About 5 years ago, I visited Dr. Karyn Mitchell in Saint Charles, Illinois, a visit. She had come highly recommended to me by a friend who is also into holistic healing modalities and natural therapies. Dr. Mitchell is not only an accomplished naturopathic physician, she is a well-known author, speaker, and degreed psychologist (PhD). Her extraordinary practice and background would explain the 5-month wait I experienced to see her.
And my consultation with her was worth the wait.
The Discovery About Gluten and Me
In my session with Dr. Mitchell, she told me that I was likely allergic to gluten, given my ethnic background. She indicated that she has observed the gluten sensitivity issue with thousands of clients in her practice.. Dr. Mitchell also shared with me that my body had entered an auto-immune condition, where my body was literally attacking itself due to reactions against the gluten protein. In other words, gluten was putting my body on high alert with "foreign invaders" as a result of the antibody response from gluten.
Research shows that people with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis (celiac disease which manifests as a skin rash) are at greater risk than the general population for developing one or more associated autoimmune diseases. The range of autoimmune diseases related to celiac disease includes Type 1 Diabetes, thyroid disease, autoimmune chronic active hepatitis, Raynaud’s Phenomenon, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and others.
Dr. Mark Hyman also cited a recent large study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and “latent” celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer. So while some of the public may scoff at gluten allergies, I, as well as the medical community, take this health issue seriously.
At my consultation with Dr. Karyn Mitchell, I decided to take her advice and removed gluten from my diet. For the bread and pasta lovers like me, it was EASY. In fact, Trader Joe's has numerous gluten-free foods, including GF breads, pasta, beverages, and cereals.
What I Experienced After Going Gluten-Free
Within 24 hours of going gluten-free, my energy surged. The sinus infections that I had been getting once or twice a year disappeared, and I noticed that regular bloating after eating went away as well. Other allergies and sensitivities that I had literally vanished.
The common drowsiness that people talk about after eating carbs? That disappeared too. For me, I’m convinced it was because my body was dealing with the burdens of gluten, the wheat protein that is not only in breads, but in a lot of other things. It’s exhausting for the body to fight unnecessary battles!
I even observed that a number of gray hairs had reverted back to their natural color. For me, it seemed as though gluten had caused the aging process to accelerate. (Anyone want to reverse their aging process?? ME TOO!)
Gluten is found in many foods — not just breads that contain wheat. You can ingest and absorb gluten from a number of food sources, as well as cosmetics, gravy, hot dogs, and even vitamin supplements that contain gluten as a binding agent. And just because the label says “wheat-free” doesn’t mean that it has no gluten. READ THE LABELS!
The Hidden Sources of Gluten
Here are some resources that contain lists of hidden sources of gluten. And here, too.
The Best Meal I Eat Every Day
The other thing that I started to do to improve my health was to eat a green veggie smoothie every morning, which I have been doing for at least five years. It is the BEST thing I can put into my body. With the green smoothie, I feel full for hours…and have never gotten tired of drinking it. Nearly all of the ingredients are organic, which can be relatively affordable (thank you, Trader Joe’s!).
With the half an apple and cinnamon in the recipe, the green smoothie tastes delicious to me with the right amount of sweetness. If I skip drinking the smoothie due to travel, for example, I can tell a difference.
I’m sharing with you the recipe that she gave to me, including preparation suggestions that I developed.
The green smoothie gives me a lot of energy…a lot of vitamin and minerals that I need — plus LOTS of energy.
Here’s to your health! May you live long and prosper,