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Archive for November 10th, 2011

Disease, Allergy, Intolerance – All Different

Posted by terrepruitt on November 10, 2011

Celiac disease is a chronic, hereditary, autoimmune digestive disorder characterized by a toxic reaction to gluten.  It is not a food allergy.  From Page 21 of the G Free Diet, by Elisabeth Hasselbeck.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and contaminated oats.

According to PubMedHealth:  “A food allergy is an exaggerated immune response triggered by eggs, peanuts, milk, or some other specific food. Symptoms usually begin immediately, within 2 hours after eating.”

Celiac disease is a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten.  (per PubMedHealth)

People that have celiac disease run the risk of being malnourished because their immune system could have damaged the villi in the intestines.  The villi absorb nutrients from our food.   This compromised digestive system can result in symptoms of stomach aches, bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea, to name a few.

In addition to this disease and food allergies, there are food intolerances and different degrees of them.  An allergy will cause an immediate and severe reaction even if just a small amount is introduced to a person that is allergic.  The severity could be as much as life threatening.  An intolerance is more of a nuisance that will cause discomfort, but is–in general–less severe than an allergic reaction.

I have said it before, I love bread.  Have I said that before?  Anyway . . . sometimes my body is in such an icky state that I am to the point that I will give up bread if I have too.  But gluten is in so many things even if I give up bread I could end up in that state.  It is very tricky.  I am trying to figure out if it is just an intolerance.  It is so interesting.  It is so very difficult to distinguish.  It doesn’t help that I do have hay fever and the weather could be affecting me.

I have come to the conclusion that when we have a sunny day after a rainy day I am pretty much toast.  I am a sneezy-sniffling-congested-so-exhausted-I-might-as-well-stay-in-bed-because-I-am-so-miserable mess.  So it rains and I think, “Oh how nice the rain washing the world.”  Then the next sunny day even though I enjoy the beauty of the day I am wiped out.  Next time I will pay attention . . . thinking beforehand about what I eat and I will see if I don’t eat the foods that might cause “icky body” if that helps.

I do not think I have Celiac disease.  I don’t think I have a food allergy.  I do think that with all of the food combinations of GMOs and highly processed foods that I have developed some intolerances.  Some think (I agree with them) that wheat has been so hybridized that it is something our bodies cannot digest.  It is not the same wheat that out great-great-great-great grandparents ate.  Not even getting into GMO stuff, just the breeding of wheat makes it different from what it was.  That in combination with all the other stuff in our Western Diets.  I think the combination makes it difficult for the body to process.

There are many people who are “gluten-free” so there has to be something to it.  I just wanted to mention here the three different categories (if that is what they are called).  There is disease, allergies, and intolerance.  All different.  Sometimes with the same symptoms, but with different levels of severity and different levels of effects on one’s health.  Just interesting.  What do you think?

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