Tag Archives: celiac disease
I have recently become a huge fan of Jennifer Esposito after watching Samantha Who on Netflix. It is a hilarious show also featuring Melissa McCarthy and Christina Applegate, who loses her memory after a car accident. I later found out that Jennifer Esposito has Celiac disease and was being hassled by CBS for not being able to carry a full load on her newest show Blue Bloods. Jennifer went through years of heartache and misery because she had many symptoms of Celiac Disease but no doctors properly diagnosed her.
Watch this clip where she explains her experience to Dr. Drew and he seems to give her the same deadpan look of misunderstanding we often get from our own doctors and family members. Dr. Drew seems to have no clue what Celiac disease is and how much it can disrupt someone life.
I can really relate to the way Jennifer Esposito feels because I had a terrible first experience with my doctor when I found out my thyroid was low. I started to feel ill in the fall of 2009, so I sought help from a conventional physician. I told her I felt lethargic and that my digestion was very slow. I had gained 10 pounds seemingly overnight despite watching what I ate and exercising. All I wanted to do was sleep all day which was not normal for me being an active and fit trainer.
She ordered some tests for me and sent me home with the paperwork. I talked to my mother’s integrative doctor and decided to fill in a few more tests after hearing his advice. I added the AB (Antithyroglobulin) Test, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPO) test, which are both markers for Hashimoto’s.
The next thing I knew, my doctor actually fired me for adding tests on the lab sheet. So not only did I find out something was off with my thyroid, I was also told that my doctor would not help me. It was a humiliating experience for someone who is already feeling scared and miserable. Maybe I went about it the wrong way but I was afraid of being intimidated by the doctor and not getting what I needed.
In hindsight, I am so glad I ordered those tests because I would not have found out that I had antibodies against my own thyroid signaling my autoimmune disease. My Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) was normal on the test, meaning that the doctor would have just sent me on my way telling me I was just getting older and needed do more exercise to boost my energy. Maybe she would have tried to push anti-depressants on me that I didn’t need. I learned a lot by going through that experience and I try to help my clients navigate the confusing testing jargon when they are no longer feeling their best.
It is Celiac patients have Hashimoto’s and vice versa so it is important understand both conditions. All auto-immune diseases are very similar in that they have a gluten sensitivity component where the body mistakenly attacks it’s own tissue. The small intestine is so over burdened with hard to digest cereal, sandwiches and pasta that it starts to become inflamed and leaky. What happen next is that gluten particles get through the porous gut lining and are attacked by the immune system. Undigested particles of gluten resemble our own tissues causing our white blood cells to go into overdrive. The immune system starts attacking our own organs or glands as in the case with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Celiac disease.
The blood tests for Hashimoto’s are pretty good as long at they are actually ordered but it is important to pay attention to symptoms as well. Many lab tests for Celiac disease are not accurate because they are looking for severe damage to the villi of the small intestine. It is important not to wait too long because many people will be unable to absorb from their food. It is common for Celiacs to have anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and even cancer after years of malabsorption. With both conditions it is important to work on healing the gut by removing irritating foods like dairy, legumes, vegetable oils, grains, and sugar.
It is vital to do an elimination diet for a few weeks to see if there is a true gluten sensitivity/intolerance. Most people feel awesome and drop a lot of weight when they get rid of gluten and see even better results by dropping all grains. Many grains are cross reactive and still look like gluten to the immune system, especially in an already inflamed gut.
Do not solely rely on tests from your doctors office to tell you if you have a problem with gluten because you may suffer in vain. Take it out of your diet for two to three weeks to see if there is a difference in your health and digestion. The results you feel will take out a lot of the guess work.
Several good gluten tests are currently available from Cyrex labs which seems to be the gold standard. These tests have to be ordered by a doctor or medical practitioner.
Get important thyroid, salivary adrenal and Vitamin D lab tests on the cheap without a doctor’s permission at Directlabs.com. These tests can be performed at any local Labcorp and the results will be e-mailed to you.
For more info on which tests to thyroid choose click here:
What has been your experience with gluten sensitivity testing in dealing with Autoimmune disease?
We all love bread, rice and pasta and most of us grew up believing that whole grains are health foods. It is hard to think of life without them, but when people start to understand the damage that these starches are causing it is easier to “just say no” to grains.
Lectins- Grains are seeds that are trying to get through the digestive tract intact so they can be planted. Seeds have special layers that protect them from being broken down by animals. When we eat these lectin containing grains all our lives, it sets the stage for leaky gut syndrome where the villi of the small intestine become damaged and inflamed. A leaky or permeable gut lining lets undigested food particles into the blood steam creating an alarm reaction in the body. These rogue food particles bind with bodily tissues and the immune system begins an attack against our own organs, which sets the stage for conditions like IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and arthritis.
Gut Flora: A diet high in grains can contribute to altered gut flora, where harmful bacterial strains like E. coli can take over. Bacteria in the colon feed on starchy foods like bread and other grains creating a breading ground for parasites and yeast overgrowth. This dysbiosis is an imbalance of beneficial flora in the large intestine and is one of the the reasons people have weight loss resistance and never ending carb cravings. Negative bacteria can even proliferate into the small intestine (where they are not supposed to be at all) creating gas bloating and never ending food sensitivities/intolerances.
Phytic Acid- is found in the hull of grains (and beans) and humans are not able to digest phytic acid. Phytic acid binds to important minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc, blocking our ability to absorb them which sets the stage for many disease states.
Gluten: is a protein in wheat that has increased due to genetic manipulations performed by farmers starting in the 1970′s. These changes to the wheat kernel make people more likely to have a negative reactions when eating this new version of an ancient food. Many people have silent Celiac disease where they have no noticeable symptoms until they end up with a chronic condition. The testing for Celiac disease is very unreliable and doctors wait until there is major damage to the small intestine and years of patient discomfort before making a diagnosis. It is best to rely on your own elimination diet results to see if going grain free makes you feel better.
Diabetes: Two slices of whole wheat bread can raise blood sugar more than eating teaspoon of pure table sugar. All bread (white and wheat) is just like candy or donuts to our delicate metabolisms. Our body tightly regulates blood sugar levels and eating a high carbohydrate diet wears out the pancreas increasing the risk of diabetes. This blood sugar roller coaster create a chronic stress state leading to increased cortisol and belly fat storage.
Cross Reactivity: Removing all grains from your diet may seem severe but the problem is when a person has a damaged and leaky gut lining any food resembling gluten can cause major irritation. The structures of most grains are so similar that the body can not tell the difference and has an increased immune response to corn, rice, quinoa, oats, ect. Another problem is that so many other grains are contaminated with gluten during processing. By removing all grains, the small intestine is able to heal so it can get the nutrients it needs to rebuild the villi and diffuse the body’s need to self attack.
How do you go grain free?
Does it seem like you bloat up or get gas no matter what you eat? Are you always constipated and have low energy? It may be time for a gut healing protocol which includes a grain free diet. If you are wanting to go grain free but are finding it a little overwhelming, I recommend a great online class by Dr. Jill Tieman a nutritionist and chiropractor who specializes in the Gut and Psychology Syndrome and SCD: Breaking the Vicious Cycle grain free protocols for healing food allergies, auto-immune conditions, autism and more.
What you get:
- 12 weeks of online classes
- Over 80 video tutorials
- Over 150 written, printable recipes
- ACT NOW and receive 2 BONUS VIDEOS
Register before Sept 25 for the best deal!
Use coupon code NOGRAINS for an additional $20 off. For more info click here.
The Class includes lessons on:
Lesson 1: Kitchen Basics
Lesson 2: Breakfast
Lesson 3: Condiments
Lesson 4: Lunch
Lesson 5: Staples
Lesson 6: Chicken
Lesson 7: Sides & Sauces
Lesson 8: Meat
Lesson 9: Snacks
Lesson 10: Fish
Lesson 11: Soups & Salads
Lesson 12: Desserts
For more info see this video:
Photos courtesy of RealFoodforager.com
In May 2012 I attended the Low Carb Cruise featuring cardiologist Dr. William Davis. The cruise was a great experience where I got to hang out with many leaders in the health and wellness field. Dr. Davis is the NY Times bestselling author of Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health which outlines how wheat is contributing to many health conditions including diabetes, cancer and obesity. Dr. Davis even overcame his own Type 2 diabetes diagnosis by changing his diet. The following are some of the reasons your daily bread, cereal and pasta are ruining your health. According to Dr. Davis “eating more healthy whole grains” is ineffective, fattening, and downright destructive.
- All types wheat (including whole wheat) have a high glycemic index (GI), which can increase your glycemic load and create Type 2 diabetes over time. Amylopectin A is a complex carbohydrate that is broken down quickly in the mouth and can raise blood sugar more than 6 teaspoons of sugar. Eating just two slices of whole wheat bread will raise blood sugar more than a Snickers bar.
- Amylopectin A is a starch in wheat that triggers an increase of dangerous small LDL particle formation which is low density cholesterol that can get clog blood vessels. A diet high in carbohydrates such as bread will create too much small dense LDL.
- Wheat has gliadin which is an addictive opiates that stimulates our appetite throughout the day and impairs our ability to say no to high carbohydrate foods. These exorphins cause food obsession and unbearable hunger.
- Genetic manipulations were used in the 1970′s to create a high-yield, short and stocky strain of wheat which creates an agricultural Frankengrain. These changes to the plant altered the amino acid profile, meaning the wheat of today has totally different effects on our delicate digestive systems than the grains of early agricultural times.
- Wheat consumption stimulates an excess of female hormones in men which reduces testosterone, creating male breasts and erectile dysfunction.
- Amylopectin A is a starch in wheat that sets off a vicious cycle of deep abdominal belly fat and hormone havok. Extra belly fat makes inflammatory chemicals that promote estrogen dominance which increases cancer risk in men and women.
- Wheat is hidden in most boxed foods to stimulate appetite to keep us coming back for more.
- After the introduction of agricultural products like wheat, about 10,000 years ago, human health declined. Early agricultural people showed signs of cavities, short stature, poor facial structure, and lowered bone density when compared to traditional hunter-gather cultures.
- Seemingly nutritious wheat germ and sprouted wheat has lectins, which are poisons that keep humans from digesting the seed. These lectins cause significant damages and irritation in the small intestine over time.
- Wheat germ agglutinin found in the wheat kernels unlocks the tight barriers of the small intestine letting undigested food into the bloodstream increasing the risk for autoimmune conditions such as MS, Lupus, Chrohn’s, and Hashimoto’s thyroid disease.
- Fiber can be abundantly and easily obtained from fruits, vegetables and nuts. Wheat and other grains can cause constipation, the opposite effect most people are seeking from fiber.
- Wheat consumption can interfere with the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin in the small intestine creating depression, rage and anxiety in many people.
- Long term ingestion of wheat can cause heartburn because food ferments and expands in the stomach. This undigested food pushes acid into the esophagus. Wheat also neutralizes important digestive enzymes in the stomach delaying the assimilation process, which creates more discomfort.
There is so much more to the story of how wheat can damage our health. If you want to read more about all the ways that wheat is causing chronic disease and weight gain get the book:
He also has a new companion cookbook coming out by Christmas 2012.
You can preorder it now right here and lock in the best price:
You can watch Dr. Davis speaking on the low carb cruise below:
Has eliminating wheat improved your health? Leave a comment and let me know how.
Many people follow Paleo and gluten free diets free diets because they have health issues that are exacerbated by eating gluten which makes traveling a challenge. The reason I am careful is because I have an autoimmune thyroid condition that is flared up by eating gluten, meaning my body attacks itself which makes eating on the road a challenge. I am very careful to follow a grain free not just gluten free diet at all times to lower risk and enhance my health. It is also important to pay attention to food quality (as much as possible) to keep your tummy happy. Sometimes ordering at a restaurant with gluten intolerance can be a stressful experience. By pre-planning you can enjoy your travels and stay healthy on the road.
|Need help staying gluten grain free on the road? photo credit|
Plan Ahead and Be Aware:
1. Tell the manager: Alert the management of your gluten allergy. Calling ahead can help the staff prepare.
2. Check current menu: Be aware of current changes or status of the gluten-free menu at the place you are eating.
3. Educate your server: Be friendly and help your server understand what gluten is (the hard to digest in protein in wheat, barley or rye and contaminated oats). Your server is your ally to make sure the kitchen staff uses fresh gloves, bowls and utensils for serving or preparing your food. Also check if they have a dedicated fryer (ideally avoid fried foods-See #6). Be aware of gluten crumbs falling into big containers of lettuce, cheese, or salsa for example. Mustard, ketchup, and certain types of vinegar can also have hidden gluten (and sugar) so ask to read the labels. Gluten Free Card is a helpful tool you can show your server to help them understand in almost any language.
4. Gluten free grains are still problematic: Just because something is gluten free does not mean it is healthy. Grains are very hard to digest because they contain toxic molds and have mineral binding phytates which can further irritate a person with gluten intolerance or autoimmunity. Ingredients made with grains are much more likely to be contaminated with gluten. People with celiac or autoimmune diseases usually have nutrient absorption issues and an inflamed small intestines. Continuing to eat grains further aggravates the gut lining preventing a person from getting adequate nutrients from food to rebuild their health.
5. Food quality matters: Corn-fed beef is more likely to be contaminated with E-coli has an imbalanced ratio of inflammatory Omega-6 to beneficial omega-3 fats when compared with grass fed beef. Factory farmed chicken/beef is likely full of pesticides and antibiotics which can make us sicker and fatter. Pesticides and fungicides on fruit/ vegetables can build up in us causing hormone disruption and weight gain. Beans (including soybeans) are also a problem because they have anti-nutrients that can be extremely hard to breakdown causing more digestive issues. People with gluten sensitivity are usually stressed out and depleted meaning lower quality food can exacerbate their health issues. Hear a great podcast about this issue here.
6. Toxic seed oils: Another important concern when eating out is avoiding vegetable oils such as corn, soybean, canola, safflower and cottonseed oils which are heated/oxidized during processing which causes inflammation in the arteries and small intestine when eaten. These are also made from genetically modified crops that have never been proven safe. These tainted oils are commonly used in restaurant cooking because they are so cheap. It is common to find rancid oils (and gmo sugar) in mayo (even the olive oil kind), salad dressing and sauces. Get a good guide to which fats to eat here. I try to ask my server if they can cook my food in real butter or get it grilled. For grilling ask them to wire brush the grill first and ask about the gluten grill policy.
7. Listen to you intuition: If an establishment where you want to eat seems to good to be true. It probably is. If you do not get a good feeling about their adherence to gluten free safety guidelines head for the door.
7. Get your own kitchen: While traveling I try to rent a hotel room with a kitchen or stay in a rental from Airbnb or VRBO so I can cook for myself. Also Residence Inn by Marriott has nice fully equipped kitchens. You can shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or eatwild.com to find good farmers markets wherever you are.
|Protein Style at In and Out Burger
Chain Restaurants with Gluten Free Offerings:
The Counter: This place has humanely raised no antibiotic beef that can be served exactly how you like it. You can even write your own order by circling toppings on a notepad. They are very helpful about avoiding gluten when I went there in LA.
|Get Fajitas without marinade at Chevy’s|
Chipotle: Always a favorite on the road salad bowl with double meat with guacamole is my favorite. They source humane meats and with the carnitas being soybean oil free! Ask the server to use clean gloves when making your burrito(less) bowl.
|Gluten Free Fare at Flemings photo credit|
Outback Steakhouse: Gluten free menu featuring succulent seafood and steaks.
Flemings: Has a gluten free menu available. Prime rib with horseradish cream anyone?
Logan’s Roadhouse : The menu says they have options listed and to ask management at each location.
Chili’s: I wasn’t too excited about Chili’s after reading The End of Overeating by Dr. David Kessler, all about flavor engineering. But they do have a gluten free menu.
Applebee’s: I am not a fan but if you have no other choice and are really in the middle of nowhere. They do have allergen info you can download from their website.
Pei Wei: This place is a cousin of P.F. Chang. It has a really good gluten free menu. I have had the Vietnamese lettuce wraps minus the peanuts, rice noodles, and sugary sauces. You can ask for your food to be cooked in broth which is better than soybean oil. Bring your own coconut amino’s for flavor.
Legal Seafood: They have 49 gluten free options at this east coast chain!
|Mixed Grille at Olive Garden|
Magianno’s: Has a gluten free menu also, read more about how the executive chef can customize dishes for gluten free diners.
Carabba’s: This regional favorite has ingredients straight from Italy. Be sure to ask for meats without the grill baste. The Marsala sirloin looks wonderful with prosciutto mushrooms and wine sauce.
Macaroni Grill: The Pollo Caprese with arugula and Pomodoro sauce is making me hungry. They even have a make your own option where you can pick your own meat/veg/sauce for a grain free dish.
Mello Mushroom: I am not sure how a place can be gluten free when they are throwing flour into the air, but that is what the gluten free menu says. I am not a big fan of gluten free pizza save it for your birthday if you must. Try a cauliflower crust at home like this one for less gut disruption.
Olive Garden: This menu looks first class with lots of pictures. The mixed grill is calling my name (Grassfedgirl eat me!). I just don’t know if I could stand the temptation of the ridiculous unlimited circulating bread baskets. Aren’t Americans fat enough?