Celiac disease

Breastfed Babies at Reduced Risk for Developing Celiac Disease Autoimmunity

According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of 2006, 33.1% of women were choosing to exclusively breastfeed their newborn from 0-3 months of age. At the one-year mark, only 22.7% of women were still breastfeeding their baby (non-exclusively).

The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Canadian Pediatric Society, the Pediatric Society of New Zealand, and other similar organizations in various countries worldwide have all made statements on infant feeding and the appropriate time to introduce solid foods into a baby’s diet. The current consensus is that solid food should not be introduced until at least the age of 4-6 months, if not later. Read More »

Calories, Weight, and a Whole Lotta Garbage

I was looking back at old drafts of posts that I’ve written over the years but never published, and I found this rant on the 1200 calorie weight loss myth. Since it’s the last day of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week  and the first day of National Nutrition Month, I figured it would be a good time to share it. (Editor’s note: Originally published March 1, 2014)

weight loss gluten freeNot a week goes by that I don’t see a client who truly believes she/he needs to be following a 1200 calories diet to lose weight or be healthy. It seems to be the #1 nutrition myth.

Despite what the intertubes may say, a 1200 cal diet is not considered standard professional weight loss advice. Honest.There is, of course, plenty of bad advice and/or controversy out there, because that sells. There’s also a whole lot of standard nutrition advice that I heartily disagree with, but that’s another post. Take a  look at Read More »

Can a celiac disease book save a life? A story how this one saved seven…

Saving a life means more than just keeping a person from dying. It means helping them get well.

While practicing medicine as a registered nurse, Cleo Libonati regularly saved people’s lives. Now her book “Recognizing Celiac Disease” is doing the same for people across the country and around the world.

Here is a letter telling how one family credits the book with saving their lives…

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Dear Cleo,

I have been “sick” most of my life (I turn 40 in July) with random things, too many to list here. I have been really sick the last 10 years, but started feeling as though I was “dying by the inch” in 2004. I finally broke down and went to my primary when premature ventricular contractions were occurring every 5-10 seconds that felt as though my heart was going to jump right out of my throat. I had many other random multiple sclerosis type symptoms, but the severity of the PVC’s were what scared me the most, that is until 2006. I began to have many gastro symptoms that kept me in the bathroom several times a day with alternating elimination problems, I couldn’t keep food down, and pain in the left side of my swollen, hard, tender abdomen every time I ate. I had an EGD and colonoscopy on 2/15/07. The three days before the test were the best I had felt in 4 years. Since I worked in Oncology and was used to seeing patients doing prep for them, I put myself on clear liquids 2 days before the Go-Lytely. So, I was gluten-free without knowing it for 3 days prior to testing. Read More »

Can Bread Give You Herpes?

Gluten in bread can wreak havoc on the body. (AP Photo/S Ilic)

If you’re sensitive to gluten, a protein found in wheat, and foods made from wheat, it can make you more susceptible to herpes. Herpes, a virus that forms blisters on the skin, mouth and genitals causes what are called cold sores or fever blisters. It is highly contagious and may keep coming back, causing repetitive infections. Read More »

Can celiac disease be mistaken as autism? A boy whose “autism” was cured.

A five year old Canadian boy, diagnosed with severe autism, was cured when the true cause of his mental disorder was found to be celiac disease and he was treated with a gluten-free diet and nutritional supplements.

Photo originally posted to Flickr as "Jack"

Photo originally posted to Flickr as “Jack”

His autism was cured because he was never really autistic in the first place. He had celiac disease, an immune response to wheat, barley, rye and oats that damages the intestines leading to malabsorption of nutrients.

Gluten-restricted diets have become increasingly popular among parents seeking treatment for children diagnosed with autism.(1)

What if certain children who are diagnosed with autism actually have celiac disease?

Neurological disorders stemming from celiac disease have been widely documented in medical literature. Some of these conditions include poor balance, tremors, migraines, chronic fatigue, schizophrenia, epilepsy, apathy, depression, insomnia, behavioral disorders, inability to concentrate and anxiety.(2)

Many of these issues are due to nutritional deficiencies resulting from the intestinal damage that celiac disease causes. If caused by celiac disease, they improve once gluten is removed from the diet and the intestine heals and functions properly.

Genuis and Bouchard, researchers at the University of Alberta, recently published the case of the 5-year-old boy who had been diagnosed with severe autism at a specialty clinic for autistic spectrum disorders. After an initial investigation suggested underlying celiac disease and varied nutrient deficiencies, a gluten-free diet was instituted.(1) His diet and supplements were adjusted to secure nutritional sufficiency.

The patient’s gastrointestinal symptoms rapidly resolved, and signs and symptoms suggestive of autism progressively abated.(1)

This case is an example of a common malabsorption syndrome (celiac disease) associated with central nervous system dysfunction and suggests that in some cases, nutritional deficiency may be a cause of developmental delay.

Genuis and Bouchard recommended that all children with neurodevelopmental problems Read More »

Can Celiac Disease Make Your Child Mentally Ill? Watch These Recovery Videos!

If you or someone you know has a child with a mental illness, behavioral problem or unexplained neurological issue, you must watch this video. It vividly illustrates how gluten and celiac disease can cause neurological illnesses and how removing gluten from the diet can improve or cure the child. [Note: The title says two videos because there were two videos originally, but Youtube removed them. A reader informed us about the one below.]

Eamon Murphy started exhibiting mental aberrations and problems eating at three months of age. By the time he was three, his parents were frantically trying to understand what had caused his developmental delay in walking and talking, and now his trances, seizure-like episodes and regression. After a determined effort by his mother and a series of extraordinarily lucky events, he was finally diagnosed with celiac disease…and FULLY RECOVERED.

Watch this video NOW and then forward this message to everyone you know with a child with a similar mental illness and their healthcare providers…because it is unacceptable that any child should be unnecessarily consigned to a life of suffering and diminished potential when a simple change in diet may cure them.

Eamon is totally normal now. He eventually reached 6’4″ in height and 230 pounds in weight and excelled academically, receiving a number of scholarships for college.

If he had not been properly diagnosed with celiac disease, it is easy to see how he could have become incapacitated within a few years as his body and mind became sicker and sicker. Eventually, he may have been labeled autistic or schizophrenic. He may just have been called odd and slow.

Was it a miracle that Eamon recovered? No. It was a miracle that Eamon was diagnosed…

Here are some facts:

Autism affects 1 in 68 children. Medical experts recommend behavioral management and specialized speech, physical and occupational therapies (costing an estimated $70,000 per year per child), medications, community support and parental training.

Medical experts recommend AGAINST dietary intervention, yet the gluten-free/casein-free diet that helped Eamon has been demonstrated in thousands of cases to improve or resolve symptoms.

Celiac disease is still considered a rare gastrointestinal disorder that affects children by the majority of health professionals. In reality, celiac disease affects 1 in 100 people of any age, classifying it an epidemic by NIH standards. More people have celiac disease than Type 1 diabetes, breast cancer or autism. Diagnosis of celiac disease is estimated to take up to 11 years from first presentation of symptoms. Only 5% of people with celiac disease are estimated to be diagnosed.

Gastrointestinal problems occur in about 20% of people with celiac disease whereas neurological problems have been seen in as high as 51% at time of diagnosis.

The treatment for celiac disease is removing gluten from the diet and correcting nutrient deficiencies and any complications that have developed.

Unless you have symptoms that doctors expect to see – chronic diarrhea, failure to thrive, abdominal bloating and pain, and anemia – your likelihood of being diagnosed is extremely low.

For a complete list of symptoms related to celiac disease including dozens of neurological issues and problems in childhood, visit Gluten Free Works.

An excellent resource that outlines over 300 signs and symptoms and explains the relationship between celiac disease and the nutrient deficiencies that cause them including how to correct them, is our Gluten Free Works Health Guide, based on the book Recognizing Celiac Disease, by Cleo Libonati, RN, BSN. Recognizing Celiac Disease was endorsed by Dr. Peter Green, the director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University who diagnosed Eamon Murphy.

Can Medicine Make You Sicker? Common Drugs that Deplete Nutrients

medications that cause nutrient deficienciesWhether due to malabsorption from an undiagnosed syndrome like celiac disease, poor diet or defective activation of nutrients, many people are not receiving or utilizing the nutrients their bodies need to thrive.

The human body is tough. You can operate at sub-optimal levels for years or decades before a clinical symptom becomes apparent or is recognized as resulting from a deficiency.

Unfortunately, this recognition frequently comes only after symptoms have become so severe as to significantly impact your health.  Until that point, medications and surgeries are more likely to be used as treatments, neither of which correct the underlying cause of the deficiency.

In fact, many drugs exacerbate nutrient depletion.  So, while they may improve your symptoms in the short term, they can cause more harm than good in the long term.

Many prescription and non-prescription medications can deplete nutrients by any of these ways:

1. Preventing normal digestion and/or absorption, so nutrients cannot get into the body.

2. Interfering with nutrient transport and/or use in the body, so nutrients cannot Read More »

Cataracts Due to Nutrient Deficiencies in Celiac Disease

cataract1[Editor’s Note: The post below is a response to a young woman with cataracts and celiac disease. Cataracts are directly related to nutrient deficiencies of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, protein, vitamin C and possibly vitamin B2 in celiac disease. -Updated 6/13/2016 from Gluten Free Works Health Guide: Cataracts]

Hello,

I am 20 years old, have celiac disease and cataracts. The optometrist told me it is because I have fair skin and light eyes and have had too much sun exposure. I grew up in Mobile, AL and spent everyday I could at the beach so this could be true. It is very interesting that you brought up this topic though. It never crossed my mind that these two could have anything to do with each other.

-L

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Hi L,

Many eye problems are found in celiac disease. Cataracts are directly related to nutrient deficiencies. “Cataract formation, a feature of vitamin A deficiency and long standing hypocalcemia, is characterized by clouding of the lens of the eye. In celiac disease, it results from malabsorption of vitamin A and calcium. Vitamin B2 may be involved. GFD (gluten-free diet) is preventive and limits further changes.” (Recognizing Celiac Disease, p. 213) That said, we know that malnutrition can persist on a GFD due to unintentional gluten ingestion, poor diet, etc. Ask your physician to take levels of vitamin A, B2 and calcium to make sure you are absorbing adequate amounts.

-John

Learn more about cataracts in celiac disease and how to prevent them and limit further damage in the Gluten Free Works Health Guide: Cataracts.

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Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA
Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com.
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.
John can be reached by e-mail here.

Celebrities Who Eat Gluten-free…the Numbers are Growing!

Gluten Free Works Jennifer Harris

Billy Bob Thornton Gluten FreeIn light of the recent article by Huffington Post entitled “Famous and Gluten Free?” it seems like the perfect time to update my article on celebrities who have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease to include those who are also gluten sensitive, wheat intolerant, or those who choose to eat gluten-free foods.

The term gluten free is being used in the media quite often.  Sometimes it is use appropriately and other times the gluten-free diet is touted as a ‘fad diet’, ‘weight-loss diet’, ‘dangerous diet’, etc. Jeopardy recently used gluten free foods as a category.

It is also apparent that TV shows want to get in on the action and openly ‘mock’ the disease and perpetuate the ‘fad diet’ aspect.  Gossip Girl, 2 Broke Girls, and Man Up are the recent offenders and it seems Read More »

Celiac “Rage,” Personality Issues and Nutritional Deficiencies

[Editor’s Note: The following is a post I recently submitted to a listserv concerning attitude and nutritional deficiencies in celiac disease. I posted it in response to a heated exchange folks were having on the topic.]

Hi there,

The “rage” we see in posts from time to time is part and parcel with celiac disease. My business is celiac disease. I own Glutenfreeworks.com and edited the groundbreaking medical reference, Recognizing Celiac Disease.

I frequently see abnormal personalities in my travels, presentations, discussions and on listservs. I meet people with anxiety, depression, irritability, distrust and other unexplained “attitudes.” There is an explanation – and no they aren’t jerks, as much as people might want to call them that. Whether they are gluten-free or not, they are sick – malnourished in fact.

Nutrients play a huge part in our attitude.

Here is an example. While dropping off a shipment of Recognizing Celiac Disease books at the post office on Friday, a woman in line with thinning hair and poor skin color noticed my Gluten Free Works label. She asked what the packages were and I told her the packages contained books I was sending to customers.

She immediately launched into a tirade about how only biopsy-proven people have celiac disease and people are making money off celiac disease and how she should write a book because her daughters have celiac disease and she has read all the research and knows everything… Read More »

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