Have you been told that along with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance, you also have Fibromyalgia? If you have, you’re not alone. What exactly is Fibromyalgia? Well, there are certainly a lot of theories out there about what it is, and how it should be treated. Up until recently, it was considered an “invisible disease” (much like Celiac), and doctors would often diagnose it if they couldn’t find anything else wrong with you. In other words, instead of telling you, “you’re a hypochondriac,” they would say, “You have Fibromyalgia,” and give you an anti-depressant like Cymbalta, to help ease your symptoms.
Thankfully, with more and more people (especially women), complaining of similar symptoms, Fibromyalgia has finally gotten recognition as a legitimate disease. Some of the typical symptoms are (more…)
Dana Vollmer has Celiac Disease and a Gold Medal in the 100 Butterfly. Photo: EPA
Celebrities and athletes living gluten-free are casting a much-needed light on the lifestyle changes that accompany a gluten-free diet. With their openness about their symptoms, dietary changes and more, athletes and celebrities in the spotlight are proving that celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are more prevalent than is currently known, that these conditions affects all kinds of people, and that abiding by a gluten-free diet does not stop them from living the life they love.
Dana Vollmer, U.S. swimmer and 2012 Olympian recently brought home a gold medal and set a world record in (more…)
I just received an email from the Celiac Disease Research Center at Columbia University regarding a study showing a possible association between a blood pressure medication and villous atrophy. The blood pressure medication is called olmesartan and it is also known as Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor, and Olmetec.
According to this article, the three-year study was conducted by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and it included 22 patients who had symptoms of celiac disease, but antibody blood tests did not support that diagnosis. During this study patients improved with discontinuation of the drug, while a gluten-free diet had had no impact on their (more…)
I was recently connected with Ciara Gavin of Allergen Detection Service Dogs in a joint effort to work together to increase Food Allergy Awareness by holding a conference in Colorado Springs. While that whole idea is still in the works, I was immediately intrigued by the work being done by Ciara and her team. I needed to know more! Lucky for me, she agreed to come to Denver and meet over lunch to discuss the work we both do. I am honored to share with all of you the amazing services being provided through Allergen Detection Service Dogs!
First, I have to say that I was lucky enough to meet one of these amazing dogs named Tucker, who is actually a mobility dog, and has a unique set of skills outside of allergen detection. However, he was in the restaurant with us and was well received, well behaved, and an all around incredible animal. I was hooked from (more…)
There is no cure for celiac disease. But, there may soon be a new therapy to go along with a gluten-free diet.
A Phase II medical research study to test a potential therapy for people with celiac disease is underway and signing up participants at CeliacTrial.com.
Alessio Fasano, MD. Co-founder of Alba Therapeutics
The investigational drug, Larazotide Acetate, was developed by Alba Therapeutics. It passed Phase I trials and is now being studied to determine how effective it is in different doses and whether side effects develop. Alba Therapeutics was co-founded by celiac disease researcher, Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Maryland.1
The therapy is based on Dr. Fasano’s discovery that tight junctions between cells in the intestine can be opened or closed and that gluten relaxes these junctions. It is this process that leads to gluten improperly crossing into the body, thereby eliciting an immune reaction that leads to inflammation and damage characteristic of celiac disease.
“The reality is that the paracellular space is a gate, not a wall or fence. And if material gets through that space – even if it is only 1 to 5% of what normally travels through the cell – it could be associated with disease.”
-Alessio Fasano, MD1
Dr. Fasano discovered the potentially therapeutic utility of down-regulating intestinal permeability of celiac disease.1 In other words, he discovered that (more…)
The gluten-free food industry is exploding due to increased diagnosis of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people, while gluten sensitivity is believed to affect up to 10% of the population. The gluten-free market is one of the fastest growing industries, with 20%+ growth per year with US sales increasing from under $1 billion in 2006 to over $2.5 billion in 2011. With the potential market so large, more and more major corporations are getting into the act.
Smart Balance recently acquired Udi’s Healthy Foods, the industry leader in the gluten-free breads and baked goods category, for $125 million. This follows Smart Balance’s 2011 acquisition of Glutino Foods, which was at the top of the gluten-free snack industry when purchased. With this recent buy, Smart Balance is fast becoming (more…)
It is wonderful to see individual states supporting celiac disease awareness. This April, Alaska became the latest to pass a resolution recognizing May as Celiac Awareness Month. Governor Sean Parnell and Senator Cathy Giessel are applauded for their efforts to advance celiac disease awareness.
Gov. Parnell & Sen. Giessel with the Celiac Awareness Month Resolution
(Juneau) – A resolution to proclaim May 2012 as Celiac Disease Awareness Month, SCR 16, was signed by the governor, Sean Parnell, today.
Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, an advanced nurse practitioner, sponsored SCR 16 after being approached by a constituent of hers, Brandy Wendler, also a nurse practitioner, who was diagnosed 4 years ago. Together, they wanted to bring greater public awareness to a disease that is much more common than many realize, and often goes undiagnosed. Mrs. Wendler reported, “Statistics tell us that 1 in 133 people have Celiac Disease, which is three million Americans, yet 97% of them do not know it.” May is also (more…)