NaturalNews.com is one of my most favorite web pages. The information they provide , in my opinion, is extremely valuable in terms of keeping us informed regarding any subject of optimal health. Below is an article on gluten. I know many people who live with Celiac disease or are gluten intolerant. Most people don’t realize how gluten can seriously affect us. Some of us don’t even realize that gluten could be the cause of many of our ailments. I was born into an Italian family. I was taught at an early age that food is very important to how we connect to each other on an emotional level. “Pasta” was perceived as some kind of ethereal omnipotent substance. It was as if it had the power to connect us all as a collective into one single cell of bliss. Pasta was God… and I, for one, could not shove it all in quite fast enough to get to heaven. 🙂
And then one day I just stopped eating it.
Actually I stopped eating it for about 2 weeks. That was unheard of in my home. Also, something magical happened. The ten extra pounds I was carrying around on my belly just seemed to melt away. And I could think clearer. And I had more energy. And, and, and….well, a lot happened. A lot of good things happened. Then I got my craving for pasta again. This time I decided to try some gluten-free brown rice pasta. I actually ate it a few times. The best thing about this was that I noticed I could eat pasta again and not blow up like a loaf of bread. I could eat pasta and not feel like I needed to go curl up with a bear and hibernate for the winter. That is when I realized that gluten is no friend of mine. From that day on I researched all about gluten, in addition to speaking to anyone I knew that could not eat it as well. I was shocked how this little protein composition had the power to actually do the damage that it could. Being a hairstylist, all kinds of fun things can happen on any given day. And yes, I am being facetious at the moment. For instance, like, sitting there watching an awesome film and all of a sudden, your hands and feet just go completely numb. Oh yes, happy times!!!…not. My first consideration was that I perhaps did too many highlights on clients that week. However,, in retrospect, I do believe gluten could very well have been the culprit. So what is Gluten you ask?
Gluten is a composite formed from several different proteins. It is found most commonly in wheat and other related grains, such as barley and rye. Adding texture and a characteristic chewiness to baked goods, gluten is used in a wide variety of other foods as a thickener and binder, flavor enhancer, and protein supplement.
I am not here to make a strong statement that screams Gluten is either good or bad. For me, it just doesn’t work. And it may just be why certain things are happening to your body as well. It’s always good to have options, and to know your options and that is why I am sharing this Natural News article with you below. I hope it gives you some insight. 🙂
Shine with Love & Light… Jules
Lemon Zucchini Gluten Free Pasta in a Basil Pistachio Creme Sauce
Gluten Attacks the Brain and the Nervous System
(NaturalNews) Some people are literally stumbling through life thinking they are a klutz when really gluten is to blame. Before gastrointestinal symptoms like upset stomach appear, neurological damage may already be done, according to the Center for Peripheral Neuropathy. The Gluten Free Society calls gluten a “potential neurotoxin.” Gluten damage may cause everything from unexplained dizziness to numbness in the hands and feet.
Approximately 10 percent of people with Celiac disease develop neurologic symptoms, according to theCenter for Peripheral Neuropathy. Ataxia describes a neurologic condition characterized by jerky movements and an awkward gait. Gluten ataxia specifically describes a neurologic condition caused by a gluten sensitivity that leads to a wide range of symptoms, including:
• Difficultly concentrating
• Loss of balance
• Frequent falls
• Visual disturbances
• Trouble walking
• Trouble judging distances
In people with a gluten sensitivity, eating foods with the gluten protein triggers an autoimmune reaction. The body attacks the gluten with antibodies in the same way that antibodies attack viruses. This damages the intestines. Intestinal damage inhibits absorption of nutrients, often leading to nutrient deficiencies.
Vitamin deficiencies could be to blame for gluten ataxia, according to an article in the Feb/Mar 2011 issue ofLiving Withoutmagazine. Another explanation is that something in the brain is similar enough to gluten that the antibodies released to attack gluten also attack the brain.
The exact cause for gluten ataxia is unknown, but what is clear is that eating gluten makes it worse. A study published in theJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatryin September 2003 found that participants with ataxia who followed a gluten-free diet demonstrated improvement in ataxia symptoms compared to the control group, and had significantly fewer antigliadin antibodies, or “anti-gluten” antibodies, after one year.
Neuropathy, or peripheral neuropathy, describes a range of disorders characterized by nerve damage to one or more nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord. Often the cause of the neuropathy is unknown, though autoimmune diseases and vitamin deficiencies are some of the potential causes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Gluten neuropathy is when the autoimmune response is the root cause of the nerve damage.
A study published inMuscle & Nervejournal in December 2006 found that participants with neuropathy who followed a gluten-free diet showed significant improvement in symptoms after one year. The control group reported worsening of symptoms.
People who have a gluten intolerance do not respond to simple allergy tests like someone with a milk or nut allergy might. The gentlest way to figure out if someone is sensitive to gluten is dietary therapy. Avoid gluten for several weeks, then reintroduce it and observe any reactions.
Once it is known that a person has a problem with gluten there is only one form of treatment: abstinence. People with any degree of gluten sensitivity or intolerance must completely give it up. This means not only avoiding obvious foods like bread and pasta, but also foods like soy sauce and licorice that contain small amounts of wheat.
Fortunately, there are many alternatives. Pastas made with rice flour or quinoa are gluten-free. Rice bread can replace bread made from grains containing gluten. Buckwheat flour is gluten-free and works well for pancakes. Some companies even make wheat-free soy sauce. It is simply a matter of reading labels and shopping around.