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Gluten Glues Up My Guts

I’ve avoided cooked wheat for years, but sprouted grains don’t seem to bother me. Then, the other day in a grocery, I sampled a strawberry shortcake. The amount of cake was about a teaspoon…well maybe two teaspoons, because I had two. In truth, I didn’t really chew it, more like inhaled it. And within the hour my intestines were in a clench. It’s like the superhighway of my intestines had ground to a halt. Nothing was moving…except gas. It gave me the mistaken impression that I should visit the restroom but my trip was in vain!

If any of this sounds familiar to you, then you may have a wheat allergy. More specifically, it could be gluten enteropathy or celiac sprue, which are names for celiac disease. Gluten is the elastic, rubbery protein that allows bread to rise. It’s found in wheat, rye, spelt, oats and barley.

In celiac disease, a particular gene makes the body’s immune system attack gluten in the intestines. A damaged intestinal lining can cause reduced absorption of important nutrients, creating a long list of celiac symptoms from anemia to osteoporosis.

Previously an intestinal biopsy was required to identify celiac disease, but now you can get specific blood testing for this condition. However, as one client recently told me, if he has a drop of wheat, his bowels react immediately. So, an at-home test is to avoid all wheat, rye oats, spelt and barley for a week and see how you feel. Then do a test meal and see how that feels. Your own reactions are the best way to know if what you’re eating is bothering you. “You are what you eat.”

Gluten-free Organic Wheatgrass Powder is available.