– By, Dr. Craig Burns, D.C., A BioVeda Health and Wellness Center in East Centennial
In my professional opinion, Gluten Hypersensitivity, is severely misunderstood, misdiagnosed and often times mistreated. What follows is a brief explanation of another way of understanding and therefore addressing the health concerns associated with gluten.
- Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat and oats.
- Gluten hypersensitivity is made worse by the increasing consumption rate of grains, breads, cereals, pastas, corn, rice and potatoes.
- The inability to properly metabolize this protein, which often leads to a vast array of symptoms, is called celiac disease.
- This condition is commonly misdiagnosed as (IBS) irritable bowel syndrome or lactose intolerance.
- Common symptoms of gluten sensitivity include but are not limited to diarrhea, gas, bloating, reflux and constipation.
- Misdiagnosis and mistreatment is so common, it has been reported that gluten insensitivity can go for an average of 11 years before properly diagnosed.
- Ten years ago it was estimated that this problem affected 1 in 10,000. A 2004 report estimates that number to be a staggering 1 in 133.
- Atypical symptoms can include problems with skin, brain function, energy levels, fertility, depression, weight loss or gain, osteoporosis, and various organs and glands. (Most physicians don’t know this!)
- Gluten can be hidden in many foods including soups, soy sauce, candies, cold cuts, and various low- and no-fat products so you will need to be sure to check the labels before you eat it. Also watch out for malt, starches, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), texturized vegetable protein (TVP) and natural flavoring. Some pharmaceuticals, vinegars and alcohol can also contain gluten.
Let’s think it through…
When a person, with said hypersensitivity, eats gluten the immune system triggers an autoimmune reaction. This reaction inevitably damages healthy tissue in the process, specifically the villi of the small intestine. The villi are small hair like projections responsible for nutrient absorption: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and even water in some cases. Can you imagine not being able to absorb all of the nutrients you put into your body? This is a harsh reality for many people. It may even be a health problem for you, and you don’t even know it.
If we want to fix the problem and strengthen the body, wouldn’t it make sense to do something to address the cause(s), i.e. the exaggerated immune system reaction? Of course it would! If we could normalize the immune system, even a little bit, by reducing stress within the system, would that strengthen the body internally and help reduce symptoms naturally? Again, of course it would.
I know that mainstream medicine does not acknowledge this line of thinking as valid, but that’s not important. What is important is what YOU think is valid, logical, and in the end – a better course of action.
In many cases an avoidance strategy may be necessary, especially when you consider that the average diet is completely overloaded with grains already. In many cases, too much is just too much. So, it just makes sense to reduce and or eliminate gluten for a healthier lifestyle. But, consider the possibility that another issue needs to be addressed. That issue being an overly sensitive immune system, i.e. a weakness in the body. There are ways to address these weaknesses. If you or someone you know has a problem with gluten I suggest doing some research on what a BioVeda Health and Wellness Practitioner can offer. Contact BioVeda to find a practitioner near you!