What’s Wrong With Gluten?

12871809_sGoing gluten-free is very sexy at the moment. We’re getting rid of our “Wheat Belly“, cleaning up our “Grain Brain”, and—as any naturopathic doctor worth their salt already knows—patient after patient reports that ditching wheat is making them feel better.

But what is actually wrong with gluten? Most of us grew up eating cereal and pasta. Haven’t we been eating bread through the ages without worries?

The truth is the grains we eat now are not the same ones our ancestors ate. Things have changed. Here are a few of the reasons why those pesky little gluten proteins are causing big problems.

Gluten Content is Up
Gluten is a protein in grains that can be very irritating to the immune system in our guts–more of it around means you are more likely to react. Modern hybrid grains have more gluten. A lot more. Fifty years ago, wheat contained 1 % gluten–now it’s over 50%.

“Pre-Digestion” is Down
The yeast used in traditional breads would start the process of breaking down gluten before it was eaten. Modern bread-baking techniques, however, use commercial yeasts that make for quick rising and bread that looks and tastes the same every time. Those commercial yeasts don’t do a very good job of starting the breakdown of gluten.

We’re Eating “Food” Instead of Food
Most of the foods containing gluten that we eat are highly processed. White flour itself is bleached with chemicals. Commercial cookies and crackers are filled with preservatives and pesticide residues. Plastics from the bags they are stored in leech into the product. These chemicals are immune-disruptors, and make our immune systems more reactive then they should be.

Add these factors to a host of other new modern lifestyle conditions, and you’ve got a recipe for a massive range of conditions that gluten causes or complicates.

How serious is it? How do you make change when you’re in love with toast and pasta? How can you be gluten-free without being fun-free? You can join the amazing Dr. Shelby next Tuesday night here at the clinic in Collingwood to find out. Space is limited, and the event is free and open to the public. Call 705-444-5331 to reserve a spot, or email us!

Spring Cleaning…On the Inside

6271684_sNaturopathic doctors have a reputation for being interested not in just what goes into your body, but in what comes out of it, too . We’re always asking questions about how much, how often, what does it look like, and more.

It may seem strange to you, but there’s good reason for our interest. Your gastrointestinal tract is a very important part of our health–more so than most of us realize. (Did you know that your gut has more neurotransmitters than your brain?)

As Mark Hyman, MD cites in this article, digestive problems are a primary culprit for illness:

More than 100 million Americans have digestive problems.

Two of the top five selling drugs in America are for digestive problems, and they cost us billions and billions of dollars.

There are more than 200 over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for digestive disorders, many of which can create additional digestive problems.

Visits for intestinal disorders are among the most common reasons for trips to primary care physicians.

And that’s not even the worst news.

Most of us (including most doctors) do not recognize or know that digestive problems wreak havoc in the entire body, leading to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer, and more.

So having a healthy gut means more than simply being free of annoyances like bloating or heartburn! It is absolutely central to your health. It is connected to EVERYTHING that happens in your body.

Your digestion is critical body infrastructure. It’s responsible not only for digesting our food and getting the nutrients out of it, but also for protecting us from invaders and helping us be tolerant to our environments and food. And it’s also responsible for taking out the garbage and for helping our hormones stay balanced.

In short, if you’re digestion doesn’t work right, neither will you.

Relieving A “Pain in the A**
It is pretty easy for this critically important pathway to be overwhelmed with “junk”.  With our continuous exposure to environmental toxins, poor food choices, alcohol, prescription drugs, stress and more, our normal healthy digestive flora gets out of balance.

When that happens, our intestine secretes mucous in an effort to protect itself, and that can cause a host of health problems. Giving your colon a good clean out, or “detox” can have huge benefits. We have seen chronic allergies, skin conditions, IBS, candida, chemical sensitivity and many other complaints much improved by colon detoxification.

Our resident nurse and colon hydrotherapist Lori will be giving a talk in Collingwood at the clinic on March 18th, at 7PM. Come out and learn more how colonics supports this critically important body system.  Call the clinic at 705-444-5331 to book your space.