Why there are so many of us suddenly gluten intolerant

December 2014, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

While many of us are starting to notice the rising cases of celiac – at least the rising numbers of people talking about it – the question remains. Are cases really growing or do people see gluten intolerance as a trend? Turns out, gluten intolerance – which can render the digestive system useless and impact the immune system – is not only real, but is also growing.

While most of us only started hearing about gluten intolerance and celiac disease in recent years, in reality, celiac was turning up in the agricultural age of the Neolithic period, as our diets began expanding beyond hunter/gatherer fare.

And about 8,000 years later, it got a name. (Ref. 1)

According to Dr. Stefano Guandalini, founder and director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, a Greek physician named Aretaeus of Cappadocia wrote about the disease in his “The Coeliac Affection,” dubbing it koiliakos, after the Greek word for stomach (koelia), and described the symptoms perfectly.

“If the stomach be irretentive of the food and if it pass through undigested and crude, and nothing ascends into the body, we call such persons coeliacs,” he wrote in the first century AD.

While other doctors wrote about the symptoms of celiac after that, English doctor Samuel Gee, who died in 1911, gets all the credit for diagnosing what he called “celiac affection,” which he found occurred mostly in children.

Still, it wasn’t until 1990 that researchers tied celiac specifically to gluten intolerance.

Rising caseload

While many of us are starting to notice the rising cases of celiac – at least the rising numbers of people talking about it – the question remains. Are cases really growing or do people see gluten intolerance as a trend?

Turns out, gluten intolerance – which can render the digestive system useless and impact the immune system – is not only real, but is also growing.

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic compared 50-year-old frozen blood samples (taken from Air Force recruits) to recent samples, and found that although the older samples contained gluten antibodies, which are markers for gluten intolerance, the contemporary samples had more. Fifty years ago, only 1 in 700 samples tested positive for gluten antibodies. Contemporary samples, however, showed that 1 in 200 have markers for the disease. (Ref. 2)

“Ten years ago I would have said this was a fad,” said Dr. Richard Auld, a gastroenterologist based in Sonoma County, California, said in an online interview. “But gluten allergy - autoimmune disease - is much more common now than 50 years ago.”

Is diet to blame?

Contemporary diets – which are heavier in processed wheat products than they once were – are probably one of the reasons for the rise in cases, but diet alone is likely not entirely to blame, experts say.

The disease could be the result of either genes or damaged gut flora that trigger an immune response that targets gluten as an invader. (Ref. 3)

Gluten, a protein in wheat, barley and rye, triggers an the immune response in people who are gluten intolerant... damaging the small intestine and leading to a wide range of debilitating symptoms including bloating, gas or abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, skin rash, discolored teeth or loss of enamel, canker sores, irritability or other mood or behavior changes, joint pain, unexplained weight loss, difficulty gaining weight, delayed growth and missed menstrual periods.

Difficult to diagnose

But because many of those symptoms could be signs of other diseases, celiac remains difficult to diagnose.

It took former co-host of “The View” Elisabeth Hasselbeck – she first gained attention as a contestant on “Survivor: The Australian Outback” – years to be diagnosed with celiac disease, and she was so frustrated with her journey that she wrote “The G-Free Diet: A Gluten Survival Guide” to help others impacted by the condition.

According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, celiac is only cured by a diet free from any gluten. At the same time, it is the only disease that can be completely controlled through diet, which means avoiding all gluten, a process that requires extreme diligence.

Gluten hunt requires detective school

While the most common culprits are breads, cereals and other obvious products that include grains, gluten hides in unexpected places, including medications, communion wafers, soy sauce, frozen vegetables, canned soups and broths, potato chips, gravy, salad dressings, ice cream , candies (excluding dark chocolate) and a wide range of other surprising products. That means those who suffer from celiac disease have to become Sherlock Holmes at the grocery store, reading every label and researching products to determine if they items they’re buying are truly gluten-free. (Ref. 4)

Substitutes for gluten include brown rice, quinoa, corn flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch, potato flour, potato starch, almond flour, sweet rice, buckwheat, teff and lentils, most of which are much healthier than refined white flour.

That means those who decide to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon, even if they don’t have celiac disease could find their revised diet beneficial to their health.

“The G-free diet can help with weight management. It can elevate your energy levels, improve your attention span, and speed up your digestion,” Hasselbeck told ABC News, adding that those with diabetes especially can benefit from a diet plan free from gluten. (Ref. 5)

Why you might need a supplement

According to experts, the most common problem with a gluten-free diet is getting enough essential vitamins and minerals after banishing enriched foods from your diet.

While loading up on a rainbow of fruits and vegetables and can help prevent deficiencies, our Core Wellness Activators – including the digestive restorative Kiwi-Klenz, our Omega-3/DHA family for improved heart health and healthy fats that promote low cholesterol and our Total Balance – formulated with a blend of all the essential nutrients, enzymes, minerals and vitamins you need for good health – can fill the void while potentially alleviating the symptoms of celiac at the same time.

References:

  1. http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/SU07CeliacCtr.News_.pdf
  2. https://www.mylifestages.org/health/gluten_sensitivity/gluten_sensitivity_on_the_rise.page
  3. http://www.foodrenegade.com/the-rise-of-gluten-intolerance/
  4. http://www.celiaccentral.org/
  5. http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/story?id=7492673&page=6

9 Comments

  • “Please tell me about sweet rice. Is that the black or red rice? ”

    James j - December 15 2014

  • “Are all of your products GMO free? Derived from Organic?”

    M Schultz - January 17 2015

  • “Hi Monty Thanks for that very good question.  The answer is that this material has been tested by a NZ Laboratory Services, and it has under 3ppm (parts per million) Gluten, using as accredited test method.  Under New Zealand rules, a product is considered to be gluten free when it is under 20ppm. Kind regards, Dean”

    Xtend-Life Expert - March 15 2016

  • “Solid article. It however fails to mention weight gain as a symptom to celiac and or leaky gut which is what I personally experienced and see (people) everyday. In my case, my gluten intolerance wreaked havoc on my thyroid and I had hypothyroidism and was misdiagnosed for years. My local allergist was absolutely no help at all and laughed because I was heavy set and said, "people with Celiac look malnourished". Funny because you can be obese and be malnourished too. I lost 40lb in a year after taking gluten or if my diet. Just thought is share my two cents.”

    GFS - December 21 2014

  • “How is Zupafood Elite sold as safe for people with gluten intolerance when it has wheat and barley grass? is there not a risk that the seeds will contaminate the mixture?  How can we be sure that it is not contaminated?”

    Monty - March 13 2016

  • “I was looking at something else and clicked on this part of the blog – a year late of course. I have often wondered at the phenomenon of gluten intolerance – not coeliac disease (a life-threatening condition and not to be dismissed), but why this has suddenly become faddish. For those with an intolerance it is not a fad, but why the sudden eruption of consciousness over the passed five years or so? I am grown old and cynical – for manufacturers have almost instantly jumped on the bandwagon producing "gluten free" products – at much higher cost of course – on every supermarket shelf. I note in these products that (a) they are made from ingredients every bit as "refined" as simple wheat flour and (b) the glycaemic index of the ingredients is every bit as dramatic as processed flour – and often, even greater. However, to return to normal grains, we have ingested these for 8,000 years with few problems (true coeliacs aside) and I wondered if there was a correlated factor? My interest led me to discover that most grains are sprayed with glyphosate just prior to harvest (in order to increase the yield), this chemical being an endocrine disruptor. The blood samples of 50 years ago would not have had this. So my query is along the lines of is it the side-effects of the glyphosate (and by products), rather than the grain? Incidentally, out of interest, I did a four week exclusion diet of wheaten / grain products and found no benefits.”

    Murray - April 16 2017

  • “Really good depth in the article. Gluten intolerance is difficult to self-diagnose. ”

    Patrick - February 04 2015

  • “Dear Christina, Thank your for your query.  All of our supplements are gluten and dairy free.  With regards to sugar, there may be a small amount of natural kiwifruit sugar within Kiwi-Klenz, but this has not been quantified.   There is no added sugar other than what is found in the kiwifruit naturally.  I hope that this has been of some assistance.  Yvette Customer Relations”

    Customer Relations - December 05 2014

  • “Is Kiwi-Klenz gluten free & sugar free?”

    Christina - December 05 2014

Leave a Comment

Topics you might be interested in


Six Reasons To Eat More Prebiotic-Rich Foods

March 2018 by, Xtend-Life Expert

By now most of us are pretty familiar with probiotics and their role in supporting gut health and immunity. But there’s another family of gut-friendly foods that may have even...

Read More

6 Ways To Boost Your Child’s Gut Health

February 2018 by, Xtend-Life Expert

Funny tummy making your child miserable? Digestive issues like bloating, gas and constipation can affect kids as well as adults, but the standard advice for improving digestive function may not...

Read More