Wonder if You Might be Gluten Intolerant?

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 12.59.45 PMIf you eat in restaurants, have kids, watch the news or shop in a grocery store, chances are you’ve been hearing a lot about gluten-free foods and diets. If you’ve ever thought “Why are these people eating this way?” Or, “I wonder if I’m gluten-intolerant”? You may want to checkout the below list of 10 common symptoms (there are many more) and see if it might apply to you.



1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation. I see the constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.

2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as ‘chicken skin’ on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.

3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.

4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.

5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.

6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.

7. Migraine headaches.

8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.

9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.

10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

For more information, or to find out about an easy (and free) to know for sure, visit our friends at Eat Local Grown.


Ten Things That Cause Leaky Gut!

10 things that cause leaky gut

The concept of leaky gut is becoming more widely accepted—even Dr. Oz talked about it on his show recently. It’s important to know the cause of leaky gut can be different for each person. For instance, it could be the result of a junk food diet for one person and chronic stress for another. Knowing why you have leaky gut can help you address the right target to restore gut health.

What is leaky gut?

Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes inflamed, damaged, and porous, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, fungus, and other foreign invaders into the sterile environment of the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream these toxins trigger the immune system, causing inflammation and leading to a long and varied list of symptoms. Chronic conditions associated with leaky gut include depression, joint pain, Crohn’s disease, food allergies, eczema, psoriasis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and more.

Ten causes of leaky gut

Although the causes of leaky gut can be ambiguous, Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS has identified 10 factors that contribute to leaky gut:

  1. Diet: Most people blame poor diet, and rightly so, as many popular foods can damage the gut. Gluten in particular is associated with gut damage. Dairy, processed foods, excess sugar, and fast foods are common culprits. Excess alcohol is another gut saboteur.
  2. Medications: Certain medications increase the risk of leaky gut. They include corticosteroids, antibiotics, antacids, and some medications for arthritis. Some medications may also contain gluten as a filler.
  3. Infections: An overgrowth of H. pylori, a bacterium in the stomach, can cause ulcers and leaky gut. Overgrowth of other harmful bacteria, yeast infections, parasitic infections, and intestinal viruses can also cause leaky gut.
  4. Stress: Chronic stress raises the adrenal hormone, cortisol, which degrades the gut lining and contributes to leaky gut.
  5. Hormone imbalances: The gut depends on proper hormone levels for good health. When estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, or thyroid hormones are deficient or out of balance, this imbalance can contribute to leaky gut.
  6. Autoimmune conditions: We often think of leaky gut contributing to autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriasis. While this may be true, sometimes other factors can trigger an autoimmune condition, including toxic exposures or stress. In these cases, the autoimmune condition can be the cause of leaky gut and managing autoimmunity is a strategy to improving leaky gut.
  7. Industrial food processing: The food processing industry uses a variety of methods that can increase intestinal inflammation and leaky gut. These include deamidating wheat to make it water soluble, high-heat processing (glycation) of sugars, and adding excess sugar to processed foods.
  8. Environmental toxins: We are surrounded by toxins in our environment. Some of these toxins have been found to break down immune barriers like the gut. One way to shore up your defense against environmental toxins is to make sure your body is sufficient in glutathione, the body’s primary antioxidant.
  9. Vitamin D deficiency: Sufficient vitamin D is vital to good health and helps preserve gut integrity.
  10. Poor glutathione status: Glutathione is the body’s primary antioxidant and is necessary to defend and repair the gut lining. Poor diet and lifestyle factors deplete glutathione. Ask my office for ideas on how to boost your glutathione status.

These are just some of the factors Kharrazian has identified in the scientific literature as contributing to leaky gut. By better understanding the cause of your leaky gut, you will have more success restoring health to your gut and hence your immune system.

Published March 5, 2013 | By functionalhealthminute

You May NOT Want to Dew this!

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Drink Mountain Dew (and other similar sodas), that is. As with your food, it’s also important to know what you’re drinking! Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is a toxic chemical and is banned in many countries. It competes with iodine for receptor sites in the body, which can lead to hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, and cancer. The main ingredient, bromine, is a poisonous, corrosive chemical, linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, and hearing loss.

It is used as a flame retardant!  That can’t be good for anyone.

Flame Retardant in Your Mountain Dew? Yep – Want  to know more? Check out this post from ABC News

Loving What I’m Learning!

you are what you eat2

Just reviewing my notes from school (The Institute for Integrative Nutrition) and was reminded of some key things I’ve learned and wanted to share. The most important, being the concept of bio-individuality. Everyone is different and what works well for some, may not for others. For instance, there are many healthy Vegans out there as well as many others who get weak and sick without consuming animal products. Other reminders include how the quality of our food and advice from the FDA has made us (as a nation) sicker in recent decades. The food pyramid told us to consume lots of carbs/grains, little fat, and lots of dairy for strong bones. Unfortunately, following that advice we are now heavier, sicker and have more bone fractures. I was reminded how important Vitamin D (not really a vitamin, but a hormone) really is since every organ in the body has Vitamin D receptors and people with almost every disease test low for it. The good news is that eating more whole, real food, especially veggies can turn your health and potential risk for disease around. Turns out genetics are not as much of an indicator for future health as once thought. And the power of food to change cells/DNA is now widely recognized. There is also something to be said for food made at home and with love. I know that sounds corny, but your energy and the energy of the environment changes the energy of the food. You just don’t know if your restaurant has people preparing your food who are sick, overworked, angry, etc. and you probably don’t want their negative energy in your family’s food. The same way you probably don’t want meat with hormones and antibiotics from sick cows/chickens, raised in poor conditions, in your body.  The food you eat becomes your blood, and your blood creates your cells, tissues, hair, thoughts, feelings, etc. You are largely what you eat and specifically what your body assimilates. Don’t get me started on transfats and artificial colors and preservatives. I’ll save that for a future post 🙂

Ingredients Are Way More Important Than Calories

If you’re reading this blog to get tips on being healthy, then you probably don’t frequent McDonalds (or similar) all that often. Yay! But if you do, I wanted to share what I learned from  The Food Babe’s post because I agree wholeheartedly and  hope  you’ll share with the people you care about. Especially those with kids, because all these dangerous chemicals effect little ones the most. In an effort to promote their “healthiness,” McDonalds will now be sharing calorie count information. But what we REALLY need to know is information like the fact that they are putting hidden msg, carcinogenic caramel coloring and corn syrup in their “100% Angus Beef Patty.”  Calories mean nothing when the ingredients are horrific, and eating fewer of them will NOT make you healthier!