Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You

Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You

Something you’re eating may be killing you, and you probably don’t even know it!

If you eat cheeseburgers or French fries all the time or drink six sodas a day, you likely know you are shortening your life. But eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread–how could that be bad for you?

Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of the American diet.

What most people don’t know is that gluten can cause serious health complications for many. You may be at risk even if you don’t have full blown celiac disease.

In today’s blog I want to reveal the truth about gluten, explain the dangers, and provide you with a simple system that will help you determine whether or not gluten is a problem for you.

The Dangers of Gluten

A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and “latent” celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer.

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.

This is ground-breaking research that proves you don’t have to have full-blown celiac disease to have serious health problems and complications–even death–from eating gluten.

Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it.

And here’s some more shocking news …

Another study comparing the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago to 10,000 people today found that the incidences of full-blown celiac disease increased by 400 percent during that time period.  If we saw a 400 percent increase in heart disease or cancer, this would be headline news. But we hear almost nothing about this.

And it’s not just a few who suffer, but millions. Far more people have gluten sensitivity than you think–especially those who are chronically ill. The most serious form of allergy to gluten, celiac disease, affects one in 100 people, or three million Americans, most of who don’t know they have it. But milder forms of gluten sensitivity are even more common and may affect up to one-third of the American population.

Why haven’t you heard much about this?

Well, actually you have, but you just don’t realize it. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity masquerade as dozens and dozens of other diseases with different names.

Gluten Sensitivity: One Cause, Many Diseases

A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten.  These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores,  and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression schizophrenia, dementia, migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage).  It has also been linked to autism.

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different “diseases.” To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause–which is often gluten sensitivity–not just the symptoms.

To find out if you are one of the millions of people suffering from an unidentified gluten sensitivity, just follow this simple procedure.

The Elimination/Reintegration Diet

While testing can help identify gluten sensivity, the only way you will know if this is really a problem for you is to eliminate all gluten for a short period of time (2 to 4 weeks) and see how you feel. Get rid of the following foods:

• Gluten (barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut, wheat, triticale–see www.celiac.com for a complete list of foods that contain gluten, as well as often surprising and hidden sources of gluten.)

• Hidden sources (soup mixes, salad dressings, sauces, as well as lipstick, certain vitamins, medications, stamps and envelopes you have to lick, and even Play-Doh.)

For this test to work you MUST eliminate 100 percent of the gluten from your diet–no exceptions, no hidden gluten, and not a single crumb of bread.

Then eat it again and see what happens. If you feel bad at all, you need to stay off gluten permanently. This will teach you better than any test about the impact gluten has on your body.

By Mark Hyman, MD

 The words ‘healthy’ and ‘cookies’ rarely go into the same sentence and for good reason. Not only are these little almond cookies super fast and easy to make and gluten free, you only have to keep a few ingredients on hand in order to whip them up on a moment’s notice! They are even a great grab as you go breakfast.
Gluten Free Almond Cookies

1/2  cup           Almond Butter 
2      cups          Almond Meal
6      Tbs           Maple Syrup or Agave Nectar
1      tsp           Vanilla Extract
                          Slivered Almonds, for decoration

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.

3. You can either roll the dough by hand into 1 inch balls and lightly press
down with a fork or your fingers OR you can pat into a large square and cut
into smaller 1-inch squares.

4. Place the cookies on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.

5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden. The cookies will crisp as they cool.

6. Allow cookies to cool and store in an airtight container.

Recipe Source: Wendy Schnitzer; www.thehealthylifestyleconsultant.com
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I believe most people would benefit from reducing or eliminating gluten from their diets.  I recommend to all my clients that they substitute wheat products for other whole grains as often as possible.  For help with substitutions, getting gluten out of your diet or for gluten free recipes, contact wendy@fitfoodcoach.com

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I’m 45 years old and i have a stiff shoulder lower neck….how can i possibly keep fit with this
    any help will be apreciated

    Reply

    • Funny I am having exactly the same issues. What are you doing to address the stiff neck and shoulder? I have been taking homeopathic remedies and had a deep muscle massage yesterday. Since I could not do my normal full body workout because of my neck I concentrated on only lower body exercises and did a passive yoga class. I felt 100% better!

      Reply

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