Are we on the edge of an epidemic when it comes to autoimmunity? Or just aggregated media spreading like wildfire? Among the expanding gluten-free sections at grocery stores and special menus now at restaurants and a multitude of online articles, NPR wrote an enlightening story referring to a study in a recent article about increasing cases of celiac’s disease, an illness caused by the body’s reaction to gluten.

What I find interesting is the question about the number of cases reported more recently and how more cases of the disorder are showing up in older people who have eaten gluten packed breads and grains for decades. So why is going gluten free, celiac’s disease and autoimmunity such a big thing these days? Maybe it has more to do with our over processed world of consumption than we think.

One of the experiments my wife and I have tried lately is cooking with more whole foods, and little or no processed ingredients whenever possible. I have to say, its’ so difficult! Everything around us is processed. It’s quite a chore to find ingredients that are natural or whole and food companies seem to latch on to “natural” or “organic” to fill their pockets more than a concern for our health. But that is another topic on it’s own.

The past two weeks I’ve gone gluten-free to see how it affects my knee inflammation. So far I haven’t seen a lot of change in swelling. While it has been easier to find gluten-free products at the grocery store, most of those products still suffer from the inevitable soy preservatives or highly inflammatory oils such as safflower or sunflower. Some days I feel like organic vegetables are the only non-tainted foods left to safely eat. Positive as that might be, I often wonder what’s harmful about them when I know they are not locally grown.

Now that celiac’s disease is more commonplace, even with people that haven’t had it for 60 years, we may start to see a change of mind when it comes to processed foods. I hope that day is soon.