Gluten Sensitivity

Nutrient Deficiencies Symptom Chart: Know Where You Stand So You Can Control Your Health


nutrient deficiency symptoms

Know the Symptoms of Nutrient Deficiencies so You Can Be Healthy!

The impact of nutritional deficiencies on health should be common knowledge among the medical professional community. All doctors, nurses and other medical professionals should be able to quickly and accurately identify and diagnose functional nutritional deficiencies in patients and correct those deficiencies. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Medical teaching institutions do not focus on nutrition, so many medical professionals are not equipped to recognize the signs of nutritional deficiencies until the patient is extremely sick. In most cases, the patient is able to function, just not at his or her potential. He or she may have weight issues, skin, hair or Read More »

Dr. Stephen Wangen of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle: An Inside Look


Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

I have had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Stephen Wangen, the founder of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle, WA.  Awhile back, at a CSA (Celiac Sprue Association) meeting I had the pleasure of helping Dr. Wangen with his book signing.  He had flown in to Denver to speak on his books, Healthier Without Wheat and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution. There was a full audience of folks, just like you and I, who were able to ask personal questions and learn more about living with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, as well as exploring other areas such as food allergies.

Since that time, Dr. Wangen and I have had the chance to talk about what the IBS Treatment Center does to help people really understand their bodies and how food can be affecting them.  He explores the possibilities of Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance and food allergies and helps people to develop a healthier lifestyle tailored to their specific needs.  At the same time, Dr. Wangen has observed the emotional affects these conditions can have on people and understands that not feeling well emotionally has an affect on how people take care of their physical well being.  What makes his practice so fantastic is the positive nature.  Dr. Wangen helps people view the changes by looking at the benfits and the gains and focusing on what people can have, rather than on what they can’t.  Here is what Dr. Wangen had to say when I asked him about his own experiences. Read More »

Gluten Reaction 101


Living 100% Gluten-Free is a challenge. Most of us, even after we’ve learned about hidden sources of gluten and done our best to stay away from them….are going to get “glutened” from time to time. This happens most often with:

1-Cross contamination
2-Eating out at a new restaurant
3-Eating products that don’t have any “gluten” ingredients…but still aren’t 100% GF.

We have to be extremely careful with cross contamination in our own homes. Most of us are living with non-GF people. So make sure everyone knows which toaster is the GF one….and when your grandma is baking glutenous pies, cakes, and bread….stay far away from the kitchen.  Trust me, I know. Even a TINY bit of gluten will do THIS to me:


Of course, I often get the same reaction when eating out at a new place I’m unsure about. Many restaurants  offer “gluten-free” items, but they Read More »

I’m deficient, You’re deficient, We’re all deficient? (Part 2)


In  Part 1 of this article about nutrient deficiencies in the gluten-free population, I posed four critiques and questions that I promised to answer in today’s part 2. Without further ado, here we go…

Critique #1 questioned the small sample size of the research. I can’t do anything about that, and there’s not much to be said about it, so let’s move on.

Next, I think it’s easiest to address critique #3: How did nutrient deficiencies in the gluten-free population compare to Americans as a whole? To answer that question, I pulled data regarding nationwide averages from the USDA’s Community Nutrition Mapping Project. If I amend yesterday’s table that showed the percent of the gluten-free population who are deficient in given nutrients, and add to it a column for the national averages, this is what you find:

 

Nutrient GF Deficiency Nationwide Deficiency
fiber 74% 92%
calcium 82% 69%
thiamin 59% 19%
riboflavin 25% 11%
B6 35% 26%
folate 85% 40%
B12 29% 20%
iron 41% 11%

 

These numbers change the perspective a bit, I think. It’s not simply that the gluten-free population is nutrient deficient. When you compare us to the national averages, it gets slightly more complex. In some cases, such as folate, riboflavin, thiamin, and iron, we’re two or more times as deficient (as a group) than the nation. However, in other cases, such as B12, B6, and calcium, we still have greater rates Read More »

I’m deficient, You’re deficient, We’re all deficient? (Part 1)


I was recently reading a press release from Nature’s Path Organic about two of their new cereals. The press release made a familiar argument: the cereals “provide gluten avoiders with whole grains… unlike many gluten-free cereals which forfeit nutritional benefits…” The implication is that many gluten-free cereals (and other gluten-free processed foods, by extension) are more highly processed in order to improve taste and texture. But they do so by sacrificing nutritional quality.

There is some truth to this logic. Foods made from whole grains are inherently healthier than heavily processed foods, and I’ll use our good old enemy – wheat – to demonstrate. I compared whole grain wheat flour (less processed) with white, unenriched wheat flour (more processed) across a range of nutrient measures. Not surprisingly, the wheat underwent a profound loss in Read More »

Gluten Free Spells Success for Big Time Athletes


Finally it seems that athletes have become savvy to the benefits of a gluten free diet.  As the general population has started to become more aware of the prevalence of gluten sensitivities and Celiac Disease, there has been a noted increase in the number of athletes turning to the gluten free lifestyle in an attempt to maximize their training and find greater success in their respective sports.

Among the most notable athletes making the gluten free switch are Raul Ibanez of the Philadelphia Phillies, Cedric Benson of the Cincinnati Bengals, and tennis player Novak Djokovic, the 2011 winner of Wimbledon who went on an unprecedented 43-match win streak.  Most significant about their decision to go gluten free is the marked improvement in all three athletes after the switch. Read More »

Investigation of Gluten Sensitivity Requires Anti-Gliadin Antibody Testing

[Editor’s Note: Reprinted from 7 09 08 – and still very important.]

antibody and antigen gluten sensitivity

Author: Fvasconcellos Source: Wikimedia Commons

The news release below is timely because anti-gliadin antibody blood tests are losing ground while the reality of gluten sensitivity looms far larger than is now appreciated by many doctors!  These blood tests are absolutely necessary to investigate health problems caused by gluten itself, yet they are being dismissed by doctors who look only to diagnosing celiac disease.

Positive anti-gliadin antibody tests show undigested gluten peptides in the bloodstream.  This abnormal finding tells the story that gluten has passed through the tight barrier defenses of the small intestinal lining into the body where it can wreak havoc, with or without celiac disease.  Gluten is a food protein in wheat, barley, rye and oats. Read More »

The News Media, Gluten Free Diet & Educating Yourself to be Healthy

Libonati_John_Philadelphia_PA

Have you ever wondered how reliable the news you see on the television really is?

Now I know first hand that the media does not always get it right and can even leave out the most important news of all.

Let me tell you how …

ABCGLUTENFATFor the last five years, I have worked to educate people about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. I developed a website called Glutenfreeworks.com, which has helped tens of thousands get well and stay healthy living the gluten-free lifestyle.

I also edited and published the groundbreaking work, Recognizing Celiac Disease. This medical reference, authored by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN has set the standard for identifying symptoms and their causes.

People use Glutenfreeworks.com every day to find new gluten-free recipes, how to get diagnosed for celiac disease, which restaurants serve gluten free food in their area and where to find information on local support groups. Our symptom guide, first published in Recognizing Celiac Disease, contains over 300 signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications. From nutritional information to in-depth reviews of gluten disorders and the gluten-free diet, Glutenfreeworks.com provides medically accurate information to help patients and health professionals alike.

Last week I was given the opportunity to talk to ABC News in Philadelphia about gluten sensitivity, the gluten-free diet and how people’s lives are being affected by gluten.

When I sat down with ABC for a 20 minute interview on gluten sensitivity we discussed the following: Read More »

Gluten Intolerance Validated by this Popular Doctor and Author

Liz_Schau

As common at they are, gluten allergies and elimination diets are still, many times, viewed as fringe alternative health practices and often don’t receive the mainstream validation they deserve. When some estimates show that nearly 1 in 30 people suffer at the hands of gluten, one would think the intolerance to this protein would finally gain more acceptance in mainstream medicine and media. One man, doctor and author Mark Hyman, is working to do just that.

HymanHyman, an M.D. in the field of functional medicine, pioneers techniques that aide the chronically-ill in improving their health and quality of life by determining the underlying causes of illness and treating according to those causes, as opposed to much mainstream medicine that focuses on treatments that champion subsistence and reliance on a medication. Doctor Hyman is a blogger for The Huffington Post and in a recent article, cites gluten allergies and Celiac Disease (even latent Celiac) as the cause for many ailments and conditions never previously associated with the grain protein. Read More »

How Blood Tests for Gluten Sensitivity & Celiac Disease Actually Work

This article focuses on the two main antibody blood tests for celiac disease. It will tell you what each test looks for and what the results mean.

The two blood tests recommended when testing for celiac disease are the AGA-IgA test for gliadin (wheat proteins) as well as the tTG-IgA test for tissue transglutaminase.

Recent research indicates the blood tests most doctors are using, tTG & EMA, are not as reliable as first thought. Young children, elderly, smokers, the very ill and the not very ill can be missed. EMA, or endomysial antibodies has fallen out of favor so they will not be discussed.

Preparation for Testing

Make sure when being tested that you are on a gluten-containing diet, because the antibodies the tests look for would disappear if you are were gluten-free. Once you go gluten-free, future testing is unreliable.

AGA – The Test for Gluten Sensitivity

The AGA-IgA has fallen out of favor for CELIAC DISEASE, but it tests whether an immune reaction against GLUTEN (gliadin) is present in the system – it detects a GLUTEN SENSITIVITY reaction. You can have gluten sensitivity without developing the lesion that is characteristic of celiac disease. That is, you can have gluten sensitivity without celiac disease.

tTG – The Test for Celiac Disease

tTG tests for tissue transglutaminase antibodies, or antibodies against your own tissues. The tTG blood test does NOT tell you if you have celiac disease per se. It tells you the likelihood that villous atrophy will be discovered if an endoscopy with biopsy is performed. The higher the number, the more likely you have enough damage that one of the samples would show villous atrophy.

One thing to consider is that you have over 20 feet of small intestine. Biopsy samples are tiny and only about 5 are taken. How much damage is required before a positive biopsy sample is found?

Also, you can also have the beginning stages of celiac disease and the test results will be “negative” now, but if you were tested at a later date they could rise, making you positive. That is, the levels of antibodies now may not indicate probable intestinal damage enough to be found on endoscopy with biopsy. But they can rise over time – one month, six months, a year.

In one study we reviewed while creating the medical manual, Recognizing Celiac Disease, of the children who tested positive in the study, 40% had tested negative 5 years previously.

No test is 100% accurate. Determining celiac disease is still a judgment call. Even if the tests come back negative, try a strict 100% gluten free diet to see if symptoms improve. If they do, ask your doctor to take multiple vitamin and mineral levels to determine whether deficiencies exist.

Page 30 in Recognizing Celiac Disease lists the vitamins and minerals the NIH recommends checking: vitamins A, D, E, K, B12, folic acid and minerals calcium, iron, phosphorous.

The symptom charts in the book list which deficiencies cause which symptoms so you can determine which nutrient levels to test and give your doctor reasons to test for them. (Doctors will not take nutrient levels unless there is a reason to take them.) Correct the nutrient deficiencies and you will correct the symptoms in many cases.

A diagnosis is just a diagnosis. Good health is the most important thing.

For more information on the tests click here.

For more information on Recognizing Celiac Disease click here.

——————–
Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA
President-elect, Celiac Sprue Association (CSA).
Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com.
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.
John can be reached at john.libonati@glutenfreeworks.com.

Become a Member and Get All This! Show Me!
+