What IS Gluten Anyway?? – Digestive Health Lesson #4

gluten-freeGluten is the latest buzz word in nutrition.

But, so many people have no idea what it is.

When friends of mine with PhD’s start asking for more info, it’s time for an article about gluten and why it’s a problem.

So, What is Gluten??

Gluten is a the protein found in the seed of wheat, barley, and rye.

the-gluten-protein-is-mainly-found-in-the-endosperm-of-grain-kernel-seedHere is definition from Celiac.org:

Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.
Read more here.

Why is it a problem? 

Gluten per se isn’t the problem for everyone (more on that below). It’s the amount of gluten in the standard american diet, and the tampering of the native seed.

When you look at the diets of most Americans, approximately 80% of meals have a gluten component. There is too much bread, breading, pasta, crackers, croutons, tortillas, etc. in our meals.

Gluten can be inflammatory for many people, too much gluten can be inflammatory for anyone. Inflammation can lead to other chronic diseases, I talk more about that in my article explaining how Inflammation is the root of most disease.

Chronic inflammation occurs because of a process called Intestinal Hyperpermeability, aka, Leaky Gut. I explain this process and how it leads to chronic inflammation in my first digestive health article.

The lifelong health issues I have come from being sensitive to gluten and dairy, but I do not have Celiac Disease and my sensitivity does not show up on allergy testing. That means absolutely nothing though. I learned more about Gluten sensitivity from a GI Specialist last spring during a Pediatric Conference at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Here are the numbers he shared…

  • 10% of our population has Celiac Disease
    • These people CANNOT eat gluten without major symptoms.
    • Many people in our population are undiagnosed, continuing to eat gluten will cause multiple health problems. Think ADHD, Thyroid issues, Irritable Bowel, Autism, Epilepsy, and the list goes on.
  • 40% of our population has Gluten Sensitivity
    • Symptoms are more subtle than Celiac Disease; stomach pain, headache, sinus issues, eczema, constipation, brain fog, lethargy, food cravings, mood swings, depression, anxiety, focus issues, etc.
    • It will get worse.
    • It will cause chronic inflammation and intestinal hyperpermeability.
    • It will most likely cause Celiac Disease if gluten is continually consumed, and will definitely lead to a host of other disease processes. (Please refer to the digestive health articles above for more details.)
    • **If you read some research, please note, some people in modern medicine will tell you there is no way to confirm gluten sensitivity. THIS IS NOT TRUE!! There is a way for doctors to check for gluten sensitivity!! It’s as easy as running a simple blood test for gluten immunoglobulins. I know this, because that’s how we found out my son cannot have gluten. When his Holistic Doctor did labs, the antibodies for gluten and wheat were 5-6 times normal. His Celiac tests and allergy tests are negative. I also know this because one of the top specialist in GI Pediatrics told me all the same stuff himself with research and a groovy powerpoint presentation!

One of the biggest reasons we need more awareness and sensitivity is the vast amount of food that contains gluten, and the vast amount of people, especially children that should not be eating it. If we look at the percentages above, 50% of our population should avoid gluten, yet, 80-90% of our public food choices contain gluten.

THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM FOR OUR CHILDREN AND FOR OUR FUTURE!!!brain-fog

If you think it’s hard to function as an adult with stomach pain and headaches and brain fog, try being a kid, sitting in school after eating mostly gluten for breakfast AND lunch and having anxiety and mood swings… Is it the kid? NO, it’s his food! AND IT’S CHANGING HIS FUTURE! And, he’s a problem in class sitting next to your kid, and that’s why you should care!

I could go on about how reducing our gluten intake has changed my family’s health, but I’ll invite you to read through my blog a little more to find that out, there’s plenty of evidence.

If you want to read how gluten breaks down in our system and causes damage, read how “Getting ‘Glutened’ is Drugging My Kid!!”

I share because I care. I want a better world for me and you and our children.

Please, practice wellness so you live a happier and healthier life. Your loved ones will be awfully glad you did! Enjoy the Journey! 🙂

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Photo compliments of glutenfreesociety.org 

 

 

Natural Cold (URI) Remedies

Yesterday, my girl was feeling bad, stuffy, headache, sore throat, a little nausea, and so upset about it all. She is such a healthy child, she doesn’t do sick well, it brings tears. This just means I need to try double hard to make it go away quicker… how do you chase a cold, a virus, away quicker? There aren’t meds for that… are there? Not the traditional medicines people think of, but there are remedies…. Natural URI Remedies Do Work!

honeyWhen Drew complained of a headache and sore throat… I went straight for the honey. Honey is soothing for a sore throat and helps to relieve coughing. The cough may not completely go away, and that’s ok, for good reason. Coughing is our body’s natural defense against foreign invaders in the lungs. Anything solid that starts to enter the airway gets coughed back up. So, the goal is not to suppress the cough, but eliminate the problem that is causing the cough. Easier said than done, you can learn more about coughs here.

I totally believe in herbal throat drops, I’ve used Ricola for years, and now use doTerra’s On Guard Throat drops too. Even before I knew all the good stuff about herbs and holistic health, I was using the Ricola. After 24-48 hours with a Ricola, I always have much less irritation, inflammation and coughing. Drew tried a few different flavors, but it’s not her things, she’s funny about anything minty, spicy, etc., and these fall into that catagory for her. She’s sticking to the honey. 😉

Peppermint_15mlFor headaches, we use peppermint and lavender essential oils. Me, I add a little citrus of some sort too, citrus scents are my fave, they’re uplifting. I used a blend of lavender, peppermint, oregano, eucalyptus, clove, and wild orange on Drew’s feet when she napped. Morgan has been using the same blend this week too. Lavender_15mlIn the past, I’ve used lavender and peppermint for migraines and had some relief, but found the migraine trigger needs to be eliminated before I’m getting complete relief from the migraine no matter how often I use my EOs. If you’re interested in more info about EOs, read my article about EO’s and how my family uses them. 

Homemade chicken soup with real bone broth is good to help boost the immune system. bone-brothBone broth is healing in so many ways, it’s good for the gut and the immune system. I buy my bone broth online from The Brothery or Thrive Market. Having good nutrition is going to help speed up the recovery process.

Always, always hydrate. The more hydrated, the easier it is for your body to flush the germs out. We prefer Vitamin Water. I like Vitamin Water because of the extra vitamins and minerals along with electrolytes, all necessary to rehydrate. Vitamin Water is made with real cane sugar or stevia instead of High Fructose Corn Syrup or other artificial sweeteners. Don’t forget the benefits of a good cup of hot natural herbal tea too.

Speaking of hydration, it’s really important to stay well hydrated with fevers. This is tough with young kids. Use whatever method you can to get hydration in them. I encourage only treating a fever with medication like motrin or tylenol if it’s high or if the child is really miserable. I usually use the 101s as my tipping point. A fever is the body’s way to fight off germs, so rushing to eliminate the fever isn’t always the best remedy. Read more about fevers in my previous article here.

A warm bath to help with relaxing and fever reduction can be a twofold remedy. 583__44742-1445018174-190-250Your body can rest, and the bath is a great way to help bring down a fever naturally. Rest is the path to healing. We put lavender bath salts and Everyday brand eucalyptus mint bubble bath (from Thrive Market) in the bath to help with relaxation (lavender) and to open the sinuses (eucalyptus and mint). The bath was the most helpful therapy of all, that’s when the tears disappeared and I started to see a twinkle of a tired smile.

How long does a URI last? This really depends on how healthy your immune system is and how capable it is. Most URIs last 7-10 days, peaking on days 2-4. If you are already dealing with other chronic issues, eating poor food, working too much, not getting enough rest, not staying hydrated, and just never take time to catch your breath, you are gonna get sick a little more often, it will probably be worse than in a healthier person, and it’s gonna take longer to recover. Just look around, there are examples of this theory everywhere. This is why wellness matters. 😉

If you want to recover quickly from a cold, you have to be healthy before you catch a cold. If you want to recover from any illness, you have to keep your immune system prepared to fight off whatever it encounters. That’s the most important job you have, taking care of you… That’s why I preach wellness.

Stay Healthy Friends, it’s the best way to Enjoy the Journey!

What are your remedies for a “cold” (aka Upper Respiratory Infection aka URI)??

Be educated. Be well. Kp 🙂

 

Getting ‘Glutened’ is Drugging My Kid! I’ve had it!! (Digestive Health Series, Part 3)

 

So, What does getting ‘glutened’ look like?

A. Laziness, fatigue

B. Anxious, depressed, irritable, angry

C. Disoriented, unaware, spaced out, Cognitive dysfunction

D. Stomach ache, migraine, joint pain

E. All of the above and then some!!!

Anyone that has talked with me knows this is a hot topic for me. What angers me the most is the total disregard of our society for the people that have true dietary issues that are ignored by the general population, including much of the medical population. As a nurse practitioner, I don’t like to say we’re missing things in medicine, but… WE ARE MISSING THINGS!!!!

As a mom, I knew there was more to it, and I knew I needed to keep searching for answers. Never. Give. Up. That’s going to be the name of my book. I’m not really a very good writer, avoided it like the plague in school. I have no idea where to start with a book, but it’s a goal of mine, and I need to share our story with other families. Moms need to know that it is worth every bit of energy you use figuring out how to help your child. 

He is so bright, it puts him on a different level. Friends started noticing it before I did, he put concepts together that 2 year olds just didn’t put together. He was smarter than some of the adults in his world and it caused problems. Problems that gradually got worse as the years went on. There were jokes about Einstein being thrown out of school, he even has a hat with Al on it. But, seriously, it took a decade of lots of struggles and difficulties to realize he wasn’t going to get better with prescriptions or school accommodation or anything else traditionally done for bright, ADHD kids. We’d been trying for years, and things were just getting worse… WHY???  Continue reading

Digestive Health Lesson #2 – It all Starts with Inflammation

Dr. Tanya Edwards, director of the Center for Integrative Medicine (Cleveland), wrote that inflammation is now recognized as the underlying basis of a significant number of diseases.

Inflammation

Inflammation 101

Inflammation defined by the free online medical dictionary: 1. A localized protective response elicited by injury or destruction of tissues, which serves to destroy, dilute, or wall off both the injurious agent and the injured tissue.  2.The inflammatory response can be provoked by physical, chemical, and biologic agents, including mechanical trauma, exposure to excessive amounts of sunlight, x-rays and radioactive materials, corrosive chemicals, extremes of heat and cold, or by infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogenic microorganisms. Although these infectious agents can produce inflammation, infection and inflammation are not synonymous.

Dr. Edwards points out that anti-inflammatory foods have been used to combat Cancer and many other diseases, i.e.: Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, many Autoimmune diseases, asthma. Here is the abstract from her article:  Continue reading

Experiment #2: Mo’s sinus issues (doTerra trio of relief)

What kind of relief can essential oils provide for sinuses?

I’ll be letting you know soon. I’m pleasantly surprised with the results we are seeing in just a few days.

We’ve started using lavender, lemon and peppermint to help with sinus relief. My husband has some of the worse sinus problems I’ve seen. He’s tried everything over the years, OTCs, prescriptions, allergy shots, netty pots, you name it, he’s done it… except essential oils.

We are 3 days in and my husband seems a little less congested. Things ebb and flow, so it may or may not be the oils. After a bit more time, I’ll be more certain of our results.

I also had him use a drop of eucalyptus oil on his maxillary sinuses yesterday morning. First, the smell was a bit strong, so the grimace on his face put me on guard, he was getting ready to use the “that voodoo stuff you do” on me….  In less than 30 seconds the eucalyptus oil was making a difference, and he had a different expression, a surprised, more pleasant look on his face. He didn’t say anything. He’s my forever skeptic. So, I can usually count on him for the truth, whether I want it or not. His silence spoke volumes. 😉

So, here’s what we are doing for Experiment #2:

Lavender_15mlBlending lavender, peppermint, and lemon (1-2 drops each) into our palms and rubbing together. Cupping hands about 8-10 inches away from our nose and slowly breathing in.

After smelling the wonderful aroma, we are rubbing it on other areas of our body to promote absorption, the back of the neck, wrists, and bottoms of feet. Drew likes to rub a bit over her heart too.

We’re all doing it twice a day, morning and before bed.lemon

Tonight, while I’m try to finish up these details about EO Experiment #2, guess who comes and ask me for his oils? Be right back. 😉

Maybe there is something to this “voodoo” essential oil stuff….

Peppermint_15mlWarning: I do not recommend taking a really deep breath in the beginning, it can be quite overwhelming.  I do recommend you start slow, the aromas are potent. Take a small breath until you get used to the aroma and its powerfulness, then you can breath it in a little deeper and continue taking a few deep breaths. Rub into your feet if the aroma is too strong to be on the back of your neck. Josh prefers his feet.

 

Update on Experiment #1: Josh and Drew both took tissues with oils to school. Josh took wild orange/vetiver. Drew took lavender/lemon. I got a “good” from them both when I picked them up. Not a lot of details except about how powerful the aroma was coming out of Josh’s cubby when he opened it. So, maybe all of the 8th grade around his cubby will be focusing better.

I am really enjoying the research I am doing  and knowledge I am gathering about all of the wonderful, natural uses of these oils. I wish I knew sooner! I highly recommend you learn a little too. I bet it will change your world like it has mine.

I’d love to know if you have any essential oils secrets, please share in the comments below. The rest of us will keep your secret too. 😉

If you are interested in more info, contact me. As always, I hope you Enjoy the Journey!

*Using essential oils can assist you on your path to ultimate health and wellness. Please be advised that Essential Oil practices discussed on this website are not intended to replace the advice of your medical provider. Please learn about essential oils before you use them.