The following article began as a Facebook post conveying an experience I had recently upon re-introducting grains into my diet for one day, after months of abstaining, or at least upwards of 99% anyway. The post was well received, and since I continued to expand upon it in response to comments, I decided to turn it into a full-blown blog article. It follows in its entirety below, verbatim. However, because I conveyed the information off the top of my head based on recent research, without citing/linking source material, and was subsequently accused of not knowing what I was talking about and simply “parroting BS I read on the internet,” I would like to add here that most of the information shared herein was gleaned from three books by Dr. William Davis: Wheat Belly, Wheat Belly Total Health, and his latest, Undoctored—though I believe much of this information and sentiment would also be echoed by leaders in the Paleo movement such as Mark Sisson, as well as renowned heart surgeon Dr. Steven Gundry, both of whose work I also follow.
There’s emerging scientific evidence that modern grains—and potentially GMOs—are linked to fibromyalgia and other autoimmune diseases, because they contain protein strains that are very similar to known pathogens, which can prompt an immune system response against the tissues which have absorbed them (sorry for the layman terms, I’m winging this based on my recent studies, I don’t recall the precise scientific terms at the moment).
Learning of the actual toxicity of modern grains—and having suffered from many autoimmune disorders, including fibromyalgia, for years—prompted me, beyond simply my interest in carb reduction, to really concentrate on eliminating grains from my diet. I’ve probably succeeded upwards of 99%.
Suddenly, the weight started dropping off, and my fibromyalgia all but disappeared, along with the facial edema (aka “muffin face”) I’d been plagued with over the past couple of years.
Then, yesterday, I elected to have my weekly “cheat day”, since I’d skipped my usual Wednesday—but rather than simply upping the carbs at will, I mistakenly indulged quite a bit of wheat products & processed foods at a local grille—a large hot dog on a white wheat bun, and a few pieces of really doughy pizza.
It was heavenly….
But man, did it light me up! Last night my fibromyalgia was the worst it’s been in months, keeping me awake much of the night. And this morning, the facial edema was back, which had all but vanished in the past few months, too. Of course, that could’ve been a result of the skyrocketed salt content, rather than the wheat, but still…
So, back to the grain-free, non-processed, GMO-free diet…and now with even more incentive to stick to it!
UPDATE: I responded to some comments regarding my mention of GMOs in this post, and thought my lengthy response to be a informative elaboration, so I’ve included it here for everyone to read:
Please note my predominant use of the term “modern grains”, as in grains which have been crossbred and crossbred and crossbred for generations (giving rise to today’s popular phrase, “this is not the same bread that our grandmothers made”…)
as I understand it, when plants are crossbred, the offspring retains all of the chromosomes of both parents—not half from each, as with humans. This in turn produces new and unique protein strains, and it is unknown how they impact human health when ingested. But emerging science has in fact identified some of them as being very similar to known pathogens, thus prompting an immune response from those with highly sensitive immunes systems.
On top of that, grains are seeds of grasses, and humans are not designed to consume grass; animals that eat grass (ruminants) have multiple stomachs and stomach chambers in order to adequately process it. Humans do not. So it’s not simply a matter of “gluten (toxin) sensitivity”, it’s the simple fact that humans aren’t designed to eat grass (or its seeds), and so doing so can cause a plethora of digestive and health problems.
As for GMOs, let me clarify: I’ve not personally established a position on either side of that issue—though I AM against mandatory GMO labeling laws, as they violate the rights of the business owners, as I’ve stated more than once on my blog—but I do hold the opinion that the impact of GMOs on human health has not been adequately tested, and the science is far from settled. However, I believe that individuals should be allowed to decide for themselves whether they believe GMOs are safe for consumption, based on whatever information that is available to them. (And, of course, the market is already addressing the labeling issue, as market demand is prompting many producers to voluntarily label their products “Non-GMO” to satisfy that demand).
It makes sense that, as with crops genetically modified via hybridization, those that are manually genetically modified via chemical and/or other unnatural processes would also produce new and unique protein strains, which again, it is unknown as to their impact on human health when ingested, especially over the long-term. And since I suffer autoimmune problems due to a highly sensitive immune system, and typically have adverse reactions to just about any foreign substance introduced into my body—including many common medications—I choose to avoid GMOs altogether. But that’s just me.
My point is, my recent experience, as conveyed in my post, has convinced me that—at least as far as modern grains go, let alone GMOs—there is some truth to the theory that ingestion of the resultant protein strains does, in fact, cause—or at least exacerbate—autoimmune issues such as Fibromyalgia and others.
And there are many, many other health issues that people are ridding themselves of via the elimination of modern grains from their diet.