Where to begin! We have been seeing a LOT of anti-health propaganda lately, from vaccinations to foods and so on. The subject of gluten is one that is a particular hot-button right now, but gluten is really the tip of the iceberg. Articles such as this (https://www.yahoo.com/food/3-myths-about-gluten-you-probably-believe-119544046486.html) are actually doing a great dis-service to the public for a number of reasons. In no particular order, here are some of the most egregious.
Calling Gluten Free Diets a Fad. This is perhaps the worst because it overlooks all the science that Gluten is not a healthy substance for many humans to consume. Gluten is a protein structure that occurs in modern wheat and to a lesser extent in Barley, Rye and other grains. Because modern wheat is a recent hybrid, our bodies are not necessarily adapted to it (depending on our own genetic background).
Our bodies respond to problem foods in different ways, collectively referred to as Adverse Food Reactions. The main types are Food Intolerances (Lactose Intolerance is perhaps the poster-child of this category). Intolerances are an inability to digest a particular food, which persists in our gut or system and causes symptoms. The second type are Food Sensitivities, which amount to inflammatory responses by our immune system. Actual Food Allergies are a response by our immune system’s white blood cells which respond by producing anti-bodies against the food or an ingredient in it. These are considered to be the most severe of the three main types.
Allergies come in two general categories, rapid-onset and delayed onset. rapid onset allergies are what most people think of when talking about food allergies; wheezing, airway blockages, etc. Common trigger foods for this are peanuts, shrimp and strawberries. Most people find out they have these the first time they eat the food in question. Rapid onset allergies are controlled by a type of immunoglobulin called IgE.
Delayed onset allergies are more insidious. symptoms develop slowly, over months and years. These are controlled by several categories of immunoglobulins, most commonly IgG, IgM, and IgA. Symptoms include skin disorders (eczema, psoriasis, chronic acne, dark circles under the eyes), joints (all forms of arthritis, fibromyalgia), GI tract symptoms (constipation or diarrhea, abdominal bloating, gas, Reflux or GERD); weight gain, respiratory conditions (asthma, constant runny nose or other allergy symptoms, sudden onset of coughing after eating a problem food).
Despite all this documented science, conventional medicine tends not to recognize delayed onset allergies as a problem. This is something I find fascinating, because if the antibodies were present against an infectious agent such as bacteria or viruses, they would all agree that it represented a latent infection and needed to be addresses.
The above article actually reports on some of the studies which show many types of medical conditions improving by gluten elimination, but then concludes “studies don’t mean anything”. I guess that’s the response when the study returns results you don’t like based on preconceived notions.
The bottom line is, gluten MIGHT be a problem, and it usually doesn’t occur alone. On the blood tests that look at delayed onset anti-bodies, out of a 200 food panel, it is very rare for someone to be allergic only to gluten. Other foods are often implicated.
Most modern food problems are related to food quality – be it over processing, adding artificial ingredients such as preservatives, or genetically modified foods (GMOs). Picking out which part of your symptoms is caused by GMOs, which by over processing, which by additives and which by adverse food reactions, can be a difficult job. If you have any of the above symptoms, though, you should make the effort to find out.