GLUTEN FREE ELIMINATION DIET....
- GMO / INTENSIVE HYBRIDIZATION: Although you will often hear that wheat has been "Genetically Modified" (GMO), this is not accurate ---- yet. No surprises here, but Monsanto is CURRENTLY WORKING ON THIS. However, because the food industry has an infatuation with gluten (they use it as thickening agents, food starches, malt extract, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and a whole host of common food additives), industry has been hybridizing wheat for increased gluten content for decades. Although it is difficult to know exactly how much more gluten there is in today's wheat than there used to be, suffice it to say that the difference is significant --- particularly in the grade of wheat used for baking.
- THE PROCESS OF DEAMIDATION: Gliadin is not water soluble (it is alcohol soluble). The process of making it water soluble so that it can be used by the food industry is called, deamidation. A 2003 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that although most people did not react to heirloom varieties of wheat, many had severe reactions to to deamidated wheat. A shocking study from a 2008 issue of the European Journal of Inflammation confirmed this by touting deamidated wheat as possibly being the number one source of hidden food allergies and sensitivities. This could be due to the fact that the part of the Immune System that actually attacks invaders (T-CELLS) is strongly activated by deamidated gliadin. Add this to the fact that gluten happens to be the most common benign substances the body recognizes as foreign, and you can start to see why wheat protein is so heavily associated with autoimmunity (HERE).
- CROSS CONTAMINATION: This is simply referring to the fact that when various grains are harvested, hauled, dumped, stored, milled, etc, they will cross-contaminate. For instance, neither corn nor oats contain gluten. However, unless you are purchasing these from a company that is certified "Gluten Free", there will be massive cross-contamination from every step of the process. Bottom line: For a grain to be considered "Gluten Free", it can never come in contact with grains that have Gluten in them. Think about it another way; you only hear about Gluten Free Diets; never "Low Gluten" or "Reduced Gluten" diets (HERE). This is because once your body ramps up its immune system to make antibodies against the gluten protein, it takes less than 20 parts per million to trigger a reaction. I treat a school teacher who is so Gluten Sensitive that she has more trouble during the school year, despite being on a strict gluten free diet. This is because if she simply has physical contact with children who eat wheat, she reacts. Fortunately her husband is gluten free as well.
- LONG TERM WHEAT STORAGE & ACCOMPANYING PROCESSES: When wheat is stored in grain bins, all sorts of really nasty chemicals are mixed with it to keep it from spoiling, as well as keeping bugs from infesting and devouring it. These include antifungals, pesticides, and a slew of other things that you hope to never be exposed to. Then there is the issue of enterotoxins being produced by bacteria in the stored wheat. Enterotoxins are produced by many different bacteria, and are often cytotoxic (they kill cells), acting by altering the infected person's mucosal cell membrane permeability. This sounds like so much medical gibberish until you realize that this process is actually describing something called........
- LEAKY GUT SYNDROME / INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY: Due to INFLAMMATORY processes that occur within the body due to SUBCLINICAL INFECTIONS & DYSBIOSIS, poor diet, STRESS, lack of exercise, CERTAIN MEDICATIONS, Gluten Intolerance / Gluten Sensitivity, etc, etc, etc, the "tight junctions" between the mucosal cells of the Small Intestine become loose. This allows food particles, PARASITES, toxins, virus, bacteria, MOLDS, FUNGUS, undigested food particles, and who-knows-what-else, to be absorbed into the blood stream. Once there, the body recognizes these as foreign and the Immune System begins to mount responses to attack them (HERE). In some cases, this is normal and good. However, the reactions often end up out of control. For more information on LEAKY GUT SYNDROME and it's intimate relationship to wheat, just click the link (you'll see LGS go by at least two dozen different names in the peer-reviewed literature).
- INCREASED STRESS, HYPERACTIVE IMMUNE SYSTEMS, & THE SUBSEQUENT IMMUNE SYSTEM INTOLERANCE: Once the process of Leaky Gut is underway, the results can be devastating. Inflammation causes Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Leaky Gut Syndrome causes Inflammation. The whole thing spins in a vicious cycle, resulting in an almost unlimited number of potential health problems (HERE is a list of a few of them). For the record, this scenario usually winds up causing some sort of AUTOIMMUNE REACTION, where your body starts attacking its own tissues, cells, and enzymes (for reasons no one really understands, once the body starts attacking gluten, it often starts attacking self. This is why anyone who is chronically ill needs to be off gluten. Period.
- INFLAMMATION: Although everyone thinks they know what inflammation is, few people actually do. For more information, see the posts that are HERE. A failure to halt inflammation means that you will never get to the source of your problem.
- S.A.D: The Standard American Diet for most Americans is far worse than anyone could have even dreamed of 25 years ago. We should be eating vegetation, and animals that ate vegetation (HERE). Just remember that grain is not vegetation. I also need to remind many of you that corn is not a vegetable, but a grain. When you eat a grain-based diet (particularly when those grains are heavily processed), you will eventually end up looking like a corn-fed beef. And never forget that OBESITY itself causes inflammation --- a huge causal component of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Overeating any particular food ---- especially if that food is a heavily processed grain (wheat) ---- leaves one particularly susceptible to creating antibodies against that food.
- LACK OF THE PROPER ENZYMES TO BREAK DOWN GLUTEN: Guess where DIGESTIVE ENZYMES come from? They mostly come from naturally raised and ripened vegetables. Without fresh or frozen vegetables, your digestion will be poor. Without a wide variety of vegetables in your diet, you will have low levels of enzymes, including the enzymes used by the body to break down wheat protein. How big a problem is this? Back when James Dobson was still hosting Focus on the Family, I remember him reporting a medical study saying that 1/3 of all American children under the age of 18 got zero servings of vegetables a week ---- unless you count ketchup and fries as a vegetable ---- like our Public Schools do (HERE).
- A STEADY BARRAGE OF VACCINES AND ANTIBIOTICS FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE: Contrary to popular belief, ANTIBIOTICS do not strengthen the immune system. In fact, one of Medicine's dirty little secrets is the fact that antibiotics actually weaken the immune system ---- severely (HERE). What most people are unaware of is that vaccines do the same thing (HERE). Sure, they might keep you from getting a certain disease (OR NOT), but the process leaves you with an immune system that does not work like God intended it to. People end up trading things like Chicken Pox or Measles for life-long AUTOIMMUNITY. The problem with vaccine reactions is that they tend to be neurological and immunological --- particularly difficult to overcome. It also means that they can cause just about any health problem you can imagine. And people who have taken lots of antibiotics tend to be highly intolerant to lots of foods ---- especially wheat. This is because they destroy GUT HEALTH which makes up a whopping 80% OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.
BUT DOC; I'VE BEEN 100% GLUTEN FREE FOR A
YEAR AND I STILL FEEL LIKE CRAP --- WHAT GIVES?
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HIDDEN SOURCES OF GLUTEN
And by the way, It's not just about what you eat or do not eat. Gluten is commonly used as a thickening agent / stabilizer in soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, detergents, spices, prescription & OTC medications, toothpaste, mouthwash, stamps, envelopes, and even children's stickers. And we have not even gotten to food items yet! Things like additives, soy sauce, dextrin, fillers, artificial colors, as well as all sorts of things you cannot even begin to imagine, contain gluten. And as I said a moment ago; once you are sensitive, it only takes a microscopic amount to trigger a reaction.
GLUTEN SENSITIVITY / INTOLERANCE
Believe it or not, there are still a lot of doctors (and PASTORS) out there who believe that if you do not have "Celiac Disease", then wheat is not and cannot be your problem (HERE) --- a myth frequently parroted by the media. However, the truth is that some people's wheat sensitivities are just as severe, or actually even worse than having full-blown Celiac Disease (HERE), even they do not have CD. Because of this, intestinal biopsy is not all it's cracked up to be.
For one, the Small Intestine is one of the quickest healing organs in the body. Research tells us that unless the biopsy is done at the right time, in the right place, the intestinal damage can either be missed completely, or healed enough that it does not meet the criteria to be officially considered Celiac Disease. Just how bad does the damage have to be to get a diagnosis of CD? The intestinal cells must be totally destroyed. And if they're not, these people are often (usually) told that gluten is not the cause of their problems, leaving them to continue spinning on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND.
Lastly, Celiac Disease is simply the name given to autoimmune gluten sensitivity of the small intestine. What about the gluten-induced autoimmune reactions against any of the tens of thousands of other tissues in the body? One of the biggies being looked at right now in people with equilibrium, balance, and motor control issues is an autoimmune reaction to one's cerebellum (CEREBELLAR ATAXIA). Bottom line, call it whatever you want; if you have a problem with wheat you need to avoid it. Unfortunately, you might not realize you have a problem until you really have a problem, which is why many people are avoiding it as a matter of prevention.
GLUTEOMORPHIN & GLUTEN ADDICTION
One of the fragments that gluten is broken down to is called Glutomorphin. If you recognized this as is a combination of the words gluten and Morphine, you would be correct (milk is broken down to Casomorphin). MORPHINE is one of the single most addictive compounds known to man. In many individuals (particularly those with AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS and behavior disorders such as ADHD) Glutomorphins act just like morphine by fitting into opiate receptors in the brain.
This is why you can find cases of people (frequently children) consuming soy sauce from the fridge, children's stickers or stamps, or even mom's cosmetics (yep, makeup is often thickened with Gluten), to get their gluten fix. As you can imagine, this is a tough one to conquer. Fortunately, Gluteomorphin sensitivity can be tested for (again, Cyrex Labs). Just remember than an individual whose immune system is making antibodies to gluteomorphins or casomorphins will have a much tougher time in the early phases of a gluten-free diet. In fact, they might get worse for a couple of weeks or so. This group of people will tend toward Bipolar, self hatred, DEPRESSION, and ADDICTIONS --- especially food or SUGAR ADDICTIONS; and especially Gluten-containing foods and PROCESSED CARBS.
DR. OZ, GLUTEN SENSITIVITY, AND
Doctor Oz's program was about GLUTEN --- a topic he has been all over the map on (after helping get the "GLUTEN FREE" bandwagon rolling, he turned around and said that most Gluten Free diets are a "scam"). In this particular episode, he had professional quarterback Matt Hasselback's wife on the program, who is a celebrity in her own right. She told her story about going from an undiagnosed Gluten-induced nightmare, to real health, vitality, and energy (and fertility). Getting off Gluten literally gave her her life back! The cool thing is that both of them were talking about some of the very same things that I have been talking about for quite some time in my clinic.
You see, for a huge segment of the population (particularly the 60 TO 100 MILLION AMERICANS WHO ARE AUTOIMMUNE), Gluten (wheat protein) is not just toxic; it's incredibly toxic. And it's not just incredibly toxic; it's neuro-toxic. It causes the body to progressively attack itself in all sorts of different and macabre ways --- particularly affecting THE GUT, the NERVE SYSTEM, and ENDOCRINE SYSTEM (especially the THYROID). What were some of the most common symptoms of Gluten Intolerance as listed by Hasselback, Dr. Oz, as well as their "Guest Panel" of three Gluten-Sensitive women? Below are some that they talked about. You should start to recognize that most of these are absurdly common, seem to be plaguing the majority of our population, and affect far more women than men.
- Weight Gain (HERE)
- Inability to Loose Weight (HERE)
- Hormonal Problems (mostly female --- including INFERTILITY)
- All Sorts of Digestion Problems (HERE is the most common)
- Diarrhea / Constipation (HERE)
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (HERE)
- Migraine Headaches (HERE)
- Insomnia (HERE)
- Fatigue & Lethargy, Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia (HERE & HERE)
- Skin Rashes & Acne (HERE)
- Sugar and Carb Cravings & Systemic Yeast (HERE & HERE)
- Diminished Thyroid Function (HERE)
- Diminished Immune System Function (HERE)
- Arthritis (HERE)
- Autoimmunity (HERE)
Dr. Oz seemed to get this, and communicated it to his audience in typically-excellent fashion. I have to admit, I HAVE TAKEN DR. OZ TO TASK for some of the things he has promoted in the past, but for the most part, this program was good. As good as it was, I feel that he did not take the discussion as far as he could or should have.
Although they spent a good deal of time talking about the wide range of "Gluten Free" foods on the market (most of them crappy), they did not mention the fact that there are lots of people who have Gluten-Like reactions to foods that do not contain any Gluten. How does this happen? Although the mechanism behind Cross Reactivity is complicated, I will attempt to give you the oversimplified version.
Anyone who deals with Gluten Sensitive patients on a daily basis will tell you that many continue to have symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity --- even though they are completely and 100% off of Gluten. This is because many people are so Gluten-Intolerant that they have developed something called "GLUTEN CROSS REACTIVITY". These folks' immune systems recognize certain food proteins in their body as Gluten. Why? Because it recognizes proteins via their molecular configuration. For instance, every type of protein has a slightly different shape to it. In people who exhibit at least some degree of Gluten Sensitivity, their immune system recognizes said protein as Gluten. The body then makes antibodies to fight against this perceived invader --- Gluten.
However, for reasons that scientists cannot completely explain, the immune system can mistake similar-shaped molecules for Gluten, and then react to them exactly like it would react to Gluten. In fact, for many Gluten Intolerant people, these "Cross Reactive" foods can actually cause reactions that are indistinguishable from the reactions that a Gluten Intolerant person would get from ingesting (or simply coming in bodily contact with) Gluten! In other words, if a person has a positive test for Cross Reactivity to coffee, their body will react to coffee in the exact same manner that it reacts to Gluten (FYI, coffee is a common Gluten Cross Reactor). Although there are any number of others, here is the most common list of Cross Reactive foods.
GLUTEN CROSS REACTIVITY
- Cow's Milk
- Quinoa (A popular African Grain)
- Alpha and Beta-Casein (Milk Protein)
- Casomorphin (fragments of protein from the digestion of Casein)
- Butyrophilin (a protein associated with fat droplets in milk)
- American Cheese
For those of you who know what a challenge it is (at least at first) to stay off of Gluten, this list can make people break down and cry. The real kick in the teeth, however, is the fact that many of today's "Gluten-Free" products use these very foods as Gluten Substitutes (HERE)! What's a person to do? It all boils down to how much you are sick and tired of being sick and tired.
There are new lab tests available that will tell you not only whether or not you are Gluten Sensitive, they will tell you on a scale of one to ten just how sensitive you are. They can also test for something called "Gluten Cross Reactivity". Cross Reactivity is a real problem because there are many common food items that act / react just like Gluten in a large segment of the "Gluten Intolerant" population.
The truth is, your best option for determining Gluten Cross Reactivity is to do an ELIMINATION DIET. To do an Elimination Diet, you simply remove all Gluten from the diet, as well as the Cross Reactive foods listed above. And by "all", I mean all. After a time, you can begin adding the Cross Reactive foods back to your diet one at a time (make sure that you keep very detailed records of this), taking careful note of what happens. If you react, that food is considered positive for Gluten Cross Reactivity. The drawback to this method is that it will take awhile to get through the process. The good thing is that if you are positive, you will react. There really aren't false negatives the way there can be with lab tests (I have personally seen a number of these).
It is important to keep in mind that Celiac Disease is heavily related to Autoimmunity (HERE). If you have any degree of autoimmunity (look at THE LIST --- I promise you'll be shocked), you have to assume that you are to some degree, Gluten Sensitive. And unfortunately, once one's Immune System has been primed for Autoimmunity, it can never be turned off again. However, it can be turned way down ---- suppressed if you will, by watching what you eat as well as trying to control other variables. Some of the "variables" that can trigger Autoimmune Reactions in your body include STRESS, INFLAMMATION, acute and chronic INFECTIONS, environmental chemicals (HERE is one that women should know about), and physical trauma / CHRONIC PAIN.
Oh, and in case you are one of those people who has actually been tested for Celiac Disease, but came up negative despite the fact that you have every symptom ----- just realize that regardless of what your doctor tries to tell you, you are almost certainly Gluten Intolerant. It frankly does not matter if you are "officially" Celiac or not. If you are Gluten Sensitive, your body can have the exact same reactions to Gluten as someone with Celiac Disease --- in many cases worse. Testing negative for Celiac Disease simply means that your biopsy came back negative because you did not yet have enough damage to the micro-villi in your small intestine to qualify.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).
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Can You Help
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Death By Medicine
Degenerative Joint Disease
D's Of Chronic Pain
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Gluten Cross Reactivity
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Jacks Fork River
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Number One Health Problem
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Re Invent Yourself
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Sleeping Pills Kill
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