Since the recent University of Maryland study confirming Gluten Sensitivity as a separate but real condition from Celiac Disease many people are finding that gluten has actually been the cause of many of their health problems. Once discovering they are Gluten Sensitive, they then wonder, but "How am I going to go gluten free and not miss out on the foods I have always loved?"
Fortunately, living on a gluten free diet can be a lot of fun and really delicious. You can benefit from my years of cooking gluten free for my family.
This is an interesting study and if you would like to read about it first hand in a white paper by Dr. Alessio Fasano here is the link
The article in the link above explains a lot since many thought that only celiac patients or those allergic to wheat would need to follow a gluten free diet. People have experienced unexplained symptoms for years, and now through this latest study doctors are getting to the bottom of the issue. The article is long and technical, but worth looking at to get a more in depth understanding, especially if you have been wondering about if you should try a gluten free diet or not.
Dr. Fine, who founded Enterolab and its gluten sensitivity testing program, says, "Most people he's diagnosed with gluten sensitivity have some GI symptoms from heartburn to constipation -and more."
Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity often include -Bloating, overactive passing of gas, fatigue, brain fog, and other cognitive problems, including gluten-related attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder according to Drs. Fasano and Fine.
Dr. Fasano says he sees headaches (including gluten-induced migraines) and brain fog in about one-third of the people he has diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity... far more than in celiac disease. People diagnosed with gluten sensitivity also report feelings of gluten-induced depression and anxiety.
Dr. Rodney Ford, a New Zealand-based pediatrician and author of The Gluten Syndrome, was the first to hypothesize that gluten sensitivity can cause neurological symptoms as well as skin related symptoms, endocrine disorders, and pain in the joints or arthritis-like symptoms. People with gluten sensitivity often exhibit rashes and other skin conditions that clear up when they go gluten-free for a period of time. Gluten sensitivity can also exhibit as extreme weight loss or an inability to lose weight as suggested in the book called 'Wheat Belly'. Gluten causes puffiness, making some people feel fatter. Eating a healthier and well balanced diet while eliminating the gluten containing foods can go a long way in helping such people to lose weight. For weight loss, it is important to eat healthy and not binge out on non-nutritive pre-packaged foods just because they are gluten free. Over time, your weight will level out and you know you are eating good healthy foods.
"Like celiac disease, gluten sensitivity may cause symptoms that involve your endocrine system, such as infertility and thyroid disease," Dr. Fine says.
Gluten sensitivity also exhibits sometimes as asthma, tingling/numbness in the extremities, anemia and irritable bowel syndrome.
Dr. Ford says that, "Gastrointestinal symptoms (due to ingesting gluten) are caused by an irritation to the autonomic nervous system — that's the involuntary system that runs your heart, lungs and gut. When you go into autonomic overload from gluten, you get those symptoms."
Of course the research is ongoing, but fortunately more people with previously undiagnosed symptoms are finding answers. What most people need to know is that 'going gluten free' is a major lifestyle change. You may receive some relief by omitting gluten from your diet in the short term, regain your health and then decide to go back to eating gluten again. The risk doing damage without realizing it until again the symptoms become too severe to ignore. Continuing the gluten often results month or years down the road in symptoms becoming worse and I know of people who then found they were sensitive to many other foods as a result.
So if you are thinking of trying out a gluten free diet to relieve symptoms, be patient with yourself. In some cases it can take weeks or even months to totally recover. But it is worth it. And you really don't have to be deprived of lots of good foods.
I find having a set of Astoria Mills mixes in my kitchen means, I can plan delicious every day meals, or holiday meals for my family. Or even when I'm in a hurry and nothing is prepared, there is something quick I can always make when the 'hungries' strike. And since the price per lb. is quite competitive for the good food value in the mixes, you will find in the long run you save money too.
With Astoria Mills enriched baking mixes you can eat all the foods you loved again, it is just going to take a little planning, and a little more time in the kitchen. You can take advantage of my years as a busy mom and use my time saving techniques, plan ahead, cook ahead. You may find you have a whole new passion as you enjoy mixing it up your own gluten free kitchen!
Whole grains are an important part of everyone's diet, and with Astoria Mills mixes lab tested for no detectable gluten under 5ppm you can rest assured you are not ingesting 19 or 20ppm as is the standard for many gf mixes. Try Aztec Harvest Blend - Mix #4 a little goes a long way to enhancing your nutritional intake of whole grains/seeds. I add a spoonful to most of my baked goods, just to increase the fiber and nutrition.
When you eat a healthy well balanced diet, replacing the gluten containing elements with gluten free ones in moderation, you will not only feel better but maintain a healthier weight. You can even have a treat now and then so you won't feel deprived.
Have a look at my e-cookbook, order some mixes, and you can enjoy the upcoming holidays and eat great foods, just like before.
Recently we had a family reunion of cousins who came together from all parts of the US. We are one of those families who really spread out. I selfishly volunteered to do the cooking so I could make everything gluten free and we would not be centered out. Everyone enjoyed the meals, and we had everything from delicious main dishes using local North Carolina produce, to cakes, breads, scones and buns. One cousin commented as he was devouring some blueberry scones, "Well, if this is gluten free, I can enjoy it!"