A Case of Inflammation: Chronic Pain

I did some research on the topic of inflammation as it relates to gluten sensitivities and the results were fascinating. On this website, http://missionhillspt.wordpress.com/2008/05/02/gluten-and-inflammation/, they discuss the connection between chronic pain and gluten sensitivities. They found that chronic pain has increased in the last 2 years and that it was nearly impossible to treat patients unless they eliminated gluten from their diet. Since gluten is inflammatory and gluten is biochemically similar to cartilage found in the joints, eating gluten may exacerbate the problem by increasing the number of antibodies in a patient with an auto-immune disease causing further damage. This would make sense in that many MS (multiple sclerosis, where the body attacks the protective coating on nerve cells called myelin) patients are advised to avoid gluten. What I see happening in our society is that a patient approaches his or her doctor with a complaint: “Doctor, my knees are hurting all the time.” Then the very thorough doctor takes this into consideration. He or she might even do further testing of the knees to make sure there is nothing structurally wrong with the knees. Everything appears to look ‘normal.’ The patient is not satisfied with the current state of pain that he or she is in, so the doctor prescribes something to ‘ease the pain.’ Patient is happy and the doctor is happy. Here are some statistics from the University of Chicago that may link the information above. The estimated prevalence of Celiac Disease is 1 in 33 people. The number of Americans with Celiac Disease today is 3 million! And, 41% of adults diagnosed with Celiac Disease in this study did NOT have any symptoms. I know I have said it a number of times but I will end with this: Just because you are not doubled over with a stomach ache every time you eat does NOT mean that your body is gluten TOLERANT or that you are clear of having Celiac Disease. You have seen my symptoms list. Check it out! Think about it!
One type of food that we are real suckers for in our house is Asian food. But, being gluten free AND SOY free has its challenges with this type of cooking. Here is an amazing recipe that we stumbled across and modified to fit our dietary needs and our oh, so sensitive palates.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Ingredients:
2 T olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 lb 93% fat free ground turkey
2 medium carrots
2 medium zucchini
2 celery stalks
4 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ tsp sugar
2 T Raw Coconut Aminos (a soy sauce substitute)
Directions:
Heat 2 T oil in a large skillet.
Add turkey and cook about 5 minutes. Stirring to break up the meat. Remove from the skillet.
Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet and sauté carrots, zucchini, and onions for 1 minute.
Add turkey, coconut aminos, sugar, and garlic. Cook stirring for 1 minute.
Place meat mixture into a serving dish.
Make Rice noodles. Boil in water for 2-4 minutes.
To eat, wrap filling in lettuce leaves, add noodles on top.

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