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The term growing in popularity is “getting glutened.” It applies to the negative effect which the protein gluten can have on a person’s brain function. It’s especially impactful if it happens with a person stricken with celiac disease.

The range of effects between gluten and the brain are reported to be wide ranging. The symptoms could appear as someone appearing inattentive, having fogginess in their thinking, or sometimes even showing up clearly as actual damage seen on brain scans.

I just read a recent article on this subject by Lisa Fitterman in Allergic Living Magazine. What caught my eye was the focus on the Maes family which is dealing with celiac disease. They’re located in my current home state of Arizona.

Conner Maes is your typical 8-year old boy. He was first in the family diagnosed with celiac disease. Kurt Maes is his 38-year old father. He works as a commercial property developer. Meanwhile, Kim Maes is the woman who loves them as mother and wife respectively. In addition, as a nutritionist she recognizes what gluten makes her guys go through.

The Maes know when gluten meets the immune systems of the boys, their small intestines launch into attack mode causing inflammation and discomfort. What the family didn’t expect at first was the power that the mere presence of a common protein found in wheat, rye, and barley and products could have on their brains. They were “getting glutened.”

Both Kurt and Conner are said to suffer from conditions and symptoms not commonly connected with celiac disease. These include an unusual sense of absentmindedness which can render them without the ability to complete even simple and straightforward tasks.

Little Conner battled digestive problems from the time he was a baby. Yet, a diagnosis of celiac disease took time to be identified and confirmed. It was only after the little guy started having seizures at night did a neurologist see brain scans showing damage to his cerebellum. Quickly, she realized she had seen similar abnormalities in patients of hers with celiac disease, a autoimmune condition.

The next year, Kurt too tested positive for celiac disease.This helped the Maes make sense of a lot of things since his college days. For example, Kurt’s alleged allergies to dairy products which would leave him in terrible pain after eating foods like pizza. Then there was the matter of his mind. It could easily wander even right in the middle of important conversations. Thus, he was also diagnosed with having attention deficit disorder. Going into a gluten-free lifestyle was the only known effective treatment for Kurt’s combination of symptoms.

Kim and Kurt have been together for half their lives. She admits there were plenty of frustrating moments when she wondered if he was even listening to her. “After going off gluten, Kurt was a changed man for the most part,” she says.

If you or members of your family are tired of “getting glutened,” Freeze Dy Guy carries gluten-free food choices for you.