Archive for the ‘Gluten Sensitivity’ Category

 


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 (more…)


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 (more…)

Gluten Free Spells Success for Big Time Athletes

August 8th, 2011 by Josh Ecker

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. (more…)

Sarah Graham Gluten Free Works

Every morning my freshman year in high school, I felt sick. I would miss a lot of first period class & summer swim workouts as a consequence. My mother and I could not figure out what was wrong.

Bobs Red Mill Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bob’s Red Mill chocolate chip cookie mix using soy free Earth Balance

Every day shortly after breakfast, I would get nauseous and have to lie down. One morning, I told my swim coach, who was frustrated with me missing so many workouts, I had “morning sickness.” At the time I was 14 and clueless to the usual context in which that phrase in used. Mom was mortified. I had to clarify to coach that I was not actually with child, and then it was off to the doctor, who confirmed I was likely lactose intolerant, so I stayed off dairy.

Down the road in college, I started getting sick after many meals, and after a few years of searching, I finally got a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity. First milk, now (more…)

[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. (more…)

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: (more…)

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. (more…)

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.

Saving a life means more than just keeping a person from dying. It means helping them get well.

While practicing medicine as a registered nurse, Cleo Libonati regularly saved people's lives. Now her book "Recognizing Celiac Disease" is doing the same for people across the country and around the world.

Here is a letter telling how one family credits the book with saving their lives...

------------------------ Dear Cleo,

I have been "sick" most of my life (I turn 40 in July) with random things, too many to list here. I have been really sick the last 10 years, but started feeling as though I was "dying by the inch" in 2004. I finally broke down and went to my primary when premature ventricular contractions were occurring every 5-10 seconds that felt as though my heart was going to jump right out of my throat. I had many other random multiple sclerosis type symptoms, but the severity of the PVC's were what scared me the most, that is until 2006. I began to have many gastro symptoms that kept me in the bathroom several times a day with alternating elimination problems, I couldn't keep food down, and pain in the left side of my swollen, hard, tender abdomen every time I ate. I had an EGD and colonoscopy on 2/15/07. The three days before the test were the best I had felt in 4 years. Since I worked in Oncology and was used to seeing patients doing prep for them, I put myself on clear liquids 2 days before the Go-Lytely. So, I was gluten-free without knowing it for 3 days prior to testing. (more…)

If you or someone you know has a child with a mental illness, behavioral problem or unexplained neurological issue, you must watch these videos. They vividly illustrate how gluten and celiac disease can cause neurological illnesses and how removing gluten and casein from the diet can improve or cure the child.

Eamon Murphy started exhibiting mental aberrations and problems eating at three months of age. By the time he was three, his parents were frantically trying to understand what had caused his developmental delay in walking and talking, and now his trances, seizure-like episodes and regression. After a determined effort by his mother and a series of extraordinarily lucky events, he was finally diagnosed with celiac disease…and FULLY RECOVERED.

Watch these videos NOW and then forward this message to everyone you know with a child with a similar mental illness and their healthcare providers…because it is unacceptable that any child should be unnecessarily consigned to a life of suffering and diminished potential when a simple change in diet may cure them.

Eamon is totally normal now. If he had not been diagnosed, it is easy to see how he could have become incapacitated within a few years as his body and mind became sicker and sicker. Eventually, he may have been labeled autistic or schizophrenic. He may just have been called odd and slow.

Was it a miracle that Eamon recovered? No. It was a miracle that Eamon was diagnosed...

Here are some facts:

Autism affects 1 in 150 children. Medical experts recommend behavioral management and specialized speech, physical and occupational therapies (costing an estimated $70,000 per year per child), medications, community support and parental training.

Medical experts recommend AGAINST dietary intervention, yet the gluten-free/casein-free diet that helped Eamon has been demonstrated in thousands of cases to improve or resolve symptoms.

Celiac disease is still considered a rare gastrointestinal disorder that affects children by the majority of health professionals. In reality, celiac disease affects 1 in 100 people of any age, classifying it an epidemic by NIH standards. More people have celiac disease than Type 1 diabetes, breast cancer or autism. Diagnosis of celiac disease is estimated to take up to 11 years from first presentation of symptoms. Only 5% of people with celiac disease are estimated to be diagnosed.

Gastrointestinal problems occur in about 20% of people with celiac disease whereas neurological problems have been seen in as high as 51% at time of diagnosis.

The treatment for celiac disease is removing gluten from the diet and correcting nutrient deficiencies and any complications that have developed.

Unless you have symptoms that doctors expect to see - chronic diarrhea, failure to thrive, abdominal bloating and pain, and anemia - your likelihood of being diagnosed is extremely low.

For a complete list of symptoms related to celiac disease including dozens of neurological issues and problems in childhood, visit Gluten Free Works.

An excellent resource that outlines over 300 signs and symptoms and explains the relationship between celiac disease and the nutrient deficiencies that cause them is the book Recognizing Celiac Disease, by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN. Recognizing Celiac Disease was endorsed by Dr. Peter Green, the director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University who diagnosed Eamon Murphy.