Symptoms

Novak Djokovic #1 Tennis Player in the World Dispels Myth That Gluten-Free Diet is Deficient

Novak Djokovic: #1 Tennis Player in the World & Gluten-free!

On September 12, a gluten-free Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal to win the men’s US Open Final.
Djokovic, the #1 men’s tennis player in the world, credits his adoption of the gluten-free diet at the recommendation of a nutritionist in 2010 for his incredible success in 2011. He has won an astounding 64 out of 66 matches and 3 out of 4 Grand Slams in 2011.

Djokovic said in interviews that removing gluten from his diet has resulted in his increased speed, endurance and improved play. In his own words, he feels better, moves better and thinks better.

While watching the grueling 4 hour and 10 minute US Open Final and listening to the announcers repeatedly describe it as one of the most intense they had ever witnessed, a nagging thought begged the question…  Read More »

Nutrient Deficiencies Symptom Chart: Know Where You Stand So You Can Control Your Health

nutrient deficiency symptoms
Know the Symptoms of Nutrient Deficiencies so You Can Be Healthy!

The impact of nutritional deficiencies on health should be common knowledge among the medical professional community. All doctors, nurses and other medical professionals should be able to quickly and accurately identify and diagnose functional nutritional deficiencies in patients and correct those deficiencies. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Medical teaching institutions do not focus on nutrition, so many medical professionals are not equipped to recognize the signs of nutritional deficiencies until the patient is extremely sick. In most cases, the patient is able to function, just not at his or her potential. He or she may have weight issues, skin, hair or digestive problems, anxiety or difficulty concentrating. This is called a functional nutrient deficiency.

Read More »

Dr. Stephen Wangen of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle: An Inside Look

Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

I have had the opportunity to connect with Dr. Stephen Wangen, the founder of the IBS Treatment Center in Seattle, WA.  Awhile back, at a CSA (Celiac Sprue Association) meeting I had the pleasure of helping Dr. Wangen with his book signing.  He had flown in to Denver to speak on his books, Healthier Without Wheat and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Solution. There was a full audience of folks, just like you and I, who were able to ask personal questions and learn more about living with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, as well as exploring other areas such as food allergies.

Since that time, Dr. Wangen and I have had the chance to talk about what the IBS Treatment Center does to help people really understand their bodies and how food can be affecting them.  He explores the possibilities of Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance and food allergies and helps people to develop a healthier lifestyle tailored to their specific needs.  At the same time, Dr. Wangen has observed the emotional affects these conditions can have on people and understands that not feeling well emotionally has an affect on how people take care of their physical well being.  What makes his practice so fantastic is the positive nature.  Dr. Wangen helps people view the changes by looking at the benfits and the gains and focusing on what people can have, rather than on what they can’t.  Here is what Dr. Wangen had to say when I asked him about his own experiences. Read More »

I’m deficient, You’re deficient, We’re all deficient? (Part 2)

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 Read More »

National Jewish Health Expert Discusses Psychological Aspect of Living with Life Threatening Food Allergies

Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

Mary Klinnert National Jewish Health

Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health. Mary is an expert in child psychology and has numerous previous research studies on the effects of asthma on mental health.  She started her career mostly focusing on asthma, but in recent years, has turned much of her attention to the psychological aspects of living with life threatening food allergies.

While meeting with Mary, she briefed me on a study she is conducting on the psychological aspects of food allergies and how this study differs from the majority of previous studies that mostly focus on quality of life issues related to living with food allergies.  The hope of Mary and the rest of the team is to get to the root of what is happening to families that sometimes contributes to deeper Read More »

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Nutritional Deficiencies That Cause It

PMS Nutrition Gluten FreePremenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a female menstrual disorder that occurs regularly around ovulation and subsides within a few days of the onset of menstruation.  PMS affects up to 75% of women during their childbearing years.

Symptoms.  Most women with PMS will have abdominal cramps, be anxious, irritable, sad, emotionally unstable and feel bloated and uncomfortable in the days leading up to their period.  PMS symptoms commonly worsen in the years approaching menopause.

Diagnosis of PMS depends on 5 or more of the symptoms listed below with at least one symptom being one of the first 4: Read More »

Gluten-Free Vegetarian or Vegan

Cheryl Harris Gluten Free Works

Gluten free vegetarian diet

Photo: Whole Foods, http://wholefoods.com

It can be challenging enough on gluten-free diet, but what if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet? 

It’s well established that there are health benefits to reducing the amount of meat in the diets of most Americans, and the lifestyle has appeal for some people based on ethical and/or environmental reasons.  Fortunately, with extra planning, a well-rounded and delicious gluten-free vegetarian diet is possible.

The good news is that many vegetarian staples, like beans, lentils, tofu, dairy, nuts, seeds and eggs are already naturally gluten-free.  And some of the best sources of vegetarian and vegan protein are gluten-free pseudo-grains, such as quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth. Also, grains, such as millet, teff and sorghum are very nutritious.  In addition to protein and fiber, they all have other vital nutrients, like Read More »

Interview with Gina Meagher: Living with Type I Diabetes and Celiac Disease

Gina Meagher Celiac Disease DiabetesI met Gina through the Celiac Sprue Association, Denver Chapter 17.  She helped me get involved in volunteering at last years ‘Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Food Fair™!’  She has been part of CSA for several years and is a member of the Board.  She has a lively personality and is willing to share her thoughts with others.  I am so excited that she was willing to sit down with me and talk about her experiences of living with Type I diabetes and Celiac disease.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  The overall message I took away, was that neither Diabetes nor Celiac disease define who Gina is, because she is so much more and has never let either one stop her from living the active life she was meant to have!

Interview

 

Jenn: Hi Gina! It’s great to be with you today and to have the opportunity to get to know you better.  So, tell me…how old were you when you were diagnosed with Type I diabetes?

Gina: I was 17 years old.

Jenn: And how old were you when you were diagnosed with Celiac disease? Read More »

Americans Spend Over $25 Billion Each Year on 8 Pharmaceutical Drugs That Deplete Nutrients

 

Lipitor raked in more than $5 billion for pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer Inc., during 2009 according to Drugs.com

Nexium Depletes Nutrients

Are drugs making you sick?

Sales of the 5 leading drugs for mental disorders topped $12,750,023,000, while Nexium and Prevacid totaled 7,523,382,000.

All eight of these drugs deplete nutrients. 

 

Revenues of the Top 8 Selling Drugs of 2009

Lipitor: lowers cholesterol – $5,363,193,000

Nexium: acid reducer – $5,014,827,000

Prevacid: acid reducer – $2,508,555,000

Seroquel: antipsychotic – $3,117,591,000 Read More »

The Importance of Exercise to Bone Health when Gluten-Free

Gluten free exercise and bones

Exercise retains & improves bone strength!

When you see gluten-free fruit and nut bars in the airport newsstand, you know we’ve come a long way in our society’s awareness of food sensitivities.  In my mere two years without gluten, I’ve gone from stuffing my suitcase with Larabars to ensure I don’t starve while away, to, well, still packing them, but knowing that I likely won’t be completely reliant on them the whole trip.

In addition to newsstand snack options, I recently discovered a Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport restaurant having a gluten-free menu.  I was thrilled!  I would sooner have expected to see a glatt kosher dining area!

The dramatic increase in gluten-free offerings makes me wonder: why the recent influx of news about gluten? Is it that so many more people are getting tested for celiac disease? Are more people questioning their ailing guts and attributing it to gluten? Read More »

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