Removing gluten from the diet might seem like a fad thing that the diet industry is pushing right now.
However, there is actual science behind the reasoning for it.
In fact, a gluten intolerance, or symptoms from a gluten sensitivity, is 4 times more common today than it was in the 1950’s.
Gluten is a protein found in most grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. It actually means “glue” in latin for its adhesive property to hold breads and cakes together.
These are the obvious sources, but like sugar, it is hidden in several other products.
1. The reason it is so dangerous, is because it can adhere to the walls of the small intestine, creating a barrier for other vital nutrients to become absorbed. The undigested gluten triggers your immune system to attack the lining of your intestine, which causes symptoms such as; constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and nausea.
Over time, your intestine becomes damaged and fewer nutrients are able to be absorbed, which can cause more health problems, such as anemia, and other nutrient deficiencies.
2. The reason for the incline in gluten sensitivity is thought to be due to the change in modern wheat. The portion of gluten protein has increased enormously as a result of genetic modification.
Not only that, but the companies who use pesticides to rid of bugs during production, are having to use more and more, which creates a stronger, more concentrated gluten protein.
When we think of a gluten sensitivity, we all think of digestive discomfort. However, symptoms are more than just that.
Some common symptoms are:
Vitamin K deficiency
Nervous system diseases
Dementia, impaired mental function, and can aggravate symptoms in those with ADD or Autisim, and Asperger’s
Weight loss or gain
3. Grains not only cause intolerance problems, but they also cause a rise in insulin, exacerbating other health problems such as, diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), and cancers.
4. Gluten is a trigger for auto-immune diseases such as: ulcerative Colitis, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Diabetes, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Disturbingly, many neurological diseases are also associated with gluten sensitivity.
5. 1 in 4 people suffer from one or more auto-immune diseases.
You have the choice to either modify your body with food or your body will modify itself with the food, causing significant damage along the way.
Chronic inflammation triggers an immune response in the body. The enzyme COX – 1, triggers the release of prostaglandins, sparking inflammation. This puts your body on high alert to invaders that it does not recognize, and it uses inflammation to protect itself.
Eating foods that stimulate this enzyme, it is causing inflammation – inflaming intestine, joints swelling, brain swells – brain fog, not absorbing nutrients – going into starvation mode to store fat.
Cortisol levels go up and you store body fat. When you eat the same food over and over, your body starts to respond, raising that red flag, and causing chronic inflammation.
How to move forward and heal your gut without gluten:
Typically avoiding gluten for 2 weeks is enough to see a significant improvement in symptoms.
Avoid hidden sources of gluten!
Gluten can be hiding in common foods, such as soy sauce, soups, candy, foods containing natural flavorings, vegetable proteins, and malt starches.
While you’re all wondering, then “what can I eat?” Your body does not need carbs to survive. When you have a diet without starchy carbs for an energy source, your body will learn to thrive off of healthy fats for energy. The natural sugars in vegetables and fruits will also help to stabilize blood sugar.
Ali Wells, BSN RN
The Holistic Health Nurse
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