Please read Dr. Mercola's full article, at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/07/23/why-is-wheat-gluten-disorder-on-the-rise.aspx
A study using frozen blood samples taken from Air Force recruits 50 years ago has found that intolerance of wheat gluten, a debilitating digestive condition, is four times more common today than it was in the 1950’s.
The findings contradict the conventional wisdom that the sharp increase in diagnoses of wheat gluten intolerance has come about because of greater awareness and detection. It now seems likely that dramatic changes in the American diet have played a role.
The researchers who conducted the study also found that the recruits who had the undiagnosed digestive disorder, called celiac disease, had a four-fold increase in their risk of death.
The disease occurs in people whose bodies cannot digest gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. The undigested protein triggers the immune system to attack the lining of the small intestine, causing diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain.
Celiac disease, also more casually referred to as wheat- or gluten intolerance, occurs when your body cannot digest gluten, a protein most commonly found in wheat, rye and barley. However, it’s very important to realize that these are not the only culprits that can cause severe problems. Other grains such as oats and spelt also contain gluten, and gluten can be found in countless processed foods without being labeled as such.
"Gluten" comes from the Latin word for glue, and its adhesive properties hold bread and cake together. But those same properties interfere with the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, including the nutrients from other foods in the same meal.
The result is a glued-together constipating lump in your gut rather than a nutritious, easily digested meal.
The undigested gluten then triggers your immune system to attack the lining of your small intestine, which can cause symptoms like diarrhea or constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Over time, your small intestine becomes increasingly damaged and less able to absorb nutrients such as iron and calcium. This in turn can lead to anemia, osteoporosis and other health problems.
Typically, avoiding gluten for a week or two is enough to see significant improvement.
However, in my experience, about 75-80 percent of ALL people benefit from avoiding grains, even whole sprouted grains, whether you have a gluten intolerance or not. This is because, typically, grains rapidly break down to sugar, which causes rises in insulin that exacerbate health problems such as, Overweight, High cholesterol, High blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, etc.
Unlike vegetables, grains convert to sugar, which is not something anyone needs in their diet in high amounts.
The rising prevalence of celiac disease is clear evidence that we’re simply not designed to consume such vast amounts of starch- and sugar-rich foods so many now indulge in.
In short, most people are consuming far too much bread, cereal, pasta, corn (a grain, not a vegetable), rice, potatoes and Little Debbie snack cakes, with very grave health consequences.
Hidden Sources of Gluten
In order to combat gluten intolerance, it’s not enough to simply avoid grains. You must also pay attention to the quality of all the other foods you eat.
Gluten may still be hiding in processed foods like ready-made soups, soy sauce, candies, cold cuts, and various low- and no-fat products, just to name a few, under labels such as, Malts, Starches, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), Texturized vegetable protein (TVP), Natural flavoring
Celiac.com has a long list of label ingredients that typically contain hidden gluten. (http://www.celiac.com/articles/182/1/Unsafe-Gluten-Free-Food-List-Unsafe-Ingredients/Page1.html)
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