Gluten is the devil! It’s a vile insidious substance that should not exist in this world. I’m pretty sure it will be the cause of the impending zombie apocalypse. If you eat gluten you are worst than the worst harlot. Wait what is gluten and why is it so bad? I’ve been mostly Gluten free for years now. Partly by proxy of gluten being in wheat, wheat being full of carbs, and staying away from bread for that. When I read The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf he stressed the inherent insidiousness of gluten. I read a few things and decided that it was bad. I forgot most of what I read though and only ended up with the important part, Gluten bad smash gluten! I realized I was advocating to friends and family to avoid gluten and my reason was “It’s bad”…not exactly the most convincing not scientific reason. So today I’ll share with you, and myself in the process, Why is gluten so bad and why you should avoid it. Stick with me as we dive down the gluten filled donut hole of doom my friends.
First lets define what gluten is for those who don’t know what it is.
A substance present in cereal grains, esp. wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture of dough.”
Celiac and Gluten Sensitivety
So why is a protein composite from certain cereal grains so evil? Many people now have heard of celiacs disease. Celiac is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine and is genetically inherited. The list of symptoms of celiacs disease is long and includes the following: Diarreah, Serial colds and ‘flu, infections, mouth ulcers, Arthritis, Skin rashes and many many more. It’s estimated that about 1 in 200 people world wide have full blown celiacs disease. While this number is not very high it is not the only gluten related illness. Gluten sensitivity or Gluten intolerance, symptoms of gluten sensitivity include bloating, abdominal discomfort or pain, and diarrhea, and might present extraintestinal symptoms including muscular disturbances and bone or joint pain.
By symptoms alone it is almost impossible to distinguish the two, Celiacs and Gluten Sensitivity, from one another. The estimates for the number of people that suffer from gluten intolerance varies wildly. One Doctor, Dr. Fasano, states gluten sensitivity potentially affects far more people than celiac disease. He estimates about 6% to 7% of the U.S. population may be gluten-sensitive, meaning some 20 million people in the United States alone could have the condition. This may be on the low side however with another Doctor, Dr. Ford, a pediatrician in Christchurch, New Zealand and author of The Gluten Syndrome, says he believes the percentage of people who are gluten-sensitive actually could be much higher — potentially between 30% and 50%. That’s, potentially, a lot of people who suffer from gluten related illnesses.
But Why Does It Do all That?
I wanted to throw all kinds of science at you. I am not a scientist though and most of you aren’t either. From what I can understand though for many people breaking down the gluten protein into simpler amino acids is not possible. While it’s in your stomach, not being broken down, it acts like sand paper on the stomach lining. While irritating the lining some gluten escapes into the blood causing an immune response to the foreign body. Eventually it wears the lining down so much that other foreign bodies can escape into the blood stream causing even more mayhem. This mayhem can lead to even more food allergy issues. It’s a cascade of bad caused by gluten.
So the next time someone ask you why Gluten is so bad you tell them. It destroys the stomach lining letting toxins into your blood stream causing immune responses leading to a host of ill effects. Or just get a crazy look in your eye and scream about how it’s the DEVIL. Either way works for me. I think I’ve covered the most basic explanation, in layman’s terms, why gluten is bad, what it does and why to stay away from it. This subject is very big and if you want you can spend a long time learning about it.
Have you ever been asked why Gluten was bad and couldn’t think of a good explanation? Did you learn anything? If so let me know in the comments!
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Serial colds and ‘flu, infections, mouth ulcers