How Important is it to be 100% Gluten Free?

Post by Stephani Waldron-Trapp, N.D.
September 17, 2016

The importance of being 100% gluten free depends on the severity of your sensitivity and/or if you make antibodies (an internal army) to gluten when you are exposed to it.

Antibodies are your body’s natural defense system against foreign substances (things that are not supposed to be in our body) like viruses, bacteria, or other micro-organisms. When we have increased permeability (leakiness) in our gastrointestinal tract, then food particles are absorbed into our blood stream. These particles are not supposed to be there so they are considered foreign and our body makes antibodies against them.

Gluten causes leakiness in the gastrointestinal tract, even if there is no sensitivity. This means that gluten leads to antibody production to foods, and thus can lead to any type of food sensitivity, especially to gluten. Anyone can make antibodies to gluten. However, people who are more likely to make these antibodies include those that have Celiac Disease, those that have other autoimmune conditions, or those that are just gluten sensitive.

Because of the inflammatory effect gluten has on the gastrointestinal tract, it can potentially lead to increased risk for autoimmune conditions as well. These antibodies to gluten can begin to attack self-tissue, an autoimmune reaction. And like I mentioned in an earlier post, it only takes 1/10,000 of a particle of a gluten to trigger antibody production. If you want to reduce the likelihood of continued damage, or if you have an autoimmune condition or want to prevent autoimmune conditions, it is fairly important to avoid gluten 100%.

If you have questions about gastrointestinal health, food sensitivities, autoimmune conditions, or other health concerns, please feel free to reach out to me. I would be happy to offer you safe and effective natural treatment options along with lifestyle recommendations to achieve optimal health and feel your best.