Tag Archives: Celiac disease

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 »

Celiac disease symptoms: Gluten Free Works Symptom Guide

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Celiac Disease Symptoms: The Gluten Free Works Symptom Guide

Could my symptoms be related to celiac disease?

This is a common question people ask in the face of a bewildering array of possible celiac disease symptoms. The Celiac Disease Symptom Guide will help you identify possible symptoms and health problems that you can present to your doctor.

Here is the list of over 300 Signs, Symptoms, Associated Disorders and Complications directly or indirectly resulting from celiac disease.

Gluten Free Works, Inc. was the first organization in the world to publish this information in its comprehensive book, “Recognizing Celiac Disease.” This list is now being used by celiac disease centers, national celiac organizations and health organizations worldwide. Read More »

Intestinal Gluten Receptor Is Gateway for Celiac Disease

 

 

THURSDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) — Researchers believe they have finally answered a basic question about the cause of celiac disease — where in the body does the wheat protein gluten enter one’s system?

A study published in the July issue of Gastroenterology identifies the CXCR3 receptor in the intestine as a gluten gateway. When people with celiac disease eat gluten, the protein triggers their immune system to attack the body, causing a wide range of serious health problems.

“This is a scientific question that had never been answered before,” Dr. Alessio Fasano, medical director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said in an university news release. “It is not only significant in the basic science of autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, but in therapeutic approaches for the future. This opens a new scientific paradigm for the study of immunity.”

The research team found that gliadin, the part of gluten that causes the most trouble for those with celiac disease, binds to the CXCR3 receptor. This results in the release of zonulin, a human protein that lowers the intestinal barrier to make it more permeable. While this effect is temporary in most people, the barrier stays down for long periods of time in people with celiac disease, causing disruption in the body’s system.

The finding may help in research on the cause and treatment for other autoimmune diseases, Fasano said. People with type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis may experience a similar condition in which offending antigens enter the body through this gateway in the intestines.

“For the first time, we have evidence of how the foreign antigen gains access to the body, causing the autoimmune response,” said Fasano, who is also a pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center. “Further study is needed, but this could allow us to intervene before the zonulin is either released or activated, preventing the immune response altogether.”

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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.

Anxiety and Celiac Disease, Causes and Response to a Gluten Free Diet

“An estimated 40 million adult Americans suffer from anxiety disorder.” (1) These 40 million people total 18.1 percent of the United States that are at least 18 or over. (2)

According to “Recognizing Celiac Disease” anxiety is common in people with celiac disease and may be the only manifestation. Celiac disease patients showed high levels of state anxiety in a significantly higher percentage compared to controls – 71.4% vs. 23.7%.(3)

Chronic maladaptive anxiety is characterized by vague uneasiness or unpleasant feeling of apprehension and dysfunction. It is marked by anticipation of danger and interference with normal functioning, ranging from mild qualms and easy startling to occasional panic, often with headaches and fatigue. Deficiency of amino acids and vitamins implicate reduction of synthesis of neurotransmitters in the central nervous system and could be linked to immunological disregulation in celiac disease patients. Anxiety itself causes depletion of vitamins and minerals. Deficient nutrients could be B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, tryptophan.(3)

A medical study evaluating bloodflow in the brain showed evidence of significant blood flow alteration in the brains of people with celiac disease who had only anxiety or depression neurological symptoms and were not on a gluten-free diet. Single photon computed tomography (SPECT) scan showed at least one hypoperfused brain region in 73% of untreated celiac disease patients compared to 7% of patients on a gluten-free diet and none in controls.(3)

Therefore, bloodflow in the brain and nutritional deficiencies play a large part in anxiety. If nutritional deficiencies are the source of the problem, then medications will be less effective requiring increasingly strong doses because the body and brain do not have what they need to utilize them.

The good news is that studies showed state anxiety improves and can usually disappear in people with celiac disease after withdrawal of gluten from the diet and improvement of nutrient status.

Consider celiac disease if you or someone you know has anxiety.

Related medical studies are referenced in “Recognizing Celiac Disease.”

Celiac disease is a multi-system, hereditary, chronic, auto-immune disease estimated to affect 1% of the human population (3 million in the US) that is caused by the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye and oats. It is 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.

“Recognizing Celiac Disease” is a reader-friendly reference manual written for both medical professionals and the general public that specifically answers the call from the National Institutes of Health for “better education of physicians, dietitians, nurses and other healthcare providers.” It has been endorsed by top medical professionals for anxiety buy http://rxleader.com/product/prozac/ online pharmacy and professors at Harvard, Columbia, Jefferson and Temple Medical Schools as well as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and the Celiac Sprue Association – USA. “Recognizing Celiac Disease” is being hailed as the complete guide to recognizing, diagnosing and managing celiac disease and a must-have for physicians, dietitians, nutritionists, nurses, patients and anyone with an interest in this complex disorder.

Click here for more information.

Sources:

(1) ADAA Brief Overview. ww.adaa.org/GettingHelp/Briefoverview.asp
(2) Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anxiety
(3) Libonati, Cleo. Recognizing Celiac Disease, Gluten Free Works Publishing, 2007. http://www.recognizingceliacdisease.com

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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.

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.

Reality TV Shows are Including the Reality of Celiac Disease

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By Nancy Lapid, About.com Guide to Celiac Disease

Celiac disease has been a topic on not one but two TV shows in the past few days. I hardly watch television, so I’m fortunate to have learned about these episodes from a fellow blogger, the Gluten-Free Optimist.
First, the cable network BBC America’s reality show Last Restaurant Standing had an episode (#13) in which competing restauranteurs were required to come up with food for celiac guests (and other “tricky customers”) without advance warning. This episode will be replayed; the schedule is posted on the BBC America site. 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.

University of Chicago Celiac Center Chooses “Recognizing Celiac Disease”

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The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center has chosen Recognizing Celiac Disease as the supplemental reading material for medical professionals who complete its Preceptorship Program.

Dr. Stefano Guandalini, medical director of the center, recommends the book for both patients and healthcare providers. “The book is useful for prospective patients to determine whether their complaints are consistent with celiac disease. It is also an excellent patient resource for self management, especially in identifying ongoing and future health problems related to celiac disease and bringing them to the attention of their physician for proper treatment. “Recognizing Celiac Disease” is a useful reference that will serve as a helpful tool for health care providers and anyone diagnosed with the disease.”

The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center’s Preceptorship Program is an on-site intensive 2-day training course for medical professionals. Candidates study under the direction of the Center’s celiac disease experts. The course includes formal instruction, as well as hands-on training. This is the nation’s only such program. More information about the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center and the Preceptorship Program can be found at www.celiacdisease.net.

“Recognizing Celiac Disease” is the definitive guide to understanding, diagnosing and managing celiac disease. It is a reader-friendly, celiac disease reference manual written for both medical professionals and the general public.

For more information visit, www.recognizingceliacdisease.com.

Restless Leg Syndrome, Celiac Disease & Improvement on the Gluten Free Diet

 

restless leg syndrome treatment

RLS from low iron in celiac disease responds to a gluten-free diet

Low iron levels have been associated with increased severity of restless leg syndrome. The following medical case report discusses four patients with low iron and restless leg syndrome who were tested positive for celiac disease and placed on a gluten free diet. All four had improvement on the gluten free diet.

“Celiac disease as a Possible Cause for Low Serum Ferritin in Patients with Restless Legs Syndrome.”

Manchanda S, Davies CR, Picchietti D.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Medicine, 506 S. Mathews Avenue, Suite 190, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.

OBJECTIVE: To describe celiac disease as a possible cause for low serum ferritin in patients with restless legs syndrome (RLS). BACKGROUND: Low iron stores have been found to be a risk factor for RLS with serum ferritin levels less than 45-50ng/mL associated with increased severity of RLS. It has become routine clinical practice to test serum ferritin in the initial assessment of RLS. Celiac disease is a common genetic disorder that can cause iron deficiency.

METHODS: Consecutive case series of four patients with RLS and serum ferritin below 25ng/mL, who had positive screening tests for celiac disease. RESULTS: We report four patients who had serum ferritin <12ng/mL and positive screening tests for celiac disease. All had celiac disease confirmed by duodenal biopsy and response to a gluten-free diet. RLS symptoms improved in all four, with two able to discontinue RLS medication and two responding without medication.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with RLS and low serum ferritin who do not have an obvious cause for iron deficiency, we suggest looking for celiac disease by simple, inexpensive serologic testing. Diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease is likely to improve the outcome for RLS, as well as identify individuals who are at risk for the significant long-term complications of celiac disease.

Source: Sleep Med. 2009 Jan 10. [Epub ahead of print] url: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19138881

Shared Genes in Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease

A 2008 study provides more evidence that there is a link between celiac disease and gluten. This article in Scientific American reviews the study.

Diabetes and celiac disease: A Genetic Connection
Patients with type 1 diabetes have been known to be more prone to another autoimmune disorder, celiac disease, in which gluten in wheat, rye and barley triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine or gut. Now there’s evidence that the two diseases have a genetic link: they share at least seven chromosome regions.

The discovery, published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, indicates that both diseases may be triggered by similar genetic and environmental mechanisms, such as certain foods, that cause patients’ immune systems to become overactive and destroy healthy instead of infected tissue. Previous research has found that celiac disease is five to 10 times more common in people with type 1 diabetes than in the general population, an editorial accompanying the study notes.

“These findings suggest common mechanisms causing both celiac and type 1 diabetes – we did not expect to see this very high degree of shared genetic risk factors,” said study co-author David van Heel, a gastrointestinal geneticist at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Van Heel and his colleagues studied genetic material or DNA from about 20,000 people, half of them healthy, nearly half with type 1 diabetes, and 2,000 with celiac disease. The overlapping genetic variants occurred on regions of chromosomes (parts of cells that carry genetic code) that are believed to regulate the gut’s immune system, the BBC notes.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy beta cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin, which is needed to convert glucose into energy. In celiac disease, a similar attack occurs on the small intestine when sufferers eat gluten-rich grains, causing inflammation in the gut that can lead to bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, anemia, headaches, weight loss and failure to thrive in children. Whereas diabetes 1 patients must inject insulin daily to make up for their deficiency, people with celiac disease can avoid damage and symptoms by sticking to a gluten-free diet.

“The finding raises the question of whether eating cereal and other gluten products might trigger type 1 diabetes by altering the function of the gut and its interaction with the pancreas, the authors write. But Robert Goldstein, chief scientific officer of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which helped fund the study, says it would be premature to assume from this study that gluten is also a diabetes trigger.

“I fear the newspaper headlines in the popular press will read like, ‘Eating wheat will cause type 1 diabetes,’” Goldstein tells us. “The presence or absence of these associations has to be linked to some biological consequence” for a person’s health.

Article Source: http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=diabetes-and-celiac-disease-a-genet-2008-12-11

*UK Study Source: Shared and Distinct Genetic Variants in Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease, New England Journal of Medicine. http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMoa0807917

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