Health · nutrition · Wellness

Gluten and Autoimmune Disease

I have been INSANELY busy since September started which is why my blog posts have been so few and far between. I love writing my blog. I enjoy sitting here sharing what I know and creating something special.

I’ve been thinking about how I need to write a blog post for weeks now but I just can’t find the time. I started my nutrition school, and my MBA class started again so I have been working 5 days a week and going to class on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. So that leaves Tuesday, Friday and the weekend to get everything done around the house, study for school, and maybe find time to write on my blog. You can see why I haven’t had a moment to get on here!

On top of all of that – I started a new job. So now I am learning at work all day, and learning in school all night. It’s been crazy!

I love my classes though. Nutrition class is amazing. At first I didn’t think I was going to like it because it was less on symptoms and foods that heal and more on macro nutrients and how the body works. But I’ve fallen in love with it. I love knowing how the nutrients work within the body, and how the body itself works. I’ve learned so many new things and every class is as exciting as the last one. I can’t wait to continue on with school and I love that my “homework” at night is reading books that are of total interest to me.

Which is how I get to my topic today. I was in class one night learning more about gluten and leaky gut and how certain foods can attack the body. My  teacher showed us how the proteins from certain foods can change, escape the small intestine and wreak havoc on the body. This is where gluten comes in. When we don’t eat properly and continue to put harmful foods in our bodies (like refined foods, sugars etc) our bodies aren’t functioning properly and it is extremely likely that we have leaky gut. Knowing how we are in North America and how we eat – I would bet the vast majority of adults have leaky gut. That’s my own personal guess, but I believe it is easily that high. So with a leaky gut, gluten escapes through our bodies and the structure of the protein changes in our bodies.

So first – no foods should be escaping from our small intestines into the blood stream unless they have been completely broken down into nutrients. But because of poor eating habits or stress, our intestines now are letting through larger items like gluten protein. So this causes our body to go on attack. I explained this in my other post as well so I won’t go into it too much.

I’m going to explain in super simple terms because it is the best way to understand it. Gluten protein has a specific shape unique to it. However, because of all the issues going on in your body – this shape changes as it escapes. People will experience this differently, as our bodies are different. So for me – when the gluten escapes through my gut – it changes its shape to the same shape as thyroid hormone. That’s just how it happened to be for my body. So every time I ate gluten, it transformed into the same shape as thyroid and my body couldn’t tell the difference and attacked both the gluten and my thyroid.

Now, this can change for a different person. Every time you eat gluten – and because you have leaky gut from poor diet, stress or any other factor leading to this situation, the gluten escapes, changes form and now becomes the same look as your joint cells. So now every time you eat gluten, the body attacks the gluten and your joints, which now leads to, you guessed it, arthritis.

Gluten sensitivity is extremely common and causes inflammation throughout the body. So not only is the gluten itself causing inflammation, it is also sending your antibodies to start attacking other parts of your body, which too will lead to further inflammation. But our doctors don’t test for this. Nor do they suggest an elimination diet to see if it helps the problem. Rather than prescribe medications to put a bandaid over the problem and somewhat relieve these symptoms – why not look at the root cause. Think about it – autoimmune diseases – a disease that attacks the immune system. A weakened immune system that is busy waging war, sending its “soldiers” (anti-bodies) out on a constant attack because most of us in North America eat gluten every single day.

There are over 80 types of autoimmune diseases out there! To name a few:

  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • IBD
  • MS
  • Diabetes
  • Psoriasis
  • Grave’s Disease
  • Hashimoto’s

Some of the most common diseases out there. I’m sure you all know at least one person with one of these diseases. I asked my teacher about gluten and anyone with autoimmune disease and he feels, as do I, that without a doubt, if you have an autoimmune disease get off gluten!! Take your health into your own hands. That doesn’t mean quit gluten and your medication. This means get off gluten and monitor how you feel! Get blood tests done, get a baseline then cut out the gluten. Monitor for 30 days – and see how you feel. Then you can get blood tests any time again and see if anything has changed. When you get your antibodies tested it can show that there is something going crazy in your body. They shouldn’t be showing on your blood test. My results should be 0 for antibodies and when I got it tested they were >300. That’s terrifying – why is my body working so hard! My body is under attack and it’s time that I get it under control.

I’ve been gluten free for over a month now and it’s insane how different I feel.

First – it is not difficult to go gluten free at all. I was so scared about how much it would change my life and I realize that I barely notice. There are lots of foods out there you can buy that are gluten free, you can easily find recipes online to bake yourself – or you can just learn to live without the toast. It’s no big deal. It takes a little bit of effort to learn what contains gluten and to look at labels – but really, we should all be looking at ingredient lists these days.

Second – it’s insane how different I feel. I swear there is no placebo effect here, it actually  changed my emotions. I am so much happier. It makes no sense and I am not questioning it. I have a positive outlook on life again, my relationship is better as I can be happy and patient at home again, and overall things are just looking up.

Third – a byproduct of it all, and not something I was looking to do – I lost weight. My body stopped holding on to things, the inflammation has gone down, and naturally it’s just what happened. So for anyone looking down this route – there’s a chance this could happen to you too.

Overall, going gluten free is simple. I strongly urge anyone dealing with an autoimmune disease to cut out gluten. Stop the war on your body. Something so simple to remove can save your life. It can completely change how you feel and potentially ease all symptoms into remission. Isn’t it worth it? I think so.

Please think about it. 

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3 thoughts on “Gluten and Autoimmune Disease

  1. Yes! Must go gluten free and for me, sugar free as well. Sugar leads to lots of problems with leaky gut, fibromyalgia and my Hashimotos’s…well I have lots of diseases, so it really could be any of them. 🙂 But going Autoimmune paleo was best for me!

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    1. You are so correct. Sugar causes tons of problems.. Refined sugars anyway. They have no place in our diet. Dairy and eggs cause me problems too so I’m essentially gluten free vegan and I feel amazing now.. But still working on the Hashis.. Lol

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