What’s all the gluten talk about anyway?
I would always hear about people speaking of gluten intolerance but never thought it had anything to do with me. I felt like I followed a pretty strict organic lifestyle, exercised and did everything I could, to be healthy. I was completely shocked when I realized that staying away from gluten is not just for people who have sensitivity to it, but that everyone should stay away from it. Gluten is a silent killer affecting each person differently. I had no idea that this ingredient that is in millions of products sold on our shelves today, is not only causing gut inflammation, which causes a host of diseases, but it also toxic to your brain. Who would have thought, right? I mean the media, different organizations and doctors are all encouraging you to have your “recommended daily allowance” of grains. They go so far to even make it easier for you to know which products to buy that have this ingredient in it. It seems so nice of them to “go out of their way” so you can eat healthier, right? They have nothing to gain from you eating more grains, except for the fact the whole wheat products cost a tremendous amount more than white flour which allows them to pad their pockets more now than ever. But hey, they are ultimately doing this for your health, so they say. Well I am here to explain that what appears to be healthy on the outside, can be detrimental to your health, hence why we are seeing an increase in so many health problems. Let’s take a look at how eating a piece of whole grain bread that seems rich in nutrients is so dangerous, as well as what you can eat that is a healthier option, while feeling better in the process.
Diseases in the Gut due to Gluten
What is Gluten anyway? Gluten, is a glue like substance that binds the dough together to form bread. Gluten is the umbrella term for proteins found inside many grains and seeds, such as wheat, rye, kamut barley, triticale and spelt.
Today we hear that people are suffering from Crohn's Disease, Ulcers, Reflux, Ulcerative Colitis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Diverticulitis, Gallstones, Stomach Pain and Celiac Disease just to name a few. As many as 40% of us can’t process gluten and the remaining 60 percent could be affected by it and not even know it.
According to the National Institutes of Health University of Chicago Celiac Disease Barely a decade ago, gluten intolerance and celiac disease were considered uncommon genetic aberrations, occurring in perhaps 1 in 2500 persons worldwide.
In fact there were so few people that had digestive issues years ago that the CDC and other organizations of the sorts do not offer such statistics. I find that extremely interesting. I have actually been on the phone with several employees of these organizations, trying every way possible to retrieve such information and to no avail.
Inflammation of the digestive system, which includes the small intestine, large intestine and rectum, is the one thing that links all the gluten diseases together. The prevalence of all digestive diseases now effect 60 to 70 million people. Celiac disease is one of the fastest growing digestive disorders in the United States, now effecting 1 in 133 people and 97% of Americans estimated are not even diagnosed.
How common is celiac disease?
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic inflammation and destroys the body’s healthy villi in the small intestines. The body essentially attacks itself because it doesn’t identify with the foreign substances such as gluten, entering the body. The immune system identifies gluten as bacteria or a virus and fights to protect the body, causing inflammation. The immune system does this by producing antibodies to fight the “foreign entities” even if small amounts are ingested. Most people consume gluten everyday and every meal, so our bodies never have a chance to take a break. As a result of gluten consumption, the body’s vital nutrients are not able to be absorbed, resulting in vitamin and mineral deficiency. ??????
Once food breaks down in the gut and is digested, the cells that make up the intestines top layer, allows the nutrients to pass through the intestinal lining and then to the bloodstream. A substance called zonulin, which is produced by gluten, creates holes in the lining of the intestines, allowing bits of undigested food to enter the bloodstream, known as leaky gut syndrome. Now that the lining is damaged, dangerous proteins, such as gliadin, contained within gluten now enters the bloodstream. As a result, the body automatically defends itself by becoming inflamed. This is where the vicious cycle begins now causing disease. . But why would gluten be so bad, seeing how it has been in breads for hundreds of years?
Gliadin, is one of the proteins that is found within the gluten. Gliadin, has also been a component of gluten for centuries, yet the huge difference is the fact that the genetic structure of the gliaden has changed tremendously over the last 60 years. This might not sound like something that can affect you, but unfortunately it does. Have you ever noticed that when you eat a piece of bread, that it’s hard to stop? Gliadin is a protein within bread causing you to have a euphoric feeling, desiring you to consume more gluten, all at the same time gaining weight.
“Normally, food particles are never seen by the immune system because it lies under the gut’s lining,” says Wilson. “But when that lining is damaged, the immune system reacts to undigested food as if it is a bacteria or virus; it sees the gliadins and lets loose an inflammatory cascade. Soon, the immune system’s weapons, called cytokines, flood the body, causing a ripple effect of inflammation,” she explains. “And what was just a drop of ink in the water spreads throughout the entire body.” WHO WROTE THIS?
Celiac Disease has over 300 known symptoms and not each person reacts or recovers in the same way:
• Abdominal bloating and pain • Addison's disease, a condition in which the glands that produce critical hormones are damaged • Autoimmune liver disease • Autoimmune thyroid disease • Bone loss or osteoporosis • Bone or joint pain • Cancer of the intestine • Canker sores inside the mouth • Cataracs • Chronic diarrhea • Chronic Fatigue • Constipation • Headaches • Heart Disease • Infertility or recurrent miscarriage • Itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis • Lupus • Malnutrition • Miscarriage • Missed menstrual periods • Multiple Sclerosis • Pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool • Psoriasis • Poor Gut Health • Rashes • Rheumatoid arthritis • Restless legs • Tingling numbness in the hands and feet • Type 2 diabetes • Seizures • Sjögren's syndrome, a condition in which the glands that produce tears and saliva are destroyed • Unexplained iron-deficiency anemia • Viscerul Fat Accumulation • Vomiting • Weight change
Additional Symptoms in Children
• Delayed growth and short stature • Delayed puberty • Dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth • Digestive symptoms • Failure to thrive • Irritability • Weight loss
“Did you know that two slices of whole wheat bread (yes, whole grain bread with all that fiber) cause a bigger and faster blood sugar spike (glycemic index 72) than a spoonful of table sugar (glycemic index 59) Doesn’t matter if it’s multi-grain with all sorts of seeds and other goodies added; doesn’t matter if it’s sprouted wheat.”
This has far-ranging impacts. A spike in blood sugar causes a spike in insulin, one of our body’s leading fat storage hormones. Hence the simple equation that many of us have experienced directly: eat bread –> spike blood sugar –> spike insulin –> gain weight. We have known for more than 30 years that wheat increases blood sugar more than table sugar. perlmutter
Insulin is extremely important for cellular metabolism. The pancreas’ job is to produce insulin. The insulin’s responsibilities are to carry glucose from the bloodstream into the muscle, fat and liver cells, which is then used as fuel. If the cells are exposed to high levels of insulin due to refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup and highly processed foods, the cells reject the insulin, thereby preventing an excess of glucose in the cells. Because the cells cannot accept more glucose, the excess glucose remains in the blood.
This is where the vicious cycle begins. The pancreas is then triggered to pump more insulin into the bloodstream, as it perceives that there is a lack of absorption of glucose into the cells. Since excess sugar (glucose) now remains in the blood, Type 2 diabetes, blindness, infections, nerve damage, heart disease, brain shrinkage, as well as many other diseases can occur.
In 2010 according to the CDC, 18.8 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes and another 7 million went undiagnosed. The number of undetected between 1995 and 2010 cases has risen 50 percent or more, in 42 states and 100 percent in more in 18 states. The progression of this disease has shown to happen more rapidly in children rather than adults as their bodies absorb things more quickly.
“Within the next decade; one in two American will suffer from diabesity the term now used to describe a range of metabolic imbalance from mild insulin resistance to pre diabetes. The hardest fact of all to accept is that a breathtaking 90% will not be diagnosed.” D.P. By the time people recognize they have a health issue it is sometimes to late. It can then develop into a more serious condition now affecting the brain.
How Gluten Affects the Brain
Gluten not only affects the gut but the brain as well. We have been taught that LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) is dangerous and levels should be closely monitored to maintain good health. What I am here to tell you, is LDL’s are actually not bad at all and in fact it is very good. LDL’s very critical job is to “capture life-giving cholesterol and transport it to the neuron where in performs critically important functions.”77 Whereas HDL transports life-giving cholesterol away from the body and to the liver where it is excreted or reused. We have also been told that having high LDL cholesterol can be detrimental to our health and needs to be avoided at all costs. LDL cholesterol though, is extremely important, as it supplies fats to the brain, such as oil from butter, coconut, flax and avocado that will later be used as fuel. Once free radicals damage the LDL molecule, by eating processed foods, gluten and sugar, the LDL’s becomes oxidized. Now that the LDL is oxidized, it can form plaque around the arteries creating atherosclerosis. So LDL’s are not the bad guys, it is oxidized LDL’s. If there is no fuel, meaning goods fats and only free radicals entering the brain, there is a greater chance for developing Alzheimer’s. This is why it is so important to have a healthy diet with good fats and avoid gluten and sugar like the plague. “What we are beginning to understand is that insulin resistance, as it relates to Alzheimer’s disease, sparks the formation of those infamous plaques that are present in diseased brains. These plaques are the buildup of an odd protein that essentially hijacks the brain and takes the place of normal brain cells, thus causing Alzheimer’s as well as other brain diseases.
Additional but not limited to Brain Diseases caused by Gluten
• ADHD • Autism • Bipolar • Dementia • Neurological Impairment • Schizophrenia