In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
Am J Gastroenterol 2000;95:2154-2156,2285-2295.
Celiac.com 10/14/2000 - According to new research done by Dr. Andrew J. Wakefield, of the Royal Free and University College Medical School, in London (published in the September issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology) children with developmental disorders seem to be at risk of developing a unique type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This newly discovered type lacks the typical features seen in Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.
The researchers studied 60 children with developmental disorders (50 had autism, five had Aspergers syndrome, two had disintegrative disorder, one had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, one had schizophrenia and one had dyslexia.) whose ages ranged from 3 to 16 years old to compare the clinical and histologic features against 37 developmentally normal controls who underwent evaluation for possible IBD.
According to Dr. Wakefield and colleagues The combination of ileocolonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia and colitis in children with developmental disorders distinguished them from developmentally normal children with similar symptoms (including abdominal pain and constipation) in whom lymphoid nodular hyperplasia and histopathological change were uncommon. They emphasize that their finding are consistent with those of other recent case studies, and that in their study inflammatory changes were detected in the upper gastrointestinal tract that were unique in children with autism and IBD, compared with developmentally normal children with IBD.
Further, there is accumulating evidence of a specific type of enterocolitis in autism that makes it tempting to suggest that a gut-brain interaction is involved in the pathogenesis of what many researchers are now calling autistic enterocolitis. The detection of opioid peptides of dietary origin in the urine of some of the affected children further supports this theory. The team emphasizes that further studies and more evidence is needed to establish a direct link between an inflamed gut and the brain in those with autism.