Gluten intolerance and heart disease: What you need to know

If you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, you know how gluten affects your digestive system.  You know that gluten can inhibit your absorption of nutrients and you have to take great care to make sure you get a balanced diet.  You also know that by eating gluten you get all kinds of nasty side effects that lead to a lower quality of life.  Irritable bowls, diarrhea, fatty stools, higher risk of cancer, just to name a few.  What you may not be aware of is the effect that gluten has on your heart.

Heart disease is the number one killer in America.  I read an article that talked about how research has linked gluten intolerance to heart disease.  This is very important.  People need to know that of they are gluten intolerant they are at an increased risk for heart disease.  There are a couple of different heart diseases in particular that were highlighted in this study.  The first one is autoimmune heart disease.

Autoimmune heart disease is caused by an infection that is bacterial or viral, however 85% of the time the cause of infection is not known.  When the infection happens to your heart, the sac protecting your heart becomes inflamed and swells.  The study regarding gluten seem to infer that the presence of gluten as the catalyst that begins the autoimmune process that swells the sack around your heart.  That is alarming.  There are so many people living with Celiac disease who are not aware they have it.  We already know they are doing severe damage to their intestines that can lead to more dangerous conditions in their body.  Now it seems their heart might be at risk too.  The person unknowingly living with celiac disease might be doing their best to stay healthy by eating right and exercising.  But, if they are eating wheat (because you know, wheat is good for you, right?) it is all for nothing.

Another risk to your heart is the nutritional deficiencies your body already has.  If your body is already in a state of malnutrition and it can affect its ability to heal itself, including problems with your heart.   Studies, according to this article, have shown that people who are gluten intolerant (test positive for the HLA-DQ gene), but don’t have celiac disease are at greater risk for pericarditis and cardiomyopathy.  It could be because people with the presence of the HLA-DQ have a lack of vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Heart disease is serious.  Awareness of the possible link between heart diseases and gluten intolerance may just save a few lives. To see this article in its entirety, click here.

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