Naturopathic Dietary Recommendation for Chronic Illness
Okay, I know people are going to get mad about this one. You can say, “show me the study!”, “Where’s the science?” – but I’m just going to tell you from my over-a-decade’s worth experience in naturopathic medicine; If there’s one dietary change that is most helpful for a person with chronic pain or illness, it’s to go Gluten Free.
The Staff of Strife
It’s very controversial, I know, to make any kind of blanket recommendation that every one with chronic pain or illness should follow. But in our Phoenix Clinic, we see this so consistatnly that it’s simply worth trying. Get rid of the gluten!
Gluten is a protein found primarily in wheat, spelt, rye, most oats and barley. Gluten is sometimes called an “Anti-Nutrient”. It’s theorized that it’s purpose was to act as a sort of micro-poison to preven predator insects from eating it before it could fully mature and spread its seeds to the wind.
When we eat this Anti-Nutrient it causes all sorts of aggravation to our systems, from full blown allergy attacks to more subtle immune system stress.
But My Allergist Said I’m Not Allergic to Gluten…
Even if allergy tests to gluten have come up negative in the past, it still pays to eliminate it for a while to see how you feel. There are many different types of immune reactions, IgG, IgE, IgA, etc and usually tests just measure one or the other. Also, you can be sensitive to gluten without having a classic allergy. This can mean that gluten is causing some minor gut irritation and compromising digestion but the reaction is not mediated by a single class of immune cells.
Dr. Lamson of the famed Tahoma Clinic claims that anyone with a serum triglyceride level below 50 is assumed to be gluten sensitive untill proven otherwise – if below 75 it is highly suspected as well. It’s a sign that you’re not absorbing your nutrients properly – a symtpom of subtle gluten intolerance.
Try It for 30 Days
I tell people who are resistant to giving up their bagels and pasta (even though they make delicious gluten-free alternatives now) to just try it for 30 days and see what happens. Most people report pretty significant reduction in pain, fatigue and digestive complaints. Patients with autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis have some of the most profound effects.
As a Naturopathic Physican and Balance Method Acupuncture practitioner, I have many powerful tools at my disposal for fighting pain and dis-ease. This is such a simple yet effective self-help step that people can take on their own that it’s just crazy not to give it a try.
So toss the kaiser roll and go gluten-free for a bit. Your baker may hate you, but your body will thank you!
Your turn…. Have you tried a gluten free diet before? What kind of results did you have? Join the conversation below.