Updated: Sep 23, 2019
We’re frequently served up the ‘standard answer’ as to whether we’re gluten intolerant or not. Mainstream medicine claims there’s no such thing as gluten intolerance and to that, we breathe a sigh of relief! Thank goodness we don’t have to give up bread! (I’m hearing you.)
The current advice is that we either have celiac disease (an autoimmune condition which requires removal of all traces of gluten) or we don’t! If we don’t… go right ahead and eat as you normally would. Sadly this is far from the truth, when examining holistic medicine where our physical and mental health functions as a whole.
Personally, I think we’ve had our head in the sand far too long, when it comes to how gluten can affect our overall health. Chris Kresser wrote a very comprehensive (but long) eBook on the topic, so in this post, I’m going to break down the main points for you to save you the long read!
I got to say I’m so happy you’re reading this, because at least YOU have an open and inquiring mind when it comes to your health and this will always elevate you, and those who take your lead.
So, What Is Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance?
Truth be told that their is another health issue, called ‘non-celiac gluten intolerance,’ where people’s bodies react to gluten, but don’t have celiac disease.
This reaction is an inflammatory response or a general wear and tear on our gut, which then goes on to imbalance our other body systems too, such as thyroid, hormones, joints, skin, energy, mental health and much more.
This condition is the one the media has downplayed of late, saying that there’s no such thing. To add to this cycle of advice, many GP’s (not all) are still telling their patients the same thing.
So Where’s The Proof That Gluten Is A Problem For Us?
We need to be careful who’s doing the research. The more I look at ‘research’ the more I see a tonne of bias, geared to self interest and I find this probably one of the most disgusting patterns in our modern society. Especially when it comes to information we need for our health.
So ask yourself is it biased or is it honest research, concerned with giving us the truth about our health. Is it instead lining some company or industry back pocket? (i.e. pharmaceutical companies, processed food companies, government and the medical industry.)
Now there will always be those of us who will contest this topic, and argue which research is ‘science’ and which isn’t. Sadly though, ‘science’ based research can be funded by self serving industries because simply put they really do have the power to do so.
The Research Stating That Gluten Intolerance Is A Real Thing “30% of newly diagnosed patients with gluten intolerance don’t have any gut symptoms and for every new case diagnosed, nearly 6 1/2 cases are un-diagnosed”
Note that the ‘un-diagnosed,’ tend to be people who go to their doctor about other symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, lack of energy, skin issues, depression, and health conditions such as type 1 diabetes, endometriosis, insulin resistance, IBS, ADHD, Fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and thyroid conditions.
Sadly in many cases, these people are not once told to change their diet and remove gluten to see if this is weakening their health. Instead in a prescription and life long commitment to medicine.
“It turns out our doctors are wrong and that there’s a growing body of evidence proving that gluten intolerance could be even a bigger problem than celiac disease, because it has so few relatable signs.”
“The majority of patients with neurological issues from gluten intolerance have no digestive symptoms.” (3)
“A rapidly increasing number of papers have been published by many independent groups, confirming that GS [non-celiac gluten sensitivity] should be included in the spectrum of gluten-related disorders.” (4)
So Why Aren’t We Told The Truth?
Why would main stream media and other industries, say that gluten isn’t a problem for our health? It’s so complicated isn’t it. Perhaps a control of the masses? And maybe it’s because gluten-containing foods and beverages such as bread and beer have played such a central role in our culture and we need to protect this!
Or perhaps we distrust anything we perceive to be inauthentic or ‘a fad.’ or we just don’t want to know about it!
We are however, seeing real evidence of gluten intolerance every day in our holistic health clinics and also in unbiased research. And remember the gluten grain is not as ‘clean and pure’ as it used to be, it’s now mainly GMO (Genetically Modified) and therefore has had a flood of pesticides and herbicides, which we then eat.
How Do You Know If You’re Gluten Intolerant?
Lab testing for gluten intolerance can be very inaccurate. So the removal of gluten from your diet for 60-90 days (then reintroducing it) is still the most accurate way to test (I know this is not what you wanted to hear!)
Unfortunately, many of us hate the thought of doing eliminating foods. Some of my clients say they’d rather lose a finger than give up bread!
But what’s our choice? We either keep silently poisoning ourselves for fear of changing our diet (a bit) or we learn new and better ways to eat, that will actually make us feel and look better and extend our quality of life! I’m on board for the second option!
How To Test Yourself In 3 Steps
Many people ask me how long do they need to give up gluten? It must be a good while, in order for our body to calm and heal from a possible gluten assault. ‘If’ you have an antibody there for gluten (immune alarm bells) it will be activated as soon as you have it again, but firstly ‘get clean’ then reintroduce it again.
Step 1. Take out all gluten foods from your diet for 2 months. (check this because many processed sauces, beer, chocolate bars etc. contain hidden gluten. Become an Ingredient Nazi… You want to get it right if you’re going to the trouble of doing this. Be strict, even the smallest amount will give you an inaccurate reading in the next step.
Step 2. At the end of the 2 month mark, cook up a bowl of barley and eat it. See what happens to how you feel and/or if you have any old symptoms.
Step 3. A few day later, eat a piece of wheat bread. See how you feel again. You’ll now know if it’s the wheat or gluten that you have problems with.
What’s The Difference Between Wheat and Gluten?
There are some products that contain wheat, but not gluten and visa versa. By eating the barley (which is a gluten containing grain, and you have a reaction to it, this means your likely to be gluten intolerant.)
If you don’t react to the barley, but do react to the wheat bread, this suggests you’re intolerant to wheat.
And of course, if you don’t notice any difference in how you feel with either the barley or the bread, then you may not be intolerant to either. It’s the removal and then re-introducing it that’s key.
So you may be able to safely eat gluten containing products, just as long as you stay away from products with wheat in it. There’s also some question about whether FODMAP foods also a part of the gluten puzzle, however this is for another post.
So What To Do Now?
I hope this helps you and clears up some questions you have about if you should be giving up gluten or not.
If you have a friend or family member with the same question, please share this post. It could be just the information that they’re looking for.
And if you’d like step-by-step individual help with your health, checkout more info on my new membership site >>Empowered Women’s Health Click Here<< – I’ve built this for women who don’t have the time or the mental space to to deal with their health anymore… OR who can not see me for a one-on-one consultation!