April 25, 2012 24 Comments
February 22, 2012 Leave a comment
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Cranford, the president of our very own Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) chapter in Denver. I’ve known Karen now for about 7 months. We met when I became involved in the chapter and she helped me become the secretary. However, I feel that during this interview, I got to REALLY meet Karen and get to know her, which was such a joy. She has been the president of CSA for over two years and has helped, along with her many board members, build such a strong organization that has helped bring Denver to the top of the list in Celiac Awareness. She has helped the chapter bring the ‘Incredible Edible Gluten-Free Food Fair™’ to Denver as well as worked hard to get incredibly knowledgable speakers, such as Dr. Ford, Dr. Fasano, and Dr. Wangen, to Denver to educate us all on Celiac disease and gluten intolerance. We all get the joy of experiencing the hard work she puts in on a volunteer basis to make living gluten free easier on all of us, but now we get the special treat of actually getting to know Karen.
Jenn: How old were you when you were first diagnosed?
Karen: So it’s been 7 years, when I turned 50. I’ve always laughed and said “Turn fifty…get celiac disease!”
Jenn: How long were you having symptoms before receiving a diagnosis?
Karen: Well, it’s easy to look back and say maybe I was having symptoms for a long time. I started having migraines around 22, and now I wonder if that was a symptom. But, I was probably really sick for about Read More »
January 19, 2012 1 Comment
This is a quote that a lot of people are hearing these days. What happens after your doctor says these words? Here is a synopsis of my journey; if any of this sounds familiar, give it some serious thought…there may be a very simple answer.
I first heard these words while I was barely concious, in a bed at Methodist Hospital in Houston. I had become so weak and debilitated by my undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease that my life was in danger. The symptoms over twenty years included gastrointestinal problems, fibromyalgia, irritability, bone pain and more. The good news was that I finally found out what was wrong with me; the better news was finding out that the disease is completely manageable through dietary changes alone.–no medications, no surgeries, none of that stuff. Just don’t eat grains that contain the gluten protein, mainly wheat, barley and rye. That sounded really good to me.
Not so fast. While still in the hospital, I was really still very sick, and not really able to process the information. After a couple of days (in which I was already improving), it dawned on me that Read More »
December 9, 2011 13 Comments
It is well documented that only a small minority of those with celiac disease are successfully diagnosed in a medical setting.
Gluten sensitivity, which we based on medical research and proposed in Recognizing Celiac Disease in 2007, has only recently been accepted as a true medical condition. So we decided to hold an informal survey to see just how people are becoming gluten-free? How are they finding out that gluten sensitivity or celiac disease are the cause of their health problems and are doctors diagnosing them or are they figuring it out on their own?
October 6, 2011 1 Comment
Haley is the mother of 21 month old Wyatt, who was diagnosed with Glutaric Acidemia Type 1 (GA-1) through newborn screening. Doctors have been unable to explain why a gluten free diet seems to be making such a positive difference to his health. Here is Wyatt’s story…
I thought I would share some interesting news with you all, in case there is a child out there like my son. We started my son on a gluten free diet in April and since then, his glutaric acid and 3-hydroxy glutaric acid levels have Read More »
October 5, 2011 Leave a comment
Working with people diagnosed with food allergies and Celiac disease has opened my eyes to the world around me. Prior to this, the only person I knew with severe food allergies was a younger cousin of mine whom I spend very little time with. But, when you start paying attention, you figure out there are many people living with food allergies, Celiac disease or other food related intolerances or restrictions.
One day, I came into work and a co-worker, Genevieve Fraser, asked if I was the one with the food allergy therapist magnet on my car. When I said yes, she informed me that she has an anaphylactic allergy to peanuts, and has since she was very young. Suddenly, it was in my awareness that I had been bringing peanut butter to work almost every day that I am in that office, not even realizing my office neighbor, just across the hall, has to carry an Epipen everywhere she goes because of peanuts! Boy did that get my attention!
I didn’t stop bringing peanut butter to work at first, but I noticed I felt nervous and worried every time I did, so I finally stopped bringing it. However, I noticed being concerned about others using her office when she was not around, and wondering if people were taking peanuts in there. I finally decided that I should learn more about what it is like living as an adult with a severe anaphylactic food allergy, rather than just going off what I read and my own assumptions.
When I asked Genevieve if I could do a feature interview on her, she was so great and willing to share her story. I have to say, this interview was so informative, empowering, emotional, and motivating, that it really helped put some aspects of living with life threatening food allergies into perspective. Genevieve not only survived her childhood, despite bullying and being different, but has gone on to complete her college degree and is working on her master’s. She has dedicated herself to helping others overcome challenging obstacles in their lives so that they can live a full life, despite whatever challenges they might be facing. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did! Read More »
September 13, 2011 Leave a comment
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 Read More »
September 7, 2011 Leave a comment
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 »
July 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Premenstrual 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 »
June 21, 2011 Leave a comment
I 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!
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 »