Hi folks. Lots of people are suffering from this common intolerance on daily basis. Now I must point out that there is a difference between being sensitive to gluten and Celiac. You need a blood test to confirm celiac as it will show certain markers that confirm this. This can be done at your local naturopath or from your local GP, in fact you can now even order these tests online and conduct a simple thumb prick blood test to confirm this yourself! However, it is still possible to improve your digestion if you are sensitive to gluten also. There are certain symptoms to watch out for:
Diarrhea, weight loss, and nutritional deficiencies such as anemia ( low iron ). Other symptoms include frequently pale and/or light-yellow, foul-smelling stools that float; fatigue; depression; abdominal swelling; muscle cramps; wasting; and bone and/or joint pain. Diarrhea is the most commonly observed symptom. Infants and children may show vomiting; stunted growth; intense burning sensation of the skin; and a red, itchy skin rash. Ulcers may develop in the mouth. The child may look anemic and undernourished. Babies may lose weight or gain it more slowly, and do not seem to be thriving well. The disease can begin in the first few months of life.
Celiac disease affects the small intestine. There are abnormalities in the intestinal lining, due to a permanent intolerance to gluten. Gluten is in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. (Corn, rice, millet, soybeans, quinoa, and amaranth do not contain gluten. There seems to be a little uncertainty about buckwheat.) The protein, gliaden, is thought to be the toxic part of the gluten. It interacts with the lining of the intestines, causing the tiny absorptive fingers which jut from it (the villi) to flatten and atrophy. As a result, nutrients are not absorbed (including vitamins A, D, and K) and the disease symptoms appear.
Unfortunately, many physicians and the food industries recommend that grains be introduced into the diet of the infant when they are less than a year old. This can prompt celiac disease to first appear then or even decades later. Removing gluten from the diet of a celiac produces a marked change; whether an infant, child, or adult, the person starts feeling better again. But he/she must not return to gluten foods. Celiac disease is often misdiagnosed as spastic colon, irritable bowel syndrome, or something else which affects the intestines. Yet, if left untreated, celiac disease can be quite serious. It can lead to pancreatic disease, infertility, miscarriages, internal hemorrhaging, bone disease, gynecological disorders, nervous system damage, intestinal lymphoma, and many more. For example, anemia is common, due to poor absorption of folic acid, iron, and vitamins B12 and K.
Scarring of the intestinal lining can progress so far that, by the age of 45 to 50, 90% of the intestine can be damaged, resulting in a significant reduction (as much as 70%) of the absorptive surfaces. But there is evidence that partial repair to those walls can be made within several months, if you permanently part company with the offending foods.
How To Help Yourself
- You will want to avoid the gluten foods, which are wheat, oats, rye, and barley.
- The follow grains do not have gluten: corn, millet, and rice. Soybeans, quince, and amaranth are also okay. Buckwheat is okay for some celiacs, but not for others.
- All grains fed to babies (and adults too) should be cooked for 2-3 hours, if the preparation is done by boiling at 212o F.
- Do not overeat sugar products.
- Eat a nourishing diet, including fresh fruit and vegetables, and vegetable juices. Fiber is important in the diet of celiacs.
- Allisatin, found in garlic, is said to help treat celiac disease.
- Ripe bananas are tolerated well, and help control the diarrhea.
- Avoid processed, fried, and junk food. Do not eat sugary foods, chocolate, and processed foods. These will only further inflame your digestive system.
- Read the labels, and watch for “hidden” gluten ingredients in bottles and packages. Some of these are malt, modified food starch, some soy sauces, grain vinegars, binders, fillers, excipients, and “natural flavorings.” Almost all commercial breads, bread mixes, crackers, etc., contain gluten. It is often found in commercially prepared puddings, candies, cookies, cakes, ice cream, salad dressings, luncheon meats, frankfurters, canned chili, macaroni, noodles, spaghetti, bread stuffings, and anything thickened with flour (soups, vegetables, bottled meat sauces, gravies, flavoring syrups, sauces, cocoa mixes. BE VIGILANT!
- Take probiotics daily to re-balance intestinal flora.
- Only eat homemade desserts.
- Frozen, fresh, or canned vegetable and vegetable juices are all right but check the labels anyway.
- Breads and cereals made from rice, millet, corn, or potato starch are okay.
- Avoid tobacco, tea, coffee, and alcohol.
Helpful Herbs Include:
- aloe vera
- pau d’arco
- slippery elm
Recommended Program For Eliminating Wheat / Gluten
6 Week No Wheat – The ‘6 Weeks No Wheat’ Program is a simple, easy to follow, highly effective online program. Each week we will educate you around food, in particular, wheat and gluten and how to effectively eliminate it out of your diet and to make lifestyle changes so you remain healthy. https://www.changinghabitsaffiliates.com/136-31-1-109.html
Hope this has helped make this condition a bit clearer to you. If you are suffering from these symptoms get along to your local naturopath or doctor to get blood tested top see if you are celiac or gluten sensitive and start feeling better today.
Until next time, be well.
Craig Hitchens – Natural Health Practitioner
The information contained in this article is accurate at the time of posting but may change thereafter. This information is for informational purposes only and is NOT to replace professional advice and does not constitute a treatment programme in any way. Before undertaking any therapy programme, consult a professional. Craig Hitchens and Craig Hitchens Therapies makes no claim to be able to cure or treat disease in an ALLOPATHIC MEDICAL CAPACITY.