Gluten – why to give it a rest
‘Gluten causes tiredness, anxiety and stress. The medical world accepts it can damage the gut, but it can also damage the brain, skin and nerves. Until now, many of these illnesses have been blamed on everything, from stress at home, to other medical conditions, including depression’
Dr. Rodney Ford, NZ World-Renowned Food-Allergy Expert.
Gluten is a protein prolamine in wheat, rye and barley and their by-products. Modern wheat used in pasta and couscous is up to 37% higher in gluten content than it was 30 years ago. Gluten is only one of over 35 allergenic proteins; albumins, globulins, gliadins or glutenins. Modern gluten comprises 78% pure gliadin. Gliadin is an extreme intestinal irritant. Gluten intolerance is now four times more common than it was 40 years ago. If you are unaware of your gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, then you have a four-fold increase in your risk of death. Sadly, just 1 in 7 people have been diagnosed correctly. The modern high-gluten, wheat grain is a new addition to our food chain.
Gluten is addictive glue
Gluten has adhesive properties that hold bread and cake together, giving you that lovely, spongy texture but unfortunately often also causes sticky, bound-up bowel movements and eventually chronic constipation. With the amount of wheat added to almost all commercial foods, you can end up eating gluten 5-6x daily. This is where the trouble kicks in – overexposure.
Gluten can cause nutritional deficiencies
Gluten can lower your ability to absorb your nutrients, leading to other debilitating illness. One in ten people get negative reactions from gluten be it skin problems, gut bloating or nerves. The acids from accumulated intestinal gluten leftovers can eat through the walls of the intestines allowing the waste materials to leak into the bloodstream.
Health problems attributed to gluten
Stomach ache, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), poor appetites, poor growth, unexplained weight-loss or obesity, gall bladder disease, liver disease, arthritis, skin conditions, eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis, chronic fatigue, lethargy, lymphoma, low iron levels, anaemia, osteoporosis, poor attention, difficult behaviour or learning problems, irritability, headaches, frequently run down and unwell, lowered immune function, severe hay fever, sinusitis, asthma, anxiety, depression, psychiatric problems, epilepsy, alcoholism, recurrent pancreatitis, and most importantly, organ damage.
Regardless of whether you suspect you have an intolerance or not, my advice is a period with no consumption of gluten and see how you feel. You may be amazed at how much clearer and more energised you feel. My mother had stomach problems her entire life until she was diagnosed a celiac in her 70s. If she stays off gluten now, she is a different person. Just try it for a few weeks and see.
References available here