Gluten sensitivity is not a disease process or even a moderately bothersome syndrome. It is quite simply a state of being where the patient is highly allergic to, and cannot tolerate gluten. It is important for a patient to avoid gluten to avoid the body’s immune reaction to this compound which the body cannot process.
Why it is crucial to know more about gluten and celiac disease
Passing Fancy or Serious New Condition?
It is important to know about the basics of celiac disease and the diet coupled with it to ensure that folks afflicted by it don’t misunderstand the concept of controlling gluten intake. Unhappily, supermarket tabloids and discussion groups on the Internet have sensationalized actors and public figures who go on gluten-free diets as a great way to lose weight
Lost in the popular discourse is the fact that gluten free diets are often necessary because of a medical condition. This has nothing to do with fad diets or crash weight loss programs. The potentially afflicted should know why it is essential to undergo gluten-free diets as a matter of healthy lifestyle choice.
Dr. O’ Bryan (Internationally recognized speaker and workshop-leader specializing in the impact of celiac disease (CD), non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and the development of autoimmune conditions) warns how he has personally read thousands of research articles in professional journals where symptoms typical of gluten sensitivity are often mistaken for other diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s and common gastrointestinal complaints. However, he concedes that the new awareness may be behind the recognition in recent research that from 3 to 6 out of 10 individuals may be suffering from gluten sensitivity. After all, medicine being the flawed science that it is, they have simply been misdiagnosed or not given the appropriate laboratory work-ups to identify the existence of the real syndrome.
Patients may present with symptoms such as seizures, but if the patient’s antibodies are tested, as other medical authorities suggest , doctors may realize the seizure is only a symptom of the main disease which is gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.
Lack of Interest
Why is a gluten-free diet reduced to a simple fad instead of a perfectly acceptable preventive measure or solution for celiac and other illnesses related to gluten sensitivity? There is quite simply no commercial incentive. There is no profit to be had from avoiding gluten-rich food as a solution. The global medicine business will more likely invest in fatal diseases where effective treatments remain scarce.
Since people know about the reduction in weight experienced by celebrities sensitive to the food and who announce their compliance to a gluten-free diet, companies use this diet to their advantage. “Gluten-free” oats, breads, pastries, desserts, cakes, pasta and cereals have become popular with the diet conscious. Knowing this, manufacturers tend to sell them at a premium, just as they have consistently done with sugar-free beverages, low-sodium and reduced-fat variants.
“Gluten-Free” versus “No Gluten” Diet
It is important to note that just because the label says “gluten-free” doesn’t mean it is actually free of gluten . Similarly, products such as “gluten-free oats” are not necessarily gluten-free because it is impossible to have oats without gluten . This is where the proposition of gluten-free diets as being bad for your health stems from. These products undergo massive amounts of processing and may truly be bad for your health.
Avoiding gluten-rich foods, such as anything made or processed from grain, would be a better option instead of eating these so called “gluten-free” foods. Aside from this, it is important to note that these gluten-free dishes are not necessarily gluten-free and can still be harmful to the individual . For example a gluten-free muffin may have less gluten than an actual muffin but it still has gluten. So overall, it is a better option to skip the muffins completely.
It is important however to be mindful of your choices. Just because one is trying to avoid all dishes with gluten doesn’t mean one has a healthy lifestyle already. Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi would be considered great choices and will help reduce one’s gluten and carbohydrate intake . However, if one simply avoids all foods which have gluten and does not plan the diet carefully, the patient may veer toward tequila and corn chips which are gluten-free but absolutely fattening.
Gluten in Everything
The search for gluten-free choices, especially desserts, common answer would be ice cream. After all, most ice cream flavors such as vanilla bean, strawberry or Rocky Road, have no grain in them. However, gluten may still be present in these desserts, not as a main component, but simply a filler. This may also apply in applesauce, ketchup and other processed foods. Thus it is important to check with your nutritionist prior to subscribing to a certain processed food and deeming it as gluten-free.
Immune Reactions to Gluten
Gluten sensitivity is an immune reaction which does not allow the patient to process gluten. Such sensitivity eventually evolves to many different complications like celiac disease . Thus it is important to ensure that the patient is mindful of their dietary intake. If the food you’re currently eating has small amounts of gluten in them, they will still produce an immune reaction and this could be deleterious in the long run.
One should take a black-and-white approach when dealing with gluten-sensitivity. There is no such thing as a little pregnant or slightly gluten-sensitive. It is all or nothing and avoiding gluten should be a top priority to avoid the immune reaction this compound produces.
Digestion of Gluten
No human can digest the gluten found in wheat, barley and rye . Pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Allesio Fasano (of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School) has found that no human is able to digest gluten. This was exemplified by the fact that even pure hydrochloric acid can dissolve human flesh but not gluten. This dramatic demonstration is faulty, of course, since hydrochloric acid in the human stomach can digest carbohydrates but merely starts the process of breaking down proteins like gluten. True digestion occurs within the duodenum, which releases alkaline enzymes for the sole purpose of digesting proteins and fats.
What happens if you can’t digest it?
If our body is unable to digest this protein, the gluteomorphins are released into the body’s blood stream. This compound acts on the opiate receptors of our brains and decreases their activity. These opiate receptors are important because when they are stimulated, they allow humans to feel happiness and satisfaction. This prevents depression. Continuous intake of gluten makes it harder for a patient to feel satisfaction and happiness.