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!

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