Initially posted 2008-11-16
Fibromyalgia symptoms often respond positively to a gluten-free diet. But, did you know that gluten and lactose intolerance frequently go hand in hand and often together with a citrus allergy?
One of the diabetes genes (HLA-DQ8) is also common to individuals with gluten-sensitivity and many autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rosacea, adrenal imbalances (Graves, Hashimotos).
The biggest challenges to a gluten-free diet (gf) are those not obvious contaminations. As little as 1 gr may keep the inflammation cycle going.
The not obvious are wheat gluten used as “flavor” in foods, supplements and prescription medicines (over 66% of meds contain hidden, undeclared gluten).
Also look for hidden gluten in toothpastes, shampoos, soaps, creams, make-up and other beauty products, cleaning products, the glue on those envelopes, and…, and…
You may already know, but here is the short version of how gluten, fibromyalgia, diabetes and a whole lot of other conditions come together:
Gluten contains opioid-like proteins.
If you carry a gene for gluten-sensitivity, e.g. the HLA-DQ8 (also common in diabetics) these morphines cause inflammation and carbohydrate cravings. Yes, it is like getting “hooked.”
On one hand the carbohydrate content triggers the blood sugar roller coaster leading to diabetes…
On the other hand it causes inflammation (first signs usually are bloating, tiredness, etc.) in the duodenum, the part of the intestines responsible for
– food release at once from the stomach to the intestines,
– insulin and enzyme release from the pancreas,
– bile release from liver and gallbladder,
– mineral and nutrient absorption (especially calcium absorption),
– vitamin K formation and transport to the pancreas for storage (vit K is responsible for blood clotting and keeps calcium in the bones and out of the arteries).
Starting with intestinal inflammation, the body’s pH value changes and turns acidic. Blood tests do not reveal this since blood has the ability to buffer its slightly alkaline (basic) value by drawing calcium and other minerals from bones and teeth until its pH remains steady. This leads to a vicious cycle.
These leached calcium molecules are fairly large and get carried by the blood stream to everywhere in the body… muscle tissue (fibro, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.), capillaries in the eyes (changes to eye sight, night blindness, etc.), or they may deposit along the blood vessels (hardened arteries, heart disease, stroke). — Those repeat bone-density scans that show changes in different places are the best indicators of this kind of pH-triggered calcium leakage.
That much for FM and the causes of pain-causing acidity!
In addition, there is the overall carbohydrate intake.
We humans are not really designed (lack of enzymes) for grain carb digestion. Our natural grain eaters (horses, cows, deer, etc.) give birth to youngsters that are up and running within half an hour of birth. I have yet to see that new-born human baby skip out of the delivery room…
Like the offspring of dogs, cats and other carnivores we need to nurture our babies for months before they are able to move about by themselves. Genes don’t change that quickly; our nature still favors a hunter-gatherer diet consisting of occasional meats, plants, roots, and berries.
So, to make a long story short, if you suffer from FM and diabetes I suggest that in addition to a gf diet you keep away from grain carbs.
A fairly safe bet is to keep your grain carbs (even gf) to below 30 gr daily; no more than 6 gr for breakfast, 12 gr for lunch and 12 gr for dinner…
At the daily max of 30gr for grain carbohydrates your blood sugar readings should hugely improve (don’t forget to check out the info about low-carb vs. no-carb in the low-carb group).
If you are on prescription meds for diabetes you MUST check your blood sugar frequently and remain very alert as you otherwise might “overmedicate” due to the disappearing blood glucose spikes. Your best bet is to develop a good relationship with your doctor.
Basic FM/diabetes/autoimmune meal plan:
– proteins (fish, fowl, light meats, eggs),
– greens and colorful, non-starchy vegetables,
– berries (max.2 servings p.d.),
– olive oil or grapeseed oil,
– green tea (1.4 lt),
– alkaline water (NO soft drinks, no coffee).
In addition, you might need to consider adrenal boosters and an individualized supplement plan (no multi vitamines – they are not absorbed by an inflamed gut and may counteract each other, e.g. ZN vs. Ca, Zn vs. Cu, Co vs. Fe, etc. thus resulting in greater deficiencies and toxic excesses). I initially prefer a sublingual approach.
I strongly advise against self-supplementing. Discuss an individualized and bi-weekly readjusted supplement plan with a knowledgable professional.