A few days ago, we talked about some symptoms of gluten-intolerance, the foods that contain it, and the alarming statistics of health issues correlated to gluten (you can read that post here). Today I want to go a little deeper into why it may benefit your quality of life to go gluten-free and what happens when you eat it.
In a Nutshell…How Gluten Does Its Damage
Everyone, meet “Mr. Gary Gluten”-
Looks harmless, right? Well I’m going to tell you a story of the journey this little guy goes on in your body when you eat him. He is found in the majority of foods you find at the supermarket today- breads, crackers, cakes, cookies, pasta, sauces, etc.
Here is Gary’s family traits-
- From a Genetically Modified family (GMO). This means his family was first created in a laboratory where their genes were altered to no longer resemble their family genetics.
- A couple thousand years ago, Gary’s family looked MUCH different than him, only having about 14 chromosomes. Gary has over 42.
- He and his family have been modified genetically in such a way that they won’t die when their “keeper” sprays them with hundreds of dangerous chemicals known as pesticides and herbicides. These poisons kill all of the naturally growing weeds, bugs, and basically any life around them. These poisons also act to kill our human cells, effecting us in every way.
- Gary was grown in a soil much different from his ancestors. He grew up in a soil that was stripped of all the minerals and life-giving nutrients except for Phosphorus, Nitrogen, and potassium, because many humans realized if only these 3 are present, the plant will look the same, but for a fraction of the cost. So, unfortunately Gary doesn’t have all of the “good-for-you” vitamins his family had hundreds of years ago even though he still may “look” the same.
- Usually, before he is put into a food such as pasta, bread, etc… he is stripped of all his nutrients, fiber, protein, and good stuff, to be turned into a white flour substance.
Now that you know a little bit more about Mr. Gary Gluten and how he is different from his ancient ancestors. Let’s take a look at what happens when you put him in your body…
- You eat a sandwich, pasta, or cookie with Mr. Gary Gluten inside…
- He is absorbed into your blood stream and causes your blood sugar to go sky high, even more than regular table sugar does! This increases your insulin (fat storing hormone) levels immediately. High blood sugar and insulin levels have a whole myriad of problems on their own including:
- High cholesterol
- High triglycerides
- Chronic inflammation
- Heart Disease
- Hormonal dysfunction
- Metabolic X syndrome
- and more…
- Once he reaches your stomach, ideally you will have a good amount of stomach acid to break him down in order to make the job easier for your small intestine. Unfortunately, many people have a deficiency in stomach acid due to stress, adrenal fatigue, or taking antacids, and Gary doesn’t get digested properly, many times leading to heartburn, acid reflux, or bloating.
- After his time in the stomach, he slips on down to the small intestine. This is where a large amount of damage happens. Our small intestine is critical to our overall health. This is where we absorb all of our “energy”, vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that feed the rest of our body. When this area is damaged, usually people have various digestive issues, chronic fatigue, pain, allergies, malnourishment, hormonal issues, skin disorders, and other seemingly “mysterious” health ailments. Due to Mr. Gary Gluten’s characteristics of being a GMO food, covered in nuerotoxic pesticides, and having way more chromosomes than the human body was meant to digest, Gary cannot be broken down very efficiently and he stays in the small intestine longer than he should. This causes “fermentation” in the gut which is bad news bears for intestinal health. This causes:
- Constipation and or diarrhea
- Damage and even wiping out of the microvilli that line the small intestine. These little finger-like structures are what are most critical to the small intestine as they are responsible for absorbing all nutrients from food. Without them, we don’t absorb the foods we eat, and they will go straight through us.
- Leaky-Gut syndrome- This happens when we eat gluten, GMO foods, and other processed foods that cause fermentation in the gut and damage. Basically, the walls of the small intestine are compromised by these foods and little holes begin to form, leaking undigested food, parasites, and chemicals out of the intestine and into places they should never be.
- Due to the internal stress your body is going through from the damage and from the malnourishment due to the microvilla being damaged, your adrenal glands have a much heavier load and become fatigued. This in turn effects ALL other hormones including your thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. This may show up in symptoms such as:
- Chronic fatigue
- Women’s hormonal issues: irregular or absent menstrual cycles, heavy bleeding, endometriosis, PCOS, etc.
- Men’s hormonal issues: impotence, lack of drive, gynecomastia (men with bigger breasts due to excess estrogen)
- Headaches & migraines
- Emotional disorders
- After a while, eating Mr. Gary Gluten and his family causes some significant damage to your digestive tract, even if you don’t feel the internal damage, it’s building up. 80% of your immune system is within your digestive tract, so now that you have damage in this area, your immune system is going to be very weak. The stress causing your adrenal glands to be fatigued also decreases your immune system, and you will most likely get sick rather easily.
- Your brain also is going to work less efficiently. There is something called the “Gut-Brain Axis” which is a direct relationship between the health of your gut to the health of your brain. So, this damage and the increase of bad bacteria in the gut could cause…
- Foggy brain
- Lack of mental sharpness
- Anxiety/and or depression
- Poor memory
- Inability to retain information
- Emotional instability
- And similar symptoms…
- When Mr. Gary Gluten is eaten with a poor quality fat such as with fried foods, when they combine, they create a dangerous cement-like substance. This can coat your arteries and digestive tract, and as you can imagine cause some serious problems.
WOW! Did you know products with gluten could do that much damage?!
For some of you, ALL of this is going to make sense, and be potentially life changing for you! Can you imagine having many of these symptoms and no medical professional being able to tell you what’s wrong?
I was in that situation, and if you haven’t been there, let me tell you, it is MISERABLE! You start to lose hope after trying numerous medications, doing a zillion tests that empty your pocketbook, and being left even more confused than before with no legitimate answers to what the problem is. Many people go throughout their whole life without finding the cause. They end up on 20+ medications to try and fix all of these symptoms, but end up feeling even more horrible. Their hope is gone, their health is gone, it lowers their quality of life and effects the rest of their family. How crazy is it that ALL of this could have been solved just by switching up their diet?!
In my next post I’m going to give you some real life tools to use to make the process of going gluten-free much less scary and much more enjoyable! Keep your eyes open!