I Is for Inflammation & the Immune System

I - ICE PACK smallDid you know that May is National Celiac Awareness Month?

With that in mind, I bring you:  “I is for the Immune System & Inflammation – which we’re exploring it in depth this week.

I must admit, this is probably my favorite video in A Gluten Primer, Everything You Wanted to Know From A – Z video series!

I even bring in an Army & a Cannon! (Yes really – an Army).

But what is the connection, you might ask? And what does Gluten Sensitivity have to do with your Immune System & inflammation?

Whether Celiac Disease or another autoimmune condition (Hashimoto’s anyone?), gluten sensitivity, food sensitivities in general, or life-threatening allergies – even heart disease – your immune system is involved each and every time.

How do you know if gluten is a problem for you?

[Read more…]

Is Your Immune System Attacking You?

Thyroid Word CloudDo you have days when your body seems like a bit of a drama queen?

Perhaps you were sick with the flu, you’ve been fighting a migraine, or you’re feeling sore and achy all over for no particular reason. Other days, it might seem that you’re no longer able to tolerate the foods you used to eat with abandon – you’re dealing with a major case of indigestion and you’re carrying around an extra twenty pounds (that you can’t seem to lose, no matter what you eat).

Does any of this sound familiar?

I call these on-going annoyances “mimics, marauders and masqueraders” – because that’s basically what they are – but what I’d really like you to take away from this, is that it’s an important part of your immune system and how it functions.

The good news is that your immune system is beautifully designed to deal with these pranksters at a moment’s notice, and it’s exactly that on your behalf so 24/7 – even though it might seem at times that your body is working against you.

Sometimes your immune system DOES get confused. However, even though you might think it’s making a mistake, the reality is that it’s simply doing what it’s designed to do – protect you. Consider too, that 70% of your immune system is in your gutBut because it’s inside, and you can’t see it, and you can’t necessarily feel it – you’re not at all aware that anything is wrong.

The symptoms are often subtle.

What’s really happening, though, is that some of these invaders are actually very clever,  mimicking or masquerading as something other than what they really are.

Let me explain.

 

Cross-Reactivity

As you may already know, gluten is a family of proteins found in wheat and is therefore present in any foods that are made from wheat – although it can sometimes appear in other guises, as well.

[Read more…]

H is For Hashimoto’s

H- HASHIMOTO'S 2A Gluten Primer, Everything You Wanted to Know From A – Z – continues – this week, we’re all the way up to “H is for Hashimoto’s”. (Click here for the full video series and tutorial).

But wait – is the conversation still about gluten?

You bet!

Keep in mind that Hashimoto’s (which has to do with your thyroid) and Celiac Disease are BOTH autoimmune conditions – with gluten being the #1 Environmental Trigger across the board!

If you have any kind of autoimmune disease – a gluten-filled diet is not your friend.

Here’s what else you need to know:

  • Autoimmune disease means your Immune System is in overdrive (it’s attacking your body)
  • It’s possible to reverse your symptoms entirely!
  • Implementing an anti-inflammatory, gluten-free diet is key

How do you know if gluten is a problem for you? You pay close attention to how  your body is communicating with you – meaning all those signs & symptoms, be it digestive complaints, neurological issues (numbness & tingling in your fingers or toes, foggy thinking), headaches or migraines, aches & pains throughout your body, weight gain and more.

Hint: Even though Celiac disease affects only 1 in 6 people – Gluten Sensitivity is known to be 6-20 times MORE common. Which means you might not be as lucky as you think. Knowing where you fall on this spectrum for gluten intolerance is key to managing your long-term health – & can’t be stressed enough. [Read more…]

G Is For Gluten

 

 

G - GLUTEN 2Continuing with my fun & educational new video series “A Gluten Primer – Everything You Wanted to Know From A-Z” (literally) – it’s probably no surprise that ‘G is for Gluten’.

What is Gluten anyway? And why is it a problem for so many people? (And what’s with that bottle of Elmer’s glue???)

Gluten is a protein that’s primarily present in wheat, but also other grains. Even though it is ubiquitous in our diets, it happens to be extremely difficult for the human body to digest. While some people have no noticeable problems with this – others do.

How do you know if you’re one of those people? You pay close attention to the signs & symptoms your body is telling you – be it digestive complaints, neurological issues (numbness & tingling in your fingers or toes, foggy thinking), headaches or migraines, or aches & pains throughout your body.

Hint: Even though Celiac disease affects only 1 in 6 people – Gluten Sensitivity is known to be 6-20 times MORE common.

Which means you might not be as lucky as you think.

[Read more…]

Is Removing Gluten Always The Answer?

Celiac Disease concept. Book with stethoscope and pills.Should you remove gluten from your diet? (I get asked this question a lot).

The short answer is “It depends”.

What do I mean by this? In a nutshell, it depends on what’s going on in your body.

It depends on the signs and symptoms you’re experiencing.

And it also depends on your test results!

Of course, if your tests come back negative, then you’re in the clear – at least for the time being – more on that later.

But it’s super important that you get the RIGHT tests!

You don’t want to stop there, either.

[Read more…]

The Environment & Your Symptoms – Is There A Mismatch?

The Nursery toy, gas mask, old watch on white background.10,000 years.

Does that seem like an eternity to you? If so, you’re not alone.

Yet, 10,000 years is the number most often quoted by doctors, scientists and other experts, when explaining why grains – especially wheat – are a relatively new addition to the human diet.

You might be thinking, “How can that be? Haven’t humans been eating grains for most of their existence?”

How can something so abundant, and so integral to your diet, be harmful?

It’s what we call an ‘evolutionary mismatch’.

In other words, much of our modern lifestyle is based on products and foodstuffs that the human body isn’t designed to digest or otherwise process.

This includes chemicals and a host of other modern ‘conveniences’ that, in the long run, do us more harm than good – even though societies have seemingly thrived on grains for thousands of years.

That said, there’s a lot of talk in the media these days about threats to the environment, and whether the EPA will survive our current political climate.

Without getting overly dramatic – or political – about this state of affairs, here are some simple steps you can take to protect your health.

Starting today!

 

Knowledge is Power

What if government oversight of the environment and our food supply were to disappear overnight? What then?

[Read more…]

D is for Donut

D - Dining Out

As always, I’m here to teach you about all things gluten – including certain environmental toxins you might not have thought about before.

Yes, food is part of your environment!

In this #4 video of my new series:  “A Gluten Primer, Everything You Wanted to Know From A – Z” – we’re exploring the biggest social challenge of all:

Dining Out!

If you’ve already been doing this while, then it isn’t news to you that knowing how to navigate the social landscape when living a gluten-free, allergen-free lifestyle can be especially hard. And no surprise – it’s often the one area where people cave, despite their best intentions.

Why is this important?

If your goal is to minimize your symptoms and turn your health around – it all starts with what you’re putting into your body. Understand, too, that what works for one person, might not be the best thing for you – no matter how seemingly healthy it might be.

[Read more…]

Do You Have Street Smarts?

Always Seek Knowledge AcronymWhen it comes to managing your special diet – do you have “Street Smarts”?

You might be wondering what I mean by this.

While not always easy to come by, Street Smarts means knowing how to handle just about any situation that comes along – especially when you find yourself tempted to stray.

It means knowing that when you’re harried and frustrated by circumstances beyond your control – or, well meaning folks who don’t seem to understand or care – you’re able to make an informed choice because you understand the long-term damage that can result from that one exposure, however small.

My newly released video series A Gluten Primer – Everything You Wanted to Know From A-Z explains well, literally everything – in a collection of 26-videos plus a 2-hour tutorial.

In a nutshell, though, here’s what it ultimately comes down to:

 

Knowing what foods are safe to eat

It all starts here.

[Read more…]