1. For the average person, gluten containing ingredients (wheat, barley, rye and contaminated oats) are perfectly healthy dietary choices. But when people who suffer from celiac disease (or gluten intolerance) ingest gluten, they can suffer from a host of symptoms, including gastrointestinal upset (bloating, cramping, diarrhea and vomiting), migraines, depression, eczema, foggy memory and more.
2. Removing wheat from your diet does not necessarily result in weight loss. When people experience weight loss from removing gluten containing products, it is often because they are eliminating a steady diet of packaged, processed foods. On the other hand, people who suffer from a gluten intolerance might see a "weight loss" as a result of a reduction in bloating and the ability to better digest their food.
3. From the standpoint of a person who suffers from gluten intolerance or celiac disease, the removal of gluten will result in increased energy, better digestion, less stomach upset and decreased/total elimination of skin irritations. People who choose to remove wheat or other gluten ingredients from their diets as a result of a lifestyle change, they may also see increased energy and weight loss due to an increased consumption of whole food products.
4. The two major tests that will lead to a diagnosis of celiac disease or gluten intolerance are:
1. Blood tests for gluten autoantibodies (These are IgA based tests accurate only while on a gluten containing diet)
2. A small bowel biopsy to assess gut damage. For those with suspected dermatitis herpetiformis (skin reactive celiac disease), skin biopsies will be taken of the health skin near the lesion.
5. The consumption of gluten (wheat, barley, rye and contaminated oats) will result in an adverse reaction for people who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. This reaction will be no different than if the person had consumed a mainstream, less pure version of a wheat product. People who do not have a gluten intolerance will benefit from choosing the most natural form of wheat.
Whole wheat means that a product is made from the entire wheat kernel.Whole grain means that the bread can be made of any whole-grain kernel. That grain may be wheat or it could be another grain like spelt or barley.
6. The wheat we eat today isn't the wheat of our grandparents' generation. While the 60s and 70s may have seen wheat that was peacefully growing in a field, today's wheat contains a protein called "gliadin." This protein can not only affect those who are sensitive to wheat, but can stimulate the appetite, causing average people to consume an increased number of calories.
7. My diagnosis of celiac disease in September 2010 and adherence to a gluten-free diet has helped my intestines to heal, increased my white blood cell count, decreased/eliminates my gastrointestinal issues, reduced my migraine episodes by 80 percent and led to increased energy.
8. I experienced symptoms as young as infancy –– which, at the time, was unbeknownst to my parents –– with my peak occurring in my college years and several months before my diagnosis.
9. It took a lot of my own research before I was able to speak with my doctor about the possibility of celiac disease. I was misdiagnosed for about ten years and tested for everything from diabetes to lupus (as a result of my low white blood count).
10. While the transition took a lot of research, the act of switching to a gluten-free diet was a blessing. As a result of gaining so much of my health back, I can honestly say I've never looked back.
ABOUT CAROLINE: Caroline Shannon-Karasik is the founder of The G-Spot Revolution [http://thegspotrevolution.com], a gluten-free, healthy living blog built upon the premise that there is not a one-size-fits-all prescription for total wellness. Whether you call it your personal health "spot", or ooo-la-la recipe, that serendipitous life balance is yours to define –– and The G-Spot was created to help you do just that. Caroline is currently obtaining her certification as a health coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and will release her gluten-free lifestyle book in January 2014. Standing behind her mission to share health information through her writing, Caroline is also a freelance writer for several publications, including VegNews, KIWI, REDBOOK and Breathe magazines. Follow her on Twitter @TheGSpotRev or read more at www.carolineshannon.com.
ABOUT DR. WILLIAM DAVIS: William Davis, MD, is a preventive cardiologist whose unique approach to diet allows him to advocate reversal, not just prevention, of heart disease. He is the founder of the TrackYourPlaque.com program. He lives in Wisconsin.
Is wheat healthy? Wheat gets picked on a lot these days, as a common allergen and as the demonized white flour. But are these concerns justified? What about whole wheat, seitan (made with wheat gluten), and sprouted wheat?
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