Wheat is a hot topic for me because it is a serious problem for my husband and son. If you search my blog you will see that it swells their faces and necks, gives them headaches, and clouds their brains. Ryan, my husband, says that these days he can just think about wheat and get pounding pain behind his eyes.
Our Oriental medicine doc believes it is likely that Ryan and Colson could have an autoimmune reaction to it, which leads to 8 billion problems. He explained that they are lucky that they react so clearly to it, as some people don’t and they only discover the problem through blood tests. Keep in mind that Ryan and Colson didn’t always react so strongly, but they finally did when they cleaned their diets up and cooled their inflammation, allowing their bodies to full on YELL at them every time they ate it.
Ryan was wondering if he should be tested for wheat autoimmunity, and my doc said only if he needed test results for motivation to avoid wheat. Given the painful and immediate response Ryan’s body gives him whenever he eats it, it is almost certain that he is autoimmune. In effect he would be wasting about $350 for the test. Ryan chose to forgo the test, avoid the wheat and save his body from a strong autoimmune response somewhere down the road, not to mention keep what brain cells he has left alive a little longer – wheat apparently destroys them more quickly and shrinks the brain if you are autoimmune to it. I have heard wheat victims described as “that old guy sitting in a room watching tv and not really present.” My understanding is that the old guy is likely autoimmune to wheat, killed a bunch of brain cells every time he ate it, shrank his brain and now is pretty much vacant compared to his youthful self.
Note that Ryan and Colson do not have the digestive distress of a celiac victim, but they sure as heck react strongly in other ways.
Now for another curve ball. I was listening to Robb Wolf’s podcast number 113, 34 minutes in, where he linked wheat related autoimmunity to pancreatic cancer. Ryan’s mom died of pancreatic cancer (see Ryan’s Mom Passed Away This Morning). Strong wheat sensitivity/autoimmune seems to be hereditary, as Ryan gave it to Colson, so Ryan almost certainly inherited his sensitivity from somewhere.
Off I went to Pub Med to research wheat and pancreatic cancer. Turns out that there is a phenomenon documented in three papers where celiac disease presents after pancreatic cancer surgery. Apparently the patients did not have celiac symptoms before surgery, only after. I only had the abstracts available to me, so I don’t have the details from the studies, but I wonder if they tested these people prior to their pancreatic cancer surgery to determine if they were celiac victims.
I went to Celiacs.com to see if anyone mentioned wheat autoimmunity as related to pancreatic cancer, and the participants on that forum presented case after case of celiac patients who also had pancreatic cancer or history of pancreatic cancer in their families.
Does wheat autoimmunity cause pancreatic cancer? I don’t know. But the fact that they seem to be found commonly together is a huge concern.
With these two devastating outcomes (shrinking brains and pancreatic cancer) possible for my guys (and there are certainly more problems possible too), I am no longer concerned they will weaken and take a nibble of wheat. Ryan’s mom suffered far too much, and now that we know wheat could be linked to pancreatic cancer, the temptation is minor at best. The stuff is just straight up evil. To learn more, check this post out: Wheat – Cut that Shit Out!