Trend, fad, fact, or fiction. Living a gluten free lifestyle has certainly stirred up a lot of controversy. Back in Biblical times, wheat was a staple. It was an integral part of life. So what happened? Why are so many people turning their back on something that was such a staple for life? Could it be a hoax? A trick that the food industry has created to cause us to invest in the more expensive "gluten free foods" that are higher in calories? Here is the truth. Over time the grains wheat, barley and rye has evolved. This is part of the natural evolution of plants. (This is different than genetically modified organisms/GMO's) The problem is, humans have evolved at a slower rate. So, at this moment in time, we no longer have the proper enzymes to correctly digest "gluten" From wheat, barley and rye. What this means is in healthy digestion, we need to take that protein (picture a piece of gluten, aka a brick) and digest it into very fine pieces of "sand". This is normal digestion. Because we no longer have the proper enzymes to do this, that "brick" might get broken into big "chunks". The body does not respond well to "chunks". These "chunks" make the body physiology very crabby because it only knows what to do with the "sand". Now here is the tricky part. Some people's physiology doesn't care about the "chunks". It is still able to carry on. They are unable to digest it, but the body does not make a fuss over it. Unfortunately, there are others that don't do well with "chunks". Because they can't digest it, they may feel bloated, get a head ache, and become gassy. This is more of an allergy response. For others (myself included in this group) it can cause an autoimmune response. Oh, oh! Now this could be dangerous! When the body has an autoimmune response, what that means is the body has gotten confused. It starts to attack its own body tissue and destroys the area under attack. When it attacks the intestinal lining we call it Celiac disease. If it attacks the brain, it is called dementia, cerebellar ataxia, or Alzheimer's disease. For others it may attack the heart which could lead to a heart attack. Get the picture? So, the big question is how is your body responding to eating wheat, barley or rye? The only way you know is to test to see to what degree you are having difficulty. Keep in mind, if you wait for a "symptom" to pop up, damage has already been done, and for our teenagers, we are finding a correlation with teenage suicide and gluten issues! Yikes! For those who have already eliminated "gluten" from their diet, they may not be out of danger. Gluten causes inflammation, and if the inflammatory damage is not corrected, eliminating gluten is not enough. To gain clarity around this very confusing issue it is critical to work with a "Certified Gluten Practitioner" such as myself to see where the issue is and what needs to be done to put out the fire of inflammation that may be simmering. Remember, no one can digest it. Yes, that pizza and beer may truly be killing you!