In today’s blog I have culled several pieces of information from various sites with a common theme – Grains Can and DO damage our bodies. You do not have to be a doctor diagnosed Celiac to be suffering from the diseases caused by consuming certain grains.
I was gob smacked when I learned what these so called ‘essential healthy grains’ could do to the human body. I knew about Celiac disease, and then I discovered the brain can and does get affected too. The joints can be affected with arthritis. Lupus like symptoms can also develop. In fact many different types of autoimmune disease may be related to, or attributed to the damage done by grains to the human body. Read on and see what you can learn, and pass along to loved ones and friends.
Grain foods make autoimmune diseases worse. The common food group which consistently disrupts immune communication has now been known for a dozen or more years—this group encompasses all the grain foods and their commercially produced products. Defense chemicals commonly occurring throughout the grain types, known as lectin compounds, mimic and distort communication between cells. In those lymphocyte cells that have been re-coded by specific viruses and subsequently have reduced efficiency in their ability to communicate correctly—if they encounter further distortion to communication because of grain-lectin interference, the autoimmune response can be more heavily triggered.
Two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar to a higher level than a candy bar does. And then, after about two hours, your blood sugar plunges and you get shaky, your brain feels foggy, you’re hungry. So let’s say you have an English muffin for breakfast. Two hours later you’re starving, so you have a handful of crackers, and then some potato chips, and your blood sugar rises again. That cycle of highs and lows just keeps going throughout the day, so you’re constantly feeling hungry and constantly eating. Dieticians have responded to this by advising that we graze throughout the day, which is just nonsense. If you eliminate wheat from your diet, you’re no longer hungry between meals because you’ve stopped that cycle. You’ve cut out the appetite stimulant, and consequently you lose weight very quickly. I’ve seen this with thousands of patients.
(Above quote from Dr. William Davis, a preventive cardiologist who practices in Milwaukee, Wis., and argues in his new book Wheat Belly that wheat is bad for your health—so bad that it should carry a surgeon general’s warning.)
Now that celiac disease has been allowed official entry into the pantheon of established medical conditions, and gluten intolerance is no longer entirely a fringe medical concept, the time has come to draw attention to the powerful little chemical in wheat known as ‘wheat germ agglutinin’ (WGA) which is largely responsible for many of wheat’s pervasive, and difficult to diagnose, ill effects. Not only does WGA throw a monkey wrench into our assumptions about the primary causes of wheat intolerance, but due to the fact that WGA is found in highest concentrations in “whole wheat,” including its supposedly superior sprouted form, it also pulls the rug out from under one of the health food industry’s favorite poster children.
Below the radar of conventional serological testing for antibodies against the various gluten proteins and genetic testing for disease susceptibility, the WGA “lectin problem” remains almost entirely obscured. Lectins, though found in all grains, seeds, legumes, dairy and our beloved nightshades: the tomato and potato are rarely discussed in connection with health or illness, even when their presence in our diet may greatly reduce both the quality and length of our lives. (Learn more about lectins here) and by reading the Lectin Report. Did you know – they are sometimes called the ‘cloaked thugs of the anti-nutrient underworld.’?
Wheat causes many autoimmune diseases because it promotes all three aspects noted below:
- Leaky gut and inflammation. A leaky gut lets bacteria and food toxins enter the body. In the body, these precipitate an immune response which creates inflammation and a chance for antibodies to form.
- “Molecular mimicry.” A bacterial protein or food toxin resembles a human protein sufficiently closely that an antibody to the foreign protein may also recognize human proteins, potentially precipitating attacks on self tissue.
- Adjuvant activity. Vaccines are produced by bonding an antigen (the target of the hoped-for antibody) to an adjuvant (a molecule that greatly increases the likelihood antibodies will be made – a sort of catalyst). If a “molecular mimic” can bind to an adjuvant, then autoimmune disease becomes much more likely.
Memory Loss, Irritability, Sleep Disturbance
Gluten allergy can cause malaise, difficulty concentrating and short-term memory loss, says Stephen Gislason, M.D., author of the book “Human Brain in Health and Disease.” Celiac disease, an autoimmune condition caused by a genetic intolerance to wheat, also may lead to irritability, a lack of interest in activities you normally enjoy or sleep disturbances. Your quality of sleep is influenced by your diet, explains Gislason. If dinner is your largest meal of the day and is followed by snacking on foods you may be sensitive to, that food will be released into your bloodstream while you sleep and cause an allergic response. Asthma, migraines, aches and pains and other symptoms can wake you up or disturb your sleep. Adolescents with celiac disease show a higher level of depressive behaviors and many respond well to a gluten-free diet.
What Caused This Woman’s Asthma and Iron Deficiency Anemia?Alison has been a life-long asthma sufferer and in her twenties her health began to decline. By her thirties she had such severe iron deficiency anemia that the doctors feared cancer. She was finally diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disease caused by proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley.
After Alison removed gluten from her diet, all her health problems disappeared and she was able to throw away her asthma inhaler. Her family has adopted her dietary changes and they also have reversed numerous physical ailments including autism.
Autoimmune Diseases And Cereal Grain Consumption
Autoimmune diseases occur when the body loses the ability to distinguish invading proteins from self-proteins that make up the body. The loss results in destruction of self-tissues by the immune system. These diseases are thought to result from a combined influence of environmental and genetic influences.
Dietary cereal grains are noted to be causative agents for celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis, both autoimmune diseases. While the incidence of celiac disease is only about 2 percent of the population exposed to cereal grains the consequences can be severe. There are a number of diseases that may occur simultaneously with celiac disease, including Addison’s disease, asthma, autoimmune thyroid disease, dental enamel defects, epilepsy, liver disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Withdrawal of gluten-containing cereals from the diet can ameliorate symptoms of celiac disease and herpetiformis.
The form of protein believed to be associated with celiac disease in gliadin, but since at least 40 different protein components occur in a single variety of wheat it is unlikely that a single gliadin protein causes the disease. Other autoimmune diseases may be related to a high intake of cereal grains, including insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), rheumatoid arthritis, nephropathy, aphthous stomatitis (canker sores), and even multiple sclerosis. A myelin basic protein (MBP) is a suspected target antigen in multiple sclerosis. There are epidemiological reports that link both wheat and milk consumption to the incidence of MS. And there are reports showing remission of MS on gluten-free diets.
Beyond this, many neurological complications may be associated with immune reactivity to antigens found in cereal grains. It is suspected that autoimmune processes are involved. Even autism and schizophrenia show susceptibilities to grain glutens that aggravate (or even cause) the conditions. There are clinical studies indicating that there is a rapid remission of schizophrenic symptoms by introducing gluten-free diets.
For years we’ve known that grains cause digestive disorders that can lead to gas, bloating, and even malnutrition in some people.
More recently, we’ve learned that allergic reactions to grains could actually cause several different types of autoimmune disease. And now, in a new book being published this year, two experts share eye-opening evidence that undiagnosed sensitivities to certain grain proteins can be the route to some very serious—even deadly—diseases including cancer, chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, infertility, liver disease, and osteoporosis. And the frightening list goes on and on.
Sensitivity may start in your intestinal tract
Experts have known for years that certain whole grains (wheat, rye, barley, spelt, triticale, kamut, and possibly oats) are the cause of celiac disease in some people. Celiac disease affects the intestinal tract, and its symptoms can vary from mild gas, bloating, and loose stools to life-threatening conditions like malabsorption of essential vitamins and nutrients, weight loss, and malnutrition. But celiac disease is somewhat rare. Fewer than one in 100 Americans are diagnosed with it. So why should the rest of us worry?
Because for the past two to three decades, at an accelerating pace, researchers have demonstrated that the offending proteins (including gluten, gliadin, and glutenins) found in the above-mentioned grains can cause symptoms and sometimes full-blown diseases that reach far beyond celiac disease. These diseases can affect nearly any area of the body, not just the intestinal tract. They are often called “non-celiac gluten sensitivity symptoms and diseases,” or “gluten sensitivity symptoms and diseases,” or simply “gluten sensitivity.”
Cure so-called “incurable” autoimmune disease
by cutting out grains
I first became aware of the wide reach of gluten sensitivity when I read the book Relatively Speaking, originally published in Australia and then re-published in the USA under the title Your Family Tree Connection. (This book is now out of print, but it can still be found on-line through used book sources.) The book, written by Dr. Christopher Reading and Ross Meillon, describes Dr. Reading’s detective work as he unravels the causes of many supposed “undiagnosable” symptoms by closely examining a family health history.
Years later, during a trip to Australia in the 1980s, I got to visit Dr. Reading’s office in Sydney. On one wall was a chart that listed over 100 individuals who had initially consulted Dr. Reading about a common so-called “incurable” disease called lupus (systemic lupus erythematosis or SLE). All the patients on the list had suffered the symptoms (fever, joint pains, and skin rash are among the most common symptoms) and had tested positive for lupus in blood tests. However, everyone on this particular list had been symptom free, with negative blood tests for five years or more! It’s true. Over 100 people were cured of so-called “incurable” lupus in the 1980s. Even today, in 2002, just about any “lupus specialist” in the United States will say that’s impossible…and then resume writing prescriptions for prednisone, the most commonly prescribed patent medication used to treat the disease.
(NOTE: this book is still available in second-hand shops and on AMAZON. It is a delight to read and in plain English takes the reader through different case histories, illnesses and cures. I purchased my well loved – second hand copy from bookshops.com.au).
Grain sensitivity is a generational issue. If you get the opportunity to read a copy of RELATIVELY SPEAKING you will probably be, like I was, gobsmacked at just how many ancestors/relations showed definite symptoms of being grain and or milk intolerant.
Follow the links above for more information.