Author Archives: John Libonati

Celiac Disease, Diabetes Have Genetic Link

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.

Jennies Macaroons Adds New Flavor To Gluten-Free Line

 

 3 12 08

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. Read More »

Allergies lead churches to new practices – gluten-free communion wafers

This article talks about how different churches are responding to congregants’ various allergies, including celiac disease.

Note: the catholic low-gluten communion wafers mentioned were tested at Dr. Allessio Fasano’s tested at .01% gluten. (Dr. Fasano did mention the lowest level the machine could detect was .o1% and that the wafer could have contained even less.) 

The contact information for ordering low-gluten hosts is: Congregation of Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, Altar Breads Department, 31970 State Highway P, Clyde, Missouri 64432. Phone: 1-800-223-2772.

www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.to.allergy06jan06,0,7898965.story?coll=bal-utility-olympics [Editor: Article no longer available online]

baltimoresun.com

Allergies lead churches to new practices
By Jill Rosen

Sun reporter

January 6, 2008

 The Rev. Bill Miller-Zurell was recently presiding at Communion, moving from congregant to congregant, offering the body, offering the blood, until he got to a little boy who, seeing the piece of bread, stopped the pastor short.

“He asked me if there were any nuts in it,” said Miller-Zurell, who leads New Hope Lutheran Church in Columbia. “His mom, who was standing behind him, made him. And he only took it after I assured him that there were no nuts.”

In an increasingly susceptible world, where more and more people are realizing that things like nuts and wheat and even certain pungent scents can make them quite sick, religious organizations are reconsidering the most time-honored of traditions.

Communion wafers are now available in rice and soy. Religious supply stores are offering hypo-allergenic incense. Churches are banning cologne and cutting way back on Easter lilies. Fresh pine boughs for the holidays are often out. A group of nuns in Missouri have invented a host with only a trace of wheat so that the gluten-sensitive could digest it.

“I’ve just been amazed – there’s more and more and more,” Miller-Zurrell said. “I suspect it’s an increase in allergies, and certainly an awareness on my part.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 8 percent of children suffer from a food allergy. And every year, the organization reports, allergic reactions are responsible for 30,000 cases of anaphylaxis, 2,000 hospitalizations and 150 deaths.

The Rev. Sue Montgomery, a Pennsylvania pastor who works on a national level to help the Presbyterian Church become more accessible for disabled parishioners, insists that as more people get diagnoses of allergies, the clergy must bend to meet their needs. “The invitation to the Lord’s Table is for everyone,” she likes to tell people, “even those with food allergies.”

Montgomery says religious organizations must provide for worshipers with certain dietary needs, just as they build ramps for those in wheelchairs or offer Braille Bibles for the blind.

“We’re moving toward seeing disabilities as diversity rather than an aberration or something abnormal that needs to be cured or fixed,” she said. “The church is just beginning to wake up to that.”

Just a few years ago, national media attention turned to the Roman Catholic Church after a couple of dioceses refused to offer First Communion to girls suffering from celiac disease – an inability to tolerate wheat. Under orders from the Vatican, the churches, one in Massachusetts, the other in New Jersey, would not consider using soy or rice wafers, insisting that only the traditional wheat host was legitimate.

The problem seemed solved when Benedictine nuns in Missouri developed a wheat wafer with only trace levels of gluten – a wafer that has passed muster with both the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and those with celiac disease.

But even with the new wafer, Catholics with food allergies still feel somewhat ostracized, according to Chris Spreitzer, who founded the Catholic Celiac Society.

The New York woman, whose husband and three daughters have celiac disease, said during a holiday service in Orange County, Calif., last month, the priest stopped the ceremony to reprimand her husband and the girls for joining the line for wine without having taken the bread.

“My husband had to stand there and explain,” she said. The priest only relented when they explained that they had celiac. “It kind of made a small uproar. You don’t want to always be the person standing out in the crowd and making a small scene.”

Because Spreitzer has spent considerable time teaching her girls that no gluten is safe, she doesn’t like the idea of a low-gluten wafer exception.

“I tried to teach them that no gluten is safe, and I have the church on the other hand saying you can have this wheat,” she said. “We’ve chosen not to use them because it sends a mixed message to the children.”

When Bruce Watson told the leaders at Baltimore’s Cathedral of the Incarnation, which is Episcopal, that his daughter, Rosemary, will swell up and wheeze if she eats wheat, they had no problem allowing her to take a rice wafer for communion. The church, which notes the availability of the alternative wafers in its bulletin, has since discovered other parishioners with the same problem.

“We’re trying to figure out what would make sense for her, to make sure she’s fully included,” said Jan Hamill, who is canon for Christian formation at the cathedral.

The Cathedral of the Incarnation has also all but eliminated incense from services – only bringing it out for major holidays. And then, she says, the sensitive worshipers know better than to sit anywhere near the center aisle.

In some churches, the institutional memory is scented with candles, oils and the heady aromas of frankincense and myrrh. But they’re having to make changes because the heavy scents can cause people with perfume allergies to sneeze, itch and even experience trouble breathing.

At the Religious Supply Center in Davenport, Iowa, owner Mark Gould says he’s noticed more and more requests from pastors for subtle incense, something with less potency.

“We actually get calls where they ask for smokeless incense,” he said, “Which is kind of a funny one, if you think about it, because it doesn’t exist. We do, however, have something where you can still visualize the smoke but it’s not – and I don’t know if ‘offensive’ is the word – it’s not as strong a smell.”

Baltimore’s Beth Am Synagogue publishes a note every week in the Shabbat program asking people to hold off on cologne, perfume and aftershave. It also postS notes reminding people in the men’s and women’s restrooms. If someone should forget, it often falls on Executive Director Henry Feller to provide a tap on the shoulder.

“As gently and kindly as I can, I’ll mention to them that we have some people who are highly allergic,” Feller said.

The synagogue only orders non-fragrant or minimally fragrant flowers for the bema, and, after an unfortunate incident with citrus spray, keeps its cleaning products scent-free as well. Feller has gotten many queries from other congregants on how Beth Am drafted its policy.

At New Hope Lutheran, Miller-Zurell couldn’t have been more surprised last Easter to find himself – after years with no problems – having a bad reaction to the lilies, dandelions and hydrangeas decorating the church.

“My voice started to go,” he said. “It’s very colorful, but my goodness, it can be overwhelming,”

Now the church will be more careful with the flowers – they already did away with the natural pine boughs and trees for Christmas.

“Yes, I know,” he said glumly. “I grew up with the smell. And you know smell is one of the most wonderful senses for bringing back memories.”

New Hope member Pat Wheeler, whose 14-year-old daughter, Sarah, has celiac disease, said in the seven years since the diagnosis, the disease has become better known and more accepted.

And she said the church’s understanding and flexibility haVE been “fantastic.”

“It’s very important to [Sarah],” Wheeler said. “She needs to do what everyone else does and practice her faith.”

jill.rosen@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2008, The Baltimore Sun

Bone Mineral Density and Celiac Disease in Women

The article below describes a study showing if a woman enters menopause with a low bone mineral density, the risk is 25% to develop fractures compared to 9% who had normal bone mineral density. This is a significant and important reason for women with celiac disease to: 

1) Keep a strict gluten-free diet to be able to absorb calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients vital to bone health,  

2) Influence disinterested relatives to get tested, and 

3) Get a baseline bone mineral density (BMD) test with follow-up for the appropriate supplementation.

Bone Density Tests Do Predict Women’s Fracture Risk
Largest, longest study ever supports screening and prevention of osteoporosis

By Amanda GardnerPosted 12/18/07

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) — One bone mineral density test can accurately predict a woman’s chance of spinal fractures 15 years down the line, new research shows.

And, according to the largest and longest prospective study of osteoporosis ever, women who had a spinal fracture at the beginning of the study had four times the risk of sustaining another fracture later on.

The bottom line: “Women need to talk to their doctors about the risk of osteoporosis,” according to Jane Cauley, lead author of the study and professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Her team published the findings in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“I agree with the guidelines that all women after the age of 65 have bone density tests, and Medicare will pay for that,” Cauley said. “Women who are postmenopausal, 50 to 64 years of age, should consider having a bone density test if they have other risk factors for osteoporosis or if they want to know what their bone density is before they consider any other treatment.”

The findings don’t change current standard practice, experts said, and they don’t change the basic message to women: Don’t ignore bone health, especially in middle and old age.

“The only really major advance here is that it’s a longer term study. Mostly studies are five years typically. This one went out 15 years,” said Paul Brandt, associate professor of neuroscience and experimental therapeutics at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in College Station. “Women need to get their bone mineral density tested after they start menopause and if they stay on hormone replacement therapy or an anti-osteoporotic treatment.” he said.

Postmenopausal women are particularly vulnerable to fractures resulting from osteoporosis, a degenerative weakening of the bones. Some 10 million Americans, including one in five American women over the age of 50, suffer from osteoporosis, which is the most common type of bone disease.

Spinal fractures are the most common type of fracture resulting from osteoporosis, affecting 35 percent to 50 percent of women over 50 (about 700,000 vertebral fractures annually in the

United States).
But many, if not most, of these fractures go undetected. “Osteoporosis is sometimes called the silent thief,” Cauley said. “It basically robs the skeleton of strength and resources, and women don’t really know about it. About 75 percent of all spine fractures actually occur silently.”

“Identifying risk factors for spine fractures is less well developed. You have to systematically look for them by repeated X-rays,” Cauley continued.

The findings from this study are based on bone mineral density data from 2,300 women over the age of 65 who enrolled in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF), initiated in 1986.

After 15 years of follow-up, it was evident that 25 percent of women who had low BMD at the beginning of the study developed fractures of the spine, compared with only 9 percent of women with normal BMD.

“It was pretty much a strong gradient of risk,” Cauley explained. “If you had normal bone density when you entered and did not have an [existing] fracture, the risk of having a new spine fracture was about 9 percent, compared to a risk of 56 percent in women who had osteoporosis and who had an existing fracture. So, the range of risk varied dramatically depending on bone density and previous spine fractures.”

According to Brandt, one interesting finding from the study is that a previous vertebral fracture topped even bone mineral density as a predictor for future fracture.

This indicates that women with an existing vertebral fracture should be treated for osteoporosis regardless of their BMD, the authors reported.

“People think osteoporosis is an inevitable consequence of aging, but it is preventable and treatable,” she said.

More information There’s more on age-linked bone loss at the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Copyright © 2007 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.                  

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I provide confidential coaching. This means your coaching will not be discussed with anyone. But there are some important legal and professional limits to confidentiality.

I am legally obliged to report the following to the appropriate authorities:

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Health Coaching does not diagnose illness, disease, or other physical or mental disorders. The Health Coach does not prescribe medical treatments or pharmaceuticals. The Health Coach is not a substitution for a medical examination or diagnosis and that it is recommended that you see a physician for any physical ailment that you might have.

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