Moms In Charge

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The “Staff of Life” or “A Lot of Fluff”? Making Sense of Gluten

on February 27, 2013


It seems almost “anti-life” to not eat bread, whole wheat and bread products.

After all, it is the “staff of life” and even Jesus ate it to commemorate His body

betrayal-last-supperbeing broken for mankind and told us to do likewise in His remembrance.

womeninconversationSo, when one shuns this “life-giving” food, many peers and family members probably have many questions streaming in their minds.

Gluten has become the new buzz word in our society.

glutenfreetagsGluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and often in oats.

Gluten-free sections are popping up from mainstream grocery stores to football stadiums.

Yet, many are still unclear as to what this means, and unfortunately, the misconception is that this is a special section only for those with a severe allergy to gluten or have  an official diagnosis and order to eliminate it from their diet.

The reality is, the gluten we now consume in this country is virtually all tainted with proteins that are too large for most everyone to properly digest.

celiac villiCeliac disease which is a true gluten allergy causes severe damage to the villi in the small intestines. This allergic reaction flattens these finger-like projections, which are the nutrient absorbers and digesters  of food.

This sets off a series of health problems and even death if  a gluten allergy goes undiagnosed and gluten is continued to be consumed.

But this new “gluten trend” is not just for this severe allergy of Celiac Disease.

The question so many ask is why there are now the sudden increase in gluten intolerances when it seems we have only started hearing of it in recent years.  Others wonder if it’s just the new health band wagon to jump on.

The answer lies somewhere between the truth of what gluten was, what is has morphed into, and what the  implications are for our bodies.

Our digestive system was designed to break down proteins and use them for many needed life giving and WonderBreadsustaining functions.

This was an easier task before the introduction of the fluffy white breads, like wonder bread.

Our society’s desire to modify this “staff of life” to be the “fluff of life”,
caused the actual wheat grains to be modified to have many more and larger proteins than were on the ancient grains that were more dense.

wheat-beautifulThis new gluten strain has cross-pollenated and affected nearly every strain of gluten-containing foods.

We are now seeing the effects and the “dark” side of our “light” bread products.

The results have been insidious as these undigested protein molecules have caused leaking into our blood streams and attacking our immune systems as “foreign invaders”.
They have also caused an attack on the lining of our intestines, which creates little holes that allow more “foreign substances” of undigested food into our bloodstream called ” leaky gut syndrome”.

These have a wide range of how they show up as symptoms in the body.
There have been studies showing that everything from
Arthritis to depression can be attributed to the gluten “sensitivities”.

The list of many of these that have been documented are:

Gas, bloating, loose or oily stools, constipation
Abdominal pain, nausea, abdominal distention, or flatulence
Gastric and duodenal ulcers or esophageal reflux

Joint or muscle pain that does not appear to be caused by activity or exercise

Infertility, miscarriages,
Fatigue, mood changes, depression, or anxiety

Thyroid malfunctions,
Diabetes mellitus,
Rheumatoid arthritis, childhood asthma,


However, as the misconception continues. The vast majority who have auto immune disorders, skin disorders and many other ailments have no idea that what they are consuming are causing this havoc on their bodies.

Concerned people who have been hearing this gluten buzz word feel some of these symptoms and go to “get checked” by their doctor.


However, tests that can be done are often skewed for various reasons as false positives or false negatives, which gives the patients a “green light” to eat gluten to their stomachs’ content because a lab or doctor says they are “clear”.

Meanwhile, their health continues to decline while chasing symptoms that could easily be remedied by simply eliminating all forms if gluten.

The best way to really find out if someone is sensitive to gluten to completely eliminate it for 2-4 weeks from their diet and then reintroduce it and see what their reaction is.

glutenfreeplaydough2For those that do want to eliminate gluten may find it difficult due to the fact that it is disguised in many things from sauces to envelopes to play-doh.

fruits&vegetablesLabel reading becomes critical, including creating homemade sauces and eating less processed foods and more fruits and vegetables.

Here are some sneaky ways gluten can be hidden.
These acronyms spell gluten:

Fu—dried wheat gluten
HPP—hydrolyzed plant protein
HVP—hydrolyzed vegetable protein
MSG—monosodium glutamate
TPP—textured plant protein
TVP—textured vegetable protein

The healing process of our gut from the effects of gluten can seem monumental and the idea of eliminating this staple of our diets overwhelming.

However, it can be done much easier in our society who is now recognizing gluten as a problem.

Many products can be substituted for gluten containing foods and the enjoyment of the comfort foods can continue with a little more seeking and learning how to prepare the healthier version of the “guilty pleasures”.
Our bodies can become a healing “well oiled machine” again if we remove the foreign foods that are counter-productive to our bodies functions.

Giving it the life promoting foods it craves will help it heal itself and put us on the road to a healthier vibrant life.

CoconutFlourCheck out one of my favorite healing gluten flour substitutes in my article about Coconut Flour!!! Read it HERE!

As a former gluten junkie, I have learned to find immense enjoyment in other foods and my body thanks me daily as I know yours will, too!

To your vibrant health,

Dotty 😉

Dotty Cropped2By: Dotty Hagmier, RN, BSN, CHC

As the president and founder of Moms in Charge and also a mom of three beautiful children, Dotty’s passion is to guide families into a place that will provide them with the best possible choices to raise healthy and vibrant children.

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