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  • Dr. Rodney Ford M.D.

    Is Gluten Bad for Us All?

    Dr. Rodney Ford M.D.
    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Summer 2017 Issue

    Celiac.com 07/27/2017 - It was five years ago when I launched the concept of "gluten is bad for us all!"
    Yes, you read that right - bad for you, bad for me, and bad for everyone else! This implies that the whole world should avoid gluten.

    This is a bold and an unrealistic statement to make. However, I thought that there was enough evidence about the harm of gluten for us to demand massive changes to everyone's diet, our farming practices and food manufacturing industry. Eventually, this could substantially improve the health of our Nations. However the practicalities of such a change would be very difficult overcome. Especially with the economic forces of Big-Pharma, Big-Agriculture and Big-Government.

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    I was not alone in thinking this. Many other medical/health professionals had also reached this conclusion with the growing research evidence of gluten-related diseases. Five years ago the top 15 celiac-doctors acknowledged that gluten-related-illness was a common problem that needed much better diagnostic tests. In their landmark paper "Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification." http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/13, they concluded: "all individuals, even those with a low degree of risk, are susceptible to some form of gluten reaction during their life span."

    This publication was later expanded into a book. The description of this book is: "A Clinical Guide to Gluten-Related Disorders provides primary health care providers the succinct material they need to immediately evaluate and support their patients. Gluten-related disorders have a wide presentation, and this text covers the recognition, evaluation, and multi-disciplinary approach to the management of disease. Readers will benefit from the general overview of gluten intolerance and from the common sense approach to developing treatment and dietary plans. Clinical vignettes offer clinicians real-life scenarios to help put the disease and its treatment in context for their patients."

    I predicted, that in another generation, gluten will be rejected by most reputable food processing companies. This will be a difficult concept for many people to accept because wheat products are currently the very foundation of our diet. After 10,000 years of eating gluten grains it comes as a huge shock that our staple food has been demonstrated as harmful.

    Over the last five years I continue to see children and families made very unwell by eating gluten grains. It is also likely that that gluten may not be the sole culprit, as there are other wheat proteins that are toxic to humans. However, a gluten-free diet will eliminate these other wheat proteins.

    I have just seen Caleb who is 10 years old and was referred to me three months ago because of generalised intermittent abdominal pains. These pains come and go, but trouble him on most days of the week. These pains sometimes Bring him to tears, and on occasions he has presented to the emergency department at the hospital with severe abdominal pain. The usual investigations did not show up any specific abnormality, and his scans and x-rays for all within normal limits, other than showing that he had some constipation.

    He had also been suffering from sore throats and gastric reflux has been implicated, for which he was prescribed Omeprazole.

    In addition, he was not putting on much weight.

    My concluding remarks about him were "It is possible he is gluten intolerant. This could explain all of his symptoms (abdominal pain, constipation, gastric reflux, and tiredness). His mother has irritable bowel and has previously benefited from a gluten-free diet. I recommend that Caleb go on a three month trial of a gluten-free diet. His parents will let me know of his progress in three months time."

    Well, I've just seen him again following his three-month gluten-free trial. Mum said "what a difference! He now has regular bowel motions without the need for Macrogol, he no longer has abdominal pain and his reflux has disappeared and he is no longer needing Omeprazole. In addition he is growing again. With gluten infringements he gets a sore tummy, sore throat with some reflux and constipation again."

    It has taken Caleb a while to get into the swing of things. He still will eat gluten foods if he has the opportunity! He has to pay the consequences with his symptoms. He is also growing again. I am thrilled with his progress. He needs to stay gluten-free for the long haul. He needs to be as close to gluten zero as possible. He is lucky that both of his parents have joined him on his gluten-free diet. His mother is a lot better and has lost substantial weight, his dad also feels a lot more healthy on a gluten-free diet.

    Caleb is just one of millions of children who are currently suffering from guilty related diseases, but un-diagnosed and un-recognized.

    Yes, it was five years ago when I launched the concept of "gluten is bad for us all!" I have not change my opinion. Indeed, I am more confident about what I have written about the harm that gluten has caused throughout the world. I looked the 8 following questions. I wonder what your opinion might be:

    1. Why pick on Gluten?
    10 decades of Celiac; 10 years of Gluten Syndrome; 10 months of ZERO gluten.

    2. Why is gluten so bad for us all?
    Cannot digest it; gut leaky; toxic proteins.

    3. Why are there so many sick people?
    "Nobody knows what's wrong with me." Old technology for modern disease.

    4. How much illness can be attributed to gluten?
    The catalogue of gluten-illness. Health burden of gluten.

    5. Can gluten really damaged brains and nerves and minds?
    Brain symptoms, nerve damage, mental disorders.

    6. What other illnesses might be linked to gluten?
    Auto-immune diseases.

    7. Should we really change what we eat?
    Diet - not Drugs. The alternative grains. Health-giving foods.

    8. How can we feed 7 billion people
    Is bad food better than no food?

    Dr Ford's book is available as an e-book:
    Gluten: ZERO Global (http://www.glutenZEROglobal.com)
    Gluten is bad for us all – the evidence for a gluten free planet.
    Warning: go gluten free now before it is too late.

    Written in the spirit of cooperation and knowledge sharing.


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    Yes, I have celiac, but Kochs Postulate should be an important part of Medicine. If Gluten does not cause problems in 97% (ok, let's assume 95% to be safe) of the population, it is irresponsible to discard the majority of protein available to the world. Sure, I want more options, but not to the point of telling people that the "gluten goblins" are out to rip their bellies apart!rnMake gluten free available to those that need it! Don't start spreading over-generalizations that are misleading to make the majority fit your sphere of convenience!

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    Devastated by celiac disease and associated food toxicity. 2009 was the year when the public first heart about the gluten protein. Celiac disease and associated food toxicity. Some estimates place gluten sensitivity rates at 30% of the US population is gluten sensitive. A gastroenterologist publicized the relationship between celiac and its cross-mediators/cross-reactors: yeast, dairy, egg and coffee. Corn is one of the most commonly hybridized foods. It can be found in free-flowing agents, and cellulose. Corn has been added to my gluten cross-reactor list as it causes abdominal pain. Additional to the cross-reactors, symptomology occurs with: preservatives and artificial flavoring. Through trial and error, I discovered other foodstuffs that create a toxic effect: flower and seed oils. Research of the oil extraction process revealed that extreme heat and chemicals creates toxins. This too contributed to the chronic GI effect that furthered malnutrition. Corn is one of the most commonly hybridized foods. It can be found in free-flowing agents, and cellulose. Corn has been added to my gluten cross-reactor list as it causes an assortment of GI reactions. Modern wheat is an assault on the health of many thousands of people. 1. Celiac enteritis 2. Celiac encephalopathy 3. Celiac steatorrhea 4. Gluten-sensitive enteropathy 5. Celiac related dermatitis hepetiformis and 6. Gluten ataxia are a few of the modern wheat era diseases captured by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) Most of the above disease listing are NEW disease occurrences that have been added to the disease reporting statistics. Long term and repeated exposures resulted in malnutrition and neurological disturbances to the point of Near Death by Gluten. Hybridization of wheat has occurred since the 1950's. Chemical analysis revealed the gluten ratio has increased by 17 times since 1960. Six slices of today's wheat bread have the gluten equivalent of 102 slices of the 1960's version. There is no reversal of this disease. A study form the American Cancer Society analyzed cancer incidence by birth year. It was found that colo-rectal cancer rates, which had dropped steadily for people born between 1890 and 1950, have been increasing for every generation born since 1950. The experts do not know why. I believe I know why.

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    I only wish that the article was longer.

    Good article. I am celiac and very very sensitive. It is hard to convince my family to get tested for gluten intolerance. My baby sister "doesn't want to have to deal with the dietary issues" that I deal with. I am 66 years old and was diagnosed in 1997. One correct in the article: Do you mean "gluten" rather than "gulity" in the following quote from the article? "Caleb is just one of millions of children who are currently suffering from guilty related diseases, but un-diagnosed and un-recognized."

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    I have a question on going gluten free, I read a lot about how in the last 10 - 20 years that a lot of people have gluten related diseases and that gluten is the cause. My question is, is it the actual gluten or the way it is processed and genetically modified? If you go back 50 years you don't hear to much about a lot of these diseases that are here now. So in essence are you saying also that the whole grains that are not genetically modified or processed are bad for you also because of the gluten factor? I feel that there is information that is not being talked about in a lot of these articles. Please clarify.

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  • About Me

    Dr. Rodney Ford is a Pediatric Gastroenterologist. He was Professor of Pediatrics at the Christchurch School of Medicine. He runs the Children's Gastroenterology and Allergy Clinic in New Zealand. He has written a series of 7 books on gluten (www.DrRodneyFord.com). His main theory is that symptoms from gluten reactions arise from brain and nerve damage. His latest book is "The Gluten Syndrome" which encapsulates current ideas and concepts of gluten and the harm that it does.

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