Somewhere in all of your research you have probably read something about the little wheat protein called gluten that is causing a big fuss. Perhaps, you may be one of many people who is noticing the ever expanding Gluten-Free section at your local grocery store. What is the big idea with this little grain? After all, we have been eating it all of these years right? So why is it being ever so publicized today? Maybe perhaps it’s just a fad-diet? Well fad diet or not this gluten-free thing is here to stay, and it may be contributing to how you are feeling, especially those who have thyroid related issues.Read More
From the Desk of Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC.....
There are many advocates of adopting a gluten free diet for the purpose of regaining health and reclaiming ones life from the ravages of an autoimmune or other illness. I am one of those advocates. I have witnessed first hand how removing gluten from ones diet can bring about a massive improvement in very ill patients.
Trying to heal your body on a gluten-free health supporting diet can get you into trouble, if you don't know what you are doing. This article can help you understand why eating gluten-free can be like opening Pandora's Box...when it comes to your health and healing. Keep reading and I promise you I will explain. You may have to read a couple of other article I wrote to totally "get it". It will be worth your efforts to dig into this important topic.
Some of the patients who I have served had been searching for answers for their "mysterious" health challenges for 50 years!
After a thorough case review and adequate testing to reveal the underlying causes of the patients body dysfunction, a proper course of action can be commenced. Often I place the ill patient on a very clean, limited food choice diet in order to curb inflammation and reduce exposure to food intolerances noted on the patients' test results. Commonly the patient is advised to avoid gluten among other substances.
After celebrating with the patient for doing such a great job with their health supporting diet over the course of 1-2 months, we start expanding their food choices. At this point is when a health transforming care plan can go very wrong without expert guidance...Patients often think that using so-called gluten-free foods to replace items they gave up to regain their health is totally okay. Unfortunately for many, eating the gluten-free analogs of the foods they used to eat habitually, often leads to a regression of their health. Substituting gluten-free prepared food items in an effort to be compliant with a health supporting diet is a newbie mistake.
In this article I will outline 5 reasons why eating gluten-free products can keep you ill.Read More
We all have that one chore or project in our house we never seem to get around to. Maybe it's cleaning the garage, finally getting the family picture framed, or reorganizing your kitchen. You know it would not take much time to accomplish the task and you will feel better when you are finished, but you just never quite seem to make the time.
Living with an autoimmune illness and chronic pain is similar. You know there probably is a better way to treat your ailments than the constant drugs, appointments and new treatments. Yet, you continue to go about your medical routine, succumbing to what feels like the inevitability of living with chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses and the host of drugs and doctors that go along with it.
However, just as you will feel better when you finally tackle that nagging chore, you can find relief from your autoimmune illness and chronic pain by stepping outside the traditional approaches to these ailments.
Gluten sensitivity is an under diagnosed common trigger of many autoimmune illnesses and chronic pain. Once patients discover they have a gluten sensitivity and commence a gluten free diet, their illness and pain often disappears. It's an amazing yet incredibly simple diagnosis that brings relief to many people suffering needlessly each year. Let's take a closer look at how this simple diagnosis can bring the much sought after cure you have been longing for.
Gluten Sensitivity: The Basics
Gluten is a protein found in common grains, specifically wheat, rye, barley. New studies show gluten is contained in all grains. Gluten is what gives dough its elasticity and helps it to rise. It is the composite of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin. Most people can eat and digest this protein without any problems.
However, many people suffer from gluten sensitivity or essentially an allergy to gluten. Unlike other allergies, say to peanuts for example, gluten does not typically cause anaphylaxis. It does, however, trigger the basic allergic response. When you consume gluten, your immune system produces antibodies to fight off what it perceives as harmful to your health. This immune response causes inflammation in your body leading to a host of autoimmune illnesses.
Modern medicine has given us many new technologies that have brought better health and longer life to many. However, modern medicine has also increased our reliance on the latest drugs for our maladies. Instead of finding the root causes of our illnesses, we simply treat the symptoms with pharmaceuticals.
Chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses rank among the top health concerns that we often treat with drugs rather than look for the underlying cause. These medications do not make illnesses go away. They merely mask the symptoms and can have serious side effects of their own leading to yet more drugs to treat those symptoms. And the cycle goes on and on. It seems there must be a better way to approach chronic pain and autoimmune illnesses than the rows and rows of pill bottles stacking up in our medicine cabinets.
Chronic pain reaches into every aspect of your life. It affects how and even if you can work. It affects your relationships with family and friends. It affects your mood and your outlook on life. Chronic pain becomes an ever present companion, accompanying you wherever you go no matter what you do.
Many who live in chronic pain spend a lifetime trying to find the cause of their pain. Traditional medicine often treats the symptoms, addressing each ache and pain as it's own illness. Take this drug for this pain. Take another drug for another ache. You may often get conflicting advice as well. Try increasing your activity. No, you need to rest. Try ice. No, try heat. Well-meaning friends and family offer all kinds of advice and old wives' tales and maybe even accuse you of making it all up.
At what point do you give up on all the misguided medical advice and give in to a life of chronic pain?
Before you give up and give in, you need to know about a common cause for chronic pain and a problem that can be solved relatively simply. A sneaky culprit may have quietly been wreaking havoc on your body for years. Gluten.
What is Gluten?
Simply put, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, malt, rye and some oats. People with a gluten sensitivity often have no idea the kind of destruction this protein is wreaking on their bodies. The traditional medical community has only recently started to acknowledge how gluten can cause damage.
People with a gluten sensitivity cannot digest this protein. As the protein travels through their digestive systems, it damages the villi in their intestines, the part of your intestines that gather nutrients from your food. Over time, you lose the ability to absorb nutrients into your body leading to a host of health problems including:
If you have gluten intolerance like I do, you will have nutritional deficiencies. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to a wind up of the immune system thereby worsening autoimmunity and/or the devlopment of additional diseases. Often only iron, sodium and postasium levels are checked on routine blood tests.
One of the hallmarks of fibromyalgia is brain fog. Many of my patients describe brain fog as confusion, forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating.
They often tell me they just don't not feel right, or they feel a bit spacey. Jokingly at times, I hear my patients say they are having a “senior moment” when they are having trouble remembering certain things. Thye might be talking to a friend at lunch, for example, and in the middle of a sentence such as “please pass the ….” and then forget either the name of what it is they want. Getting the words to flow smoothly, just isn't working. Levity aside, brain fog is NO JOKE!