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.

John Libonati

Yes, You Can Die From Celiac Disease

March 10th, 2008 by John Libonati

You can definitely die from celiac disease, in a variety of ways:

1. Dehydration - Extreme damage to the intestinal lining can lead to death through dehydration.  In this case, the lining that is supposed to hold water in your body no longer functions.  The gut actually pulls water from your body.

2. Malignancies - Malabsorption of nutrients or consistent damage to cellular structures leads to cancers: lymphoma, leukemia, intestinal, esophageal, etc.

3. Pregnancy complications - Nutrient deficiencies can lead to cardiomyopathy in the mother or birth defects in the fetus from folic acid deficiency, protein deficiency, etc.

4. Immunodeficiency - A weakened immune system can allow common illnesses to become deadly - the flu for example.  Other illnesses normally fought off, are not.

5. Autoimmune diseases - Celiac disease, if not diagnosed and treated early, causes the body to react to other things in the body.  As the body tries to unsuccessfully attack and remove gluten (because the person keeps eating it), the immune system stays on a heightened alert and starts attacking other things.

6. Malnutrition - Any health problem that comes from malnutrition of any one or more nutrient that can lead to death can be caused by celiac disease.

Here are just 6 examples of how celiac disease can kill you.  It is a deadly serious condition caused by eating what is essentially a poison to susceptible people - people with celiac disease.

The gluten-free diet is the elimination of gluten from the diet.  That is only the first step.  The next step is determining any health problems that have arisen and treating them.  The final step is ongoing identification of health problems that arise in the future to determine how to treat yourself.

-John Libonati

John Libonati is Vice President and co-Founder of Gluten Free Works, Inc. He can be reached at john.libonati@glutenfreeworks.com.

John Libonati

Recognizing Celiac Disease on KPLC-TV

March 10th, 2008 by John Libonati

Check out Britney Glaser's coverage of Cleo Libonati and celiac disease on KPLC-TV in Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Living with Celiac Disease

Contact: Sally Webster s.webster@qmul.ac.uk 44-207-882-5404 Queen Mary, University of London

Scientists who last year identified a new genetic risk factor for coeliac disease, have, following continued research, discovered an additional seven gene regions implicated in causing the condition. The team, lead by David van Heel, Professor of Gastrointestinal Genetics at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, have further demonstrated that of the nine coeliac gene regions now know, four of these are also predisposing factors for type 1 diabetes. Their research sheds light not only on the nature of coeliac disease, but on the common origins of both diseases. It is published online today (2 March 2008) in Nature Genetics.

Professor van Heel and his team, including collaborators from Ireland, the Netherlands, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, first performed a genome wide association study in coeliac disease. Genetic markers across the genome were compared in coeliac disease subjects versus healthy controls. They then assessed around 1,000 of the strongest markers in a further ~ 5,000 samples. Their results identified seven new risk regions, six of which harbour important genes critical in the control of immune responses, highlighting their significance in the development of the disease.

Coeliac disease is common in the West, afflicting around 1 per cent of the population. It is an immune-mediated disease, triggered by intolerance to gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye containing foods), that prevents normal digestion and absorption of nutrients. If undetected it can lead to a number of often severe problems among them anaemia, poor bone health, fatigue and weight loss. Currently only a restricted diet can diminish symptoms.

Professor van Heel said: “So far our findings explain nearly half of the heritability of coeliac disease - now studies with many more samples from individuals with coeliac disease are needed to identify the precise causal genetic variants from each region, and understand how these influence biological processes.”

###

The research was funded by Coeliac UK and The Wellcome Trust. Coeliac disease case studies are available for interview from Coeliac UK upon request.

The paper, ‘Newly identified genetic risk variant for celiac disease related to the immune response’ is published online, on 2 March 2008, in Nature Genetics.

For case studies contact: Kate Newman Press Office Coeliac UK Tel: 020 8399 7478 Mobile: 07952 071014

Notes to editors:

Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry offers international levels of excellence in research and teaching while serving a population of unrivalled diversity amongst which cases of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, TB, oral disease and cancers are prevalent, within east London and the wider Thames Gateway. Through partnership with our linked trusts, notably Barts and The London NHS Trust, and our associated University Hospital trusts – Homerton, Newham, Whipps Cross and Queen’s – the School’s research and teaching is informed by an exceptionally wide ranging and stimulating clinical environment.

At the heart of the School’s mission lies world class research, the result of a focused programme of recruitment of leading research groups from the UK and abroad and a £100 million investment in state-of-the-art facilities. Research is focused on translational research, cancer, cardiology, clinical pharmacology, inflammation, infectious diseases, stem cells, dermatology, gastroenterology, haematology, diabetes, neuroscience, surgery and dentistry.

The School is nationally and internationally recognised for research in these areas, reflected in the £40 million it attracts annually in research income. Its fundamental mission, with its partner NHS Trusts, and other partner organisations such as CRUK, is to ensure that that the best possible clinical service is underpinned by the very latest developments in scientific and clinical teaching, training and research.

Websites www.coeliac.org.uk www.coeliac.co.uk/about_us/press_office/writing_about_coeliac_disease/118.asp http://www.wellcome.ac.uk http://www.icms.qmul.ac.uk/ http://www.icms.qmul.ac.uk/Profiles/Gastro/van%20Heel%20David.htm http://www.nature.com/ng/index.html

John Libonati

Celiac Disease, Diabetes Have Genetic Link

March 5th, 2008 by John Libonati

The article below discusses that similar genes are found in people with celiac disease and Type 1 Diabetes.  This supports the findings of a recent Danish study that showed 12.3% of children with Type 1 Diabetes tested positive for celiac disease.  Published: March 4, 2008 at 5:48 PM

Print story Email to a friend Font size:LONDON, March 4 (UPI) -- London researchers suggest celiac disease and diabetes may have common genetic origins.

David van Heel of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry demonstrated that of the nine celiac gene regions now known, four are also predisposing factors for type 1 diabetes.

The team of researchers, which also include Irish and Dutch scientists and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, performed a genome-wide association study in celiac disease. Genetic markers across the genome were compared in celiac disease subjects versus healthy controls. The researchers identified seven new risk regions, six of which harbor important genes critical in the control of immune responses, highlighting their significance in the development of the disease.

Celiac disease, triggered by an intolerance to gluten -- a protein found in wheat, barley and rye can lead to anemia, poor bone health, fatigue and weight loss.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Genetics.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be reproduced, redistributed, or manipulated in any form.