Friday, October 24, 2014

Want Good Health? Following a Gluten-Free Diet is Not Enough

When it comes to the area of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, I’ve had a pet peeve that I’ve had for a long time. And that is the recommendations associated with a celiac disease or gluten sensitivity diagnosis.  What are those recommendations? A gluten free diet and that’s it. 

There is nothing wrong, of course, with the recommendation of a gluten-free diet but when that is all that it recommended that is where I have a problem – a big problem. Why? Solely instituting a gluten-free diet is never (at least 95% of the time) enough to cause a person to completely regain their health. It’s hard enough to eliminate gluten from your diet without at least reaping the benefits of feeling great as a result. After all, the goal is to vastly improve a patient’s health.

The Results of an Ongoing Study Reveals...

It is for this reason we created the term “Secondary Effects of Gluten”. It is what we use, after a diagnosis, to address everything else that needs to be taken care of after one has begun a gluten-free diet. We have seen the value of addressing the secondary effects of gluten for the past two decades. Yet I continue to be surprised at the lack of awareness associated with only implementing a gluten-free diet with this group of individuals. I was therefore happy and vindicated to see the results of an ongoing clinical trial for celiac patients. The study followed 117 adults in the United States with a diagnosis of celiac disease. These individuals were adhering to a gluten-free diet as “best they could”. On average they were individuals who had received their diagnosis over six years prior – meaning they were not new to following a gluten-free diet.

Despite their ‘veteran’ status and efforts at following a gluten-free diet, the researchers discovered that the following:
• 95% or 111 of the 117 participants showed evidence of ongoing inflammation of the lining of their small intestine.

• In 65% of the individuals the inflammation was so extensive that is was consistent with patients whose celiac disease was untreated – meaning it looked as if the person wasn’t following a gluten-free diet at all, even though they were.

• Even in those whose blood tests were negative for antibodies (meaning their blood test for active celiac disease was negative) they still demonstrated significant inflammation of their small intestine similar to the damage seen before adopting a gluten-free diet.

What does this all mean? Exactly what I and my fellow clinicians here at HealthNOW have been stating for almost two decades – instituting a gluten-free diet cannot be the only action that a person diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity takes. More must be done and that ‘more’ is the implementation of the secondary effects of gluten.

What are the Secondary Effects of Gluten?

  1. Testing for the presence of infections in the intestinal tract
  2. Isolating if other food sensitivities exist - common are dairy, corn, soy
  3. Testing to see if there are any cross-reactive food reactions occurring
  4. Ensuring that the probiotic population in the small intestine is healthy and robust
  5. Ruling out any enzyme or nutritional deficiencies
  6. Normalizing any adrenal or hormonal imbalance
  7. Ruling out any other sources of toxins such as Lyme’s disease or heavy metal toxicity.
  8. Ensuring that the individual is on a healthy diet, not just a gluten-free diet - and that's saying a lot in our era of gluten-free 'junk food'. You can be gluten-free and still not eat your 9 servings of fruits and veggies every day, as an example.
That’s the list. As you can see it’s not terribly long, nor does it involve the use of any scary drugs or surgery. But if you don’t address the factors that are pertinent to the individual in front of you, you’ll end up like the participants of this study – with an inflamed gut and therefore at an increased risk of lymphoma (cancer), not to mention other serious health complications.

It's Just Not Fair!

Recommending solely a gluten-free diet to these individuals is unacceptable. I realize that the reason for this problem lies squarely in the arena of pharmaceuticals. Doctors in this country really don’t know what to do for a disease that doesn’t have a drug to control it. Because celiac disease has no medication to treat it and is known to respond to a gluten-free diet, that’s what they recommend. And that’s all they recommend. The secondary effects as delineated above are not typical actions in traditional medical environments and I think that’s why we don’t see them occurring. But it is to the detriment of the patient and this research supports my view.

Want To Get To The Root Cause?

If you want more than just a Diet—contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION. And if you are not local to us, our DESTINATION CLINIC treats patients from across the country and internationally. We will help you find the underlying root cause!

Visit us at If you have questions or need any help, I’m here for you! Call 408-733-0400.

To your good health,

Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP

IFM Certified Practitioner

Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”

Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”

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