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- Written by Judit Rajhathy, B.A., RNCP, D.Ac.
A NEW LEASE—on Life!
By Judit Rajhathy, B.A., RNCP, D.Ac.
Against the Grain
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” (Hippocrates)
If you suffer from any of the following disorders, your breakfast cereal or that slice of toast may be making you sick! Often for weight loss, it is recommended that people eliminate wheat products - pastas, breads, desserts - anything baked. Now there appears to be a strong connection between the ingestion of gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye barley, spelt, kamut - and chronic disease such as:
autoimmune problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, liver disease
mental problems such as chronic depression, attention deficit disorder and other mood related disorders
Intestinal issues such as diverticulitis, gas and bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and/or constipation, ulcerative colitis
upper respiratory problems such as ear problems, sinusitis, asthma, “allergies”
chronic fatigue and just never ‘feeling good’
skin conditions such as chronic psoriasis and eczema
* osteoporosis, anemia
“Celiac disease is not just a disease of the gut,” says Shelley Case, R.D. and author or Gluten Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. “It’s a multi-symptom disease with serious implications. In fact, two American Clinicians, James Braly and Ron Hoggan, who wrote a book called Dangerous Grains, claim that no fewer than 192 chronic disorders are linked with gluten intolerance.
Michelle Pietzak, MD, pediatric gastroenterologist, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California claims “It takes most adults about 12 years to get a definitive diagnosis.” The other sad part about not being diagnosed earlier is that various nutritional deficiencies begin to develop fairly early on since the inability to digest gluten interferes with the absorption of certain nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, the lack of which in itself paves the way to chronic disease.
To avoid gluten one also needs to avoid processed foods since glutenous grains such as wheat are often used as fillers, binders and substitutions. Foods such as flavored potato chips, imitation crab, beer, soy burgers, cold cuts, salad dressings, etc have to be eliminated. The good part of this type of lifestyle other than eliminating a host of health symptoms is that the diet would then be more focused on basic foods such as fresh meat, fruits, vegetables and legumes.
So then what substitutes can one eat safely without provoking symptoms of gluten related disease? Corn products such as popcorn, tortillas, tostadas, cornmeal; rice products; breads, cereals, crackers and pasta made of corn, rice, potato, soy, arrowroot, tapioca and flax.
Apart from a small bowel biopsy, avoiding glutenous grains for a few weeks and seeing the body’s response is a good way to see if chronic conditions improve. Coupled with a super exercise program and the right diet, life can be full of vim and vigor once again. On that note sure hope to see you at the gym!
Judit Rajhathy is the owner of Change of Pace Fitness Center downtown Ajijic can can be reached at 766-5800.