Ready for the short answer?
Yes, everyone is sensitive to wheat gluten. Wheat is known as a mild toxin. Some people can withstand the toxicity for years and even decades before they succumb to the immune response that they’ve been activating for years.
The proteins in the wheat cause reactions that can tear the delicate lining within our digestive tracts.
The less sensitive people had tears in their lining (cheesecloth) of their gut, but were able to repair them more effectively than others. They have a higher oral tolerance of wheat.
Some people had tears in their lining of the gut from the wheat reaction and were unable to deal with them so they began having responses/symptoms right away.
When people have reactive symptoms from eating wheat such as: bloating, gas, fullness, diarrhea or even cramping. It is the effects of the carbohydrate in the wheat known as FODMAPS that caused the discomfort. This is a good reaction to have, because it tells you right away that you can’t have wheat in your diet.
Other people have such a severe gut lining reaction that the surface becomes severely deteriorated and ceases to function at all. This is called Celiac Disease and is a gross example of the reaction that I’m talking about. Very serious indeed.
So you see, the reaction tends to be a spectrum of individuality, but we’re all being impacted in some way.
The proteins in the wheat are the problem Ie. (gluten). But, there are many proteins in wheat. We as humans don’t have the proper digestive enzymes (scissors) to digest the proteins (cut) into little pieces called amino acids. We have just enough digestive power to cut them into larger pieces called peptides (strings of amino acids).
These larger pieces cause inflammation in the digestive tract that tear holes into the gut lining or cheesecloth, if you will. Basically, the immune system sees these peptides as being foreign invaders and is reacting appropriately.
This inflammation and leaking causes an immune system response that can create cross reactivity that has the immune system attacking more familiar foods such as beef or chicken. We have digestive enzymes to digest beef and chicken, but since there is already an immune reaction going on, even some of the partial digestion of the beef protein is leaking across the lining of the gut, these peptides cause problems now.
These are the people that get a food sensitivity or allergy test done and find out that they are allergic to EVERYTHING that they are eating. Of course they are, it’s leaking across a barrier, whether it be reactive food or not.
The Gut is heavily guarded by immune tissue to deal with this exact reaction, but this is usually caused by invaders like bacteria. If we keep on irritating the lining/cheesecloth then the chronic inflammation will be far reaching through our blood stream. Think: Brain (MS and Alzheimer’s), Skin (Psoriasis, Scleroderma), Muscle and Nerve (Fibromyalgia), Thyroid (Hashimoto’s) and Joint (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis).
I think you’re starting to get the picture.
The tearing and then leaking of partially digested food across the lining of the gut is called, Leaky Gut Syndrome or medically known as Increased Gut Permeability. This is a very serious condition and is only recently getting the attention of the medical community.
I’m sorry to report that, yes we would all be better off eating not just less wheat, but no wheat at all. Interesting to note is that any grain can be difficult for humans to digest. Grains such as the most common: Wheat, Corn, Oats, Rice, Rye, Barley. But bad gluten tends to be in: Wheat, Barley and Rye.
Any Paleo Diet will be without these grains in it. After a few weeks of removing them from your diet, you won’t really miss them that much, will be in less pain, will feel less bloated, will have lost at least a few pounds and will be glad you don’t eat them anymore. But, . . . . . . bread will continue to smell incredible! Sorry.
I hope this little paper sheds some light on the whole, ‘Is wheat that bad?’ question.
For questions regarding food sensitivity testing, go to YourHealthInvestigator.com.