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Sugar 101: The Truth About Sugars & Sweeteners

08 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments


Sugar.  Who would have thought it would be such a confusing topic.  And now that food companies have added artificial sweeteners to the market, Americans are even more confused.  One minute Splenda is good for you, the next it’s bad.  Should you even be consuming sugar in the first place?  I’m here to hopefully clear up some of your confusion. First, know that sugar can be very toxic to your health
, especially in the amounts our generation consumes it.  This article is about differentiating between the most popular sweeteners, so I’m not going to spend much time on the toxicity of sugar.  I think most of you know the less the better.  And when it comes to artificial sweeteners: AVOID THEM ALL! If your great grandmother has never heard of it, don’t eat it.  They’re not real food.  They’re a mix of unnatural chemicals that are toxic to your bloodstream, can cause damage to your organs, and can even lead to mutations in your cells.  If you’re going to use sweeteners, use the ones that God gave us, the natural ones.  Here is the lowdown on some of the most popular sweeteners out there:

Honey: My favorite sweetener & God’s created sweetener!  Honey contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, & antioxidants, which is why its known to be medicinal.  It can even be applied topically to wounds.  Beware when shopping for honey at the grocery store-most are processed and void of the good stuff mentioned above. The best honey to buy: RAW, LOCAL. You want raw so that the enzymes & nutrients are still alive.  Otherwise, they are killed during the heating process. Raw honey also has so much more flavor than the processed brands.  Local honey is best as it contains the immune stimulating properties needed for your body to adapt to its environment (Fights allergies to pollen/grass/etc in your area).

Stevia: If you must have a zero calorie sweetener, this is the one to go with because it has a glycemic index of less than 1 and does not feed candida (yeast) or cause any of the numerous other problems associated with sugar consumption.  It can be used by diabetics as it doesn’t adversely affect blood glucose levels. Some people (me included) have reported a bitter aftertaste when ingesting stevia.  Also, a little goes a LONG way when using this sweetener.

Maple Syrup (Grade B): Grade B is the least processed.  Maple syrup has been contributed to promoting heart health.  It is an excellent source of zinc and manganese and also provides trace amounts of calcium, iron and magnesium.   Maple sugar can be used at a 1:1 ratio for white or brown sugar.

Raw Coconut Nectar/Sugar: Made from tapping the coconut tree & draining the sap in a process similar to producing maple syrup. (Coconut nectar doesn’t require heating, though.)  Coconut sugar is also relatively low on the Glycemic Index.

Molasses: Molasses is a by-product of the refining part of the sugar making process. A quality organic (must be organic!) molasses provides iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, and is alkalizing to the body.

Refined Table Sugar: Conventionally grown, chemically processed, and stripped of all beneficial properties, many health advocates believe that refined sugar is one of the two leading causes (high fructose corn syrup is the other) of nearly every health ailment known to man (or woman or child). Not only does it have a high GI ranking, but it also is extremely acidic to the body causing calcium and other mineral depletion from bones and organs (sugar is alkaline but has a very acidic effect on the body).  -Source: Michael Edwards

Organic Sugar: Organic sugar comes from sugar cane that is grown without the use of chemicals & pesticides.  However, it is still processed, just not to the degree that white sugar is processed.  Organic sugar is darker in color than white sugar because it contains some molasses.

Turbinado: Turbinado sugar is partially processed and is also known as raw sugar.

Agave Nectar: This sweetener has been very popular lately, however, I do not recommend it.  It is not natural. It comes as a syrup and is highly refined.  Agave nectar even has more concentrated fructose than high fructose corn syrup according to the Weston A. Price Foundation.  Agave was developed in the 1990′s and is made primarily in Mexico.  To produce agave nectar, the leaves are cut off the plant after it has aged 7 to 14 years. Then the juice is expressed from the core of the agave. The juice is filtered, then heated, in order to hydrolyze the polysaccharides into simple sugars. The filtered, hydrolyzed juice is concentrated to a syrupy liquid, slightly thinner than honey, from light colored to dark amber, depending on the degree of processing.  This is not a traditional sweetener and the high levels of synthesized fructose in agave puts people at risk for obesity, heart disease, arterial inflammation, high blood pressure and increased insulin resistance.

High Fructose Corn Syrup: I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials that say HFCS is the same as sugar, and that when used in moderation, it’s safe. Well, it’s not the same or safe. When used in moderation it is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay, & more. “Why is the corn industry spending millions on misinformation campaigns to convince consumers and health care professionals of the safety of their product? Could it be that the food industry comprises 17 percent of our economy?”   Check out Dr. Mark Hyman’s post “5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You.” Something new that I learned in this post is that HFCS contains mercury, which as we know is extremely toxic and detrimental to our health.

So when you must reach for a sweetener, aim for a natural, unprocessed one.  And most importantly, use in moderation!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

I Have Exciting News…

21 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  6 Comments

I’M PREGNANT!

Many of you probably know by now, but I wanted to let my blog followers know the exciting news.  Eric and I are expecting our first child March 22, 2012.  I’m 14 weeks tomorrow and am thrilled to finally be in my 2nd trimester.  We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the 1st time yesterday, and that sound was truly music to my ears.  My husband and I feel truly blessed for this amazing gift.  We also can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or a girl.  The big gender reveal is October 27, so stay tuned!

Also, since this is my nutrition site, I will be blogging all things baby over at my personal blog if you want to follow our journey through pregnancy and parenthood.
Check out “Baby Makes Three.”

Excited Mommy-to-Be,
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Grass-Fed Beef on Sale at Whole Foods

01 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  3 Comments

Whole Foods will have their grass-fed beef on sale tomorrow, September 2, 2011 for $4.99 per pound.  This is a good price for grass-fed beef, so make sure you don’t miss out on this deal!  Cows were meant to eat grass, not corn.  Unfortunately, most beef in the U.S. are fed corn.  Corn allows cows to get fatter faster and be ready for slaughter sooner. But there are downsides, including the fact that cows have trouble digesting corn and must be fed antibiotics to prevent them from becoming ill. What’s more, beef from corn-fed cows tends to have more fat.  Grass-fed beef also contains three to five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that has many health benefits. The milk from grass-fed cows is also higher in many nutrients, including CLA, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fats.

Have fun grilling and enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Naturally Yours,
xoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN

How Safe Are Your Cleaning Products?

04 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

Guest post by Amiee Conner:

During the past several hundred years, human activity has significantly altered our global environment, and the negative effects of this are becoming alarmingly clear. No longer can we ignore the warning signs from nature. This trend can be changed if we all work together and take honest responsibility for our planet. It is a fact; household pollutants have a profound impact on us and our environment. Research and information on the health effects of chemicals has not kept pace with their development and use. Did you know that in the last 50 years more than 80,000 new chemicals have been produced and introduced into the environment? Most of the chemicals that people are exposed to everyday have never been assessed for their impact on human health. Chemicals found in the average home are linked to many serious diseases such as allergies, birth defects, cancer, and psychological abnormalities. Many today believe that the extensive use of chemicals indoors contributes to “modern” diseases such as asthma and allergies. Did you also know that most personal care products contain toxins that have been linked to cancer and are known to cause damage to your reproductive system, brain and other organs? Unfortunately, Herbal Essences, Pantene ProV, Secret and Crest are on that list.

The Norwex corporate vision for our products reaches far beyond the limited horizon of just making a profit; we are striving for a better quality of life for present and future generations.  Our deep central theme is reverence for the value and beauty of all life on a healthy planet. Our cleaning system saves time and effort. In today’s busy world, it has been proven that the Norwex cleaning line cuts the time spent cleaning your home by 75% or more. Norwex customers also save money by reducing the use of chemicals and cleaning supplies needed by up to 90%. Did you know that the average household spends $450 – $600 a year on these items?  Plus, you don’t breathe, touch or ingest harmful chemicals. Dirt and dust are removed instead of being spread around. You have a cleaner indoor climate, which reduces allergies. Why Norwex microfiber? Norwex microfiber is a blend of polyester and polyamide. This fiber is 1/100th the size of a strand of human hair. When this high-quality microfiber is combined with the right knitting process, it creates an extremely effective cleaning material. This material can hold up to seven times its weight in matter. Unlike many other types of cloth that smear dirt across the surface you are trying to clean, microfiber cloths remove dirt, germs, bacteria and debris from the surface. Norwex has also developed a unique technology that combines an antibacterial silver-based agent with our microfiber. The antibacterial agent is actually embedded inside the tiny microfiber and inactivates the bacteria that it picks up in its fibers. The antibacterial agent within the microfiber demonstrates its effectiveness against strains of pathogenic bacteria, yeast and viruses, such as:  E.Coli, klebsiella pneumoniae, proteus vulgaris, salmonella typhi, staphylococcus aureus, streptococcus faecalis, streptococcus pyogenes, candida albicans, MRSA, SARS coronavirus. Norwex backs its commitment to quality with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and an exceptional warranty of 2 years or 500 washings.

Finally, I chose to start using and selling Norwex after my twins, Caden and Chloe, were born. I would always be overwhelmed at the smells coming from my household cleaners and started wondering what effect they had on not only me and my husband, but my infant twins as well. After getting introduced to the brand, I fell in love with the products! They are so easy to use and really do make cleaning my house a lot easier and more time efficient, which is important when you have two little ones on the go. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. You can also “LIKE” my page Amiee Conner Independent Norwex Consultant on Facebook. Mention you saw my blog on Naturally Free RD and I’ll give you 10% off your first order. Isn’t your health and family worth it?

Naturally Yours,
Amiee Conner
Independent Norwex Consultant

Are your cosmetics full of chemicals too? Check out these posts:
How Your Cosmetics Could Be Damaging Your Health (Part 1)
How Your Cosmetics Could Be Damaging Your Health (Part 2)

How Your Cosmetics Could Be Damaging Your Health (Part 1)

11 Jul
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments

The Story of Cosmetics examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products, from lipstick to baby shampoo.  This 7 minute film reveals the implications for consumer and worker health and the environment, and outlines ways we can move the industry away from hazardous chemicals and towards safer alternatives.

I consider myself a health advocate, and since we can’t always count on the FDA, I’m here to do my own research to share with you.  About a year and a half ago, I started looking at what I was putting on my body in a whole new light.  Of course I knew that what I put in my body was important, but I had no idea that what I put on my body was even more important.  Your skin is your largest organ and is highly permeable.  What you put on your body does end up in your blood stream, and will therefore be distributed throughout your body.  I love the saying, “don’t put anything on your body that you wouldn’t eat if you had to…”  Dr Mercola, explains it best:

“Putting chemicals on your skin or scalp may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat something, the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help to break it down and flush it out of your body. However, when you put these chemicals on your skin, they are absorbed straight into your bloodstream without filtering of any kind, going directly to your delicate organs.  Once these chemicals find their way into your body, they tend to accumulate over time because you typically lack the necessary enzymes to break them down. When you add up daily exposure over the course of a lifetime, this adds up to an untold amount of chemical exposures.”

While there is a long list of dangerous toxins that appear in personal care products, here are some of the most dangerous ones that you want to avoid:

  • Parabens: Found in deodorants, moisturizers & shampoos. Parabens mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, which can drive the growth of human breast tumors.
  • Phthalates: Found in, among other things, toys, food packaging, hoses, raincoats, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, wall coverings, lubricants, adhesives, detergents, nail polish, hair spray and shampoo.  Phthalates have been linked to birth defects in the reproductive system of boys and lower sperm-motility in adult men, among other problems.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate: Found in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents and bath oils/bath salts. SLS is carcinogenic.
  • Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petroleum: They coat your skin like plastic, clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They also slow cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging, and are a suspected cause of cancer and disruption to hormonal activity.
  • Artificial Fragrances: The use of fragrances is unregulated, and there’s no need for manufacturers to specify what type of fragrance they’re using. It could be in the form of harmful cheap synthetic chemicals (which is the rule rather than the exception these days), and all they’re required to do is put “fragrance” on the bottle as an ingredient.  Artificial fragrances can cause asthma and trigger asthma attacks.
  • Toluene: Made from petroleum or coal tar, and found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus.
  • Methylisothiazolinone (MIT): A chemical used in shampoo to prevent bacteria from developing, which may have detrimental effects on your nervous system.

While I completely understand that this can be rather overwhelming if you look at all your products and they contain almost all of these ingredients.  If you need to, take baby steps to cut back/avoid these toxic ingredients.  When you buy new products, make sure you get ones without these ingredients.  Come back tomorrow for tips on how to choose safer products and how to make your own.

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Source:
Environmental Working Group
Mercola.com

 

 

Everyone Needs A Vacation

07 Jun
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments

Last week, my husband and I went to Hilton Head Island, SC with my family.  I must say, this vacation came at the PERFECT time.  About two weeks before the trip, my joints decided to have a flare up (pain and inflammation).  I hadn’t had this problem at all since I went gluten free and completely changed the way I viewed food. (Read my story here.)  I could not understand what was causing this flare up (neither could my doctor).  I knew that I had to do something, because I hated the pain, and I’m the type of person who has to know answers to everything (like what could be causing this). I know, I know, sometimes there are no answers. But I still dig for them.

So what did I do? I juiced more, I practiced hot yoga, I ate healthier (more than I already do), and I prayed.  The day we left for the beach was my worst day yet.  To make a long story short, after being at the beach a few days, my pain was so much better.  Some days, I didn’t feel pain at all.  You know what that means?  I’m definitely supposed to move to the beach. :) j/k  It means that I need to slow down more; take time for myself.  We could all use a beach vacation, right?  If you can’t go on vacation and relax, then find something that you can do for yourself: get a massage, read a book at a coffee shop (to get away from your to-do list at home), go to the pool, or anything that makes you calm and relaxed.

All that being said, we all need to listen to our body more.  If we are in pain, than our body is trying to tell us something.  If you’re exhausted and tired, it’s okay to skip a workout and rest.  Rest is good for us.  (I’m speaking to myself as well)

Now onto more exciting things.  I wish I would have taken pictures of the delicious food we had on vacation, but I was too busy enjoying it.  I’ll try to remember for next time.  Since I won’t be telling you about all the amazing fresh seafood we devoured, I’ll end this post with pictures from our beach vacation with my mom, dad, brother and his wife, and my twin niece and nephew.  We had an amazing time!  I am so thankful for that time we had together.

Eric & I: Dinner at Skull Creek Boathouse

My niece, Chloe, & I Before Dinner at The Black Marlin

Caden & Chloe on Memorial Day: It's Hard to Sit Still When You're 15 Months

Date Night @ Skull Creek Boathouse w/ My Brother & Amiee

My Mom & Dad w/ Their Grandbabies

My Sister-in-Law & I with the Twins

I hope you have a fun & relaxing summer!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Kale Breakfast Smoothie

25 May
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  You’ve heard this phrase countless times in your life.  Honestly, I think all meals are important and should be used to maximize your health.  But what you eat for breakfast truly does affect your hunger and choices for the rest of your day.  For most people, when they eat a healthy and satiating breakfast, they tend to choose healthy foods the rest of the day.  Here is the recipe for a Kale Smoothie that I make frequently for breakfast or after a workout.

Kale Smoothie:
2 servings

Ingredients:
2-4 kale leaves
1 cup water or milk of choice (coconut milk, raw milk, almond milk, etc)
Frozen strawberries
Frozen blueberries
1/2-1 scoop good quality protein powder (Optional)
1-2 tsp. chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
1 Tbsp. unrefined organic coconut oil

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in blender. Enjoy!

*Any frozen fruit can be used in this recipe. If you want to mask the green color of the smoothie for your kids (or husband), then add more blueberries.

Here is a simpler Kale Smoothie recipe:


Ingredients:
1 large ripe banana
2-4 kale leaves
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup milk (raw milk, coconut, or almond)

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in blender. Enjoy!

Are You Stressed?

12 Apr
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  4 Comments

Image Credit

STRESS. Seeing that word even makes me feel the effect of it, and I cringe.  Sometimes I get so angry at stress because I feel as if it is controlling me, and I don’t know how to let it go.  What makes me even more frustrated is when I don’t feel like I’m stressed, but internally I am and my body gets hit with the repercussions of it.  Do you ever feel that way? You tell yourself over and over again, “I’m not stressed.  I’m fine.  Everything is good.”  Yet, deep down, you know something is going on because you’re not sleeping well, you’re moody, or your body is holding onto that extra weight even though you’ve tried so hard to be extra healthy.

Well, I’m just going to be honest with you.  I don’t have it all together, and I’m not going to pretend like I do.  Who really does?  I’ve been extremely stressed lately.  There is a lot on my plate at the moment, and I just can’t seem to find time to get it all done.  What I’m learning is that while all the good things in our lives are wonderful, too much of anything can be bad.  You’re probably thinking, “She’s just now learning this?” :)   I feel like this is something that some of us will always battle…the challenge of simplifying our lives when the world around us tells us the complete opposite.  Even though we justify our activities/commitments because they are “good,” it’s imperative for our health and our sanity to practice the magic word, “no.”

Maybe these harmful effects of stress will motivate you to find ways to de-stress:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Weight gain
  • Acne or other dermatological issues
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Insomnia
  • Back/neck problems
  • Heart disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Migraines
  • Fertility problems
  • Diabetes
  • Hair loss
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic inflammation
  • And More!

How do I deal with stress?  As I said earlier, I’m slowly learning how to say, “no.”  I also spend much time in prayer and meditation.  Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night is another goal of mine.  Finally, bikram yoga has been great in helping me de-stress.  A study performed by Boston researchers concluded that people who practice yoga 3 times a week report better mood and lower anxiety compared with people who walked the same amount of time.  Of course, ANY exercise is beneficial to help you beat stress.

What about YOU? What are some things that you can cut out so that you’ll be less stressed?  And what methods do you use to de-stress?

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN

 

Eating Organic on a Budget

05 Apr
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  16 Comments

Of course it would be ideal to be able to eat all foods organic, but I understand that is just not possible for everyone.  The major dilemma I hear from most people is that they cannot afford to buy organic foods.  While eating organic tends to be pricier, it will save you money in the long run due to less medical expenses later on down the road.  Pesticides, found on many of our foods, are said to be linked to cancer, hypothyroidism, ADHD, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple other health problems.

5 TIPS FOR EATING ORGANIC ON A BUDGET:

  1. Buy produce in season & buy local. When you purchase fruits and vegetables when they’re in season, you save a great deal of money.  Not to mention, the produce tastes better and lasts longer. (It isn’t sitting in a truck traveling across the country, before it gets to you.)  I love this time of year because the farmers’ markets begin to flourish with colorful foods for your plate.  Another great option is to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  Some CSA’s and farmers’ markets are certified organic, and some do not use pesticides or fertilizers but are not certified organic. The great thing about them is that you can actually speak to the person who produced the food, and ask them how they grow it.  To find out more about CSA’s and to find one near you, go here.
  2. Grow your own organic garden. I understand this isn’t an option for everyone.  For example, I live in a townhouse and our HOA doesn’t allow us to plant anything in the ground.  For those of us who cannot grow our own, a great idea is to have an indoor herb or small patio garden.
  3. Avoid buying processed food. It’s a lot more expensive than making things from scratch and storing/freezing in bulk.  It’s also much healthier to make your own foods, because you are able to control what goes in them.  Examples of things to make yourself: Breads, granola bars, trail mix, cookies, etc.
  4. Enjoy meatless Mondays. As you know, meat can be pricey, so a great way to save money is to celebrate “Meatless Mondays” with your family.  See what great recipes you can come up with together that do not include meat.  Great substitutes for meat are beans and lentils.  At our house, we love using black beans instead of meat in our spaghetti and tacos.
  5. Cut those coupons. Even the organic companies have coupons.  Check out sites like Faithfulprovisions.com and click on “Coupons,” then scroll down to “Natural & Organic Coupons.”  Another great way to find organic coupons is to visit the companies’ website. Here are a few: Stonyfieldfarms.com, Mambosprouts.com, WholeFoods, etc.  I actually emailed Amy’s, and they were so kind to send me a coupon booklet in the mail for their organic products.  Love me some coupons!

If you can’t buy all your produce organic, here is the list of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables.  These are the ones that have the highest pesticide count, so consider these a must-buy organic:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes (Imported)
  • Spinach
  • Kale/Collard Greens
  • Potatoes

Here is a printable version of EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides.

In my opinion, other foods that should be bought organic are meat and dairy.  Animal products have added antibiotics and hormones added to them, which is increasing antibacterial resistance in humans, and causing a host of other issues.  (We’ll talk about this on a different blog post.)  It’s important to know where your food is coming from.  (If you don’t believe me, watch the documentary, “Food, Inc.”)

A short book that I recommend you all read is “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan, who is featured in the above documentary.  This easy to read book has simple rules to live by when trying to eat wisely.

I hope this post helps you as you start eating more organic foods!

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN


Celiac Disease Vs. Gluten Sensitivity (Part 1)

28 Mar
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  12 Comments


You’ve probably heard about celiac disease and the gluten free diet.  As people are becoming more aware of this disease, people are asking their doctors for the blood test and biopsy and getting the proper diagnosis.  But are you one of MANY people who tested negative for celiac disease, but all your symptoms went away on a gluten free diet?  Or are you living with painful symptoms, but you can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong, and you need some answers.  I hope this post gives you those answers.  I know how frustrating it is to live in pain when doctors can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong, and you just feel hopeless.  Read my story
here.

Researchers from the Center for Celiac Research have identified key pathogenic differences between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity “at the molecular level and in the response it elicits from the immune system.”  “We found differences in levels of intestinal permeability and expression of genes regulating the immune response in the gut mucosa,” says Alessio Fasano, M.D., who is the director of the Center for Celiac Research.  When people with celiac disease consume gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley), their body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissue.  Gluten causes antibodies to harm the villi of the small intestines, which are needed to absorb nutrients from food.  If the disease is not treated with a gluten free diet, then other autoimmune diseases can develop, as well as infertility, neurological conditions, osteoporosis, and even cancer.

According to studies, one of the main distinguishing factors between these two conditions is that people with gluten sensitivity show no signs of damage to the small intestine, unlike those with celiac disease.  (More studies need to be done on this)  Gluten sensitive individuals do show some of the same symptoms as people with celiac disease, which makes it even harder for us to distinguish between the two.  Why does there seem to be more and more people who have celiac disease and gluten sensitivity? Joseph A. Murray, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, says that the rise isn’t just due to greater awareness.  He states that people at the age of 70 are being diagnosed who ate gluten safely their entire lives.  Dr. Murray thinks that one possible culprit of the rise in gluten intolerance is the agricultural changes to wheat that have boosted its protein content.  Wheat today has far more gluten in it than the wheat of our ancestors.  Our bodies are being overexposed to this protein.

So you may be asking yourself, “Could I have celiac disease? Could I be sensitive to gluten?”  The symptoms vary so greatly and do not have to be gastrointestinal, which is another reason some doctors don’t think to check for celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.  Please know that just because one person has a certain set of symptoms doesn’t mean that you will have the same ones.  In fact, some people show no symptoms for years.
Gastroenterology 2001 found: “…for every symptomatic patient with celiac disease there are eight patients with celiac disease and no gastrointestinal symptoms.”  Here is a list of possible symptoms from the Celiac Disease Foundation:

Classic Symptoms May Include:

  • Abdominal cramping, intestinal gas
  • Distention and bloating of the stomach
  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation (or both)
  • Steatorrhea – fatty stools
  • Anemia – unexplained, due to folic acid, B12 or iron deficiency (or all)
  • Unexplained weight loss with large appetite or weight gain

Other Symptoms:

  • Dental enamel defects
  • Osteopenia, osteoporosis
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Fatigue, weakness and lack of energy
  • Infertility – male/female
  • Depression
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Delayed puberty
  • Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
  • Migraine headaches

Some Long-term Conditions That Can Result From Untreated CD

  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia
  • Vitamin K deficiency associated with risk for hemorrhaging
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Central and peripheral nervous system disorders – usually due to unsuspected nutrient deficiencies
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • Intestinal lymphomas and other GI cancers (malignancies)
  • Gall bladder malfunction
  • Neurological manifestations

Now the difficult part for many people is figuring out whether you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.  Come back tomorrow for more information on this.

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN

Read complete study here. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/9/23