There are a number of less obvious neurological and autoimmune conditions that are the indirect result of consuming wheat and gluten, these symptoms and conditions tend to present themselves in less obvious ways, than gas, bloating and skin conditions and tend to get diagnostic labels that don't help solve the underlying problems. Sadly, most of the people who need this information aren't reading this article right now. The good news is that YOU are and the more you are aware of symptoms and potential conditions which are known to be linked, the safer and healthier we all will be.
It is important to note that many of these conditions can be caused by a number of factors - however, my experience is that most people suffering from the diseases and conditions I'm going to discuss in a minute, never consider wheat or gluten as a possible root cause - and that's why it is important to be aware of all the ways that wheat and gluten can affect our physiology.
Let's start with a class of diseases known as autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases by themselves create a variety of symptoms by definition-and this makes it really difficult for the medical community to properly diagnose and treat the real disease.
One of the most common is arthritis, which tends to be one of the common diseases that come from wheat and gluten especially in middle-aged and elderly people, although it can affect kids too. Arthritis is a medical term which actually covers over 50 conditions and rheumatic diseases that affect something like 20% of adults.
Rheumatic diseases by the way are those which are characterized by inflammation or pain in muscles joints or fibrous tissue. One of the things that I really struggled with before cleaning up my diet was extreme pain in my neck and back both of those areas are linked to old rugby injuries. I'm not sure if the inflammation in those two areas for me or any area of the body is a result of eating wheat or gluten, or if it's an indirect result of the inflammation response that comes from having toxic byproducts in your bloodstream because your liver can't break down the toxins being produced in your lower intestine.
Either way arthritis affects joints and tissues around the joints and is a painful condition which is in the United States and Canada anyway technically classified as a disability. More than 10 million of the 40+ million adults diagnosed with arthritis say that the condition affects the quality of their life in some way.
One of the more common types of arthritis that affects something like 1% of the North American population is called rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a process where the synovial lining-or the membrane that surrounds the joints swells up and then loses its protective qualities. Over time these inflamed cells will begin to release bad enzymes in that area that can actually break down bone and cartilage which inevitably causes the joints to lose its shape and alignment not to mention pain and loss of movement.
When I got off wheat and gluten I immediately noticed a dramatic improvement in the pain I had in my neck as well as my back and of all the non-typical symptoms that come from eating wheat or gluten, most people in the medical community recognize arthritis - specifically rheumatoid arthritis as one which can be greatly improved by eliminating gluten from the diet.
Osteoarthritis is primarily where you just have wear and tear on the joints. Most people as they get older show some kind of osteoarthritis. Having said that the inflammation that comes from wheat and gluten can exacerbate the pain and suffering that comes from osteoarthritis.