Friday, January 14, 2011
Why did we go gluten free????
So here goes my explanation, to the best of my ability :)
Upon talking to a few people who have gone gluten free and doing my own research, it seems that gluten, especially wheat, is no longer a food that is proper for human consumption.
Now stay with me here and read on....I think I have a pretty good explanation for why I have come to this conclusion!!
The wheat that was originally placed on the earth was a product meant for human consumption and had many health benefits....but that wheat has been altered, they actually call it hybridized. Wheat started off genetically, with one chromosome and now there are species with 2, 4 and 6 chromosomes. Now I have no experience in the science of hybridizing plants, but that seems like a pretty extensive altering process.
I am sure we all know why this process of hybridization is happening. The goal is make the wheat easier to grow and harvest, keep it from spoiling faster and to make it taste better (usually by increasing the sugar content).
In addition, or actually due to this hybridization, is the issue of lectin. Lectin, is a protein in wheat. This is a very sturdy protein and our bodies are not good at breaking them down for elimination. With the hybridization came a higher proportion of protein, which is where the lectin issues comes in. There is far too much of the protein for the body to digest and thus, it gets absorbed into our body and wreaks havoc. Please read this article....it does such a great job at explaining this nasty protein and the damage it creates in the body.
As I understand it, it is highly unlikely that one would be able to find wheat of any sort that has not been hybridized.
One thing to note, for those that are into sprouting...it sounds like sprouting will do nothing to these Lectin proteins and that they continue to be just as damaging after the process
Many people these days are having issues digestively and are having a gamut of tests performed to see what is going on. Actually many people are having issues far beyond just the realm of digestion and they are looking into the possibility of food intolerances. There are so many things that can happen to your body, if you are eating something that it can't handle. You can have symptoms show up with your skin, your nervous system, respiratory system, basically the food you are intolerant to can mess up your whole system!!! Okay ..I got off on a little tangent, lets stick to wheat/gluten.
The problem is, that many of these tests performed (by taking blood samples) are coming back showing no issues with gluten. The reason is that these tests, along with biopsies of the intestine will only be helpful for those with severe issues with gluten. For these tests to show up positive, the body has had to have gone through a lot of damage for quite some time.
The test that needs to be performed for the most accurate diagnosis is done by collecting stool or saliva. These "bodily fluids" will show distress in relation to gluten that may never show up in the blood.
*** I am not sure if these types of tests can be done in any local lab, or if you have to go to a specialized lab. There is one company that does do the testing and all you have to do is order it over the internet. I am not much for advertising, so if would like their info, send me a little note and I will respond ASAP.
Now you are probably wondering what types of results we have seen since going gluten free. Prior to going gluten free, both boys would go to sleep with these big bellies that were bloated and stretched. They would wake up in the morning, their bellies would be back to normal, but every evening we would see the same bloated stomach. We attributed this to Cystic Fibrosis and thought nothing could change this daily occurrence. Also prior to going gluten free, both boys cultured Staphylococcus Aureus on a regular basis for most of their lives and our oldest had been culturing Pseudomonas Aeruginosa for about 2 years. There health overall prior to going gluten free was great....they were catching colds, but getting over them rather quickly, needing antibiotics maybe 2 times a year.
Now that we are gluten free, the bloating has completely disappeared What also disappeared were those cultures of any nasty bugs whatsoever. The boys have had clean cultures for well over a year. They rarely catch colds and when they do, they get over them quite quickly. We have basically taken some stress off of the boys digestive system which is already struggling due to the genetics of Cystic Fibrosis.
My theory, is that when our body is taking in food that it is having such a hard time digesting, it doesn't have enough time to fight off anything. The immune system is basically working overtime, all the time. This is the one and only food that we basically say is off limits for the boys. We believe that even when a little amount gets into their system, that their immune system will be sidetracked and not be at optimum functioning potential!
Okay there you have it...please ask questions, state opinions and know that I am just a mom (not a doctor), chasing down all options to keep my boys healthy :)