Friday, April 12, 2013

Why the Hype surrounding Gluten?

By: Dr. Ciro Errico

17th Century Writer, Francois La Rochefoucauld once said, ‘To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art,’ so let’s take some time, turn our brains on, and really think about the food that goes in our body and how it interacts to make us function.

“Gluten” is the new buzz word replacing other buzz words such as “organic”, “cholesterol free”, and “no MSG”. You will find the word Gluten everywhere in the food products you buy, menus at restaurants, and even over the counter medicine. Gluten affects every person’s body in many different ways.

So, what is gluten?

Gluten is a protein, responsible for the elastic texture, that is present in grains such as wheat, barely and rye; all of which can be found in a number of foods, condiments, beverages and OC Medicines.

Even though Gluten is most often associated with diseases to the intestines, such as Celiac and Crohn’s disease, it can affect all people and cause a reduction in athletic performance. Just as gas can affect the performance of your car, food can affect how your body functions, and the way food is broken down can affect how we feel. Symptoms such as: fatigue, bloating, cramps in our lower gut, diarrhea, constipation, or an increase in intestinal gas after eating certain foods are symptoms of the inability to break down Gluten. Even Migraines, chronic headaches, joint pain, lack of focus, and mood changes can all be symptoms of Gluten intolerance.

Questions that are frequently asked by patients are, “What is gluten?” “What products have gluten in it?’ “Should I take Gluten out of my diet?” I answer YES to the last question. However, you need to understand how Gluten affects you, why it is becoming more of an issue, and how to improve your diet for better health. Gluten is a protein that is found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye; these are products to pay the most attention to. Not all grains contain gluten however; rice, corn, quinoa do not contain gluten. Tubercles like potatoes do not contain gluten.

For years most health professionals have encouraged eating whole grains, and whole wheat products. So, why am I saying just the opposite, that whole grains and whole wheat products are bad for you? And, why has gluten-free the best way to be? The food that enters our body has been modified a number of times. We have changed many proteins in our crops and food in order to do what we believe we need it to do. Changing its natural shape, form, texture, and even how long it can last on the shelf. We have genetically modified foods to act a certain way without thinking of the consequences. Gluten, along with many foods and products, has been modified to resist bacteria, viruses, fungi in order to withstand any possible threat of damaging the crop. The protein has been altered without anyone thinking of the possible harm that it can lead to. Whole grains, and whole wheat products are filled with modified proteins and a major change being in Gluten. No wonder the body cannot break gluten down it is not natural. Being gluten free is not a curse, it is a blessing. There are no worries about having a modified protein in your body; the body does not have to attack itself, or stress itself out in order to get rid of this mutated protein that is plaguing our foods. Gluten is in so many food products that the best way to avoid it is by not eating it at all.

Now, that we had a little intro let us see what happens:

When a person eats his or her food, the food will pass from mouth to esophagus to stomach to intestines- where the villi (little tiny hairs) will absorb the nutrients from the food. The villi will try to absorb the gluten and will inflame, and as a result will be unable to absorb nutrients from the food a person eats. When the villi become inflamed it will begin break itself down. When this occurs, the food that a person eats does not become absorbed, and as a result a person may become malnourished, sick and will be in pain. When the body is in an inflammatory state, systems will not function properly causing symptoms and even disease.

When your body reacts to the Gluten it will create an inflammatory condition as the body immune systems tries to fight itself. As a result, the immune system becomes stressed, and can lead to someone catching the ‘common cold’, and minor flues. Yes, a person can become sick, because the immune system is attacking the body and not focusing on protecting the body. Besides having the little colds or flu, imagine that on a big scale like Celiac disease, or a much bigger scale like diabetes, or cancer. With that being said, now imagine being able to decrease your chances of getting sick and helping your body heal itself with nutrition.

So, do you feel fatigued, bloated, have abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, headaches, constipation or diarrhea, or gas after eating a lot of foods that contain gluten? What can I do about it?

One, STOP eating foods that contain gluten; change your diet to include gluten free products! Consume fresh fruits, and vegetables! These natural foods will help you clean, and repair the small intestines and the villi. It takes about fourteen days for the body to completely rid itself of gluten, and in the meantime the villi will stop being inflamed. This means that you will feel less pain, less bloating, gas, and/or constipation or diarrhea.

Two, DRINK lots of water and help flush your body. Get Specific Cold Laser and Energy Balance (EB) treatments. These two modalities will help the body to heal, and repair itself. The Cold Laser is used to help stimulate biological function- this can be anything from cell regeneration to reducing inflammation to enhance wound healing. EB is a gentle detoxifying system that rids the body of unwanted toxins. The toxins will become attracted to the positive or negative ion charges that are flowing through the body and into the EB.

Three, it is time to be intelligent, and THINK before you EAT. Read labels, research the food that goes in your mouth.

Why do mothers research baby food then stop as soon as the baby starts to feed his or herself? The food industry is always changing; GMO foods have been on the market and will continue to come on the market; marketing companies are using buzz words to get you to purchase their products. Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Your body is the greatest machine ever created. Please take the time to use fuels that will make it run, and function at an optimal level. If you need help, consult your Chiropractor, Physician, Nutritionist, and/or trainer. We are trained to “tune your body” for maximum performance.

Dr. Ciro is a Doctor at Chiropractic Sports Institute, in Westlake Village, Ca. For more info go to their website:

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