Does ingesting trace amounts of gluten here and there really make a difference?

Can I eat just a little gluten?

What do you think when someone on the plane coughs a few seats behind you? Are you thinking "Well, I am probably going to get whatever that is." Our immune systems can respond to very minute particles in the air. In fact, one little viral exposure can lead to our entire body having flu symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, lethargy, and mucous build up. It appears that this type of reaction to minute particles may happen in some people with gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease as well. A letter to the editor in the New England Journal of Medicine (see link below) highlights two cases of non-reponsive Celiac patients that resolved their symptoms when they wore a dust mask when pouring animal feed in to a trough. The animal feed was 30% barley, which is a gluten containing grain. The dust from that feed was enough to evoke symptoms in both of these patients.
In an interview with Dr. Alessio Fasano, I asked him what he thought about my rule of "100% effort equals 100% results" when being strict with gluten exposure. He whole-heartedly agreed and replied "99% effort equals zero results". So remember, when you're eliminating gluten from your diet, 100% effort = 100% results!


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I know Einkorn Wheat has gluten but some studies say it is different in structure to the modern wheat gluten. I have given it a try and do not have the fatigue symptoms and foggy mind that I do with modern wheat but I do take natural thyroid medicine and wonder if I should eat it at all. Some say people with thyroid issues should not consume any gluten.

Hi Carrie! Thanks so much for your comment. If you have a history of reacting to wheat and other sources of gluten, I would question whether Einkorn was a good choice of grain to consume. I have had too many clients over the years that find out that they do not tolerate ANY source of gluten at all. Including Einkorn. Even though you do not have symptoms that are recognizeable, it is possible that you may have a low-grade inflammatory response in your intestines that could be contributing to an increase risk of disease. As you will find on our website, blog, and in our books, there are plenty of other options available that can replace the gluten-containing grains. 

Your comment on thyroid function is interesting. If you have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, this tells us that you are likely producing elevated levels of antibodies to your thyroid gland and/or associated enzymes that alter thyroid function. Gluten has been identified as a possible initiator of intestinal permeability and immune cell excitation that may be associated with autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's. As a result, some thyroid experts do recommend you avoid gluten if you have elevated antibodies. 

I wish you the best of health Carrie! Thanks again for contacting us!

To be honest, I truly believe that modern wheat is the problem.
People have been eating wheat for 6000 years without any problem.
I don't believe Egyptians 3000 years ago had so many diseases from gluten.
But now they have genetically modified it and here we are with a lot of sensitivities.
Dr Charlotte Gerson said "Wheat used to be good quality cereal with 74% protein but now it has less than 4%".
So Monsanto did a great job in destroying it.
I'm European but soon they'll allow glyphosate here, I believe.
They want us all sick so that they can vaccinate us weekly, if possible.

I don’t think all celiacs are the same. Or all gluten Sensitive. My relative has celiac and did not have symptoms with every wheat consumption. It was hard to nail down. I think SOME people react to even tiny amounts of gluten. Some celiacs with severe damage don’t have symptoms. Some with severe symptoms don’t show intestinal damage. I think 100% gluten free is impossible and people are kidding themselves. The more symptoms you’ve had and certainly if you’ve had intestinal damage the more careful you’ll be. It’s possible those with celiac that doesn’t heal have other issues too. It’s often comorbid with other autoimmune illnesses. Making people feel they can never ingest even a tiny bit of gluten is so psychologically distressing and ridiculous. Even the peanut allergic carry an epipen because in reality exposures happen. And one good thing about celiac is that it’s not life threatening if managed. And I think it’s ludicrous to ever say gluten amount doesn’t matter. If a celiac goes hog wild eating a ton of gluten severe malabsorption will likely be the result whereas this is highly improbable from ingesting small amounts. To date I know of no study showing small ingestion leads to intestine damage. If you already have it it needs to heal and that wouldn’t be a controlled study including anyone who already had damage. I just think people need to manage as best they can. Get monitored. I don’t think 99% effort yields zero results for the majority. I’m not recommending eating gluten! I’m just saying consumption of small amounts is very likely even for conscientious dieters. Some will react. Some won’t! Celiac is a great mystery.

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