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Wall Street Journal Article Re Reflux

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 02:33 PM

Today's Wall Street Journal (Oct 10, 2005) has a featured article in the health section addressing heartburn, reflux, etc titiled:

The Hidden Dangers of Heartburn

How a common health problem is quietly becoming an unsuspected killer
October 10, 2005; Page R1

Since the article is officially accessible only by paid subscription which I have, I would like to mention a few of its highlights. This is too good an example of a missed opportunity to save a few (maybe many) people from a health problem that often responses to the gluten-free diet.

The article mentions an estimated 100 million Americans suffer from heartburn. It goes to on to discuss the growing uneasiness in the med community about the dangers of heartburn. Heartburn's links to other diseases are mentioned; however there is no mention of gluten sensitivity being a link. The article discusses the potential dangers of taking medicines for the relief of heartburn. The article discusses some possible cures, including surgery, but again no mention of gluten.

Hopefully you all can get a sense of the magnitude of missed opportunity. Nary a mention of gluten!! If you are interested, take a look at the full article in today's paper - it was quite long. I emailed the Health Editor (Write to Tara Parker-Pope at healthjournal@wsj.com ) to politely point out that reflux is a fairly common symptom of gluten sensitivity easily corrected by the gluten-free diet. Maybe if enough other people read the article and emailed as well, it might help to raise her awareness of the dangers of gluten and of the gluten-free diet as a valid and useful cure. Just a thought...

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 04:46 PM

Excuse my playing devil's advocate here, but is heartburn really THAT closely connected to gluten that it would be mentioned in such an article? :ph34r:
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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:04 PM

Excuse my playing devil's advocate here, but is heartburn really THAT closely connected to gluten that it would be mentioned in such an article? :ph34r:


Try a search for "reflux" (which is synomous with heartburn in the WSJ article) in the Predx,Testing & Symptoms forum. I did and found about 147 hits, many of them reporting decreased reflux symptoms after going gluten-free.

Reflux is also frequently listed as a possible symptom for gluten sensitivity including celiac disease e.g. Dr Fine, Enterolab; DAVID A. NELSEN, JR., M.D., M.S., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Braly & Hoggan in "Dangerous Grains".

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:32 PM

I agree with George.

The connection between most gastrointestinal diseases and gluten is not a secret known only to celiacs. It is commonly found in the literature - both medical and non-medical. Most doctos don't read either so it would help if writers, who have such an opportunity to educate, would do so. Claire
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Posted 10 October 2005 - 08:56 PM

Gotta 'third' that one...

I, too, was diagnosed 'with reflux,' but have none, zilch, ZERO now, 9 1/2 months after going gluten-free ...

One of my younger brothers also was diagnosed 'with reflux,' and is getting tested next month, after i told him it is one of the symptoms of celiac disease. Now, if I can only get my four other siblings to get tested for celiac disease...especially my older, very thin bro who is addicted to Tums (which, of course, contain gluten!)...
But, as my mother says, Gary doesn't like anyone to ask him about his health...guess he has some sad symptoms he hides away...

Maybe all of my MANY forwarded e-mails to my 2 sisters and 3 brothers about celiac disease and the plethora of symptoms, or even the absence of symptoms, and the 15% concordance rate in siblings of diagnosed Celiacs will help motivate him (and my 3 other sibs) to get tested, too!

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"Get busy living
or get busy dying."

From: The Shawshank Redemption
gluten-free since Jan 1 '05
Positive response to diet within days, felt 'alive again' within 2 weeks

Feb 22 '05:
Diagnosed "Celiac Sprue, and IBS" by a GI doc, Dr. David Lin of Danville, CA
via blood testing 53 days after I began the gluten-free diet on my own:
Test results at 53 days POST going gluten-free were:

Gliadin AB IgA = 29.9
Since 30+ = positive for Celiac Disease when ingesting gluten, my doc
diagnosed me with Celiac Sprue then and there.

Gliadin AB IgG was 5.6 at that point
Endoscopy with biopsies, AND colonoscopy with biopsies were done,
only to rule out other possible GI problems (especially intestinal
lymphoma) - My doctor told me the results indicated "no current damage
found" - and that as long as I stay gluten-free, I don't need another
biopsy for ten years.

Follow-up blood testing was done about one year later, by the same
Gastro doc, in Nov '05:
Gliadin AB IgA =26, Gliadin AB IgG <1

Blood testing done again by him, 5 months later (March '06)
He then told me my tests results were back to normal, and "Keep up the
good work! You can't argue with success!" :-)

I now see him one time per year for routine testing to make sure I am
staying gluten-free.
I was also diagnosed as positive for antibodies and autoimmune
response to gliadin by Enterolab, via stool specimen taken 56 days

and I have one of the two genes that 'cause' Celiac Disease:

"HLA-DQ8," via Enterolabs cheek cell test kit
I began a COMPLETE 'Gluten-free Casein-free' diet in Nov '05, due to:
"positive" for casein antibodies from Enterolab (in Feb '05)
"positive" for casein IgG (Elisa) via York Labs' finger-prick blood
test, Sept '05
and continued 'stomach pains,' although nothing compared to before
going gluten-free....

UPDATE: ALL remaining symptoms disappeared within weeks of going gluten-free&CF!

My PAST illnesses I believe are attributable to Untreated Celiac Disease:

Recurrent ear and throat infections in childhood
Frequent childhood stomach aches, underweight, picky eater
Tooth enamel problems/excessive cavities in childhood
Diagnosed in 20's with non-allergic rhinitis
Two spontaneous abortions (childless)
IBS diagnosis at age 28 (all better post going gluten-free and casein-free)
["Horrible" digestive problems from ages 32-47 - excess gas,
diarrhea gone post gluten-free!]
Reflux diagnosis at age 35 ('reflux' gone post gluten-free)
ADHD diagnosis at age 38 and at age 48 (not as bad with Gluten-free Casein-free diet)
Broke elbow in 2 places, age 39
Osteopenia diagnosed at age 44 (bone scan revealed thinning of spine -
taking Calcium and Vit D now)
Fibromyalgia diagnosis at age 40 (fatigue and pain all gone post gluten-free!)
Minor depression with anxiety diagnosed at age 42 (taking Paxil)
Skin cancer - squamous at age 43 and pre-melanoma at age 45
Adult acne (this, too, went away, but only after going dairy-free)
Topical dermatitis (so bad I needed steroid shots) diagnosed at age 46
(That's gone now, too!)
Excessive bruising of skin began at age 45:
I was told by derm doc AND family physician "That's just thin, aging
skin, nothing you can do about that" (GUESS WHAT?! ...NO unusual
bruising POST going gluten-free! I can now wear skirts and shorts

SO many years of being sick...
Hopefully, others will benefit from Science, and the increasing media
attention being given to Celiac Disease and gluten-based illnesses,
and will not have to go through what I, and others on here, have had
to go through.

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