a gluten sensitivity.
Some sources claim that up to 74% of ataxia cases are labeled idiopathic, so most people with ataxia should try a gluten free diet.
Wow! Why aren’t doctor’s picking up on this? I have my own suspicions for what its worth. Most doctors are clueless about nutrition, and changing diet as a way to cure disease does not mesh with the “your disease is a deficiency in a patented medicine” model of practicing medicine.
What ever the reason for doctors missing out on this valuable approach, it is up to you to take matters into your own hands.
Unlike may treatments which require a prescription, and therefore a doctor’s supervision, going on a gluten free diet is something you can do yourself. Because doctors aren’t trained in nutrition, and most specialize on the five-minute consultation, followed by a prescription, your doctor won’t be able to help you with this anyhow.
Don’t blame your doctor. They have a certain kind of training, and it is useful and appropriate in many cases.
There is plenty of information on this website, on other websites, and in books on how to go on a gluten free diet.
The key is to be religious about it, cut out all sources of gluten completely, and stick to the diet for long enough to see if it solves the problem or not.
Normally, I recommend sticking to a gluten free diet for at least 8 weeks to evaluate its effectiveness.
At present I do not have information to guide a recommendation on how long it takes a gluten free diet to help with ataxia.
Commit to a gluten free diet for at least six months, and preferably 0ne year before deciding if a cutting out gluten is improving your symptoms.
You may improve slowly, so keep a log book of your symptoms to evaluate progress. If your doctor has used tests to measure the severity of your ataxia, get reevaluated at six months and one year after starting your gluten free diet to see if you are improving.
You may not want to discuss your diet with your doctor, and some doctors may be suspicious that a gluten free diet will help. You can decide if you want to discus this with your doctor or not, depending on how open you find your doctor to be.
Good luck with your ataxia. I hope you are in the group of people who find a gluten free diet helpful.