Author Topic: Dangerous Grains  (Read 3712 times)

Offline suze

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Dangerous Grains
« on: June 20, 2007, 09:18:39 PM »
Just finished reading this book, Dangerous Grains, by Braly and Hoggan.  While not a paleo diet book per se, it does give a lot of very scientific explanations as to why grains are bad for you.  Especially if you are gluten intolerent, which includes a significant percentage of the American population.  They discuss a lot of ailments, including MS, Alzheimers, IBS, depression etc etc as being linked to the immune response to a couple of wheat proteins.  But one thing I had never heard before: people who are gluten sensitive are often carbohydrate addicts because they get a opiate-like high from the incomplete digestion of the proteins found in gluten, thus making it even more difficult to give up the thing that is making them sick!

I am curious how many people on this forum might have thought they were gluten sensitive before beginning this WOE, and what symptoms occurred.  Gluten insensitivity can be expressed in many different ways, including rashes, joint pain, abdominal upsets, short stature and (ahem) migraines/epilepsy.  I guess I am just wondering if this WOE is so attractive to us because we have this problem and so we feel better for it, or if it really makes everyone feel better, even if they have no food allergies or sensitivities.  Suze

Offline kallyn

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Re: Dangerous Grains
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2007, 09:33:35 PM »
If you want to ask some questions directly of the author (Hoggan), he regularly posts on the http://www.paleofood.com mailing list.  He's usually quite happy to answer questions about his book - he always seems pleased that people are reading it and thinking about it!


Offline slbridges

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Re: Dangerous Grains
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2007, 01:21:17 PM »
I think I probably have celiac disease. I won't ever be diagnosed, but that's OK by me.

I had no idea that grains were affecting me badly. I come from a long line of very overweight people. There was a time when I was vegetarian, and I practically ate nothing but carbs.

After my son was born, my joints started to swell. I had a nodule on one knuckle, and I had no idea what it was or what it meant. I finally went to the doctor (I was laid off while pregnant, so I wasn't able to afford paying anything above COBRA for a while). She told me I had rheumatoid arthritis. I had no idea what that meant. They made me an appointment for a rheumatologist, but it was three months before I could see her, and I had already been having symptoms for months before that. Delay is bad.

By the time I made it to the rheumatologist, I was in agony. They put me on standard therapy, and they just kept increasing the drugs. I couldn't pick up a pop can without crying out in pain. I was on steroids and daily NSAIDS. I couldn't think and I was constantly in a fog. I started a new job, and they thought I was slow or stupid.

I was exhausted and I thought I would have to apply for disability. I was a medical editor years earlier, so I started doing research on PubMed. There was a few medical studies that linked gluten intolerance with autoimmune disorders. I found a web page that told you how to run your own elimination diet. I thought I would try that before applying for disability. The diet I found cuts you down to sweet potatoes, peaches, pears, cod fish, celery, and carrots for a week.

By the fourth day on that diet, I felt like I'd come out of a coma. It was like I was seeing my husband and son for the first time in a year. I knew I was on to something. I kept trying to test different foods with various levels of success, and I kept getting better. I got off the steroids. After a month or so, I ate a piece of pizza as a test, and I woke up in the morning all swelled up. I decided I wasn't going to do THAT again. It took weeks for me to recover.

I was still on DMARDs, which is normal for someone who is considered moderate to severe on the RA scale. Eventually one of the drugs I was on caused a reaction and so I couldn't take it anymore. I am back on Enbrel because even being paleo wasn't enough to put me into remission. I tell my doctors, but they don't really care. They don't accept it. It's hardly surprising, because you can even go to the Arthritis Foundation web site and see what they think of "fad" diets. Then go to their sponsors' page -- it's a Who's Who list of drug manufacturers.

When my son was four, he was diagnosed with autism. I found the link between gluten intolerance and autism, and because of my problems, I wanted to test him. I fought with my husband over it, but we finally tried it. Then after a month, we tested him on wheat again. He was an instant nightmare after it. My husband was absolutely floored. He couldn't even believe the change. Our original plan was to give him wheat for a day, but after that one meal, my husband said he felt like he had just given our son poison.

I am now talking to my aunt, who is morbidly obese. I explained the addiction thing to her, because I too was addicted to wheat. After that month or so off wheat, after that pizza...it was like there was a voice chattering in my head, telling me to eat more of it. I realized that the voice was always there, for anything sugary or anything full of carbs. If there is candy in the refrigerator, I never forget about it. I can't believe I lived with that voice all of my life.

I hope my aunt is going to try the paleo thing. I think it's the simplest course of action for her. She doesn't want a lot of hassle. She knows that she is killing herself. I am trying to help her, and I'm glad I said something about it to her. It's a real addiction in my opinion.

Offline suze

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Re: Dangerous Grains
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2007, 04:02:30 PM »
What an amazing story!  I hope you will keep us posted with your progress.  It can take many months for all the poisons to leave your system, so I hope you will continue to improve as you stick with the Paleo WOE.

You bring up a good point about dietary modification as a treatment for certain conditions.  You can't bottle it and charge people money, so the mainstream medical establishment isn't interested, because most doctors are heavy investors in the pharmaceutical industry.  Then you have the overwhelming agricultural subsidy business that the USDA presides over.  Ever wonder why grain, which causes so many problems for people, is at the bottom of the USDA pyramid?  It is a sad, sad world we live in.

But you have come to the right place.  Welcome to the forum.  Suze

Offline slbridges

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Re: Dangerous Grains
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2007, 12:05:52 PM »
Well, from what I've read, the reason grains got to be so prevalent is because they can feed more people. The vocal vegetarian community is right about that -- it's cheap food, and it's a way to feed people who have no other options. Some of us can eat that stuff (I reference my husband, who is a perfectly evolved nerd -- sits at the computer all day with no problems, never seems to have blood sugar fluctuations no matter what he eats, is a healthy weight, has healthy cholesterol). But a lot of us can't.

Thanks for the welcome. I slip off the paleo horse now and then, but it has helped me, and now I'm noticing that when I eat rice grain or any kind of grain, I get sick to my stomach! I researched further than gluten free and dairy free when I was having more problems with my arthritis, and that's when I found the paleo diet. It's a slow process but I'm doing what I can and not beating myself up too much. :) Finding out that you can get gluten free pizza at Disneyland did not help! Oh well, I don't go to Disneyland all that often, so it can be special there. :)


Offline jeff303

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Re: Dangerous Grains
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2007, 05:45:20 PM »
I read the first few chapters of this book (stopped when it started getting really in-depth about Celiac's and gluten sensitivities).  Overall it was very interesting and there were plenty of references in the back.  Unfortunately it doesn't use footnotes so some of the really compelling statements, I couldn't readily check (for example, the assertion that up to 15% of general population has some type of immune response to gluten).  When I find myself defending my diet at work I really could use some statements like this, but it's tough unless I can follow all the way back to the source.  Also I am a pubmed newbie.

Offline slbridges

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Re: Dangerous Grains
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2007, 06:01:42 PM »
I don't know if it's 15 percent, but from everything I've read, it's generally accepted that approximately 1 out of 100 people are gluten intolerant, and about 97 percent of those people are undiagnosed.

There's confusion because more than half of the people who are gluten intolerant do not present with the classic symptoms. You look like a malnourished refugee when you're classically intolerant -- bloated belly, thin limbs, etc.

For me, I had no symptoms until after I stopped eating it. By that time, I had an autoimmune disease. Now if I eat gluten, I will have an autoimmune flare within hours, by the next morning at the latest. People who are gluten intolerant are WAY more likely to get cancer or autoimmune disorders.

I have some articles posted on the autoimmune_diet community on livejournal. They might help, they might not.

http://www.livejournal.com/community/autoimmune_diet

Offline 21st-century caveman

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Re: Dangerous Grains
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2007, 11:47:27 AM »
I think I probably have celiac disease. I won't ever be diagnosed, but that's OK by me.


Susan- I happened upon this page and I thought of you.  Have you seen this book?

http://www.yourhealthpress.com/book_celiac.html

Doug

Offline slbridges

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Re: Dangerous Grains
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2007, 05:50:54 PM »
I have not seen it, but then again, I've been gluten free for nearly five years now. It looks like a good starter book for people who have just been diagnosed and are completely overwhelmed. I never felt that way, but then again, I wasn't really gluten free for several months, as I figured everything out.