Here’s the deal friends. I’ve been anti-gluten free for years. I thought it was just a trend. After all, if you don’t have a legitimate medical reason to go gluten-free, and take gluten out of your diet anyway, you’ll develop an intolerance. Why make a decision to become intolerant?
Turns out, as against it as I’ve been, it’s now time for me to go gluten-free. After having several conversations with my Doctor, it was determined that if I go gluten-free, I’m setting myself up for a healthier future. You see, there are several autoimmune diseases including Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Crohn’s Disease. Diabetes, and some others, in my family history. They can also be hereditary. I had a health scare a few years ago – thankfully, all ended well, but when the Doctor wanted to run a test for Multiple Sclerosis, a horrible autoimmune disease, I was terrified. At this time, I’ve got a clean bill of health and I’d like to keep it that way!
What does all this have to do with gluten? Autoimmune diseases can be directly affected by gluten and are collectively the number 1 disease condition in the U.S. For three major reasons – gluten causes a leaky gut, inflammation, and looks like your own tissues. Let’s break it down. Now, I’m not a doctor, so I’m going to directly quote Dr. Amy Myers – check out her information site mentioned at the bottom of this post.
1) Leaky Gut
“You can think of your gut lining kind of like a drawbridge. Teeny tiny boats (micronutrients in food) that are meant to travel back and forth are able to go under the bridge without a problem. But, when gluten releases zonulin, it causes the drawbridge to go up, allowing bigger boats (large proteins like gluten) to cross over that aren’t meant to travel through. Zonulin is a chemical that signals the tight junctions of your intestinal wall to open up, creating intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut. In the case of your gut, it’s microbes, toxins, proteins, and partially digested food particles that are passing under the drawbridge and escaping into your bloodstream
…Once you have an autoimmune disease, leaving your leaky gut untreated can cause your condition to progress and places you at higher risk of developing another autoimmune disease. So what is the link between a leaky gut and autoimmune disease?
Since all of the toxins, microbes, and food particles such as gluten now flooding your bloodstream aren’t supposed to be there, your immune system marks them as dangerous invaders and creates inflammation to get rid of them, which leads us to point number two.”
“Inflammation is your immune system’s natural response to anything it deems dangerous, whether that’s a cut, a virus, or the gluten that you ate in a piece of birthday cake that slipped through your leaky gut… and eating gluten causes inflammation every time they eat it. What’s more, an estimated 99 percent of people with gluten sensitivity are undiagnosed, so they are fanning the flames of their inflammation without even knowing it.
When your immune system is continuously creating inflammation in response to the gluten you’re eating, your leaky gut, and the microbes and toxins flooding your bloodstream, you develop chronic inflammation. Your immune system is now stressed and is less able to attack pathogens and invaders with precision. Instead, it begins indiscriminately sending wave after wave of attack in a desperate attempt to fight off the invaders. Eventually, your body’s own tissues end up on the receiving end of the attack, and you end up with an autoimmune disease.
The only way to give your immune system the break it needs to regain its precision so that it can stop mistakenly attacking you, is to remove gluten entirely. That last word, entirely, is important because recent research has shown that eating gluten can elevate your gluten antibodies for up to three months, meaning that even if you only ate gluten four times a year, you would be in a state of inflammation year-round.”
3) Looks Like Your Own Tissues
“Beyond creating a leaky gut, gluten poses a serious risk for those of us with autoimmunity because of a phenomenon called molecular mimicry, which is a dangerous case of mistaken identity.
Every time your body is exposed to an invader (in this case gluten), your immune system memorizes its structure so that it can develop the perfect defense to that pathogen and recognize it in the future. Unfortunately, the immune system’s recognition system isn’t perfect; as long as a molecule’s structure is similar enough, the immune system registers it as an invader and attacks. Gluten, which is a particularly large protein, happens to be structurally similar to a number of your body’s tissues, particularly your thyroid. Remember, if you have an autoimmune disease, you have a leaky gut and when your ‘drawbridge is open’ large proteins like gluten get into your bloodstream where your immune system detects and attacks them.”
I hope you’ve found this information helpful. Have any tips or thoughts? Let us know!
Dr. Amy Myers – http://www.amymyersmd.com