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wheat allergies and celiac disease

Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease and the Importance of a Gluten Free Diet

If food allergy testing uncovers celiac disease, wheat allergies or gluten intolerance, the only option is a gluten free diet.

Gluten is a protein-carbohydrate mix found in wheat and wheat products. Gluten intolerance, which is a type of food allergy, is becoming more common as more people are developing sensitivities to gluten. Wheat allergy in the form of celiac disease is the body’s inability to handle wheat and sometimes other grains containing gluten.

Symptoms of celiac disease can include weight loss and anemia. It is worth remembering that rye, barley and occasionally oats can trigger gluten intolerance reactions. Food allergy testing is the only way to determine if either wheat allergy or gluten intolerance is the root of the problem. If so, the answer is a gluten-free diet.

wheat and food allergies

Gluten intolerance and celiac disease

Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance

At one time celiac disease affected around one in every 200 people. Today, the figure is thought to be close to one in every 33. Some experts such as James Braly, MD believe it is actually more common than that.

He also believes many cases of related gluten intolerance go undiagnosed every year. Wheat is one of the seven most common allergens in a standard Western diet. In his book Dangerous Grains he reports many nutritionists, naturopaths and doctors look at wheat allergies and gluten intolerance as a first step for patients with multiple complaints. They then recommend food allergy testing and a gluten free diet. Celiac disease can often go undiagnosed as it is often mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome.

Food and Allergy Testing

A specific way to screen for celiac disease is to have an anti-endomysial, anti-gliadin and tissue transglutaminase antibodies test, according to Liz Lipski, Phd. Anti-endomysial antibodies are the most specific. Other food allergy testing should include: wheat, oats, rye, barley, gluten and gliadin with IgE and IgG antibody testing. Gluten antibodies are positive in anyone with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. IgA levels are also higher in those with celiac disease. Intestinal permeability screening is also suggested to test for leaky gut syndrome or intestinal hyperpermeability. A comprehensive digestive stool analysis and lactose intolerance testing is also advised.

A Gluten Free Diet

the importance of a gluten free dietAny gluten free diet should obviously eliminate all gluten and gluten containing products. Grain alternatives such as corn, quinoa, rice and buckwheat are all non-glutenous. It is important to read all labels carefully. Foods such as texturized vegetable protein, desserts, processed meats, cheese, dairy and pasta often contain gluten. Some people with gluten intolerance can tolerate oats. Digestive enzymes can also be useful to aid digestive function. Specific amylast enzymes can be especially beneficial.

James Braly, MD. Dangerous Grains: Why Gluten Cereal Grains May Be Hazardous To Your Health. Penguin Putnam.
Elson M Hass, MD. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. Celestial Arts.

Elizabeth Lipski, Phd. Digestive Wellness. McGraw Hill.


Gluten: The Hidden Killer in your Food Cupboard?

finally-food-i-can-eat-coverSomething you’re eating may be killing you, and you may not even know it… Now I know that sounds terribly dramatic and sensationalist, and when I say this, I don’t mean that eating a slice of bread is going to poison you and make you drop down dead. However, the long-term effects may be far more damaging than you would ever think.

If you live on cheeseburgers or French fries or drink numerous sodas every day, you’re likely to know you are shortening your life. But how could eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread be bad for you?

Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of most Western diets.

What most people don’t know is that gluten can cause serious health complications. You may still be at risk even if you don’t have celiac disease.

So, let’s look at the truth about gluten, explain the dangers, and provide you with a simple system that will help you determine whether or not gluten is a problem for you.

The Dangers of Gluten

A recent study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer.

This study looked at almost 30,00 patients from 1969 to 2008 and examined deaths in three groups. Those with full-blown celiac disease, those with inflammation of their intestine but not full-blown celiac disease, and those with latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.

This is ground-breaking research that proves you don’t have to have full-blown celiac disease with a positive intestinal biopsy — which is what conventional thinking tells us — to have serious health problems and complications, including death, from eating gluten.

Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else — not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.

So, how easy is it to give up gluten. Well, it may not be as hard as you might think. To help you along the way, Shirley Plant, nutritionist and author of Finally… Food I Can Eat, has come up with a 21-day challenge for you. Shirley’s step-by-step approach has helped thousands of people wean themselves off not only gluten, but sugar too.

It is an easy to follow, no-nonsense programme that supports you every step of the way to giving up gluten in 21 days. Just think, in no time at all you could feel like a different person…

Even if you’re not gluten intolerant, I can almost guarantee you will feel better and lighter in less than a month.

If you want to try Shirley’s programme, here’s the link to your: 21-Day Gluten Free Challenge

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