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Gluten, Joint Pain, Gut Problems, GERD, and Blood Sugar

Gluten, Joint Pain, Gut Problems, GERD, and Blood Sugar Issues

Life is filled with learning moments. My husband and I had one this week.

I have a friend who has been researching genetics as they relate to health issues. She volunteered to help my husband research his genetic profile as it relates to his health. Interesting and insightful. It seems that he has a gene that is directly related to celiac issues. That he doesn’t have, but that particular gene is also connected to mononucleosis, and so far this is the gene that is directly linked to mono.  He did have a terrible case of mono several years ago. The only thing that cured him was a strict juice fast and raw foods diet for 3 weeks and adding in wheatgrass juice. He has enjoyed a beer or two in his life, and most beer has gluten. There is also a direct genetic connection to B-12 issues and blood sugar problems. He has hypoglycemia. Being low in B-12 can lead to craving beer. There’s also a link with joint pain. Going gluten free is the answer along with finding the right B-12 that his body can utilize. He’s now a believer.

gluten-allergy-cartoons-image-search-results373-x-500-58-kb-jpeg-xToday we know a lot about gluten sensitivity and wheat allergies—much more than at any other time in history. There are studies showing that over 2000 years ago a little girl suffered from gluten allergy causing an autoimmune disease (celiac) that killed her early in life. It was determined from analyzing isotopes in her skeleton, which was discovered off the coast of Tuscany. Now, we know that gluten sensitivity and gluten allergy can causes minor issues to major problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and celiac disease. Such problems are ever growing. Gluten intolerance has become the health issue of today. At least 70 million Americans suffer from digestive ailments related to gluten. (National Institute of Health, 2009) Symptoms range from bloating, abdominal distress to GERD, hemorrhoids, gallstones, peptic ulcers, hernias, and inflammatory conditions like Crohn’s disease.

Gluten is in wheat, barley, and rye. It is ending up in many of the foods we eat everyday. There is considerable research being conducted now on gluten sensitivity, which is not in the category of autoimmune reactions, but still produces symptoms such as fatigue, brain fog, lowered immunity, joint pain, and headaches. It is estimated that more than 18 million Americans may be gluten sensitive. Then there is also another component of wheat that has nothing to do with gluten—amylase trypsin inhibitors (ATIs).   They are potent stimulators of the immune system and can cause immune cells to release inflammatory molecules, including Interlukin-8 (IL-8) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a).

The takeaway for today? Wheat (or gluten) allergy or sensitivity is a bonafide allergic reaction to foods containing wheat, barley, or rye. Wheat is one of the top eight food allergens in the U.S. Symptoms include swelling, itching, irritation of the mouth or throat, hives, headaches, bloating, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, cramps, nausea, diarrhea, digestive issues, food cravings, and a depressed immune system. The answer is to go completely gluten free. Everyone I’ve worked with who has health issues and has eliminated gluten has felt better. Why not give it a try?

2 comments

  1. cherry tyner

    i have sufferred from all of the above symptoms quite badly over past year. going gluten free has improved my situation but not entirely. i am on a food exclusion diet monitored by a nutritionist. and will gradually re introduce foods to see if anything else is causing problems.

    • Cherry, so glad you are on a gluten free diet. I would assume that you are still eating some foods you are sensitive too since your problems have not completely improved. Good to get rid of those foods as well. You may want to do a cleanse program also.