What is gluten and the associated health issues?

Gluten is a compound protein that composes about 80% of the protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten can be found in many things such as; chocolate, imitation crab (surimi), deli meats, soy sauce, and other sauces along with vitamins and even some toothpaste. Gluten is also used in caking agents, malt beverages and soups. If you have a gluten-sensitivity or Celiac's, you must read all labels. I have a gluten intolerance and have been gluten-free for years and still read labels.

The 6 grains to avoid that contain gluten are: Wheat, Rye, Barley, Malt, Spelt and Oats (unless gluten-free),

What is Gluten Sensitivity versus Celiac Disease?

In general, an allergy is a reaction that triggers the release of antibodies that results in immediate symptom onset. A true food allergy causes an immune response that can affect multiple organs and in some cases, be severe or even life threatening. Food sensitivity (intolerance) symptoms are delayed and are typically limited to digestive problems, but they can lead to chronic inflammatory health issues.

70-80% of the US population has some type of food intolerance; 4% have food allergies

According to the CDF (Celiac Disease Foundation): Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. When you have CD, gluten damages those villas (we have finger like villa in our small intestine that are supposed to move freely to absorb vitamins and nutrients) and you stop absorbing nutrients and that is why we see over 300 symptoms in CD where it can be hard to diagnosis.  It is estimated to affect 1 in 133 people worldwide, and 83% of Americans are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed so they are at risk for long-term health complications.

Gluten sensitivity symptoms include: foggy mind, depression, ADHD, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain, and fatigue, plus others include depression, mood swings and anxiety. A 2009 study published in the journal BMC Gastroenterology  found a positive link between gluten sensitivity and recurrent mouth ulcers. Food sensitivities in general are caused by several factors or why do immune cells attack food particles:

  1. the body is restricted in it's ability to detox
  2. it reacts abnormally due the the excess of chemicals in the foods & environment
  3. the intestinal function is not balanced
  4. immune dysregulation results in some food particles not be recognized by the body and considered harmful

Gluten sensitivity is a lifelong condition and impacts skin and mucous membranes including the bladder lining in some individuals know as Interstitial Cystitis.

Gluten causes gut inflammation in at least 80% of the population. It is estimated that 30% of Western population is gluten sensitive.

What are the components of Gluten?

Gluten (protein) Gluten is actually made up of two components 1. Glutenins  2. Gliadins

Gliadin (the protein part) and glutenin (the sticky part). The gliadin protein is believed to be the immune-reactive component. A positive gliadin antibodies test indicates the immune system is mounting a defense against the protein.

  • Deamidated Gliadin  You may have heard, "our bread today is not your mother's bread" as it has been processed, manipulated and no longer natural. Today's gluten is being made in a lab instead of by nature.

By way of a process called deamidation, food manufacturers alter the gliadin protein in order to make it more water soluble and easier to mix with other foods and liquids. This deamidation process also occurs naturally in the intestines, which can be a problem within itself. But the use of deamidated wheat isolates in our food supply has become a hidden source of food allergy. In fact, immune T-cells respond more readily to deamidated gliadin than non-deamidated gliadin.

  • Packaged processed gluten-free can make you fat. Some people who go off gluten to lose weight end up gaining weight instead. That's because they consume gluten-free packaged products that are often just as high in saturated fat, sugar and sodium as other junk food, and these products often contain high-glycemic refined ingredients like white rice flour or fillers like potato starch that can affect your blood sugar and trigger cravings. Consider this: Gluten-Free God’s way

Testing Options:

  1. Self Test: eliminate gluten for a few weeks and gradually reintroducing it is the one way to assess your body's response to gluten and determine your own gluten threshold. By gradually introducing gluten-containing grains and other foods, you'll get an understanding of which of these foods, or how much of them, your body can process without triggering symptoms.
  1. ALCAT Blood/serum testing: By monitoring white blood cells, the ALCAT can  determine sensitivity, intolerance, or other reactions to more than 350 different foods and chemicals. With the help of the ALCAT test, modifications to your nutrition can be fine-tuned to your individual needs. B Renewed can help you with this anywhere in the U.S. by drop shipping a test kit.  

So remember these tips if you are considering a gluten-free elimination or diet:

  1. Read your food labels
    • Gluten can be hidden everywhere
  2. Do your own research and educate yourself.
  3. If you have Celiac Disease be cautious about cross – contamination
    • Ask your server questions when dining out
    • Tell your friends and family so they are respectful of your disease or sensitivity
  4. Remember the 6 grains to avoid ; Wheat, Rye, Barley, Malt, Spelt and Oats (unless gluten-free)
  5. Gluten-free God’s way is the best versus buying manmade gluten-free, sugar/preservative laden products
    • Eat naturally GF grains like quinoa or organic rice
    • Organic foods such as fruits, vegetables and meats are all naturally gluten-free
  6. If you have any questions, give us a call as we have personal experience with both Celiacs and gluten-sensitivity!
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