Health and Wellness

The Roots of Health

Meredith Rhodes Carson

The Roots of Health – To Gluten or Not To Gluten with Joe Rignola

Despite the fact that there is little solid data out there to support the wholesale demonization of gluten, it remains a hot topic in health and wellness circles. Why is this? It’s simple… many people find relief from headaches, stomach pain, gastrointestinal issues, brain fog, joint pain… the list goes on and on… by removing ‘gluten’ from their diets. There are countless anecdotes out there (including my own) that suggest that ‘gluten’ is the culprit.

What we know is that gluten IS the culprit when it comes to celiac disease. For humans with that diagnosis, gluten will forever be off the table. But the clinical diagnosis of gluten sensitivity or intolerance remains challenging because there are very few accurate tests (Cyrex Labs is the leader in this field) and there are very few qualified practitioners who would order those tests.

For those who are self-diagnosed ‘gluten sensitive’, is gluten really to blame? Or is it guilt by association? When gluten is removed from our diets, we are really removing the gluten-containing grains wheat, rye, barley, +/- oats. Could it be that we’re sensitive to the whole grain? Or, according to a new study, maybe it’s not gluten but an entire group of short-chain carbohydrate foods known as FODMAPs (which stands for fermentable oligo- di- mono-saccharides and polyols) that wreaks havoc in the guts of many humans. No matter what the exact cause of our health concerns, a naturally gluten-free diet (read: increase naturally gluten-free foods such as whole fruits & veggies and eliminate processed carbs & gluten containing grains) tends to be a fine recipe for health gain. As of yet, no one has ever been diagnosed with a gluten deficiency.

This week, we find out more about gluten and better understand how it may or may not factor into your own life with our guest Joe Rignola.  Joe is the founder of Wellness Punks and author of the best-selling books, The Definitive Way to go Gluten Free andSow, Planting the Seeds for Health, Well-Being and a Superhero Life. He’s also a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Certified Health Counselor.

Visit for a few more resources on this topic.