What Happened When My Dad Went Gluten Free

It seems I am getting more and more testimonials from patients on how great they feel when they go gluten free.  I thought I would re-post this great story by one of my friend’s experiences.  Comment down below with any of your own experiences and share!


What Happened When My Dad Went Gluten Free

Health trends, like many trends, come and go.  But the gluten-free trend may just be a keeper.  Why is this?  This gluten thing is part of a bigger picture….genetically modified foods and how they cause inflammation, and how that makes us sick.  Here’s what happened to my dad.

It all began in 2002 when my dad was 53 years old.  His heart just wasn’t beating right, and at 35-44 beats per minute (normal is 60-100), dad felt pretty lousy.  Eventually, it was determined that dad’s thyroid was under active.  This caused his heart to beat too slowly.  Dad felt like he couldn’t breathe, and nearly passed out whenever he stood up.  But it didn’t end there.  The slow heartbeat thickened the wall of Dad’s heart, which in turn led to an electrical problem causing atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat.

Dad’s doctor added thyroid hormone to correct the hypothyroidism.  This, and a surgical procedure brought his heart back to the normal beats per minute.

But what was the root of Dad’s thyroid problem?  An autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis caused Dad’s immune system to attack his thyroid.  His body was confused by an invader, but instead of going after the true culprit, Dad’s immune system accidentally recognized his thyroid as the enemy.  Under attack, the thyroid was unable to produce enough hormone to keep his heart beating fast enough.

So what was the enemy that invaded Dad’s body, and why did his immune system become so confused?

Always the student of nutrition, Dad read that hybridized, or genetically modified wheat can cause autoimmune problems.  Hybridization of the grain makes people sensitive to gluten.  He read that the human body fails to recognize hybridized wheat as food.  This fact stunned Dad because he knew 70% of our immunity comes from digestive tract.  The logic was simple.  Inundate the digestive tract with hybridized wheat, which the body fails to recognize as food, and you could potentially create an immunological reaction.

Dad made a plan.  Calm the immune system.  How?  Cut wheat.  (He had already cut junk food years ago).

After six to eight months, Dad’s blood test showed his TPO antibodies had dropped from 2,700 to 141.  In plain language, that means his immune system stopped cranking out the little critters that had been attacking his thyroid.  After a total of 12 months wheat free, Dad’s TPO’s continued the downward trend to 101.  Additionally, the post wheat-free blood tests showed more improvements.  Dad’s TSH was low normal, measuring .5.  Normal range for TSH, or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, is .47-4.7.  This was great news because it let his doctor know Dad’s brain no longer needed to pump out TSH in order to stimulate the thyroid.  After going wheat free, Dad’s TSH had dropped down to normal, and with some adjustments to his thyroid medication, his next TSH check showed a reading of 2.0, well within the normal range.

These blood test improvements led Dad’s doctor to lower his thyroid medication from 137 mcg to 112 mcg for 6 weeks, and then down further to 100 mcg.  Dad is so happy to have less medication and, of course, hopes to eventually discontinue it altogether if possible.

Cutting wheat just may have eliminated the culprit guilty of revving up Dad’s immune system.  This simple dietary change helped my dad gain control of his rogue immune system.

About the author:

Jeanne Barker Benz is a full-time mom of three children and Team Beachbody Coach.  While her background is in law, her passion is encouraging others in faith, education, business, and health.


Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition Leave a comment

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