Understanding Gluten Sensitivity
The most common reaction to gluten comes in the form of what is termed “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” (NCGS).
It has been defined in the international medical community as a “’non-allergic and non-autoimmune condition in which the consumption of gluten can lead to symptoms similar to those seen in CD [celiac disease]’…symptoms in NCGS are triggered by gluten ingestion in the absence of celiac-specific antibodies…and absence of enteropathy[disease of the intestine]…NCGS is further characterized by resolution of symptoms with withdrawal of gluten and relapse of symptoms with gluten exposure.” (7)
Statistics on people with NCGS are very hard to determine because many people may not realize that gluten is the source of their symptoms. In addition, symptoms are similar to irritable bowel syndrome, another increasingly common autoimmune illness. Links between NCGS and neuropsychiatric disorders have been established, especially autism and schizophrenia. (8)
In addition to symptoms similar to celiac disease and wheat allergy, NCGS can result in:
- mental fatigue (“brain fog”)
- chronic fatigue
- gas, bloating, and abdominal pain
Causes of NCGS
The cause of NCGS has not been officially determined, however, there is evidence that it may have something to do with how wheat is grown, especially in North America.
Non-organic wheat is treated with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, just like any other food crop. And while there are currently no genetically-modified (GM) varieties of wheat commercially sold, we eat plenty of other GM plants. GM crops like corn, soy, fruits, and vegetables are weakening our bodies and taxing our immune systems, heightening sensitivities to everything that enters it.
It is very interesting to note that in the food allergy statistic above, the period cited is 1997-2011…GM crops began to be sold commercially in the U.S. in the mid-1990’s. Read more on how GM crops affect our bodies’ digestion and immune systems here.
Not everyone should necessarily avoid eating organic wheat. As a whole grain, it does have significant nutritional value (plus scrumptious texture and flavor!). If, however, you are a part of the growing number of people who is sensitive or intolerant of wheat, there are alternatives for both flavor and texture.
12 Recipes for Delicious Gluten Free Cookies
Please keep in mind that wheat gluten lends a stretchy, sticky quality that you won’t find in a gluten-free cookie dough. Gluten free cookies are great in their own way though, and they won’t give you a tummy ache.
Without further ado, here are some yummy gluten free cookies for you to try.