What About Whole Wheat?
So for all of you who have been eating whole wheat products and think whole wheat bread is a better choice (I once did as well), it is important to know that wheat has been hybridized to create a high-yielding wheat plants with much higher amounts of starch and gluten and contains proteins that never before existed in nature. Sounds a bit like Frankenfood to me. Todays wheat plants, Triticum aestivum, or modern wheat are more than two feet shorter, the result of years and years of cross-breeding and hybridization designed to make our agricultural products resistant to drought and better performing. This modern-day wheat is different from the gluten proteins found in wheat as recently as 1960. Gluten has deliberately been increased from 4% to 17%
Dr. William Davis, a preventive cardiologist and author of Wheat Belly, explains, “It contains amylopectin A, which is more efficiently converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate, including table sugar. In fact, two slices of whole wheat bread increase blood sugar to a higher level than a candy bar does. And then, after about two hours, your blood sugar plunges and you get shaky, your brain feels foggy, you’re hungry. So let’s say you have an English muffin for breakfast. Two hours later you’re starving, so you have a handful of crackers, and then some potato chips, and your blood sugar rises again. That cycle of highs and lows just keeps going throughout the day, so you’re constantly feeling hungry and constantly eating. Dieticians have responded to this by advising that we graze throughout the day, which is just nonsense. If you eliminate wheat from your diet, you’re no longer hungry between meals because you’ve stopped that cycle. You’ve cut out the appetite stimulant, and consequently you lose weight very quickly. I’ve seen this with thousands of patients.”
So How do I Know if I am Gluten Intolerant?
Conduct your own experiment and see for yourself – your body will let you know. Remove gluten containing grains for your diet . Ideally for 3-4 weeks but even 7 days can make a difference. If after that 4-week period you discover new mental clarity, stable moods, better sleep, relief from joint pain, happier intestines, less bloating, then you’ve got our answer!
Chances are if you ask your doctor about gluten intolerance, unless you have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease they won’t acknowledge it. If you do want to be checked for Celiac Disease, according to celiac.com, “Of the two tests, the IGA gliadin and IGA endomysial tests are the most accurate. However, this test can become negative relatively quickly after going on a gluten-free diet (3-6 months), which can cause a false negative test result. The IGG is less specific, and can sometimes be positive in non-celiacs. Also, about 4% of celiacs have no IgA at all! For these reasons it is very important that both tests are done for an accurate diagnosis. The biopsy is still considered the “standard candle” to confirm a blood diagnosis, and give a 100% sure diagnosis.”
Be assured that you can be tested negative for Celiac Disease and still be gluten intolerant. A recent double blind, placebo controlled Australian study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology strongly suggested the presence of this form of nonceliac gluten sensitivity or intolerance, but was unable to determine the cause. Yet it remains largely unrecognized by conventional medicine.
Bring this research to your doctor to prove your point. You can still have gluten intolerance without a diagnosis of celiac disease and this new research proves them wrong. Celiac disease results when the body creates antibodies against the wheat (adaptive immunity), but another kind of gluten sensitivity results from a generalized activated immune system (innate immunity). (7)
Gluten Intolerance Causes Multiple Nutritional Deficiencies
When you have gluten intolerance your body does not absorb fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and E and K as efficiently as well as the essential fatty acids. EFA’s are critical for women with PCOS because we use these to make all our reproductive hormones and adrenal hormones including estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, cortisol and DHEA. Other nutritional deficiencies include a calcium, folic acid, iron and vitamin B12 (which may already be low due to taking Metformin.
Don’t Start Eating Gluten Free Junk Food
Eating Gluten-free doesn’t give you carte blanche to eat gluten free pretzels, brownies, bagels and cookies. These are still highly processed food. Processed food has a high glycemic load. Just because it is gluten-free, doesn’t mean it is healthy. Stick to gluten-free whole grains like amaranth, buckwheat or kasha (not to be confused with Kashi products they are NOT gluten free) corn, millet, quinoa, rice (stick with brown or black), sorghum and teff are all gluten free grains. Oats are inherently gluten-free, but are frequently contaminated with wheat during growing or processing. Several companies like Bob’s Red Mill offer pure, uncontaminated oats. Limit servings of gluten free bread and pastas to 1 serving a day or even a few times a week.
Have you Gone Gluten-Free
Please share your experience with us in the comments below. Has eating gluten free helped with reducing your PCOS symptoms? If you are going to do the experiment, please come back and let us know your findings!
(5) World Journal of Gastroenterology 2007; 13(10).
(6) Digestive Diseases and Sciences, February 2000;45:403-406.)