Tag Archives: allergies

Gluten 101

3Weeks

Gluten101

One of the first questions skeptics raise about gluten sensitivity is whether or not there has been an actual increase, if gluten-free is only a temporary health fad, or if awareness is what is leading to more diagnoses and therefore the number of cases is not truly increasing.

Fifty years ago, one in 700 people were sensitive to gluten. A study now reveal that one in 100 people are reacting to gluten (1). Extensive research indicates this dramatic rise in gluten sensitivity is not only attributed to growing awareness and detection clinically but the food itself.

The gluten that is now eaten has been changed for many years and is not the same as it was for past generations. Processes of hybridization and deamination have created a “new wheat” and caused it to be inflammatory for humans to consume (1).

So, what is gluten and what is it doing to our bodies?

Gluten (glu-ten) was given its name for its glue-like properties. It is the main protein found in wheat and other grains, such as, rye, spelt, and barley.

The most commonly known and recognized reaction to gluten is Celiac disease, an autoimmune response that occurs in the small intestine after coming in contact with gluten and the body begins to attack healthy cells. This disease may be affecting up to one percent of the population.

Gluten sensitivity, on the other hand, is affecting a much greater percentage of the population and is any immune response to gluten. This has become known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).

Also, gluten can be connected to Leaky Gut Syndrome (intestinal permeability) by making the lining of the intestinal track more permeable that is, to have holes in it. The body is affected by the permeability when food particles are not fully digested and ‘leak’ from the digestion system into the bloodstream. Once any substance, not just gluten, crosses into the bloodstream, havoc can occur in one’s body from a variety of symptoms.

Many brain disorders, such as, schizophrenia, cerebellar ataxia, epilepsy, and autism, are also being linked to gluten. Many contributing factors in addition to gluten, including genetics and the environment, also play a role in mental illness (2).

Determining if a person is intolerant or sensitive to gluten can be a difficult process if the proper testing is not conducted. Standard testing has shown to be inconclusive because only a small portion of the gluten protein, alpha-gliadin, is being tested for when there are more than 100 different components of gluten that can provoke a reaction (3).

There are 12 components of wheat that cause immune responses most often. These components were identified by Cyrex Labs, which conduct five arrays of test to determine if a person is having some type of reaction to gluten.

An unforeseen issue with being gluten sensitive is cross-reactivity. Cross-reacting occurs when the body thinks another food is gluten and then reacts to it as if it were. This happens because the food’s molecular structure is very similar to gluten. There have now been twenty-four foods associated to cross-reactivity with gluten. The two most common foods are dairy and instant coffee (Cyrex Lab Array 4).

If you are thinking about how gluten may be affecting your body and want to remove it from your diet, remember that eating gluten-free food does not necessarily mean it is healthy or beneficial for your body. Processed gluten-free foods may have extra sweetener added to replicate the gluten version of the recipe, be high glycemic, and/or contain GMOs. There are many resources, recipes, and protocols to help you heal your digestion system.

Are there any health related topics you’d like to see broken down and written for teens? I’d love to have your input! Email me your suggestions at edibleattitudes (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sources:

  1. Gluten Can Devastate Brain and Nervous System
  2. 6 Ways “Heart-Healthy” Whole Wheat Can Destroy Your Health
  3. Eating Gluten Increases the Need for Thyroid Hormones
  4. Modern Wheat – Old Diet Staple Turned into a Modern Health Nightmare
  5. What Type of Gluten Intolerance do You Have?

This post is part of: Mostly Homemade Mondays, Natural Living Monday, Wellness Wednesday

 

Can Food Save Me?

CanFoodSaveMe

So much of my life revolves around the food  I can and cannot eat because it affects my daily life. It is easy to get caught up in everything and believe that what I am eating has the capability of saving me.

Regardless if I am to overcome these health problems or not, which I do believe I will, God is good and sovereign. He has a plan for all of this, and He sent his Son to save and guarantee me an eternity with Him that doesn’t include suffering of any kind. See, I am already saved. I admitted my sins to God, and I am forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus’ life. The perfect substitute for my brokenness. I don’t need food to save me and besides, it can’t.

Obviously, food is very important and I need to be eating well, but I often put too much emphasis on it. While food can help heal and protect my physical body, it cannot save my soul – which is far more important than my health. I will forget this though and rely on food to save me. God has the power and capability to save my soul and also to heal my body. Whether He uses diet or not is up to Him, it is out of my control.

I’m not going to stop eating beneficial foods though. Waiting for God does not mean not doing nothing. I can eat well. I can exercise. I can get enough sleep. The results are in God’s hands. God’s timing is not my timing, which can be frustrating beyond belief but probably a good thing because God has a plan (Mark 5:21-43). All I can do is pray to and trust God for healing and remember that food is not my Savior – Jesus is.

This post is part of: Wellness Wednesday

Summer Camp

SummerCamp

Summer camp is one of my best childhood memories! Starting in 5th grade, every summer my best friend and I went to camp for a week. Playing camp night games, singing songs to God with a hundred plus other kids, going on hikes, and spending time in the craft shop were just a few of my favorite activities. The food at camp was of course delicious with it’s excess of processed foods and the counselors insisting we eat one scoopful of vegetables a day.

My food sensitivities were not too obvious at this time. I’d bring lactose intolerant pills along and to my mortification, I had to go to the nurse’s station to take my vitamins twice a day. Besides that, everything was fairly normal.

Since then, my family and I have gone back to camp and lots of planning went into making the trips possible. We started off by contacting the camp to find out if they would be able to accommodate to our diets. Luckily, we were not the first campers to come with gluten, dairy and countless other sensitivities.

Here is how it was possible for us to go…

A few weeks before leaving for camp, we contacted the cook and talked specifically with him to create a plan. My mom asked him to email her the menu the week before we left. She’d read through it and mark all the foods we would not be able to eat. If she had more questions after that, she called or emailed the cook again.

The camp was able to make a few substitutions or remove an ingredient or two to make parts of meals okay for us but for the most part we prepared food ahead of time. For example, if the meat wasn’t allowed in one meal, for whatever reason, then we’d cooked a hamburger or packed a few hot dogs to be made instead. None of the desserts were safe so cookies were baked prior also.

All the food was put into ziploc bags and containers marked with the date or meal they were meant for. We took the food with us and went to the kitchen as soon as we could when we arrived. The kitchen staff then kept it in a cooler and warmed it up each meal.

I had only positive experiences at camp and have been blessed with an amazing staff who was willing to make it possible for me to go. With registration for many camps already open, if you are considering going to camp but are unsure if it would be possible for you to go because of your food restriction then I highly encourage you to contact them before ruling it out.

Camp is an amazing experience you don’t want to miss if you don’t have too!

This post is part of: The North StarMostly Homemade MondaysNatural Living Mondays, Fat Tuesday, Tuned-in Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Fight Back Fridays, Unprocessed Fridays

Facebook Group for Teens with Food Restrictions

FacebookGroupForTeensWithFoodRestrictions

There is a new Facebook group just for teenagers (middle school, high school, and young adults) with food restrictions! Food restrictions can be anything from a one to multiple food sensitivities, allergies, or intolerances. If you are on a diet like GAPS, Paleo, SCD or have your own personalized diet then you are welcomed to join the group as well!

From my personal experiences, having food restrictions is difficult for anyone but they are especially hard for teenagers because we are young to have our health problems and even younger to be doing something about them.

I spent many hours looking for a Facebook group, blog, or just blog post about teenagers with food restrictions. I found almost nothing. All I wanted was a community to relate to and to support me when my friends weren’t able to understand what I was going through. So that’s what this group is for- to create a community and support system for all of us.

To be successful though, this group needs to be supportive, welcoming, and kind to all the members. No one should feel nervous or afraid to ask a question. This should a safe environment to ask for advice about anything related to the struggles that come with food restrictions. This group is also a place to share what you are going through-struggles and successes.

If you are a teenager with food restrictions we would love to have you join the group! Even if you feel as if you don’t necessary need advice or support, others do and there is power in numbers. You can also help others by answering their questions and offering advice based on your experiences.

I hope many of you join the group and I look forward to getting to know you!

Parents- If you think your teenage child would benefit from this group, please encourage them to join us because we would to have them!

** I know Facebook isn’t that cool anymore so if you have a suggestion for a different and more trending social media network to move the group to, please contact me.**

This post is part of Mostly Homemade Mondays, Fat Tuesdays, Wellness WednesdaysThe North Star