Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hidden infections and gluten intolerances

As a doctor who has written a book on the subject of gluten, I am writing about this very important, although often overlooked consequence of celiac and gluten intolerance - hidden infections.

The mechanism revolves around the inflammation that is created in the small intestine with the ingestion of gluten for many years. This inflammatory response weakens the immune system of the intestine thereby allowing pathogenic (disease causing) organisms to gain a foothold. Every 10 minutes our small intestines are exposed to pathogenic organisms. A healthy immune system destroys them but a compromised immune system can't defend itself adequately.

These organism can cause a myriad of health problems including gastrointestinal symptoms, arthritis and joint inflammation, obesity, hormone imbalance - just to name a few.

Anyone with celiac or gluten intolerance is at risk for these infections which can be bacterial, parasitic, amoeba or yeast. I find a stool test to be the most accurate way to detect them but there are some labs I prefer over others due to their sensitivity and accuracy.

To find out more information and to schedule a free consultation, call 408-733-0400.

Hope this helps anyone curious.

Best,
Dr Vikki Petersen
www.rootcausemedicalclinic.com
www.glutendoctors.blogspot.com

Also, if an infection is found it is critical to retest to ensure that it's been eradicated. And lastly, since the immune system of a celiac or gluten intolerant individual can take a few years to reestablish once gluten and any offending organisms have been removed, annual testing is probably a good idea for a couple of years.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Sometimes a Gluten-free Diet Isn't Enough...


A lot of patients find themselves in the position of having removed gluten from their diet, but they are still suffering health problems. These patients have made the Herculean effort to remove gluten entirely from their diet and while they improved - their health is still not where they would have hoped.

So what’s the problem?

In my clinical experience, I find that patients who are either Celiac or gluten intolerant are highly susceptible to intestinal infections. The damage which gluten causes to the lining of the small intestine also damages the integrity of the immune system within the intestines. Considering that it is estimated that every 10 minutes our intestines are exposed to a pathogenic (able to cause infection) organism, it is critical to good health that our immune systems are strong enough to destroy these organisms. Gluten intolerant individuals don’t have a strong immune system and thereby tend to contract infections.

You may think that if you had an intestinal infection you would have a fever, severe diarrhea or abdominal pain. While this can occur, more often than not, these infections are less extreme in their presentation. But they are not silent. A patient with an intestinal infection will not enjoy optimal health and, unfortunately, will not get the entire benefit of removing the offending gluten from their diet. When an infection is not present, the removal of gluten results in the healing of the intestines and the improved health and well being of the patient. In the presence of infection, the healing does not take place because the infectious organism continues to irritate the lining of the intestine and the patient does not improve markedly.

Most doctors who diagnose celiac disease or gluten intolerance only focus on the change of diet that is necessary. They don’t go the next step and rule out any hidden infection. Many times patients have been diagnosed with an infection and stated that they felt they had had an infection but were told that because they didn’t have a fever or acute diarrhea it was not possible.

If you have been avoiding gluten but haven’t seen all the benefits to your health which you had hoped, consider getting evaluated for hidden infection. We see this problem all the time in our patients and are happy to help you. Don't give up on your gluten-free diet! If you aren't seeing all the results you want, come see us to get evaluated.


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

I look forward to hearing from you.

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!”

Friday, June 30, 2017

IBS Success

Root Cause Medical Clinic 
Patient Testimonial 

IBS controlled my life... 

I could not go anywhere where I was not absolutely sure that there was a close bathroom. I tried to take over the counter and prescription diarrhea medicine, but it would only last a few hours. Because of my symptoms, I was also on depression medication on a daily basis to "help" me deal with the anxiety that was caused by my IBS. I also suffered from extreme claustrophobia, and could not travel in my car without stopping to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes or so. On a good day I had 6-7 bowel movements and on a bad day 8-9 - every day. I have had IBS for the last 20 years, but this bad, only for the last 2-3 years.

I could not go skiing, running or walking outdoors. Traveling was a nightmare for my family and I. I was stressed about when I would have to next go to the restroom.

I remember at our first meeting Dr. Petersen told me that she could help me, not with arrogance, but with confidence. She showed me pictures of what my insides probably looked like, but explained it in an easy to understand, matter of fact way. Dr Petersen told me I would have to give up eating like I was (eating myself to death, or a certain heart attack), but I could do it gradually.

I was given a diet that included none of the things I had been eating or drinking. It included giving up caffeine and gluten and sugar and aspartame. I had come to the clinic willing to try anything and I knew it would be hard but nothing could have prepared me for the withdrawal from caffeine and sugar. I thought that during the first week I was getting sicker, but I made it through. No real progress on my IBS, but I felt different. We went through blood tests and saliva tests and stool samples. It turned out I had 2 infections in my intestines that were affecting my ability to digest food. 

The antibiotics at first made me feel even worse, but I was in this for the long haul. I knew I was on the right track because soon I started to feel better. Maybe the IBS was not cured yet, but I had more good days than bad, and I felt better emotionally and physically than I had in a long time. About one week after I finished the antibiotics, I began to lead a normal life. I was only going to the bathroom 3-4 times a day, and the experience was much better. Two weeks later, I had a few days in a row with only 2-3 bowel movements per day. In three days, I had what would have been one of my bad days, but with no anxiety or discomfort.

The side benefit of my gluten free diet is that I am off of my "maintenance anxiety drug". This did not happen because my new doctors told me not to take it, I just forgot to about two weeks ago, and have not had the need for it. Today I got in a car w/ 4 other men and I wasn’t doing the driving. It suddenly dawned on me that I would never have done that before. The anxiety would have prevented me.

I have additionally lost 18 pounds, which was not why I came here, but it's definitely a benefit.

It is very difficult to explain the pain and suffering that I went through and that I put my family through with my panic attacks and IBS. I am lucky that they supported me and did not leave me. I feel that I can start to be the person that I am meant to be. My life gets better every day. Maybe everyone is not as sensitive to gluten as I am, but for me it is poison. It is easy to pass up gluten with the great results I am seeing. I asked Dr. Petersen if it was just the caffeine that made me so irritable. She explained that for some people gluten is neurotoxic. This was definitely the case for me and understanding that makes it easy to stay on a gluten free diet. I came to realize that all of the food that made me sick has gluten in it....bagels, bread, pizza, pasta, sandwiches......I was killing myself while trying to eat healthy. When I had a salad with bread and croutons, it defeated the purpose.

That is my story so far. I feel better everyday. I can not thank Dr. Petersen enough for helping me change my life.

- E.B. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Gluten Free Diet Successfully Handles IBS Symptoms

The Truth About IBS 

Have you been diagnosed with or know anyone with IBS? 

Then you know miserable it is to have much of your life dictated by looking for restrooms. We live in a society which is very disease oriented. Our body gets to a point where it is malfunctioning to such a degree that we are given the diagnosis of a disease, which is accompanied by a recommendation for some kind of medication. Does that medication get to the underlying root cause of why the malfunction occurred initially? No. And suggesting that that should be the approach is usually met with a disapproving look from our doctor.

I disagree with that approach. And having over 30 years of treating patients has only supported my belief that getting to the underlying root cause of why the body is malfunctioning is the only true route to optimal health. Masking a symptom with a medication does nothing to isolate and treat the real reason the problem occurred in the first place.


IBS is a classic example of the failure of the traditional approach of addressing the symptom only. Patients that have IBS are told that there is no cure for their condition. They are frequently given drugs which offer temporary relief only and dietary advice which, in my opinion and experience, is extremely off the mark.


Since this is a gluten blog, you probably know where I’m headed. But that makes it no less exciting to share with you that I can not recall a single patient with IBS whose condition wasn’t eradicated when he or she followed our program. That’s not bad for a supposedly incurable condition!


IBS Program


The program entails these few key steps:

  1. Isolate and eliminate any foods the patient is reacting to.
  2. Diagnose and treat any infections which may exist in the digestive tract.
  3. Heal the damage to the intestine which has resulted from 1 and 2.

That is the overview of the program. Yes, it does require you to change your lifestyle and yes, it does frequently entail patients removing gluten from their diets. But the response from my patients is that it is more than worth it when the results are no more IBS and feeling great.


Below is a success story written by one of my patients. You’ll notice that he mentions getting off an anti-anxiety medication. Patients with IBS are frequently diagnosed with depression and anxiety and given dangerous drugs to “treat” these symptoms. Getting to the root cause of the problem as mentioned above is usually all that’s needed to eliminate such symptoms of anxiety or depression. 

Enjoy and please let me know if I can help you to achieve your health care goals! We will get to the root cause of your IBS. 


Visit us at www.RootCauseMedicalClinic.com. If you have questions or need any help, I’m here for you! C
all 408-733-0400.

I look forward to hearing from you.

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!”












Patient Testimonial


IBS ruled my life. I could not go anywhere where I was not absolutely sure that there was a close bathroom. I tried to take over the counter and prescription diarrhea medicine, but it would only last a few hours. Because of my symptoms, I was also on depression medication on a daily basis to "help" me deal with the anxiety that was caused by my IBS. I also suffered from extreme claustrophobia, and could not travel in my car without stopping to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes or so. On a good day I had 6-7 bowel movements and on a bad day 8-9 - every day. I have had IBS for the last 20 years, but this bad, only for the last 2-3 years.

I could not go skiing, running or walking outdoors. Traveling was a nightmare for my family and I. I was stressed about when I would have to next go to the restroom.

I remember at our first meeting Dr. Petersen told me that she could help me, not with arrogance, but with confidence. She showed me pictures of what my insides probably looked like, but explained it in an easy to understand, matter of fact way. Dr Petersen told me I would have to give up eating like I was (eating myself to death, or a certain heart attack), but I could do it gradually.

I was given a diet that included none of the things I had been eating or drinking. It included giving up caffeine and gluten and sugar and aspartame. I had come to the clinic willing to try anything and I knew it would be hard but nothing could have prepared me for the withdrawal from caffeine and sugar. I thought that during the first week I was getting sicker, but I made it through. No real progress on my IBS, but I felt different. We went through blood tests and saliva tests and stool samples. It turned out I had 2 infections in my intestines that were affecting my ability to digest food. 

The antibiotics at first made me feel even worse, but I was in this for the long haul. I knew I was on the right track because soon I started to feel better. Maybe the IBS was not cured yet, but I had more good days than bad, and I felt better emotionally and physically than I had in a long time. About one week after I finished the antibiotics, I began to lead a normal life. I was only going to the bathroom 3-4 times a day, and the experience was much better. Two weeks later, I had a few days in a row with only 2-3 bowel movements per day. In three days, I had what would have been one of my bad days, but with no anxiety or discomfort.

The side benefit of my gluten free diet is that I am off of my "maintenance anxiety drug". This did not happen because my new doctors told me not to take it, I just forgot to about two weeks ago, and have not had the need for it. Today I got in a car w/ 4 other men and I wasn’t doing the driving. It suddenly dawned on me that I would never have done that before. The anxiety would have prevented me.

I have additionally lost 18 pounds, which was not why I came here, but it's definitely a benefit.

It is very difficult to explain the pain and suffering that I went through and that I put my family through with my panic attacks and IBS. I am lucky that they supported me and did not leave me. I feel that I can start to be the person that I am meant to be. My life gets better every day. Maybe everyone is not as sensitive to gluten as I am, but for me it is poison. It is easy to pass up gluten with the great results I am seeing. I asked Dr. Petersen if it was just the caffeine that made me so irritable. She explained that for some people gluten is neurotoxic. This was definitely the case for me and understanding that makes it easy to stay on a gluten free diet. I came to realize that all of the food that made me sick has gluten in it....bagels, bread, pizza, pasta, sandwiches......I was killing myself while trying to eat healthy. When I had a salad with bread and croutons, it defeated the purpose.

That is my story so far. I feel better everyday. I can not thank Dr. Petersen enough for helping me change my life.

- E.B. 


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


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gluten Free Diet Handles Sugar Cravings

Root Cause Medical Clinic 

Patient Testimonial 


Since the doctors discovered I shouldn't be eating gluten the changes in my health have been dramatic. First of all my sweet tooth is gone. This is big because I always needed some sugar in the afternoon. Now I have more energy and no desire for sugar, breads or other starch.

I am also sleeping through the night. When I came to the clinic I was waking up every hour all night long. I am so happy with how I feel now. 


C.C.

_______________________________________________________________

I hope you found this helpful. I am here to assist you to improve your health. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally. 

If you’d like assistance I’m happy to offer you a free health analysis. Call 408-733-0400.

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

I look forward to hearing from you.

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!”

Gluten Free Diet and Weight Loss

Root Cause Medical Clinic 

Patient Testimonial 


I used to look 4 months pregnant all the time. I never had a flat stomach in my whole life. I am only in my 30s and when I started to gain weight I exercised and tried to eat well but I couldn't lose the weight. When I started on this program I was a size 14 - now I'm a size 6.

Finding out I was gluten intolerant changed my life and my health. I am not bloated, I have a flat stomach and I just feel "clean" inside. 


J.W.


_______________________________________________________________


I hope you found this helpful. I am here to assist you to improve your health. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally. 

If you’d like assistance I’m happy to offer you a free health analysis. Call 408-733-0400.


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

I look forward to hearing from you.

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!”

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Gluten Doctors

Hello! 

The Gluten Doctors are a group of several doctors consisting of M.D.s and Certified Clinical Nutritionists. We have been in practice for over 30 years and specialize in the area of digestive problems and specifically gluten intolerance and celiac disease.

For more information on our clinic, Root Cause Medical Clinic, please see our website at: www.RootCauseMedicalClinic.com.

Gluten - The Basics 


Subclinical gluten intolerance is possibly the most undiagnosed condition that close to 50% of the population suffers from. Current research shows that only about 3% of gluten intolerant individuals ever find out that they have it. 

Do you know if you are gluten intolerant? If not, your odds are close to a flip of a coin. Gluten intolerance is frequently found to be the cause of many undesirable health conditions. The extent (and intensity) of conditions an individual may experience is vast. Some of these are listed below. In addition to acute conditions, the long term effects of gluten intolerance on general health can lead to more serious and avoidable degenerative conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis.

Why are there so many different types of symptoms?


After you eat, food is broken down into small particles that the body can use as fuel. This is what should happen to gluten, but this does not occur for those who are intolerant to it. Those people are missing a digestive enzyme which breaks down gluten proteins. While these proteins are not broken down, they are still small enough to be absorbed by the small intestine. The immune system of a gluten intolerant individual sees these gluten proteins as something it needs to attack and destroy, in very much the same way it would attack a virus or bacteria. Just like civilian casualties or the innocent bystander, this attack also damages and destroys nearby healthy cells.

The result is that the lining of the small intestines gets damaged and erodes. Like a fly screen that gets torn and allows bugs to pass, over time the damage opens paths for the gluten proteins to enter the blood stream where they can travel to any cell in the body. The type of symptoms you experience depends on which tissues react most negatively to it. That is why some people get constant skin lesions, while others just get headaches. Strange but true. 

Even though it is common for gluten intolerance to be thought of as an allergy, the effects are quite different. An allergen is usually met with a histamine reaction, where the body tries to flush the foreign matter away. The effects of gluten intolerance are closer to an autoimmune disease, where the body’s immune system attacks itself. This explains why symptoms can be quite severe, and why gluten intolerance is such a serious problem. One common example of gluten intolerance is called celiac disease, where the small intestine is so severely damaged that it cannot absorb food properly, and can lead to malnutrition and even death.

How can gluten intolerance be treated?


Since the symptoms of gluten intolerance vary so much from individual to individual, so does the treatment. The most critical treatment that all sufferers need, though, is life-long avoidance of gluten. Gluten intolerant people possess certain genes that recognize gluten as foreign matter, and this cannot be changed with today’s medicine. 

Many people find that while eliminating gluten from their diet makes them feel better, they still continue to experience problems. Damage to the small intestines and the intestinal immune system is universal in gluten intolerant individuals. This results in being susceptible to intestinal infections and parasites, which can cause ulcers and digestive problems in addition to many other diseases. The symptoms of these infections are often cyclical, which means you can feel bad and then feel good before cycling into feeling bad again. This cyclical nature also makes diagnosis of problems difficult. 

Therefore, while ceasing to eat gluten can relieve some of the problems, diagnosing and treating infections is critical to resolving all the problems. Just like recovery from the flu, recovering from the effects of years of consuming gluten requires time and care. Another important aspect of a good treatment program should address restoration. Lastly, since this is a genetic condition, it is highly recommended that relatives also seek diagnosis. Simply put, the condition does ‘run in the family’, and is always shared by at least one parent of a sufferer.



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

I look forward to hearing from you.

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!”


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theglutendoctors/
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Twitter: https://twitter.com/rootcausemed

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Future Blog Posts




Happy New Year, friends!

If you are searching for current and up to date articles written by The Gluten Doctors, please visit Root Cause Medical Clinic! There, you will find gluten free and vegan recipes, various articles written on gluten sensitivity and related health issues, in addition to extremely helpful videos!

Have questions about your mysterious symptoms? Consider scheduling a free consultation!  Although we're located in the heart of Silicon Valley, California, we do treat patients from across the globe.  Feel free to reach out!  We are definitely here to help.