Hello Fairy Followers.
Today I blog about Ava, a darling little 4 year old who may be gluten sensitive. Before getting started tho, my thoughts about children and food and health and concern were intertwined with church this past Sunday. The young pastor of my church is in Korea right now picking up his adopted 2 yr. old son, after waiting a year for that special phone call. That announcement made me remember my previous boss, who adopted a baby girl from China about 8 years ago. That little girl came to America after sharing a crib with 2 others in the orphanage, and she stored food in her cheeks between meals for 6 months, until she was sure there would be another. There are no unwanted children – just unfound families.
Well, little Ava is a sweet thing with lips that honestly look like a heart. For about 6 months she has had stomach aches, diarrhea and distended tummy. She has been gluten free for a week and her diarrhea has stopped, but she still has a distended tummy. Maybe she needs more time being GF, or maybe she also has a dairy allergy?? We will check back in a few weeks.
1 out of 17 children have some sort of food sensitivity according to the AllergyKids Foundation. Hospitalizations for severe food reactions rose sevenfold in just the past 10 years (European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology).
TOO CAUTIOUS? For years, the Am Academy of Pediatrics recommended these 8 common allergen foods be withheld for the 1st year of life: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. After 1 year, introduce 1 at a time and look for any adverse reactions. In 2008 the AAP changed their recommendation to start exposure to these 8 as early as 5 months old. A 2013 paper in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology states that introducing allergenic foods at 4-6 months reduces the risk of developing a food allergy. Hmmmm. Remember Dr. Fasano, Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Mass General who spoke at the Gluten Summit? See the Fairy’s Jan. 25th post. He referenced a Swedish study from the 1970′s that started babies on fortified formula with wheat between 2-4 months of age, which increased the celiac occurrence in that generation from 1% to 7-9%.
TOO CLEAN? What is The Hygiene Hypothesis? In 1989 “it” theorized that because we are not exposing our children to enough germs, their immune systems are not trained to differentiate between harmful and harmless agents.
CORRUPT FOOD SUPPLY? That, of course, gets my vote. Chemicals (like washing meat with chlorine), and GMO foods. ”Although European animal studies have linked eating GM foods to allergenicity, this research has largely been dismissed by the U.S. because of concerns about study design, reporting or analysis.” The dramatic increase in food allergies that began in the 90′s coincides with the introduction of GM crops in 1996. ”Are we allergic to the food, or are we allergic to what we have done to it?” GM ingredients remain unlabeled in the U.S.
I’m sure the U.S. food industry lobby had SOMETHING to do with the dismissal of the European study. Wait till next week when I blog about the documentary “GMO – OMG” that was shown at a local college last week!! Scary.
Ava’s mom is concerned about replacing gluten grains with a lot of corn, because most is genetically modified. She should be concerned!! Foods labeled as “certified organic” can contain up to 5% GM ingredients. Foods labeled “100% organic” contain no GM ingredients. Before I attended the GMO movie, I always thought organic food contained zero GM ingredients. But 5% is a lot safer than 90 or 100%.
In search of the most popular GF foods for kids, I paid a visit to Trader Joes. Their customer service is fabulous, and I was led around the store by an employee and then the “Captain” – who happened to have 2 kids who eat GF. By the way, their GMO policy is: all of their non-animal products do not contain GM ingredients (digging deeper into that statement next week). Also, TJ’s labels their products with and extra “contains wheat, contains eggs, etc.” if it contains 1 of the top 8 allergens.
They have a large GF display – stage right. The papers hanging to the right of the display are a complete list of store products that are GF (6 1/2 pgs.) Their favorite GF kid food recommendations are:
Puffins cereal, microwave Mac and Cheese (frozen), 3 cheese pizza, soft bake snicker doodles, Vanilla Meringue cookies, Joe-Joe cookies (with real vanilla bean filling), Gorilla Munchies cereal, brown rice crispy treats, chocolate chip cookies, GF and diary-free pancakes and waffles (both frozen).
Natural Grocers, a local organic food store, had these recommendations (the manager also has a GF child): Against the Grain Pizza, Sharkey organic fruit chews, Lucy’s cookies, Snyders pretzels (my personal favorite), Lucky Spoon Cinnamon muffins, Annie’s Mac and Cheese (frozen), Applegate chicken nuggets (frozen), Enviro kids cereal. Fruit leathers up near the check-out counter are excellent, too. That reminds me of a funny story. My 30-something niece (who reads this blog) was not allowed to beg for candy or gum at the check-out counter when she grocery shopped with her mom. So instead, she would pick up a pack of gum and just smell it, and then put it back on the rack. That still makes me laugh after all these years. Hi Shannon
Some of Ava’s favorites: Van’s GF waffles, cheese crackers, chocolate chip granola bars and cinnamon haven cereal, and Natures Path chunky chocolate peanut granola bars. Ava had a hard time eating GF at Disneyland, but I will bet in a few years there will be many GF goodies for sale – if they know what’s good for business…and they obviously do!!! Speaking of Disneyland, did you all see “Saving Mr. Banks”? Old time Disney at its best.
Did you know that Olive Garden has a GF menu with a children’s portion of GF penne pasta with marinara sauce and a side of grapes? And Dominos has a GF pizza now. My sister tells me it’s good!! And then there’s In and Out Burger. I am ashamed to admit that I think about those burgers all the time – wrapped in lettuce with that special sauce. I wonder if a kid would enjoy eating a burger like that, tho. I’ve seen plenty of teens eat it that way, but never a youngster.
Last week I decided to try a frozen GF pizza. We have Bill’s Pizza in town, serving the world’s best GF pizza, so why waste my $ on a frozen one? Just wanted to try one. Waste of $. The brand was “Contes”. The crust tasted like ground up saltine crackers – dry and brittle. The strange part of this story is that the pizza was made in NJ, on Wheat Road. Made me hesitate mid bite.
One more tidbit: If you are interested in finding out everything you are allergic to/intolerant of – besides bad coffee, lumpy beds and neighbors who let their dogs poop in your yard, you can send a hair sample to The Intolerant Testing Group. Take a look at http://www.allergytest.com. Prices start at $75 and go to $210.
‘I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse”. ”I love Mickey Mouse more than any woman I have ever known”. Walt Disney.
Hello Fairy Followers.
I have a couple new followers this week – wooo hooo! Thank you for your interest everyone.
From my buddy Tom, who feeds me info from the Am College of Gastroenterology, here are their tips on how to eat GF a little cheaper.
Sales of GF foods in 2010 were $2.6B. By 2015 they are expected to be $5B. The cost of some GF foods is high because of the specialty ingredients like amaranth, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat, agave, coconut sugar and honey. Wheat is very cheap and that is why it is used as filler. Cheaper GF alternatives are corn, rice and GF oats.
Some price gouging is going on due to its recent popularity, and most GF producers are small compared to the big cereal and bread companies, so they don’t have the economy of scale. By 2015, more companies will surely throw their hats in the ring to get a pc. of that $5B pie, creating more competition and lower prices (hopefully).
Avoid buying packaged GF foods. They are expensive and some are highly processed and should be eaten moderately, anyways.
Eat more foods that are naturally GF – like nuts, fruits, veggies, beans, dairy and meats.
Make your own GF baked goods. HA – easier said than done!! Steep learning curve here.
Make large batches and freeze 1/2. Nothing new here – that goes for any food, GF or not.
Buy in bulk…but not necessarily from the bulk bins. Cross contamination highly probable!
Change over the whole family to GF, so you don’t have to make 2 versions of everything, and you don’t have to stock specialty items in your pantry. I disagree on this one. Walmart vs Vitacost pricing: Regular macaroni = $1.46/16 oz. GF macaroni = $3.89/12 oz. GF bread = $4.50/loaf. Regular Snyders pretzels = $2.98/16 oz. GF Snyders pretzels = $6.39/14 oz. Flour tortillas = $ 1.60/10 med. Food for Life brown rice tortillas $5.20/6 large. Bisquick baking mix = $3.28/40 oz. Bobs Red Mill baking mix = $9.58/44 oz.
Changing the whole family to GF will also boost the morale of the celiac, so they don’t feel different. I don’t know any celiac kids to ask, but maybe this statement was meant for them. We gluten intolerant people are special, and I would guess that most of us eat a lot healthier than the average person because we read labels and try to keep inflammation out of our bodies. If a person’s morale needs boosting because they have to eat gluten free, hopefully it’s short lived, and their GF diets eventually lead them down a path to a healthier and happier life.
Shop around. Trader Joes has $1.99 brown rice pasta. You can find GF snack foods at TJ Maxx and Marshalls.
Create easy 1-pot meals (that’s pretty much the only way I know how to cook anyways).
Internet shop for GF foods. Vitacost always sends E-coupons, and both Amazon and Google advertise GF foods.
This info is from the health column in my local newspaper.
Foods that spike blood sugar (carbs and sugar) create inflammation that produces an enzyme that breaks down collagen, resulting in wrinkles. Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which elevates blood sugar, resulting in inflammation. One of the main causes of stress is lack of sleep. High levels of cortisol lead to decreased bone density, breakdown of muscle (including heart muscle), weight gain and collagen breakdown. And we all know that smoking and exposure to ultraviolet light causes premature aging.
Collagen is a protein, so a diet supplying ample protein is necessary to regenerate the skin. In just 3 days, a diet rich in protein can produce noticeable differences in skin appearance, including improvement in dark circles, puffiness and fine lines. This article says a vegetarian diet does not supply enough protein, so by age 50, a vegetarian’s skin will show accelerated aging. Not sure if I believe this last sentence because look at Christie Brinkley, who looked smashing on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 50 Year Anniversary Show last month. Still GORGEOUS at age 60.
No mention of good fats in this article, and how important they are for your skin.
3 more famous vegetarians who have nice skin for their age.
From the American Diabetes Association website: 10% of type 1 diabetics also have celiac disease.
Did you know that rickets has made a comeback in the UK? Rickets is a childhood disease that once caused an epidemic of bowed legs and curved spines during the Victorian era. It is caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin D. It used to be a disease of poverty because poor children toiled in factories instead of playing outside in the sun. The disease largely disappeared from Britain in the 1950′s due to mass programs to feed children cod liver oil. In the last 15 yrs. British hospitals have seen a 4 fold increase in cases – from 183 in 1995 to 762 in 2011, but may be higher because there is no formal surveillance system in place. Cultural changes are likely to blame: children spending more time inside on computers and video games, the stringent use of sunscreens, and religious beliefs that skin needs to be covered.
In the US, there has also been an increase in rickets, tho there are no solid figures to confirm it. Dr. Tosi at Children’s Medical Center in Washington DC say kids stop drinking milk as soon as they are weaned, and some public health campaigns are trying to eliminate flavored milks from school lunches, which could hurt children’s bone health. Flavored milks…hmmm. Would the drink described below actually help a child’s bone health, or would the sugar, colorings and processing be more hinderance than help? Those are the types of decision we all have to make every day, unfortunately.
Flavored milk is a sweetened dairy drink made with milk, sugar, colorings and artificial or natural flavorings. Flavored milk is often pasteurized using ultra-high-temperature treatment, which gives it a longer shelf-life than plain milk. Wikipedia
Get the kids off their bums and scoot them outside, force-feed them wild-caught oily fish once in a while, organic eggs, and other dairy products like organic yogurt, cheese, cream cheese (on celery – yum), sr. cream, and plain old milk how it tastes right out of the cow. Don’t let them do the shopping!!
My son, who is 26 now, used to come home from grade school with stories about green hotdogs at lunch. Instead of eating them, they would have contests to see how high they would bounce. I tried to get on the nutrition board for the school district, but I’m sure they sensed a renegade before they finished listening to my voice mail. They never called. I really only wanted to get ketchup re-classified from a vegetable to a condiment.
Quote of the week: ”Hot dogs and Red Vines and potato chips and french fries are my favorite foods.” Betty White. OK, one of the websites I consulted for this post is lying. Or maybe she eats tofu hotdogs, or maybe this is an old quote. Gotta love her either way.
Hello Fairy Followers.
Sometimes I lay in bed and fret over what to blog about, and it seems whenever that happens, my friends, relatives, newspapers, internet, mail, a personal encounter, or my Tuesdays Without Gluten group comes thru and dumps all kinds of nuggets at my feet, and that is what happened this week while I was on vacation. So this post will have no rhyme or reason – just tidbits relating to gluten or food or healthy living.
I first want to share 2 personal stories.
My mother has always had what I call an unhealthy relationship with food. She overeats and eats a lot of processed food, especially bread and sweets. Since Christmas she has been getting “the shakes” – sweaty and weak, several times a week. She also has excess stomach acid and reflux so she’s been on Prilosec for 30 years, and has been having stomach pains. Her Dr. told her to eat a 1/2 sandwich before she goes to bed each night, so there is something for the acid to gnaw on, and so she doesn’t wake up hungry and “shaky” in the morning. I’m glad I did not accompany her to that Dr. appt. or I would have kicked him in the shins. After a week of no relief with the PB sandwich, her daughters persuaded her to cut back to 1 pc. of bread per day, and cut back on all processed carbs, and eat celery with PB instead of 1/2 PB sandwich before bed, and eat small meals every 2 hours, AND GUESS WHAT!!! Her stomach aches have disappeared, and she has not had the shakes for 13 days. That’s her, eating her favorite food group – dessert!! As Dr. Davis says, wheat has a higher glycemic index than sugar, and when you come down off the carbohydrate “high”, you crash with low blood sugar.
My cousin, a Fairy Follower with MS, went gluten free about a year ago after hearing about the relationship between gluten and autoimmune diseases. Last week she told me she has been able to cut back on her meds “considerably” since going gluten free. The ALLELUIA chorus is singing right now!!!! She follows Dr. Terry Wahls on Facebook and blog, and wants you all to know that Dr. Wahls has not cured her MS with the Paleo Diet. There is no cure. The damage to her myelin sheaths has been done, but she is effectively managing and slowing its progress. And 1 more thing: my cousin is an avid animal lover and says Xylitol, a sugar alcohol that is considered a “good” sweetener and has 0 calories, is very toxic to dogs, so if you are eating a snack that contains Xylitol, do not throw the last bite to your pup, no matter how much he begs. Oh, but look how cute and sad he looks!!!
OK, this week at the Tuesdays Without Gluten meeting, our guest speaker was an all-American athlete in college and now coaches track and field at a local college, and is a member of our GF group. Before he dives into his athletes’ abilities and training, he looks at their diet because if their bodies are not firing on healthy cylinders, they will not perform well. I wish more doctors would take that approach. He wants his athletes to eat GF. He said drinking water is acidic to the body (it takes calcium from your bones), and suggests juicing a lemon or lime into your water 3 times/week to bring more balanced alkalinity to your system. Even tho lemons are acidic, they are an alkaline-forming food. This winter as the flu ran rampant thru the dorms, his athletes drank the lemon water as directed, and not 1 of them got the flu. Unrefined salts (such as Himalayan pink sea salt) and fruit will also add alkalinity back to your system. A few of his favorite books: Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price, Prescription for Nutritional Healing (reference book), and Food Politics by Marion Nestle.
And last month our guest speaker was an acupuncturist. Did you know that you have 6 different pulses, and each tells a story about what is going on in your body? Your tongue is also a very important diagnostic tool. The color (white, yellow, red), the texture (smooth or bumpy, coated), the shape (scalloped edges) all tell a story to the acupuncturist. She also uses touch, sight and smell as diagnostic tools. She has treated fibromyalgia with her needles. Some of the needles are so thin that you need a dark background or light reflection to see them.
2 GF tidbits: Nuts.com – a good source for super fine GF baking flours. Great prices but you have to pay for shipping.
Websites for GF recipes: Bakingbeauties.com, Theintollerantgourmet.com, glutenfreegoddess.com.
The World Health Organization has just released the World Cancer Report. This report is published every 5 years, and is a collaboration between 40 countries and 250 scientists. Cancer rates are expected to increase 57% worldwide in the next 20 years. Deaths are expected to rise from 8.2M to 13M annually. They attribute these growing #’s to the aging population. Hmmm. I would say our diets, food safety/manipulation and lifestyle choices should be considered, also. Hey you scientists, get a clue!!!
Last week this topic came up in 2 conversations so I’m just going to put it out there: radiation from Japan’s Fukishima nuclear disaster in 2011 is effecting sea life in the Pacific. Water used to cool the reactor is STILL being pumped into the ocean, and currents are bringing the radiation closer to the US. Alaskan wild-caught salmon and fish oil supplements….maybe take note of where your fish sources are coming from.
Rinsing quinoa before cooking will take away potential bitterness.
Did you know that May is Celiac Awareness Month?
From the Gluten Summit: Proteins from corn, dairy and legumes mimic gluten is some celiacs – called cross-reactivity.
People who cannot tolerate corn may be able to tolerate hominy (corn processed with lye – made into grits, and used in Mexican dishes like pasole stew).
Let GF baking sit for 1 hour before handling.
I told you this would be unstructured!!
If we are not meant to have midnight snacks, why is there a light in the refrigerator?
It’s amazing what you can find on the internet… an imaginary child named Quinoa. She was created by an imaginary mom. Bizzzzzaaaarrrr, but she’s so cute.
Until next time, stay healthy. The Gluten Free Fairy
Hello Fairy Followers.
I listened to another Gluten Summit lecture this week, this time by Dr. Davis of Wheat Belly fame. I have blogged about him before. These Drs. at The Summit are soooo knowledgable and our population would be healthier if they practiced what these professionals are preaching!!
Dr. Davis is a cardiologist who advocates removing all foods that contain wheat from your diet, and all or most sugars. He has seen these improvements in his patients: weight loss, relief from acid reflux, increased energy, more stable moods, deeper sleep, relief from arthritis, improved cholesterol values, reduced blood pressure, reduced inflammation measures, asthma disappears, rashes clear up, migraines vanish, and bowel urgency from IBS disappears…some within 5 days of removing wheat. His patients come to him because they have already had a cardiac episode, are at high risk of having one, or maybe had a parent die young of a heart attach, and are afraid. In the past 18 years, he cannot remember a heart attach in his practice.
Whole wheat bread has a glycemic index of 72. Table sugar has a glycemic index of 59-65. So 90 minutes after eating, your blood sugar will measure higher with bread than sugar. Then 1/2 hr. after than, your blood sugar plummets, creating a shaky feeling, which stimulates your appetite and a craving for carbs, and the cycle continues.
BTW, GF food substitutes like corn starch, rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch also have a glycemic index above 70!! Eating high glycemic index GF foods regularly is unhealthy. Don’t replace a bad diet with a bad GF diet.
Dr. Davis says “modern wheat is a concoction of agricultural genetics.” The gene GLIA Alpha A was absent from wheat before 1950. Virtually all strains of wheat in 2013 have it. It is the genetic sequence that most likely triggers the celiac response. Modern wheat has 42 chromosomes. Biblical wheat had 28, and pre-biblical wheat had 14. All humans regardless of size, shape or color have 46. The baboon has 48. Look at the difference just 2 chromosomes make (or not…).
About 50% of human caloric intake of the world comes from wheat, corn and rice. Almost every official agency (Am Diabetes Assoc., Am Heart Assoc., USDA, FDA, Academy of Nutrition and Diabetes) recommends a grain-dominant diet. Dr. Davis says “eating plenty of ‘healthy whole grains’ is exactly how you would create diabetes”. You have to include junk food in there, too. Last night my husband and I went to In-And-Out Burger, probably the only fast food restaurant we have visited in 5 years. They have a double cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce (they call it “protein style”) that I heard about in my gluten group and wanted to try. While we were there, I said “just think how many people eat at fast food places like this several times a week”. The very thin – I mean VERY thin burgers came with lots of lettuce, thick tomato and thick onion. It was really fresh and really tasty. Be responsible for your food choices – and fall off the wagon once in while.
Dr. D says obesity and type II diabetes are the #1 threat to the US economy. By 2044, the cost of caring for diabetics will exceed all the taxes the federal government collects. He believes the high glycemic foods we eat early in life are 80-90% of the problem.
Large LDL particles are processed by your body in about 2 days. Small LDL particles stay in your system for a week and oxidize, contributing to plaque. Once you have plaque in your arteries and heart, it grows at 30%/yr. If you don’t control blood sugar, you will lose control of your cardiovascular risk and the bad guys will take over. 3 foods trigger the formation of small LDL particles: grains, sugars and starchy legumes. Disrupted bowel flora also increases small LDL particles in the bloodstream.
“Glycation from high blood glucose is a fundamental process underlying multiple disease states and aging”. Glycation is a haphazard process that impairs the functioning of biomolecules. Example of glycation: High blood sugar over time makes the cartilage in your knees brittle. End of the Dr. visit.
OK, lets talk about food for a minute. Another recommendation from my gluten group was a cook book called The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen. The author became a celiac after having her 2nd child. She developed nerve pain, facial numbness and paralysis that eventually traveled down the left side of her body over the next 2 yrs. After 4 yrs. of not finding the cause, she started her own 1-month elimination diet (gluten, soy, dairy, corn, caffeine, alcohol and sugar) and found herself feeling great and symptom free. Then she ate a bagel and the facial numbness returned immediately.
The author “gathered 20 of her friends, all avid gluten eaters, and asked them to taste the recipes as she developed them. The group offered great feedback and even tested the completed recipes in their own kitchens. The home testing garnered overwhelmingly positive results from adults and children alike. And except for the cooks, none was the wiser to the dishes’ gluten-free status”. I hope to test some of these recipes over the next few months and will report back.
“Grandma Ruthie and her sister Jettie hadn’t spoken a civil word in about fifteen years. Their last exchange was Ruthie’s leaning over Jettie’s coffin and whispering, “If you’d married and had children, there would be more people at your funeral.” Of course, at the reading of Aunt Jettie’s will, Grandma Ruthie was handed an enveloped containing a carefully folded high-resolution picture of a baboon’s butt. That pretty much summed up their relationship.”
― Molly Harper, Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs
Hi Fairy Followers.
I just listened to my 2nd lecture from the Gluten Summit, and WOW, this guy is more interesting than Dr. Marsh. Dr. Fasano is Chief of Ped. Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Mass General. I have mentioned him before. I heard about him thru Dr. Mercola’s website. Besides having a romantic accent that is really easy to listen to, he has so much valuable gluten information that I quickly filled 7 pages with notes. I don’t know how I can condense that, so this may be a long-winded post. I hope I don’t scare anyone away. I think the subject of gluten is fascinating, and you will, too, after hearing what he has to say. He was the 1st to found a center for celiac disease (at U of MD in 1996). He has published more than 200 medical papers. In 2000, his team discovered Zonulin, a molecule that is present with intestinal permeability. The overproduction of this molecule is linked to Type 1 Diabetes, MS and Celiac Disease. He says gluten is not digestible by any human. 99.9% of human evolution was GF, because wheat has been around only 10K years. Like Dr. Marsh said, we have not evolved enough to break down gluten. We moved from nomadic hunters and gatherers to settlers that cultivated grains. He believes the increased gluten problems in our population is because of the increased % of gluten per dry weight of wheat. It is currently 30-40% of a wheat kernel. A few centuries ago, it was 1/2 that.
We know for sure that introducing gluten to children too early (who are genetically predisposed) is detrimental. In the 1970′s a well-known baby formula company introduced a “fortified” formula with wheat, in Sweden. They suggested starting babies on it between 2-4 months of age. In that generation there was a 7-9% prevalence of celiac disease. Previously it had been 1%. The Swedish health system recognized the epidemic and took the fortified formula off the market. The following generation dropped back to 1%.
There has been researcher talk of postponing the introduction of gluten to children until after one yr. of age, when their immune system is more mature. Dr. F. says there is no study to support that recommendation (even tho the Swedish study hints at it at avery young age), but his group is following 700 at-risk kids from birth. They are now in the 5-6 yr. follow up, and they need more time. If kids develop celiac disease in childhood, it goes without saying that their quality of life, quality of tissue, bone, nerve and brain development would be higher without the inflammation brought on by gluten. Safer to feed kids ancient grains? Dr. F. says it is inconvenient and “nutritionally speaking, gluten is a useless food. We evolved without it”. So I did not get a firm answer to this question from Dr. F. – possibly because he is saving his answer for when he publishes the full results of his study in a few more years. The Swedish study above presents a pretty good argument for the postponement, tho.
The impact of intestinal permeability: The gut is the most sophisticated immunological component in our body. Our state of health or disease is the combination of our genes and our environment. Traffic thru our gut should be tightly controlled. Uncontrolled traffic would be infections, pollutants, chemicals and GMO foods. An epidemic of autoimmune diseases has taken shape over the last 40-50 years. Our genes need thousands of years to change, so the reason for the epidemic is that we are unable to adapt to our fast-changing environment. 7 years ago, Dr. F. said we can arrest the development of autoimmune diseases by healing the gut. A single layer of cells in our gut acts as checkpoints. If breached, there is an uncontrolled passage of instigators. The primary source of environmental insult to intestinal damage is the composition of bacteria in our gut. If a baby is born by c-section, he is 3-4 times more likely to develop an autoimmune disease because he does not pick up all his mother’s good bacteria going thru the birth canal. The food we eat has a dramatic impact on the health of our gut. The autoimmune epidemic coincides with the introduction of antibiotics. ”Bully” bacterias from antibiotics (in food or by prescription) take over the healthy bacteria.
Celiac disease is the ONLY autoimmune disease where we know the trigger. As Dr. Marsh said, there are 3 parts: genes, environmental trigger, and breach of intestinal barrier. Take 1 part away (the gluten), and you have stopped the autoimmune attach!!
IF A CELIAC GOES ON A STRICT GF DIET, WHICH HAS STOPPED THE SYMPTOMS, ANTIBODIES AND AUTOIMMUNE INSULT, YOU NOW HAVE A “CELIAC CONDITION”. YOU NO LONGER HAVE AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE ATTACHING YOU. That is one of those “ahhh haaa” statements!! We are so lucky to control our sickness with food and not drugs!!
Dr. F. says “the gut is not like Las Vegas. What happens in the gut doesn’t stay in the gut. In some patients, the immune cells can go anywhere in the body: joints, nerves, skin”. That is why some celiacs can have inflammation that does not involve the gut. If you take a biopsy of a celiac skin lesion, it will show the same type of damage as you find in the intestines of a classic celiac. And 25% of these patients with joint, nerve or skin damage will have no damage to the intestine. Celiac disease can even go to the brain. That is why CD is not just a GI condition. The GI tract simply hosts the 1st encounter. Our genetic makeup will determine where the damage will occur.
There are 2 parts to our immune system: Innate and Adaptive. Innate is the 1st response – it quickly eliminates any kind of enemy. If the enemy is resilient and offers a lengthy fight, it needs reinforcements. That’s when the adaptive (heavy artillery) immune system kicks in. However, it needs time to customize its weapons against specific enemies. In an autoimmune disease, there is a miscommunication between the innate and adaptive immune systems, causing the heavy artillery to be turned on its own body.
People with non-celiac gluten sensitivity do not have the celiac gene, so they do not have the broken villi, but they do have the inflammation in the intestines, and can have the same symptoms (abdominal pain, headache, foggy mind, chronic fatigue, depression). After clinically ruling out other causes (like a brain tumor for headaches), Dr. F suggests trying a GF diet.
3K healthy people were followed for 50 years. Some developed symptoms during the 1st year of life. Celiac disease can be silent for a long time. CD doubled every 15 yrs. in this population of 3K. Some people lost their tolerance to gluten after decades of health. It may take us decades to figure out why. ”Even if you have these genes that make you at risk for CD, not necessarily do those genes translate into disease. So it is permanent, but it’s not destiny. Many people may lead their entire lives without ever developing CD”.
Heavy stuff!! I’m exhausted. We will take a break from the Gluten Summit next week and return to our regularly scheduled program.
Good night Gluten Free Fairy, good night John Boy. Until next time, stay healthy!!
Hellooooo Fairy Followers.
Today we get into the deep deep deep discussion by Dr. Marsh at the Gluten Summit. What…you don’t know what the Gluten Summit is? Well, let me say that it will give me enough blog material for the next year. It was an E-summit involving the world’s experts on gluten. 29 hours of lecture. So far I have listened to just one. Most lecturers are doctors talking to peers so I’m sure there will be many a word spoken that I have never heard before.
So now on to the Gluten Summit. Dr. Michael Marsh is the “Godfather” of celiac disease. In 1971 he discovered the relationship between intestinal damage and gluten sensitivity. In 1992 he published a paper that moved this disease forward, and came up with “The Marsh System” that is now used by all gastroenterologists to classify the degree of degeneration occurring in the intestines. Marsh level III is the level that most Drs. are concerned with – where the villi are broken off and you are no longer absorbing nutrients. Did you know that you can have a positive blood test but no intestinal damage? You can have celiac antibodies for up to 7 yrs. before intestinal damage starts. Celiac disease occurs when the gene is present, there is an environmental trigger, and then intestinal permeability (remember, inflammation contributes to/causes intestinal permeability). The Mayo Clinic did a study comparing blood samples from healthy airmen in the 1940′s and 50′s to healthy adult males of today and found a 4 fold increase in immune markers for sensitivity to gluten and celiac disease. ”The increased numbers we’re seeing now are not because of better testing. It’s that more people are falling prey to this syndrome. Could it be our immune systems are overloaded by environmental toxins? The probiotic environment of the gut is affected by antibiotics in our food. We have a limited number of options to respond to an unlimited number of assaults”. Dr. Tom O’Bryan – host of the G Summit. Dr. Marsh says “Gluten is very difficult to digest. Gluten has an amino acid that twists the molecule. We haven’t evolved enzymes to break that down”. Rice is very digestible. In a 1981 article in the NE Journal of Medicine, a study was done by measuring the gas produced by individuals eating wheat and those eating rice, for 2 weeks. The gas was captured by bubbles in water – you know, the kind you used to try to hide in the swimming pool…
And how they got people to participate in this study is beyond me. Maybe $$ and a trip to Vegas. Anyways, gas is produced by undigested food fermenting in the colon. The wheat people had “far more” gas than the rice people.
Dr. Marsh says 30-35% of the population carries the celiac gene, but only about 1% have level Marsh III (villi broken off). The earlier stages are just as critical because that is when nutritional deficiencies start (iron deficiency and osteoporosis, for starters). Dr. Marsh says it takes about 17 years after research is published before Drs. start using it. He also says about 50% of celiacs have sensitivity to dairy, and that once a celiac, always a celiac. Some people start feeling better on a GF diet and then do a “gluten challenge” – they think maybe they can go back. No, there is no going back!!
I have a great rice recipe for you today. I want my Followers to be part of the group with the least amount of swimming pool bubbles!!
Loaded Mexican Rice (serves 6)
2 c raw basmati rice – steamed the way you like it
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 c frozen corn (or freshly cut off the cob if you’re a really good cook)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper – or more to taste
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
9 green onions, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
6 small (or 3 large) poblano peppers, roasted, skinned and diced (discard seeds and inside membranes).
3 sweet red bell peppers, roasted, skinned and diced (discard seeds and inside membranes)
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 c queso anejo, or feta
1 bunch cilantro, washed and snipped
1 lime, plus some small wedges for garnish
Heat oil over med/high heat in a large skillet. Add corn, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Add green onions and garlic and continue cooking for about 3 minutes. Add the roasted poblano peppers, roasted sweet peppers and black beans. Add the rice and chopped tomatoes and gently mix. Crumble cheese over rice mixture and gently stir. Garnish with cilantro. Squeeze a lime over the entire dish, and serve with extra lime wedges.
Again, if you’re a really good cook, you can peel the fresh tomatoes before chopping because when you mix them with the warm ingredients, sometimes the skins separate from the tomato.
The simplest strategy for bouts of noxious flatus is to not care. Or perhaps to take the advice of a gastroenterologist I know: Get a dog (to blame). Mary Roach