Below is a recent message we received from someone who bought "Recognizing Celiac Disease."

Thank you. My husband and I both have Celiac Disease and your book is by far the best one we have found in print on Celiac Disease. We love the format with the concise, current overview in the beginning and the detailed charts that make up most of the book. We refer to it on a regular basis as we research questions for ourselves, friends, family and others.

We shared your book with the head of the pathology dept. at our local hospital, our Celiac Disease support group members at our last meeting (and encouraged them all to purchase their own copies) and even with our dentist.

I wish there were a way to get your book to all of our local doctors since none of them are informed about Celiac Disease and few people are diagnosed in our area. My doctor had never dx'd a case of Celiac Disease before mine (I was on my deathbed 6 years ago), and our pediatrician has never dx'd a case!

I have proposed that our support group purchase books for all of our local gastroenterologists, providing you are not planning to publish an updated version in the near future.

If there is any way you recommend that our support group, or we personally, can promote your book please let us know.

Thank you again!

Suzanne Ludlam Fairfax, VT

You can read more reviews Here!


Health Alert - Microbes Matter - Probiotics a.k.a. Good Bacteria in Your Gut

Strange as it seems, our well-being is uniquely tied to the condition of our colon, which is commonly unhealthy at diagnosis of celiac disease. To keep our colon healthy, we need to understand what happens there on a microscopic level.  Hundreds of varieties of intestinal microbe populations called “flora” live there, numbering in the billions.  To put these numbers into focus, dead bacteria make up about a third of each bowel movement.  Our resident microbes, whether beneficial or harmful, play a decisive role in nourishing or damaging the cells that form the intestinal lining.  Probiotic and prebiotic foods and supplements restore and feed our friendly microbes.

Probiotic flora inhibit colonization of pathogens by physically preventing them from adhering to the gut lining.  Other important functions are:

  • Produce short chain fatty acids (SCFA)s.  SCFAs are important and necessary energy byproducts formed during fermentation of undigested carbohydrates in the colon by flora.  SCFAs nourish the colonocytes, the cells that line the colon. They also help absorb salts and water from stool.

  • Produce a form of vitamin K and appreciable amounts of biotin.
  • Reduce the presence of putrefactive enzymes.

  • Protect against toxic substances.

  • Contribute to normal bowel movements.

For these reasons, we need to use probiotics and prebiotics every day to improve our overall health and specifically our intestinal health.  This is especially important if fatigue, weakness, achiness, depression, foggy thinking and digestive problems continue while maintaining a gluten-free diet. 

(This Health Alert was taken from information found in Issue #9 - Microbes Matter 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.

John Libonati

Psoriasis and Celiac Disease – Genetic Link

April 4th, 2008 by John Libonati

The research below further supports the links demonstrated between celiac disease and psoriasis as noted in the book "Recognizing Celiac Disease." (www.recognizingceliacdisease.com) Although not the focus of this study, the link could be a genetic sensitivity to gluten itself, considering the resolution of symptoms seen by people with psoriasis who go on a gluten-free diet. In addition, the other disorders, diabetes type 1 and arthritis have been linked to celiac disease/gluten sensitivity reactions. - John Libonati, Glutenfreeworks.com

Psoriasis: 7 New Genetic Clues

Newly Discovered Genetic Variations May Make Psoriasis More Likely, Study Shows By Miranda Hitti

WebMD Medical NewsReviewed by Louise Chang, MDApril 3, 2008 -- Scientists have discovered seven genetic variations linked to psoriasis.

If confirmed in other studies, those gene variants may make good targets for new psoriasis drugs, note the researchers, who included Anne Bowcock, PhD, genetics professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

"Common diseases like psoriasis are incredibly complex at the genetic level," Bowcock says in a news release. "Our research shows that small but common DNA differences are important in the development of psoriasis. Although each variation makes only a small contribution to the disease, patients usually have a number of different genetic variations that increases their risk of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis."

Bowcock's team compared DNA from 223 psoriasis patients (including 91 with psoriatic arthritis) and 519 people without psoriasis, and also from two other large groups of people with and without psoriasis.

Through those comparisons, the researchers identified seven genetic variations linked to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and confirmed other variations already linked to psoriasis.

One of the newly discovered variants is in a genetic region tied to four other autoimmune diseases: celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, Grave's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Further studies are needed to confirm the findings, Bowcock and colleagues note in the April 4 online edition of Public Library of Science Genetics.

View Article Sources SOURCES:

Liu, Y. Public Library of Science Genetics, April 4, 2008; online edition.

News release, Public Library of Science.

© 2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. http://www.webmd.com:80/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/news/20080403/psoriasis-7-new-genetic-clues

John Libonati

Rice Chex is now gluten free!

April 1st, 2008 by John Libonati

This just in from the Cincinnati Celiac Support Group listserve:

Rice Chex is now gluten-free - click the link below and check out the label where it says gluten-free on the middle of the box...   http://www.generalmills.com/corporate/brands/product_image.aspx?catID=23344&itemID=131

This was the response someone received on the Delphi Celiac Disease Forum when they emailed General Mills about the cross contamination issue:   Thank you for contacting General Mills with your inquiry.  Rice Chex has been reformulated to insure that it does not include gluten-containing ingredients or have the possibility of cross contact with gluten containing ingredients or products. We hope you find this information helpful.  Please let us know if we can help you again.   Sincerely,   Connie Sellers Consumer Services

BE AWARE THAT OLDER, BARLEY MALT CONTAINING BOXES MAY STILL BE ON THE SHELVES!  MAKE SURE TO READ THE INGREDIENT LABEL.

Hyperthyroidism, also called Grave’s Disease, is an immunologically mediated thyroid disease.  That basically means it is brought on by the action of specific abnormal autoantibodies, called thyroid receptor antibodies (TRAb), that stimulate excessive release of normal thyroid hormones into the blood.  Thyroid hormones control body metabolism.

Features of hyperthyroidism are diffuse non-tender goiter (enlarged thyroid gland), elevated blood levels of thyroxine hormone, suppressed blood levels of thyrotropin hormone (TSH), and the presence of thyroid receptor antibodies in the blood.

Symptoms include various degrees of bulging eyeballs, staring, firm areas of edema or swellings of the lower legs in most patients, rapid pulse, increased blood pressure, palpitations, nervousness, depression, anxiety, heat intolerance, weight loss, thigh and upper arm weakness, brisk tendon reflexes, cardiac abnormalities and oligomenorrhea in females – infrequent or scanty menstruation. 

According to a recent medical study of 111 people with hyperthyroidism, 4.5% had positive celiac disease antibodies, 14% had anti-gliadin antibodies and 3% had IgA deficiency. Anti-gliadin antibodies demonstrate a normal reaction to the abnormal presence of gluten in the blood. The high presence of anti-gliadin antibodies in thyroid disorders is likely related to gluten entering the bloodstream through the small intestine via “leaky gut.”  Leaky gut can result from poorly digested gluten with or without celiac disease. 

An immune-linked reason for the co-existence of hyperthyroidism and celiac disease revolves around the fact that both disorders (and several other diseases) share the immune system genetic markers HLA B-8 and HLA DR3. Individuals having these genetic markers can develop one or more of a certain cluster of diseases associated with these genes.1

The good news is that a strict gluten free diet can successfully treat hyperthyroidism in celiac disease.

Thyroid function should be assessed in all celiac disease patients at diagnosis and follow-up if clinically indicated. Screening of high-risk groups such as those with autoimmune thyroid disease is a reasonable strategy.2

If you have hyperthyroidism, be sure your doctor tests you for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Anti-gliadin antibody (AGA-IgA and AGA-IgG) tests for gluten sensitivity while EMA-IgA and EMA-IgG or tTG-IgA and tTG-IgG  are specific tests for celiac disease.  Testing that is based on IgA only would give a false negative result for individuals who are unable to produce IgA antibodies, that is, in IgA deficiency.

If your physician refuses or dismisses the idea of testing for celiac disease, please get a second opinion from a medical provider who is knowledgeable about celiac disease.  The longer gluten is consumed, the greater will be its damaging effects on your body.

(This Health Alert was taken from information found in Issue #11 - "Gluten and the Thyroid" 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. Grave’s Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Enteropathy (GSE). Elaine Moore. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/graves_disease/54749 Ch’ng CL, Keston Jones M, Kingham JGC. Celiac disease and autoimmune thyroid disease. Clinical Medicine & Research. May 2007; 5(3)184-192.

John Libonati

Spelt Bread Recall by Food For Life Baking Company

March 20th, 2008 by John Libonati

Food For Life Baking Company of Corona, California is voluntarily recalling 2,241 cases of Spelt Bread (UPC# 07347200168) because they contain spelt grain which is known to be a hybrid of wheat. People who have allergies to wheat or those with Celiac Disease may run the risk of a serious or life threatening allergic reaction if they consume spelt products. The recalled products were sold nationwide through health food distributors and natural food retailers.

Food For Life Spelt Bread is sold frozen in a 24 oz. (680g) light blue package and bears either of the two following descriptions

Food For LIfe, Wheat Alternative Spelt Bread Food For Life, Fruit Juice Sweetened Spelt Bread Affected lot numbers are: H1847, H2042, H2136, H2435, H2872, H2974, H3224, H3460, I0485.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The recall was initiated as a precautionary measure following an FDA investigation concluding that the product contained undeclared wheat.

This recall is being made with the knowledge and in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration.

Consumers who have purchased any of these products are urged to return them unopened to the place of purchase for a refund.

Consumers with questions may contact us toll free at: (800) 797-5090.

http://www.fda.gov/oc/po/firmrecalls/foodforlife03_08.html

Maritza Velazquez, Staff Writer

Article Launched: 03/12/2008 09:09:57 PM PDT

Cries from a child shaken from his sleep instantly transformed into shrieks of joy. Little Royce Block had spotted his wicker basket. But it wasn't filled with candy or toys. It contained about 10 medicines he takes every day.

The 2-year-old has autism.

For about a year, Jess Block watched her son live his life without smiling, playing or leaving his stroller.

After some research, Block found Dr. Hitendra Shah, who works at the Wellness Clinic in Diamond Bar. Shah diagnosed Royce with autism in February.

The condition is not about a delay in a child's development; it's about regression.

"One of the most common stories we hear with most children is that they were born normal," Shah said. "Maybe they were talking and saying some words, then they will completely stop talking."

Shah is one of just a couple dozen in the state who practice the Defeat Autism Now, or DAN, approach.

Instead of using psychiatric drugs to treat these children, the approach incorporates natural therapies.

The most basic treatments include relieving the body of toxins and incorporating a casein- and gluten-free diet.

"The most important thing we do is take out all the foods with casein and gluten," Shah said. "It makes them substantially improve."

For now, Block is just excited to see her baby acting like a normal toddler.

"For every parent it's a joy to see your child grow and develop," she said, "but to see your child stop regressing is just amazing."

Source: http://www.sgvtribune.com:80/living/ci_8551563

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.

John Libonati

Jennies Macaroons Adds New Flavor To Gluten-Free Line

March 12th, 2008 by John Libonati

New all-natural chocolate macaroons debut at Natural Products Expo West–BOOTH 3177  They’re all natural and made with only three ingredients, offering great taste and superior health benefits

Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) March 11, 2008 -- Jennies Macaroons has added chocolate to its line of all-natural macaroons, which are free of soy, wheat, sulfites, lactose, trans fats and gluten, nuts and yeast. As the first baking company to introduce gluten-free and dairy free products to the market in 1951—and the manufacturer of the #1 selling macaroon in the natural food market— Jennies Macaroons offer today’s health-conscious consumers what they’re looking for. “They’re all natural and made with only three ingredients, offering great taste and superior health benefits,” says Arnold Badner, president.

Jennies’ products include ingredients that are nutritional superstars. Coconut, now considered by health experts to be the healthiest form of saturated fat, is a main ingredient in both the macaroons and Jennies Omega-3 Energy Bars. The addition of flax seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds give the bars a fiber boost as well as Omega-3 support. One bar contains 1,305mg of the FDA recommended 1,300 mg/day of ALA Omega-3, which promotes normal cholesterol and triglyceride levels and supports healthy circulation, lung and brain functions. “Unlike many energy bars on the market, Jennies-Omega 3 bars taste great and contain no artificial ingredients. And they provide a great source of healthy energy for an active and athletic lifestyle,” adds Badner.

Garnering significant attention from the health industry, Jennies’ products are promoted by Jordan Rubin, founder of the Garden of Life and Perfect Weight America, who chronicles in his book The Maker’s Diet how he used Jennies Macaroons as a treatment for Crohn’s Disease. Dr. Mary Enig, nutritional expert and biochemist, recommends Jennie’s Coconut Macaroons as the #1 source of coconut for her immune-compromised patients. According to Enig, coconut helps the body’s cellular function and has unique antimicrobial, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

The new Chocolate Macaroons will appeal to specialty food and chocolate retailers, as well health food stores. Available in 8-ounce canisters, the coconut and almond are already sold in Whole Foods nationwide. Jennies Macaroons complete product line is available nationwide and includes Jennies Energy Bars, Traditional Jennies Macaroons, Zero Carbs Jennies Macaroons, and Omega 3 Energy Bars. All products are Kosher Parve, Maker’s Diet approved, and manufactured in a gluten-free and nut-free facility.

Jennies Macaroons (www.macaroonking.com), founded in 1919, has been the leading provider of all-natural macaroons since 1951, and expanded its line to include its popular Omega-3 Energy Bars in 2006. All products are Kosher Parve and Maker’s Diet approved, and manufactured by Red Mill Farms, Inc. in Brooklyn, NY. President Arnold Badner, 66, who has run more than 30 marathons and is an avid cyclist, relies on his Energy Bars to help him through his century bike rides in the Catskill Mountains.

John Libonati

Gatorade is Gluten Free

March 12th, 2008 by John Libonati

This just in from the Cincinnati Celiac Group ring.  All flavors of Gatorade are gluten-free.