What is the deal with gluten?

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So, everyone has heard the terms “gluten allergy” or celiac disease.  While the two are linked, they are completely different.  It is estimated that 1 in 133 people have celiac disease.

A gluten intolerance or wheat allergy is a sensitivity that may cause some intestinal discomfort after eating products with gluten.  The symptoms pass after the gluten leaves the body.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the tissues of the intestines.  Celiac sufferers run the risk of not absorbing foods regularly, which can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

What is gluten exactly, and why is it such a problem now?

“Much of the world is starving and in order to combat world hunger there had to be a way to make more wheat at a faster rate. Dr. Norman Borlaug is considered the “Father of the Green Revolution” and was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, the Presidential Medal for Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal for his work in creating high-yield dwarf wheat that did indeed help the issue of world hunger. He had solved two problems by producing a high-yield stalk that is shorter and stockier. A short stalk stays alive longer and takes less time to grow – it also uses less fertilizer.” (http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-33/issue-10/features/gluten-worries.html)

Unfortunately, no safety testing was done to see how the new strain of wheat affected humans.  The strains produced new gluten strains.  The wheat we consume now is genetically different than wheat 50 years ago.

Oral Problems

Those with celiac disease can experience issues in the mouth.  Some of the conditions are:

  • Ø  Delayed tooth eruption in children
  • Ø  Enamel defects
  • Ø  Increased prevalence of gum recession
  • Ø  Cracked corners of the lip (Cheilosis)