365 Ways #65–Do you have a gluten habit?

#65–Several clients have jumped on my suggestion to cut gluten out of their diets. Every one of them has noticed an improvement in health. From one client who avoided exploratory surgery by her gastro-intestinal specialist to a guy whose painfully cracked heels finally cleared up after years of creams and dermatology appointments, the positive change is always noticeable. The ones who have avoided making this commitment to themselves usually say something like “but I like my bread/cereal/pasta/cookies/crackers/etc.” These people may not realize it, but they are all addicts.

The damage and inflammation done to the intestines (and the rest of the body) of the gluten intolerant person when he/she eats something containing gliadin causes the release of painkillers in the form of opiates in the body. In fact, strong cravings for a food can be because you’re addicted to the “drug” your body produces when damaged by that particular food. But like the former smoker who can’t stand the thought of another cigarette, the person who gives up gluten often loses the desire for these breads and pastas and these other forms of comfort foods.

The problem is, most people don’t know they have a problem with gluten. The symptoms could be literally anything. And since the transit time of food through our digestive system is around 54-58 hours, the symptom may not appear until 3 days after a meal containing the offending agent. So it can be hard to connect the complaint with the cause. The easiest thing for people to do is to remove all grains except rice, buckwheat, millet, and corn for at least 14 days (2 months would be even better) to see if they notice an increased level of vitality and a decrease in chronic symptoms. It’s not hard, especially with all the gluten free products available now, and it gets easier with each passing day. But most people are reluctant to let go of their addiction. Conservative estimates hold that 60% of white skinned people are gluten intolerant. My mentor believes that number to be as high as 95%. So I ask you–do you control your food or is your food controlling you?

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