Gluten Sensitivity & Celiac Disease
“An estimated 99% of people who have a problem with eating gluten – don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else – not gluten sensitivity, which is 100% curable.”
~ Mark Hyman, MD
While it is easy to dismiss eating gluten-free as a “new-age fad” gluten sensitivity is very real and backed by significant science that demonstrates the detrimental effects on one’s health.
Not so many years ago, eating gluten-free was reserved for an obscure cluster of people who were forced to settle for wannabe foods that resembled sawdust – lacking taste. Julie knows because she was one of these people. She has been gluten-free since 2003 and today has lots of company. The gluten-free movement is sweeping the nation for lots of reasons. The one that stands out is when people give up consuming gluten they feel better!
Why Gluten is Inflammatory and so Difficult to Digest
Gluten is a combination of protein molecules found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and triticale which make up the bulk of most commercial breads, crackers, baking flours, and pastas. Since gluten is such a large molecule it’s very difficult to digest, which makes it highly irritating and inflammatory for anyone to consume. American wheat, bred to dramatically boost its glueyness (gluten), is the most indigestible type and human bodies were not designed to handle the high quantity of gluten found in today’s foods.
It’s More than a Digestive Problem
Gluten sensitivity, also called gluten intolerance, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is currently estimated to affect 80% of Americans. Despite what most people think, gluten intolerance and celiac disease is more than just a digestive problem. Research finds that gluten consumption can negatively affect almost every cell, tissue and system in the body since the bacteria that populate the gut help control everything from nutrient absorption and hormone production to metabolic function and cognitive processes.
Food is supposed to give us energy and make us feel good. But, when we eat food our body can’t digest – it sometimes has a not-so-subtle way of telling us to knock it off by causing gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramping or nausea – even things that don’t seem associated with our gut like headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, brain fog, joint and muscle pain, nosebleeds, mouth ulcers, insomnia and respiratory distress.
Those – and approximately 150 other conditions have been linked to gluten sensitivity. Most of these conditions affect tissues outside of the GI tract and include:
Musculoskeletal conditions – muscle pain and wasting, joint pain, osteoporosis, myopathy…
Neurological – depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADHD, seizures, neuropathy, dementia…
Autoimmune – RA, lupus, hepatitis, MS, Hashimoto’s, Addison’s, type 1 diabetes, celiac…
Skin conditions – acne, psoriasis, eczema, scleroderma, seborrhea, rosacea, hives…
Gastrointestinal – IBS, GERD, Crohn’s, intestinal migraines…
Reproductive problems – infertility…
The idea that eliminating one thing from your diet – gluten – could improve so many different conditions is hard to believe!
It’s true – Julie knows from experience! The research makes sense when you realize what it’s doing to your body…
Besides being difficult to digest or process, gluten consumption frequently causes the immune system to react and cause an autoimmune response. The body is unable to distinguish gluten from normal body tissues causing inflammation and damage. The body attacks the micro-villi on the lining of the small intestine. Villi are very tiny fingers that increase the surface area of the small intestine so it can absorb and assimilate nutrients from food we eat. Antibodies (molecules that destroy bacteria, viruses or other harmful toxins) triggered by gluten cause villi to flatten. Once they flatten, the villi are no longer able to absorb nutrients. This goes on to impact the entire body, which is why gluten reactions vary wildly and symptoms often seem unrelated. This story has a happy ending! The villi are tenacious little things, and when you quit eating gluten, they begin to heal and start absorbing nutrients.
Look for the Certified GF Seal
To be classified as “Certified Gluten-Free,” a food or beverage must contain less than 30 parts per million of gluten. However, those who suffer from Celiac disease have been known to develop reactions caused by foods with gluten levels as low as 3 parts per million. There are many hidden sources of gluten, especially in packaged products. It’s important to look for the Certified GF seal!
Fortitude Functional Nutrition takes gluten issues seriously since it can be a catalyst for many chronic conditions and illnesses. They utilize advanced functional testing that goes further than standardized tests which can miss gluten sensitivity, as they did with Julie.
Working with a Certified Gluten-Free Practitioner Can Change Your Life
Fortitude Functional Nutrition offers a wide range of resources to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle. As a Certified Gluten-Free Practitioner (CGP) and gluten-free since 2003, Julie will guide, support and educate you for long-term success! Her tips and tricks of eating delicious and healthy gluten-free food at home, on the road and in restaurants, will allow your body to heal, regain energy and thrive for the long term. To answer your questions or any concerns about how gluten may be affecting you, for FREE – schedule here with Julie at Fortitude Functional Nutrition.