Twenty years ago, I discovered the reality of food allergies and the fact that many people are allergic to the most mundane and commonplace of foods. One of the ones that I was most shocked about what the allergy to wheat (in the industry, we don’t make a big to-do about differences between sensitives, allergies and intolerances when speaking generally). This was not because of what it was, but just how sensitive some people were to it. In addition to being unable to eat it, people who are truly allergic to wheat cannot touch, smell or even be in the same room with it without having a negative reaction.
People laughed at me for a decade telling me that I was off my rocker because “wheat couldn’t possibly cause all those problems”. Note that I wasn’t diagnosing everybody with gluten intolerance, celiac disease or wheat allergies. I was just putting it on the table as one of many allergies that should be checked for.
Fast forward to the release of a book called Dangerous Grains in 2002 and panic rippled throughout the holistic health industry. Suddenly every holistic practitioner was turning to gluten as the culprit for all social ills. Add to that some celebrities losing weight by giving up wheat and a full-fledged eating disorder has now erupted.
My biggest concern with this widespread, misinformed gluten-free lifestyle is that most people follow it completely incorrectly. The truth is that if you have some form of digestive disturbance to wheat, even if it’s bona fide celiac disease, your gut is heavily damaged and wheat is not your only problem. Being unable to tolerate or digest wheat means that you’re extremely likely to have problems with many foods including most other grains (if not now, then at some point if you don’t practice food rotation), nightshades (sweet peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant), dairy, eggs and spices such as onions and garlic. Most people claiming gluten intolerance, however, simply switch over to rice or corn and call it a day. Bad move because over the long term they are causing themselves more damage by not healing the underlying problem to all allergies and intolerances — a damaged gut.
Dr. Peter Gibson, the doctor credited with popularizing the recent craze, now makes a new bold statement identifying where he went wrong. And yet another score for the Nutrition Heretic.
Now I don’t highlight this to say that you should be eating gluten. I’m just trying to keep this in perspective as many people end up with worse problems by not addressing the real cause of their woes. It’s my job to keep you out of being one of those statistics.
I’m actually most concerned as to what the backlash will be to this revelation. The industry will certainly flip out — especially those who have rested everything on this broken part-truth theory (the way it is practiced). But I fear that many people will still enjoy being labeled gluten-free and continue to reject any of the healing therapies that may very well be able to cure their problem.
So what about you? Have you been having success on a gluten-free diet? Or was it limited? How does this new finding make you feel? Let me know below!