After I became Gluten Intolerant, I began asking myself why this was happening. People all over the world, in predominately the western world, are becoming increasingly Gluten Intolerant. I have discussed this with numerous people and I have, on my own, in my own non-scientific mind, come up with a theory: GMOs and the antibiotics in animal foods. All my life I had had a great immunological system and could fight off everything. People would be dropping like flies with the flu and I was great. Yes, I had allergies (an immunological reaction) but it was a good trade-off. But then I became Gluten Intolerant and that sucked.
Recently, I discovered that Gluten Intolerance is an autoimmune problem. In layman’s terms, an autoimmune disease is one where the body attacks itself, upon introduction of a third thing, like gluten or yeast. Autoimmune diseases are myriad and often treated by different specialties, which leads to the information not being pooled by the specialists. John Hopkins Medical Institute says that “Autoimmune diseases are, thus, defined when the progression from benign autoimmunity to pathogenic autoimmunity occurs. This progression is determined by both genetic influences and environmental triggers.” Yes, environmental factors. Like GMOs? So, if I could fight off known disease, does that not mean that maybe my system was in overdrive and fighting off bad things? Like GMOs.
So today, I was wasting time on FB and came across an article about GMOs that support my position. Woo hoo! For a non-scientific mind, I did good! Dr. John Fagan, who turned down a grant that was worth over half-a-million dollars because he felt that GMOs were dangerous said “crop genetic engineering as practiced today is a crude, imprecise and outmoded technology. It can create unexpected toxins or allergens in foods and affect their nutritional value. Recent advances point to better ways of using our knowledge of genomics to improve food crops, that do not involve GM.”
Another ah-ha moment. This article just agreed with my theory. I was looking over a list of autoimmune diseases and was shocked. There are so many on here, like endometriosis, that have risen exponentially over the last fifty years. Endometriosis was virtually unheard of until the 1970s and now it is accepted. Could that be due in part to pesticides and antibiotics in our food?
But it’s not just GMOs. Another theory, that works well with my less than scientific brain, is that those of us who could fight off infections quite well, with an overactive immune system (did you read above where I was extremely healthy)? In “Why So Many Intolerant To Gluten?” – by Luigi Greco, D.C.H., M.Sc.(MCH), M.D., Department of Pediatrics, University of Naples 06/30/1995 the author surmises:
“The intolerance most probably had some selective advantage which counterbalanced the gluten intolerance: it is possible to suggest that it was their very effective HLA Class II system that gave them a selective advantage against infections, which compensated the disadvantage due to gluten intolerance.
When, in the last 50 years, infantile infections greatly diminished, the descendants of the hunters and gatherers with very active immune-defense, ‘over reacted’ more frequently to the gluten than to their ordinary enemy. Hence the rise of the cohort that now appears to manifest, in different manners, a gluten intolerance.”
That also could be true. Did you know that a full 50% of all epileptics that go on a GF diet become seizure free? That it works for Addison’s Disease? Or Hashimoto’s? That it works the same for many schizophrenics? In the latter article there was the suggestion of testing for gluten sensitivity, but many people had testing and were determined not to be celiac and still had problems. In fact, I believe the best test is to simply try being GF for a week or two.
Let me tell you about me. I had petit mal as a baby. I had stomach problems and was on anxiety and stomach medicines in first grade. I suffered from anxiety all my life. I had bowel problems forever. I had leg cramps. When I woke up in the morning I could barely walk. All of that has stopped since I went GF and added minor exercise. Coincidence?
So there we have it. We know some more, but not really. I don’t have all of the answers. Actually, I just have more questions. I do know that I try to avoid GMOs. I try to avoid meat that has tons of antibiotics in it. But, I like so many Americans succumb to our fast food world (no I don’t literally eat fast food, but it’s a mindset). We want to get it cheaper, faster, easier. We want to eat out instead of cooking. But, I think this mentality, including mine, is creating irreparable harm. We are killing out environment and our very bodies. I know this, but I also know I’m going out for lunch in a few hours. I would say the McDonald’s mentality will be our downfall.
So, now that I’ve thoroughly depressed myself and possibly my reader, now what? I think for me it is going to have to be a gradual change. I think I need to put parameters on my eating out and buying food. I don’t eat GMOs at home, but what about in a restaurant? Where am I going to draw the line in the sand? I don’t know, I think as time goes on, the line will be further and further away. I believe that a trip of many miles starts with one step. Here I go, right foot first, STEP!