What You Need to Know about Gluten Intolerance and Celiac Disease

By Donald Payne

Hello again, dear reader. In the United States today, millions of people suffer through symptoms that neither fit a specific diagnosis nor do the symptoms disappear. Young and old take drugs and see numerous medical specialists for gastrointestinal complaints, anemia, joint pain, itchy skin conditions, constant fatigue, and headaches, to name a few. Their symptoms are treated, but no underlying cause can be found. One doctor diagnoses fibromyalgia, another chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, GERD, abdominal pain, and gas.

After a battery of tests, thousands of dollars, and several years later, some internist suggests that stress may be the answer. In other words, “We cannot find anything wrong with you—so maybe it’s all in your head.” (Note: Actually stress does induce a whole host of digestive and other physical health problems, but that is a story for another article.)

For many people there is a medical diagnosis for the bundle of symptoms they must endure. For many people that diagnosis is “celiac disease.”

Celiac disease is a multisystem disorder whose primary target of injury is the small intestine. The disease is triggered by gluten, the main protein found in many grains. Gluten damages the small intestine’s villi linings so that it becomes unable to absorb nutrients properly. As food and nutrient malabsorption continues and celiac disease progresses, the manifested problems inevitably become more varied and complex.

In recent studies it has been shown that approximately 1 percent of the U.S. population is affected with celiac disease! And 97 percent of those are undiagnosed! The implications of the looming health problems to come for that piece of our population are staggering.

For several years now, the natural-products industry has been gearing up to address this health disaster. In the past, only in the natural-food stores could a person with celiac disease find any “certified gluten-free” foods at all. And now in the natural dietary supplement world, some of the best supplement companies have achieved certified gluten-free status.

At S&S Organic Produce & Natural Foods we have accrued an enormous variety of foods that taste good and are certified gluten free. In October we will feature on sale many of our gluten-free foods. Look for our famous “sale endcaps” in the grocery department for a lot of the latest gluten-free foods. While you are there also look for our new private-label grocery line of foods, Cadia.

Cadia is the new Cadillac of private-label product lines in the health-food industry. It is brand new, so many of the items are still being created. However, we have received some products already and there are many more to come, including many gluten-free products. Its gluten-free pastas are the best I have ever tasted. Cadia’s natural maple syrup is amazing on pancakes or waffles (gluten-free pancakes or waffles, of course!). And Cadia’s canned tomato products cannot be beat. What a great thing that you can now buy less expensive, private-label products that are a welcome addition to our quality regular and gluten-free food brands.

What about supplements, you ask? If you found yourself identifying with any of the symptoms at the beginning of the article you need vitamins, minerals, and superfood healing products that are also certified gluten free. Country Life Vitamin Company is one of the only vitamin companies that has become certified gluten free. As I said earlier, other companies are now jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon (thank goodness) but the natural-product stores have been addressing this growing need for years—thus even our supplement companies have been pushed to get certified gluten-free status and now for more than a year Country Life has achieved that status.

You can get Country Life’s Bone Solid to rebuild porous bones with vitamin K (so even Katie Couric will not make plaque in her arteries from the calcium). Country Life also makes certified gluten-free Co Enzyme Q10, a great Resveratrol (the antioxidant from red wine), and the state-of-the-art vitamin and mineral supplement Daily Total One.

So if you have celiac disease or even a mild gluten intolerance, the only cure is to avoid gluten in your diet. At S&S we have much information on gluten intolerance and lists of “safe foods” and “forbidden foods.” Please come by and see us for information and try some of the delicious gluten-free foods while you are here.

Blessings to your intestine and to your life,

Donald Payne

S&S Produce & Natural Foods