Many people associate the GFCF Diet with Autism Spectrum Disorders or with Celiac Disease, or even just consider it to be a new weight-loss fad. However, there are many other autoimmune disorders that can be helped by the GFCF Diet. The reality is that many people with autoimmune diseases also have Celiac Disease or they are gluten intolerant. “Some practitioners theorize that celiac disease may be triggered after infection by a type of virus that biologically resembles the proteins in gluten. After the infection, the body cannot distinguish between the invading virus and the gluten protein, and subsequently, the body reacts allergically, releasing mucous into the intestinal tract upon gluten exposure, and causing damage to the intestines (source).”
The following is a summary of 6 autoimmune diseases and how each can be improved through switching to the GFCF Diet. I’ve also listed some additional resources for further reading, if you need to research further.
1. Diabetes – A gluten free diet may make it easier to control blood sugar levels, according to Donna Korn in Living Gluten Free for Dummies (Wiley, 2006) (source).
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis – “New research from Sweden shows that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who skip both animal products and certain grains could reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke (source).”
3. Multiple Sclerosis – “Research published in 2011 indicates a strong link between multiple sclerosis and celiac disease. Clinicians in Spain analyzed the prevalence of positive celiac blood tests and biopsies in people with confirmed multiple sclerosis, and in their first-degree relatives (source).”
4. Thyroid Disease – “Although it’s far from proven, at least one medical study suggests the environmental trigger for thyroid disease could be gluten (source).”
5. Osteoporosis/Osteopaenia – ” Because of the impairment that gluten causes on your intestinal function, it interferes with the absorption of nutrients, including vitamin D, calcium, phosphate and magnesium (source).”
6. Lupus – “Some studies indicate that over 20% of patients diagnosed with lupus really have celiac disease. That’s a lot of people being treated with toxic pharmaceutical drugs, yet are still sick. These people will improve, probably completely, by eliminating gluten from their diet (source).”
Additional Resources –
American Diabetes Association information on gluten-free diet
Best Bet Diet for Multiple Sclerosis
Gluten Allergy Connection to Lupus
(Note: I am not a doctor or medical professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning a gluten-free, casein-free diet or if you have medical questions.)