Gluten Intolerance – Digestion Woes
We live in an age of unhappy digestive systems. Medicine has two all-purpose answers for us: Avoid gluten and/or take an antacid; both are bad ideas.
Today, let’s talk about gluten.
A diagnosis of gluten intolerance means life isn’t going well. Well, with a pile of symptoms that make no kind of sense, you already knew you were in a mess, but now-TA DA!-you have a name. And a plan-sort of.
Determined to do the right thing, you march forth to conquer the beast. You buy gluten-free everything. Enthusiasm and expectations soar. Oops! Nobody mentioned that gluten-free means taste-free, so you’re eating cardboard.
As the late comedian, John Pinette, said, “You know what gluten-free food needs? GLUTEN!”
Purveyors of gluten-free goodies can’t help but realize there’s a problem, so they load their goodies up with unhealthy taste enhancers. So now you’re avoiding gluten, but eating junk food. This doesn’t seem to be progress.
Especially since your mountain of symptoms are alive and well and doing the boogy. What’s going on?
There are two possibilities. Perhaps you have celiac disease, an autoimmune disease that bedevils about 1% of the population. Rather than a simple food sensitivity, it means your endocrine system’s in trouble. Autoimmune diseases always come from endocrine problems.
On average, it takes 11 years to get a celiac diagnosis. Then, getting help can be a problem, too. But knowing what it is tells you how to find the information you need.
Or perhaps you have one of the many health problems that mimic gluten sensitivity. For instance, out-of-control candida matches gluten sensitivity just about symptom by symptom.
Candida is a usually-friendly yeast (sometimes referred to as mold or a fungus) that lives in all of us. And everybody lives happily until candida gets out of control. It doesn’t happen with a bang. The downhill slide is usually gradual, and candida can become set in its ways before we really notice it.
Our digestion isn’t all it could be, and we wonder if something’s wrong, but candida’s subtle, at least at first, so we just float along. But don’t float too long; candida will take you to some bad places.
Such as? More and more allergies. Chronic yeast infections, Urinary tract infections. Infertility. Impotence. Athlete’s foot. Psoriasis. Chronic infections such as colds, the flu. And so on. And on.
None of these symptoms will kill you, but you won’t be singing or dancing, either.
And how does candida get out of control?
Drugs: Cortisone, chemotherapy or the long use of antibiotics all kill the bacteria that keep candida in its place, allowing it to flourish.
Diet is a huge problem. Refined flours and sugar, i.e. a fast food diet, triggers yeast growth.
Long-term illnesses, a constant overload of stress (PTSD, concussions, etc.), lack of sleep, etc.
70% of people in the U.S. have some level of candida overgrowth.
Here’s a pretty good home test for out-of-control candida:
Before you go to bed at night, fill a glass with water.
First thing in the morning, quickly rinse your mouth to get rid of any mold that made its way in during the night, then gather some saliva in your mouth and spit it into the glass of water.
In three minutes or less, check for three indicators of candida problems: strings of saliva hanging down from the surface; suspended, cloudy specks of saliva throughout the water; and/or noticeable saliva at the bottom of the glass.
If none of them show up, put a gold star on your forehead and skip forth to meet the day: You’re clean.
The more indicators that show up, the more out of control your candida is.
The faster the indicators show up, the more out of control your candida is.
Nutritional supplements offer the best way (no side effects) of dealing with candida, but there’s no quick, one-size-fits-all answer. Why not? Right from the beginning, we’re all unique, and our different health histories make us even more unique. Treatment has to be customized to fit all this uniqueness, which is the way I go about everything.
Doctors treat candida with various drugs, all of which have side effects, and none of which actually fix the problem. You’ll probably be told you can’t tolerate gluten, so you should avoid it, which also won’t fix the problem.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.