June 26, 2014

Exploring Gluten Intolerance



Gluten intolerance is an auto-immune disorder. In my book, Accept No Trash Talk, I mention my lifelong medical struggle with gluten intolerance, which slowed me down in many ways.  Because I was slowed down, I was not always respected.

Gluten is a protein found mainly in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten intolerance is a condition in which the body of an affected person treats the gluten like a foreign object and attacks it. This can result in damage to the intestinal system as well as many other organs and systems of the body—including the brain.


In his book, Wheat Belly, renowned cardiologist, William Davis, MD writes about how wheat may cause us to gain weight and have many health problems. For example, he says that wheat can raise our blood sugar more than sugar itself can raise our blood sugar. Elevated blood sugar can lead to diabetes. He also says that gluten is more addictive than sugar. I agree with that, because I remember how I enjoyed eating baked goods before I got diagnosed with gluten intolerance.

How Eating Gluten Slows Us Down

Eating gluten can slow a person down in many ways. It can slow our mental processes. We might think that we have a lack of intelligence when we only have a slower way of thinking. For instance, my family can get impatient with me because I might need to have a joke, or a question, repeated.

Gluten can also slow down our physical reactions to certain things. For instance, we might not be as quick to react in an emergency situation as another person. These emergency situations may include threats to our safety on the road or explosions of anger from other people.

How to Eat Gluten Free

The best way to eat gluten free is to check the ingredients on everything before you buy it.  Gluten is found in pastas; baked goods; some beverages, sauces and soups, and; meats and vegetables that have been coated and deep-fat fried. Luckily, gluten-free eating options have increased lately.

A variety of restaurants and grocery stores offer gluten-free pastas and baking mixes. Gourmet health food stores and grocery stores offer even more frozen and baked gluten-free items. There are plenty of websites that offer gluten-free recipes and products for sale such as Living Without.com.

If an individual wants to avoid the more expensive, processed gluten-free foods, she can safely buy rice and other gluten-free grains, produce, and unprocessed meats and fish. A good rule to remember is that anything that is breaded, coated, or deep-fat fried is likely to have gluten.  Anything that is covered in sauce may have gluten in it, too.

Do you notice a difference in how you feel after you eat certain things?