Have you asked yourself, “how can it be that so many people are gluten sensitive?” Gluten sensitivity becomes more common and it is worth understanding what is beneath it.
Gluten toxicity is found to be one of the major causes of over 200 clinically confirmed diseases. The most common autoimmune disease associated with gluten is celiac disease, where antibodies are produced by the immune system and target normal cells and tissues. You should also know that celiac disease is just the tip of the iceberg of a larger phenomenon that affects so many of us: gluten sensitivity.
It is estimated that as much as 15% of the US population are gluten sensitive and that 99% of the people, who either have gluten intolerance or celiac disease, are never diagnosed.
There are 200-300 different symptoms that can be caused by gluten sensitivity. They range from digestive issues (diarrhea, constipation, indigestion, reflux, weight gain, weight loss, bloating, abdominal pain); to mental health issues (depression, anxiety, mood swings, behavior problems); to inflammation issues (aching joints, bones, muscles, increased asthma, diabetes, cancer) to neurological issues (migraines, vertigo, tingling, numbness, weird sensations); to a wide variety of malnutrition-related and other issues (fatigue, brain fog, canker sores, osteoporosis, infertility, enamel problems, missed periods, painful periods, night sweats, thyroid problems, frequent infections).
What is gluten?
Gluten is a class of proteins within wheat that can be difficult to digest (including spelt, semolina, and durum) barley, rye and triticale (a hybrid), known collectively as prolamins. These proteins have different names depending on the grain they are found in; for example, gliadin in wheat, secalin in rye or hordein in barley.
In a new study, researchers from the Bartholin Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark shows that gliadin plays a key role in promoting weight gain, insulin secretion, and inflammation. Gliadin does not break down easily in the body because they are extremely hydrophobic and contain disulfide bonds.
Most people can tolerate these proteins, but if have celiac disease or if you are sensitive to gluten it will cause the gaps between the cells in the small intestine to open too wide and allow toxins, food (not fully digested), and gluten fragments to cross the intestines villus into the bloodstream. These parietals are recognized by the immune system as invaders or pathogens, which will then activate the immune system, causing inflammation and damage to the inside of the small intestine.
Why do we become so sensitive to gluten?
The most dominant theory given for this massive explosion of gluten sensitivity, autoimmune diseases, and gluten-related disorders is that most grains are genetically modified so gluten content boosts. A century ago, grain contained far less gluten and was more elastic than now.
We usually refer to any food reaction as “food allergy”. Though, it’s important to distinguish between food allergy and food intolerance or sensitivity. Food allergy and food sensitivity, share very similar signs and symptoms, which makes it’s harder to distinguish between the two. You may experience what we call an “allergy attack” with a combination of symptoms like rashes, itchy, diarrhea, headaches, runny nose, nasal congestions, hives, nausea or abdominal pain. A food reaction is common, but in most cases, symptoms are due to food sensitivity and not food allergy.
So what’s the difference?
When you eat food that you are allergic to, an allergen will stimulate your immune system, and an antibody (IgE) will be produced. Food allergy is far more severe than food sensitivity and in some cases, it can lead to a severe reaction of an anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction.
At the same time, food allergy can also complicate your ability to lose weight or make you feel sick even if you eat food that at the first sight might seem healthy. Triggers can hide even in nuts and other foods that aren’t even sweet or contain lactose which is a distinct marker for many people.
Going on a gluten-free diet takes a great deal of education and commitment. Our clinic takes it very seriously, knowing the science behind these vast symptoms that may lead to a disease. We offer gluten sensitivity testing as well as customized clinical and nutritional support for better health.
Go to our website to download more facts about gluten foods and food that have hidden gluten!
Helpful PDF files linked below on our website!