Type 1 Diabetes: One Factor That Can Increase Your Risk
What Does Gluten Have to Do With Diabetes?
According to a recent study from Denmark, a gluten-free diet may be all that’s necessary to eliminate the signs and symptoms associated with autoimmune type 1 diabetes5.
The study, led by Dr. Sildorf at Copenhagen University Hospital, followed a five-year-old boy who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. When the boy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, he began a gluten-free and low-sugar diet.
The kicker: After 5 weeks of insulin treatment and his new diet, the boy’s physicians determined that he no longer needed insulin therapy.
Still on his gluten-free diet and two years later, the boy has no need for insulin medication. This means that his body is making enough insulin to support the movement of sugar out of the blood stream and into his cells, where it belongs.
Any autoimmune disease can benefit from dietary adjustments, like the removal of gluten from the diet.
This is because wheat gluten is now widely recognized as a gut irritant and as a protein that can ignite an inflammatory immune response.
However, gluten is not the only offender.
An autoimmune reaction can occur in the presence of gluten as well as other proteins that the immune system reads as gluten. Each person with an autoimmune disorder will react uniquely to different foods. Wheat gluten and milk casein are the most common culprits. But other inflammatory proteins that mimic the effect of gluten include those that are found in:
- Gluten-free substitutes, like corn and rice
In addition to controlling an autoimmune disorder like type 1 and type 2 diabetes, a gluten-free diet can minimize signs of systemic inflammation, such as skin disorders, joint pain, headaches, and brain fog.
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