Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and most oats that is inherently pro-inflammatory and causes damage to the intestinal lining. Gluten ingestion is associated with abdominal discomfort, IBS symptoms, brain fog, confusion, fatigue, joint pain and more.
Elevated hs-CRP, auto-immune markers, and other markers of systemic inflammation can often be seen when ingesting gluten containing foods. Gluten enters the digestive tract, causing an inflammatory cascade and development of leaky gut. Then the protein gets into the bloodstream where the body thinks it is a pathogen, tags it as such, then accidentally attacks our own tissues that resemble that “pathogen.”
When you eat gluten, whether via a piece of bread, the filler in your lunch meats, or one of many hidden sources, it travels through your stomach and arrives in your small intestine where it triggers the release of zonulin. Zonulin is a chemical that signals the tight junctions of the intestinal wall to open, creating intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut.
Think of the gut lining like a drawbridge. Small boats (micronutrients in food) that are meant to travel back and forth are able to go under the bridge without a problem. But, when gluten releases zonulin, it causes the drawbridge to go up, allowing bigger boats (large proteins like gluten) to cross over that aren’t meant to travel through. In the case of your gut, it’s microbes, toxins, proteins, and partially digested food particles that are passing under the drawbridge and escaping into the bloodstream.
With leaky gut all the toxins, microbes, and food particles, such as gluten, can now flood the bloodstream that aren’t supposed to be there. The immune system marks them as dangerous invaders and creates inflammation to get rid of them.
Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to anything it deems dangerous, whether that is a cut, a virus, or the gluten you ate in a piece of birthday cake. It is estimated that one percent of the population has Celiac disease and one in 30 people have gluten-sensitivity. What’s more, an estimated 99 percent of people with gluten sensitivity are undiagnosed, so they are fanning the flames of their inflammation without even knowing it.
Beyond creating a leaky gut, gluten poses a serious risk for people with autoimmune disease because of the phenomenon called molecular mimicry. Gluten, which is a large protein, happens to be structurally similar to several tissues in the body, particularly the thyroid. In those with autoimmune thyroid disease, every time they eat gluten the immune system sends out antibodies to detect and destroy the gluten, but since the gluten and thyroid gland look so similar some of those immune cells end up attached the thyroid by mistake.
There are several food proteins, such as casein in dairy, that have a similar molecular structure to gluten. Because of this molecular mimicry, when you eat dairy your body can get confused and think you ate a bowl of pasta and trigger an immune reaction.
Eating gluten triggers the release of Zonulin which can cause the tight junctions in your gut to open, allowing for larger proteins/particles to get in your bloodstream. The immune system then tags these “foreign” particles as invaders. The body’s response is to protect, so the inflammatory process is enabled.
If you are interested in investigating how gluten may be impacting you, check out our Plans & Services page or give us a call!
What is the biggest challenge you have with eliminating gluten from your life?
Jan 24th, 2023
Use peptides to hack your weight loss.
Jul 14th, 2021
Have you tried IV therapy before? If not, you might not realize how quick and easy it is to receive micronutrients intravenously. In a little less than one hour (like during your lab review!), we can infuse micronutrients that can help boost...
Jun 20th, 2021
While P3 believes it is important to learn to skillfully eat a well-balanced diet, we understand that sometimes there is a need to kick start weight loss more quickly.
Apr 23rd, 2021
Ah…it’s spring!. The perfect time to get outside for outside gardening, long walks in the neighborhood, and hikes in the hills. Spring means flower buds and blooming trees — and if you’re one of the unlucky millions of people who have seasonal allergies...
Mar 18th, 2021
Microneedling: Using a SkinPen device we make controlled micro-injuries that stimulate your body’s natural wound healing process. The purpose of this treatment is to generate new collagen and skin tissue for smoother, firmer, more toned skin.
Oct 7th, 2020
DOES ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE OR MEMORY LOSS RUN IN YOUR FAMILY? Do you sometimes experience forgetfulness, brain fog, finding words, name recall, forgetting key details of a conversation, scheduled events and want to discretely find out if this is normal...
Sep 17th, 2020
Hormone regulation is about more than just HRT. As always, it’s far more important to remove what is breaking you before adding more to the equation. Endocrine disruptors are anything that confuse your hormone receptors; and, unfortunately, they’re...
Jul 14th, 2020
PROSTATE CANCER As discussed in Part 1 of this series, symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer are similar. Men may experience increased urination (including at night), difficulty emptying the bladder, and difficulty...
Jun 28th, 2020
PART 1 If we asked what the strongest risk factor is for developing a prostate related disorder (such as benign prostate hypertrophy or prostate cancer), what would you guess?
Jun 11th, 2020
MTHFR Imagine MTHFR is a 6 lane highway. MTHFR = the size of the highway responsible for carrying “traffic”. That traffic includes estrogen, cortisol, environmental toxins, and alcohol. These substances will take up a lot of room on your...
Jun 8th, 2020
PROBLEM & SOLUTION RUNDOWN FROM YOUR P3 CLINICAL TEAM: A common complaint heard by clinicians in primary care who are trusted by their female patients, or are brave enough to ask their female patients, is regarding waning libido or difficulty reaching...
Jun 4th, 2020
…BETTER KNOWN AS A “PRP FACELIFT” This procedure uses your own blood to rejuvenate your skin by adding a big boost in volume, color, and shape. It works by using the benefits of your own concentrated growth factor and stem cells to stimulate collagen...
May 26th, 2020
Regenerate Damaged Joints Inside your joints are cells called chondrocytes that are working hard to maintain and restore joint and cartilage health. Unfortunately, they are always working at a deficit; because joints do not get a strong blood supply...
Apr 22nd, 2020
Let’s acknowledge that we are living through an unprecedented time in our history: a 100 year pandemic. This is a time when we need to practice love, kindness, and patience in order to come out of this stronger and more resilient. We must approach...
Apr 6th, 2020
In the midst of this uncertain time with the Covid-19 virus and the anxiety and fear it can stir in us, it is of utmost importance that we guard our thoughts with vigilance. We work hard to eat healthy and remove food from our diets that cause...
Mar 3rd, 2020
Even if you haven’t been following world news the last couple of months, you may have noticed a shortage of toilet paper this weekend while shopping. That’s all due media attention on COVID-19.
Feb 17th, 2020
Our goal at Peak Performance & Prevention is to empower you to live your best life. How do we do that? First, we do a deep dive into your biology and look at a variety of advanced labs. Second, we meet with you to discuss your strengths and...
Feb 17th, 2020
Are you ready to join the health revolution? Peak Performance & Prevention is leading the charge to bring functional healthcare to the Pacific Northwest. Our revolution encompasses...