Just when you thought that 2020 couldn’t get any worse, it’s been announced that bread and pasta and other starchy carbs could be even worse for you than you thought previously.
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The news comes courtesy of Professor Marios Hadjivassiliou from the Sheffield Ataxia Centre, who claims that a condition called gluten ataxia can occur as a reaction to the gluten found in foods like bread and pasta. Instead of just making you a little bit fatter, gluten ataxia causes the immune system to attack parts of the brain which can cause stroke like symptoms, including paralysis in extreme cases.
Here’s what Professor Hadjivassiliou had to say about ti:
Gluten ataxia destroys the cells of the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for movement, and if this continues over a long period then the symptoms will become irreversible.
If someone is referred to us and their cerebellum has been reduced to the size of a walnut, there’s only so much a gluten-free diet can do.
Hadjivassiliou also pointed to the example of a woman he treated at the centre – where he has seen over 600 patients over the last 20 years – who suffered from slurred speech and mobility problems for four years, but was thankfully rehabilitated thanks to a gluten free diet. Here’s what she had to say about the condition:
When I first went to my GP in 2008, I was told it was menopause.
But then when it got worse I was referred to a neurologist, who did tests for a suspected stroke but they came back normal.
I ended up having to use two walking sticks to get around. I thought I was losing my mind – no one could understand what was happening to me.
I was eventually referred to Professor Hadjivassiliou who suggested that I cut gluten out of my diet.
I was able to walk without my walking sticks for the first time in years.
I’m a lot less unsteady or wobbly on my feet now. But because the damage was so severe, my speech will always be slurred. At least I know now it’s not getting any worse.
Damn. That sounds completely awful, but if we want to take anything from this article it seems that gluten ataxia isn’t actually that common if Professor Hadjivassiliou has only teated 30 people a year for it over the past 20 years.
Of course, the diagnosis itself might be the problem as nobody is actually sure whether or not they have it, but let’s just hope it’s a fairly rare condition and not just an undiagnosed one in a lot of us. We all wanna keep enjoying our bread and pasta when we can, right? Really hope this gluten ataxia thing doesn’t turn into another coronavirus, know what I’m saying?
For more of the same, check out this restaurant that uses pickles instead of bread. Maybe adopt that if you’re really worried about gluten ataxia.