Get your gluten information sheet here.
What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in the many grains such as wheat, spelt, barley, and rye. It gives some of our favorite foods elasticity like pizza dough, and it gives a thick texture to soups and sauces. It appears in much of the processed food that we consume today.
Why is Gluten bad for me?
Gluten causes inflammation
What is “Gluten Intolerance”?
Gluten Intolerance is what happens when the immune system reacts to the gluten (gliadin) molecule as if it were a viral infection. The body begins to produce antibodies against the “virus” in an exaggerated mode. Researchers have found that gliadin has the identical structure of a common virus known as “adenovirus”. This important link between “gliadin” and “adenoviruses” explains what is happening in the immune system’s adverse reaction in other areas of the body, not related to the digestive tract.
Common symptoms of gluten intolerance include:
- Gastric Reflux
- Skin Rashes
- Abdominal Pain
- Joint Pain
Even people with no arthritis or digestive problems can have symptoms of gluten intolerance, which appears to be arthritis. Though the damage can take decades to develop into “dis-ease”, other negative effects can develop like adrenal stress, liver toxicity, hormone imbalance and other food allergies.
What is a “Gliadin Reaction”?
During the digestive process, the gliadin protein sticks to the small intestines causing damage to the mucous membranes. The damaged membranes become “leaky” as in the “leaky gut” – allowing relatively large gliadin particles to enter the blood stream, where they are transported throughout the body. The immune system makes antibodies against viruses and bacteria. With gluten, the immune system makes the gliadin protein as a malicious invader, and mounts an immune response to neutralize the gliadin clumps and healthy cells. This immune reaction ends up damaging the small intestines and also causing nutritional deficiencies. This constant production of antibodies gradually weakens the immune system, causing it to become overly sensitive and aggressive.
What Happens When the Immune System is Overtaxed?
Continuously eating gluten can place a huge burden on the immune system. When the immune system becomes weakened with multiple infections, the toxic burden on the system can lead to a myriad of difficult conditions like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, depression, inability to concentrate, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, allergies, headaches, and auto-immune disorders.
What’s Going on Inside the Body?
We absorb water, minerals, and nutrients from the lining of our small intestine. This lining is called villi, which essentially are small, finger-like projections that increase the surface area of the intestine so more nutrients are absorbed. When we eat, a protein called zonulin is produced. Zonulin causes passageways in the small intestine to open so that the nutrients from food can be transferred to the blood stream. Gluten causes too much zonulin to be produced, so that individuals may develop “leaky gut” syndrome.
But Why Haven’t Humans Adjusted to Wheat?
Despite eating wheat roughly 10,000 years ago, humans back then did not eat the same wheat that we are eating today. The wheat we eat is even different from the wheat that was produced 50 years ago. Wheat has been so genetically modified that it cannot survive on its own in the wild anymore. Genetically modified wheat compromises 99% of all wheat grown worldwide.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac is a disease that flattens the small intestine’s lining. As the villi are flattened over time, the absorption of nutrients is restricted. This is where the disease can become life threatening. There is no medical cure for celiac; the ONLY way to control celiac is to adopt a gluten-free diet.
How Can I Live a Gluten-Free Lifestyle?
Adopting a paleo diet is the most successful way to avoid contact and contamination with gluten. Many grains and even nuts become contaminated with gluten during mass processing. A paleo diet includes fruits, vegetables, grass-fed meat and poultry, eggs, fish and seafood, some dairy, oils, and nuts.