January 24, 2017

Gluten Intolerance: Going Against the Grain

Anyone can experience some form of Gluten Sensitivity as a normal immune response to the presence of gluten in the body. Some people can have minor discomfort while others can have severe health problems.

The medical term for severe gluten intolerance is called “Celiac disease.” One in every 100 Americans is estimated to have Celiac disease, yet only 5% are successfully diagnosed. The other 95% are living in constant distress and failing health.

Those with mild or moderate gluten sensitivity may only experience symptoms occasionally and just chalk the discomfort up to the food.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a special type of protein that is commonly found in rye, wheat, and barley. Therefore, it is found in most types of cereals and in many types of bread. Not all foods from the grain family, however, contain gluten. Examples of grains that do NOT have gluten include:

  • Wild rice
  • Corn
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Amaranth
  • Quinoa
  • Teff
  • Oats
  • Soybeans
  • Sunflower seeds

Gluten can be removed from wheat flour, producing wheat starch. All of the gluten in wheat flour, however, cannot be removed. Still, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), if a certain amount of the gluten is removed, the food product can be labeled “gluten-free.”

What is the Difference Between Celiac Disease

and Gluten Intolerance

Celiac disease is an immune reaction, a severe sudden onset allergic reaction, to the protein called gluten.

Gluten intolerance often has a slower onset than Celiac disease, and may be hard to diagnose due to the broad range of symptoms and causes.

Symptoms of gluten intolerance and Celiac disease can include:

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Are You A Glutton For Gluten?

Everyone has heard something about the dangers of “gluten,” yet few people really know what it is. Most people know it has something to do with wheat products, but seem confused about the topic. If that sounds like someone you know, read on!

What you’re about to read in the next 5 minutes will shock you. So, let’s start with the basics!

Wheat gluten is a worldwide cultivated grass from the Levant area of the Middle East. Globally, maize (corn) is the most produced food among the cereal crops; wheat is second and rice ranks third.

80% of US spring wheat comes from Montana, N. Dakota and S. Dakota. 3.5 million acres of spring wheat (other than durum) are planted in Montana every year, representing about 60% of total wheat plantings.

There Are Three Parts of a Wheat Kernel:

(Consider a typical bushel of wheat weighs 60 pounds.)

  1. Endosperm: Separated, the endosperm (50 pounds) is the source of white flour and contains the greatest portion of protein, carbs, iron and major B-vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin and thiamine. On average, 45 pounds of flour are milled from 50 pounds of endosperm. The remaining 5 pounds of endosperm is used for livestock feed.
  2. Bran: The bran (8.3 pounds) is included in whole wheat flour or marketed separately, and contains small amounts of protein, trace minerals, dietary fibers and B vitamins.
  3. Germ: The wheat germ (1.5 pounds) is the embryo or sprouting section of the seed. It has a high fat content (10%) that if not separated from endosperm during flour production, causes dough to be unmanageable.

The endosperm is composed of thin-walled starchy cells. This starch contains “gluten particles” that provide the stickiness in dough. Although endosperm has most of the protein, its protein quality is lower than in the bran and germ because it is less concentrated.

Keep in mind, gluten is almost 80% protein. But, as you’ll see, not all proteins are created equal.

Obviously, high quality wheat grows very well in the Dakotas and Montana. That’s because they have the right soils, temperatures and provide ideal semi-arid (dry) conditions. This is important because a wet rainy season results in wheat growing with lower protein (gluten) content, which is not good for the bakery business.

A lower protein content means lower gluten, and gluten is what makes dough sticky to work with. Different levels of stickiness are needed to produce specialty products, which is why “adding gluten” is necessary.

So, not only does gluten “enrich” many foods with protein, wheat gluten is also used for binding and texturizing purposes in many different foods.

Without gluten, hamburger buns would crumble and hotdog bun hinges would break, in turn ruining millions of picnics and back yard BBQ’s around the world.

When we break it down, we find gluten is made of two main proteins:

  1. Glutenin creates the elastic quality of vital wheat gluten: makes dough tough.
  2. Gliadin, the smaller protein molecule, dissolves in water and other liquids including alcohol, and is responsible for the syrupy properties of wheat gluten. Too much will make bread dough overly expansive. Gliadin is also used in cosmetics and personal care products

FACT: The smaller gluten protein, gliadin, is a trigger of many health problems.

These molecules breakdown even further inside your body and create “opium-like proteins” called “gluteomorophins,” which can enter your brain and cause all kinds of havoc. Gluten, containing glutamate crosses the blood-brain barrier irritating and damaging brain cells as an “excitotoxin.”

Gluten Is One Of Many Plant Anti-Nutrients

Fact is certain foods are good for you and other foods can actually do harm. Gluten is one of these harmful foods.

Unsprouted grains were in the “do-not-eat” category until about a hundred years ago when we really started eating so many refined grains.

About 10,000 years ago our ancestors learned the importance of sprouting, soaking and cooking grains to neutralize the plant toxins so they would be safe to eat.  But, somewhere along the way that knowledge was almost lost.

Our ancient ancestors knew that grains, beans and potatoes could be toxic if not prepared properly. Another word for these plant toxins is “anti-nutrients,” or phyto-toxins.

All Food Has Intelligent Design

Edible vegetables and fruits depend on us to eat them to spread their seeds around. However, a grain like wheat, rye and kamut are seeds in themselves and if eaten, they cannot sprout up new plants.

That’s why Mama Nature has given grains built-in natural pesticide and fungicide defenses.

Grains have evolved “enzyme blockers” that stop them from sprouting until they fall unto fertile ground having the right conditions. These same powerful enzyme blockers can neutralize your digestive enzymes as well1. Besides gluten, other anti-nutrients found in plants are “phytates, glycoalkaloids and lectins (wheat germ agglutinin).”

Gluten protein, phytates and lectins are defense chemicals for the wheat plant tribe, intelligently designed to repel outside threats from fungus, mold and pests.

Unfortunately, gluten protein is created to be difficult for people to digest, so it builds up inside your cells blocking normal body functions, and causing the immune system to attack itself (auto-immune dis-ease).

Gluten Can Trigger Critical Diseases

If you are gluten sensitive, you should know that gliadin, found in wheat protein, is also found in other grains like European spelt, rolled rye and barley corns.

This seemingly innocent protein can cause an autoimmune disorder in your small intestine called, Celiac disease.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a large study pointing out that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed and “latent” Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer.2

Some of the first symptoms of Celiac disease are:

  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal cramping/bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Acidosis
  • Gluten ataxia (brain damage)
  • Mouth sores
  • Muscle cramping
  • Constipation
  • Night blindness
  • Tooth enamel defects
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness

Naturally, having any — let alone a combination of these symptoms — can also lead to depression, irritability and an inability to concentrate.

Gluten can cause your body’s immune system to attack itself, as well as inflame the sensitive lining of your small intestine triggering complications from lack of nutrition to boot.

Gluten sensitivity (Celiac disease) blocks absorption of nutrients causing:

  • Amenorrhea (the cessation of a woman’s menstrual cycle)
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Bone disease
  • Hyperparathyroidism (over activity of the parathyroid glands)
  • Growth failure in children
  • Attention Deficit Disorder

Unfortunately, the list goes on and on.

This is exactly why leading physicians blame gluten sensitivity for many mysterious diseases that get misdiagnosed or just go undetected.

Another study compared the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago and compared them to 10,000 people today.3

What they found will shock you!

The number of people with Celiac disease increased by 400% in 50 years! 2 Presently, about 1 in 100 people (or 3,000,000 Americans) suffer from Celiac disease and many don’t know it.

Other diseases caused from eating gluten are:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Cancer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Schizophrenia
  • Dementia
  • Migraines
  • Epilepsy
  • Nerve damage
  • Also linked to autism. 3,4,5,6,7

So, what can you do now?

There’s no doubt that dining in a world addicted to processed, refined and frozen foods can make eating healthy a challenge. What we do know is when people stop eating unsprouted grains or uncooked grains, Celiac symptoms gradually vanish.

In fact, some highly autistic children have experienced a complete or near-complete remission of symptoms, simply by removing yeast and gluten from the diet.

But, what if you like to eat bread? Well, that’s where ancient wisdom saves the day.

Dietary Wisdom From Our Ancestors

The Roman soldiers were known to live off from bread and water. So, if bread from grains is so bad for you, how did they have the strength and endurance to nearly conquer the entire known world back then?

The secret is they eat “sour dough fermented rye bread.”

Could it be that fermentation breaks down the gluten found in grains?

The answer is YES it does! PLUS, it also breaks down the other anti-nutrients that block the absorption of minerals and enzyme function.

Be careful to buy only “slow-fermented” sourdough bread.  Many commercially packaged breads labeled “sourdough” isn’t slow-fermented the old fashioned way from “mother dough.” They often use sour flavoring agents instead.

Get sourdough bread from a baker who uses a proper sourdough starter.9

After extensive research, I am convinced that eating a moderate amount of properly soaked, sprouted and sourdough fermented grains can be part of a good diet, even if you are gluten sensitive.

Soaking grains in warm water also neutralizes enzyme anti-nutrients, present in all grains, and stimulates the creation of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these good enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins.

In India, rice and lentils are fermented for at least two days. In Africa, corn (a grain), millet and teff (an annual grass) are fermented for several days. Mexican corn cakes are fermented for up to two weeks. In Europe, grains were fermented for several days.10 Don’t forget: soy beans are fermented to make tofu.

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Ezekiel 4:9® Bread also comes in specific gluten free and wheat free breads products from
FoodForLife.com

Another example is Ezekiel 4:9® sprouted breads. Because of the fermentation process, this bread provides an almost perfect protein, right up there with meat. I don’t know what the gluten content is, but I bet it’s pretty low. Plus, it’s naturally packed with living vitamins and minerals, too.

A final alternative for any “gluten gluttons” out there looking for a delicious source of gluten-free nutrition is “mesquite powder11.” It’s hard to find, but if you ask your local health food store they can order it.

I discovered Mesquite flour when I moved to the Sonora desert in Arizona about 20 years ago. The Sonora desert is only biologically “living” desert on earth. I’m told there are more than 5,000 different species of plants there and mesquite was one of the most valued crops for the ancient Hohokam Indians and other indigenous peoples of the area.

Mesquite flour replaces regular white flour or whole wheat flour, cup for cup. Mesquite flour is a delicious, low-glycemic flour that’s rich in protein (17%), micronutrients and 100% gluten free!

Try mixing this super food in with a protein shake to add a nutritional boost along with its sweet, healthful nutty flavor.

References
(1) Bandani AR (2005). “Effect of plant a-amylase inhibitors on sunn pest, Eurygaster integriceps Puton (Hemiptera: Scutelleridae), alpha-amylase activity”. Commun. Agric. Appl. Biol. Sci. 70 (4): 869–73. PMID 16628930.
(2)            Ludvigsson JF, Montgomery SM, Ekbom A, Brandt L, Granath F. Small-intestinal histopathology and mortality risk in celiac disease. JAMA. 2009 Sep 16;302(11):1171-8.
(3) Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93
(4)             Sedghizadeh PP, Shuler CF, Allen CM, Beck FM, Kalmar JR. Celiac disease and recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a report and review of the literature. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2002;94(4):474-478.
(5) Margutti P, Delunardo F, Ortona E. Autoantibodies associated with psychiatric disorders. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2006 May;3(2):149-57. Review.
(6)             Ludvigsson JF, Reutfors J, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of mood disorders–a general population-based cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):117-26. Epub 2006 Oct 6.
(7) Ludvigsson JF, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of schizophrenia and other psychosis: a general population cohort study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb;42(2):179-85.
(8)            Hu WT, Murray JA, Greenaway MC, Parisi JE, Josephs KA. Cognitive impairment and celiac disease. Arch Neurol. 2006 Oct;63(10):1440-6.
(9) Nanna A. Cross; Corke, Harold; Ingrid De Leyn; Nip, Wai-Kit (2006). Bakery products: science and technology. Oxford: Blackwell. p. 551. ISBN 0-8138-0187-7.

 

(10)         Fallon, Sally with Enig, Mary. Nourishing Traditions, The cookbook that challenges politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats. Second edition. New Trends Publishing, Inc. Washington, DC 20007. 1999-2001.
(11) Navitas Naturals, Mesquite Power, organic mesquite powder.
Martin Jacobse, a hearing and speech specialist of 30 years, was first inspired by the natural home remedies used by his Cherokee Grandmother. He has since expanded his interests into naturopathic, alternative and energy medicine. Excited to share his findings and close the gap between the medical profession and natural home remedies, Jacobse found a passion as an independent medical researcher and ghost writer, dedicating his life to getting the word out as a consumer health advocate for Barton Publishing. Jacobse spends his free time practicing the healing art of magnetic Qigong, publishing books and enjoying the quiet of a small horse ranch near the Tonto National Forest in Arizona.

 

The “Home Cure” for Celiac Disease

Heather came in to the office with “fatigue.”  She has felt tired for years.  She has been to other doctors and found to have normal thyroid and other hormones. No cause of her fatigue had been found.  She also had mild asthma and allergies, as well as some bloating when she eats.  We performed a blood test for antibodies against gluten and they were positive, so she started on a Gluten-free diet.  Over the next several months Heather was relieved of all her symptoms.  She even had dry skin and hair that resolved on the diet.  She was eating well, but was able to lose weight.  She had the energy to get through the day, and was able to quit using her inhalers and nasal spray.

In studies done on “Celiac disease,” it seems that about one percent of every population that eats wheat has gluten intolerance.  Many of them have little or no intestinal problems, but manifest this allergy in other ways, such as with Heather.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in all grains.  It’s what makes dough sticky and bread chewy.  Because it makes the dough sticky, it holds in the gas that yeast produces, allowing bread to rise.  Extra gluten is sometimes added to dough, such as bagels, to make them more chewy.

Why do people react to gluten?

Only the type of gluten found in wheat, rye, barley and spelt causes a reaction.  The reason for this problem is

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Giving Thanks for What You CAN Eat

A friend of mind, Ginger Klein, has agreed to share her experience of suffering from Celiac disease. Her diagnosis is not uncommon, but she shares her gluten free diet tricks she has learned over the years, as well as what do when eating out, how to cope with holidays and making favorite recipes at home.  Her personal story and success will inspire anyone with gluten problems and help the rest of us understand more about those this debilitating disease.

Second Time Around is Worse

I was experiencing mild expression of Celiac Disease while in graduate school, had bouts of lactose intolerance, and seemed to catch a lot of colds and flues.

For the next 6 years, I had frequent, unexplainable bouts of diarrhea (I even got tested for parasites once, with negative results). I slowly lost weight during that time, but then went through a month and a half during which I got severe diarrhea about every 3-4 days. I kept trying different ways to treat it, fasting and then doing the BRAT diet (and of course once I got to toast, I got diarrhea again) and getting various kinds of medicine to treat intestinal illnesses (Imodium was the worst, because it trapped the gluten in my intestines and made me get WORSE).

My skin got dry, my complexion was pallid, my hair started falling out and my nails were extremely brittle. I dropped weight very rapidly, and then started to lose coordination. I tripped walking down the street one day, and couldn’t even catch myself to break my fall — I landed on my knees hard, splitting them both open. They didn’t form proper scabs, and for weeks the weak scab that did form would wash off in the shower and they would bleed like they were freshly wounded. It took about 2 months for them to finally heal.

About a week before I started eating gluten free, I talked to my Mom was said I was diagnosed with Celiac disease as an infant, but at the time our family doctor said that it was “a childhood disease and I would grow out of it,” so when I started school my mother put me back on a regular diet.

I gave it some thought, and about a week later (after a day of fresh bread and pasta), woke up in the middle of the night vomiting and having diarrhea at the same time. I realized I should try a gluten free diet. The next day, I announced I was going to stop eating bread or pasta, and see if that helped. Then I started looking on the internet and got a clearer idea of other dietary changes I would need to make to fully test the childhood Celiac diagnosis theory. I learned that there were others like me who had been diagnosed in childhood, had a period of several years when they ate normally, and then got very sick — the disease went into remission but came back with a vengeance in their late twenties or early thirties. I also learned that now there are blood tests and other procedures that can diagnose the disease, but these weren’t available to me.

Trio of Triggers

I went 3 days, then a week, then two full weeks without getting diarrhea. I began to feel ever so slightly better, but was incredibly weak and continued losing weight. My supervisors recommended a vacation (and there were other things going on, too; a break-up  — usually some particularly stressful incident, be it emotional or physical, will somehow trigger active Celiac Disease — and the combination of physical illness and emotional distress sent me into clinical depression), so I vacationed for a month to rest, ate lots of rice, and meet with a psychologist I knew.

One of my greatest delights was discovering after a few weeks that I could eat dairy again without any problems. In fact, for the next year I could get away with eating large bowls of ice cream every day and have no tummy aches and not gain any weight. I picked the highest fat content I could find for milk and yogurt, and spread the butter thickly on the pancakes I made from the rice flour I found at the store. I created mini rice-cake pizzas, and came up with a few other special recipes using locally available foods.

After going gluten free for two years, I was delighted to find a growing awareness about Celiac Disease and an explosion of new, gluten free products, not only in health food stores but also in ordinary grocery stores, and even at Wal-Mart.

Now, over six years after changing my diet, my intestinal lining has recovered and I’ve regained weight; in fact, now I have to make healthier choices and work to incorporate less fattening options and more fiber into my diet. Also, infertility is associated with *untreated* Celiac Disease; but that complication has also healed with my new baby! 🙂

Go For the Bacon Double Cheeseburger! (But skip the fries)[am4show guest_error=’noaccess’ ]

My own diet consists of eating a lot of corn tortillas 🙂 and I go to Mexican restaurants, because there are corn options. Chipotle burrito bowls are my favorite. Taco bell tacos (hard shell) are one of the few reliable fast food items I can eat on the road. I NEVER trust French fries, and go for the bacon double cheeseburger without a bun when I can’t get anything else (and have to eat fast food).

When eating out at a sit-down restaurant, I check for an online menu before I go (lots of chains have them now), and remind myself to tell my waitress, “I need everything gluten free,” to see if there is a specific gluten free menu available. In some places, this brings a visit from the cook to my table, who goes over my options and can verify if, for example, they have a dedicated fryer for fries (one that doesn’t have battered things fried in it), or a separate grill for grilled foods, and to remember to withhold croutons and check the labels on the salad dressings.

Measure for Measure, Gluten Free Comes Out Equal

For at-home baking: Bette Hagman has lots of ideas in her cook books (The Gluten Free Gourmet line), but I’ll confess I haven’t used as many of them as I thought I would, because I hate having to buy a hundred different kinds of flour. I keep my flour and starch supplies pretty basic, and add ground flax seed for fiber. The best tip I’ve ever heard is to find out what the proper weight is for flours, and when substituting, not go on dry measurements, but on equal weights.

For holidays, I always take food (bread, crackers, cookies, etc) with me when going to someone else’s house. Pamela’s Mini Ginger Snapz are the best thing for Christmas. For Easter, I’ve developed a bread machine recipe that satisfies the nostalgia for a doughy treat.

When people want to cook for me, I steer them towards some simple classics, like oven-roasted chicken (with a warning to not add soy sauce if they are using a recipe), mashed potatoes from scratch (use milk and butter instead of chicken broth), and veggies. I recommend staying away from any kind of sauce or packaged mix, and just using whole, plain ingredients (spices are fine, but not spice mixture packets, as they could contain wheat flour or starch).

Betty Crocker has done a wonderful thing in making four gluten free baking mixes available in the regular baking aisle in many grocery stores: yellow cake, devil’s food cake, brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. While 3-4 times more expensive than their normal counterparts, they are still considerably cheaper than those offered by specialty companies, and they’re easy to find, and with directions that look normal. Also, they TASTE GREAT. One of the problems with gluten free baked goods is that they tend to have a gritty texture. Somehow, the Betty Crocker mixes don’t have this. So I steer people towards these when they want to make baked goods that I can eat.

It’s Not Worth It

The biggest thing that helps me handle Celiac disease is that I got so sick before I tried going gluten free. I was seriously worried I was going to die, because nothing I ate stayed in, and my body was wasting away and breaking down in front of my eyes. The return to health from changing my diet has been such a delight and relief, that I only rarely struggle with temptations to eat things that aren’t allowed. The second biggest thing is that we have an amazingly good gluten free bakery in town, and I know that even if I can’t eat the cookies, pies, cinnamon rolls, or pizza in the office or at an event, I just have to wait until I get home. It’s just not worth getting sick.

I’ve seen people struggle with bitterness and self-pity, and by the grace of God I haven’t. I’ve had people try to offer me pity, and it’s something I can’t accept — I continue to be too grateful to be alive and healthy as I follow a somewhat restricted diet. I would offer the advice to focus on the good health, the restored strength and lack of intestinal pain, and to pause and let yourself get teary-eyed in the supermarket aisle when you discover a new packaged food that is safe to eat (like the Betty Crocker mixes), or a restaurant that has come out with a gluten free menu (like the Olive Garden!), and to give thanks for what you CAN eat.

The hardest thing is helping people understand that I can’t cheat. If I eat the wrong thing, it will destroy the lining of my intestine, causing the symptoms I have mentioned above, but also leading to mal-absorption and a host of complications from diabetes to osteoporosis to colon cancer. NOT WORTH IT. And unlike other food allergies, I can’t just take a pill for it; there has not yet been a medication put on the market that will block the autoimmune response to the gluten protein.

I’m always glad to help in ways that will enable others to live with being gluten free! So, I hope this assortment of things I’ve done helps!

Grandma Barton is grandmother to Joe Barton, founder of Barton Publishing and Home Cures That Work. She is a two-time breast cancer survivor with the help of Dr. Saunders and natural remedies. Grandma loves finding cures within the home to treat all sorts of ailments. With tips she’s learned on the farm and along the way, Grandma Barton brings a time-tested and trusted voice when it comes to home remedies. She really is an inspiration to us all.
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Gluten Free Fun Handbook

Celiac Disease Is 100% Reversible!

Imagine finding the key to turn your life around 100% and then doing it . . . Because you can!

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