I have to admit that I've been a bit of a "bad blogger" these past few months. I'm hoping the fact that I, along with another Gluten Doctor, have been writing a 350 page book on gluten is an adequate excuse!
We're very excited about this book because we believe that not only will it be a reference book for many suffering from gluten related health issues but it is literally the first of its kind. There are several books about celiac disease as well as several books about gluten-free cooking. But to the best of our knowledge there isn't a book which makes the distinction between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity while providing an abundance of scientific references to support the cause and effect relationship between gluten and such conditions as arthritis, thyroid disease, diabetes, IBS, etc.
I have included a bit of the book's introduction here and I would appreciate feedback about it.
If you’re picking up this book in the hopes of finding an answer to your health problems, you have the right frame of mind. This book is about gluten sensitivity and its under-appreciated ability to have far reaching negative effects upon your health. The decision to write a book about gluten came as a result of an amazing phenomenon that occurred repeatedly throughout many years of practicing a method of medicine that focuses on identifying the root cause of a patient’s health problem which we call The HealthNOW Method. Again and again we had patients describing to us how significantly their lives had changed as a result of discovering that they were gluten sensitive. We write this book to inspire you to seek out the root cause of your health problem and to help you discover if the root cause of your illness is gluten sensitivity.
It has now been more than fifteen years since we became interested in the effects of gluten on our the health of our patients. At that time, even the most commonly known form of gluten sensitivity, Celiac Disease, was a rare diagnosis. What is even more startling is the fact that Celiac Disease is diagnosed in only a small fraction of affected individuals even today. Why is this? The biggest reason is lies in how standard medicine approaches health in general. Patients with gluten sensitivity, we have found, demonstrate many different symptoms. Likewise, the symptoms are usually nonspecific which means they could result manifest from many different health conditions. As a result, more common conditions are investigated first and sometimes the under-appreciated disorders such as gluten sensitivity go unnoticed.
Vikki’s mother was such an example. In addition to having many medical problems including an adrenal gland dysfunction, she had long suffered from constipation, chronic headaches, fatigue, low blood sugar, constipation and a host of gastrointestinal other complaints. She had undergone many tests and examinations, but none of these had given her an answer. Medicines were prescribed, treatments recommended, but in the end, the symptoms stayed the same. We had just begun investigating gluten sensitivity in our office, and when we tested Vikki’s mother for anti-gliadin antibodies. This is a test to see if the body’s immune system is reacting to gluten in a negative way. Well, to our surprise, she had elevated levels of these antibodies. Even more intriguing was the fact that she responded dramatically well to a gluten-free diet. Her headaches, low blood sugar symptoms and constipation resolved after having suffered for well over 50 years. Today she is a vibrant, healthy 85 year-old that takes no medication and by her own statement considers that she is in “the best health of her entire life”.
To drive home the point even further, 15 years ago our newly born daughter had been having persistent problems with projectile vomiting. When this is an ongoing problem, believe us that when we say you try to find an answer as quickly as possible. Not only is it painful to see your child suffer, but the mess is not much fun either. After Vikki’s mother was found to react poorly to gluten, and knowing that this can run in families, we tested our daughter as well. Sure enough, she likewise demonstrated gluten sensitivity and responded very nicely to the elimination of gluten in her diet. This started our crusade to evaluate the effects of gluten on people’s health.
But what is gluten? You have maybe heard of it in recent years with gluten-free foods being sold at health stores, and the rash of gluten-free recipe books in the bookstores now. But what is it? And what is gluten sensitivity? Gluten is essentially the major protein component of wheat, rye, and barley and to a lesser extent oats As it is metabolized or broken down, it can give some people tremendous problems particularly along their digestive tract . In short, the body’s immune system can see it as an infectious a toxic protein and can launch an attack against it (as if it were a virus) which can it also damages you’re the body’s tissues that harbors it (for instance the intestinal lining). Secondarily, you can develop a multitude of symptoms depending on what is organ system is affected, how severely it is, and what other problems occur later as a result of the prolonged damage. In short, the body’s immune system can see it as a toxin and therefore launches an attack against it. Varied and multiple symptoms are created depending on what tissues of the body are attacked.
Are you ready to consider a fresh approach to your health? Are you interested in finding what the underlying cause is rather than what is currently happening to your body merely masking your symptoms? So are we. If you suffer from cramping, nausea, chronic bowel problems, or stomach pains, the information in this book about gluten could be what you have been seeking. If you have chronic fatigue, sleep difficulties, depression, memory difficulty, or anxiety, you will want to hear about how gluten affects the nervous system. If you have joint pains, rashes, chronic pain, weight issues, or menstrual problems, don’t rule gluten out as a potential base cause to your symptoms. If you are constantly getting infections or have other immune or autoimmune disorders, gluten certainly is worth your time. While all of these complaints are varied in nature, their appearance occurrence reflects how gluten may “stress” your health individually.
It wasn’t until the 1970’s that we clinicians even appreciated how “bad” cholesterol and fats in our diet caused heart disease and stroke. But since that time, attention to these dietary components has significantly decreased these diseases. Likewise, we are just now understanding the effects that simple sugars have on our body’s ability to produce insulin and regulate glucose in relationship to diabetes and glucose intolerance. Diet has always been a major influence on our health, and truly we are what we eat. New vitamins, minerals and herbal nutrients continue to be discovered decade after decade. This is such a virgin field in this modern era of medicine, even though it would seem to be so basic. It is no wonder then that we are only now embracing how gluten can affect our bodies. This wheat protein in wheat, rye and barley has been around for thousands of years. But its evolution, and its growing appearance in our diets, has finally caught our attention. For many of you, it indeed may be the root cause to your symptoms. As we have stated earlier, the reason we have written this book is because of experiences with our patients. We love helping people get healthier so that they can live life to it fullest without having any attention on their body. Illness and symptoms keep a person from fully experiencing and fully participating in life. We believe life is meant to be lived, full-out with no stops.