A Case of Inflammation: Chronic Pain

I did some research on the topic of inflammation as it relates to gluten sensitivities and the results were fascinating. On this website, they discuss the connection between chronic pain and gluten sensitivities. They found that chronic pain has increased in the last two years and that it was nearly impossible to treat patients unless they eliminated gluten from their diet. Since gluten is inflammatory and gluten is biochemically similar to cartilage found in the joints, eating gluten may exacerbate the problem by increasing the number of antibodies in a patient with an auto-immune disease causing further damage.  This would make sense in that many MS (multiple sclerosis, where the body attacks the protective coating on nerve cells called myelin) patients are advised to avoid gluten.

What I see happening in our society is that a patient approaches his or her doctor with a complaint: “Doctor, my knees are hurting all the time.” Then the very thorough doctor takes this into consideration. He or she might even do further testing of the knees to make sure there is nothing structurally wrong with the knees. Everything appears to look ‘normal.’ The patient is not satisfied with the current state of pain that he or she is in, so the doctor prescribes something to ‘ease the pain.’ Patient is happy and the doctor is happy.

Here are some statistics from the University of Chicago that may link with the information above. The estimated prevalence of Celiac Disease is 1 in 33 people. That means the number of Americans with Celiac Disease today is around three million! And 41% of adults diagnosed with Celiac Disease in this study did NOT have any symptoms. I know I have said it a number of times but I will end with this: Just because you are not doubled over with a stomach ache every time you eat does NOT mean that your body is gluten TOLERANT or that you are clear of having Celiac Disease. You have seen my symptoms list. Check it out! Think about it!

One type of food that we are real suckers for in our house is Asian food. But, being gluten free AND SOY free has its challenges with this type of cooking. Here is an amazing recipe that we stumbled across and modified to fit our dietary needs and our oh, so sensitive palates.

Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps

2 T olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 lb 93% fat free ground turkey
2 medium carrots
2 medium zucchini
2 celery stalks
4 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ tsp sugar
2 T Raw Coconut Aminos (a soy sauce substitute)

Heat 2 T oil in a large skillet.
Add turkey and cook about 5 minutes. Stirring to break up the meat. Remove from the skillet.
Heat the remaining oil in the same skillet and sauté carrots, zucchini, and onions for 1 minute.
Add turkey, coconut aminos, sugar, and garlic. Cook stirring for 1 minute.
Place meat mixture into a serving dish.
Make Rice noodles. Boil in water for 2-4 minutes.
To eat, wrap filling in lettuce leaves, add noodles on top.

About Lisa Velick

Check Also

“We Are Going To Be Lucky” Dramatic Reading

The Brotherhood and Women of Har HaShem present a dramatic reading of "We Are Going To Be Lucky," a WWII love story through letters between Lenny and Diana Miller.

Some Movies to Watch While Waiting for the Boulder Jewish Film Festival

BJFF Founding Director Kathryn Bernheimer offers some Jewish film suggestions to keep you busy until the festival in November.

One comment

  1. When I was little growing up on the farm there was no such thing as gluten intolerance. Nobody knew anyone who had gluten sensitivity and no one had ever heard of it. Everyone ate their bread and thought it was good, a gift from G_d. If anyone ever said bread was bad they would have been laughed out of Paradise.

    Then the High Priests of Graven Imagery told us Good was really Bad. Food got all processed, pasteurized, hybridized, genetically modified and factory farmed. Children grew up sanitized with antibiotics, disinfectants, antibacterials and air fresheners. We waged war on germs, bugs, slime, poop, intestinal parasites and toenail fungus. Television told us how cigarettes, drugs, hair shampoo and margarine and plastics were going to make us happy. It's the American Way, they fervently preached, the path to Paradise.

    Now that we sacrificed our flesh to that graven image, did that nice Paradise turn into our cruel punisher? Did it wield a flaming sword, warning us we could never again be innocent? Bread, milk, peanuts, grapefruit, all all the good things of the earth. Just another fading legend from a bygone era.