Gluten. No Big Deal or Silent Killer?

Gluten: Is the new Gluten-Free Diet just a fad? Or could gluten be killing us all slowly? Come find out.....

Once again I’m behind in getting some good information out to you all, but I sure hope you’ll forgive me.

I’ve been juggling a little too many plates here (personal and professional) and it’s been really hard to stay on top of things.

Anyway, this is just.too.good to let slip by.

I’ve mentioned gluten a little bit here before, but today we’ve diving in to some big deal stuff about this term that’s being talked about a ton these days.

There’s a lot more I need to learn–and a lot more I would like to share with you.

Let me just start with some facts and a little about my family’s history with gluten.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a substance in wheat, and some other grains: barley, rye, and spelt.

It gives these grains, and particularly wheat, its stretchiness (and it taste great in our mouths too :)).

It’s made of 2 proteins: gliadin and glutenin.

Regardless of what it’s called, this substance is something us Westerners love to eat.

But it seems to not be loving us back.

There is sooo much I would like to write about this, but much will have to wait ’til later.

For now, here are some things to get your introduced to My Story and what the real deal is with gluten.

Gluten and Our Family

We’ve given up gluten at various times in the past and present.  And I’ve been doing a TON of thinking and reading about this.

I’ll write more on these later, but here is our brief history.

1.  Me: I went off wheat before I was married when I suffered severe fatigue and brain fog that I traced clearly to excessive wheat consumption.  I later started eating wheat again, but in smaller amounts, and mostly whole grains only.

2.  My son: About 6 years ago our oldest was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, a form of autism.  There is a lot of compelling evidence (anecdotal and otherwise) that autistic people tend to have intolerances to gluten and casein (one of the proteins in milk products).  We took our son off gluten a number of years ago. We noticed not a complete healing, but a definite improvement in symptoms.

3.  My Husband:  He went off gluten (for the most part) about 3 years ago after suffering from severely low ferritin. (He was basically almost dead.) Adding iron to his diet didn’t do enough but taking gluten out of his diet was one of the things that got his blood results almost back to normal.

4.  Me again and “The Whole Fam”: Recently I have been dealing with some new puzzling healthy symptoms. More on the whole deal later (when I have time to put all of my thoughts down) but I am now totally gluten-free.  I wasn’t eating much–just samples at Costco (which are VERY tempting).  I’m working on my youngest and my husband too. Read on to find out why.

Is Gluten-Free Just a Fad?

Some people think that eating gluten-free is just a fad. Or a way to lose weight. There are a lot of folks claiming that going gluten-free helped them lose weight. And you know how that works.

Talk about something helping you lose weight and:

1.  People jump on the bandwagon ’cause they want to lose weight too OR

2.  When people find out that YOU are gluten-free, they assume you are doing it to lose weight.

Well, I would love to not have to fight a few extra pounds (I am not really overweight, but I do need to watch it), but I assure you that I wouldn’t go totally gluten-free just to keep 1-5 pounds off.  And I don’t think an occasional slice of wheat bread or pizza is going to keep that much weight on me.

Believe me—this is NOT a fad.

Scary Stuff About Gluten

Check out this stuff.

1.  Gluten and Poison Dart Frogs
This is soooo bizarre.  Did you know that after awhile of being off gluten and casein, substances called dermorphin and deltophin are found in the urine of autistic children?  These substances are the same substances on the backs of poison dart frogs in rainforests.  Really—ick!!!  Anyhow, these substances are found in the blood of autistics and they come out after being on the gluten and casein-free diet.  Ummmm—-what’s going on here?

2.  Mental Disorders
- Reduction in wheat consumption during WWII led to a reduction of schizophrenia, plus antibodies to gluten are more prevalent in schizophrenics (Source)
- This article goes more into schizophrenia and wheat.

3.  Autoimmune Disease
Gluten is clearly linked to autoimmune disease with correlations up to 40%. (Source)

4.  Infertility
Gluten sensitivity is linked to miscarriages and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).  (Source)

5.  Death
Yes–gluten really could be a silent killer.  Rates of mortality increased up to 75% with gluten-sensitivity.  We’re not even talking celiac here folks!  Check this out.

Now do you think gluten-free is “just a fad.”

So what are we to do?

Here’s where some free help comes in.

And again, forgive me for getting this to you all way too late.

*Note: The following links might be affiliate or referral links. The Summit is free, but you will have the chance to purchase copies of talks, and if you do, I might make a commission.  Your support of my blog is very much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.*

There’s an AMAZING Gluten Summit going on right now. It’s been going on since Monday, but there are still 4 more days to go, plus you will have the option to get copies of past talks later.  (Again, so so sorry.  I just wasn’t “on my game” this week–and I have to be careful to take care of things at home and not be driven by the “oh—gotta get this post out or else” syndrome.)

Gluten Summit Schedule:

Gluten Summit Banner

There’s a great lineup of speakers, but these are some of the talks that peaked my interest the most.

Thursday, Nov. 14:
- The Perfect Storm: Gluten Plus Gut Flora Imbalances Plus Environmental Toxins
- Gluten-Related Disorders: Time to Move from Gut to Brain
- Your body is not a bank account. It’s a chemistry lab.
- The Secret to Safely Avoiding Gluten While Dining Out

Friday, Nov. 15:
- How Gluten Can Affect the Brain, and How to Optimize Brain Function!
- How Cross-Reactivity, Molecular Mimicry and Mold Toxicity Can Seriously Impact Your Health

Saturday, Nov 16:

- Wheat Germ Agglutinin: How a “Monster Molecule” Could Affect Every Cell in Your Body
- Jeffrey Smith (he’s the GMO guru) OMG – GMO And Its Connection To Gluten
- The Critical Role of Wheat Lectin in Human Disease and the Role of Gluten in Cultural History and Consciousness

Sunday, Nov 17:
- Modern Wheat: It’s MORE than wheat
- Hidden Sources of Gluten in Your Vitamins and Medication

Monday, Nov 18:

- The Reality of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and its Many Manifestations
- Are You Developing an Autoimmune Disease Years Before Symptoms?

See why I just HAD to share this with you?  This Gluten Summit looks amazing.

Each day you will have access to the talks that are going on that day, plus you can still listen to them anytime that day until the next day at 10 am EST.  So you can fit it in whenever you have time.

And if you just can’t fit the talks while they’re available for free, you will have the opportunity to purchase archives to listen to in your sweats or PJs–whenever you can. Plus, the archives are great since you can share the talks with family members and friends who need to hear this message.

Regardless, this is information that just.might.save.your.life. Seriously.

Register Here to Hear All the Talks for Free

Oh, and over at this post I talked more about it, but this book, Weeding Out Wheat is great if you want to really dig into what the deal is with wheat.  It really drives home a lot of info.  Highly. Highly recommended.

Trisha, the author, goes into a load of detail about what the problem is with wheat, how it’s changed throughout the years, and how it could be affecting our healthy today.

Weeding Out Whaet

 

Again, don’t miss The FREE Gluten Summit.  I urge you.  For your health and for that of your loved ones.

What do you think? Is Gluten “no big deal” or a silent killer?

Shared at Frugally SustainableFood RenegadeRattlebridge FarmThe Shabby Nest, The Prairie HomesteadSkip to My LouReal Food ForagerSimply Sugar and Gluten-FreeChef in TrainingNap – Time CreationsWe Are that Family, Rattlebridge Farm, and The Nourishing Gourmet.

Comments

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  1. I’ve been listening to some of these interviews this week (very science heavy) and doing a lot of thinking/praying too. My youngest was diagnosed with a minor wheat allergy a few years ago and I know wheat gives me the whole post nasal drip, brain fog, bloating thing. Especially from store bought products. I REALLY want to be able to do sourdoughed spelt or something for my family, but after listening this week, I’m beginning to think we should just avoid gluten as much as we can.

  2. I never thought about gluten effecting me, but now after learning about what they are doing to our food, I realize that it was not the bread that had a negative effect on my body, but the gluten. Years ago I stopped eating any food that contained starch, now since we switched to real food, I can eat bread again.

    Would love for you to share this on Real Food Fridays, people may be suffering, and not know why.
    http://yourlife7.blogspot.com/2013/11/real-food-fridays-13-link-up.html

  3. Hey Adrienne!

    So glad you shared this – it’s been a wonderful program with so much great information – if only the world would grab hold of it and not act like it’s the latest fad :(

    I wanted to mention that I believe you have the time zones mixed around. I think it starts/ends at 10 EST and 3 GMT – may want to double check :) Take care – hope you continue to unravel the mysteries of chronic ilness – it’s so challenging at times!

  4. Also check out the book, Wheat Belly. Very interesting!

  5. I just did a post on gluten too. I’m attending all the webinairs. They are fantastic!

    http://alapinlife.blogspot.com/2013/11/gluten-free.html

  6. I highly recommend the book Vintage Remedies Guide to Bread by Jessie Hawkins.

    • Hi April. I know that book. I have done a lot of digging into that (well some, at least) and it is problematic. The premise is great but recreating that kind of situation in the home kitchen is very difficult so many will have reactions likely and/or exposure to gluten without meaning to. I really appreciate your bringing it up but I do need to make that caveat. Thanks.

      • Did you read the entire book? It is very well researched and the author is NOT saying that you should use that method to bake bread with that method if you have a gluten intolerance. What the book does show is that wheat and gluten are NOT bad for us (those of use with no allergies or Celiac) and that by going on a gluten free diet is not necessary. She spent 3 years researching the book and it is well annotated with clinical studies. :)

        • Hmmm… I will have to talk to a few folks. I didn’t read the whole thing. Have you checked out the Weeding Out Wheat book? You do have to buy it but it is REALLY good.

          • Yes, please read then entire book, it is quite fascinating and I’ve heard the author speak before. She is well versed in this area and the research is quite thorough. I did a search on Weeding out Wheat but was unable to find it on Amazon. Here is a link to some info published by the author of Vintage Remedies Guide to Bread , if you are interested: http://jessiehawkins.com/myths-half-truths-and-realities-about-bread/

            • I ran this by some friends who are very much up on this gluten fermentation debate. They said clearly that it would be impossible or near so to recreate the situation that Jessie puts forth in her book and that if one is trying to stay away from gluten that this isn’t the way to go. Thanks!

              • Somehow I think we have a miscommunication. Although I do believe that it is very possible to get a gluten free bread by her method (in fact, in speaking to her directly, she actually personally uses this method). What I AM trying to communicate is that by the sourdough fermentation process, not only do you get a lower gluten bread, but also a bread that is low glycemic with more bioavailable nutrients…… a person who is not Celiac, gluten intolerant, or allergic to wheat does not need to go on gluten free diet. I’m sure that Jessie would be glad to answer any questions about her book.

                • Thanks. I can try to contact her but I was trying to work on something w/ her for my blog and someone I wasn’t getting communication back. Not sure what happened. I think the carbohydrate effect is great but of course that happens w/ GF flours as well. I am very very cautious about recommending this method to anyone trying to stay away from gluten. That’s my point. The more I learn the more I want nothing to do with it. And I had a killer whole wheat bread recipe that I was told by a baker’s daughter that I could “make money with.” sigh.

  7. Enjoyed the article. I put a lot of time and effort into preparing healthy meals for my family. I have heard people going gluten free, but have not looked into it extensively since we do not currently have any health issues. I am now more interested into looking into it if it is important for ones overall health. What whole grains do you use that are gluten free? I currently use a lot of flour made from wheat berries that my mom grinds for me – would those contain a lot gluten?

  8. While I think that our society eats way too much wheat, I just cannot believe that everyone needs to completely stop eating it. My husband has Crohn’s disease so I have given this a whole lot of thought and have read quite a bit. People have been eating gluten for thousands of years. I know that our food is not like the food in past history, but people have been eating gluten.

    I would be willing to try it if I could get flours that are safe for my peanut/tree nut allergic child. I have yet to find any gluten free flours that are safe.

  9. I am so interested to learn more about this. I’ll admit, I have to this point ignored most of the gluten free talk, as it overwhelms me for some reason. But after my 5 year old dd has had constant stomach issues since she was born, and all the testing is coming back negative, we were recommended to drop gluent from her diet to see if it helps. So as of Friday, or family is now gluten free. We are still adjusting, and it is still overwhelming, I don’t know what to eat from one meal to the next, but we are learning. I hope this is the answer, for her.

  10. You have such a great blog and thank you for so much useful information. I have been totally gluten free for the past 3 years due to many health issues. (Not because of a fad.) I saw a remarkable difference in the first 24 – 48 hours of being off of gluten. Brain fog was gone, almost daily migraines were beginning to improve, gut inflammation was significantly decreasing among other signs. I knew immediately that I never wanted to feel that way again and haven’t looked back! Also, the bloodwork that for years showed very high counts for an autoimmune disease, all of a sudden returned to normal without the gluten in my system. It’s amazing that so called “specialists” in the medical field couldn’t figure this out.

    Because of my great success, I switched my two autistic children to a gluten free eating plan [notice I didn't use the term "diet" here? :)] and the difference was drastic! Not a cure, by any means, but a huge improvement. They both know how gluten makes them feel and act and they realize that they don’t like feeling that way. Given the choice of a gluten free snack or a gluten filled snack, they happily choose Gluten Free. So, for many of us, Gluten CAN actually be a silent killer. Somewhat scarey, but knowledge is power and we need to obtain the knowledge to make the right choices for our bodies so that we can live longer, healthier lives.

    Again, thank you for all of the wonderful information on your blog!

    Sharon

  11. Wow, so glad you posted this article, Adrienne. I’m definitely going to cut back even more (if not all the way) on gluten consumption. Gluten is so ingrained (no pun intended) in our culture and common foods Americans eat, everyone should read this article to know what it’s actually doing do our bodies! Thanks for sharing.

    -molly (from tuesday bible study)

    • Hi Molly! So nice to hear from you! I’d be happy to help in any way I can with getting off the gluten. I am even learning that for some who don’t even have celiac, even a little bit can kick off immune responses. Hence I am getting it out completely.

      Look forward to spending more time :).

  12. Thanks so much for sharing this informative post! I having been thinking about reducing my family’s wheat consumption. I found your blog at Works for me Wednesday. I would love it if you shared a post at my new linky party.

  13. Just curious…what was your husband’s Ferritin level? I’ve been having a lot of issues lately and my blood work came back with an abnormally low Ferritin level also. I’ve been GF for a month and hope to see some improvement after 3 mos.

  14. Thank you for the info! I just recently decided to try going gluten-free because I have hypothyroidism and have read many articles about the link between gluten intolerance and thyroid disease. If you have problems with your thyroid or have symptoms of hypo/hyperthyroid, please go get it checked! It is one of the most misdiagnosed diseases there is and can lead to multiple health complications if it is not treated. Or if you know you have thyroid problems, research how it relates to gluten! I am also about to start using the Young Living essential oils.
    I can’t wait to start having energy again and stop feeling like I’m 50 when I’m only 24!