another round of gluten sensitivity

ANOTHER ROUND OF
GLUTEN & LEAKY GUT DISCUSSIONS

Gluten Sensitivity

Ralf Kunze – Germany – Pixabay

For those of you who are unaware, Gluten is the glue-like protein found in wheat that is itself made up of a combination of two proteins; Glutenin & Gliadin.  This is important for you to know if you read any GLUTEN RESEARCH.  As a person who grew up on a Kansas wheat farm, one of the questions that I have asked myself repeatedly is how something that has historically been considered a dietary staple (bread is, after all, a Biblical food) could have gone so rogue?  Although the official line is that about 6% of the American public has at least a degree of issue with wheat, some experts say this is dramatically underestimated.  In fact, I’ve seen estimates that in America, as many as 1 in 2 individuals are having some degree of SENSITIVITY TO WHEAT (Gluten), even though most have no idea.  Unfortunately, this group seems to be growing in both numbers and intensity of reaction with each passing study on the subject.

Did you grow up in the FAT FREE AGE?  You know —- the era in which we were continually browbeat by our government about the dangers of dietary fat?  Was it suggested that if you wanted to be healthy, you needed to consume grain — lots of grain?  Be aware that the basic foundation all of the Food Pyramids — both old and new — is grain.  So although the names of the pyramids have changed, the powers that be are all but universally touting the same thing they were touting several decades ago (HERE).   All of this fascination with carbs (particularly grain) and ANTI-MEAT RHETORIC hearkens back to the days of Dr. Ancel Keys famous (and discredited) SEVEN NATIONS STUDY

REASONS FOR INCREASED GLUTEN SENSITIVITY
SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE

DASH DIET

FOOD PYRAMID

NEW PYRAMID

HARVARD’S DIET

Although no one knows the exact reason(s) we have such a growing problem metabolizing wheat here in America, there are a host of theories floating around.  My guess is that all of these are working in tandem to collectively contribute to the explosion in Gluten Sensitivity.  Here are a few of them (BTW, this applies to MOST GRAINS).

  • GMO / INTENSIVE HYBRIDIZATION:  Although you will often hear that wheat has been “Genetically Modified” (GMO), this is not accurate —- yet.  No surprises here, but Monsanto is CURRENTLY WORKING ON THIS.  However, because the food industry has an infatuation with gluten (they use it as thickening agents, food starches, malt extract, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and a whole host of common food additives), industry has been hybridizing wheat for increased gluten content for decades.  Although it is difficult to know exactly how much more gluten there is in today’s wheat than there used to be, suffice it to say that the difference is significant — particularly in the grade of wheat used for baking.

  • THE PROCESS OF DEAMIDATION:  Gliadin is not water soluble (it is alcohol soluble).  The process of making it water soluble so that it can be used by the food industry is called, deamidation.  A 2003 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that although most people did not react to heirloom varieties of wheat, many had severe reactions to to deamidated wheat.  A shocking study from a 2008 issue of the European Journal of Inflammation confirmed this by touting deamidated wheat as possibly being the number one source of hidden food allergies and sensitivities.  This could be due to the fact that the part of the Immune System that actually attacks invaders (T-CELLS) is strongly activated by deamidated gliadin.  Add this to the fact that gluten happens to be the most common benign substances the body recognizes as foreign, and you can start to see why wheat protein is so heavily associated with autoimmunity (HERE).

  • CROSS CONTAMINATION:   This is simply referring to the fact that when various grains are harvested, hauled, dumped, stored, milled, etc, they will cross-contaminate.  For instance, neither corn nor oats contain gluten.  However, unless you are purchasing these from a company that is certified “Gluten Free”, there will be massive cross-contamination from every step of the process.  Bottom line: For a grain to be considered “Gluten Free”, it can never come in contact with grains that have Gluten in them. Think about it another way; you only hear about Gluten Free Diets; never “Low Gluten” or “Reduced Gluten” diets (HERE).  This is because once your body ramps up its immune system to make antibodies against the gluten protein, it takes less than 20 parts per million to trigger a reaction.  I treat a school teacher who is so Gluten Sensitive that she has more trouble during the school year, despite being on a strict gluten free diet.  This is because if she simply has physical contact with children who eat wheat, she reacts.  Fortunately her husband is gluten free as well. 

  • LONG TERM WHEAT STORAGE & ACCOMPANYING PROCESSES:  When wheat is stored in grain bins, all sorts of really nasty chemicals are mixed with it to keep it from spoiling, as well as keeping bugs from infesting and devouring it.  These include antifungals, pesticides, and a slew of other things that you hope to never be exposed to.  Then there is the issue of enterotoxins being produced by bacteria in the stored wheat.  Enterotoxins are produced by many different bacteria, and are often cytotoxic (they kill cells), acting by altering the infected person’s mucosal cell membrane permeability.  This sounds like so much medical gibberish until you realize that this process is actually describing something called……..

  • LEAKY GUT SYNDROME / INCREASED INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY:  Due to INFLAMMATORY processes that occur within the body due to SUBCLINICAL INFECTIONS & DYSBIOSIS, poor diet, STRESS, lack of exercise, CERTAIN MEDICATIONS, Gluten Intolerance / Gluten Sensitivity, etc, etc, etc, the “tight junctions” between the mucosal cells of the Small Intestine become loose.  This allows food particles, PARASITES, toxins, virus, bacteria, MOLDS, FUNGUS, undigested food particles, and who-knows-what-else, to be absorbed into the blood stream.  Once there, the body recognizes these as foreign and the Immune System begins to mount responses to attack them (HERE).   In some cases, this is normal and good.  However, the reactions often end up out of control.  For more information on LEAKY GUT SYNDROME and it’s intimate relationship to wheat, just click the link (you’ll see LGS go by at least two dozen different names in the peer-reviewed literature). 

  • INCREASED STRESS, HYPERACTIVE IMMUNE SYSTEMS, & THE SUBSEQUENT IMMUNE SYSTEM INTOLERANCE:  Once the process of Leaky Gut is underway, the results can be devastating.  Inflammation causes Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Leaky Gut Syndrome causes Inflammation. The whole thing spins in a vicious cycle, resulting in an almost unlimited number of potential health problems (HERE is a list of a few of them).  For the record, this scenario usually winds up causing some sort of AUTOIMMUNE REACTION, where your body starts attacking its own tissues, cells, and enzymes (for reasons no one really understands, once the body starts attacking gluten, it often starts attacking self.  This is why anyone who is chronically ill needs to be off gluten. Period.

  • INFLAMMATION:  Although everyone thinks they know what inflammation is, few people actually do.  For more information, see the posts that are HERE. A failure to halt inflammation means that you will never get to the source of your problem.

  • S.A.D:  The Standard American Diet for most Americans is far worse than anyone could have even dreamed of 25 years ago.  We should be eating vegetation, and animals that ate vegetation (HERE).  Just remember that grain is not vegetation.  I also need to remind many of you that corn is not a vegetable, but a grain.  When you eat a grain-based diet (particularly when those grains are heavily processed), you will eventually end up looking like a corn-fed beef.  And never forget that OBESITY itself causes inflammation — a huge causal component of Leaky Gut Syndrome.  Overeating any particular food —- especially if that food is a heavily processed grain (wheat) —- leaves one particularly susceptible to creating antibodies against that food.

  • LACK OF THE PROPER ENZYMES TO BREAK DOWN GLUTEN:  Guess where DIGESTIVE ENZYMES come from?  They mostly come from naturally raised and ripened vegetables.  Without fresh or frozen vegetables, your digestion will be poor.  Without a wide variety of vegetables in your diet, you will have low levels of enzymes, including the enzymes used by the body to break down wheat protein.  How big a problem is this?  Back when James Dobson was still hosting Focus on the Family, I remember him reporting a medical study saying that 1/3 of all American children under the age of 18 got zero servings of vegetables a week —- unless you count ketchup and fries as a vegetable —- like our Public Schools do (HERE). 

  • A STEADY BARRAGE OF VACCINES AND ANTIBIOTICS FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE:  Contrary to popular belief, ANTIBIOTICS do not strengthen the immune system.  In fact, one of Medicine’s dirty little secrets is the fact that antibiotics actually weaken the immune system —- severely (HERE).   What most people are unaware of is that vaccines do the same thing (HERE).  Sure, they might keep you from getting a certain disease (OR NOT), but the process leaves you with an immune system that does not work like God intended it to.  People end up trading things like Chicken Pox or Measles for life-long AUTOIMMUNITY.  The problem with vaccine reactions is that they tend to be neurological and immunological — particularly difficult to overcome.  It also means that they can cause just about any health problem you can imagine.  And people who have taken lots of antibiotics tend to be highly intolerant to lots of foods —- especially wheat.  This is because they destroy GUT HEALTH which makes up a whopping 80% OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM.

BUT DOC; I’VE BEEN 100% GLUTEN FREE FOR A
YEAR AND I STILL FEEL LIKE CRAP — WHAT GIVES?

If you are dealing with any sort of Autoimmune problem, it’s probably not because Gluten Sensitivity / Intolerance is not a significant part of your problem.  More than likely, it has to do with something called GLUTEN CROSS-REACTIVITYBecause your body recognizes compounds and chemicals according to their shape, it can, and often does, mistake things with a similar molecular shape to gluten — for gluten itself.    As strange as it sounds, you could be having Gluten Sensitivity Reactions to things that are not actually gluten.  What are the most common non-gluten foods that can cause Gluten Reactions?  Although there are many, here are the most common in no particular order.  Although these can be tested for via blood (Cyrex), you are much better off doing an ELIMINATION DIET.
  • Cow’s Milk
  • Quinoa (A popular African Grain)  
  • Alpha and Beta-Casein (Milk Protein)
  • Casomorphin (fragments of protein from the digestion of Casein)
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Polish Wheat
  • Spelt
  • Yeast            
  • Tapioca
  • Milk Butyrophilin (a protein associated with fat droplets in milk)
  • Amaranth
  • Teff
  • Soy
  • Buckwheat
  • Oats
  • American Cheese
  • Sorghum
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate (Milk Chocolate —- not Dark Chocolate)
  • Millet
  • Corn (Almost 100% of America’s corn is GMO)
  • Sesame
  • Rice
  • Hemp 
  • Potatoes
  • Egg
  • Others

HIDDEN SOURCES OF GLUTEN

What was one of the major differences between WWII and Vietnam?  Although there were many; arguably the biggest was that in Vietnam our troops never knew exactly who their enemies were.  The people who were trying to kill our troops looked suspiciously similar to the people we called allies.  This is how it is with gluten.  Not being able to easily recognize sources of gluten can make going “Gluten Free” frustratingly difficult.  I could give you the lists of off-limits foods here, but it would take a book to cover them all.  If you are not sure if it is Gluten Free, it probably isn’t.  There are tons of websites that have extensive lists of what to avoid, and conversely, what you can safely eat (there are even phone apps that will do it for you). 

And by the way, It’s not just about what you eat or do not eat.  Gluten is commonly used as a thickening agent / stabilizer in soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, detergents, spices, prescription & OTC medications, toothpaste, mouthwash, stamps, envelopes, and even children’s stickers.  And we have not even gotten to food items yet!  Things like additives, soy sauce, dextrin, fillers, artificial colors, as well as all sorts of things you cannot even begin to imagine, contain gluten.  And as I said a moment ago; once you are sensitive, it only takes a microscopic amount to trigger a reaction.

GLUTEN SENSITIVITY / INTOLERANCE
-VS-
CELIAC DISEASE

The only way to get the official diagnosis of “Celiac Disease” is via a biopsy of the small intestine. Firstly, this is a miserable (not to mention costly) procedure to go through.  Secondly; although it is considered the ‘gold standard’ as far as gluten testing, way too many people with Gluten Sensitivities slip through the cracks. Why is this, and how does it affect those of you dealing with NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITIES — the vast majority of those of you who have trouble with wheat or similar grains? 

Believe it or not, there are still a lot of doctors (and PASTORS) out there who believe that if you do not have “Celiac Disease”, then wheat is not and cannot be your problem (HERE) — a myth frequently parroted by the media.  However, the truth is that some people’s wheat sensitivities are just as severe, or actually even worse than having full-blown Celiac Disease (HERE), even they do not have CD. Because of this, intestinal biopsy is not all it’s cracked up to be.  

For one, the Small Intestine is one of the quickest healing organs in the body.  Research tells us that unless the biopsy is done at the right time, in the right place, the intestinal damage can either be missed completely, or healed enough that it does not meet the criteria to be officially considered Celiac Disease.  Just how bad does the damage have to be to get a diagnosis of CD?  The intestinal cells must be totally destroyed.  And if they’re not, these people are often (usually) told that gluten is not the cause of their problems, leaving them to continue spinning on the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND.

Lastly, Celiac Disease is simply the name given to autoimmune gluten sensitivity of the small intestine.  What about the gluten-induced autoimmune reactions against any of the tens of thousands of other tissues in the body?  One of the biggies being looked at right now in people with equilibrium, balance, and motor control issues is an autoimmune reaction to one’s cerebellum (CEREBELLAR ATAXIA).    Bottom line, call it whatever you want; if you have a problem with wheat you need to avoid it.  Unfortunately, you might not realize you have a problem until you really have a problem, which is why many people are avoiding it as a matter of prevention.

GLUTEOMORPHIN & GLUTEN ADDICTION

Yes, both Gluten and Cassien (milk protein) can act as drugs.  This is where the whole gluten / milk sensitivity thing starts to get really insane!  My mom’s first cousin is an M.D. who not only practices natural medicine, but is one of the world’s leading authorities on Food Sensitivities, with a particular emphasis on gluten (DR. JAMES BRALY).  One of the things I heard him talk about at least three decades ago on one of the nationally syndicated TV talk shows (I think it was Phil Donahue or Mike Douglas) is how people with food allergies or sensitivities are often severely addicted to the very foods to which they are most sensitive.  Much of this has to do with the ADRENAL REACTION or “boost” that these forbidden foods that provide via a rush of Epinephrine / Adrenaline.  But with our two most potentially-reactive foods (milk & wheat), things can get even crazier.

One of the fragments that gluten is broken down to is called Glutomorphin.   If you recognized this as is a combination of the words gluten and Morphine, you would be correct (milk is broken down to Casomorphin).  MORPHINE is one of the single most addictive compounds known to man.  In many individuals (particularly those with AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS and behavior disorders such as ADHD) Glutomorphins act just like morphine by fitting into opiate receptors in the brain. 

This is why you can find cases of people (frequently children) consuming soy sauce from the fridge, children’s stickers or stamps, or even mom’s cosmetics (yep, makeup is often thickened with Gluten), to get their gluten fix.  As you can imagine, this is a tough one to conquer.  Fortunately, Gluteomorphin sensitivity can be tested for (again, Cyrex Labs).  Just remember than an individual whose immune system is making antibodies to gluteomorphins or casomorphins will have a much tougher time in the early phases of a gluten-free diet.  In fact, they might get worse for a couple of weeks or so.  This group of people will tend toward Bipolar, self hatred, DEPRESSION, and ADDICTIONS — especially food or SUGAR ADDICTIONS; and especially Gluten-containing foods and PROCESSED CARBS.

What the public must grasp is that the far-reaching effects of gluten sensitivity can make it a potential culprit in almost any disease process you care to mention.  This is because you can be gluten sensitive and have no overt stomach or intestinal problems whatsoever.   Most people are unaware that the most common gluten reactions occur against the BRAIN, SKIN, ENDOCRINE SYSTEM, (particularly THE THYROID) as well as any number of others.   For the record, HERE is my protocol for returning to health if you are gluten sensitive — you’ll notice that it does not contain GLUTEN-FREE FOODS.
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