The Paleo Diet and Celiac Disease

How can the paleo diet help those with celiac disease?

Firstly, let’s discuss what Celiac disease is

Celiac disease is a condition where in response to the consumption of foods that contain gluten, the intestinal walls become damaged. This damage prevents the intestines from absorbing nutrients properly, and ultimately causes (along with a state of chronic inflammation) nutritional deficiencies.

The exact cause of the disease is unknown. However, from a paleo standpoint, the likely culprit is probably the combination of gluten, lectins and anti-nutrients found in grains, or any food that contains the aforementioned substances. There is no point in life where an individual would be more or less likely to develop the condition. Everyone, of any age is susceptible.

People who have developed Celiac disease are more likely to develop additional conditions such as the following:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Down syndrome
  • Intestinal cancer
  • Intestinal lymphoma
  • Have lactose intolerance
  • Thyroid problems
  • Diabetes, specifically type 1

What are Celiac disease symptoms?

Due to the variations in symptoms from person to person, Celiac disease is often not diagnosed or considered right away during diagnosis.

Some of the gastrointestinal symptoms of Celiac disease are:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Constipation problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unnatural/unexplained weight loss
  • Depression
  • Nosebleeds
  • Hair loss
  • Poor weight gain
paleo-diet-celiac-disease
Villi affected by Celiac disease

Diagnosis of Celiac disease:

Unfortunately, Celiac disease is currently incurable. However, it is treatable through dietary changes such as the paleo diet and the lifestyle it promotes, namely the complete removal of gluten. Diagnosis is only possible if you are currently experiencing symptoms, so don’t cut out gluten if you are currently undergoing diagnosis for Celiac disease. Having said that, nothing bad will come from totally removing gluten and grains from your diet. 

How Celiac disease can be treated with the paleo diet

The paleo diet involves the removal of almost all foods which contain gluten. Foods containing gluten are typically grains and the products they are used in such as bread. Similar to Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease has to do with inflammation and the immune response associated with it. The goal of Crohn’s and Celiac disease sufferers should be the termination of inflammation of the body, starting with the intestines.

This may sound like a difficult, and perhaps to some, impossible task to achieve. In reality though it is completely possible to remove inflammation from the intestines through diet. It seems like a logical, obvious choice to remove the cause of the problem from the equation. In this case it is gluten. However, from a holistic approach and perspective with regards to the diet, it is best to remove the offending food group entirely; grains.

Have a look at this case of how the paleo diet helped deal with Celiac disease.

How to get started on the paleo diet to help treat Celiac disease…

If you are ready to dive in to the magically healing world of paleo, sign up for our newsletter and receive your free copy of the 7 Step Paleo Fast Track Guide. In it, you will find all the information you need to align yourself with paleo principles that will help deal with Celiac disease symptoms safely and doctor’s medication free.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Andrew.

Crohn’s Treatment Diet: Treating Crohn’s Disease With Paleo

Could paleo principles be used as an effective Crohn’s treatment diet?

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohns disease is an inflammatory bowel disease which can affect any or all parts of the gastrointestinal tract. The disease essentially causes the body to attack its own intestinal wall cells because of a chronic state of inflammation. This action may result in a multitude of symptoms, including abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and weight loss. Sufferers of the disease have also reported feeling exhausted constantly, being only able to stand for short periods, and having low strength.

Existing Crohn’s medications

Crohn’s disease is generally treated as an autoimmune disease, although recently it has been regarded as an immunodeficient state. Treatment usually consists of a combination of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Corticosteroids can also be administered depending on severity of inflammation. Due to the nature of steroid medications, they are not used to treat Crohn’s disease for the long term as they cause some severe side-effects.

Lifestyle changes are also prescribed to sufferers, such as the cessation of smoking, decrease in fiber intake and portion control. With regards to fatigue and exhaustion, exercise can help to maintain muscle strength and promote higher energy levels.

crohns-disease
Surgery unfortunately doesn’t help Crohn’s disease sufferers…

How paleo can help: A Crohn’s disease treatment that is natural

Because the paleo diet is focused on removing and recovering from diet-induced inflammation, it is particularly suited at providing an avenue of relief for Crohn’s disease sufferers. For starters, grains are highly inflammatory, and should be removed from the diet immediately. The aim of any Crohn’s disease sufferer should be to decrease the amount of inflammation they suffer from, and by removing inflammation-inducing foods from the diet this can be achieved relatively quickly. Because the paleo diet can be applied as a natural Crohn’s  disease treatment with no side effects, it has great long term prospects and requires no taking of medication to be effective.

The paleo diet focuses on proving the body with foods it evolved to eat. Grains, legumes, sugar and large amounts of carbohydrates are not good foods for the body. The largest offender in terms of causing inflammation here is without a doubt gluten and its partner in crime lectins. Gluten is a dangerous protein found in grains, and can cause inflammation of the intestines due to it globbing up and binding to the intestinal walls. This then promotes an immune system response, which basically causes the body to attack the infected tissue. As a Crohn’s disease sufferer, you are already predisposed to suffering from a similar state of the immune system attacking its own body, so eating gluten and lectin rich foods is like throwing napalm in a fire.

Unfortunately, many Crohn’s disease patients are advised by their doctors to continue eating grains and foods which contain gluten and lectins. This advice is terrible, and sufferers who manage to beat the initial bout of symptoms have these very same symptoms return once they are weaned off of medication. 

For an example of how the paleo diet helps Crohn’s disease sufferers, click here to read a story about a women who regained health after battling inflammation for four years.

Here is another article about how the paleo diet helps Crohn’s disease sufferers.

Take aways and what you can do right now

This article has covered how most people’s diets are not consistent and inflammatory free as they should be. We have spoken about the evils of glutens and lectins and have discussed how some people have managed to treat and ultimately rid themselves of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

If you would like to learn more about how the paleo diet and a paleo lifestyle could benefit you and your quest to rid yourself of Crohn’s disease, or if you would just like to get healthy in general, why not subscribe and receive the free 7 step paleo fast track guide. 

 

Keep well,

Andrew

 

 

Grains And Inflammation

What is the relationship between grains and inflammation?

If you’ve read much of my blog and articles on the paleo diet, you’ve noticed that the evils of grains is a recurring topic. The reason for their evil is that they contribute to inflammation in the intestines. This state of inflammation is caused mainly by lectins and gluten. Two proteins which globule up and promote, in some cases, a chronic level of inflammation. This is bad because when this chronic level of inflammation is achieved the body operates at an alarmingly retarded level of efficiency.

Anti-nutrients are also part of grain’s arsenal. What are anti-nutrients exactly? They are, simply put, remnants of a plant’s natural chemical defence against animals eating them. This is bad for our human digestive processes, because some of these anti-nutrients die hard, even after they have been cooked.

Why do grains cause inflammation in the body?

Lectins, for example, are effective at making the intestines inflamed. Once consumed, they globule up in the intestines and bind to its walls. Lectins also cause leptin resistance, which is not favourable because it means that the body becomes less efficient and effective at processing fats in the body. They also contribute to a deterioration in the metabolic system, which ultimately means that the body gets less effective at staying alive. Not cool!

Gluten is another protein which is detrimental to the human body’s health. This is largely due to the response it promotes in the human body. When gluten is consumed, one of its key proteins gliadin is detected by the body and determined to be a threat. This promotes a antibody response. So, simply put, gluten is treated by your body as an invader trying to wreak havoc. It tries to destroy gluten. For the most part, it is this prolonged eating of gluten that promotes the most inflammation in the intestines. The body is sensitive to even small amounts of gluten, and think about it, most people eat gluten every single day, sometimes for every single meal. It is no wonder grains cause inflammation with a weapon such as gluten in it’s toolset.

Thirdly, as if you needed more evidence of gluten’s foul play, are phytates. which ultimately make nutrients unavailable to the body. This goes against the “common” knowledge that grains are rich in minerals and vitamins. That statement is redundant and untrue if the very food (grains) being promoted blocks the absorption of nutrients.

grains-and-inflammation
Ouch…

Why are grains so hostile?

Grains, or rather certain plants, have developed abilities to passively protect themselves from predators. This means that parts of the plant are either inedible, cause discomfort or worse, or are merely indigestible. For the latter, most fruits’ seeds are impossible to digest in humans, and so are passed through the body as waste. This means that ultimately, in the “natural world“, seeds are dispersed.

Unfortunately for us humans, we haven’t adapted to eating grains and their gluten, lectins and phytates. While animals such as certain birds, antelope and other mainly herbivorous animals are okay at digesting these compounds, for us humans the process is problematic and really something we shouldn’t be attempting.

How you can reduce inflammation

Basically, the easiest and most effective way of removing a source of inflammation in the body is well, to remove it. By stopping the consumption of gluten, you will stop the ingestion of gluten, phytates and those nasty lectins. The paleo lifestyle is particularly focused at a grain and gluten free diet as part of great health. Actioning paleo principles in your diet could be the simplest and most effective way for you to decrease inflammation.

To learn why grains are so bad for you in much more detail, consider buying my book on the paleo diet. In it, I tackle many, many issues just like inflammation causing grains and focus on simplifying paleo concepts into bite sized chunks. Check it out here.