As we wind up the Gluten-Free Challenge, we want to address the question many of you asked: What’s the next step?

Perhaps you’ll decide that medical testing for gluten is right for you. Nutritionist Trudy Scott offers some suggestions you can discuss with your nutritionist, physician, or other professional. She says:

“It’s important to be aware that testing is not always conclusive and even if your results are negative, if the gluten elimination-challenge produced symptoms, then I encourage you to stay gluten-free and consider finding a nutritionist to help you figure out next steps.

“Many at-home saliva tests for adrenal function, such as the Adrenal Stress Index (ASI) offered by Diagnos-Techs, include antigliadin antibodies.

“Delayed reactions to foods containing gluten (IgG food sensitivities) can be identified by blood tests that require either a blood (serum) draw or a finger prick. This type of testing can be very effective, especially when considered in conjunction with your symptoms and health history and a food log.

“Elevated levels of two thyroid antibodies—antithyroglobulin and antithyroperoxidase—may indicate that you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, in which the body is creating antibodies to its own thyroid gland. This autoimmune condition is common among people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Levels of both antibodies can be assessed with blood tests that your doctor can order.

“Two tests can help you determine whether you have celiac disease. One is a biopsy and the other is simple blood test measuring: IgA tissue transglutaminase (IgA-tTG), IgA antigliadin antibodies (IgA-AGA) and Serum IgA.

“The genes HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8, are associated with a greater risk of having celiac disease, as well as other autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes and autoimmune thyroid disease.”

You can read about the Therapy Soup Gluten-Free Challenge series and much more on Trudy Scott’s site, Everywomanover29 and sign up for her newsletter. You can also visit her at the Antianxietyfoodsolution site.

Also, Trudy has been doing Antianxiety Food Solution talks on the east coast this week. Gluten intolerance is one of the many topics she’s talking about. She’s also speaking about real whole foods, sugar removal, blood sugar balance, caffeine removal, healthy digestion, amino acids, pyroluria and lifestyle factors.

As Therapy Soup readers know, there are many dietary factors that might contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. A great first step we recommend, is keeping a food diary or journal. Just seeing what you are eating and drinking every day can be a real eye-opener.

In our book, Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On, we tell the real-life story of one client who came to me for insomnia, anxiety and general concern about his mental health. We found out that coffee over-consumption was playing a big role in his concerns. Although our book focuses on helping patients find the right therapist, when reviewing cases for the book, we discovered that a variety of mental health symptoms might improve, sometimes even dramatically, with a change in diet.

FYI: The Antianxiety Food Solution Book drawing winners will be announced next week!