Posts Tagged ‘Neurological disorders’

 


Ethan Fox never slept more than two hours at a time.  He did not speak.  He ran continuously, day and night, until he would collapse from exhaustion.  After a short nap, he would awaken and run again. 

At one year of age, Ethan was diagnosed with autism.  At 20 months, after being written off by other physicians, he was placed on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet by Dr. Kenneth Bock, autism specialist and author of "What Your Family Needs To Know About Autism Spectrum Disorders."

According to Ethan's mother, Tracy Fox, results were seen within three days on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Ethan slept through the night, spoke his first words and has never had a problem since.  Now age 6, he is at the top of his class at school with a 97%  average...and virtually no one knows he was ever diagnosed with autism.

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Editor’s note: Promising research published January 8, 2007 shows that adequate levels of vitamin D in the elderly are important to maintain cognitive function or thinking skills that include use of language, awareness, social skills, math ability, memory, reasoning, judgment, intellect, learning, and imagination. This study is called a retrospective review because the researchers did not actually examine anyone. Instead they reviewed data from records of 32 older adults who had been examined for memory (more…)

Claire Houston, MS, LCMHC

Celiac Disease, on the Couch

June 30th, 2010 by Claire Houston, MS, LCMHC

Kathleen (not her real name) came to counseling because of anxiety. After an intake, we identified several areas in her life that sounded like they were contributing to her difficulties. We started working with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a system that looks at the thought sequence you use, and where a distorted belief can be corrected and thereby relieve suffering.

After teaching her a series of formulas, she was able to apply the principles herself when not in the office with me. This is a very effective psychotherapy intervention, that is so useful that many insurance companies paying for counseling expect to see it as part of a treatment plan. But, it did not seem to offer Kathleen the relief I was expecting. So, we continued looking elsewhere in her life for the source and solution of her anxiety. If it wasn’t her thinking causing it, perhaps it was situational. (more…)

[Editor's Note: The following is a post I recently submitted to a listserv concerning attitude and nutritional deficiencies in celiac disease. I posted it in response to a heated exchange folks were having on the topic.]

Hi there,

The "rage" we see in posts from time to time is part and parcel with celiac disease. My business is celiac disease. I own Glutenfreeworks.com and edited the book, Recognizing Celiac Disease.

I frequently see abnormal personalities in my travels, presentations, discussions and on listservs. I meet people with anxiety, depression, irritability, distrust and other unexplained "attitudes." There is an explanation - and no they aren't jerks, as much as people might want to call them that. Whether they are gluten-free or not, they are sick - malnourished in fact.

Nutrients play a huge part in our attitude.

Here is an example. While dropping off a shipment of Recognizing Celiac Disease books at the post office on Friday, a woman in line with thinning hair and poor skin color noticed my Gluten Free Works label. She asked what the packages were and I told her the packages contained books I was sending to customers.

She immediately launched into a tirade about how only biopsy-proven people have celiac disease and people are making money off celiac disease and how she should write a book because her daughters have celiac disease and she has read all the research and knows everything... (more…)

John Libonati

Neurological Disorders, Gluten & Celiac Disease

March 13th, 2008 by John Libonati

The brain is a delicate organ, where billions of cells, electrical and chemical reactions have to interact correctly to function optimally.  When something unbalances brain chemistry, interrupts reactions or damages the cells, brain dysfunction results. Gluten does all these things - whether or not you have celiac disease.

Neurological disorders from gluten can arise in either, or both, of the following ways.  Gluten can penetrate the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, by its own mechanism, travel to the brain where it can damage or disrupt cells or cause inflammation.  This is the direct effect of gluten on the brain.  Gluten can also lead to malabsorption of nutrients in celiac disease.  In this case, the body does not absorb the nutrients it needs. Nutrients are chemicals. The brain, therefore, does not receive the chemicals it needs to function correctly and problems develop.

Nervous system disorders have been found in over 50% of newly diagnosed celiacs.  The list of nervous disorders is long: autism, gait ataxia, gluten ataxia, progressive myoclonic ataxia, chorea, tremors, brain atrophy, cerebral perfusion abnormalities, cortical calcifying angiomatosis (cerebral calcifications), dementia, headaches, epilepsy, chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, multiple sclerosis, vasculitis of the central nervous system, chronic maladaptive anxiety, apathy, depression, inability to concentrate, insomnia, irritability, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and peripheral neuropathy.  New disorders are being added as the link between

These nervous disorders can include either hard or soft disorders.

Examples of hard disorders would be epilepsy, ataxia (motor abnormalities), myoclonus, internuclear ophthalmoplegia, multifocal leukoencephlopathy, dementia and peripheral neuropathies.  Hard disorders, besides peripheral neuropathies, do not respond to gluten restriction - so identifying gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease early is critical.

Soft disorders in celiac disease include a broad range of what are considered common neurological disorders.  Hypotonia (flaccid muscles in babies), developmental delay, learning disorders and ADHD, headaches and cerebellar ataxia are examples.  Importantly, there does not seem to be a difference in whether people with infantile-onset gastrointestinal symptoms, those with late onset symptoms or are asymptomatic (have no symptoms at all) develop soft disorders.

This means you may never experience a gastrointestinal symptom, yet still suffer from neurological disorder due to celiac disease.

Recovery from these neurological disorders usually depends on length of time gluten has been digested. The gluten-free diet can result in complete recovery, improvement or no recovery depending on the amount of damage incurred. This means the earlier gluten is removed from the diet, the greater the likelihood of successful recovery.

For these reasons, anyone with an unexplained neurological disorder that does or does not respond to traditional treatment should be screened for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

(This Health Alert was taken from information found in Issue #10 - "How Gluten Perturbs the Brain" of the Gluten Free Gazette.)

Celiac disease is a hereditary, auto-immune disorder estimated to affect 1% of the human population (3 million in the US). Less than 3 % are estimated to be medically diagnosed, but numbers are expected to rapidly increase as diagnosis improves. Celiac disease is caused by the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye and oats and treated by removing these items from the diet. Signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications can affect any part of the body and removal of the offending foods can result in complete recovery.

Visit Glutenfreeworks.com for more information.