Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics. There are certain “truths” when it comes to gluten that truly cannot be overstated.
- We, as humans, cannot properly digest the protein gluten. Does that mean no one? Yes. Does that mean that no one should be eating it? Probably. Does that mean that every human is gluten intolerant? I don’t know about that one, but I am suspicious that may very well be the case. Imagine if in 100 years humans look back at this time period when we “thought” eating wheat was good for us as a time when we were greatly misinformed. Wouldn’t that be interesting?
- For a significant part of the population eating any amount of gluten can be likened to consuming a poison. The damage may occur more slowly but occur it does.
- Gluten seems to be an underlying root cause of autoimmune disease. While there is much in the research about this, clinically we too see it time after time with our patients and their families. What is most interesting with autoimmune is that the disease that affects one family member can be different from other members. Point in fact the patient I just saw is gluten sensitive. Her daughter has thyroid disease, she has osteoporosis, her sister has an autoimmune nervous system disease and her mother had dementia. Another gluten sensitive patient has arthritis, diabetes and osteoporosis in her family tree. Autoimmune disease is a definite red flag that should cause an individual to evaluate the possible role that gluten is contributing.
- While we now know that celiac incidence (and likely gluten sensitive incidence as well) increases with age, many children are being negatively affected by gluten. If all pediatricians and parents knew the signs of celiac and gluten sensitivity we could prevent a lot of health problems in our next generation.
- You know the expression “it takes a village”? I believe that is highly accurate when it comes to successfully avoiding gluten. I’m constantly giving patients good ideas of how to get through life gluten-free. After almost 20 years of doing this I should have many good ideas! But my ideas and helpful hints are not enough. Individuals need to have support. Whether it’s a formal support group or a website or helping others whom you know discover that they too are gluten intolerant, working to have people around you who understand why you eat and live the way you do is critical. Here at my clinic we are launching a support group next month for patients and non-patients alike. I’m also launching a new website in the near future that will have many more tools to support those leading or needing to lead a gluten-free life.
I’m very, very excited about the New Year. There are so many exciting new things on the horizon including new lab tests, new educational tools and new research findings.
Please do let me know what I can do to make your journey easier. I am here to help.
Let me know if I can be of any further assistance. HealthNOW is a destination clinic and we see patients from all over the country as well as internationally. If you want more information on this service just click here.
To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of the bestselling “The Gluten Effect”