10 Signs You’re Gluten Intolerant

BY DR. AMY MYERS

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More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed.

It is also estimated that as much as 15% of the US population is gluten intolerant. Could you be one of them?

If you have any of the following symptoms it could be a sign that you have gluten intolerance:

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation. I see the constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.

2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine headaches.

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

How to test for gluten intolerance?

I have found the single best ways to determine if you have an issue with gluten is to do an elimination diet and take it out of your diet for at least 2 to 3 weeks and then reintroduce it. Please note that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system so the longer you can eliminate it from your diet before reintroducing it, the better.

The best advice that I share with my patients is that if they feel significantly better off of gluten or feel worse when they reintroduce it, then gluten is likely a problem for them.  In order to get accurate results from this testing method you must elimination 100% of the gluten from your diet.

How to treat gluten intolerance?

Eliminating gluten 100% from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body.

The 80/20 rule or “we don’t eat it in our house, just when we eat out” is a complete misconception. An article published in 2001 states that for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity eating gluten just once a month increased the relative risk of death by 600%.

Still unsure?

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53 and Gluten Free (Larry’s GF Story)

worldfoodTo detail my going gluten free, first a little background.  I have been fortunate to travel to many places around the world and in the United States for both business and pleasure.  One of my favorite things to do was to sample the local food and drink.  A croissant in Paris, spatzle in Germany, noodle dishes in Japan and China, etc.  Of course this went well with my habit of trying beers from around the world.

Once I hit age 52 I noticed having increasing brain fog and waking up feeling tired and hung over even without anything alcoholic to drink the night before.  I went to the Dr. and was told I was just getting old.  I thought wow, if I am already this worn out and have problems focusing and remembering things at 52 this does not bode well for me.

I decided to try an alternate approach and visited Sanoviv hospital for an extensive physical to try and determine if there was anything possible that could be done so I could start feeling like my old self.  There you are served gluten free dairy free meals and at the end of the 4 days I was starting to feel better.  They said I appeared to be gluten intolerant and suggested some additional blood tests.  I had the ALCAT blood test done and the results that came back seemed like a punch in the stomach.  Gluten intolerant, and highly allergic to hops and brewers yeast.  How could I possibly give up bread, noodles, and beer.

With no other obvious alternatives I gave up beer, gluten and brewers yeast.  The first few weeks were tough but then I started to be able to solve crossword puzzles quicker.  I woke up feeling rested and ready to go and my energy level went way up.  The old me often had to take afternoon naps to get through the day.  Now naps were not needed.  On the downside I was having great difficulty finding any type of bread or cookies I liked that were gluten free.  It was tough going from French baguettes to what seemed like eating cardboard.  Cookies also seemed to always taste grainy or be hard as a rock.  Pasta was ok going with rice or quinoa noodles.  But, the benefits of going gluten free far outweighed the horrible selection of gluten free foods I was finding.  The other interesting benefit of no gluten was a drop of 20 pounds.  The weight just fell off and I was still eating just as many calories as before.

One day I happened to be driving through Hygiene and noticed the sign outside of Mary’s saying gluten free.  Ok, I had tried many other GF places, why not Mary’s.  I ordered a sandwich on gluten free bread which came with a cookie.  While eating my sandwich and cookie panic set in.  Thinking they must have given me the wrong bread type I rushed back to the counter to see if they had given me an incorrect order and I would have another gluten episode.  To my surprise I talked with Mary who told me I had the correct order.  Could GF bread and cookies really taste this good? I have now found my place to shop for gluten free.

Its been 1 year since going GF and I am feeling much better.  If I happen to eat out and get some supposed GF food item that really wasn’t I feel horrible for the next 24 hours so I am much more cautious knowing what the effects would be.  Surprising to me is I do not really miss the beer after the first couple of weeks.  Bottom line is I am glad I took charge of my health and took the time and effort to dig deeper into my health issues rather than just deciding I was growing old.  GF is not that bad and I am healthier for it.

50 Shades of Gluten (Intolerance)

By Chris Kresser

Author, Personal Paleo Code

Celiac disease (CD) was initially described in the first century A.D. by a Greek physician named Aretaeus of Cappadocia. But neither Aretaeus nor anyone else knew that CD is caused by an autoimmune reaction to gluten, a protein in wheat. That didn’t become clear until 1950 — several centuries later — when Dr. Willem Dicke, a Dutch pediatrician, conclusively proved that gluten was the culprit. Dicke’s discovery saved millions of children and adults from the perils of untreated celiac disease, including malnutrition, stunted growth, cancer, severe neurological and psychiatric illness and even death.

Since then, the mainstream view of gluten intolerance has been relatively black or white: Either you have celiac disease, in which case even a small amount of gluten will send you running to the bathroom in three seconds flat, or you don’t, and you can chug down beer and bagels without fear. This “all-or-nothing” view has led to some doctors telling patients that suspect they’re sensitive to gluten but test negative for CD that they’re simply imagining an affliction that doesn’t exist.

It turns out those doctors are wrong.

The Many Shades of Gluten Intolerance

In order to explain why, I have to give you a quick lesson in the biochemistry of wheat and wheat digestion.

Wheat contains several different classes of proteins. Gliadins and glutenins are the two main components of the gluten fraction of the wheat seed. (They’re essential for giving bread the ability to rise properly during baking.) Within the gliadin class, there are four different epitopes (i.e. types): alpha-, beta-, gamma- and omega-gliadin. Wheat also contains agglutinins (proteins that bind to sugar) and prodynorphins (proteins involved with cellular communication). Once wheat is consumed, enzymes in the digestive tract called tissue transglutaminases (tTG) help to break down the wheat compound. In this process, additional proteins are formed, including deamidated gliadin and gliadorphins (aka gluteomorphins).

Here’s the crucial thing to understand: Celiac disease is characterized by an immune response to a specific epitope of gliadin (alpha-gliadin) and a specific type of transglutaminase (tTG-2). But we now know that people can (and do) react to several other components of wheat and gluten — including other epitopes of gliadin (beta, gamma, omega), glutenin, WGA and deamidated gliadin — as well as other types of transglutaminase, including type 3 (primarily found in the skin) and type 6 (primarily found in the brain).

This is a huge problem because conventional lab testing for CD and of gluten intolerance only screens for antibodies to alpha-gliadin and transglutaminase-2. If you’re reacting to any other fractions of the wheat protein (e.g., beta-gliadin, gamma-gliadin or omega-gliadin), or any other types of transglutaminase (e.g., type 3 or type 6), you’ll test negative for CD and gluten intolerance no matter how severely you’re reacting to wheat.

Beyond Celiac: Why CD Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Official statistics suggest that Celiac disease affects between 0.7 percent and 1 percent of the U.S. population. But considering the limited scope of the testing, it’s possible that the actual incidence might be much higher.

In addition, CD is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is caused by a distinct autoimmune response to wheat proteins and transglutaminase enzymes in the gut. But CD is just one possible expression of gluten intolerance; there are many other ways that sensitivity to gluten can manifest in the body. These are collectively referred to as “Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity,” or NCGS.

There’s no consensus definition of NCGS yet, but the most common understanding is that it’s a reaction to gluten that is not autoimmune (like CD) or allergic (like wheat allergy). Another definition I’ve seen is, “a reaction to gluten that resolves when gluten is removed from the diet and CD and allergy have been ruled out.”

It’s difficult to estimate the prevalence of NCGS because there is no definitive diagnostic test for it. As I mentioned above, the currently available tests for gluten sensitivity are primitive and only screen for a small fraction of the components of wheat that people react to. Another issue is the variety of symptoms caused by CD and NCGS. While most people assume that gluten intolerance always causes digestive distress, this is not the case. Almost 50 percent of new patients diagnosed with CD do not have gastrointestinal symptoms. Moreover, for every one case of CD that is diagnosed, there are 6.4 cases that remain undiagnosed — the majority of which are atypical or silent forms without gastrointestinal symptoms.

Gluten intolerance can affect nearly every tissue in the body, including the brain, skin, endocrine system, stomach, liver, blood vessels, smooth muscles and even the nucleus of cells. CD and NCGS are associated with an astonishing variety of diseases, from schizophrenia and epilepsy, to Type 1 diabetes and osteoporosis, to dermatitis and psoriasis, to Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism to peripheral neuropathy. Because the range of symptoms associated with gluten intolerance is so broad and nonspecific (e.g., can be attributed to any number of conditions), many patients and doctors don’t suspect gluten may be the cause.

Even with these limitations, some estimates suggest NCGS may occur in as many as 1 in 20 Americans. And while some mainstream medical professionals continue to insist that NCGS doesn’t exist, several studies have validated it as a distinct clinical condition — including gold-standard, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

The Gluten-Free Challenge: Still the Best Test for Gluten Intolerance

With all of this in mind, the obvious question that arises is, “What’s the best way to test for gluten intolerance?” Because of the limitations of current laboratory testing I described above, most experts on gluten sensitivity agree that the only reliable test is a “gluten challenge.” This involves removing gluten from the diet completely for a period of at least 30 days, and then adding it back in after that. If symptoms improve during the elimination period, and return when gluten is reintroduced, a diagnosis of NCGS can be made.

However, for many people a gluten-free diet isn’t enough. Some grains that don’t contain gluten, such as corn, oats and rice, contain proteins that are similar enough in structure to gluten to elicit an immune response in people with CD or NCGS. In addition, about 50 percent of patients with CD show signs of intolerance to casein, the protein in milk. This may explain why up to 30 percent of CD patients continue to have symptoms or clinical signs after adopting a gluten-free diet. For this reason, I recommend a completely grain- and dairy-free diet during the gluten challenge period. (A Paleo diet is an excellent choice. Visit my website to learn more.)

Finally, though the gluten challenge is still the gold standard test for gluten intolerance, there is a relatively new lab (Cyrex Laboratories) offering a comprehensive blood test which screens for all of the wheat and gluten proteins and transglutaminase enzymes I mentioned above. This can be a helpful diagnostic tool, but it should never replace a gluten/Paleo challenge. (Note: It must be ordered by a physician or health care practitioner.)

Tori’s GF Story (a mom’s view)

In our July 19th newsletter/blog our GF story was by Emily. In this weeks GF story her mother, Tori, will share with you what it is like to be a mom with a child who is gluten free while the rest of the family is not.
About five or six years ago, my daughter got salmonella on a road trip home from the Carolinas. She was sick for a month or two and her stomach never quite felt better.  After doing some medical tests, and not finding anything we decided to do and an elimination diet. For a week, she did not eat dairy but her stomach still hurt. So we had her stop eating wheat. After only two days, she felt better. But she was very sad to learn she was allergic to wheat. It was hard on her at first thinking about the things she would have to give up.  Once in a while she would slip or eat something with wheat and she would have major stomach pains. She said it felt like a knife going into her stomach.  Of course this made her realize it was worth not eating a hoagie. As time went on it got easier and as the years went by more gluten-free products became available. Her friends and people at school knew was gluten-free and always make sure there was something available for her.
ToirEm
At home her brother and father and I still eat wheat products. So pasta dinners create many pots and pans. My daughters sometimes gets upset if we eat her gluten-free products because she believes why eat hers when we can eat ours. My son at first would not eat anything gluten-free but he has come to like many of the foods.
I suppose it could seem like a hassle to cook for two different diets but it has just become a way of life.  With so many gluten-free products, gluten-free restaurants, and more people knowing about it it is easier to be gluten-free even that was five years ago.

Why 80% of People Worldwide Will Soon Stop Eating Wheat

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80% of people will stop eating wheat

The future of wheat is certain, and it’s toxic. There are as many health risks associated with the consumption of wheat as there are nutritional benefits claimed by the wheat industry. Why is there such a strong emphasis on the development of wheat products all over the world when there are so many adverse and crippling effects such as neurological impairment, dementia, heart disease, cataracts, diabetes, arthritis and visceral fat accumulation, not to mention the full range of intolerances and bloating now experienced by millions of people?

Approximately 700 million tons of wheat are now cultivated worldwide making it the second most-produced grain after maize. It is grown on more land area than any other commercial crop and is considered a staple food for humans.

At some point in our history, this ancient grain was nutritious in some respects, however modern wheat really isn’t wheat at all. Once agribusiness took over to develop a higher-yielding crop, wheat became hybridized to such an extent that it has been completely transformed from it’s prehistorical genetic configuration. All nutrient content of modern wheat depreciated more than 30% in its natural unrefined state compared to its ancestral genetic line. The balance and ratio that mother nature created for wheat was also modified and human digestion and physiology could simply could not adapt quick enough to the changes.

The Nutritional Value of Wheat is Practically Non-Existent
In Its Current Form

So-called health experts in nutrition who continue to promote the health benefits of wheat are extremely uninformed about the nature of modern wheat and its evolution from growth to consumption. It is shocking how many professionals in public health still recommend wheat products without an assessment of their individual requirements, especially considering the amount of evidence regarding its lack of nutrition and health risks for proportionally large segments of the population.

The majority of wheat is processed into 60% extraction, bleached white flour. 60% extraction–the standard for most wheat products means that 40% of the original wheat grain is removed. So not only do we have an unhealthier, modified, and hybridized strain of wheat, we also remove and further degrade its nutritional value by processing it. Unfortunately, the 40% that gets removed includes the bran and the germ of the wheat grain–its most nutrient-rich parts. In the process of making 60% extraction flour, over half of the vitamin B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, and fiber are lost. Any processed foods with wheat are akin to poison for the body since they cause more health risks than benefits. The body does not recognize processed wheat as food. Nutrient absorption from processed wheat products is thus consequential with almost no nutritional value.

 

Some experts claim if you select 100% whole wheat products, the bran and the germ of the wheat will remain in your meals, and the health benefits will be impressive. This is again a falsity promoted by the wheat industry since even 100% whole wheat products are based on modern wheat strains created by irradiation of wheat seeds and embryos with chemicals, gamma rays, and high-dose X-rays to induce mutations. Whether you consume 10% or 100% of wheat is irrelevant since you’re still consuming a health damaging grain that will not benefit, advance or even maintain your health in any way.

Dr. Marcia Alvarez who specializes in nutritional programs for obese patients says that when it comes to nutrition, wheat may be considered as an evil grain. “Modern wheat grains could certainly be considered as the root of all evil in the world of nutrition since they cause so many documented health problems across so many populations in the world.” Dr. Alvarez asserted that wheat is now responsible for more intolerances than almost any other food in the world. “In my practice of over two decades, we have documented that for every ten people with digestive problems, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, arthritis and even heart disease, eight out of ten have a problem with wheat. Once we remove wheat from their diets, most of their symptoms disappear within three to six months,” she added. Dr. Alvarez estimates that between the coming influx of genetically modified (GM) strains of wheat and the current tendency of wheat elimination in societies, that a trend is emerging in the next 20 years that will likely see 80% of people cease their consumption of wheat from any form.

Genetic Modification 

 

The GM wheat currently being tested for approval for production in Canada is a new variety of hard red spring wheat which has been genetically engineered to be tolerant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. Monsanto Canada Inc. requested the approval of GE wheat from Health Canada in July 2002 and for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in December 2002.

In July 2009, the most hated company in the world Monsanto, announced new research into GM wheat and industry groups kicked their promotion of GM wheat into high gear. “Widespread farmer and consumer resistance defeated GM wheat in 2004 and this global rejection remains strong, as demonstrated by today’s statement,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

There are now even claims by researchers in Australia have developed a form of salt-tolerant wheat that will allow farmers to grow crops in soil with high salinity. They created the new form of wheat by crossing a modern strain with an ancient species, and the researchers believe this new super-wheat will allow farmers to grow more food crops on land previously thought to be off limits to agriculture. Critics suggest that new strains will be foreign to current ecological systems and will be unsustainable without massive chemical intervention.

Industry claims that the introduction of GM wheat will lead to a reduction in herbicide use, a claim that has been made prior to the introduction of other herbicide tolerant (HT) crops such as Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans, canola and corn. These claims have been contradicted by US government statistics that show that GM HT crops such as RR crops use more pesticides than conventional crops. These state GM crops can receive as much as 30 percent more herbicide than non-GM crops. Not only do GM crops use more pesticides but they also force the farmer to purchase one single brand of herbicide, in this case Monsanto brand Roundup.

If introduced, GE wheat will enter farmers’ rotations along with the already HT canola and soybeans. This compounds the issue of superweeds as each crop sown would be HT, so any seed that fell from the crop before harvest would pose a threat of becoming an uncontrollable weed, or contained by using increasingly toxic herbicides. How can we believe that pesticide use will decrease with GE wheat?

These developments are also taking place in the United States which is the third largest wheat producer in the world. Fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and growth regulators are all becoming more chemically potent and their frequency of application continues to increase every 5 years. American scientists are currently developing GM strains of wheat conferring resistance to fungal diseases. Wheat is becoming such a transmutated grain, that it someday may not even be called wheat.

Health Effects 

A powerful little chemical in wheat known as ‘wheat germ agglutinin’ (WGA) which is largely responsible for many of wheat’s pervasive, and difficult to diagnose, ill effects. Researchers are now discovering that WGA in modern wheat is very different from ancient strains. Not only does WGA throw a monkey wrench into our assumptions about the primary causes of wheat intolerance, but due to the fact that WGA is found in highest concentrations in “whole wheat,” including its supposedly superior sprouted form, it also pulls the rug out from under one of the health food industry’s favorite poster children.

Each grain of wheat contains about one microgram of Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA). Even in small quantities, WGA can have profoundly adverse effects. It may be pro-inflammatory, immunotoxic, cardiotoxic … and neurotoxic.

Below the radar of conventional serological testing for antibodies against the various gluten proteins and genetic testing for disease susceptibility, the WGA “lectin problem” remains almost entirely obscured. Lectins, though found in all grains, seeds, legumes, dairy and our beloved nightshades: the tomato and potato, are rarely discussed in connection with health or illness, even when their presence in our diet may greatly reduce both the quality and length of our lives. Yet health experts dismiss the links between disease and wheat despite all the evidence.

Dr William Davis has documented several hundred clinical studies on the adverse effects of wheat. These are studies that document the neurologic impairments unique to wheat, including cerebellar ataxia and dementia; heart disease; visceral fat accumulation and all its attendant health consequences; the process of glycation via amylopectin A of wheat that leads to cataracts, diabetes, and arthritis; among others. There are, in fact, a wealth of studies documenting the adverse, often crippling, effects of wheat consumption in humans.

The other claim is that wheat elimination ‘means missing out on a wealth of essential nutrients. Another falsity. Dr. Davis states that if you replace wheat with healthy foods like vegetables, nuts, healthy oils, meats, eggs, cheese, avocados, and olives, then there is no nutrient deficiency that develops with elimination of wheat. Dr Davis also states that people with celiac disease may require long-term supplementation due to extensive gastrointestinal damage caused by wheat.

People with celiac disease do indeed experience deficiencies of multiple vitamins and minerals after they eliminate all wheat and gluten from the diet. But this is not due to a diet lacking valuable nutrients, but from the incomplete healing of the gastrointestinal tract (such as the lining of the duodenum and proximal jejunum). In these people, the destructive effects of wheat are so overpowering that, unfortunately, some people never heal completely. These people do indeed require vitamin and mineral supplementation, as well as probiotics and pancreatic enzyme supplementation.

Due to the unique properties of amylopectin A, two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar higher than many candy bars. High blood glucose leads to the process of glycation that, in turn, causes arthritis (cartilage glycation), cataracts (lens protein glycation), diabetes (glycotoxicity of pancreatic beta cells), hepatic de novo lipogenesis that increases triglycerides and, thereby, increases expression of atherogenic (heart disease-causing) small LDL particles, leading to heart attacks. Repetitive high blood sugars that develop from a grain-rich diet are, in my view, very destructive and lead to weight gain (specifically visceral fat), insulin resistance, leptin resistance (leading to obesity), and many of the health struggles that many now experience.

Wheat gliadin has been associated with cerebellar ataxia, peripheral neuropathy, gluten encephalopathy (dementia), behavioral outbursts in children with ADHD and autism, and paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations in people with schizophrenia, severe and incapacitating effects for people suffering from these conditions.

According to statistics from the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, an average of one out of every 133 otherwise healthy people in the United States suffers from CD. However, an estimated 20-30 percent of the world’s population may carry the genetic susceptibility to celiac disease–and the way to avoid turning these genes ‘on’ is by avoiding gluten.

When you consider that undiagnosed CD is associated with a nearly four-fold increased risk of premature death, the seriousness of this food sensitivity becomes quite evident. The primary disease mechanism at play is chronic inflammation, and chronic inflammatory and degenerative conditions are endemic to grain-consuming populations.

Changes in genetic code and, thereby, antigenic profile, of the high-yield semi-dwarf wheat cultivars now on the market account for the marked increase in celiac potential nationwide. “Hybridization” techniques, including chemical mutagenesis to induce selective mutations, leads to development of unique strains that are not subject to animal or human safety testing–they are just brought to market and sold.

Author and preventive cardiologist William Davis, MD, wheat’s new biochemical code causes hormone disruption that is linked to diabetes and obesity. “It is not my contention that it is in everyone’s best interest to cut back on wheat; it is my belief that complete elimination is in everyone’s best health interests,” says Dr. Davis, “In my view, that’s how bad this thing called ‘wheat’ has become.”

Chemical mutagenesis using the toxic mutagen, sodium azide, of course, is the method used to generate BASF’s Clearfield herbicide-resistant wheat strain. These methods are being used on a wide scale to generate unique genetic strains that are, without question from the FDA or USDA, assumed to be safe for human consumption.

Wheat-Free Options

* Note that many of the wheat-free options still contain gluten.

1. Cereal Grains: Barley, millet, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, tef and wild rice are all in the same cereal grain family as is wheat. All flours ground from cereal grains may be used as a wheat substitute. Commonly available are barley, buckwheat, rice and rye flour. The less utilized flours may be purchased online or from natural food stores. Note: people with a gluten allergy must also avoid barley, oats and rye.

2. Non-Cereal Grains: Amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat are three grain-like seeds unrelated to cereal grains. (Despite its name, buckwheat is not a wheat-relative.) It is rare for anyone to develop a sensitivity to these non-cereal grains. Amaranth, quinoa and buckwheat are gluten-free and therefore not suitable for making leavened bread; however, they make excellent quick breads and cookies.

3. Nut Meal: Ground nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts make the richest flour substitute for cookies and cakes. Because their fragile fatty acid content gives them a brief shelf life, it’s preferable to grind your own nuts in a food processor just prior to use. Nut meal requires a binding agent such as eggs. Because chestnuts are lower in fat than other nuts, chestnut flour has a longer shelf life. It is available online.

4. Bean Flour: Dried beans, such as navy, pinto and chickpeas may be milled and used, in combination with other flours, as a wheat alternative. Bean flour is, however, not always recommended. It tastes like beans and makes baked goods dense and hard to digest.

5. Other Flour Substitutes: Potato starch, arrowroot powder, and tapioca are thickening agents that substitute for wheat in sauces and gravy. In baked goods these starchy ingredients serve as a binding agent.

Due to the irresponsible high frequency hybridization, processing and inevitable genetic modification of modern wheat, there is only one solution for the health and wellness of future generations. Stop eating wheat and educate as many people as you can on the coming strains of this grain which will be much more deadly than they already are today.

Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.

Emily’s GF Story

I am 17 years old and have been gluten free for five years. In the summer before 7th grade I got a somewhat minor case of salmonella. Before this sickness I had no trouble digesting food and had never been allergic to anything, but after I had salmonella my stomach was still hurting all the time and I started having bumps on my arms. My mom took me back to the doctors and they told me I might have developed an allergy, but it wasn’t so easy figuring out what I was allergic to. The doctors told me to first stop eating dairy products for 2-3 weeks. After the second week I felt the same, I was still having stomach pains. The second thing my doctor told me to stop eating was wheat/gluten. Four days into this diet I felt great, my arms looked better and my stomach hardly hurt. I was never diagnosed with the celiac disease but I didn’t really feel the need to. I was feeling better and that’s all that mattered.

emily

The first few months of being gluten free I would accidently bite into burgers with buns and order meals with bread or hidden wheat or gluten that I didn’t know about. It was hard in the beginning not being able to eat birthday cake at parties and being able to order anything at restaurants. The grocery stores didn’t carry that many choices of gluten free foods, and if they did it was crumbly and bland. In the past 5 years the gluten free “community” has grown and so has the food. I have had so many tasteful cookies, bagels and breads that are all gluten free I have completely forgotten what “wheat” products taste like.

Caitlan’s GF Story

I have been gluten-free for about four years. I think the depression from not having the foods you love can be very dangerous.  I used to smell my friends’ food to try and experience that joy again, but for the first couple of years that would only make me tear-up, and long for the taste.  For me, the cravings don’t go away, they just change in nature.  The biggest thing I have realized in the battle for self-control when it comes to food, is that no matter how delicious the experience, it is fleeting.

I truly realized this when I would cheat and have a bite of a  fluffy, sweet bread or cookie (my weakness).  I usually wouldn’t have any symptoms for a few days, so I was seemingly free to bask in the bread flavor, for the moment.  However, I would be slightly disappointed with the short-lasting reward on my tongue (especially considering the miserable consequences).  The taste of the food would leave as quickly as it started, only to become another teasing memory.

Yes, bread & cookies taste amazing… but just like any other fun, yet harmful substance, you decide they’re not good enough.  They are empty satisfactions, with no substantial reward, and the separation becomes less emotional over-time… I promise.  I can tell you now that it has been four years, I am finally in a place where I can smell pizza or cookies and it truly makes me happy, not bitter or teary-eyed.   It really is like tasting them, vicariously, without the repercussions… I guess our senses just evolve accordingly, thank goodness!  Everything takes time, but it definitely gets easier!

I have been gluten-free for about four years. I think the depression from not having the foods you love can be very dangerous.  I used to smell my friends’ food to try and experience that joy again, but for the first couple of years that would only make me tear-up, and long for the taste.  For me, the cravings don’t go away, they just change in nature.  The biggest thing I have realized in the battle for self-control when it comes to food, is that no matter how delicious the experience, it is fleeting.

I truly realized this when I would cheat and have a bite of a  fluffy, sweet bread or cookie (my weakness).  I usually wouldn’t have any symptoms for a few days, so I was seemingly free to bask in the bread flavor, for the moment.  However, I would be slightly disappointed with the short-lasting reward on my tongue (especially considering the miserable consequences).  The taste of the food would leave as quickly as it started, only to become another teasing memory.

Yes, bread & cookies taste amazing… but just like any other fun, yet harmful substance, you decide they’re not good enough.  They are empty satisfactions, with no substantial reward, and the separation becomes less emotional over-time… I promise.  I can tell you now that it has been four years, I am finally in a place where I can smell pizza or cookies and it truly makes me happy, not bitter or teary-eyed.   It really is like tasting them, vicariously, without the repercussions… I guess our senses just evolve accordingly, thank goodness!  Everything takes time, but it definitely gets easier!