Sunday, February 6, 2011

gluten causing more problems than tummy aches

I recently read this article on being gluten intolerant by Elaine Fawcett, MJ, NTP. I'll list some points that stood out to me. The article is long, but oh so good! 

It'll bite you back "Gluten is difficult for humans to digest. Ancient humans intuitively knew this as they transitioned from hunter-gatherer to agriculture societies and fermented or soured grains to make them more digestible."

Breeding " this already difficult-to-digest grain has been hybridized over the years for higher gluten levels, and methods of storing wheat in this country fosters the growth of toxins that denature the protein, making it even more antagonistic to the body." 

Genetically Modified " Many children in the US and Europe have developed life-threatening allergies to peanuts and other foods. There is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals. A proposal to incorporate a gene from Brazil nuts into soybeans was abandoned because of the fear of causing unexpected allergic reactionsExtensive testing of GM foods may be required to avoid the possibility of harm to consumers with food allergies." Deborah Whitman from

Overload "wheat dominates the American diet. We simply eat way too much of it, improperly prepared. "

It Can't Hide "Once you’ve gone gluten-free and done some research, you develop gluten antennae–the ability to see the telltale symptoms in a great many people especially those closest to you."

Not Listening... "Apparently the thought of getting through parenthood without the aid of mac-and-cheese and goldfish crackers is too overwhelming for most parents, even if it means giving their children prescription drugs instead."

How many are affected? "One in three Americans is gluten intolerant, one in three!and that more than 80 percent of us are genetically predisposed to a gluten intolerance. Once those genes turn on, it means that your immune system is armed and poised to attack every time gluten, which it now recognizes as an infectious agent, enters the body. The spooky thing, according to Fine’s research and other studies, is that most cases of gluten intolerance don’t manifest as gut symptoms, so people have no idea they’re gluten-intolerant. "

Getting tested "EnteroLab is a direct to consumer lab, testing for antibodies to gluten and other foods using stool samples. But consider this, antibodies to gluten are made in the digestive tract. That is where EnteroLab looks for them and so far it has a 100 percent success rate in confirming celiac disease, a form of gluten intolerance that creates an autoimmune reaction in the small intestine. Conventional medicine still relies on blood tests and intestinal biopsies for a diagnosis. Unfortunately, you’re likely to get a negative result with a blood test until your condition is very advanced and antibodies are spilling into the bloodstream. You don’t want to wait that long. " 

 "It manifests differently for different people–joint pain and inflammation, dermatitis, asthma and other respiratory tract issues, poor brain performance, autoimmune diseases, behavioral issues, digestive issues galore–the damage often begins in the gut.... undigested gluten and other proteins escape into the bloodstream, creating a chronic immune response. One’s overall health slowly erodes, various allergies and food intolerances develop, cancer risk increases, degenerative diseases set in, and the risk for developing autoimmune diseases runs high."

Autism "gluten also acts as an opiate by attaching to opiate receptors in the brain and producing a narcotic effect, which explains why so many comfort foods are wheat-based. This effect creates powerful behavioral responses in autistic children, while making gluten highly addictive to them. It’s no wonder these parents complain their children will only eat gluten and dairy foods, (casein in dairy acts in the same way)"

Temper tantrums normal? " Three days after both my children were gluten-free, and my youngest was also dairy-free, the daily tantrums, the night terrors, and the uncontrollable behavior dried up"

Symptoms from 
  • Fatigue
  • Addison’s disease
  • Gastrointestinal distress (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, reflux)
  • Headaches (including migraines)
  • Infertility
  • Mouth sores
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Moodiness/depression
  • Amenorrhea/delayed menarche (menstrual cycles)
  • Bone/joint/muscle pain
  • Dental enamel hypoplasia
  • Short stature
  • Seizures
  • Tingling numbness in the legs
  • Abnormal liver test
  • Addison’s disease
  • Alopecia
  • Anemia
  • Ataxia
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Chronic abdominal pain
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis (a “sister” of celiac disease)
  • Down syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Family history of celiac disease
  • Gall bladder disease
  • Hyperthyroidism/hypothyroidism
  • Total IgA deficiency
  • Insulin-dependent diabetes (type 1)
  • Infertility/spontaneous abortions/low birth-weight babies
  • Iron deficiency
  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
  • Malnutrition
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Non Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteomalacia
  • Pancreatic disorders
  • Pathologic fractures
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Psoriasis
  • Recurrent stomatisits
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scherosing cholangitis
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Systemic lupus
  • Turner syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Vitiligo

1 comment:

[M] said...

what a great article, thanks for sharing. it's true, once you've studied gluten intolerance you start thinking about all the people you know that have all the symptoms. people just aren't willing to give it up though. crazy.