Celiac disease

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 »

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Hosts 24th Annual Celiac Conference

Kim Bouldin Gluten Free Works

celiac-nationwide-childrens

For the 24th year in a row, Nationwide Children’s Hospital will be hosting  the Celiac Conference. The conference is a great place to  mingle, shop and learn more about Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet.   The conference will take place on Saturday, October 29, 2011 from 7:30 AM  until 4:00 PM.  There will be separate educational tracks for adults, teens & school-age children.

The Keynote Speakers Will Be:

  • Dr. Michelle Pietzak
  • Chef Michael Rice

The Agenda:  Read More »

Neurological Disorders, Gluten & Celiac Disease

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.

New Study Finds Link between Celiac Disease and Obesity in Patients

gluten overweight weight gain[Editor’s Note: Originally published October, 11, 2012]

Lately, it seems like more and more celebrities and professional athletes are openly talking about going gluten free. Whether it’s due to a diagnosis of celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, or simply because they want to get healthy, many of them have noted a weight loss as part of the benefits they’ve been seeing. Then why is it, that so many doctors and specialists will dismiss a diagnosis of celiac disease in a patient simply because the patient is not underweight?

In a recent article by Sonia Kupfer, MD, the belief that people with un-diagnosed celiac disease are all underweight is revealed to  Read More »

Newly Crowned Mrs. Alaska Raises Awareness of Celiac Disease

John Libonati Gluten Free Works

Mrs. Alaska Brandy Wendler Celiac Disease

Brandy Wendler, the new Mrs. Alaska, has celiac disease.

April 8, 2011, Anchorage, Alaska: Brandy Wendler, wife of JohnRoss Wendler, pilot officer of Elmendorf Air Force Base who is serving in Japan’s relief effort, was crowned Mrs. Alaska United States 2011 in front of a packed auditorium at the Wilda Marston Theatre in Anchorage on Saturday, April 2nd, 2011.  

Although the Mrs. Alaska pageant was Mrs. Wendler’s first time competing in a pageant, her passion for speaking about Celiac disease, a disease Mrs. Wendler was diagnosed with 3 years ago, stole the hearts of the judges and the entire audience. 

Mrs. Alaska United States is a prestigious and elite title, which requires each contestant to choose a Read More »

NFCA Webinar October 7 – “Veggies & Beyond: Why Celiacs Need a Nutritionally Dense Diet”

This just in from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness…

Whether you’re a dietitian ready for new information or a celiac in need of
quality gluten-free tips, this Webinar will put you in the know!

“Veggies & Beyond: Why Celiacs Need a Nutritionally Dense Diet”

Thursday, October 7 at 1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific Time

Join NFCA as GREAT Dietitian Melissa Marek, RD, from Axxya Systems Read More »

Niacin (Vitamin B3) deficiency in celiac disease

Niacin, also called vitamin B3, is required by all the cells of our body making it essential for vitality and life itself.

Niacin is essential for keeping our skin and digestive tract healthy, our brain and nervous system  functioning normally, certain key cell processes repaired, our adrenal glands producing steroid hormones at demand levels, sex glands producing the hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and, most especially, for producing energy to keep our body alive.1

When absorbed from the small intestinal tract, niacin becomes part of a process including more than 200 enzymes involved in metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fatty acids, that is, chemical reactions that maintain life.1 Niacin is stored by the liver.2

Niacin must be digested to release its absorbable forms, nicotinamide and nicotinic acid. These molecules are absorbed across the intestinal lining at low concentrations by sodium-dependent facilitated diffusion, meaning they need help to get into the bloodstream.1 Read More »

Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Gluten

non alcoholic cirrhosis fatty liver celiac disease gluten
This is super important for anyone with fatty liver disease!

While we were at Columbia University’s Topics in Gastroenterology, Dr. Steven Lobritto talked about cirrhosis of the liver and how he has actually seen people who were on the liver transplant list heal enough to be taken off once they started a gluten-free diet. That’s right.  People who needed liver transplants – their liver’s were basically done for – healed! I have personally met a man who also recovered during Read More »

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 »

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