Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains, including oats, rye, spelt, kamut, barley and triticale. It also lurks in obvious foods, like bread, pizza crust, pasta and rolls. But it’s also often hidden in processed foods and items like beer, salad dressing, soup mixes and soy sauce.
“Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract and more,” explainss Dr. Mark Hyman on his wellness blog. Here are some of the diseases it may cause or worsen.
Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones. It affects 20 million people worldwide and is responsible for over 1 million fractures a year. Many people are advised to increase their calcium intake as a way to build and strengthen their bones. But the staff at the HealthNOW clinic in California actually recommend removing dairy products (though not leafy green vegetables, as the bones still need calcium) and gluten, too. “Having worked with patients for two decades, we have found that bone density often improves on a gluten-free diet,” they report here. “Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease. If a dietary change makes an improvement, it should be utilized in all who are affected.”