The Impact of Gluten-Sensitivity on the Lactogenic Diet
Widespread gluten sensitivity has developed because of changes in commercial wheat. While not actually genetically modified, wheat has been bred to contain increased levels of gluten, which is the “gluey” protein in wheat. The result is a chewier, gluier, and more delicious dough, which may be handy for the bread industry but has wreaked havoc on the sensitive tissues of the intestine.
Consider this: many children with ADHD or autism improve when they are put on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. The numbers of children with such neurological conditions are growing year by year, especially but not only in boys.
ADHD and autism are often only recognized after a child is two years old. But we can be proactive, and protect our children by making breastmilk a safe food, free of inflammatory triggers such as gluten. This allows the baby’s digestive systems to heal, so they can have better outcomes.
The consequences, however, for the lactogenic diet, are discouraging. Two highly lactogenic grains, barley and oats, both contain gluten. Although they do not contain as much gluten as wheat, once the body has become sensitized to gluten, the source of the gluten and the amount of the gluten do not matter. Even a tiny amount will cause an inflammatory reaction.
It used to be that gluten sensitivity was not recognized as a health problem. Only if the intestine was inflamed and damaged, and signs of malnutrition were obvious, would a doctor test for gluten allergy, a condition that is known as Celiac disease.
Today’s widespread gluten sensitivity differs from Celiac disease. With “sensitivity,” the gluten proteins pass through the damaged intestine and into the lymph and bloodstream, causing inflammation in many systems of the body including the nerves, organs, muscles, joints, and even the brain.
No wonder so many people see improvements in an enormous variety of health conditions, even mental health conditions, after several weeks of being gluten-free.