A third of the population may be gluten intolerant (and many believe that number to be closer to 35-50%), excluding people that have Celiac. That’s a lot of people! Now, I just thought gluten affected the digestive system but after researching it more and listening to an an amazing podcast on gluten by Sean Croxton, my favorite podcast nutritional guru, I’ve learned it can affect EVERYTHING. I’ll try to keep this short but what interested me the most is how it can affect kids and particularly kids with ADHD. There was a study where they put 136 kids who had ADHD on a gluten free diet for 6 months. The results? 100% of the kids saw improvement in ALL 12 markers that classify for diagnosis for ADHD. Wow. On a separate study, 80% of the kids that were studied with ADHD had anti-gliadin antibodies (gluten intolerance).
Gluten can also affect other parts of the body including the brain (alzheimers, depression), joints (arthritis), bones (osteoporosis), nerves (tingling, weakness and numbness) and can also cause a host of autoimmune diseases, fatigue, migraines, fertility issues, weight gain, bloating, constipation, malabsorption, and the list goes on. According to Dr. Tom Braley, in his book “Dangerous Grains”, he lists over 200 diseases, disorders and negative health effects caused by gluten.
It’s hard to know for sure though because sometimes you won’t test positive for celiac but just have mildly elevated liver enzymes. Also many people are asymptomatic so it can be also be hard to self diagnose as well. Click here for more information testing info on Dr. O’Bryan’s web site.
Try a gluten free diet for 30 days, but know that it could take up to the last 30 days to see any results. Hopefully you will notice at least some difference after a week though. And chances are good, by day 31, you’ll really know whether you have an intolerance or not.
Now, this doesn’t mean that all cases of ADHD, depression, autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone—but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness or any of the above symptoms or issues.
Here are some interesting articles if you’d like to learn more:
- Wall Street Journal
- Huffington Post
- Sean Croxton Gluten Post
- Dr. Tomas O’Bryan Podcast (highly recommend)
With all that said, I had to do some gluten free baking today so (I used a recipe I got from my sweet sister in law) made these granola cookies. I’ll be honest, my daughter didn’t love these, but my son made up for it!
- 3 tbls melted kerrygold butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbls vanilla
- 1 cup honey
- 2 1/2 cups organic gluten free oats to the mixture above, let sit 5 minutes. Then add
- 1 cup almond butter
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup roasted flax seeds
Mix all together. Spoon on cookie sheet in about 1” balls with parchment paper. Cook on 350 for 10 minutes and enjoy!