Gluten is a protein found in some grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. There is some controversy pertaining to whether oats should also be added to this group because of possible cross-contamination occurring at some milling facilities. Gluten is also a food additive that is found in many foods; for example, ice cream and ketchup.
Why would we want to eliminate Gluten from our diets? Answers vary. There is thought to be a connection between food sensitivities (not necessarily allergy); more specifically, the way our bodies react to this type of sensitivity, and MS symptoms.
When we have an adverse reaction to a food; it is often the protein in that food that is the culprit (gluten for instance). Our immune system responds to this as if it is a harmful invader. The immune system then triggers a reaction. Reactions can vary from person to person.
While I am skeptical at best of any type of diet “curing” MS, (at present; an incurable disease), I do believe that better nutrition can afford those of us suffering with MS a better quality of life through moderate control of some of our symptoms.
There are some issues with a gluten free diet. It is possible to become deficient in other nutrients (fiber, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, iron, or calcium for example). It is important to look at the big picture when exploring radical changes in our diet. Balance is extremely important for the human body.
One thing I always try to stress is to remember we are not trying to cure our disease. We are looking for ways to make our quality of life better. Leave the cures to the medical professionals. If a change in our diet improves our symptoms, we’ve found supporting therapy. We should always remember to discuss these with our doctor because some diet changes or herbal therapies can directly interact or interfere with certain medications.
I suggest; if planning to try a diet or herbal remedy, to always log findings in a notebook. This log should contain every detail:
- What changes were made (diet, introduction of an herbal remedy)
- Amount of change or what the change was (diet changes noted/dosage of herbal remedy)
- note the date and the time of day
- effects of change
Keeping track of our efforts will help us find what works best for us and what doesn’t. It will also help track down any causes, if we have adverse reactions.