Sarah Cooper was a new mom in her mid-20s, busily juggling her family and a career as an electrical engineer, when everything came to a halt. She lost all her energy. She developed acne. And she began experiencing gastrointestinal problems: bloating, diarrhea, cramping, constipation. Her doctors, thinking something must be missing from her diet, put her on various vitamins, none of which helped.
"It was all I could do to go to work," she says.
After years of failed treatments, Cooper's luck changed. She saw a doctor who suspected she might have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that can appear at any age and is caused by an intolerance to gluten.
Cooper tested negative for celiac disease, but the doctor advised her to try a gluten-free diet anyway.
"Within a week of eliminating [gluten], I started to feel markedly better," says Cooper, now 36, from Melbourne, Australia. "It wasn't a gradual feeling better; it was almost a crossing-the-street kind of thing.That is a moving story. Celiac is not the be all, end all when it comes to gluten. But wait, there is more from this article.
"This is something that we're just beginning to get our heads around," says Daniel Leffler, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston. "There is a tight definition of celiac disease, but gluten intolerance has been a moving target."
"Gluten is fairly indigestable in all people," Leffler says. "There's probably some kind of gluten intolerance in all of us."That has been said here ad nauseam. There are so many other food options that nourish much more than gluten containing crap. Whole wheat or not, it really doesn't do us much good to eat it.
Gluten intolerance "starts in the intestines as a process, but doesn't necessarily stay in the intestines. It may affect other organs," says Alessio Fasano, M.D., medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research, in Baltimore.Ok, if I comment on that I will just be a broken record. The quote speaks for itself.
Experts like Marlisa Brown, a registered dietitian in private practice in Long Island, N.Y., and the author of "Gluten-Free, Hassle-Free," worry that gluten could have long-term negative consequences that just haven't been identified yet.
Even if you feel better, "definitely don't try to add it back in," she urges. Brown counts herself among the gluten sensitive. After enduring sinus infections, hair loss, sensitive skin, and fatigue since she was a little girl, and despite a negative celiac-disease test in her 20s (which she thinks may not have been thorough enough), Brown finally cut out gluten in her late 40s. "I felt better in a week," she says.Is it possible whole wheat is as bad for us as cigarettes? I don't know but the more I read, the more I wonder. This may seem like a radical view but gluten is being found to be related to a myriad of health problems. These health problems can be debilitating to people and a great burden on our country to pay for the treatment needed. It's about time our government stopped subsidizing this crap. They (we the taxpayers) pay for it twice. First to the farmers and second to the healthcare providers.