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Crohn’s and Gluten

While Celiac and Crohn’s patients experience some differences in how the diseases affect their bodies, both conditions benefit immensely from a gluten-free diet with Crohn’s. In the past, doctors have prescribed a healthy diet for IBD sufferers without a restriction on wheat intake. Recent studies into the consumption of gluten, however, have revealed that individuals with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis should reduce their gluten intakes to best care for their GI systems. Here are three reasons to limit your gluten if you have IBD:

  1. Crohn’s and Celiac are related diseases.

The common genetic variants between the two diseases are quite similar, as they both have to do with an immune response to a perceived threat. Crohn’s diseases mistakenly responds directly to gut bacteria, possibly affecting the entire tract, while Celiac is relegated to the small intestine. One of the most interesting aspects of these two diseases is that people with Crohn’s have a higher risk of developing Celiac and vice versa.

  1. Wheat causes “leaky gut.”

An immunotoxic protein called gliadin is one of the main culprits in wheat gluten. Upon reaching the gut, gliadin causes the body to secrete zonulin, which opens up gaps in your intestinal cells. This phenomenon happens not only in those with Celiac or Crohn’s; anyone who consumes wheat may experience “leaky gut.”

  1. The concentration of irritants in wheat gluten is higher than ever before.

In the late twentieth century, genetic botanists created the 18-inch wheat plant, which increased the yield-per-acre for wheat farmers. While that is good news for feeding the masses, the side effect was an increase in proteins that irritate the intestinal system. Ergo, wheat bread is more likely to cause problems nowadays in individuals suffering from IBS.

Fortunately, there are a number of gluten-free options to choose from these days, so your only hurdle is avoiding wheat gluten itself. Limit your gluten, and make your gut a happy one!

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