In case you wanted a preview of some of the topics discussed and conclusions reached at this annual conference devoted to all things Celiac & gluten, here are few links!
NPR just broadcast a story on results suggesting that changes to strains of wheat and altering gluten content of wheat are not to blame for the increase in cases of Celiac Disease/gluten sensitivity. After reading Mary Roach’s Gut, I find it much more palatable and believable that, as the NPR article concludes, there is so much we still don’t know about the gut, genetics, and autoimmune functions of the body (meant to protect us, but in the end self-destructing- I imagine little GI Joe antibody troops who’ve lost their leader blindly shooting off rounds into our bloodstreams). Also, if you have no symptoms (and ARE NOT RELATED TO SOMEONE WITH CELIAC/NCGS/AUTOIMMUNE CONDITIONS), keep on glutening on!
Celiac and the Beast dispels several gluten myths as addressed during the conference. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a point to my habit of taking a gluten enzyme on the rare occasion I dine away from home to counter the appearance or intensity of my reaction to a dust particle of stray gluten. Womp womp. But promising things to come? Also, I didn’t realize that some folks thought coffee contained gluten. I never thought it did, but I certainly cannot consume it (or other sources of caffeine) and expect to spend my day off the commode and out of bed. Celiac = busted gut. Poop transplant, please? And finally, gluten in shampoo (yep, wheat was in my shampoo and conditioner when I took the time to read the ingredients shortly after my diagnosis) and other toiletries is not capable of somehow permeating the skin and stealing your soul like a bloodthirsty extra-terrestrial (by which I mean shriveling the villi). BUT. Some of us are bad at, say, putting on lotion, then proceeding to pick up a snack to eat. Or rinsing out the shampoo-y residue in the kitchen sink (which, admittedly, may have just one tiny dirty dish or two) prior to discarding the container in the recycling bin. When it comes to playing the odds of being laid up in bed with an intestinal on/off switch unpredictably yet violently maneuvered by a trigger happy 2 year-old, I’ll go with gluten-free everything, permeability or no.
Lastly, the ever-credible Living Without has posted a brief blurb about the conference; I certainly look forward to their follow-up (they really top the GF ‘zines when it comes to reporting research).