Gluten Allergy and Sensitivity
Welcome to fall! First, we’d like to apologize for the lengthy newsletter this month. We feel however, that gluten is an important topic.
We often consume gluten several times daily with or without knowing it. Gluten is the protein found in many grains. In North America, we consume more than we need and most of what we consume is Genetically Modified (intentionally or through cross contamination) and refined. Some people do not show any symptoms of a gluten sensitivity, while others can be quite severe (such as with Celiac). Those without symptoms wouldn’t even be aware they have an issue! There are even varying degrees of symptoms for those with Celiac – from the obvious gastro intestinal symptoms (classical) to no symptoms at all (silent)! For those without symptoms, it is discovered accidentally via biopsies of the intestinal tract or blood work. Traditionally only the identification of antibodies can confirm Celiac.
For those with Celiac, even occasional exposure is a big mistake! The mere exposure of gluten in the small intestine will destroy all the nutrient absorption sites, resulting in mal-absorption and malnutrition! Just think of those who are undiagnosed! The following diagram shows an example.
Do you experience any of the following symptoms?
Abdominal bloating, Aching joints, Anemia, Arthritis, Asthma, Attention and behavioral problems (in children and adults) Autism, Chest pains, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Cramps, tingling and numbness, Crohn’s, Depression, Diverticulitis, Fat in the stools (due to poor digestion), Fatigue, Feeling dizzy or faint, Gastro-intestinal problems (bloating, pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea), Headaches, Infertility, irregular menstrual cycle and miscarriage, Irritability/mood swings, Joint/muscle aches and pains, Keratosis pilaris (little raised bumps often located on your triceps), Mouth ulcers, Nausea or vomiting, Nutritional deficiencies due to malabsorbtion e.g. low iron levels, slow growth, short stature, Osteoporosis, Palpitations, Skin problems/rashes/psoriasis/eczema, Sneezing, Suspected irritable bowel syndrome, Swollen throat or tongue, Unexplained cough, Unexplained runny nose, Upper repository tract problems, Watery or itchy eyes, Weight loss or weight gain?
If you do, please note that just because you have one or some of these symptoms, it does not mean you definitely have a gluten sensitivity or that you’re Celiac. There can be other causes.
Here are some places gluten can be found:
Seitan, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Beer, Salad dressings, Malt vinegar, Some supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics & toothpastes, Chocolate, Soy Sauce, Yogurt, Licorice, Luncheon meat, Gravies, broths, stock, soups, powders, Spice powders, Barley malt, Flavourings, Fillers , Seasonings , Binder, Rusk , Bran , Wheat, Medications, Whole grains, Thickening agents, Spelt, Rye, Barley, Kamut, Bulgur, Semolina, Graham, Durum, Couscous, Triticale, Oats (due to contamination).
Here are some gluten free grains:
Amaranth, Arrowroot, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Quinoa, Flax, Mesquite, Potato flours , Sorghum, Tapioca, Teff, Rice, Lentils/beans, Nut flours, Oats (if labeled wheat free), Maca, Coconut
The good news is that there are many gluten free products on the market which actually taste good these days. If you insist on consuming breads, Pamela’s and Bob’s Red Mill provide great gluten free mixes!
On a side note, wheat grass should not contain gluten (based on the source of your product). This is because gluten comes from the grain/seed and not the grass. The issue really lies in potential cross-contamination.
If you’d like to find out whether you have an issue with gluten and what you can do about it, come on in for a FREE consultation.
Here’s a link to a DVD which is available to watch in its entirety until October 8th. It’s called Food Matters: http://products.mercola.com/food-matters-dvd/?e_cid=20111004_DNL_FDML_spotlight&source=nl
October 18th – Allergy Talk, Whole Foods Oakville
October 25th – 4 week (on Tuesday Evenings) Cancer Prevention Cooking Class – FREE; maximum 10 participants Book Now!
October 30th – Oakville Wholistic Family Fair, Holiday Inn Bronte/QEW
November 5th – Halton Hills Mompreneur Show, Christ the King Secondary School, Georgetown
Have a great month and Happy Halloween!
Christine and John