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: 

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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

Posted by Nadine Grzeskowiak, RN

Nadine is a 'food is medicine’ activist and is very proud of her work to educate all people about the power of food in health and wellness. Nadine is an expert consultant, professional speaker with over 1500 lectures to date, author of DOUGH NATION: A Nurse's Memoir of Celiac Disease From Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism, podcaster, mom and former emergency/trauma/critical care nurse. Nadine is co-authoring her next book on the science of celiac disease.

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