Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fybromyalgia and Gluten Sensitivity



The Fibromyalgia-Gluten Link
My husband and I have been doing our best to avoid gluten-containing foods for a few weeks now in response to what I have been feeling and reading about over the past couple of years. We are serious but it is hard... I definitely have an addiction to gluten, or maybe just the grains that are part-and-parcel with the gluey protein called gluten.

For the past few months I have been experiencing a lot of pain in my feet and ankles. No, not plantar's fasciitis. Sometimes I have burning pain at night so that I can not sleep at all. My husband, bless his heart, does some reflexology and I wear magnetic insoles and orthotics (help a lot, most of the time) and sometimes I use shea butter with cayenne powder mixed in on the soles of my feet when I go to bed. This all helps, but it doesn't seem to 'cure it' entirely.

A couple of weeks ago I made some 'raw energy balls' that called for flour made from oats in the Vitamix. I put them into the freezer as a Christmas treat. Friends and family love these little cookies and they have become a bit of a signature treat for me (if such a thing exists) but unfortunately, if I ever thought that oats didn't have gluten, I was wrong. I ate a couple of these puppies and almost immediately had all sorts of 'effects' including foot pain (how does that happen?)and a general malaise.

Yes, I have begun to feel like the hypochondria-cal sort of person I didn't have much patience or compassion for in my healthier past. I also feel old, shuffling around in my swollen ankles, sleeping in a half-upright position, feeling pain when least expecting it.

So, of course, I have begun to do a little research online and find that gluten is connected to all sorts of unexpected 'issues' such as fibromyalgia and thyroid problems.

Dr. Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, has co-authored a book called "The Gluten Effect" and she and her "Gluten Doctor" colleagues (a community of MDs, naturopaths, etc. in the Silicon Valley, California) claim there is a clear link between fibromyalgia and gluten intolerance/sensitivity.

Consider this: In the United States (and probably Canada), roughly 2% of the population-- 90% women-- have fibromyalgia.  Irritable bowel syndrome is highly visible within this fibromyalgia population as well (as many as 3/4 of a study's population had both fibromyalgia and irritable bowel sydrome.)  In another research study, there was a strong link shown between irritable bowel syndrome and undiagnosed gluten intolerance.  Anecdotally, the "Gluten Doctors" have noticed repeatedly that when they prescribe an elimination diet (i.e., eliminating gluten-containing foods) for clients with fibromyalgia, that there has been a resolution of the tender points and muscle aches classic to fibromyalgia, as well as the healing of 'hidden infections', adrenal fatigue, and improvement in blood sugar control, all common complaints for both sufferers of fibromyalgia and gluten- sensitivity conditions.

In her blog at The Gluten Doctors, Dr. Petersen suggests that people with fibromyalgia are likely dealing with a multiple stream of 'causes' for the disease, gluten-intolerance being only one possible cause, but that a trial following of a gluten free diet would go a long way to improving the symptoms of fibromyalgia.  This is definitely something I am interested in pursuing.
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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quick Gluten-Free Quesadilla



Quick GF Quesadillas
This recipe for "quick gluten-free quesadilla" is the beginning of (I hope) many fast and healthier GF Fast Foods (or GFFF). A lot of gluten-free "baking" recipes have anywhere from 7 and up ingredients that can bog down someone who has limited time and X number of tummies to fill. After eating pretty high "raw vegan" for a time, I also find that the majority of GF recipes contain dairy, eggs, and refined sugar, verboten items for anyone trying to "eat healthy". So, here is my first contribution to speed-it-up real food.

(2 per person) Brown Rice Tortillas (I buy mine in the freezer at the Health Food Store)
2 medium Onions, diced
3 large Oyster Mushrooms (brushed clean and chopped)
14 oz. can of Pinto Beans
Organic Emmental Cheese, grated
1 clove organic Garlic, grated
1 T. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Celtic Sea Salt (to taste), other spices as desired

  • Dairy sensitive or dairy allergic? Use GF refried beans or your favourite GF veggie cheese instead of cheese and pinto beans
  1. Place 2 tortilla shells on baking pan (or pizza pan) and sprinkle grated cheese on each
  2. Prepare vegetables above (chop, dice, etc.)
  3. Stirfry above vegetables in Coconut Oil for brief time (until softening)
  4. Place veggies and cheese (or bean paste) on the torillas
  5. Sandwich the torillas together and lightly press together
  6. Bake at 350-400 degrees F. for about 5 or so minutes
  7. Remove from oven, score into pie wedges with a pizza cutter and serve with a green salad
Hope you enjoy! (of course, you can also make this "fast GF food" using your other favourites and leftovers-- add together stuff like wild tinned salmon, quinoa, red peppers, soft-scramble eggs, turkey, soy cheez, and maybe even a dessert quesadilla with grated apple, cinnamon and cheddar cheese?
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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gluten-Free Carrot Spice Cookies (also Egg- and Dairy-Free)



Anyone fearful of missing out on Christmas baking because of gluten-sensitivity or CD is really in luck this year-- the internet is teeming with recipes for delicious gluten-free treats. As far as baked cookies go, this next recipe could be classified a "health cookie" (except maybe for the sugar?). Once your mouth gets over the fact that it is not your standard wheat molasses-type cookie, your taste buds say, "al-right!" It's a cookie of substance!

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup raisins
1 egg substitute (mix 1 T. of ground flaxseed with 3 T. of water until creamy)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (an apple+ in the Vitamix and whirl)
2 tablespoons molasses
1 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla
2 1/2 C. brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon of each of the following: cinnamon, ginger, coriander (ground)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Cream sugar and EVOO in large bowl. Add carrots, raisins, egg, applesauce, molasses and vanilla; mix well.
In a large bowl, combine the brown rice flour, spices and baking powder; slowly stir flour mixture into other ingredients and mix until well blended.
Drop by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets.
Bake in 350°F (175°C) oven 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set and lightly browned.
Remove from baking sheet while still warm. Cool on wire rack.
Makes 4 dozen.

Recipe adapted from one by USA Rice Federation.
Carrot________________________________________________
Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Thyroid and A Gluten-Free Diet




Thyroid disorders, particularly hypothyroidism (the under-functioning of the thyroid gland) is very common in North America.

The thyroid is an endocrine (hormone-secreting) gland located in the area of the "Adam's Apple"-- the word 'thyroid' comes from the Greek for "shield".  If you put your hand so your thumb rest on one side of your throat, and your other fingers on the other side, you can feel that bony shield covering the gland.

My husband and I have begun to read a book called "Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal?" by Dr. Datis Kharrazian DHSc, DC, MS, MNeuroSci.  It is a clearly-written text with some very illustrative metaphors, such as comparing the protein-bonded thyroid hormones to taxicabs in New York that won't let their passengers out.

Very interesting to us was reading about the fact that people with any thyroid dysfunction should give up gluten-containing foods (even oats, alas).   If persons with gluten-sensitivity and/or Celiac disease eat gluten foods, they are prevented from absorbing the necessary nutrients in their diet.  Dr. Kharrazian makes a strong case for eating gluten-free and for looking to a healthy, whole-food diet (vs. pharmaceuticals) in order to get well.  People suffering from some forms of thyroid disease have shown that merely eliminating gluten from their diets has healed up their thyroid disease within 3 to 6 months!  What a great reason for getting the gluten out, eh?
Listen to learn more about Dr. Kharrazian's book:

Podcast interview with Jimmy Moore
Livin La Low Carb Vida
Free Audio Chapter:audio/video page

Listen to a radio interview with Dr. Kharrazian
Part One -- Part Two

Get instant delivery with Amazon Kindle eBook of Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? ($7.50)
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Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns.
Search this Site; Search the Web


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