Gluten – Why are we hearing so much about it?
The reason you are hearing so much about gluten – is in part due to the science of agriculture and genetic modification. The genes in the seeds have been altered to make the crops grow bigger, and more resistant to disease. The problem for our bodies is that wheat now contains altered proteins that are not natural to the plant. Once in our bodies the protein is hard to digest which can lead to digestive symptoms such as bloating, heart burn and gas. What is more scary – we now have evidence that these modified proteins can cause immune reactions in the gut that can lead to autoimmune disease.
One very common autoimmune disease is Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. I have seen first hand in my practice – patients developing antibodies against their thyroid – the definition of an autoimmune process. Once I advise that they give up gluten for 1- 3 months their numbers start to normalize. Granted they may complain about the challenges of a gluten free or gluten reduced diet – but I tell them it is their decision to make. I tell them they can feed their bodies differently and possibly avoid the need to take life long thyroid medication.
My goal is to help educate people on how to eat better in our current world. I tell them – I wish we did not have to avoid foods that we have eaten our whole lives and enjoy. But today’s reality is that many of these foods are leading to chronic disease. The proof is in the pudding, when people stop or reduce gluten they feel better.