Living Gluten Free


       We are in the midst of a food revolution, one triggered by people’s reactions to eating gluten.  Gluten is in grains, specifically wheat, rye, barley, and oats.  Whether because of GM foods, or the long-term storage of grains, or the overuse of gluten in our diet, most people are reactive to eating gluten.

        There are 2 pathways for gluten reactivity.  The one most people are familiar with is celiac sprue disease.  In this problem gluten attacks the villi of the small intestine and generally renders absorption of nutrients difficult or impossible.  For a celiac person, eating just a minute amount of gluten is enough to trigger a life-threatening reaction.

        The second pathway, and much more common, is a systemic reaction to gluten that can trigger problems in the brain, thyroid, heart, skin, central nervous system.  Gluten is a neurotoxin and thus it impacts nerves, including the brain, in a negative way.  It clogs tissues, adds to blood pressure and hypothyroid issues, and definitely creates foggy brains.  A very common problem is skin rashes.

        Because gluten has gluteomorphins that fill opiod receptors in the brain when you stop eating it there are several days of withdrawal, days when you will crave gluten containing foods.  The good news is that the food cravings are gone very quickly in most people and most people lose 4-6 pounds without changing anything else.

There are multiple books about staying gluten free; there’s even a gluten-free for dummies!  I’ve listed some resources below for you.

            DANGEROUS GRAINS by James Braly, MD and Ron Hoggan, MA

            1000 GLUTEN-FREE RECIPES by Carol Fenster, PhD


            THE GLUTEN CONNECTION by Shari Lieberman, PhD

There are also multiple web sites devoted to defining what grains are acceptable, what products are gluten free, and how to purchase gluten free products on-line.  There are also multiple web sites devoted to gluten free recipes.

If you have questions about these issues please do not hesitate to contact me.  I will be happy to assist you.

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