Do you tolerate wheat and other glutenous grains? I don’t and either do millions of Americans. Most people don’t realize that their health issues are tied to gluten. We need to pay attention to the clues our bodies are giving us about our health.
I have been doing a lot of research on gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, rye, and oats and I think it is really important to share the following information. Gluten intolerance is very common and the cause of digestive and other health issues for many people, my self included. According to statistics from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, an average of one out of every 133, otherwise healthy people, in the United States suffers from the digestive disease known as celiac disease (CD). Previous studies have found that this number may be as high as 1 in 33 in at-risk populations. Even more common, are people who suffer from a less-extreme, but still dangerous, gluten intolerance.
I wish my mother knew about this. My father recently told me she had chronic diarrhea since the age of 30. Even though she went to doctors for it, they couldn’t help her but they never tested her for wheat intolerance or celiac disease. They should have. She died of colon cancer two years ago. I am her daughter with half her genes. I cannot tolerate wheat gluten. I experience mushy-consistency diarrhea. Fortunately for me, I got nutritional training, looked at my symptoms, changed my diet, and no longer have those repeated mushy stools.
This brings up two points: 1) You, too, may have or know someone with a problem with gluten, and 2) most doctors will not help you.
First, here are some of the many health conditions, that may indicate celiac disease or gluten intolerance:
o Abdominal pain
o Osteoporosis or osteopenia
o Tooth enamel defects
o Vitamin K deficiency
o Central and peripheral nervous system disease
o Mental impairment (e.g., dementia, depression, autism, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD or schizophrenia)
o Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH)
o Anemia of various types
o Infertility and earlier menopause
o Organ disorders
o Weight loss or gain
Second, if you go to your doctor, he or she will most likely not look for the CAUSE of the problem but rather the treatment of symptoms via some sort of drug, which in most cases, causes other problems. Most doctors practice reactionary medicine. They wait for a patient to come in with a problem and then try to fix it with drugs or surgery — what they were trained to do in medical school. They have scant nutritional training, if any, and they don’t focus on wellness and prevention.
For example, when I was struggling terribly with acne, I went to several dermatologists. All of them prescribed some sort of cream which never improved my skin condition. Most of the creams made my skin red, flaky, and irritated. One of the doctors prescribed an antibiotic which then caused yeast infections and never cleared up my skin! I struggled with skin eruptions for years. With dietary intervention, including eliminating wheat gluten, I was able to clear my complexion. Unfortunately, I have some scarring from those years of acne. I still find that if I eat certain foods that I am sensitive to, like wheat, an eruption will occur.
The solution to celiac disease or gluten intolerance is to take glutenous grains out of your diet. Not only are glutenous grains harmful for so many people, but so are other processed grains that rapidly break down to sugar and cause a steep rise in blood sugar and insulin. Repetitive dietary sugar and insulin spikes lead to health conditions such as obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
With grains, your best bet is to eat non-gluten whole grains like: amaranth, brown rice, buckwheat/kasha, millet, teff, quinoa, and wild rice. Even with those grains, I would eat them moderately and make sure they are properly prepared. I work with many clients to recommend, create, and give access to recipes that are gluten-free. At first it is overwhelming to switch to a gluten-free diet, but then a whole world of healthy eating and consequent improved health is opened up.