Hello My Fibromyalgia Community
My name is Amanda Elise Love and I’m a registered holistic nutritionist who works with those with Fibromyalgia. As I know your plight of not finding answers, the answers you so desperately seek. I personally was diagnosed with it over 10 years ago. That is why it is my mission to work with 156 people with fibromyalgia this year to get back to enjoying your life again through lifestyle changes, supplements, food choices, and mindset. I hope you want that too this year.
Now let’s talk about today’s topic which is “What is Gluten and Does it affect Fibro? Asked by Samantha C.
A huge topic that is big right now is Gluten! We all go into the supermarket and we see gluten-free everywhere we go! Even for things that are gluten-free, to begin with, such as water!
When I first went gluten-free in July 2011 it wasn’t as big as it now!
I briefly talked about Gluten-Free in Episode 48 and I also talked about it in Episode 12 which is on Food Sensitivities and allergies. I thought this was a great question to do a full episode on.
So let’s start with the obvious: do you know what Gluten is?
Gluten is a gunky glue-like protein found in cereal crops. Most people are familiar with wheat as being a main source of gluten. We forget that it is also in many other grains such as barley, spelt, and rye. You might think that you are following a healthy gluten-free diet by avoiding wheat but you might inadvertently be ingesting the gluten from other grains. One molecule of gluten can stay in your body for weeks up to months.
Those of us who can’t handle gluten generally have significant intestinal problems, which can include pain, cramping, diarrhea, and just about any other digestive problem you can think of. The two main causes of gluten intolerance are celiac disease—which is an autoimmune reaction to gluten in the intestinal lining—and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Diet rich in gluten and grains causes inflammation for some people. What happens is that it starts in the gut, where gluten, as well as chemicals and contaminants in grains, irritate the lining of your small intestine. This irritation triggers your immune system, which uses inflammation to respond. More specifically, immune cells rush to the scene and release inflammatory compounds to neutralize threats.
These inflammatory compounds may then circulate throughout your body and cause widespread harm. Damage to your small intestine can also cause pathogens and undigested food to enter your bloodstream and trigger another immune response and more inflammation.
So for those with gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten and grains on a daily basis can create a chronic state of inflammation. And for many, this inflammation causes pain because it can damage muscle and joint tissue as well as cause nerve damage.
Bread Type Foods
Gluten is a very common food group that can cause flare-ups in patients with fibromyalgia. Gluten is found in wheat and bread products. One should also avoid any products that contain yeast.
Gluten Yeast can sometimes be hard for the body to digest and absorb nutrients throughout. these can sometimes cause flare-ups! To avoid gluten and yeast try products such as rice or almond flour-based foods.
Most people don’t know this but 2 slices of whole wheat bread can spike your blood sugar faster than two teaspoons of sugar. Crazy! Gluten activities our hunger hormones, making us crave carbohydrates! If you don’t know this it can lead to leaky gut syndrome most people with fibromyalgia have! If you don’t know what leaky gut is I suggest checking out Episode 13 “What is Leaky Gut “.
Now onto the topic of when you go shopping!
Something you might not know Oatmeal of course does not contain gluten but you might have seen the gluten-free oatmeal. This might have confused you. Oatmeal is most of the time processed in a facility with other grains so it may become cross-contaminated. So that is why you buy Gluten-Free Brand.
I personally enjoy Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Oats.
Getting to know the grains you eat should be your first step. You also have to think that gluten is so many processed foods. The gluten-free products are not what you should be having too often either as they are heavily processed and contain additives that might make your fibro symptoms worse. A lot of them are very high in sugar or have ingredients that quickly convert to sugar. The best thing is to have foods as close to their natural state as you can. If you are going to have something that is not natural. Just make sure to read all the labels for gluten.
You might be wondering why so many people are having issues with wheat. It is because today’s wheat grain is genetically different from wheat produced decades ago.
Think about this gluten big cause is body-wide inflammation. Researchers are saying that it is not an inflammatory condition. The symptoms of body-wide inflammation and Fibromyalgia can overlap.
What inflammation and Fibromyalgia have in common :
Body wide aches and pain
Issues with the digestive system: like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or reflux
Poor Sleep and Anxiety
You might find this interesting. There is a report with Fibro patients with a non-celiac gluten sensitivity improved when placed on a gluten-free diet.
The way they measure this improvement was the study patients achieved at least one of the following criteria.
Returning to normal life
Returning to work
Remission of pain
Discontinuation of opioids(pain meds) This is not in my scope of practice) This is something you should ask your doctor.
Also symptoms (eg. fatigue, abdominal discomfort, migraines, and depression also improved!
Something you should know is that chronic pain returned for 8 patients out of 20 when they put gluten back into their meals. Once they stopped eating gluten again the pain went away.
Remember going gluten-free for most is hard! Just one molecule can stay in the body for up to weeks up to months! You have to stay off it for at least a month or longer to see how you feel. You might have to do an elimination diet which means cutting out more than just gluten!
I’m almost at 10 years of doing an elimination diet. I haven’t looked back at those foods that I can’t have because of the benefits of having more energy, better sleep, daily headaches, etc. Out weight eating them.
You might be wondering what I can’t have. If you haven’t heard, I have 2 genes that pre-dispose to gluten sensitivity from both parents.
Along with soy, egg, and dairy sensitivity!
That is why I created my program so you have all the answers you need!
This program includes discussions on the following topics
- The major role of food allergies/food sensitivities in fibromyalgia and other health conditions.
- The tie between the strength of your immune health and leaky gut
- Correct foods to eat to feel better with fibromyalgia
- The correct combination of supplements
- Food products that are allergy-free
Can you imagine in 2 short months feeling better with your life? This program you can do on your own time! I suggest going to check it out right now!
The link to the program and episodes I mentioned will be in the show notes and if you have questions reach out.
I’m so excited to tell you that next week’s episode is with guest expert Jaya Jaya Myra Episode 51 is about having a purpose, Driven Healthy Life.