By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Gluten sensitivities, like Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, have become an object of public interest in recent years.
Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. One thing to be conscious of is the fact that although gluten isn’t found in many ancient grains like oats, quinoa, rice, or corn, these foods are often cross-contaminated. If you are gluten sensitive, it’s best to avoid any gluten-containing or cross-reactive foods.
Celiac disease and true gluten allergy are rarer than gluten intolerance. Gluten allergy symptoms include malnutrition, stunted growth, cancer, severe and neurological illnesses.
Much more common is gluten intolerance and sensitivity, which has been dubbed non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Those with NCGS feel and perform noticeably better when they stay away from gluten. When they do consume gluten, symptoms include:
Because gluten opens the door to so many health issues, I recommend cutting gluten regardless. A gluten molecule looks similar to the thyroid tissue, the body can mistakenly start an attack on healthy body parts, driving autoimmunity. If you don’t want to do testing, you can try an elimination diet to see how you feel when you cut out gluten. There are so many healthier alternatives!
Leaky gut occurs when the intestinal lining becomes inflamed, which can be caused by infections, a poor microbiome, and the consumption of gluten, sugar, or other foods you are sensitive to. The inflamed gut lining opens the tight junctions of the gut, which allows food particles and other toxins to slip through into the bloodstream, creating more inflammation and driving autoimmunity.
More and more research is starting to show that the gut microbiome plays a pivotal role in the prevention and healing of leaky gut. Probiotics can help reverse leaky gut by enhancing production of the proteins which form the tight junctions that keep the gut barrier sealed. Antibiotics, on the other hand, disrupt the balance of the gut microbiome and can weaken junctions, letting pathogens into the bloodstream. To heal leaky gut, you need to remove foods that cause inflammation along with any foods you have a sensitivity to. I recommend removing sugar, dairy, gluten, processed foods, and alcohol to allow your body to recover. You will also want to supplement with enzymes, acids, and bile salts; and finally repair the gut with healing nutrients and probiotics.
We all have around two pounds of microbes living in and on our bodies; the majority of which lives in our gut! Breakthroughs in science are discovering how the gut is a kind of ‘second brain’ and the trillions of bacteria in our gut communicate with the neurons in our gut lining. Poor gut health is tied to many health issues and diseases, including:
Just as bad bacteria negatively affect your health, good bacteria have a positive influence on your health! Good gut flora assists in the following ways:
Here are some tips to keep your gut bacteria strong:
Symptoms of Parasite Infections Include:
A parasite infection will not only rob you of energy and nutrition, they also produce other biotoxins that can disrupt digestion. These toxins are a product of parasitic defecation and debris of dead parasites.
70–80% of my patients dealing with health problems have a parasite infection, and aren’t even aware of it! Chronic infections steal your nutrients and energy while deplete your body’s ability to produce regenerative hormones.
A gluten-free, paleo-inspired diet rich in grass fed meats, butter, pastured eggs, and bountiful organic product is one of the best ways to support a healthy gut and healthy digestion. You may also incorporate fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha, or a quality probiotic supplement to help your good gut bacteria rebuild!