Celiac disease is on the rise in America. Once considered a disease only diagnosed in children, it is now popping up in adults…at an alarming rate. Some believe it is an inherited auto immune disease while others define it as intolerance to foods that contain gluten. Basically, the lining of the small intestines are damaged from eating gluten and other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and possibly oats because the body can no longer digest the gluten. Symptoms vary but include abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea or constipation and unexpected weight loss.
Researchers are on a quest to learn why people become unable to process gluten as adults when it was not an issue in childhood. I am not a medical doctor, but as I have observed our country’s eating habits, I do not believe our love of sugar and processed foods is helping matters. Gluten is often found in unnatural products that contain chemicals and sugars. Sugar impedes our immune system and can even shut it down, making us susceptible to many sicknesses, ailments and diseases. Chemicals in our foods are not natural, and our bodies are doing the best they can do eliminate them. When something is overloaded…whether it is a car engine or our body…something breaks down. Celiac disease could very well be a sign that we have gone past our body’s tolerance for low nutritional and zero value foods.
Celiac disease is real and left untreated is very serious. If you have been diagnosed, follow your doctor’s instructions and implement new eating habits. For the rest of us, we need to evaluate our intake of processed foods and weigh it against the possible side effects. Unfortunately, we tend to tune out side effects any more from the bombardment of drug ads on television. But take heed to the warning signs and make some small changes. Experts say we should not eat gluten-free products (if we do not have Celiac disease) but rather make smarter choices with our nutrition. Go green and go natural when you can. It can’t hurt!
How did your September challenge go? I hope you enjoyed focusing on “one thing” for the month. For October, here’s another challenge for you: Eliminate one thing. Maybe you need to cut sugary candy from your diet. Maybe you need to stop drinking caffeinated drinks. Or, maybe you need to put some distance between you and a “taker”…a person who zaps your energy and is only in your life to “get” from you and not mutually exchange or give. Take inventory and pick something that you would be better off without and then commit to erasing it from your life for a month. After 30 days, you might just realize you don’t want it back.
For those in Northern Colorado, I will be the keynote speaker for the Salute to Seniors on Wednesday, October 20 at The Ranch. The event includes many booths and great information for those over 50. I’m on at 11 am. If you can’t make it, my book Fit Over 50 is a superb resource for making the most out of the next chapter of life. Remember, it is NEVER too late to get healthy, but it is much easier to maintain your health than to reclaim it.