Gluten-Free

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Richard
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Gluten-Free

Postby Richard » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:27 pm

Is this just a fad? Unless you have intolerance/coeliac's disease or allergy to wheat then why would you seek out Gluten-Free food?
There are whole sections of supermarkets devoted to the products and it can be expensive too.

cbe
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Re: Gluten-Free

Postby cbe » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:27 pm

A fad for some as I believe Hollywood types have taken this up. For my own part only too real. Took about 3/4 months and several hospital visits for me to be diagnosed. When I go 'off the rails' I am struck by extreme fatigue.
A few years ago we were renting a house in the old town for a fortnight and during the first week I gorged on bread and ice fingers from Judges. During the second week it had caught up with me
( I had become complacent) and I spent every afternoon in bed asleep whilst my wife had to go around town alone.

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Richard
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Re: Gluten-Free

Postby Richard » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:49 pm

Really interesting cbe as my brother has attributed my elderly mother's periods of confusion to gluten intolerance and we now have none of it whatsoever in her diet.
but why would it take so long to take effect? - she is now 88.
Intolerance of a protein seems understandable, apparently there are two wheat proteins involved, but apart from a slightly better feeling in my gut, I am really not affected at all.

How did the hospital diagnose this adverse reaction?
Coeliac disease is a well defined, serious illness where the body’s immune system attacks itself when gluten is eaten. This causes damage to the lining of the gut and means that the body cannot properly absorb nutrients from food. Coeliac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance, it is an autoimmune disease.
Wheat allergy is a reaction to proteins found in wheat, triggered by the immune system and usually occurs within seconds or minutes of eating.
Non coeliac gluten sensitivity is when symptoms similar to coeliac disease are experienced, but there are no associated antibodies and no damage to the lining of the gut.

Phew!!

cbe
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Re: Gluten-Free

Postby cbe » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:59 pm

As you say your body does not absorb nutrients due to the stomach lining being damaged.
How did the hospital diagnose this in my case? Eventually I had a camera( and snippers?) down my throat and they snipped a bit off the stomach lining - I believe the bits they got determined that the lining had been damaged. I changed to a gluten-free diet and am alright now - apart from lapses brought on by complacency, as mentioned earlier. As regards age I was mid 50s before diagnosis, my symptoms though had only been coming to the fore for about 6 months before that so I suppose you can be a sufferer at varying levels of severity. A nephew of mine was diagnosed whilst at university. I think anyone with a coeliac sufferer within the family should look carefully at their own symptoms. The main ones are, like mine, extreme tiredness or bowel problems.

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seahermit
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Re: Gluten-Free

Postby seahermit » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:42 am

As with the wholefood/healthfood market, so with "gluten-free" in particular - I feel there is indeed an element of food retailers cashing in on people's anxieties about diet and it is likely that a lot of people are consuming gluten-free products because they think it may be "healthier" or because they think they MAY have a gluten "intolerance" (I actually know someone in the latter category, who also "thinks" she has other things wrong with her!). But for most healthy people this would not normally be the case, there should be no problem at all with eating foods containing gluten (and the ones who develop an "allergic" reaction to gluten are much rarer, a small minority).

As I understand it, gluten intolerance occurs when the stomach does not produce the enzymes needed to break down the protein in gluten (much more complicated than that of course). Damage to the stomach lining may well be a consequence rather than the nub of the problem itself. The problem with a lot of processed/refined foods is that gluten gets concentrated, so pure natural foods are more digestible, although some naturally sweet foods can be a problem too - bananas are high in sugar and I dare not eat more than a couple in a month without getting problems!

I went through a period of high stress some years ago and subsequently developed mild eczema problems and IBS (before the food intolerance thing was at all understood, symptoms were all lumped together as Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I had quite a bad time, often very ill and sometimes in bed for a month at a go. It's like the worst indigestion you have ever had! Even a few biscuits caused cramps, wind, dizziness etc.

Eventually I was put through a series of intensive tests, exclusion diets etc. and gluten intolerance was diagnosed. Within a few weeks of changing my habits and going onto a restricted diet, my life was completely transformed, I felt better than I had done for years and I am still basically ok as long as I don't break the rules too often. The main culprits, which have to be avoided, are heavily processed foods, things high in sugar, dairy products, chocolate .. It's not so bad as it sounds because you can actually sneak a Mars bar once in a while or an ice-cream!

Fortunately for me and others, a wide range of gluten-free products has now been developed but in the early years it was very difficult - when you are really hungry in the middle of the day, what do you fill up on if you have to shun bread, cakes, biscuits?! Well, rice and potatos are ok but it means lunch is more complicated and not quick!

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Richard
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Re: Gluten-Free

Postby Richard » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:27 pm

If my body was a car, I would be trading it in for a newer model.
I've got bumps, dents, scratches and my headlights are out of focus.
My gearbox is seizing up and it takes me hours to reach maximum speed.
I overheat for no reason and every time I sneeze, cough or laugh either my radiator leaks, my exhaust backfires, - or both!
:?

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seahermit
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Re: Gluten-Free

Postby seahermit » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:52 pm

I love the analogy. The main machine is indeed still there but more maintenance required, bits have to be repaired and it takes longer to get up the hill ..

Regular lubrication helps (too much clogs up the system!) and taking the old crate out for a run stops it rusting or siezing up. Swearing during stressful moments strangely helps too - I wonder what the automotive equivalent of that would be? Putting a dose of additive into the fuel?!

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Richard
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Re: Gluten-Free

Postby Richard » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:39 pm

You know the story, you go without feeling the need for ages and suddenly you feel so desperate that you hardly have time to answer 'the call of nature'.
It is age-related as usual.
Could a lot of the GF stuff just be down to constipation? Your guts efficiency changes as you age and maybe that has a lot to do with it.
The old school-boy sing-song about 'two old ladies stuck on the lavatory' may have more than a ring of truth about it!
:D

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seahermit
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Re: Gluten-Free

Postby seahermit » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:55 pm

No, gluten intolerance has nothing to do with the digestion not working so well! It is not even, to be precise, a digestive problem but a "food reaction" whereby the body cannot tolerate certain substances. Produces other symptoms besides just stomach problems e.g. skin complaints, dizziness, nutritional deficiencies. Just be grateful you have never had to deal with it.

It's also not age related, becoming more common amongst children (likewise other complaints like asthma - one in five, but almost unheard of when I was a child). The most likely cause seems to be environmental - the air in cities is very polluted, water too to some extent despite official denials (fish and sea mammals are being born with deformities) and a lot of food products are highly refined and processed It's a problem govenments should be taking much more seriously - which they will do eventually when more people are dying!

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Richard
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Re: Gluten-Free

Postby Richard » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:45 pm

It seems strange that protein in wheat (two actually) can cause trouble.
One inescapable fact is that humans have been consuming wheat, in one form or another, for thousands of years.
It is an old food and most diet-related diseases are relatively new.
Therefore, it doesn't make sense to blame old wheat for these new health problems.
However... it's important to realize that wheat today is not the same as it was a thousand, one hundred or even 60 years ago.
Bread and pasta we are eating today is very different from the traditionally prepared wheat we have been eating for thousands of years.
Wheat is processed and prepared differently these days, which makes it less nutritious and more harmful than traditionally prepared wheat.
We also used to prepare our grains differently. They were soaked, sprouted, fermented and bread was baked using slow rise yeast.

Sprouting and fermenting grains leads to many beneficial effects. It increases the amino acid lysine, reduces anti-nutrients (like phytic acid and lectins), disables enzyme inhibitors and makes nutrients more accessible
The wheat-germ and bran is now discarded and this has led to a reduction in nutrient density and gave refined wheat the ability to spike blood sugar very fast.

Almost all of the wheat eaten today is high-yield dwarf wheat, which was developed by cross-breeding and crude genetic manipulation around the year 1960.

Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance.
When people with this disease eat wheat, the immune system in the gut mistakenly assumes that the gluten proteins are foreign invaders and mounts an attack.
However... the immune system doesn't only attack the gluten proteins, it also attacks the gut lining itself, leading to degeneration of the intestinal lining, leaky gut, massive inflammation and various harmful effects.
Another condition, called non-celiac gluten sensitivity, is believed to be much more common, perhaps afflicting around 6-8% of people.

One of the gluten proteins that seems to be problematic is called Glia-α9. One study found that the amount of this protein is significantly higher in modern wheat.
Therefore... many researchers have speculated that modern wheat, due to its higher amount of problematic glutens, may be worse for celiac patients than older varieties of wheat.
Interestingly, this has been tested in several studies:

One study compared the effects of Einkorn (old) and modern wheat on intestinal cells from celiac patients. Compared to modern wheat, Einkorn didn't have any harmful effects.
In another study in 12 celiac patients, gluten from Einkorn caused significantly less adverse reactions than modern gluten and was even better tolerated than rice — a gluten-free grain.
Modern wheat contains more of the problematic glutens and there are some studies showing that older wheat varieties don't cause a reaction in celiac patients.

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mo ... -nightmare


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