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  • Dr. Stephanie Chaney, DC
    Dr. Stephanie Chaney, DC

    Is Gluten the Next Billion Dollar Hoax? The Evidence Is In...

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Autumn 2013 Issue

    Caption: Image: CC--401(K) 2012

    Celiac.com 01/31/2017 - In my practice, I have had the pleasure and honor of helping hundreds of people reverse their diabetes and put their autoimmune diseases into remission. One of the many things that we test for is gluten reactivity. The research, much of which has been cited in our book on gluten, Lose the Gluten, Lose your Gut. Ditch the Grain, Save your Brain, clearly demonstrates the connection between gluten reactivity and most autoimmune diseases, including but not limited to: Hashimoto's thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. I intentionally didn't mention celiac disease, because, although it is very well established and accepted that gluten triggers celiac disease, what most don't realize is that those with celiac disease represent only a small percentage of people with autoimmunity that are impacted by gluten reactivity.

    What's alarming and disappointing to me is how many doctors 'pooh pooh' the concept of gluten reactivity, especially among their chronically ill patients. Because of this disconnect, patients continue to suffer needlessly with chronic diseases that, with the removal of gluten from the diet, would in many cases, clear up or go into remission. Hundreds of my patients tell me that when they told their health practitioner they had eliminated gluten from their diet, the health care worker didn't believe gluten would make a difference, or that since they didn't have celiac disease, eliminating gluten wouldn't help them. All this was said in the face of autoimmune diseases going into remission, or diabetes reversing right before their eyes, following the elimination of gluten from their diet.

    The issue is that many health care practitioners are just not keeping current with the research. As such, they are inadvertently preventing their patients from truly getting healthy. The additional travesty with this is that so many people look to their health care practitioners as 'experts'. When these providers, who are not 'experts' in a particular subject, (in fact, many are completely ignorant of how dietary changes and supplement therapy can help people thrive) advise a patient against something that the research shows would likely help them, it becomes an issue of negligence and, quite frankly, laziness.

    One patient in particular comes to mind when I think of this disconnect. I had the pleasure of working with a retired nurse who, in her seventies, had come to me with several medical issues. For purposes of this article, I will refer to her as Mary. Mary suffered with hypothyroidism, which we quickly discovered through additional testing, was caused by an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Interestingly, it is estimated that roughly 90% of the 26 million people in the U.S. that have hypothyroidism actually have Hashimoto's. This is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. The research, and our clinical experience, has demonstrated that gluten will cause your immune system to flare-up and attack the thyroid.

    In addition to Hashimoto's, Mary also suffered with cardiac arrhythmia and she had a history of blood clots and strokes. She also had a long-standing issue with another autoimmune disease, called pleva, whereby her skin would rash up, itch and scab. Mary was very overweight, and exhausted all of the time. Mary had a full functional work-up in our office and she was confirmed, with testing, to be very gluten-reactive. After working with her for several months, with one very important instruction to go completely gluten-free, she easily lost over 40 lbs (with no additional exercise), her energy increased to the point where she stated she hadn't felt that good in decades, and her arrhythmia and pleva cleared up completely. Her cardiologist was ecstatic and her general practitioner told her to keep up whatever she was doing because she was so healthy now.

    I hadn't seen Mary for almost 6 months when she emailed me one day to update me on something that had happened with her. She went to a food class taught by a vegan. At the class the guests were told very directly that eating gluten-free was a 'billion dollar hoax' and that eating gluten-free could be dangerous and bad for your health. Mary, even after all of her success, in part from going gluten-free, was suddenly doubtful of her diet. She tested it, and for 3 days brought back gluten-containing foods. She told me she reacted very badly and felt horrible. For Mary, the point was driven home that gluten-reactivity was a very real issue regarding her health. The difference in how she felt was like night and day. Lucky for her, she observed this first hand and immediately went back on her gluten-free diet before her skin disease and arrhythmia flared-up.

    Whether one is a doctor, a nutritionist, or a regular Joe, making statements about any subject without having researched that subject in earnest, is unethical, and may even be harmful. We have done the research and have seen first-hand, with thousands of patients reversing everything from psoriasis to diabetes, that eating gluten-free, while very 'trendy' right now, is a trend that is solidly backed up by the evidence.

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    I am a board certified pediatrician, age 65, who first heard about gluten sensitivity being the possible cause of fibromyalgia, autoimmune disease, etc. at a Valley Children's Hospital CME lecture given by Dr. Marvin Ament, the "godfather" of pediatric gastroenterology. He also noted which ethnic groups were most likely to carry the celiac genes, ironically, mostly Europeans. I had already tested negative for celiac disease by the standard blood tests, so asked my family practitioner, a DO (few ABIM physicians care to help women with fibromyalgia), to test me for the two celiac genes Dr. Ament mentioned. Both genes were positive, and I began on a strict gluten free diet. At the same time I also began a multi-organism probiotic and took a week's worth of nystatin to clear my intestines of Candida. (The nystatin was originally prescribed by my DO rheumatologist in 2011, as his research had shown that FMS was associated with intestinal Candida overgrowth.) After about six weeks, my GERD completely disappeared and the FMS pain that had not already been reduced by normalizing my low levels of Vitamin D3 and B12 has almost completely disappeared. My so-called-by-the-internists Irritable Bowel Syndrome only returns when I forget to take my probiotic for a while or am low on magnesium. A gluten challenge resulted in severe diarrhea for 48 hours. Steve did not read the same article I did, because the author never said that the teacher of the vegan diet class was a doctor. The teacher probably was a government-certified nutritionist. Nutritionists who are not PhDs are not scientists, but merely regurgitate back to the patient whatever the USDA, FDA, and other government agencies tell them to say. They are not accountable for their results as long as they keep within the government's "fake science" dogmas, which are based on bureaucrats' consensus reports, not real science. Their most egregious "crime against humanity" was the "food pyramid" promoted by "expert" nutritionists in the USDA which has probably caused millions of cases of diabetes and obesity in children and adults on government assistance. Their "My Plate" is no more scientific than the Paleo Diet, the latter probably being more healthy for those of us with Ice Age hunter ancestors. The secularists bigoted refusal to acknowledge the longevity of Orthodox Christians by referring to the Orthodox dietary rule as the "Mediterranean Diet" is also testimony to the lack of open-mindedness required for true scientific reasoning. To my knowledge their has never been a study comparing outcomes and potentially harmful treatments by chiropractors and traditional medical school graduates. Most of the chiropractic profession's bad reputation comes from scams caused by insurance fraud and would be eliminated by replacement of phony "healthcare insurance" with savings accounts, cash and charity. Current "allopathic" physicians push many dangerous drugs, such as the statins and the proton pump inhibitors that cause much more harm than any chiropractor ever did. Today's medical schools all survived lawyer Flexner's unscientific report of 1914, pushed by the Order of the Skull and Bones and other promoters of pseudoscience that pushed the Progressive, humanist agenda a century ago. The Flexner Report's acceptance by state governments resulted in the closure of fifty percent of American medical schools, including most of those accepting Blacks and women. The academics of the remaining American medical schools publish journals that rarely publish anything that threatens their religious dogma. So one has to go outside of the U.S. to find out about fibromyalgia or the dangers of aluminum and DNA debris in vaccines. Like in the case of the Cystic Fibrosis Association, only private money, not government or establishment medicine, will lead to the eradication of the suffering and disease caused by gluten sensitivity in certain ethnic populations.

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  • About Me

    Dr. Stephanie Chaney, DC has been practicing Chiropractic since 2001 in Annapolis Maryland. Her clinic, Living Health Integrative Medicine specializes in Chiropractic Care and Functional Medicine. Dr. Chaney currently focuses on Functional Medicine which is helping patients with various health challenges and reversing conditions naturally with nutrition and supplement therapy. Interested in learning more, please visit Living Health Integrative Medicine at mylivinghealth.com

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