Gluten-Free Simplicity

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Way #37: Soul Searching About Long-Term Effects of Gluten Relapse Might Help Point Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on January 5, 2009

Way #37: Soul Searching About Long Term Effects of Gluten Relapse Might Help Point Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  In the short-term, exposure to Gluten or Gluten-Relapse for those attempting to live Gluten-Free, has varying effects on different people.  This can run from headaches, gas, other gastro problems, skin irritation, moodiness etc… to fatigue, histamine reactions and body pains.

  In the long-term, the effects of Gluten-Relapse are not 100% clear to the Scientific Community. 

  But don’t go into Denial just yet. 

Sometimes Gluten-Denial can set in like sky hooks of light (c.2009, WTB)

Sometimes Gluten-Denial can set in like sky hooks of light (c.2009, WTB)

 Let me put it this way.  In 2001, a research article reported:

“There are no conclusive data on the threshold of gluten sensitivity of coeliac patients. Information as to the long-term risk to coeliac patients exposed to small doses of gliadin is lacking. Therefore, every effort should be made to keep the diet of coeliac patients as gluten-free as possible” http://www.eurojgh.com/pt/re/ejgh/abstract.00042737-200106000-00023.htm;jsessionid=Jp5R7Tlp4q2LwvfC00j6JYyZDhvXQP1LdRJfzS4d1vhDyTlW7QfG!-482373940!181195629!8091!-1.

  One needs to first understand that the act of Science is careful, logical, deliberate and very slow.  This is OK.  If we hurried it up too much then scientific findings would be even less valid and reliable than they sometimes are.

  In a study of long-term follow-up of Celiac patients on a Gluten-Free Diet, researchers in 2002 reported,

“Celiac disease is often poorly controlled in the majority of patients on long-term treatment with a gluten-free diet as demonstrated by intestinal biopsy. Lack of adherence to strict gluten-free diet is the main reason of poorly controlled disease in adults” http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Aktion=ShowAbstract&ArtikelNr=000066757&Ausgabe=228780&ProduktNr=223838.

  In short, these articles and additional information tell us that:

  1. For a person with Celiac Disease, no amount of Gluten is known to be safe, and
  2. In the long-term, persons with Celiac Disease, even persons who are reportedly on a Gluten-Free diet, have a difficult time keeping the Celiac Disease under control.
  3. “The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Doctors may ask a newly diagnosed person to work with a dietitian on a gluten-free diet plan.” http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/index.htm. “To stay well, people with celiac disease must avoid gluten for the rest of their lives. Eating even a small amount of gluten can damage the small intestine. The damage will occur in anyone with the disease, including people without noticeable symptoms. Depending on a person’s age at diagnosis, some problems will not improve, such as short stature and dental enamel defects”  http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/index.htm.

  Meanwhile, if not able to become and stay Gluten-Free, it is back to:

“abdominal bloating and pain
chronic diarrhea
vomiting
constipation
pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
weight loss
unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
fatigue
bone or joint pain
arthritis
bone loss or osteoporosis
depression or anxiety
tingling numbness in the hands and feet
seizures
missed menstrual periods
infertility or recurrent miscarriage
canker sores inside the mouth
an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis” (http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/index.htm).

Also, consider:

There is also an increased mortality rate in celiac disease that is about two to four times that of the general population. The increased mortality is mainly due to malignancies. The increased mortality returns to that of the general population after about 5 years on a gluten-free diet. This is the main reason that patients are advised to remain on a strict gluten-free diet”  http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.edu/A_Patients/A03-WhatAre.htm.

  Back to the original idea of a Soul-Search.  Does anyone really want to live with these symptoms?  Is a trade of an occasional piece of pizza or birthday cake really worth it?

  These are questions that only a person can answer for themselves.

  Now on the other hand, in the long run, I would guess that the long-term effects of Celiac Disease and the effects of these symptoms over time would ware any normal person down.  Thus perhaps create additional problems that become not only the concern of the afflicted, but also the concern of those who have to care for this person.  Then I think, would I want to be a burden to anyone else?  No, not really.

  So it comes down to the facts that Relapses with Gluten can lead to lots of pain for me as well as pain for others.  Totally uncool!  I don’t wan to hurt myself.  And I don’t want for anyone else to hurt because of me.  Surely, the fact that I have CD is not my fault.  And shame is probably NOT an effective way to prevent Gluten-Relapse.  But with the long-term as it appears to be and with clear choices that can certainly effect the present and probably the future.  I think I can choose to remain Gluten-Free.

  As for you or anyone else, I cannot say what they “SHOULD” do.  That’s why I suggest Soul-Searching.  According to WikiAnswers, “Soul Searching” is “The act of facing one’s inmost self with courage, determined to bring every ulterior thought, emotion, and motive to light”  (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_soul_searching_mean). 

  I figure you can take it from here and do what is best.  As for me, I will try and try again.

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2 Responses to “Way #37: Soul Searching About Long-Term Effects of Gluten Relapse Might Help Point Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity”

  1. Hey thanks for posting the link from my blog. I have no idea how you found me. That one post attracted a lot of lurker attention. I will have to show this to my husband who is the medical researcher and health guy in our house.

  2. I follow your posts for a long time and should tell you that your posts always prove to be of a high value and quality for readers.

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