It has been found Type 2 diabetics can also react to gluten not just people with known Celiac disease. This is really interesting as, worldwide wheat is regarded as the staff of life. Bread is eaten at every meal and between regular meals, and wheat flour is mixed with almost every other food. Gluten is found in foods containing:
- beer and
About 1 in 100 people, however, has a severe reaction to the gliadin lectins in the gluten proteins that give wheat it’s ‘stretchability’. And there is a growing belief among scientists that activating the genes for gluten sensitivity, also known as Celiac disease, does not cause disease. Instead, Celiac disease activates the genes associated with it.
In full-blown Celiac disease, the “villi,” absorbing pockets lining the intestine, are destroyed by inflammatory processes. The destruction of the intestine keeps the toxic gliadin from entering the body.
The symptoms of Celiac disease occur after the immune system learns to recognize proteins in wheat and to attack them with a inflammatory substance known as interleukin-15. However, even people who do not develop severe symptoms of the disease, some scientists believe some people secrete smaller concentrations of this compound, just not enough to make them obviously sick.
In subclinical Celiac disease, the lining of the intestine is merely inflamed. This makes it far more permeable to glucose, and far more glucose enters the bloodstream after a meal. Although this effect by itself will not automatically result in Type 2 diabetes, it can accelerate the progress of metabolic syndrome to Type 2 diabetes and make controlling blood sugar levels much more difficult for people who already have Type 2 diabetes.
Reactions to wheat are more clearly identified in people who have LADA, an adult-onset form of diabetes that is essentially Type 1 diabetes that only manifests itself in adulthood. Researchers at the National Institute of Endocrinology in Cuba, however, have learned that Type 2 diabetics also react to gluten.
If you have Type 2 diabetes, see if your symptoms don’t get better if you avoid wheat for a period of two weeks. You don’t have to start reading labels. Just don’t eat bread made from whole wheat or white flour and don’t eat baked goods made with any kind of wheat. If you must eat bread, try the 100% rye bread you can get in the refrigerated section at most supermarkets… many people can tolerate rye but not wheat. Then, if you get an unexpected improvement in your blood sugar level control and the way you feel, try avoiding wheat products long-term. This method costs you nothing, and may leave you feeling much better.
A gluten free diet may just improve your health all round with the advantage of lower blood sugar levels.