Sensitivity to wheat continues to grow at an alarming rate. If you walk into any grocery store today, invariably you will find products that are gluten free and a fairly common degree of knowledge concerning these products from the store owner. It has been suggested that eliminating wheat from the diet diminishes many health problems plaguing those who are troubled by this ailment. While it has also been suggested that a large portion of the population would benefit from avoiding wheat, others will not manifest any improvement until the gluten itself, which is a component of wheat and other grains, has been completely eliminated. Gluten is a protein found in the in the family of grains numbering:
- and Oats
Problems associated with consuming gluten grains:
- Diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, abdominal cramps and other digestive problems
- Excessive weight loss or weight gain
- Skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and hives
- Aggravated respiratory complaints such as sinus congestion and asthma
- Intestinal damage and conditions such as nutrient malabsorption, candidiasis and food allergies (a common allergy being lactose intolerance), diabetes, and severe allergies
- In its strongest form, a medical diagnosis of celiac disease or celiac sprue
- Thought to be a factor linking related health problems such as fatigue, arthritis, hypertension, auto-immune disorders, Alzheimer’s and Multiple Sclerosis
- Malabsorption due to intestinal damage has also been considered a precipitating or aggravating factor in a variety of neurological and psychiatric conditions including depression, seizures, schizophrenia and autism. Gluten intolerance (or in its stronger form, celiac disease) manifests uniquely according to the individual.
If you are suffering from any of the above conditions, it may be that your doctor or practitioner may not have linked your symptoms to the root of the problem.
Here’s what you can do:
- Eliminate wheat and other related grains from your diet immediately.
- Get yourself tested for any other food allergies or intolerance and eliminate these also as soon as possible from your diet.
- Ensure that these items are also removed from the ingredients of all things going into your body. That includes meat (burgers), spices, seasonings, liquids such as soups and beer (which often contain wheat fillers), creams, personal hygiene products and make-up.
- If you can, visit a natural health practitioner and see about having a cleanse, detoxification or colonic therapy done to speed up elimination from your system.
- Another way to purge your system of the problems plaguing it and help it to bounce back quicker would be to start including more raw organic foods (salads and fresh vegetables and fruit) into your diet.
- Introduce a quality probiotic into your diet daily.
- Keep a diary and record what you’re eating and the results you are seeing. You’ll be better able to track the cause and effect this way.
In time, you will discover that many of the food items you developed an intolerance to may will be able to be reintroduced back into your diet in small doses once the problem has been controlled. You may also wish to try re-introducing the grains you had difficulty with in small doses, but in a non-GMO (non-genetically modified organisms) version** to test whether it is the pesticides and/or genetic modifications rather than the grains themselves that were the cause of your illness.
* Avenin, a cousin to gluten can cause problems for those who are very sensitive. As well, oats themselves may not be the issue, but rather the machinery that processes them which also processes wheat and can add trace amounts of this substance to aggravate your diet.
** non-GMO grains can be found in any health food store. These are organic and should be clearly identified on the package as “non-GMO”.