Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gluten Intolerance

I still don't know if I have true gluten intolerance but I've been avoiding it 100% lately anyway just in case, since DS's and my dental problems have gotten worse again, and there's the fertility problem that has always haunted me. Neither he nor I were ever officially diagnosed with anything, but I have suspected gluten, diary, and salicylates (and amines) for quite a while. DS won't comply 100% with gluten-free -- at least not when we're at other people's places where it is served. I ran into this blog entry about sourdough bread being OK for people who are gluten intolerant, and it intrigued me. Perhaps I could make some and bring it along (brown rice bread is kinda icky):

We have been doing bone broth for a couple of years now, but have been less consistent the past few months. Soups are nice but ds doesn't always want them (although if I bring a thermos of soup along, he generally will eat some of it).
I was actually making sourdough spelt bread (supposedly the gluten in spelt is easier to break down through fermentation than the glutens in wheat), but then got lazy and started buying sourdough spelt, and then started buying regular spelt.

Our main symptom is tooth decay, which is pretty hard to observe unless you are a dentist, but it's pretty obvious something we were doing was wrong, because now ds has to have an abscessed tooth pulled (making him minus five teeth!). We have gone back to 100% gluten free, but I'm not convinced it was enough. The only time we halted the tooth decay was on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), a super difficult diet based on an old diet for celiacs that has been replaced by the gluten free diet for the most part.

There are still some celiacs that have found that gluten-free wasn't enough to give them gut healing, and they are on SCD. But most people on SCD are people with Crohn's disease, colitis, or autism. It is similar to the paleo diet, which eliminates all grains, beans, dairy, sugar, and "farmed" foods, but it allows some beans (later in the diet) and doesn't allow many root vegetables (except beets, onions, carrots, and ginger). I think what worked with us was the lack of sugar and starches, both of which are hard on the teeth, but I'm not sure, because it allowed some dried fruit and those are also supposedly hard on the teeth. It also doesn't allow any canned vegetables, and only fruits canned in their own juice (i.e. pineapple), which generally isn't a problem for us except sometimes I use canned beans. Big no-no on SCD, and really they do cause gas and reflux for me. Anyway, I am waiting to see if removing the gluten will halt tooth decay before doing anything further (and really, it's pretty much impossible to eliminate everything we're both sensitive to and also do SCD).


stacy said...

i wouldn't risk it. probably depends on the severity of your sensitivity, but as sensitive as I am, and my kids are, we can't even eat anything touched by someone's hand that has touched something that contains gluten without cross-contamination issues.

Jen-Jen said...

Yeah, but he's already eating gluten, that was my point -- wouldn't broken down gluten be better than regular wheat gluten? Although he's been better since I've impressed on him the fact that his tooth is being pulled probably because of the gluten (and sugar) he eats.