Health Tip #61


Article to come…

Health Tip #21


Further to my previous post on eliminating gluten, let’s take a further look into an elimination diet.  In previous post we have talked about the microbiome and how important a healthy gut is to our overall health and what can happen when the gut is compromised.  Certain foods tend to be more problematic when it comes to food allergies and sensitives.  Some of the more problematic foods include:  wheat and gluten containing grains, soy, corn, pasteurized dairy, lactose, peanuts, tree-nuts, eggs, fish, shellfish and citrus.  This is where your food and mood journal comes in handy.  Food preservatives and additives can also be problematic.

If you think you are sensitive to any one of these common problem foods, try eliminating it completely, in all forms, from your diet for a week.  When you add it back in, try to eat quite a bit of it.  Eat it for every meal if you can.  Watch for any signs of reaction and record them in your journal.  You can eliminate these foods singularly, one at a time or do a complete elimination diet where all of the suspect foods are eliminated at once.  These foods should be added back one at a time while watching for and recording any reactions.  Some signs and symptoms to watch for might be digestive upset, bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea, rash, eczema, breathing problems, stuffy or runny nose, agitation, emotional upset, brain fog, headaches, loss of energy fatigue or muscle aches.

While we are discussing removing problem foods, we might also consider not only eliminating foods that we are potentially sensitive to but also foods that are not serving us in other ways.  Some of these foods include: animal products raised with growth hormones and anti-biotics that disrupt our own hormone levels, sugary foods that disrupt our insulin and leptin levels, caffeine that stimulates stress hormones, and gluten grains that may have a negative affect on the thyroid.





Health Tip #20


Allergies and autoimmune diseases are on the rise and according to a recent Harvard study, gluten might just be implicated.  The study followed four groups of test subjects from those with full blown celiac disease to those who felt they had no problem with gluten at all; every group showed inflammation and damage to the gut wall after eating gluten.  All subjects developed intestinal permeability (leaky gut).   Because the gut lining heals very rapidly, the cycle of damage and repair happens over and over again every time we consume gluten. Eventually this cycle can lead to permanent damage called a loss of oral tolerance, where the gut no longer repairs.

So what does this have to do with allergies and auto-immune disease?  As the gut becomes permeable, proteins from our foods, which have not been properly broken down yet, enter the blood stream.  The immune system sees these proteins as foreign invaders and sets up an immune response.  One explanation for the reason that gluten has become more of a problem in recent times is not because eliminating gluten is a fad, but because we as modern humans are in a state of toxic over-load being exposed to as many as 4,400 man made chemicals including BPA, Mercury, DDT, PCBs and thousands of other dangerous toxins.  Our immune systems are overtaxed and can’t adapt fast enough to keep up with the demand.  Gluten is just the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  No human has the enzymes to break down gluten proteins into amino acids.  Once the assembly line has been built to build antibodies to gluten, it can’t be un-built.  If we go off of gluten, we will stop producing antibodies but as soon as we are exposed to it again, the assembly line will start churning out antibodies again.  If we are sensitive to gluten, we have memory B cells that will never go away.

Another problem is called molecular mimicry.  Gluten contains a 33 amino acid peptide chain.  When an immune response is triggered to this chain the immune system goes on a seek and destroy mission.  If it finds a sequence that matches 8 of the same amino acids in the chain, it will attack that peptide chain.  It just so happens that we have other amino acid peptide chains in our body that match this sequence.  Our thyroid is one of these places.  As the antibodies mistakenly attack the thyroid cells, we call this autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s Disease.

Gut inflammation also leads to poor nutrient absorption that can lead to a whole host of health problems including osteoporosis.  Celiac disease and osteoporosis have been linked.

When we cut out gluten, and as we heal the gut, other allergies and sensitivities tend to abate as the foreign proteins are no longer prematurely entering the blood stream .









Health Tip #19


A diet based on simple carbohydrates, sugars, processed carbs and processed grains can lead to health problems including metabolic syndrome, carbohydrate intolerance or insulin resistance and diabetes. Problematic processed carbohydrates include sugary foods, soda, processed grains, pasta, bread and cookies.  These carbohydrates that quickly break down into simple sugars in the digestive tract, feed pathogenic organisms in the gut that can lead to gut inflammation and a damaged gut wall.  This process can also lead to leptin resistance.  Leptin is our satiety hormone that tells us when we are full.  When this system is disrupted, it is difficult to for us to regulate our stores of body fat.

There are other carbohydrates that are a better choice.  Basing a diet on complex carbohydrates like those found in vegetables, combined with healthy fats helps to regulate our leptin levels.  Low-(processed)carbohydrate, healthy fat diets are healthier for our mitochondria as well.  Mitochondria are the energy producers of the cell.  Eating this way also helps to stabilize blood sugar, so we are not hungry or suffering from food cravings and we lose weight more easily.