Gluten intolerance is an autoimmune disorder characterized by a sensitivity to gluten, a protein found primarily in wheat, rye, and barley. When people with this condition eat gluten, their immune systems are activated and the resulting inflammatory response damages or destroys the villi that line the small intestines and allow nutrients to be absorbed. The incidence of gluten intolerance is widespread. Upwards of 15 percent of Americans suffer from this condition. And, as I learned at a medical conference I recently attended, only about five percent of these people have been diagnosed and treated.
According to experts at the University of Chicago Medical Center, it takes an average of 11 years to identify gluten intolerance, and the typical child sees eight pediatricians before getting an accurate diagnosis. Although many patients, especially children, have bloating, abdominal pain, canker sores, diarrhea, or constipation, others have no gastrointestinal (GI) issues. Instead, they may experience seemingly unrelated weight loss, stunted growth, iron deficiency, anemia, bone pain, fatigue, thinning hair, or itchy skin. Affected individuals may also have neurological problems such as numbness, depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, even seizures, dementia, and psychotic episodes. But all of these are signs of nutritional deficiencies brought on by malabsorption due to damaged villi.
A Sure Cure
The good news is that gluten intolerance is one of the few medical conditions for which we have a cure that is 100 percent effective for 100 percent of affected patients. All you have to do is eliminate gluten from your life. This is the only thing that will allow the villi
to recover and regenerate. Wheat, in particular, can be challenging for most Americans because breads, cereals, crackers have become dietary staples. Beyond the obvious sources, gluten is also present in many sauces, flavorings, and prepared foods, including soy sauce, beer, and frozen french fries.
You Do Have Options
You can buy flour and baked goods made of brown rice, almonds, potatoes, quinoa, and other gluten-free grains. And thanks to increasing awareness, many products are now carrying gluten-free labels. Furthermore, this way of eating is healthier overall. Because this condition is a recipe for nutritional deficiency, it’s imperative that you also take a good daily multivitamin and mineral supplement, along with extra vitamin D, B-complex vitamins, and probiotics. Sure, a gluten-free diet can be inconvenient and a challenge to stick with, but it’s absolutely worth it. Studies show that affected people who eliminate this protein eventually recover completely. To learn more about the gluten-free diet and other natural treatment programs, click here!
Gluten-Free Cranberry Almond Loaf
Makes 2 fruitcakes
1⁄2 cups blanched almond flour
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 cup dates, chopped
1⁄2 cup raisins
1⁄2 cup dried cherries
1 cup walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon raw cane sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon lemon zest
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda
1. Stir in dried fruit and nuts
2. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, oil, coconut sugar, vanilla, and citrus zest
3. Stir wet ingredients into dry
4. Scoop batter into 2 greased mini loaf pans
5. Bake fruitcakes at 350° for 20-30 minutes
6. Cool and serve.