Thursday, April 5, 2012

Gluten Sensitivites & Autoimmune Diseases

More and more people are becoming sensitive to gluten in such high numbers that it has reached epidemic proportions. This is supported by the huge variety of foods now on supermarket shelves labeled as "gluten free". As the number of people with autoimmune diseases skyrockets, so does the demand for a less toxic diet shoots up. The gluten-free business is busting from demand and the marketing prices for those products fits the demand, that is, SKY HIGH!!!

Mom on one of her shopping forays noted a huge discrepancy in prices in just one aisle. One side of the aisle was for foreign food and the opposite was catering to the people with gluten senstitives. The gluten-free flour she picked up from the gluten-free shelves was pricey. She needed the item for some dish she was preparing, but wow, didn't want to pay such a huge price ... and then her eye caught sight of the same product, same brand, same packaging, same weight, same everything on the foreign food shelves. Well, it wasn't actually same everything. The price was actually about $2 less!!! Wow!!! Now, about the only things she buys off the gluten-free shelves are the spice cake mix and the chocolate cake mix, each about $7, but what can she do? Those two gluten-free packages are some of the rare mixes that she can actually buy for my younger bro because he has serious cross-contamination problems ... corn starch and potato starch is in almost all gluten-free mixes and breads, but my bro absolutely can't tolerate them.

Dr. Tom O'Bryan, one of the world's leading experts on gluten allergies, discusses some of the problems with just how little gluten a person can eat - as small as an eighth of a thumb nail of gluten - and have a violent reaction.

Watch: Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity with Dr. Tom O'Bryan

He further discusses how people with gluten allergies start searching out replacement foods for the ubiquitous wheat, rye, barley and oats, and if they consume too many of these foods having built up no tolerance to them from childhood, cross-reactive sensitivites/allergies can result.

My bro has developed cross-reactive allergies:

(1) Potatoes & Peppers! - Potatoes are in the nightshade family as are tomatoes, eggplants, and the worst for him, peppers! Potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants are in the solanum sub-species of the family while peppers are in the capsicum sub-species. Peppers of any kind evoke anaphalactic shock, and since peppers are disguised in most packagings, there's cross-contamination from produce belts in factories, and even peppers are used for colorings in canned tomatoes (but since the amount is so minute, the law does not require the company to make labels) that my bro absolutely does NOT DARE eat canned vegetables of any kind, does NOT DARE eat in a restaurant with possible cross-contamination on silverware or cutting boards or even does NOT DARE eat in friends' kitchens because of possibly pepper residue in pots and pans.

(2) Lentils - When he first came out of the lifestyle center that helped him deal with his allergies, he ate tons and tons of lentils, and almost every day. After a time, he started getting a lot of reflux from eating lentils, and now is afraid to try them again as he has reflux anyway from having low hydrochloric acid, a problem with long-term candida.

(3) Buckwheat - Buckwheat gives my bro acid reflux much like lentils, but I don't know if he overindulged on them when learning how to eat for his health problems.

(4) Many other cross-reactive allergies, and one is the common latex allergy. And since his job requires him to wear gloves, latex-free gloves are kept in stock specifically for him at his work place. But people with latex sensitivities should also avoid foods that share latex proteins. Here is a list I found - and a few of them my bro assiduously avoids because of the close relationship in the genus:
banana, potato, kiwi, avocado, fig, papaya, pineapple, peach, cherry, plum, strawberry, melon, nectarine, grapes, tomato, celery, wheat, rye, hazelnut and chestnut.

Anyway, cross-reaction sensitivities can be very serious for some people!

Dr. Tom O'Bryan said that he has identified 24 common cross-reactive sensitivities. I couldn't find a complete list but following is a list of 18. Hmmm, lentils is not on the list, but I wonder if it's on the list of 24.

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