How badly do you feel?
Do you have occasional headaches, heartburn, digestive issues including bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation? Maybe you have psoriasis, get migraines or suffer from depression or fatigue. We tend to accept all of these illnesses and symptoms and medicate ourselves to feel better. But that only treats the symptoms, we need to treat the root of the problem. Would you patch up a leaking ceiling without fixing the leak itself or would you find where the water was coming from, stop the leak then patch the ceiling?
There are many things we eat daily that wreak havoc on our bodies. Foods are like drugs creating chemical reactions in our bodies. Some bodies can handle certain foods while others cannot. The reaction to these foods might not be immediate as in an allergic reaction but build up over time making it less obvious to the person consuming them. The severity of the reaction to the foods depends on the amount you’ve eaten and how long you’ve been exposed. In the case of gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barely and also wheat based products like couscoous, semolina, spelt, club, durum, bulgur and einkorn, you’ve probably been eating it in almost every meal since you started solid foods as a mere toddler. American fast foods have been described as addictive. The reason why could be due to the fact that the hamburgers are full of wheat based fillers, the french fries are brushed with wheat to make them crispy not to mention the buns. How does wheat become addictive you ask?
First, over time gluten erodes the intestinal wall producing a symptom called “leaky gut” which allows the body to absorb full proteins that should have been blocked until they were broken down into amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of life and regulate nearly every biochemical reaction in the body. They make up 100% of your hormones, neuropeptides (substances the brain releases with every thought) and 95% of your muscle just to name a handful of things they do. Vitamins and minerals are important, but if your amino acids are out of balance, you will not be healthy.
Secondly, glutens are opioid-like proteins that are not easily digested and broken down into amino acids. Yes, I said opioid-like. Opioid is a term used for any psychoactive chemical that resembles morphine or other opiates it pharmacological effects. The side effects of opioids include sedation, respiratory depression, constipation and a strong sense of euphoria. Gluten is opioid-like in that it produces less severe side effects but none the less still addictive.
Thirdly, once the gluten proteins are passed through the intestine intact, they cause a gluten “high” that lasts for a few hours, followed by an energy crash and craving for your next carbohydrate fix.
What doesn’t help even more is the sugar and simple starches also usually present in these baked goods. If all the sugar and fat wasn’t enough to make you fat, then the additive nature of the gluten will. You want more and more of it without even realizing that its addictive. It takes awhile before the intestinal wall is broken down to the point where the gluten proteins pass through undigested, but the rate Americans ingest gluten most people have started to have symptoms already in their teens.
Many people start to experience slow weight gain that seems unstoppable. Additionally their stomach may seem out of proportion to the rest of their body. They workout and try to eat “healthy” without any effect. These are all symptoms of gluten sensitivity. The reason you are adding fat is not only because you are addicted to gluten which causes hunger attacks but also that your adrenal glands are too busy dealing with the inflammation in your intestines to release the hormone progesterone, which allows you to burn fat. If you have adrenal exhaustion due to over consumption of gluten your body will not only have a lowered immune response, possible chronic fatigue, weight gain no matter how much you exercise, but also soreness that lasts for days after you exercise. This is your body not being able to burn fat for energy so it has to catabolize muscle. So basically if you are working out but not cutting out gluten you will not be able to burn your stored fat nor will you be able to build muscle to increase your metabolism. It s a double edged sword.
If you have some or all of these symptoms, get yourself tested for gluten sensitivity. Gluten is difficult to avoid, but once you get diagnosed and get used to not eating it you will see how much more energy you have and how much better you feel without it. You must remember that gluten is addictive so the first couple weeks are going to be trying. You may experience some withdrawals. But in a matter of weeks the addiction will be gone and you will see the results of being addiction free and symptom free as well as being on the path to better health and weight loss.