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The Relationship Between the Respiratory System and Celiac Disease EP028


The average human takes between 14 and 20 breaths per minute. But if you are conscious of those breaths, that’s a problem. Perhaps you’re experiencing chest tightness, clogged sinuses or a nagging cough that make you very aware of every breath you take. If so, the ingestion of gluten may be a contributing factor to these respiratory issues.

Today Nadine explores the relationship between the lungs and celiac disease, offering anecdotal evidence as well as explaining the way that inflammation can lead to a number of respiratory problems. Because 70-90% of your immune system is housed in your intestines, it is no surprise that a leaky gut could make you more vulnerable to respiratory tract infections.

Despite the fact that current literature considers respiratory challenges to be an atypical presentation of celiac disease, the Gluten Free RN argues that there is enough anecdotal evidence to merit further study. Listen in to understand the vitamin deficiencies that likely contribute to respiratory issues, how those health concerns might be corrected by going gluten-free, and why your body heals more quickly on a high fat, whole food diet. It’s time to go gluten-free and breathe easy again!

What’s Discussed: 

How gluten ingestion likely affects the respiratory system

  • Body keeps fluids separate unless tissues leaky
  • Gluten alters epithelial tissue, including that of lungs

Nadine’s anecdotal evidence of a connection between gluten and respiratory issues

  • Fellow nurse had lung removed as child
  • Always needed inhalers
  • Went gluten-free with Nadine
  • Inflammation in lungs cleared, asthma gone
  • No longer needed inhalers

Respiratory issues that may be corrected on a gluten-free diet

  • Anemia (lack of red blood cells to carry oxygen causes shortness of breath with minimal exertion)
  • Recurrent respiratory infections
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • COPD
  • IPH (bleeding lung)
  • Pulmonary edema

Vitamin deficiencies caused by gluten ingestion that lead to respiratory problems

  • Vitamin K deficiencies initiate easy bruising, nose bleeds and bleeding lung

Why going gluten-free eliminates many respiratory issues

  • Gluten causes inflammation (-itis = inflammation)
  • Removing the cause heals intestines, repairs immune system
  • Patients operate on a higher level

Common symptoms of respiratory issues

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Nagging cough
  • Clogged sinuses
  • Post-nasal drip

Nadine’s recommendations around diet and nutrition

  • Gluten- and dairy-free at a minimum
  • Ideally variation of Paleo diet
  • Whole foods (meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds)
  • High fat (body needs to absorb fat-soluble nutrients – A, D, E & K)
  • Maintain Gluten Zero (takes six months to a year for intestinal villi to heal)

Why your body heals more quickly on a high fat, whole food diet

  • Body knows how to break down, utilize nutrients
  • Fat-soluble vitamins repair connective tissue, leaky gut

The genes that indicate a predisposition for celiac disease

  • HLA-DQ2
  • HLA-DQ8

Resources:

“Hemoptysis in Patients of Celiac Disease with Disproportionately Severe Anemia” in Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine

“A Case of Cough, Lymphocytic Bronchoalveolitis and Coeliac Disease with Improvement Following a Gluten Free Diet” in Thorax

“Respiratory Symptoms as Atypical Manifestation of Celiac Disease” in the Pediatric Oncall Journal

“Recurrent Rhinitis and Pulmonary Infections Revealing Celiac Disease” in Revue de Pneumologie Clinique

“Pneumococcal Septic Shock in the Setting of Hyposplenic Celiac Disease” in Hospital Physician

Coeliac Australia: Associated Conditions

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

‘Your Skin on Gluten’ on YouTube

Melodies of the Danube Gluten-Free Cruise with Nadine

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

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Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease EP027

Struggling to maintain control of your blood sugar? A gluten-free diet may be the answer! If you have one autoimmune disorder, you have a 30-50% greater risk of developing another, and both type 1 diabetes and celiac disease fall into that category.

As more and more research points to an enormous overlap between type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, it is in our best interests to mitigate additional risk by getting screened and/or adopting a gluten-free or Paleo diet to mitigate further risk. Today Nadine discusses the prevalence of diabetes, several research studies that explore the connection between type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, and the potential risks for type 1 diabetics who are undiagnosed celiac patients.

Listen and learn how your diet may be affecting your blood sugar and why going gluten-free could improve your health and quality of life!

What’s Discussed: 

The prevalence of diabetes

  • By 2050, half the population will have diabetes
  • According to CDC, 29.1 million have diabetes
  • One out of four don’t know they are diabetic
  • 18,000 young people diagnosed from 2008-2009

The difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

  • Minimize risk for type 2 through diet and exercise
  • Type 1 is autoimmune disorder, don’t produce enough insulin to break down sugar

Symptoms of type 1 diabetes

  • Extreme thirst
  • Urgency to urinate frequently
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

The enormous genetic overlap between type 1 diabetes and celiac disease

  • Scottish study found 94% of type 1 diabetics were HLA-DQ2 or HLA-DQ8 gene carriers
  • 100% overlap if include HLA-DQ2.2
  • Prevalence of celiac disease among type 1 diabetics is 20% higher than general population

The importance of testing all type 1 diabetics for celiac disease annually

  • Can develop celiac disease at any age

The consequences of undiagnosed celiac disease in children with type 1 diabetes

  • Short stature
  • Failure to thrive
  • Early onset osteopenia, osteoporosis
  • Easily broken or rubbery bones
  • Difficulty maintaining glycemic control (low blood sugar, spikes)
  • Anemia

The decreased quality of life for type 1 diabetics who are undiagnosed celiac

  • Development of infections
  • Difficulty with blood sugar maintenance

Research studies re: the percentages of type 1 diabetics who also have celiac disease

  • Iraq – 11.2%
  • Mexican participants – 5.9%
  • Denmark – 12.3%

Nadine’s anecdotal evidence of the overlap

  • Volunteers at community outreach clinic
  • Young man struggling to control blood sugar
  • Nadine recommended gluten-free diet
  • Improved health and quality of life

Health risks associated with an inability to control blood sugar

  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Amputation of extremities
  • Difficulty healing wounds
  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes

Why carb counting doesn’t control blood sugar

  • Carbs with little/no nutrient value cause spikes in blood sugar

The diet Nadine recommends for type 1 diabetics

  • Variation of Paleo diet
  • Nutrient dense foods
  • Meat and fish
  • Eggs
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds

The benefits of a gluten-free diet for type 1 diabetics

  • Weight easier to control
  • Immune system works better
  • Tighter control on blood sugar

The lack of uniformity in screening guidelines

Additional autoimmune diseases that may be avoided with a gluten-free diet

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lupus
  • Sjögren’s
  • Scleroderma
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Graves’ disease
  • Hashimoto’s
  • Vitiligo
  • Raynaud’s

Potential triggers for autoimmune disorders

  • Gluten
  • Change in microbiome
  • Stress to body (i.e.: cold, food poisoning, travel)

 Treatments for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

  • Low FODMAPs or specific carb diet
  • Rifaximin (antibiotic)

The dangers of maintaining high blood sugar

  • Damage to kidneys, eyes, capillaries, fingers and toes
  • Neuropathy
  • Gastroparesis

The long history of a connection between type 1 diabetes and celiac disease

The need for information re: the connection in diabetic education services

Resources:

“Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease: The Effects of Gluten Free Diet on Metabolic Control” in the World Journal of Diabetes

“Co-occurrence of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus and Celiac Disease” in the World Journal of Diabetes

“Screening for Coeliac Disease in Adult Patients with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: Myths, Facts and Controversy in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome

“The Prevalence of Coeliac Disease in Libyan Children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus” in Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews

“Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in Celiac Disease: Prevalence and Effect on Clinical and Histological Presentation” in BMC Gastroenterology

“Coexistence of Coeliac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes” in Przeglad Gastroenterologiczny

“Screening for Celiac Disease in Type 1 Diabetes: A Systematic Review” in AAP News and Journals

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

‘Your Skin on Gluten’ on YouTube

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

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Celiac Disease and the Media EP026

The gluten-free movement is often dismissed in the media as a fad. Even so-called experts actively discredit the gluten-free diet and apply a negative connotation to terms like PWAG. Have you ever wondered why there is so much misinformation about celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity in the media? And who sponsors the coverage that dissuades people from going gluten-free?

 Today, Nadine explains how the big business of wheat affects which voices we hear in media treatment of the gluten-free movement. In addition, she covers how the for-profit healthcare system in the US affects the timely diagnosis of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

 Celiac disease is a medical, social and economic issue with political implications. Listen and learn how to choose high quality, nutrient dense foods, and leverage your power as a gluten-free consumer!

What’s Discussed: 

Misinformation in the media

  • Some coverage dissuades from adopting a gluten-free diet
  • Program/print sponsors may be corporations that depend on people eating wheat
  • Wheat/grain industry threatened by rise of gluten-free diet (33% of people in US and Canada on variation of gluten free diet)

The illusion of options in the area of food production

  • 8-10 corporations own nearly every food company
  • Nadine patronizes farmer’s markets, co-ops and local companies

Nadine’s rules for buying food products

  • Label must be clear, easy to read
  • Five or fewer ingredients
  • Must be able to picture each ingredient

The importance of reading labels

  • May be gluten in products that are typically gluten-free (i.e.: pesto, kombucha)
  • Companies are given six months to update labels after making changes
  • Barley and rye are not on list of allergens

Nadine’s story

  • Multi-system organ failure
  • Negative test for celiac disease despite being homozygous gene carrier
  • Healed quickly on a Paleo diet

Why countries with universal healthcare take celiac disease seriously

  • Early diagnosis saves money
  • Finland: 70% of people w/ celiac disease have been diagnosed
  • Italy, UK and Canada: 30-40% have been diagnosed
  • US: Less than 1% of those with celiac disease have been diagnosed

How long it takes to be diagnosed with celiac disease (for-profit vs. universal systems)

  • US: 9-15 years
  • Italy: 2-3 weeks

How doctors/experts discredit gluten-free as a fad

  • Use PWAG as derogatory term
  • Placebo effect
  • Nocebo effect (expect to feel poorly)

The inaccuracy of blood tests for celiac disease

  • 70% false negative

How companies profit from undiagnosed celiac patients

  • Products geared toward people with health issues (i.e.: compression socks, hypoallergenic sheets)

The prominence of wheat as a publicly traded commodity

  • Top export of US/Canada

The health risk associated with genetically modified wheat

The benefits of a gluten-free diet

  • Symptoms resolve
  • No longer need medicine, surgery

Nadine’s advice re: selecting gluten-free products

  • Avoid nutrient deficient gluten-free options (cheap fillers, empty carbs)
  • Focus on high quality, nutrient dense foods

How to leverage your power as a gluten-free consumer

  • Hold food producers accountable (standards, production methods)
  • ‘Vote carefully with your dollar’
  • Speak up when you see inaccurate media coverage

Why you cannot assume that gluten-free menu items are truly free of gluten

  • Uneducated restaurant staff
  • Possibility of contamination, cross-contamination

What a ‘gluten free’ designation means in labeling

  • GIG certification indicates less than ten parts per million
  • Standard in US/Europe is less than 20 parts per million

The Gluten Free RN mission

  • Educate people globally about celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity
  • Empower people to improve their health and quality of life with food

Resources:

Food Company Infographic

Gluten Intolerance Group

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

‘Your Skin on Gluten’ on YouTube

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

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Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) and Celiac Disease EP025


We typically associate liver disease with alcoholism. But the liver functions as a filter, and over time it can be damaged by certain pharmaceuticals and even food. In fact, research suggests a strong correlation between undiagnosed celiac disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

The Gluten Free RN shares a number of case studies in which a diet change reversed liver damage and prevented the need for an organ transplant. She also takes us through the alarming statistics regarding NASH in children and discusses her approach to treating NASH patients. 

Listen to understand the obesity trends in the US and how a sedentary lifestyle plays a part in liver disease. Join Nadine’s campaign to educate the population about the benefits of a gluten- and dairy-free, whole food diet – and prevent NASH!

What’s Discussed: 

Nadine’s introduction to NASH in children

  • Videoconference of pediatricians
  • Discovered NASH on autopsies
  • Few had signs/symptoms

The fundamentals of NASH

  • Liver failure caused by changing environmental factors
  • Dietary culprits (e.g.: sodas, fast food, processed foods, alcohol, high fructose corn syrup, nutrient-deficient carbs)
  • Up to 90% of patients undergoing bariatric surgery have fatty liver disease
  • Only diagnostic tool is liver biopsy

Obesity trends in the United States

  • 60% of people in 13 states will be obese by 2030
  • Link between poverty and obesity

Why starving people are obese

  • Lack of nutrient-dense food results in low nutrient levels
  • Body compensates for deficiencies by storing fat as cheap energy

The correlation between undiagnosed celiac disease and NASH

  • Celiac disease found in 10% of patients with unexplained abnormal liver panels and 3.5% of patients with NASH
  • Anyone with bump in liver enzymes should be screened for celiac disease and given gluten-free diet option

The 2015 Canadian study re: liver transplant

  • NASH as most common indication for liver transplant in North America
  • NASH projected to be leading cause by 2025
  • Identified obesity, sedentary lifestyle, highly processed foods, undiagnosed celiac disease, MS and type 2 diabetes as causes

The basics of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL)

  • Buildup of fat in liver cells
  • Largely asymptomatic until have profound liver/organ failure

Which populations are at increased risk for NASH

  • Obese
  • Hispanic
  • Native American
  • Pediatric

Liver transplant statistics

  • 16,000 people on waiting list for liver transplant
  • Only 6,000 liver transplants performed each year

Case study demonstrating the reversal of liver damage on gluten-free diet

  • 19-year-old woman referred for emergency liver transplantation
  • Recovered quickly on gluten-free diet, normal liver and small intestines after 20 months
  • No surgery required

The correlation between celiac disease and liver disease

  • Celiac patients at increased risk of NAFLD compared to general population
  • Most common cause of chronic liver disease in children and adolescents in western nations

How Nadine approaches a patient with NASH

  • Examine diet (food as medicine/poison)
  • Replace highly processed fats
  • Leverage minimally processed foods

How to combat obesity

  • Educate people about the value of nutrient-dense food
  • Provide medical and social support

The liver as a detoxing organ

  • Functions as a filter
  • Can be damaged over time by foods, acetaminophen, alcohol

What a good, whole food diet looks like

  • Gluten- and dairy-free (ideally Paleo)
  • Includes meat and fish, nuts and seeds, organic fruits and vegetables

The need for access to accurate nutritional information

  • Not influenced by politics, food corporations, agribusiness or pharmaceutical companies

Resources:

PubMed

“Sonographic Diagnosis of Coeliac Disease in a Case with Suspected Acute Liver Failure” in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

“Non-Invasive Diagnostic Biomarkers” by Dr. Rohit Loomba of UC San Diego

“Acute Cryptogenic Liver Failure in an Untreated Coeliac Patient” in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

“Increased Risk of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease After Diagnosis of Celiac Disease” from the Journal of Hepatology

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

‘Your Skin on Gluten’ on YouTube

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

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The Impact of Undiagnosed Celiac Disease on Fetal Development and Maternal Health EP024


‘With our technology, every time a woman dies, it’s a medical error.’

 Recent reports have uncovered some alarming statistics regarding maternal mortality rates in the United States. While these numbers are on the decline in every other developed nation, pregnant women in the US are at greater risk of dying than they were in recent years. We know that undiagnosed celiac disease has a significant impact on maternal health and fetal development, and we must identify expectant mothers (and fathers) who have the potential to reap remarkable benefits from a simple diet change.

This issue is especially important to the Gluten Free RN as a mother herself – as well as an emergency ER nurse certified in PALS, NLS and pediatric emergency nursing. She shares the stories of women who had difficulty getting pregnant or maintaining pregnancies as a result of undiagnosed celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, and explains how a mass screening could work to prevent such intense suffering.

Listen to learn how adopting a gluten-free or Paleo diet can help women carry their babies to full-term and deliver healthy, thriving children!

What’s Discussed: 

Nadine’s mission to get women tested for celiac disease prior to pregnancy

  • Allows to absorb nutrients during pregnancy (including prenatal vitamins)
  • Can deliver healthy, thriving child

 The story of Alice Bast

  • Suffered miscarriage and still births
  • Multiple doctors couldn’t provide answers
  • Vet gave idea to test for celiac disease
  • Founded the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness

 The necessity for a mass screening of men and women

  • Identify HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 gene carriers
  • Genes of both parents affect fetal health
  • Ratio of women to men with celiac disease is 1:1
  • Ratio of women to men diagnosed with celiac disease is 3:1

 The increased risks for pregnant women with undiagnosed celiac disease

  • Miscarriage
  • Still birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Failure to thrive in children
  • Pre-eclampsia/eclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure)

 The role men play in infertility

  • ED, low sperm count and low libido may be attributed to undiagnosed celiac disease
  • Symptoms include deficiencies in zinc, magnesium and B vitamins as well as anemia and osteoporosis

 The argument that a mass screening for celiac disease is too expensive

  • The cost associated with undiagnosed celiac disease is much higher
  • Consists of medical costs from complications
  • Also includes decreased productivity and morbidity/mortality
  • Study published in Science Digest found that 42,000 children may die annually due to undiagnosed celiac disease

 Conditions that indicate high risk for celiac disease

  • Chronic GI issues
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Weight loss/gain
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Vitamin/mineral deficiencies
  • Secondary hyperparathyroidism
  • Unexplained elevations in liver function
  • Down, Turner or Williams syndrome
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease

 Sam’s story

  • Delayed puberty (didn’t get period until 17-years-old)
  • Diagnosed with celiac disease at 19
  • Doctors warned she would probably never have children
  • Raising two healthy boys

 Why Nadine is concerned about the current generation of children

  • Higher rates of autoimmune diseases, cancer and learning disabilities

 The appropriate diet to promote maternal health and proper fetal development

  • Gluten- and dairy-free
  • Paleo is best
  • Humans have enzymes to break down meat proteins
  • Humans do not have enzymes to break down grain proteins
  • Avoid wheat, barley, rye and oats
  • Embrace meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds

 Deficiencies that can be corrected to promote healthy pregnancy

  • B6 and B12
  • A, D, E and K (the fat-soluble vitamins)
  • Magnesium RBC
  • Zinc

 The US maternal mortality rate compared to other developed nations

  • Rising in the US, declining in other developed nations
  • 28 deaths for every 100,000 births in 2013, up from 23 in 2005

Resources:

“Maternal Mortality Rate in US Rises, Defying Global Trend, Study Finds” in The New York Times

“Focus on Infants During Childbirth Leaves US Moms in Danger” on NPR

Beyond Celiac: Alice Bast

“Reproductive Changes Associated with Celiac Disease” from the World Journal of Gastroenterology

“Celiac Disease and Reproductive Health” from Celiac Disease: A Comprehensive Review and Update

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

‘Your Skin on Gluten’ on YouTube

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

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Cardiac Issues Associated with Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance EP023


Given the choice between a heart transplant and a gluten-free diet, the vast majority – if not all – of us would quickly opt for the diet! Yet the medical community continues to ignore celiac disease as a potential cause of cardiac complications, despite documented connections between the two conditions.

The Gluten Free RN is sharing her experience with heart attack and stroke victims in the ER, and discussing the necessity of screening cardiac patients for celiac disease. She gets into the nitty gritty of how intestinal damage leads to nutrient deficiencies that affect the cardiac system, and reveals the cardiac symptoms that may resolve on a gluten-free diet.

Listen in and learn about the actual cause of heart attack and stroke (spoiler alert – it’s not high cholesterol) and how Nadine has achieved a lipid panel akin to that of a ‘23-year-old marathon runner’!

What’s Discussed: 

The connection between cardiac issues and celiac disease

  • Study linked celiac disease to almost doubled risk of CAD
  • Documented connection between gluten and cardiomyopathy

The real cause of heart attack and stroke

  • Thought to be high cholesterol
  • Actual cause is inflammation/malabsorption

How a gluten-free diet can resolve cardiomyopathy

  • Medical community claims cardiomyopathy can be treated with meds, but not cured
  • Patient eventually needs heart transplant
  • Anecdotal evidence proves that removing gluten may cure profound heart failure

Nadine’s experience in treating cardiac patients as a critical care nurse in the ER

  • ER staff does not take a magnesium panel
  • Deficiencies in magnesium or calcium can cause arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
  • Even when patient tested for ‘everything,’ celiac disease and nutritional panels often omitted

How to correct a magnesium deficiency

  • Food (pumpkin seeds, molasses, etc.)
  • Magnesium supplements (including calcium, zinc and vitamin D)

How intestinal damage leads to nutrient deficiencies that affect the cardiac system

  • Thiamine deficiency may lead to wet beriberi or acute pernicious beriberi
  • Low electrolytes may lead to arrhythmia
  • Low iron, B vitamin may lead to anemia (less oxygen in blood)
  • Low vitamin K levels affects protein S and protein C levels (involved in clotting)

Cardiac symptoms that may resolve on a gluten-free or Paleo diet

  • Arrhythmias
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing

The myth that fat is bad for us

  • Nadine consumes a super-good high fat diet
  • Her lipid panel ‘looks like a 23-year-old marathon runners’
  • Cardiac risk factor very low

Nadine’s call for a worldwide mass screening for celiac disease

  • Find undiagnosed
  • Prevent cardiac disease, stroke

Resources:

“Celiac Disease Linked to Almost Doubled Risk of CAD” by Marlene Busko

PubMed

Gluten Toxicity: The Mysterious Symptoms of Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance by Shelly L. Stuart

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

‘Your Skin on Gluten’ on YouTube

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

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The Connection Between Undiagnosed Celiac Disease and Sleep Disorders EP022


We all know how it feels to struggle through the day when you didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Your brain feels fuzzy, it’s tough to focus, and you simply aren’t the best version of yourself! The good news is, there may be a simple explanation for your sleep disorder – and there are steps you can take to eliminate the potential celiac symptoms that are keeping you up at night.

Today the Gluten Free RN shares her struggle with sleep deprivation as an undiagnosed celiac patient who also worked the night shift in the ER. Find out how she leveraged a Paleo diet and went from having a contentious relationship with sleep to becoming a champion ‘Olympic Sleeper’ who enjoys at least eight hours of rest every night!

She also covers the components of an ideal sleep space, suggestions for implementing an evening routine, and the benefits of a good night’s rest. Listen and learn about the connection between sleep disorders and undiagnosed celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

What’s Discussed: 

Nadine’s struggle with sleep working the night shift

  • 10 years as ER nurse working 12-hour night shifts
  • Difficult to shift into normal sleep pattern on days off
  • Circadian rhythm thrown off, felt fuzzy-brained
  • Needed extra sleep
  • Struggle to block out distractions

The correlation between undiagnosed celiac disease and sleep disorders

  • Celiac symptoms can keep you awake at night
  • May experience joint pain, muscle pain, DH, eczema, headaches, muscle twitches, restless leg syndrome

How a Paleo lifestyle can alleviate symptoms preventing sleep

How many hours of sleep you should be getting each night

  • Nadine recommends 8-10 hours of good quality sleep
  • Provides the energy for your body to carry out the tasks of daily living

The components of an ideal sleep space

  • Comfortable mattress
  • Quality sheets
  • Plenty of supportive pillows
  • Appropriate temperature
  • Fresh air, if possible
  • No electronic equipment in the room (i.e.: phones, televisions, computers)
  • Source of white noise (e.g.: fan, music)

The model evening routine

  • Limit screen time in the hours before bed
  • Try relaxing activities like reading or knitting instead
  • Take a warm bath with Epsom salt (muscle relaxer, source of magnesium)
  • Consider magnesium supplements

Celiac symptoms that can cause sleep apnea

How your body heals neurological damage in the absence of gluten

The repercussions of vitamin C deficiency

Signs of sleep disorders in children that may be caused by undiagnosed celiac disease

  • Can’t or don’t want to go to sleep, crying
  • Cranky and fatigued during the day
  • Decreased productivity
  • Learning disabilities
  • Difficulty with focus

Signs of celiac disease in children

  • Short stature
  • Anemia
  • Falling off growth chart
  • Learning disabilities
  • Seizure disorders

Why anyone with sleep disorders should get tested for celiac disease

How Nadine’s sleep issues went away on a gluten-free diet

  • Eliminated back pain, joint pain, skin discomfort, muscle pain, muscle spasms and leg cramps
  • Now she qualifies as an ‘Olympic Sleeper’

The unhealthy approach to compensating for lack of sleep

  • Take in stimulants to make it through the day (e.g.: coffee, sugar)
  • Take depressants at night to help fall asleep (e.g.: alcohol, prescription meds)
  • Everything you consume impacts your health and ability to sleep

A healthy option that functions as a sleep aid

The benefits of a good night’s rest

When to take multivitamins

  • In the morning with food
  • At night before bed (absorbed differently)

The risks associated with prescription medications

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

‘Your Skin on Gluten’ on YouTube

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

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The Potential Connection Between Parkinson’s and Celiac Disease EP021


A diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is devastating, and the associated symptoms – difficulty walking, tremors, memory issues – are debilitating. But what if those symptoms aren’t necessarily indicative of Parkinson’s after all? What if a simple diet change could improve or even eliminate those symptoms?

Today Nadine explores anecdotal evidence suggesting that the symptoms of Parkinson’s and other demyelination syndromes might be actually be caused by celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. She argues that as Parkinson’s diagnoses become more and more common, it is imperative that we explore the potential connection between Parkinson’s and celiac disease.

Listen in to understand how gluten can affect the neurological system, why Parkinson’s patients should be tested for celiac disease, and how a gluten-free diet can heal neurological damage.

What’s Discussed: 

Nadine’s Parkinson’s patient

  • Diagnosed with celiac disease as a child in the 1940’s
  • Recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s
  • Symptoms included difficulty walking, falling, stooped gait, masked appearance, tremors, memory issues and confusion
  • Discovered unintentional gluten exposure in the home
  • Moved to adult foster home to ensure gluten-free diet
  • Many symptoms went away
  • Working with neurologist to wean off Parkinson’s meds

Why patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s, ALS and MS should get test for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity

  • Every nerve in the body is insulated with myelin
  • Myelin is made of fat
  • Gluten prevents the absorption of fats
  • Parkinson’s, ALS and MS are all demyelination syndromes

The need for research regarding the potential connection between Parkinson’s and celiac disease

  • The University of Chicago asserts there is ‘no published evidence of a connection between Parkinson’s and celiac disease’
  • Nadine argues that enough anecdotal evidence exists to suggest that a connection should be investigated

Nadine’s recommendation for a comprehensive celiac lab test

  • Cyrex Labs tests for 25 of the gluten intolerant antibodies, including tTG-2, tTG-3 and tTG-6
  • Ask for a total IgA and IgG in addition to the Cyrex Array 3
  • Insurance should cover the tests
  • Can be ordered by any practitioner

Celiac diagnoses in patients over 60

  • 30% of newly diagnosed celiac patients are over 60
  • Many have neurological issues
  • Neuropathy
  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Seizure disorders
  • Difficulty walking
  • Falling
  • Balance issues
  • MS
  • Nadine’s patients improve on a Paleo diet

The Stanford idiopathic familial narcolepsy study

  • Entire family diagnosed with narcolepsy
  • Found that family members had celiac disease
  • Adopting a gluten-free diet eliminated the narcolepsy
  • Family now runs organic farm

The increasing number of Parkinson’s diagnoses

  • More and more common
  • UK neurological expert routinely tests for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity

How your body heals neurological damage in the absence of gluten

  • Heal intestines
  • Eliminate inflammation
  • Repair immune system
  • Replete nutrient deficiencies

Vitamin D

  • Cancer preventative
  • Level should be between 60-80
  • Indicator of all fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K)
  • ‘Sunshine’ vitamin synthesized through skin
  • Must also be taken in dietarily
  • Little chance of overdosing on D3

What your nails can tell you about your health

  • Look for white spots, cracked nails, hangnails
  • May indicate lack of zinc, D3, or B vitamins

Dr. Terry Wahls’ MS misdiagnosis

  • Diagnosed with MS and required wheelchair
  • Healed with a gluten-free diet
  • Can ride her bike and walk without a cane

Nadine’s story

  • At 40, her symptoms suggested MS
  • Issues with clumsiness (falling, dragging feet, dropping things, difficulty with balance)
  • Problems went away on a gluten-free diet
  • Nutrient deficiencies were causing neurological issues

Celiac cerebellar ataxia

  • Caused by lesions on or inflammation of the brain
  • Results in inability to walk straight
  • Tissue can be healed on a gluten free diet

 Resources:

Cyrex Laboratories

Midway Farms

La Mancha Ranch and Orchard

Dr. Wahls’ TED Talk

Dr. Wahls’ YouTube Channel

The Wahls Protocol: A Radical New Way to Treat All Chronic Autoimmune Conditions Using Paleo Principles – by Terry Wahls, MD and Eve Adamson

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

‘Your Skin on Gluten’ on YouTube

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

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Weight Loss and Weight Gain Associated with Celiac Disease EP020

Forget everything you thought you knew about obesity.

68% of the population of the US is overweight, and we know that there are a number of health risks associated with the issue. But did you know that people are overweight because their bodies are actually starving?

 Today the Gluten Free RN is challenging your assumptions about weight gain and celiac disease, revealing the surprising way your body compensates for malnourishment, the necessity of fat in nutrient absorption, and the healing power of a whole food gluten-free diet.

Listen and learn why more people are overweight when diagnosed with celiac disease than underweight, more have constipation than diarrhea, and more have neurological disorders than gastrointestinal issues. Nadine is prepared to shake up your idea of what it means to have celiac disease and offer guidance regarding the food we should be eating in order to heal, and lose – or gain – weight in the process!

What’s Discussed: 

The classic symptoms of celiac disease

  • Used to be identified by weight loss and chronic diarrhea
  • We now know there are well over 300 signs and symptoms

The obesity epidemic in the US

  • 68% of the population is overweight
  • Obesity increases morbidity and mortality
  • The majority of celiac patients are overweight

Why celiac patients are overweight

  • Damage to intestines prevents absorption of nutrients
  • Body is starving, so it compensates by storing fat as cheap energy

The health risks associated with obesity

The failings of fast food

  • Little to no nutritional value
  • ‘Bad’ fat
  • Little use as energy

The whole food diet Nadine recommends for celiac and gluten sensitive patients

 The rapid weight loss of overweight celiac patients once they adopt a gluten-free diet

Why wounds may not heal appropriately in celiac patients

  • Body is malnourished and cannot absorb nutrients
  • Nutrients are necessary to heal tissue

How to heal your body with food

  • Choose fermented foods
  • Regenerate villi in intestines
  • Build diverse microbiome

Nadine’s patient with tunneling wound in sacral area

  • Wound would not heal, required daily dressing changes
  • Patient was HLA-DQ2 gene carrier
  • Wound healed after 10 days on a gluten-free diet

How a gluten-free diet affects underweight celiac patients

  • Muscle and tissue build appropriately
  • Weight increases as nutrients are absorbed

The necessity of a high-fat diet for celiac patients

  • Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble
  • The brain is made of fat

‘Good’ fats that Nadine recommends incorporating into your diet

  • Listen in for the full list!!

Connect with Nadine: 

Instagram

Facebook

Contact via Email

Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism