For those susceptible to autoimmune diseases (1 in 5 Americans), it can do serious damage and lead to any number of long-term consequences, from Diabetes to Cancer, MS to Celiac, and gluten affects nearly 100 other autoimmune diseases. While the medical and science community try to conquer the unsolved mysteries related to gluten, there is no denying that there is a rise in all chronic diseases.
It’s important to understand that most people go undiagnosed because they have yet to uncover blatant symptoms, or suffer from a chronic illness. They say they don’t feel a difference when they eat gluten. Sadly, you may not for days, months or even years. Think of a bucket that catches rainwater under the leak in the ceiling. Eventually, the bucket fills, tips over and all hell breaks lose. Eating gluten causes “Leaky Gut” and the bucket will eventually tip.
I’m no doctor but I happen to have first hand experience. My daughter developed an autoimmune disorder, (Hashimoto's Thyroiditis) and can no longer have gluten. Bad news found our house, as gluten is a key ingredient in a few staples -- many breakfast cereals, bread, pasta and flour tortillas. Ouch.
Where’s the Data?
What’s With Wheat?
I often hear people asking, why now? What’s with Wheat? We’ve eaten bread and pasta for generations without causing disease. What we know is gluten today is not the same as the gluten our grandparents ate.
It’s a long answer, but to simplify with a few key facts -:
What Can We Do?
You can be tested. In order to get accurate results from most test methods, you must eliminate 100% of the gluten from your diet for a short period, typically 30 days. Another way to determine if you are gluten sensitive is to ask your doctor to order the following tests: IgA anti-gliadin antibodies (these are found in about 80% of people with Celiac disease).
Over the past few years, as gluten has become the subject of conversation around autoimmune disorders, patients have gone on gluten free diets for 30 days after blood test, to see if their bodies react differently. Some of the fortunate patients returned to analysis, only to learn they had no side effects or auto immune issues. BUT what studies do show is that many of these patients felt better, physically, emotionally and/or mentally as a result of being gluten free. They stayed the course.
The Gluten Resolution
The good news is we can change course, by making different choices in our diet. How about adding this to your list of New Year’s Resolutions – No Gluten for 30 days! You need morning cereal? There are plenty of gluten free options. Same for bread and bagels. Rather than having flour tortillas, eat corn.
The best news, is this dietary shift can lead to new and exciting food choices. There are plenty of amazing flavors, foods and dishes without gluten. Part of the fun is exploring and trying new foods. See resources below with some ideas.
As we move into 2018, don’t we owe this challenge to ourselves and our bodies? What do we have to lose?
For more background, visit the links below and we sure welcome your feedback…and results.
Everlywell Food Sensitivity Test
Request a Test
Gluten Free Living
New Research Links Gluten Sensitivity to Multiple Autoimmune Diseases
Top 50 Gluten-Free Blogs - The Academy of Culinary Nutrition