For many, gluten is difficult or impossible to properly digest. It takes an abundance of healthy bacteria to properly digest gluten. One of the many reasons our ancestors had less of a problem with digesting gluten than we do is that they used to use a probiotic culture that pre-digested the gluten proteins before they baked the bread. In addition, sugar consumption has been on the rise for decades, and there is a direct correlation with our increased sugar consumption and pretty much everything that’s wrong with our bodies. This increased sugar consumption feeds and increases Candida, disrupting the natural, beneficial flora in the gut.
When the gut is not healthy (flora is not balanced), gluten proteins harm the intestinal tract, causing irritation and inflammation. For those with the genetic predisposition to celiac disease, eating gluten, even with a healthy intestinal tract, causes some damage to the intestinal lining, which attracts Candida and causes other “non-beneficial” or “bad” microbes to flourish. As long as the diet for those with the predisposition remains healthy and the person does not often eat wheat, the intestinal tract can heal without any noticeable symptoms.
A protein found in Candida called HWP-1 is identical or highly homologous (nearly identical) to two gluten proteins, alpha gliadin and gamma-gliadin. These proteins are known to stimulate immune cell responses in people with celiac disease. In other words, Candida, the yeast responsible for oral thrush and vaginal infections (and so much more), contains the same protein sequence as wheat gluten,and therefore could trigger celiac disease.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
In a healthy gut, cells that make up the lining of the intestinal wall bind tightly together. Research has discovered that trace amounts of gluten can irritate these cells and deteriorate their bonds. This bond between intestinal cells on the cell walls prevents large food particles, undigested sugars, undigested proteins, and gut microbes (parasites, bacteria, fungi) from leaking into the blood. Candida overgrowth also deteriorates the intestinal wall. Candida grows filaments or tentacles that “drill” into the gut lining and grow into the gut wall.
When the intestinal wall is inflamed, intestinal villi become damaged or destroyed. These hair-like projections that protrude from the epithelial lining of the intestinal wall are the means for our bodies to absorb nutrients and fats. With fewer villi, the gut lining becomes very hospitable to Candida and will become irritated, dry, inflamed, and much more permeable than it’s meant to be. Increased permeability in the intestinal wall allows larger compounds called luminal antigens and commensal gut flora to penetrate the intestinal tissue, contributing to more inflammation. More inflammation leads to more permeability. Eventually, the walls that line the intestinal tract become permeable to the degree that undigested food particles and gut flora enter the bloodstream.
Gluten and Autoimmune Disease
For those with celiac disease and those who have developed immune system responses to gluten, an inflammatory response that damages the intestinal walls is created as soon as gluten enters the gut. The intestinal walls quickly become more permeable and the autoimmune damage occurs in other parts of the body. Current research shows that the production of antibodies in this response damages the central nervous system, specifically, the cerebellum, the posterior columns of the spinal cord, and the peripheral nerves.
The neurological symptoms of celiac disease can actually mimic the symptoms of multiple sclerosis to an extent that is imperceptible. The neurological conditions caused by celiac disease are known as gluten “ataxia.”
It’s been estimated that 10- 14% of those who suffer from celiac disease also suffer from hypothyroidism, but the correlation is sure to be much higher due to the fact that both hypothyroidism and celiac disease often go undiagnosed. Many doctors ignore the warning signs and don’t even understand the diseases well enough, but even still, the testing for both of these diseases leaves much to be desired.
Researchers and health practitioners are now making the connections between gluten, Candida, leaky gut syndrome, and dozens of autoimmune diseases.
Although digestive complaints are the first and most recognized symptoms of celiac disease, a study found that 87% of those diagnosed with celiac disease claimed they had no gastrointestinal complaints. Perhaps they did not, or perhaps they are so accustomed to a digestive system that does not work properly, they don’t recognize the symptoms. Patients who test positive for leaky gut syndrome may not complain of digestive issues, either.
If you are suffering from an autoimmune disease, any chronic disease, frequent infections, or a weak immune system, chances are you are suffering from a leaky gut whether or not you experience digestive disturbances. So focus on the gut. Since 80% of the immune system is in the gut, this alone makes gut health a priority. Once the gut is healed, the rest of the body can heal as well. This article is an excerpt fromGluten, Candida, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Autoimmune Diseases. See the first source below for the full article, and also check out Mercury Fillings, Root Canals, Cavitations – What You Need To Know and Understand Hypothyroidism – Prevention and Natural Remedies.