This year, you should take a serious look at Gluten Free living

Posted on January 3, 2010


What a fantastic thing to wake up in the New Year & read THIS! A huge front page article on Huffington Post detailing how gluten is such a dangerous protein to much of the population! I’ve spent almost 1 year living Gluten Free & over the months, my passion for others going GF to live a better life has grown tremendously. 

At first, I felt like I lived in a tiny minority of people who must take a strict avoidance approach to gluten & most grains – but as I’ve gone through the phases of acceptance of this “condition” – which spanned the range of sadness over what I “lost” in not being able to eat bread & most packaged “easy” foods anymore, to learning how to live this way & being like an unsteady baby learning to walk, and now arriving at love & appreciation for the lifestyle I now have thanks to this “condition.” 

And every time a national/international publication brings the spotlight to the dangers of gluten, it’s an exciting step forward in the education of the world on the dangers of gluten. Here’s the top highlights from the article on Huff Post by Dr. Mark Hyman, who is a doctor on the forefront of functional medicine – that is, using medicine when necessary, but living a healthy life through proper nutritional support (which by the way, is nowhere near what the USDA recommends in the Food Guide Pyramid): 

A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and “latent” celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer. The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease. This is ground-breaking research that proves you don’t have to have full-blown celiac disease with a positive intestinal biopsy (which is what conventional thinking tells us) to have serious health problems and complications–even death–from eating gluten. 

– Another study comparing the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago to 10,000 people today found that the incidences of full-blown celiac disease increased by 400 percent (elevated TTG antibodies) during that time period. If we saw a 400 percent increase in heart disease or cancer, this would be headline news. But we hear almost nothing about this. 

– Undiagnosed gluten problems cost the American healthcare system oodles of money. Dr. Peter Green, Professor of Clinical Medicine for the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University studied all 10 million subscribers to CIGNA and found those who were correctly diagnosed with celiac disease used fewer medical services and reduced their healthcare costs by more than 30 percent. The problem is that only one percent of those with the problem were actually diagnosed. That means 99 percent are walking around suffering without knowing it, costing the healthcare system millions of dollars. 

The most serious form of allergy to gluten, celiac disease, affects one in 100 people, or three million Americans, most of who don’t know they have it. But milder forms of gluten sensitivity are even more common and may affect up to one-third of the American population. 


– A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric  and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). It has also been linked to autism. 

American strains of wheat have a much higher gluten content (which is needed to make light, fluffy Wonder Bread and giant bagels) than those traditionally found in Europe. This super-gluten was recently introduced into our agricultural food supply and now has “infected” nearly all wheat strains in America. 

I hope these notes will help you understand why going Gluten Free may just be the right thing for you. For more info & to read the full article, go here. In Fit For Real Life’s site, you’ll find resources to help you in the process of going GF, from what foods contain gluten, to recipes that are gluten free & delicious, as well products on store shelves right now that are gluten free & awesomely good! Check out the ‘GF Showcase’ & ‘gluten intolerance & info’ sections & if you have questions, thoughts or comments, leave them here – I’d love to hear what you think!