Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You

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SOMETHING YOU’RE EATING may be killing you, and you probably don’t even know it! If you eat cheeseburgers or French fries all the time or drink six sodas a day, you likely know you are shortening your life. But eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread–how could that be bad for you? Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of the American diet. What most people don’t know is that gluten can cause serious health complications for many. You may be at risk even if you don’t have full blown celiac disease. I want to reveal the truth about gluten, explain the dangers, and provide you with a simple system that will help you determine whether or not gluten is a problem for you.

The Dangers of Gluten

A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and “latent” celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer. (i)

This study looked at almost 30,000 patients from 1969 to 2008 and examined deaths in three groups: Those with full-blown celiac disease, those with inflammation of their intestine but not full-blown celiac disease, and those with latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (elevated gluten antibodies but negative intestinal biopsy).

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.

This is ground-breaking research that proves you don’t have to have full-blown celiac disease with a positive intestinal biopsy (which is what conventional thinking tells us) to have serious health problems and complications–even death–from eating gluten.

Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don’t even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else–not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.

And here’s some more shocking news …

Another study comparing the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago to 10,000 people today found that the incidences of full-blown celiac disease increased by 400 percent (elevated TTG antibodies) during that time period. (ii) If we saw a 400 percent increase in heart disease or cancer, this would be headline news. But we hear almost nothing about this. I will explain why I think that increase has occurred in a moment. First, let’s explore the economic cost of this hidden epidemic.

The most serious form of allergy to gluten, celiac disease, affects one in 100 people, or three million Americans, most of who don’t know they have it.

Undiagnosed gluten problems cost the American healthcare system oodles of money. Dr. Peter Green, Professor of Clinical Medicine for the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University studied all 10 million subscribers to CIGNA and found those who were correctly diagnosed with celiac disease used fewer medical services and reduced their healthcare costs by more than 30 perecnt. (iii) The problem is that only one percent of those with the problem were actually diagnosed. That means 99 percent are walking around suffering without knowing it, costing the healthcare system millions of dollars.

And it’s not just a few who suffer, but millions. Far more people have gluten sensitivity than you think–especially those who are chronically ill. The most serious form of allergy to gluten, celiac disease, affects one in 100 people, or three million Americans, most of who don’t know they have it. But milder forms of gluten sensitivity are even more common and may affect up to one-third of the American population.

Why haven’t you heard much about this?

Well, actually you have, but you just don’t realize it. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity masquerade as dozens and dozens of other diseases with different names.

Gluten Sensitivity: One Cause, Many Diseases

A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 “diseases” that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)

We used to think that gluten problems or celiac disease were confined to children who had diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive. Now we know you can be old, fat, and constipated and still have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different “diseases.” To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause–which is often gluten sensitivity–not just the symptoms.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone–but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.

By failing to identify gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, we create needless suffering and death for millions of Americans. Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with better medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating 100 percent of the gluten from your diet.

The question that remains is: Why are we so sensitive to this “staff of life,” the staple of our diet?

There are many reasons …

They include our lack of genetic adaptation to grasses, and particularly gluten, in our diet. Wheat was introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages, and 30 percent of people of European descent carry the gene for celiac disease (HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8), (xii) which increases susceptibility to health problems from eating gluten.

American strains of wheat have a much higher gluten content (which is needed to make light, fluffy Wonder Bread and giant bagels) than those traditionally found in Europe. This super-gluten was recently introduced into our agricultural food supply and now has “infected” nearly all wheat strains in America.

To find out if you are one of the millions of people suffering from an unidentified gluten sensitivity, just follow this simple procedure.

The Elimination/Reintegration Diet

While testing can help identify gluten sensivity, the only way you will know if this is really a problem for you is to eliminate all gluten for a short period of time (2 to 4 weeks) and see how you feel. Get rid of the following foods:

  • Gluten (barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut, wheat, triticale–see www.celiac.com for a complete list of foods that contain gluten, as well as often surprising and hidden sources of gluten.)
  • Hidden sources (soup mixes, salad dressings, sauces, as well as lipstick, certain vitamins, medications, stamps and envelopes you have to lick, and even Play-Doh.)

For this test to work you MUST eliminate 100 percent of the gluten from your diet–no exceptions, no hidden gluten, and not a single crumb of bread.

Then eat it again and see what happens. If you feel bad at all, you need to stay off gluten permanently. This will teach you better than any test about the impact gluten has on your body.

But if you are still interested in testing, here are some things to keep in mind.

Testing for Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac Disease

There are gluten allergy/celiac disease tests that are available through Labcorp or Quest Diagnostics. All these tests help identify various forms of allergy or sensitivity to gluten or wheat. They will look for:

  • IgA anti-gliadin antibodies
  • IgG anti-gliadin antibodies
  • IgA anti-endomysial antibodies
  • Tissue transglutaminase antibody (IgA and IgG in questionable cases)
  • Total IgA antibodies
  • HLA DQ2 and DQ8 genotyping for celiac disease (used occasionally to detect genetic suspectibility).
  • Intestinal biopsy (rarely needed if gluten antibodies are positive–based on my interpretation of the recent study)

When you get these tests, there are a few things to keep in mind.

In light of the new research on the dangers of gluten sensitivity without full blown celiac disease, I consider any elevation of antibodies significant and worthy of a trial of gluten elimination. Many doctors consider elevated anti-gliadin antibodies in the absence of a positive intestinal biopsy showing damage to be “false positives.” That means the test looks positive but really isn’t significant.

We can no longer say that. Positive is positive and, as with all illness, there is a continuum of disease, from mild gluten sensitivity to full-blown celiac disease. If your antibodies are elevated, you should go off gluten and test to see if it is leading to your health problems.

So now you see–that piece of bread may not be so wholesome after all! Follow the advice I’ve shared with you today to find out if gluten may be the hidden cause of your health problems. Simply eliminating this insidious substance from your diet, may help you achieve lifelong vibrant health.

Now I’d like to hear from you …

Are you one of the millions that have been lead to believe gluten is perfectly safe to eat?

How do foods that contain gluten seem to affect you?

What tips can you share with others about eliminating gluten from your diet?

Please let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

References:(i) Ludvigsson JF, Montgomery SM, Ekbom A, Brandt L, Granath F. Small-intestinal histopathology and mortality risk in celiac disease. JAMA. 2009 Sep 16;302(11):1171-8.

(ii) Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93

(iii) Green PH, Neugut AI, Naiyer AJ, Edwards ZC, Gabinelle S, Chinburapa V. Economic benefits of increased diagnosis of celiac disease in a national managed care population in the United States. J Insur Med. 2008;40(3-4):218-28.

(iv) Farrell RJ, Kelly CP. Celiac sprue. N Engl J Med. 2002 Jan 17;346(3):180-8. Review.

(v) Sedghizadeh PP, Shuler CF, Allen CM, Beck FM, Kalmar JR. Celiac disease and recurrent aphthous stomatitis: a report and review of the literature. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2002;94(4):474-478.

(vi) Margutti P, Delunardo F, Ortona E. Autoantibodies associated with psychiatric disorders. Curr Neurovasc Res. 2006 May;3(2):149-57. Review.

(vii) Ludvigsson JF, Reutfors J, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of mood disorders–a general population-based cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):117-26. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

(viii) Ludvigsson JF, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Coeliac disease and risk of schizophrenia and other psychosis: a general population cohort study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2007 Feb;42(2):179-85.

(ix) Hu WT, Murray JA, Greenaway MC, Parisi JE, Josephs KA. Cognitive impairment and celiac disease. Arch Neurol. 2006 Oct;63(10):1440-6.

(x) Bushara KO. Neurologic presentation of celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2005 Apr;128(4 Suppl 1):S92-7. Review.

(xi) Millward C, Ferriter M, Calver S, Connell-Jones G. Gluten- and casein-free diets for autistic spectrum disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD003498. Review.

(xii) Green PH, Jabri B. Coeliac disease. Lancet. 2003 Aug 2;362(9381):383-91. Review.

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75 Responses to Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You

  1. Sal February 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    I’m confused about Tapioca flour. I’ve read and respect your comments about wheat, gluten and grains.

    I’ve found a recipece for gluten free bread that includes
    Brown rice flour, Surgham flour, tapioca starch,yeast, salt, Xanthan Gum,eggs,olive oil,and a small amount of honey.

    My blood sugar was recently measured at 105 (just bought your book and haven’t been back to my Doctor to have insulin tests yet).

    What’s your opinion about this bread?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff April 4, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      Hi Sal,

      Dr Hyman would suggest staying off ALL processed breads and refined sweeteners while controlling your blood sugars and improving insulin sensitivity. Tapioca, brown rice and sorgham flour, while gluten free are still high glycemic. Anything that raises your blood sugar and spikes insulin will contribute to overall inflammation. It is great that you are going to read The Blood Sugar Solution. You will learn exactly what to eat and what not to eat but if you have any questions, feel free to work with Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaches.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  2. Yasmina Raccuglia February 8, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    I agree with everything said above. Wheat and gluten containing products are nothing more than big trouble. We are bombarded to consume exactly what is bad for us instead of motivating people to eat healthy. Sometimes I feel it is a conspiracy to keep people sick to keep the “big three” healthcare revolving doors wealthy. It is only up to everyone of us and spread the word.

    I have a child with Aspergers and after I took him off gluten and casein he is much more functional and more into our world. He has improved greatly and is interacting more after I took him off the above and also encourage other parents that have children with add adhd and asd to eliminate gluten and casein from their childs diets. Yes this is something that people should take in consideration. We as parents have decided to follow the protocol of the gf/cf and have seen improvements in our health.

  3. Sissi Franco February 9, 2013 at 6:17 am #

    How about oatmeal (porridge) cooked with real whole oats? I guess oat has less gluten than wheat, and it can be better tolerated than any bread baked with refined flour (where the protein is more absorbed).

    Thank you!

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff April 2, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      Hi Sissi,

      Dr Hyman suggests avoiding all oats (even those that claim to be “gluten free”) if you are strongly interested in assessing whether or not you have a gluten sensitivity.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  4. Lori February 9, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    After 37 years of weekly stomach aches – I discovered I was gluten intolerant (and that I was on the spectrum) WOW – how my head cleared and my ability to digest my food improved, my anxiety decrease, my skin cleared up. Not one doctor ever mentioned this to me growing up despite multiple ER visits for stomach pain.

    Now, in my child advocacy and education work – I often point to diet and nutrition when parents or teachers come to me with kid’s behavioral issues. Food and chemicals can trigger SO much brain dysfunction and very few people are aware or willing to go there.

    Aside from my husband and daughter, I am the only one in my family to recognize and go GF – yet the osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, rheumatoid arthritis, psychiatric and neurological issues ALL exist in some form or another.

    I hope more people being to see how FOOD can be medicine or poison. Thank you for sharing this! – Lori @TEACH through Love

  5. Leslie February 9, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    Dr Hyman
    I gave up wheat about 6 weeks ago (after reading your article about super gluten in American wheat) I still eat oatmeal but no other grains. I do feel better (my constipation is almost gone) and am losing weight. I knew that bread was a problem for me after going on the Sugar Buster’s diet years ago but wheat crept back into my diet again. Yes, I am also addicted to carbs!
    I have a question. Target has organic pasta imported from Italy. Has the wheat grown in Italy been genetically modified? I thought maybe I could continue to eat my beloved pasta if I bought it this way. Otherwise I will buy gluten free pasta from now on! Thank you for all you do to educate us – you are saving lives!!

    • Betsy March 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

      Hi Leslie,
      If you actually want to eliminate gluten from your diet, you should consider buying GF oatmeal. I have full-blown celiac disease. I have found through my research that many oats are processed in facilities that process wheat which means there can very easily be gluten in standard oat products. There may also be problems with oats being grown in fields that previously grew wheat. The GF oats are grown in dedicated fields and processed in dedicated facilities.
      Also, wheat is wheat – whether organic, GMO, or not. Stick with the GF pastas.
      If you can migrate to more fruits & vegetables, you will probably find, as I did, that you don’t crave the carbs so much anymore.
      Good luck!

    • Patti May 26, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      Hi Leslie,

      If you love pasta, you could also try spaghetti squash. I actually like it better than wheat pasta wih meat or tomato sauce, but I don’t like it with white sauce.

      Good luck!

      • erinb November 14, 2013 at 10:00 am #

        ..as well as squash-ta, spiralized zucchini, I absolutely love this.
        Sea salt to help get some of the water out and then rinsed in warm water before serving while draining in your colander. Season and serve with a great healthy marinara sauce. I as well toss with; EVOO sautéed mushrooms, onion, garlic, black olive, and basil sauce. Yum.

  6. Janeris Marte February 9, 2013 at 6:45 am #

    I have had lupus for about 15years. And it caused pulmonary hypertension (ph) It wasn’t until I saw a functional medicine Dr in Miami that I heard about gluten sensitivity. She took me off of it completely and is helping me repair my leaky gut. I haven’t had gluten for 5 mths. Didn’t really notice much change physically but my lupus and (ph) Drs stopped needing to see me monthly. I now go quarterly because my symptoms have calmed down and the tests are shockingly better. I eat very clean. My entire family supports my dietary needs. I found other sensitivities during my testing and can’t have eggs, dairy (cheese, butter, and yogurt are fine), sugar, and a few others. I make snacks from fruit, breads from almond, coconut, or ric eflour. I started sharing my experiences and recipes on my facebook page and blog http://www.facebook.com/MyCleanCuttingBoard I share gluten free recipes that have helped me. I normally make gluten free pizza but was in ny and had a slice there. Boy oh boy did I notice when I got home. My little lupus friend got angry and attacked my joints. It took 5 days to calm him down again.

  7. Christine burke February 9, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    I wheeze after eating bread and anything with gluten.could this be gluten sensitivity? Thank you!

  8. Susie Kaplan February 9, 2013 at 8:21 am #

    All my biopsies for celiac disease were normal, but my daughter has celiac and I was suffering from nausea and vomiting. I took the Prometheus gene test which was very positive and I am “highly likely” to develop celiac. I took myself off all gluten even though I was asymptomatic. I do not believe gluten was causing the nausea, but, since I have other autoimmune diseases and a daughter with celiac, i believe it was a good life choice for me to remove gluten from my diet. Do you agree?

    • Avatar of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff February 9, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  9. Jaimie Schultz February 9, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Dr. Hyman – This article is fantastic! Back in the fall of 2011, I was one of the anti-guten free people. I thought this was of living was a new fad and was laughable at best. It was right around this time, that my husband started getting really sick. At least 4 times a week, he would be up all night throwing up and going to the bathroom. He was in pain and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

    We visited our regular family doctor who just scratched it up to him needed to exercise more (laughable) The reason this is laughable is that my husband is a retired Army Solider. he is in great shape and is generally a very healthy person.

    After we couldn’t get any answers from our normal doc, we went and saw a holistic doctor in the area. I was SKEPTICAL! I had this feeling they woudl try to remove gluten from his diet and I went in ready to fight them on it. Remember, this ‘fad diet’ wasn’t something I was going to let into my house. And sure enough… after all the testing they did, it turns out that my husband has a ‘gluten sensitivity’. We left that office saying how this had to be just the crazy doctors and moved forward.

    Right about that time, I started suffering from depression issues as well. I just scratched it up to this must be how a new mom must feel and tried moving on. Shortly after things didnt’ turn around for me, and with seeing my husband sick most every night, i knew something had to give. I called in my sister of Eat, Play, Live and sat down for a heart to heart. She explained gluten and the processed foods that we have come to knwo and love in our daily lives. It was a large educational session on the evil of gluten and what “food” is doing to us.

    I spent about a month educating myself on ingredients in the food. I tore apart my house and googled everything. I was blown away about how terrible these so called foods were. So, on January 1st 2012 I removed everything and moved to a paleo lifestyle. Within 1 month, my depression was completely gone, my husband was functional (hasnt been sick in almost a year), my energy went through the roof and I was finally able to funcation as the wife and mother I always longed to be.

    My goal for this year, is to move my children over. They eat about 70% clean now but that last 30% needs to be gone. It is our job as parents, to give not only ourselves, but our children the best lives possible. Removing the SAD is the first step in achieving that.

    Thanks for listening and thank you for the excellent article!!! I will continue to educate others through my site, Pajamas Notebook, and will continue to share your amazing work as well. It’s time to educate others, so they too can make the right decisions for themselves.

  10. Gina February 9, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    I eliminated gluten for several weeks and then got lazy and started again. I broke out in a rash and the dermitologist biopsied it suspeciting it is dermititis herpiformis from gluten. I haven’t gotten the biopsy results yet, but have stopped gluten and my heartburn has gone away except if I eat anything with soy or soy lecithin. I’ve tried to find information on soy lecithin but most say it is not allergenic. What do you think?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff April 2, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

      Hi Gina!

      Lecithin can cause allergic skin reactions in people with egg and soy allergies but typically not with gluten. Might be worth a 6 week elimination trial of gluten AND soy. You might be interested in following Dr Hyman’s The UltraSimple Diet for a complete elimination diet. Check it out! store.ultrasimplediet.com

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  11. Linda McGraw February 9, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    I wonder why all of the diseases caused by foods these days? Back in the day, bread was a staple, and no one was sick. Jesus always broke bread, he even told us how to make it in Ezekial 4:9. Read for yourself.

    So do you suppose that our grains have Monsanto all over it? Doesn’t the grain that our breads etc are made from have 4 times more gluten then in the grains that Jesus ate or even my parents or myself and I am in my 60′s.

    Our food is polluted to say the least and people are encouraged to take drugs, that mask symptoms but do not get to the root cause. God did make our bodies to heal themselves given good, clean food. Our bodies are complex and quite a miracle of God. Yet, man keeps trying to play God and come up with garbage to put in our bodies, while the government runs around trying to discredit God and in the name of health destroy the small farmer that sticks to the ways of the past that produced nourishing food. People are obese, and sick all the time. Sickness is an industry and if we are not sick they do not make money.

    So what you write may be true, but if you take genitically engineered seeds out of the picture and all the chemicals, and go back to the way God designed the grain to be, do you think gluten would be an issue?

    Blessings to your day

    • Sara August 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      I think it is monster~monsanto

  12. Tracy February 9, 2013 at 8:52 am #

    Thank you Dr. Mark. You are such a wonderful teacher. I’ve been GF for a few years now and my older sister finally eliminated gluten over the last couple of weeks. It’s fun to hear her talk about not having the bloating and the uncomfortable feeling of an upset stomach, acid reflux. Excellent progress. Thank you for your work. It helps me teach others.

  13. Kim February 9, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    I have eliminated all wheat and gluten containing products from my diet, reintroduced them, and found the following after reintoduction: 1) IBS – chronic diarrhea returned; 2) energy levels dropped; 3) brain fog returned; 4) bloating; 5) pain and stiffness in joints; 6) blood sugar elevated; 7) overall blues/depression increase.

    When I am gluten and wheat free, the most obvious changes are no more IBS and a very obvious increase in energy levels. Moods are elevated, cravings gone, blood sugar normal, stiffness gone (especially in the morning!) able to focus and complete tasks at work.

    I have had some test for Celiac and was told by doctor it came in negative (4 years ago I suspected). I assumed then that that was all there was too it until I began to educate myself in an attempt to resolve my myriad of health issues, all inflammatory in nature. It is clear I have a gluten sensitivity at the very least. Thank you for your article.

  14. Elaine K. February 9, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Is there any benefit to eliminating most of the gluten from you diet “just in case?”

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff February 9, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

      Hi Elaine,

      Dr Hyman suggests a true elimination trial if you suspect a gluten sensitivity-meaning, take it all out 100%. If your immune system reacts to gluten, even small amounts might set off the inflammatory response. Thanks!

  15. Elizabeth February 9, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    I have been gluten free for about 2.5 years now. At this point I have integrated this change into my lifestyle pretty successfully. I found that I immediately felt better. The most welcome change was the elimination of what I believed was IBS. I no longer deal with feeling bloated or experience abdominal pain after eating. I will admit that I do miss bread but the discomofort I feel if I cheat is not worth it anymore. One of the differences that I did not expect was how different my skin looks—just brighter and more even toned. I use some gluten free products and have found at least one brand of pasta that I think is as good as “regular” pasta but on a whole I find that most gluten-free products don’t taste good and are very expensive, so I just do without. As a result I find myself moving toward a plant predominant diet. I would say that the first 12 weeks were the most difficult, but after that the benefits of the change were so significant that there was no going back for me.

  16. Daryl-Lynne Jarrett February 9, 2013 at 10:42 am #

    I have had thyroid issues since I was 14 and will be turning 60 this year. The last few years I have been struggling with joint and muscle pain and have my whole life struggled with my weight. I have recently been reading that Thyroid is an autoimmune disease and it made sense that I should then stay away from gluten. Since staying off gluten and anything with sugar ,also anything white I dramatically lost 70 pounds and it just stays off.I can tell if i eat anything with gluten now because I will break out in what I call a hive and itch terribly and if I eat sugar I get terrible cramps. I still am struggling with some joint pain and low energy but am feeling good otherwise. Thyroid issues affects almost all my siblings and my parents. Also would like to loose another 40 Pounds and am trying to get more walking in. Thank you for all your great info it has helped me so much. Wish I had known what I know now many years ago!

  17. Julie McGinnis, MS, RD February 9, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Bravo!! Great article Dr. Hyman. I could not agree more. Western medicine docs need to open their eyes and see what is really happening and that gluten sensitivity does exist. I have been gf for 10 years and I suffered for a year with constipation, nose sores and vertigo. In the past, I had skin rashes (more than likely dermatitis herpatiformis), migraines, and a host of other problems. All my health problems resolved after eliminating gluten and can not tolerate gf oats either. As a nutritionist I wanted healthy gf foods so I started my own company making whole grain non-GMO gf foods. Check us out http://www.theglutenfreebistro.com. Keep on keeping on!

  18. Janice February 9, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    I am one of the people you describe – who for years suffered a number of symptoms, which my doctor told me didn’t make sense as they appeared to have nothing in common with one another. It got to the point that I was SO ill I could barely function, could barely get out of bed. Then someone suggested it might be a sensitivity to wheat/gluten, so I decided to do as you suggested and eliminate it from my diet. Two days later I actually slept through the night. Which was a truly amazing feat given I’d suffered terrible insomnia for 15 years. Now suddenly I was sleeping again, without the use of any sleeping aids. What followed over the next few days, weeks and months was a settling down of my stomach (along with other digestive issues), the headaches stopped, as did the brain fog, racing heart, and heart palpitations. My blood pressure went back to normal, my neck stopped aching, and most importantly, I stopped having panic attacks, for which I’d also been on medication (at one time).

    I haven’t touched wheat/gluten in any form for two years now, and the only flare up I’ve had in that time was when a restaurant put a piece of bread on my plate and it touched my food.

    It is a relief to have finally figured out what was wrong and to feel good! I only wish my doctor could have been more informed so that I might not have gone through all those years of unnecessary suffering.

  19. Beth Steubing February 9, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    I found I had an elevated IgG level after a wonderfully persistent physician tested me. I had only been off gluten for 2 days when I started thinking “this is how good you’re supposed to feel?” I felt like I’d been given a new body. I’ve never looked back. Everything improved; my fatigue, brain fog , sluggishness, sleeplessness, sinus problems, aches and pains. It made me look at health a whole new way. I am a pharmacist and had always had a conventional medicine approach. I changed all my physicians to those who looked at health the way I now did. A homeopath helped me to heal my intestinal mucosa from all those years of trauma and a chiropractor helped me get in alignment and started me on the path to better nutrition. I learned that just being gluten free was not necessarily the healthiest diet. My husband had chronic heartburn issues and learned he was sensitive to dairy and egg. We are now gluten free, dairy free and egg free and we both feel better than we did 10 years ago! Your book Ultra-Prevention has helped me a lot along the way. Thank you for continuing to bring this issue to light.

  20. Kristy February 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I have a kidney disease, and I was told the only thing I could do to improve my quality of life was wait until my kidneys were bad enough, then get a transplant. They were wrong! I’ve eliminated gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, and a host of other items from my diet. For the first time in 18 years, I’m not in pain! My skin cleared up, my digestion is better than ever, and life is good!

    My parents have some of these same issues. I’ve asked them to try the diet, but they say, “I’m glad it worked for you, but we don’t need to make any changes. My doctor didn’t say I need to.”

    Thanks for publishing this! I’ll be passing it along!

  21. Em February 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Celiac disease is not an “allergy” to gluten. Please be sure to distinguish between allergy and autoimmune disease. When the terms are interchanged it does not better the public’s understanding of either. “Gluten sensitivity” is not an autoimmune disease per se. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease. There is also non-autoimmune gluten intolerance. I assume you are aware of these differences, but when speaking to the general public, please be sure to use the correct terminology in order to properly educate people. Thank you.

  22. Marla Martin February 9, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    I went GF last summer. I definitely notice a difference in my digestive system, no more gas and bloating every night, however, I have been steadily gaining weight. My husband went GF with me, and he lost 18 pounds. Why am I gaining? I have been doing my own baking using almond flour, which isn’t a grain. I only occasionally prepare GF pasta and other not great substitutes. Please help me find lower calorie options for GF diets.

  23. Mary Courtney February 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm #

    Dear Dr. Hymen,
    I looked over your very clear list of steps for the elimination diet and then the list of gluten-intolerance tests. I noticed that you don’t remind your readers that the tests are not valid if taken right after the elimination diet. A patient has to be eating gluten daily for quite a while so that any antibodies are present for the antibody tests. Only the genetic test can be taken right after an elimination diet.
    Best wishes,
    Mary, gluten-free for 27 years
    Santa Clarita, CA

    • Kathryn September 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

      Is this true? I haven’t heard this before. I’ve been on some form of a gluten and dairy elimination diet for about 4 years now. I had sinus surgery (septoplasty and turbinoplasty) 3.5 years ago, which helped my sinus issues a lot (I still get congestion, but I can still breathe through my nose with mild congestion). About 2 years ago I was tested for celiac disease, and none of the antibodies were elevated. I shrugged it off because I know I feel better without gluten in diet, so I figured I just have a “gluten-sensitivity.”

      I also wonder if thyroid antibodies would test normal after years of treatment? I was diagnosed Hypothyroid at age 12 – because I hadn’t grown in over 2 years! My TSH was 232 (normal range is 0.5-4 or so, the higher the TSH the lower your thyroid levels are). I wasn’t tested for Hashimoto’s at that time, but (now in my late 20s) have had Thyroid Panels that accidentally included the antibody tests and they came back normal. My mom also has hypothyroidism, and I have other auto-immune issues – eczema (MUCH better after gluten-free), raynaud’s disease, joint inflammation, etc. so it makes the most sense that my hypothyroidism would be auto-immune (not cause my environmental factors like mercury exposure).

      I sometimes eat gluten and dairy – usually on vacation – and pay for it. Too much sugar is a problem for me, too. Usually within hours I will have canker sores on my tongue, brain fog, stomach issues (was diagnosed with IBS when I was younger), and within a couple days sinus problems, sore throat, canker sores on lips, extreme fatigue and irritability.

      Probably my worst experience since I cut those foods out was when I was on vacation in Croatia 3 weeks ago. I thought I’d be able to find easy/convenient foods at the grocery store, but almost nothing was in English. The restaurants were all pizza, pasta, and seafood (which I don’t eat a lot of). Within 2 days I was miserable which continued for the rest of my week long trip, I had to call out sick from work the next 2 days afterwards, and am still not back to 100%

  24. Amber Mullins February 11, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Great article. Credibility will be increased if edited prior to publishing. There is a spelling error in the last sentence, “Simply eliminating this insidious (substnace) from your diet, may help you achieve lifelong vibrant health.”

    • Avatar of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff February 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

      Thank you for the catch!

      Wishing You the Best of Health!
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  25. Meghan February 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    This is such a great article and such important information! After my pregnancy, I’m going to try a completely GF diet and write about my experience. As of now, I just limit it. Dr. Hyman’s work has been instrumental in my journey as a holistic health coach – thank you!

  26. Patricia February 25, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    My reaction to wheat flour is worse than other forms of grains. Oats will give me just mild heartburn an hour or so after consuming it, and tummy issues a few hours later, but wheat flour causes me to start choking within seconds of eating it. I can literally feel the swelling taking place in my esophagus, and my breathing passages. If you have ever “breathed down the wrong tube” and couldn’t hold back the coughing, you have a general idea of what happens. I have passed out from not being able to draw a breath, and typically come away with broken blood vessels in my face, neck and eyes because if the violence of the coughing/ choking. Read ALL ingredients, as a lot of boxed foods have wheat flour that you wouldn’t expect to have it… Like scalloped potatoes, gravies, soy sauce, etc.

  27. Paige March 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm #

    I have had digestive issues for years and doctors always told me i needed more fiber, i had IBS, i have been tested tested for thyroid chrons disease multiple times, nothing ever came up. No medications helped. About a month ago I had finally had it, with the head aches anxiety, depression ect so I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet, now i am feeling great no more bloating, constipation, headaches and every other symptom in the book. I have found when I reintroduce gluten into my diet I become extremely ill and my stomach goes crazy. I feel much better gluten free, there are many foods I do miss though :[

  28. Penny March 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    I have long been aware of the negative health effects of wheat and gluten and have eliminated it periodically over the past 20 years. Three weeks ago I took gluten permanently out of my family’s diet and the health results have been noticeable if not major. My head is clearer and I don’t experience the brain fog anymore. The children do not suffer as many episodes of bloating or intestinal pain and diarrhoea.

    I find gluten free baking really easy with the use of other flours such as coconut and potato, as well as almond and hazelnut meal. There are also lots of great GF websites for recipes.

    The interesting aspect is that both my older brothers and my 82 year old mother have stopped eating gluten in the last year. All of them have experienced improved health and the end of runny noses, sinusitis and propensity to getting colds and flu.
    There is also a very strong argument for eliminating all grains from your diet especially if you experience long term health challenges such as chronic fatigue.
    I would be interested in Dr Hyman’s views on other grains in the diet.

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff March 8, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

      Hi Penny,

      Glad to hear your family is having success. Dr Hyman suggests gluten free grains such as black rice, quinoa or buckwheat for those people who have normal blood sugar control and who are not insulin resistant. For more information on Dr Hyman’s views on carbohydrates please see http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  29. Val March 10, 2013 at 3:59 am #

    I have been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I went for almost a year without gluten among many other things, but still am struggling. I started eating stuff with gluten again and am still having pain. My doctor really wants to put me on medication but I have been fighting it for over a year now. Do you have any comments that could help me decide what to do? Is it possible that Rheumatoid Arthritis is caused by fungus? I would really appreciate an answer back.

    • Avatar of HymanStaff
      HymanStaff March 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  30. Kal March 19, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    I have to tell you that for the majority of my life (i’m 47) i have had symptoms of IBS, foggy brain, very low energy levels, arthritis, anxiety and weight issues. I experimennted with every diet and plan and nothing worked. I routinely would go to the doctor and he would say that i needed to exercise and lose weight. my doctor was worthless.

    I accidently stumbled on the book “wheat Belly’ and i am absolutely stunned by what i read and I am even more stunned as to what happened after I eliminated wheat flour from my diet. In the first 3 days of eliminating wheat flour, my IBS, arthritis, anxiety, foggy brain were GONE. Also, my energy levels EXPLODED to a point where my family and friends can no longer keep up with me. It’s been 7 weeks now and I have lost 34 pounds, yes 34 pounds in 7 weeks. I also had my cholseterol checked and it’s down, and my sugar is normal. I will never eat that wheat poison ever again.

    I have to thank Dr. Hyman for the great work he does and I also want to thank Dr. William Davis, who in essence saved my life.

    Kal

  31. Jana Marie April 22, 2013 at 9:07 am #

    I have been suffering with Seborrheic dermatitis for about 3 years. I have a steroid cream that eliminates in completely for a week but I don’t like to use it. I also have occasional joint pain. It is usually not severe enough to seek medical attention. However, about a year ago I got bursitis and had to take ibuprofen for 2 weeks. For about a week my right hand has been stiff and painful. I don’t have a ton of energy. I sleep at least 8 hours a night usually 9. I am 28 years old, normal BMI. Is there any way that gluten could cause my health problems?

  32. lori April 29, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

    tonight I had some issues that prompted me to look at your site I ate pizza soda and have extra marinara sauce with my dinner this evening. Not but one hour later I dumped twice and my finger joints are killing me. I do have issues when I eat gluten I get very bad headaches especially the next day after eating pizza. What do these symptoms sound like to you ? I have never been tested. I also have issues with my wrists swelling which comes and goes. I think it may also be related. I am very curious to hear what you think and I thank you for taking the time to read my post. I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 1, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      Hi Lori,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work. Unfortunately Dr Hyman cannot provide personal medical advice in this forum. If you would like to make an appointment at Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA please go to:http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/ When you are finished reading through the material you may call the office at After you have reviewed this, please contact our office to make an appointment. By phone, (413) 637-9991; by email, office@ultrawellnesscenter.com

      It sounds like you might want to consider a trial of removing gluten from your diet. Have you explored Dr. Hyman’s UltraMetabolism program or his The Blood Sugar Solution? For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

      In good health,
      The Nutrition Team

  33. Saria de Kock May 10, 2013 at 8:48 am #

    Hi guys, I have read most of the above comments about gluten, etc. and just want to say how an enormous problem it is for me as well. I have known about the Blood Group Diet (Eating Right 4 your Type) for 10 years now but have only followed the diet almost to the letter for the last year due to mounting health problems like very high blood pressure, fatigue, grogginess, foggy brain and headaches among others. Being Type O blood group I have to eliminate wheat as one of the 5 red flags for my blood type. What a difference it made! I lost 2 dress sizes, felt better mentally and physically, clearer mind and extra energy so needed, as I just turned 57 years young! So look at the blood type diet as a good starting point and together with all the valuable information on Dr Hyman’s site we can all live healthier lives.

  34. Simone Godina May 15, 2013 at 5:27 am #

    I have done an elimination diet for gluten myself, because while learning from IIN About the gluten sensitivity, I have notice that I am no longer that tired, I can concentrate better.
    I went back to gluten for one day eating nice flafi white bread and the fatigue was back again. I have noticed that my pain in fingers is gone when I am off gluten.

    I have sun 15 years old extremli tired and diagnosed with ADHD, we have made some changes, but he is steel tired in the morning.
    We are now going for glutenfree diet, I think the whole grain weat pasta that he love is a problem. It is hard to find, Quiona, millet, pasta in my country, everything gluten free is corn, I don’t want that in the diet.
    what is your opinion about gluten free products, there is also a lot of misliding info.
    I also recommended to my clients as Longevity Health Coach to start eating no gluten diet. Specially one with severe Fibromyalgia problem. Waiting for results .

  35. Deanna Paine May 15, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    Thank you for your continued research and work in the area of gluten sensitivities and Celiac Disease. My mother continually suffered from bloating of the bowel and constipation. She died of colon cancer in her early 60′s. My grandaughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 3. I had an Elisa blood test done about 10 years ago that showed wheat caused a reaction in my blood. I’ve found that I feel better avoiding wheat products. When I am with family and eat what everyone else is eating I usually pay for it, later. I am 53 and have begun feeling bloated, gassy, constipated, achy, foggy-headed,and now have osteoarthritis. I’m hoping that if I go completely ‘gluten-free’ that I can alleviate some of these ailments as they sure put a damper on my quality of life! Again, thank you so much for all that you do!

  36. Sherrie August 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm #

    I have been reading that gluten is not necessarily the entire problem for those with celiac disease and related disorders but that sugars and grains also contribute to ill health. Can you tell me why you do not advocate for the removal of those foods as well?

    • Avatar of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff August 16, 2013 at 1:43 pm #

      Dear Sherrie,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. He does indeed advocate the removal of sugar and grains (for some people) in his book, The Blood Sugar Solution http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com If you havent seen, please check it out!

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s virtual nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to:http://www.bloodsugarsolution.com/nutrition-coaching/ OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.
      In Good Health,
      The Nutrition Team

  37. Avatar of Carrie
    Carrie August 13, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    I had a gastric bypass in 2008 I have strong Irish blood line and 2 yrs post gastric bypass I had a grandmal seizure I have been to samsun clinic and multiple other neuro’s who state that they feel I am having continous seizures and have put me on seizure meds I have had 4 grandmal and mult pedi mal since 2010 never having them prior. I saw a homepath this year who diag me with gluten sens feeling that due to the gastric bypass and a poss gluten sensativity prior that now with the nutritional restriction I may have gone into full gluten sensitivity. I always try to grab something to eat right when my seizure start even grabbing a can of food once and trying to eat it. Since I have reduced the gluten I have had more control of seizure related issues. Has anyone else experianced this. I can not get my neuro’s to even check me for gluten they say it is not related. thank you for you time

  38. Magee October 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    This article has been very enlightening for me. Purely by accident, and to support a friend I was staying with, I joined her on her gluten free diet. This was very quickly the beginning of a new life for me. Let me explain further:
    I, like my mother, had been experiencing migraines for many years and they were progressing to every week or so. I had also started to experience chronic inflammation of the joints, and being a trooper, I sucked it up and lived with it. I had also been diagnosed with chronic fibromyalgia some 15 years ago. I have always lived a full life, never giving in to any of the limitations these conditions imposed (other than the migraines)
    From the moment I stopped the gluten, no migraines, no inflammation, no so called fibromyalgia. I have not resumed gluten, however I had no idea until this article there was evidence to support my story.
    Thank you.

  39. Holly November 8, 2013 at 1:53 am #

    I cut out gluten about two weeks ago, and I was lucky, after a few days, and a big headache, my cravings subsided and I haven’t even missed bread, mainly because I’ve been eating foods that are more filling and am just generally not hungry. This was the first most noticeable HUGE difference. For the last two days, I’ve felt my brain fog, something I thought was just a part of who I was (scatter-brained), begin to lift. I was actually remembering things! I could think more clearly. Just fantastic. Tonight, against my better judgment, I messed up. We went to a restaurant where the manager gave us a free appetizer to congratulate me on my new job. Needless to say, it was not gluten or wheat free. I didn’t want to appear ungrateful, so I took a few bites. No big deal, right?

    I was tired today, but I had a strange wave of sleepiness come over me soon after ingesting the food. I am fully aware of the placebo effect, and yes, it might not have been related. But about an hour later, I started to have some difficulty swallowing because my tongue felt swollen. Not to the point my life was in danger, but still very annoying. And at about the same time, I began to feel sores on my tongue, as if I had bitten it in several places, when I hadn’t. Right now, two hours later, these symptoms have not subsided. It hurts to swallow, drink, speak, etc. I hope and pray that this is the extent of my reaction, but I have a feeling it might not be.

    I was just beginning to experience some really good results, I thought, from going gluten and wheat-free. The experience I have had tonight is absolutely enough for me to continue and NOT lapse again.

    To give the people on this board an idea of where I am coming from and why I chose to go gluten free, these are some of the conditions that have plagued me since about 18-19 (I am now 29).

    Depression
    Anxiety
    PCOS
    IBS
    Dry skin
    Difficulty sleeping
    Migraines
    Joint pain
    Overwhelming fatigue
    Brain fog
    Amenhorrea
    Infertility
    Keratosis Pilaris
    Hormonal imbalance

    But it’s cool. After the last two weeks, and seeing a slow but noticeable improvement in myself, I am feeling like I might have identified the culprit. I’ll keep going. As far as I am concerned, as long as I make sure I get enough fiber, it is certainly not going to hurt me to go gluten or wheat-free, ESPECIALLY if it helps with my symptoms. Wishing the best for you all!

  40. corinne November 26, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    My daughter has been tested 3 times for gluten issues and the doctor says everything was normal , we did not do a biopsy ( dr . didnt want to ) So I with the help of a friend whos daughter was already gluten free , I took her off all gluten and all her headaches , stomach issues are gone , how can this happen when everything was negative /

  41. Pat December 1, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    I was diagnosed in 2004 with intolerances of Gluton Glyadin, diary, pork, egg, I have thyroid hashimotos desease and have recently received test results of high levels of antibodies in my blood. I take Thyroxin. I suffer with dystonis in my right hand and foot. i shake a lot and suffer panic attacks, and feel very anxious shaky most of the time. I also take Blood pressure medication which includes durectics.
    I feel awful most of the time!!
    I am sure these problems are caused by Gluton, it’s taking over my life.
    I try to stay clear of Gluton most of the time.

    I take food supplement to try and stay to stay healthy. I am due to see a doctor for the best way forward. But they do not seem to know what is happening to me. I have just been percribed with Amitriptaline?? I am 66 years. Pat

  42. Chloe Temtchine December 8, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    Hi,

    I’m wondering if Dr. Hyman has dealt with specifically with pulmonary hypertension and/or pulmonary veno occlusive disease.

    Thanks,
    Chloe

    • Avatar of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs
      In Good Health,
      Dr. Hyman’s Wellness Staff

  43. Claudia December 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    I am a 17 year old girl. For the past two and a half years I have suffered from extremely loud noises ranging from the throat to my waist. I have also had excessive gas that is usually odorless. These problems occur immediately after i eat. I have resorted to skipping lunch because that is the only way my stomach stays silent during school. I had a blood test for celiac disease in the spring and it came back negative. I have always had problems with consuming any dairy products. For the past two months I have completely eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet. It has improved my stomach issues but has not stopped the noises or gas from occurring. It has reduced the pain and I am more regular because of it. Has anyone suffered from something similar to this? Any help would be appreciated

    Thanks!

    • Avatar of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs
      In Good Health,
      Dr. Hyman’s Wellness Staff

  44. Angela December 23, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    I have hypothyroidism.I read that gluten triggers my body to attack my thyroid, so I went gluten free. I felt better my headaches went away and I was less bloated. Then I got a refill of the same medication Synthroid (first one made by Abbot and second Abbvie) and all of a sudden my feet felt like walking on glass and my hands are stiff, inflamed and I feel like I am a hundred and five. I went back to my doctor he took blood work for my thyroid and for inflammatories. Test came back normal. When I stop taking my medication the pain goes away. My doctor has prescribed me the generic and so far it hasn’t helped all that much. Has anyone have this problem and if so could you please tell me how you solved it… Thank you

  45. Judy Warr December 26, 2013 at 9:24 pm #

    I, too, found out about gluten through my own research. I have had to be extremely careful for the last two years. This last spring I found myself eating way too many fudge bars and started having symptoms of being glutened. I went over the ingredients of the foods I had been eating (none contained gluten) and came across an ingredient I knew nothing about called carrageenan. I stopped eating the fudgecycles and the pain and symptoms ceased. Here is some information I found about carrageenan.

    Carrageenan is a food additive that is extracted from red seaweed. It is used as a thickener and emulsifier and is found in dairy products, processed meat, soymilk, toothpaste, and ready to feed infant formulas. I first came across it on an ingredient list early in on my gluten free (and food label reading) life. Once I learned that it is gluten free and “natural,” I assumed it was safe for me to eat as a celiac. However, a few months ago I began developing GI upset every time I ingested it, and I cut it totally out of my diet. Based on what I have now learned, I am glad that carrageenan is out of my life and kitchen.

    There is a great deal of information about carrageenan on the web. Hope this helps somebody. My doctors had never heard of it!

    • Sharon June 25, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

      Judy, I quickly learned that despite being completely gluten free I was experiencing GI and neuromuscular, joint and other gluten-like symptoms due to carrageenan. I also reacted to brown kombu seaweed in a can if beans. Last year I started to become ill and realized some GF products were adding algin/alginates/alginic acid derived from brown seaweeds. So long as I stay gluten, MSG and seaweed free I feel great. So be careful as even OTC and prescription drugs are using these seaweed-based emulsifiers under a variety of names.

  46. Alyce December 27, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    3 weeks ago I started the FODMAP diet in which most gluten and milk products are eliminated. (spelt bread is ok). I have had the blood test for celiac and was negative, and I have some first cousins who are celiac. I can go 5 days feeling great, and then suddenly have terrible stomach pain, and I’ve come to the point that I am not sure if it is food related. Yesterday I took Metamucil (psyllium) to hello constipation and my stomach pain became much worse extending to my back. I am otherwise a very fit, healthy woman. Could the psyllium have exacerbated something? Thank you

    • Avatar of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman December 27, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.
      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs
      In Good Health,
      Dr. Hyman’s Wellness Staff

  47. Judy December 31, 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    Could the reason gluten problems are so prevalent today be the bio-engineered corn that they would not let in the food chain some years ago. What did they do with all that corn then? How many other grains are they now bio-engineering that are not organic? How will we ever know what effects bio engineering has on our food supply. Once they are put into the crop chain, how can they be segregated or removed? More questions than answers!!

    Dr. Hyman — thanks for your articles. I wish I could find a functional doc near me. We really appreciate all your help.

    Judy

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  49. Gluten Free Society May 14, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

    Graham cracker crumbs can be gluten-free, so check the label to be sure you’re buying one of these varieties.
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    • Avatar of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman June 29, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

      Thank you so much for your support and kind words!

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