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s/o gluten free eating -- anyone NOT gluten intolerant who tries to reduce gluten?


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I have been wondering about this lately. So many friends' children are gluten intolerant. Why is this? Bread has been a staple of the human diet for thousands and thousands of years. What has changed? Is it artificial forms of gluten (is there such a thing?) causing problems?

 

We are not a gluten intolerant family, but should we be watching our gluten intake? We eat very little processed food and I bake my own bread and baked goods. Seems like many processed foods have gluten in them. Anyone have any input on this subject? I'm not looking for a controversial thread, please.

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Gluten is fine for most people. However, there are those like my dd who have celiac disease who cannot have any gluten at all. CD is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the villi in the intestines, which then causes malabsorption of nutrients and malnutrition. I know some people use the GF diet to treat conditions such as autism, but I don't know as much about the use of the diet in those cases.

 

I the past they called CD a "wasting disease" because children would literally waste away until they died, with no one understanding why. If my dd had been born 100 years sooner, she probably would have died before her 2nd birthday. When we finally got the CD diagnosis, she was becoming very malnurished, with the bloated belly like the poor kids you see on TV.

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I think Celiac has always been around, but was unknown/not dx till WW2. However, I do think the kind of wheat we eat has changed, and that might account for the rise in gluten intolerance cases.

Yes, and also the amount of wheat. As food has become more processed the wheat in ultra-processed form is in more things, it's ever present and I'm not sure that is healthy.

 

In answer to your question, I believe I have celiacs as does my gastroenterologist (long story) but I don't restrict gluten in my families diet, except that we don't eat much processed food and never have. I do aim for not giving them a carb-heavy diet, but that's more about eating lots of fruit and vege than restricting gluten.

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Gluten is hard for the body to break down. I believe long ago people prepared their wheat and related grains differently--say making sourdough bread--that did a lot to make gluten more digestable. Now we add preservatives to make it even harder to break down.

 

And then we have an increase in all auto-immune conditions now and celiac is auto-immune. Genetics are a factor for certain in celiac and other autoimmune issues. But something triggers them. What is the trigger and why is it happening more often? I don't know but perhaps vitamin D deficiency plays a role in celiac as it apparently plays a role in triggering other autoimmune conditions.

 

My son is the only person who needed to avoid gluten in our house. But we all still eat gluten free meals and I think we're likely healthier for it. You can eat gluten in a healthy way too. We just didn't do it before and I think most people don't. And overall people in general eat way too much processed and preserved wheat based foods as diet staples. Oh, I don't think switching gluten foods for a diet heavy in gluten free carbs is healthy and may in fact be worse for many people except those with celiac of course.

Edited by sbgrace
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I have been wondering about this lately. So many friends' children are gluten intolerant. Why is this? Bread has been a staple of the human diet for thousands and thousands of years. What has changed? Is it artificial forms of gluten (is there such a thing?) causing problems?

 

We are not a gluten intolerant family, but should we be watching our gluten intake? We eat very little processed food and I bake my own bread and baked goods. Seems like many processed foods have gluten in them. Anyone have any input on this subject? I'm not looking for a controversial thread, please.

 

I recently read an article about this increase. It has doctors totally confused as to a reason. Research was done that included random sampling of people from different generations. (People's blood was tested for the antibody that causes celiac.) People born longer ago have less incidence of celiac. The increase is quite dramatic. They do not have a clue as to why.

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I get very sick when I eat wheat on a regular basis: muscle weakness, headaches, fatigue, lowered immune system. I have had several kinds of tests for celiac all of which were negative, but one saliva test was borderline, showing elevated antibodies to gluten. My husband gets migraines when he eats small amounts and we think one of my sons gets a lowered immune system.

 

I heard a speaker once say that wheat is only good for cows, since they have multiple stomachs . . . she said that in the far past people used to:

* eat wheat only during a short season of the year

* soak wheat berries, thereby removing most of the gluten

* ferment or sprout the wheat, thereby adding to the digestibility

* wheat, has been slowly genetically altered, increasing the gluten

* since some ruler (1800's maybe) decided to kill off some peasants by only allowing them to eat corn (they in fact thrived), it has been documented that 20% of the population has symptoms from eating wheat (from what happened when the wheat was re-introduced to their diet).

 

I don't know if all of that is true, but that is what I have heard!

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I have read that the wheat grown today has a much higher count (percentage? I'm not sure the measurement) of gluten than wheat even 50-60 years ago. And as mentioned, it is everywhere and in everything. Until you try and eliminate it completely do you realize where it is. We, as a people, are definitely over-exposed (much like being over-exposed to corn and soy, making those also very high on the allergen list).

 

We do not have celiac. I think dh might, though it has never been tested and it is only a hunch. Gluten for us was a neurotoxin. (It also messes with our digestive tract, but not to the extent as a true celiac; it was for neuro-issues that we first eliminated it.)

 

I would think for someone not gluten-intolerant, or who does not suspect that other issues could be caused by gluten intolerance (behavioral, learning, emotional ...), then trying to reduce exposure is probably still a good idea, much in the same way that people avoid too much soy or too much non-organic food. It is hard on our bodies to digest regardless of being intolerant.

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I KNOW that home-grinding of grains is much healthier just because of freshness, etc., but it could make it easier to digest the gluten, too? I also do sourdough breads...this makes it easier to digest the gluten as well?

Sourdough should make it easier to digest. The grinding is good in terms of freshness/so you're not using rancid flour but it's not helpful in terms of digestability in my understanding. Soaking/sprouting would affect digestability in a positive way. If you do your own grinding anyway you might look into spelt. It's got gluten but at a much lower percent than wheat.

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