Why You Should Eliminate Gluten from Your Diet
If you have heard that you should avoid gluten, you just might be wondering what it is and why you should avoid it. Wheat and other grains contain a number of proteins, one of them being gluten. Gluten causes the following problems:
Celiac disease. Gluten causes an auto-immune reaction called celiac disease. In people with celiac disease, gluten causes immediate and severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, constipation, pain, bloating, gas, and stools that smell horrible. People who have celiac disease should strictly avoid gluten-containing products and normally they become better within a few weeks.
Gut inflammation. Gluten and the other proteins in wheat are gut irritants that cause inflammation in the gut. This is a problem even for people who do not have celiac disease. It is called non-celiac sensitivity.
Leaky gut syndrome. Inflammation caused by gluten causes the gut lining to become more permeable, allowing random viruses, bacteria, indigestible molecules like dust, and other stuff that should go out the other end, to enter the bloodstream. There the body reacts to the “perceived invasion” by attacking the particles, creating an auto-immune reaction which manifests as illness.
Damage to gut flora. The gut flora does not like the presence of gluten and gluten is not friendly to gut flora. The friendly bacteria in the gut help regulate the immune system, control intestinal permeability, digest food, synthesize nutrients like vitamin K2, send hunger/fullness signals to the brain, and do all kinds of other stuff. When they are damaged, you develop a lot of health problems including yeast infection.
Poor brain health. People who suffer from celiac disease and those who suffer from non-celiac sensitivity have brain fog. In addition to that the gut inflammation and gut flora destruction caused by gluten sometimes increase the risk of developing into dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Autoimmunity in general (whether it’s celiac disease or some other gluten-related autoimmunity) is linked to depression.
Skin problems. People who suffer from celiac disease also suffer from a skin disease called dermatitis herpetiformis. Symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis include an itchy, red rash with raised blisters.
Gluten became a problem in the past few years because of several reasons. First the wheat has been genetically modified to make it drought resistant and easier to bake. Unfortunately, our bodies have not changed accordingly so we are reacting to the new grains. Yet, at the same time, people consume more wheat products than before. Wheat is in their daily bread, the hamburger rolls, the hot dog rolls, pasta, pizza and many other products that people consume daily. It is the genetic modification and the increased consumption that are the leading causes of problems with gluten. Secondly antibiotics are damaging the gut flora, leading to leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune reactions.
If you have any of the above problems, you are better off eliminating gluten from your diet. Get your energy from safer carbohydrates like nuts, sweet potatoes and vegetables.