So you’re up all night wondering what exactly it is that you have. All the doctors have told you “Take this pill” “Go see this specialist”. You’re not getting better and the answers you’ve been given are leading you nowhere. At this point your desperate for anyone to just listen to you and give you a diagnosis. What are your symptoms? Anything from headaches to stomach pain, joint pain to anxiety or depression, rashes to lumps, teeth pain or possibly a tooth falling out. You just want answers and you want them now! I’m listening. And the first thing I would tell you to do is simply google celiac disease and learn all you can about that disease. Celiac Disease is one of the trickiest diseases to diagnose because the symptoms are all over the board. Over 300 symptoms have been reported and this disease is misdiagnosed all the time.
Before I go deep here, let’s define what Celiac Disease is. Celiac Disease is different from a gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder. When gluten comes in contact with a person with celiac disease, the body begins to attack itself and can manifest some pretty nasty symptoms…which I will get into in just a minute. The Vilii in the intestines no longer absorb nutrients. Instead of standing up straight, they flatten down. This can wreak havoc on the body. It affects 1% of the population. That’s actually a lot of people and that number is growing every day.
A gluten sensitivity can have similar symptoms, only the vilii are not damaged in the intestine. The only true way to test if you have celiac disease is to get an endoscopy and maybe genetic testing. A less invasive way to diagnose small children would be a saliva swab test. In either case, your best bet is to give up gluten. I’m sorry to burst your bubble here but it’s really up to you if you want to get well or not. And if you’re really ready, I’m going to tell you how.
Gluten is a protein found in Wheat, Barley and Rye and it’s counterparts Einkorn and spelt. Gluten is the Latin word for “glue”. It binds everything together. It makes cinnamon rolls stretchy and cakes nice and dense. If you have a sensitivity to gluten or celiac, you really should avoid these grains or grasses at all costs if you want to avoid discomfort and heal your gut. You see all health stems from the gut. I once heard that the gut is the queen of your entire system. If the queen is angry, she’ll take down the kingdom!!! The problem is, gluten is found in almost everything although there is still quite a large market coming forward in the gluten-free movement. It’s really time to start reading labels. Gluten is found in sauces, soups, salad dressings, taco seasoning and….have you ever licked an envelope to seal it up? Yep, there’s gluten in that seal too! So as you’re navigating this gluten-free thing, just know there will be hurdles to jump over. You’re going to feel like there’s nothing for you to eat. That’s not true! Go to your local library and start reading some gluten free cook books. Dive into the Paleo world and you’ll find a wealth of gluten free options. As far as junk food goes, there’s TONS of gluten free junk food out there, but it’s not good for you. And the manufacturers know that too. Gluten free chips and treats can spike your blood sugar and cause a buildup of visceral fat (fat surrounding your organs and mid-section) If you want to do this right, just stick to whole, single ingredient foods….an apple, a salad, avocado, chicken, beef, pork, tomatoes, kale, spinache etc….you get the point. Pinterest some gluten free meals, you’ll find lots. This goes back to shopping the outer perimeter of the grocery store only! No more packaged foods. They are all processed and most likely contain gluten. Some reputable companies really try to produce quality gluten-free gmo free snacks. Just do your research and ask around. And be aware that once you make this decision there will be a lot of discomfort the first week in. Wheat has opiates which stimulate the brain making you want more and more. So just like kicking an addiction to cigarettes, this will be equally as hard. You are addicted to wheat and you don’t even know it until you go off it completely. Be prepared and just know that going in. Always have an abundance of food on hand that you CAN eat and start cooking in your kitchen again. You’ll need that cooking skill as you become gluten free. BUT OH THE JOY YOU’LL FEEL as you truly heal your body and experience health! Possibly for the first time. Your skin will glow, your pain and discomfort will go away, you’ll look and feel younger, your digestive track will work properly, you’ll tap into creativity, you’ll have focus and drive, your clothes will fit better (you’ll probably have to buy new ones), you’ll experience a calm as you learn to listen to and honor your body and what it needs! Are you ready?
Let’s talk symptoms of Celiac disease...this list will be long. See if you can find any symptoms of your own in the ones I am about to list. Here we go: lets start with
Gastrointestinal Problems: CHRONIC DIARRHEA, SEVERE CONSTIPATION, ABDOMINAL BLOATING, ABDOMINAL PAIN, WEAKNESS, MALABSORBTION, VOMITING, BURNING STOMACH, NAUSEA, ANEMIA, ACID REFLUX, WEIGHT LOSS/GAIN, FAILURE TO THRIVE IN CHILDREN
NERVOUS SYSTEM SYMPTOMS: DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, PANIC ATTACKS, MOOD DISORDERS, NEUROPATHY, ATAXIA, PALSY, SCHIZOPHRENIA, AUTISM, BIPOLAR DISORDER, ATTENTION DEFICIT, PSYCHOSIS, DEMENTIA
Other conditions not normally linked to Celiac Disease:
INFERTILITY, MOUTH SORES, CANKER SORES, SKIN RASHES, ALOPECIA, ELEVATED LIVER ENZYMES, OTHER AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.
Gluten hides in EVERYTHING: Anything containing wheat (breads, cakes, pastas, cereals, muffins etc..), boullion cubes, candy and chewing gum, ice cream, canned soups cheese spread, thickeners, french fries, frosting, gravy and most sauces, most condiments, malt vinegar, pickles, salad dressing, sausage, cold cuts
Its really important to start reading labels.
*Question: But the bible tells us to eat wheat
*Answer: The wheat they ate in bible times was called Emmer Wheat or even pure Einkorn wheat. The wheat has since cross breaded with many grasses and has a plethora of chromosomes which we know affects us is some ways. But even more, our wheat (and we have an abundance now), has been sprayed with roundup causing it to dwarf. This means a high yield in little time. It was making more money for everyone involved so this practice continues regardless of how it’s affecting our bodies on a cellular level. Some people call this chemical Mutagenesis.
*Im not going to get into Gliadin and Glutenin, but these are the proteins within gluten that are intermingling and causing problems. Research those terms on your own time.
Back to the Opiates. This is what tricks your brain into wanting more and more. Just like an addiction. So here’s the sad part: If you have ADD or ADHD it triggers the outburst and erodes your attention span. An everyday person can get mental fog and difficulty concentrating. If you have Bulemia or an eating disorder, you can get 24hr/day food obsessions. If you have schizophrenia, it can cause hallucinations or hearing voices. If you have bipolar illness, it triggers the high. For those who don’t have any of those things, what does the opiates in wheat do? They stimulate appetite. You’ll eat 400 more calories on average per day.
The list of autoimmune disorders associated with wheat consumption is so long and vast, but let me name some of the biggies: Crohn’s Disease, Lupus, Hashimoto’s, Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, Rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes. If you have any of these conditions, I wouldn’t touch gluten with a 10 foot pole!
2 slices of whole wheat bread will spike insulin levels more than 6 teaspoons of table sugar!!!
*Question: But why would the FDA recommend everyone eat grains as the largest portion of our meals?
*Answer: MONEY! We grow a lot of wheat here along with corn and soy. Of course they’re going to push those grains on us. Doesn’t everything government involved include money and greed of some sort? (sorry if you work for the government and disagree) Plus, if they can keep us sick, we keep buying pills. Health Care is a HUGE money maker here in the US. Have you ever been shocked by your medical bill for just one little visit that took 7 min? This is how America operates. Cancer is a business.
But I believe it’s our DIVINE RIGHT to live healthily and happily on this planet for as long as we can!
If you can soak up any of this information, live it and pass it on, you would be doing this world a service.
*Question: But what about birthday’s and holidays? What am I suppose to eat?
*Answer: There is an alternative for almost every single food out there! Birthday cake, pumpkin pie, gravy, doughnuts…whatever! All gluten free! If you’re hosting the party or event, you have all the control over the ingredients. If you show up at a party, this is where you’ll have to bring your own gluten free goodies. Many people are doing this every single day, you can too!
Just know that textures are going to be different and that’ll take some getting used to.
Here are some tips to get you going on your gluten free journey:
Focus on whole, nutrient dense, naturally gluten-free foods!
-Fruits and Veggies, Plant based proteins (beans, nuts and seeds), Organic Meats, poultry and fish, Dairy when tolerated, Gluten-Free whole grains (Certified GF oats, brown and wild rices, quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat, corn, teff, sorghum, coconut and nut flours)
-Choose restaurants when eating out that have gluten free options
-When traveling, reserve a room with a mini fridge/kitchenette so you can prepare your own meals
-Carry an abundance of GF options for traveling
-Invest in a portable cooler
-Always read labels when shopping
-Search out gluten free recipes (library, internet etc..)
-Learn basic cooking skills
-Join a celiac/gluten free support group
-Invest in a few good gluten free cookbooks (many paleo cookbooks are completely gluten free)
This is not a death sentence! You have many many options out there in the world! When you learn how to navigate it all, you’ll thrive and feel amazing!!
If you’re not a Celiac, I would still suggest experimenting cutting gluten out of your diet for 30 days. Introduce it again after that and then LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. It will tell you within a few hours time if not right away if you have a sensitivity (headache, gas, achy, tired etc..)
I am inching my way into a gluten free lifestyle myself. As of now I eat about 90% gluten free (our family has an occasional pizza night or whatever) But I always feel so much better without heavy breads or pastas in my diet.
Many of my clients completely heal just by cutting out flour and sugar. The transition at first is not easy as I mentioned earlier, but it’s oh so worth it!!
Good luck on your journey!👏
💖 Health Coach Heather