How does the body react to gluten?
When gluten is ingested into the body, the immune system immediately sends antibodies to attack those inflammatory gluten particles. Sounds like a good thing, right? There is a problem with this as well. The proteins in gluten, known as gliadin, closely resemble some of our body’s own tissues. What do you think happens then? Well, those same antibodies that are sent to attack the inflammatory gluten particles also think that some of the body’s organs and systems are the enemy. This can be anything from the skin to the thyroid to the brain. Gluten is causing your own body to attack itself.
This process is called molecular mimicry. It is also because of this that many people who are sensitive to gluten find that they are also sensitive to other foods such as dairy. The proteins in dairy resemble gluten.
Did you know that skin is your biggest organ?
Your skin is indeed your biggest organ. The inflammation that is caused by gluten is widespread and shows up in several different bodily systems, including the skin. Let’s take acne for example. Hormonal fluctuations are the main cause of getting acne. But when you eat gluten, your body responds in kind by upping the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Having too much cortisol in the body causes acne as well as poor sleep and even weight gain.
Gluten messes with your brain
In order to have a good healthy brain, we need a good healthy gut. One of the reasons why is because 90% of our body’s serotonin is made in our gut. So why is serotonin so important? Serotonin is the key neurotransmitter that controls our mood swings. So when there is a deficiency in our serotonin levels, there is a large possibility of depression or anxiety developing.
Gluten has a hard time digesting and so it damages the gut and inhibits digestion. This leaves some undigested food to linger in the intestine, making a perfect breeding ground for yeast and bacteria. As the yeast continues to grow, it starts to cover the intestines like a blanket. By doing that, it is suppressing the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin. As this is happening, the bacteria are producing chemicals that mimic these neurotransmitters. This signal travels from the gut to the brain and causes mood swings.
Are you sensitive to gluten?
It’s estimated that as many as 1 in 30 people are sensitive to gluten. Find out for yourself if you are gluten sensitive without blood test, or going to the doctor. Who wouldn’t like that? The best way to do this is to cut out gluten completely from your diet for 3 to 4 weeks. I know it sounds hard, especially when a neighbor brings by a freshly baked loaf of bread, and that temptation will double its effort, but I can tell you from experience that it is well worth it.
A few months ago, I went through the Anti-inflammatory diet. It is an elimination diet for a whole month, and one of the hardest hurdles I had to overcome was giving up my bread… It wasn’t until then that I noticed just how often I eat and see bread where ever I went. In the stores, at homes, and pretty much any activity I went to there was some type of bread or another. But by staying strong (and much hand slapping for myself) I was able to do it. Not only did I feel great with so much more energy, but I also lost my fair share of weight. Once the diet was over, I slowly started to add back the bread. It wasn’t too much of a shocker to find that it made me feel heavy, slothful, and overall just gross.
That was when I knew that I was sensitive to gluten.
And you can find this out for yourself as well. All you need is a little willpower, and it wouldn’t help to have a helping hand or two as well.
Summarized by: Colbi Judd
3 Reasons to Give Up Gluten (That You’d Never Suspect): www.amymyersmd.com