Friday, April 09, 2010

“The Gluten Effect” Virtual Book Tour an Amazing Success!

I was delighted to participate in my first virtual book tour this week. Several hundred people signed up for the event and it was truly an international affair with listeners from Canada, Mexico and Australia.

If you missed the event you can listen to the replay at www.askaboutgluten.com/replay.

Many wonderful, insightful questions were asked during the event but for those who didn’t get their questions answered at the event I thought this blog would be a good place where I could continue to address all the important issues that were raised.

Imagine my surprise when barely 24 hours later there are 210 questions awaiting me! There is an incredible diversity in the questions and I will truly try to answer as many of them as possible.

So stay tuned. I will also be answering some of the shorter responses in a video format on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/healthnowmedical.

Okay, so let’s get started.

Question: If I eliminate gluten from my diet but then begin to eat it again will I be more sensitive to it than I was before I eliminated it?

When you eliminate gluten from your diet your body will begin to heal. Whether you’re gluten sensitive or have celiac disease positive changes will begin to develop in your digestive tract, your immune system as a whole, and other affected systems will also begin to improve.

You must realize that because gluten has the ability to affect so many systems of the body, the changes that you see upon removing it will be different for different people. One person may see their migraines disappear, while another may see an increase of energy and less anxiety. One person may stop experiencing joint pain while another’s skin will begin to clear up. The list of symptoms associated with celiac and gluten sensitivity is truly huge! I will post them below:


Signs & Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Alopecia
Anemias, especially iron and folic
Anorexia
Autism
Autoimmune arthritis
Autoimmune connective tissue diseases
Autoimmune thyroiditis
Cerebellar ataxia
Cerebral and cerebellar atrophy
Cerebral calcifications
Chromosome aberrations
Chronic fatigue
Chronic liver disease
Colitis
Constipation
Delayed puberty
Dental enamel defects
Depression
Down’s syndrome
Early menopause
Febrile seizures
Gallbladder dysfunction
Gallstones
IgA deficiency
IgA nephropathy
infertility
Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
Intestinal Cancers
Kidney Stones
Low Calcium
Low Iron
Low Magnesium
Low Vitamin A
Low Vitamin D
Low Vitamin K
Low Zinc
Mild ataxia
Monoarthritis
Muscular hypotonia
Neurological disorders
Obesity
Obstructive pulmonary disease
Osteomalacia
Osteoporosis
Pancreatic insufficiency
Pica
Pulmonary bleeding
Retarded motor development
Rickets
Sacroileitis
Schizophrenia
Short stature
Single generalized seizures
Spontaneous, low-impact fractures
Systemic lupus erythematosus
White-matter brain lesions


Symptoms and Conditions Associated with Gluten Sensitivity

Craving for wheat/gluten or inability to stop eating it
Obesity
Allergies, asthma
Sinus congestion, post-nasal drip
Arthritis
Joint and muscle aches
Diarrhea and/or constipation
Gas, bloating, abdominal pain
IBS, colitis, gastritis
Psoriasis, eczema or unexplained rash
Depression, anxiety or mood-swings
Hormonal imbalance
Neurological disorders
Memory loss
Unexplained Chronic Fatigue
Fibromyalgia
Increased liver enzymes
Frequent canker sores
Iron-deficiency anemia
Headaches / Migraines
Hyperactivity
Osteoporosis
Dental problems
Short stature


The beautiful thing about the human body is that the healthier it is the better it communicates to you how it feels. So the answer is yes, when you introduce gluten into your body after you have eliminated it for at least a month, your body will most likely react in a more sensitive fashion than it did when you were eating gluten all the time. You were always sensitive, it’s just that the reaction is easier to detect when you have eliminated it for a while.

Please note however that the response can be delayed. Your reaction to gluten can occur anywhere from immediately upon its ingestion to up to 3 or 4 days later. It depends on which systems are affected most in your particular situation.

I have some patients experience migraines within a few hours. Others have soreness and swelling the next day and still others notice symptoms several days later. These are all legitimate reactions to gluten.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance.

To your good health,

Dr Vikki Petersen
Founder of HealthNOW Medical CenterCo-author of “The Gluten Effect

5 comments:

Leslie said...

This is such great information. I plan to read the book soon...it sounds very informative. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have been on a gluten free diet now for two weeks. My doctor believes gluten is causing most of my problems. I have felt better avoiding gluten. Thanks!

Ann said...

My husband & I have recently been advised to go gluten free. It's been 1 week for him & 2 for me. The improvement in energy level alone is confirmation that this is the right thing to do. The struggle we are having right now is in managing Brian's Type 1 Diabetes. It seems as if his insulin requirement has decreased drastically. He wears a pump with continuous glucose monitoring & has been very conscientious about monitoring his blood glucose levels. Lately, he seems to be in a constant battle with hypoglycemic reactions. I think with the absence of gluten in his system, his pancreas is producing more insulin naturally. Is that possible? I've ordered your book, but have not received it yet. Please advise to the best of your ability. How do we explain this & what do we say to his primary Dr.?

The HealthNOW Doctors said...

Dear Ann,
What your husband is experiencing is not unusual. I wish more diabetics would try to go gluten-free as we frequently see a much reduced need for insulin when a patient makes the dietary change. Often type II diabetics are able to eliminate their medications entirely!

I would recommend that he sees his doctor as soon as possible to gauge what he actually needs for daily insulin.

While feeling hypoglycemic is not "fun" we do consider this a "happy problem" when the need for medication goes down so drastically.

There are many other follow-up measures I would like to take but that would require a visit.

Do keep in touch and let me know how all is progressing. It's a wonderful first step and realizing both of your gluten intolerance situations will no doubt extend your healthy life span greatly.

All the best,
Dr Vikki Petersen

Catherine said...

I was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue at age 12 after having suffered my entire life. After that they had me do two challenges, one at age 13 and one at age 14. Both left me sick for months. I am a person that response to eating gluten in both physical and mental ways. When I slip I get depressed, anxious, and have mood swings. My question if eating gluten can effect the brain and actually cause lesions, what happens when a person has undiagnosed Celiac Sprue during the time that the brain is still maturing?

The HealthNOW Doctors said...

Hello Catherine,

This is an excellent question - so good in fact that I'm going to post a new blog on it.

I'm so sorry you had to go through the horrible side effects of being made to eat gluten when you were so clearly intolerant. It is stories such as yours that "fan the flame" of my purpose to ensure that awareness increases dramatically in our country and the world.

Please look for my response within a few days.

To your good health,
Dr Vikki