Gluten-Free has certainly entered the mainstream. Even your local conventional grocery store carries gluten-free food options. I’m committed to a gluten-free lifestyle, no matter what. If you’re gluten-free then you likely understand how gluten is goo food, indigestible, inflammatory, autoimmune triggering, gut damaging and therefore also horrible for your brain (hence that foggy thinking and distractibility). I understand that changing your diet and lifestyle can be scary, challenging, and even frustrating. However, if you’re committed to your health, the information below may change your life and health picture forever, so please keep reading.
One thing you may NOT know is that being gluten-free isn’t always enough. No one really talks about this, so I believe it’s time, you deserve to know the truth.
First of all, let’s define gluten-free (GF). Gluten-free means you are truly “gluten-free”. If you’re eating gluten once a week or once a month, technically this isn’t gluten-free. It takes about 1/8 of the size of your pinky nail amount of gluten to cause an inflammatory cascade of imbalances and tissue damage that can last 9 or more months. So, having gluten once a month may still be causing inflammation and health problems that you aren’t aware of yet. I believe in strictly following a gluten-free diet – no cheating. There is no moderation when it comes to a poison to your body. This may seem extreme, but you’ll understand if you keep reading. Of course, consuming less gluten is always ideal, but please consider really going entirely gluten-free. It just may help you alleviate future suffering.
I was having severe but random gut pain, constipation, and brain fog on a gluten-free diet. Going gluten-free did help reduce my abdominal bloat but it still occurred, just less frequently. It also reduced the razor blades in my gut, but not completely. I couldn’t figure out what was causing these seemingly random symptoms. I thought maybe I’d just have to live with it. I had tried everything, even a “gut-repair program” without much change. And then I learned about cross-reactivity. I learned that my body was acting as if millet, quinoa, sesame, corn, eggs, and coffee (never drink it but had been doing coffee enemas with disastrous effects) were like gluten in my system. It was as if I was taking one step forward with gut repair and then one stop back by creating more damage with gluten-free cross-reactive foods.
The valuable, life changing information I’m speaking about has to do with cross-reactivity. In short, this means your body reacts to foods as if they are gluten. There are foods that are similar enough to the proteins in gluten that your body mistakes them for gluten proteins like gliadin, and reacts, creating inflammation, tissue damage, low level autoimmunity (the precursor to autoimmune diseases), and gut damage. Even if you don’t have full blown Celiac (autoimmune reactions to gluten that can occur anywhere in the body, not only the gut), or you’ve been told you have Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, or you just notice you’re a bit more sluggish or bloated after gluten, you will greatly benefit from this information.
I don’t agree with a deprivation approach to nutrition, that you should remove all of your favorite foods without healthy substitutions. This just plays into cravings, subconscious patterns of sabotage, and often frustrated failures. So, don’t be afraid of the following information, there are tons of delicious substitutions that will leave you feeling satisfied (physically and emotionally). What I do believe in, is commitment to make healthy food choices based on your individual body and its metabolic, hormonal, nervous, and immune systems. You may not have any cross reactivity to foods or you may only have a few. You won’t know unless we do the test
You may be wondering “How do I know if I cross-react to a food?” First, this kind of reaction is NEVER tested on any standard food sensitivity test. IF you’ve had food testing by other labs, they don’t test for this, and I don’t trust most food testing because they simply aren’t accurate. There is only one test specific to this kind of reaction and it’s performed by Cyrex labs, it’s Array #4 Gluten Associate Cross Reactive Foods and Food Sensitivity. The reason it’s so valuable is because many “health” foods are on this list.
Cyrex Array #4 Gluten Associated, Cross Reactive Food and Food Sensitivity Screening Test list:
- Rye, barley, spelt, polish wheat
- Casein (alpha, beta), Casomorphin dairy
- Milk butyrophilin
- Whey proteins
- Chocolate (milk)
Wow, wouldn’t it be great to know if you cross-react to eggs, coffee, hemp or other gluten-free grains and foods?
You will know that you cross-react by doing this test, but you must prepare yourself in order to receive accurate results. If you don’t have diagnosed Celiac disease then eat everything on the Array #4 list of foods for 7 days in a row (this includes gluten), then wait 26 days and get your blood drawn for the test on that 26th day. This ensures that your immune system has made the antibodies to the food antigens and we will get accurate results.
If you or someone you know has gut issues, autoimmune issues (Hoshimotos Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis MS, psoriasis, eczema, or Crohn’s disease to name but a few), then this test is vital to you being able to fully heal. If you eat foods to which you cross react, or even a speck of gluten, then it will likely flair your autoimmune condition and cause multiple future autoimmune diseases. These issues become compounded. You never just get one autoimmune disease, unless you properly halt it, you will likely get two, three, or even four of them at a time. And this seriously impacts the quality and length of your life.
It’s clear going gluten-free isn’t always enough and taking the next step on your health journey to identify and eliminate cross-reactive foods is necessary for you to maintain or regain vibrant health. Please use this information to become empowered to take back your health and check out healthy alternative recipes on my website here.
Blessings of Vibrant Health,
Kristin Grayce McGary
Health and Lifestyle Alchemist