WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GLUTEN
Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains. Humans have been eating gluten for upwards of 10,000 years in agrarian societies and even longer in hunter-gatherer tribes that wild-harvested their grains. About 50 years ago gluten was identified as the culprit in celiac’s disease, a disease associated with severe intestinal disturbances. Although Celiac’s disease is much better understood, gluten sensitivity is not a concept that has been well understood, until now. A recent study in the journal BMC Medicine sheds some light on a condition that Naturopaths and other nutritional experts have been treating for a long time, gluten sensitivity.
First, lets go back and understand Celiac’s disease. When a person with this condition consumes gluten, the body’s immune system creates specific antibodies that ultimately destroy the finger-like villi in the small intestines. These villi are used to absorb nutrients but are flattened in celiac’s patients. The result is a lack of absorption of nutrients and intestinal discomfort. Cramping, bloating and diarrhea are common due to unabsorbed food putrefying in the small intestines. Children with this condition often suffer from failure-to-thrive. Celiac’s disease is a serious condition but one that is well-controlled through diet.
Gluten sensitivity though, according to the study in the BMC Medicine Journal, appears to be more of a general inflammatory reaction. Celiac’s again, was specific antibodies against gluten. People with gluten sensitivities may experience a more general immune reaction like itching, hives, and swelling in the acute phase and indigestion, bloating and brain fog as more of a chronic and delayed reaction.
This is good news for people suffering from any condition that is based in inflammation like arthritis, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. If these patients do have a gluten sensitivity, their condition may well be improved from the elimination of gluten in the diet. Also, people with fatigue and brain fog could potentially see improvement after eliminating wheat from their nutritional program.
It is important to remember that even the 10,000 years we have been eating wheat is a drop in the bucket when compared to how long our DNA has been on this planet. Processed wheat and grains tend to cause a lot of health problems due to their over-representation in the American diet. The high-octane fuel that our body needs rarely comes from grains but rather from food in its natural form that comes from the earth. They are: vegetables, fruits, legumes, meats, nuts, and seeds.
If you have any questions about this article please feel free to contact Dr. Ogilvie at http://integrativehealthcenterofvirginia.com/index.htm or call at 703-226-9291.
Skill/StrengthWORK ON GOALS WOD Partner WorkoutWhile one person is at one of the exercises listed below, the other person is running. In Warrenton (out the front door, into the back door). In Amissville (driveway sprint). If too dark then 150m Row.50 Toes to Bar (x2 Knees to Elbows if you cannot do Toes to Bar)100 Pushups150 Jumping Pullups300 Rope Chopsx2
Posted on Tue, January 31, 2012