Why is Wheat Gluten Disorder on the Rise?

Why is Wheat Gluten Disorder on the Rise?  

According to statistics from the University of Chicago, an average of one out of every 133 otherwise healthy people in the United States suffers from the digestive disease known as celiac disease (CD).    

Previous studies have found that this number may be as high as 1 in 33 in at-risk populations.    

Unfortunately, despite its rapidly increasing prevalence, it still takes an average of four years to reach a diagnosis if you’re symptomatic. This delay in proper diagnosis can dramatically increase your risk of developing other diseases such as autoimmune disorders, neurological problems, osteoporosis, and even cancer.    

What Causes Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease, also more casually referred to as wheat- or gluten intolerance, occurs when your body cannot digest gluten, a protein most commonly found in wheat, rye and barley. However, it’s very important to realize that these are not the only culprits that can cause severe problems. Other grains such as oats and spelt also contain gluten, and gluten can be found in countless processed foods without being labeled as such.   

“Gluten” comes from the Greek word for glue, and its adhesive properties hold bread and cake together. But those same properties interfere with the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, including the nutrients from other foods in the same meal.   

The result is a glued-together constipating lump in your gut rather than a nutritious, easily digested meal.   

The undigested gluten then triggers your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine, which can cause symptoms like diarrhea or constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain.   

In more recent years it’s been shown that the condition can also cause a much wider array of symptoms that are not gastrointestinal in nature, further complicating proper diagnosis.   

Over time, your small intestine becomes increasingly damaged and less able to absorb nutrients such as iron and calcium. This in turn can lead to anemia, osteoporosis and other health problems.    

The rapid increase in celiac disease and milder forms of gluten intolerance is no surprise considering the modern Western diet, which consists in large part of grain carbohydrates.   

The resulting high-gluten, refined grain diet most of you have eaten since infancy was simply not part of the diet of previous generations.   

The Many Symptoms of Gluten-Intolerance 

In addition to nausea, diarrhea, constipation and abdominal pain, celiac disease may manifest clinically with an array of non-gastrointestinal symptoms, such as: osteoporosis, dementia, dermatitis, anemia, infertility, depression,fatigue and weight gain.   

How to Treat Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease 

The treatment for celiac disease or gluten intolerance is a gluten-free diet, which means abstaining from grains and any food that contains gluten. A blood test can verify whether or not you actually have the condition.   

 Typically, avoiding gluten for a week or two is enough to see significant improvement.    

However, in my experience, about 75-80 percent of ALL people benefit from avoiding grains, even whole sprouted grains, whether you have a gluten intolerance or not. This is because, typically, grains rapidly break down to sugar, which causes rises in insulin that exacerbate health problems such as:    

· Overweight    

· High cholesterol    

· High blood pressure    

· Type 2 diabetes    

· Cancer    

It is important to realize that there is a major difference between vegetable carbs and grain carbs, even though they’re both referenced as “carbs.” Unlike vegetables, grains convert to sugar, which is not something anyone needs in their diet in high amounts.    

The rising prevalence of celiac disease is clear evidence that we’re simply not designed to consume such vast amounts of starch- and sugar-rich foods so many now indulge in.    

In short, most people are consuming far too much bread, cereal, pasta, corn (a grain, not a vegetable), rice, potatoes and Little Debbie snack cakes, with very grave health consequences. Yes, this even includes organic stone ground whole grains.    

Hidden Sources of Gluten

In order to combat gluten intolerance, it’s not enough to simply avoid grains. You must also pay attention to the quality of all the other foods you eat.  

Unfortunately, food manufacturers are not required by law to identify all possible sources of gluten on their product labels, so reading the label may not be enough.    

Gluten may still be hiding in processed foods like ready-made soups, soy sauce, candies, cold cuts, and various low- and no-fat products, just to name a few, under labels such as:    

· Malts    

· Starches    

· Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)    

· Texturized vegetable protein (TVP)    

· Natural flavoring    

Celiac.com has a long list of label ingredients that typically contain hidden gluten.    

For helpful tips and guidelines on how to approach food companies for more detailed information about their ingredients, see The Gluten Solution site. They also offer more detailed information about the current state of gluten-free labeling legislation.    

That said, your best bet is to stick to a diet of fresh, whole foods (preferably organic whenever possible). Not only will you keep your celiac disease under control, but you will also experience numerous other benefits such as increased energy, enhanced mood, and a lower risk of chronic illness.    

Here is a simple gluten and dairy free recipe for almond cookies… 

Gluten/Dairy Free Almond Cookies   

Not only are these little almond cookies super fast and easy to make, you only have to keep a few ingredients on hand in order to whip them up on a moment’s notice! By the way, these cookies are delicious even if you eat wheat and dairy.    

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.    

If you need more recipe ideas or help with a gluten free diet, please contact wendy@fitfoodcoach.com    

   

   

   

  

 

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