Introduction to Gluten
Gluten sensitivity is an immune reaction to gluten, showing up as antibodies against a sub-protein of gluten – gliadin. Gluten sensitivity which causes intestinal damage primarily is called Celiac Disease, but gluten can destroy other tissues such as myelin, cartilage, skin, vascular endothelium (blood vessels), liver, etc., and even cause nerve damage. Most people who are gluten sensitive do NOT have primarily intestinal problems.
The most obvious sources of gluten are wheat, rye, barley, spelt, & kamut. Corn and oats are contaminated at rate of 98%, so you need to get these from a gluten-free source.
Gluten ‘sneaks’ into a lot of different places, so make sure you check labels and for cross-contamination in processing. Look for foods packaged in a gluten-free facility. Gluten can be hidden in:
- Soy sauce,
- Food starches including modified food starch,
- Food emulsifiers, stabilizers, syrups and artificial flavors and coloring,
- Malt extract,
- Canned soup,
- Salad dressing,
- Most meat alternatives,
- Many genetically-modified organism (GMOs),
- Shampoos, lipsticks and other cosmetics,
- Envelope glue
- Some red wine
- Communion wafters
- Dextrins, and
- Prescription drugs.
Gluten can also be inhaled from flour, and beware the “dirty spoon”-sharing a dip or nut butter with someone who is not GF.
Rice, hemp, and coconut flour are safe alternatives; oats should be obtained from a celiac-certified farm.
These third-party resources can help you build a new and safer lifestyle.
Eats & Bakeries
Gluten-Free Support Pages