"Gluten is not bad for you," says Dr Tom O'Bryan, my guest today on the Radiant Body Summit. "Bad gluten is bad for you. It's the toxic glutens of wheat, rye, and barley that we talk about with gluten sensitivity."
Dr O'Bryan draws a distinction between these three "bad gluten" foods, and the rest of the family of proteins of most grains. The real solution to having a gluten sensitivity is taking these three foods out of your diet completely, because they can cause a whole lot of unexpected issues.
Dr O'Bryan is a functional medicine doctor, specializing in autoimmune dysfunctions and diseases. The tricky thing about autoimmune disorders is that they manifest in very different ways. One person may get symptoms of MS, and another person gets rheumatoid arthritis, and treating these individual conditions will not make the underlying disorder go away. Tom likened it to a chain, which breaks at the weakest link. Whatever your genetic weakest link is, that is where you're going to see problems.
Having an autoimmune dysfunction is like a part-time job, I can tell you from experience. There are so many tests I have to do for my thyroid condition! Speaking with Dr O'Bryan today revealed some great things to do (and to avoid) for my own health, and for anyone with an autoimmune disorder.
3 Substances that Compete for Thyroid Receptor Sites
Even though I may have normal levels of thyroid hormones in my bloodstream, they sometimes can't get into the thyroid receptors, especially if I have been exposed to chlorine, fluoride, or bromide. Those three chemicals will lodge in my thyroid receptor, preventing my thyroid from getting the hormones it needs. Dr Tom recommends getting a chlorine filter on my shower head, because chlorine in tap water can easily be absorbed by the largest organ in our bodies - the skin. I already use fluoride-free toothpaste, and bromide is mostly used as a baking agent, so eating a gluten-free diet reduces my risk there.
Anatomy of Autoimmune Disorders
An autoimmune disease is when your immune system is attacking your own tissue. We don't want to nullify the immune system, however; the immune system is doing exactly what it's supposed to be doing. We just need to figure out why it's attacking the tissue instead of invading bacteria. The answer, most of the time, lies in the gut.
70% of your immune system is in your gut. That is where the body sorts through all the new raw material it's taking in, and deciding what gets used to repair and fuel the body, and what needs to be attacked as an invader. If you are gluten intolerant, then this entire process can go awry.
Gluten Sensitivity Tests are Not Conclusive
If you take a blood test for gluten sensitivity, a positive result means that you have it. However, in tests where we know the person has a sensitivity, 50% of the time, the results come back negative. This makes testing spotty at best; if you think you have a gluten sensitivity, try taking it out of your diet for a few weeks, and see if you notice a big difference in your health and stamina. Get yourself tested, maybe a few times if necessary.
If you are gluten intolerant, or you have celiac disease, then the replays of the Gluten Summit contain a wealth of information for you to review. With 29 world renowned speakers (including Daniel Amen and JJ Virgin, two of next week's guests on the Radiant Body Summit) these summit replays that Dr O'Bryan is providing could contain all the information you need to navigate a gluten-free lifestyle.