I had this awesome catch up with a great group of friends on the weekend. We sat around chatting about life, relationships, kids, work, all sorts of things but one of the topics that really jumped out at me was our conversation about gluten.
All of them were in some way affected by gluten intolerance. For some, their kids have been diagnosed with gluten intolerance (non-celiac gluten sensitivity – NCGS), others it was their partners. Most of them said that they personally experienced symptoms of NCGS but hadn’t been ‘tested’; they just know that they bloat and feel horrible after eating food that contains gluten.
It really got me wondering, how is that only a few years ago I had barely heard of celiac’s disease and rarely heard of people being food intolerant to anything, to today, 100% of the group I was talking with was affected in some way. This just seemed amazing and crazy to me.
I have seen articles (and watched a hilarious video) about people jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon however; I don’t think that this is necessarily true. None of the people in this group give a shit about trends and fads when it comes to what they eat. Reality for them is what is happening to theirs and their family’s bodies after eating gluten and that’s it.
So why are so many more people affected? There seem to be plenty of theories and no real answers out there. Gluten has been a part of the human diet for at least 10,000 years! Is it all just a clever marketing ploy from the ‘Gluten Free’ Industry to improve sales? Have we all been brain washed into linking our sore and swollen tummies to that big choc cupcake we had a morning tea?
Celiac disease is 4 times more common now than just 67 years ago. Gluten intolerance is a little harder to track due to there being no formal diagnosis but if you Google gluten intolerance; there are a lot of people talking about it and how much it has increased.
What if it’s not the ‘what’ but the ‘how’ that is the real culprit?
Wheat and wheat processing today is exceedingly different from 100 years ago and even more so than 1,000 years ago yet the human body has not evolved as rapidly. In Australia, wheat has been progressively modified so that it can grow in our climate. Only 100 years ago, wheat hybridisation was successful in producing a wheat variety that could grow in Australia and produce bread quality flour.
The process of wheat plant to table is also dramatically different today than it was 100 years ago. These days, wheat crops are more often treated with poisons prior to harvest and then treated with poisons again when going into storage so that grains can be stored without pests eating them. If the pests don’t want to eat it, neither do I!!!
It used to be that grains where harvested and locally consumed within a short period of time. These days, farms are harvested; grains are stored for long periods and then shipped to a much wider consumer. Many modern commercial bakeries also add extra gluten to baked goods to make the baking process more efficient plus they often use bleached flour that has been treated with some pretty nasty chemicals.
Below is a graphical representation of the increased application of Glyphosphate on wheat compared to deaths due to intestinal infection in the US over the last 20 years. This is only one of the nasty chemicals being added to our foods.
So what does this all mean? Is it the end of the Australian tradition of vegemite on toast for breakfast?
The short answer is no.
The longer answer…
Gluten intolerance (or poison intolerance as I prefer to call it) can be managed and overcome.
Essentially, when experiencing symptoms of gluten intolerance a persons body is experiencing an immune response to the toxins entering it (whether the toxin is gluten or another man-made poison….. see my point above). An autoimmune disease happens when the body’s immune system starts to attack healthy cells, treating them as a foreign invader.
The link between a body’s normal immune response and an autoimmune response is the inflammation caused by external toxins. Removing the inflammation can essentially remove the autoimmune disease.
So the easiest way to do this is by removing the source of the built up toxins. A great kick-start to this process is doing a juice cleanse (refer to my blog – How Toxic Are You?) for a step by step on how to start this.
A juice cleanse will eliminate any foods from your diet that are causing inflammation.
Next, introduce some good quality, live probiotics into your diet on a regular basis. This will help your gut micro biome regrow from any time that you have had a course of antibiotics that have potentially wiped out your good gut bacteria.
Finally, get your bowels moving. Add a daily dose of prebiotics to your routine with a spoonful of psyllium husk in a cup of room temp, purified water before bed. Removing built up toxins from your intestine with the fibre pus feeding your good gut bacteria will strengthen your immune system and reduce your body’s levels of inflammation.
Reintroduce foods slowly back into your diet after your cleanse starting with only whole, fresh, organic foods. Introducing foods and food groups slowly will give you the insight you need to understand your body’s response to different foods.
Avoid processed foods or any foods that contain ingredients that didn’t exist 50 years ago.
It may or may not be the gluten in our foods causing all of the trouble but whether it is or it isn’t really isn’t the point. The system of poisoning our foods and then feeding that food to the population is going to end in disaster not only for our over-all health but also for the health of our planet.
Johnson, D.W., & Townsend, L.H., University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Controlling Insects in Stored Grain, https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef145
Samsel, A., & Seneff, S., , Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II:
Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance, Interdiscip Toxicol. 2013; Vol. 6(4): 159–184. http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/ITX_2013_06_04_Seneff.pdf