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    Man Begs for Surgery to Fix 'Airbag Skin' After Gluten-free Diet


    Jefferson Adams


    • Man seeks help with surgery after massive gluten-free weight loss.


    Image Caption: A man is seeking surgery for baggy skin after gluten-free diet. Photo: CC--Automobile Italia

    Celiac.com 06/24/2017 - A long-time pasta lover with celiac disease is desperately fundraising for surgery after losing half his body weight on a gluten-free diet.


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    Years of eating lots of pasta and high calorie meals had left Christopher DeLorenzo weighing over 400 pounds. "My grandparents were Italian so I grew up eating lots of pasta…all I would do was eat, eat, eat always pasta and pizza, my stomach was like an endless pit," said the Phillipsburg, New Jersey, native.

    DeLorenzo's battle with portions and weight began early. At just 12 years old, he already tipped the scales at 250 pounds. His struggles with food led to years of dieting, and numerous attempts to lose weight.

    "My digestive system was terrible before weight loss surgery. I was forever complaining to doctors that there was something wrong but I was told that I was eating too much," says DeLorenzo.

    DeLorenzo found some improvement with weight loss surgery, but it wasn't until he was diagnosed with celiac disease and gave up gluten that he saw his health return. "Now I believe I can attribute a lot of the problems I was having to my body reacting badly to gluten."

    Still, the experience has left DeLorenzo with a mass of excess skin that looks, he says, like a 'deflated airbag.'

    He is currently seeking donations to fund surgery to remove the excess skin.

    Read more at Entertainmentdaily.co.uk

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He has covered Health News for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com. His work has appeared in Antioch Review, Blue Mesa Review, CALIBAN, Hayden's Ferry Review, Huffington Post, the Mississippi Review, and Slate, among others.

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  • Related Articles

    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
    This article appeared in the Spring 2006 edition of Celiac.coms Scott-Free Newsletter.
    Celiac.com 07/10/2006 - Increased consumption of gluten, according to Dr. Michael Marsh, raises the risk of celiac disease symptoms1. Although these symptoms may not indicate celiac disease, they reflect some biological realities. Grain-based foods simply do not offer the nutrients necessary to human health and they damage the human body. USDA and Canada Food Guides notwithstanding, if people eat grain-laden diets, they may develop symptoms of celiac disease (but in most cases, without the diagnostic intestinal lesion). The connection between eating disorders and celiac disease is well known and well documented2,3,4,5. Thus, the dynamics at work in celiac disease may offer insight into the broader realm of obesity, especially among those who are eating the recommended, daily quantities of grain-derived foods, while attempting to keep their weight down by eating low-fat foods.
    The primary, defining characteristic of celiac disease is gluten induced damage to the villi in the intestinal lining. Since malabsorption of vitamins and minerals are well known in the context of celiac disease, it should not be surprising that some celiac patients also demonstrate pica (Pica is an ailment characterized by eating dirt, paint, wood, and other non-food substances). Other celiac patients eat excessive quantities of food, coupled with a concurrent failure to gain weight. Yet another, perhaps larger, group of celiac patients refuse to eat (One may wonder if the latter find that eating makes them feel sick so they avoid it).
    Perhaps the most neglected group is that large portion of untreated celiac patients who are obese. Dr. Dickey found that obesity is more common than being underweight among those with untreated celiac disease6. When I ran a Medline search under the terms "obesity" and "celiac disease" 75 citations appeared. A repeated theme in the abstracts and titles was that celiac disease is usually overlooked among obese patients. While obesity in celiac disease may be common, diagnosis appears to be uncommon. Given the facts, I certainly believe that some of the North American epidemic of obesity can be explained by undiagnosed celiac disease. However, that is only a small part of the obesity puzzle, and I suspect that celiac disease may offer a pattern for understanding much of the obesity that is sweeping this continent.
    One example, a woman diagnosed by Dr. Joe Murray when he was at the University of Iowa, weighed 388 pounds at diagnosis7. Dr. Murray explained her situation as an over-compensation for her intestinal malabsorption. I want to suggest a two faceted, alternative explanation which may extend to a large and growing segment of the overweight and obese among the general population. As mentioned earlier, anyone consuming enough gluten will demonstrate some symptoms of celiac disease. If large scale gluten consumption damages the intestinal villi—but to a lesser degree than is usually required to diagnose celiac disease—fat absorption will be compromised. Deficiencies in essential fatty acids are a likely consequence.
    The natural response to such deficiencies is to crave food despite having absorbed sufficient calories. Even when caloric intake is huge, and excess calories must be stored as body fat, the need to eat continues to be driven by the bodys craving for essential fats. Due to gluten-induced interference with fat absorption, consumption of escalating quantities of food may be necessary for adequate essential fatty acid absorption. To further compound the problem, pancreatic glucagon production will be reduced, compromising the ability of the individual to burn these stored fats, while the cells continue to demand essential fats.
    Poor medical advice also contributes to the problem. The mantra of reduced fat continues to echo in the offices of health professionals despite a growing body of converse research findings. In February of this year, the results of a powerful, eight year study of almost 49,000 women showed little difference between the health of women consuming low fat diets when compared to those consuming normal diets8. Alarmingly, this low fat diet seems to have resulted in weight gain, a well recognized risk factor for a variety of diseases.
    For some of us, this result was predictable. The likely result of a low-fat diet is an increased intake of carbohydrates while food cravings are fuelled by a deficiency of essential fatty acids. If my sense of the underlying problem (caloric excess combined with essential fatty acid deficiency due to fat malabsorption at the microvilli) is accurate, then a low fat diet is exactly the wrong prescription. Many obese persons are condemned, by such poor medical advice, to a life of ever deepening depression, autoimmune diseases, and increasing obesity.
    At the end of the day, when these folks drop dead from heart attacks, strokes, or some similar disaster, the self-righteous bystanders will just know that the problem was a lack of willpower.
    I watched my mom steadily gain weight for 35 years. I watched her exercise more will power beyond the capacity of most folks. Still, she could not resist her compulsive eating. I have seen her take something from the freezer and chew on it while agreeing that she had just eaten a very large meal and should feel full.
    In December of 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease. According to the published experts in this area, my mom should also have been invited for testing. Yet, when asked for testing, her doctor refused her. Through persistence, and a pervasive faith in her son, mom finally (after months of negotiation) swayed her doctor to do the anti-gliadin antibody blood test. Despite the fact that she had been on a reduced gluten diet for the past year, her antibody levels were elevated.
    She never sought a biopsy diagnosis, and the EMA and tTG were not available here in Canada at that time. However, she has been gluten-free for the past seven years or so. She dropped a considerable amount of weight.
    Her weakness was never will power. She was battling an instinct so basic that few of us could have resisted. That, I think, is the story behind much of North American obesity. The widespread, excessive consumption of gluten at every meal, in addition to the low-fat religion that has been promulgated throughout the land, is resulting in intestinal damage and a widespread deficiency in essential fats is among North Americans.

    Ron Hoggan is an author, teacher and diagnosed celiac who lives in Canada. His book "Dangerous Grains" can be ordered at www.celiac.com. Rons Web page is: www.DangerousGrains.com
    References:
    Marsh, Michael N. Personal communication. 2002. Ferrara, et. al. "Celiac disease and anorexia nervosa" New York State Journal of Medicine 1966; 66(8): 1000-1005. Gent & Creamer "Faecal fats, appetite, and weight loss in the celiac syndrome" Lancet 1968; 1(551): 1063-1064. Wright, et. al. "Organic diseases mimicking atypical eating disorders" Clinical Pediatrics 1990; 29(6): 325-328. Grenet, et. al. "Anorexic forms of celiac syndromes" Annales de Pediatrie 1972; 19(6): 491-497. Dickey W, Bodkin S. Prospective study of body mass index in patients with coeliac disease. BMJ. 1998 Nov 7;317(7168):1290. Murray, J. Canadian Celiac Association National Conference. 1999. Howard BV, Van Horn L, Hsia J, et. al. Low-fat dietary pattern and risk of cardiovascular disease: the Womens Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial. JAMA. 2006 Feb 8;295(6):655-66.

    Destiny Stone
    Celiac.com 03/08/2010 - Celiac, a genetic autoimmune disease, has long been associated with a medical picture of patients that lookunderweight, and malnourished. However, recent studies are findingthat obesity and a high BMI (Body Mass Index) may also be prominentin celiac patients. New studies were conducted to determine BMIchanges after initiation of a gluten-free diet, and they offer cluesto the importance of eating gluten free after being diagnosed withceliac disease.
    Doctors at the Celiac Disease Center ofColumbia University studied the BMI of 369 patients proven throughbiopsy to have celiac disease, spanning from 1981 to 2007. Men andwomen were evaluated separately for the sake of this study and thetest patients were classified as “classical” meaning diarrheaprominent, or “atypical” meaning they had no diarrhea at the timeof celiac diagnosis. Atypical patients were further divided intogroups of 'anemia present' and 'no anemia present' at time ofdiagnosis. Body Mass Index was then categorized into four groupsbased on the criteria of the World Health Organization.
    The BMI of all test celiac patientswere compared to the general United States population. Using theregression model, the study found that there are obvious predictorsfor low BMI; patients classified as “classical” celiac,female, and with severe villous atrophy, were all revealed aspredictors for low BMI. These findings further exemplify that themost dramatic changes in BMI rates were in underweight females withceliac disease. Celiac females had a considerably lower mean BMIthan the general population, thereby indicating an importantassociation between females with celiac disease and low BMI. In fact,celiac females that tested with a normal or low BMI were also foundto have higher rates of critical villous atrophy than those with ahigher BMI. However, more males with celiac were found to beoverweight compared to the general population.
    After initiating a gluten free diet,most BMI changes were shown to be directly associated with an initialbaseline appearance of “classical” symptoms. While on a glutenfree diet, over 50% of the overweight and obese patients lostweight, and of the group who initially had a low BMI, 42.4% attaineda normal weight. Thereby concluding that treatment of a gluten freediet after celiac diagnosis provides advantageouschanges in BMI results. Further evidence of the importance in earlydiagnosis and prompt treatment of celiac disease.
    Of course it is critical to note that,all the patients utilized for this study were monitored closely by a care center dedicated to celiac disease, and continually followed byan experienced dietician with expert knowledge of celiac disease. And, while you may not be able to afford the kind of dietician thesepatients were provided with, it is always very important to be underthe care of a doctor or clinic dedicated to treating celiac disease,as well as to be receiving experienced dietary counseling whentransitioning to a gluten free diet.
    Source:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19779362

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/04/2013 - Morbid obesity is a common medical condition. In many cases, bariatric surgery is necessary. Although for decades celiac disease has been associated with chronic diarrhea and weight loss, and other classic symptoms, recent data shows that the clinical spectrum of celiac disease is extremely wide.
    A group of researchers recently reported on the benefits of diagnosing celiac disease during pre-operative work-up for bariatric surgery.
    The researchers included Federico Cuenca-Abente, Fabio Nachman, and Julio C. Bai of the Department of Surgery and Department of Medicine at Dr C. Bonorino Udaondo Gastroenterology Hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
    They reported on the cases of five morbidly obese patients diagnosed with celiac disease during preoperative work-up for bariatric surgery. Celiac disease was suspected upon routine upper endoscopy, and confirmed by histology and positive celiac disease-specific blood tests.
    Interestingly, four of the five patients had no obvious symptoms. One complained of chronic diarrhea and anemia. All patients began a gluten-free diet. Due to their celiac disease diagnosis, doctors offered all five patients a purely restrictive bariatric procedure. At the time of the report, three of the patients had received a sleeve gastrectomy, while the other two were still undergoing pre-operative evaluation.
    The team's findings help to enlarge the clinical spectrum of untreated celiac disease. Even though rates of celiac disease in obese patients seems to be similar to that in the general population, the team recommends that patients with morbid obesity be tested for celiac disease in order to determine the best surgical strategy and outcome.
    Source:
    Acta Gastroenterol Latinoam 2012;42:321-324

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/06/2015 - Several studies have shown that many patients with celiac disease experience changes in body weight after starting a gluten-free diet, but researchers still don't have much data on rates of metabolic syndrome in this population.
    A team of researchers recently set out to assess rates of metabolic syndrome in patients with celiac at diagnosis, and at one year after starting gluten-free diet. The research team included R. Tortora, P. Capone, G. De Stefano, N. Imperatore, N. Gerbino, S. Donetto, V. Monaco, N. Caporaso, and A. Rispo. They are affiliated with the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University Federico II of Naples, Naples, Italy, or with the Department of Education and Professional Studies, King's College London, London, UK.
    For their study, the team enrolled all consecutive patients with newly diagnosed celiac disease who were referred to their third-level celiac disease unit. For all patients the team collected data on waist circumference, BMI, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels.
    The team diagnosed metabolic syndrome according to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria for European countries. They reassessed rates of metabolic syndrome in patients after 12 months of gluten-free diet.
    The team assessed ninety-eight patients with celiac disease, two (2%) who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome at diagnosis, and 29 patients (29.5%) after 12 months of gluten-free diet (P < 0.01; OR: 20).
    After 1 year on a gluten-free diet, the team compared the patient data to baseline, with respect to metabolic syndrome sub-categories. They found 72 vs. 48 patients exceeded waist circumference cut-off (P < 0.01; OR: 2.8); 18 vs. 4 patients had high blood pressure (P < 0.01; OR: 5.2); 25 vs. 7 patients exceeded glycemic threshold (P = 0.01; OR: 4.4); 34 vs. 32 patients with celiac disease had reduced levels of HDL cholesterol (P = 0.7); and 16 vs. 7 patients had high levels of triglycerides (P = 0.05).
    The results of this study show that celiac disease patients have a high risk of developing metabolic syndrome 1 year after starting a gluten-free diet.
    To address this, the research team recommends an in-depth nutritional assessment for all patients with celiac disease.
    Source: 
    Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015;41(4):352-359.

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/21/2018 - These easy-to-make tortilla wraps make a great addition to your lunchtime menu. Simply grab your favorite gluten-free tortillas, a bit of cream cheese, some charred fresh sweet corn, creamy avocado and ripe summer tomato. Add a bit of sliced roast beef and some mayonnaise and hot sauce, and you’re in business. And it's all ready in about half an hour. If you cook the corn the night before, they can be ready in just a few minutes.
    Ingredients:
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    Christina Kantzavelos
    Celiac.com 07/20/2018 - During my Vipassana retreat, I wasn’t left with much to eat during breakfast, at least in terms of gluten free options. Even with gluten free bread, the toasters weren’t separated to prevent cross contamination. All of my other options were full of sugar (cereals, fruits), which I try to avoid, especially for breakfast. I had to come up with something that did not have sugar, was tasty, salty, and gave me some form of protein. After about four days of mixing and matching, I was finally able to come up with the strangest concoction, that may not look the prettiest, but sure tastes delicious. Actually, if you squint your eyes just enough, it tastes like buttery popcorn. I now can’t stop eating it as a snack at home, and would like to share it with others who are looking for a yummy nutritious snack. 
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/19/2018 - Maintaining a gluten-free diet can be an on-going challenge, especially when you factor in all the hidden or obscure gluten that can trip you up. In many cases, foods that are naturally gluten-free end up contain added gluten. Sometimes this can slip by us, and that when the suffering begins. To avoid suffering needlessly, be sure to keep a sharp eye on labels, and beware of added or hidden gluten, even in food labeled gluten-free.  Use Celiac.com's SAFE Gluten-Free Food List and UNSAFE Gluten-free Food List as a guide.
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/18/2018 - Despite many studies on immune development in children, there still isn’t much good data on how a mother’s diet during pregnancy and infancy influences a child’s immune development.  A team of researchers recently set out to assess whether changes in maternal or infant diet might influence the risk of allergies or autoimmune disease.
    The team included Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, Despo Ierodiakonou, Katharine Jarrold, Sergio Cunha,  Jennifer Chivinge, Zoe Robinson, Natalie Geoghegan, Alisha Ruparelia, Pooja Devani, Marialena Trivella, Jo Leonardi-Bee, and Robert J. Boyle.
    They are variously associated with the Department of Undiagnosed Celiac Disease More Common in Women and Girls International Health, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America; the Respiratory Epidemiology, Occupational Medicine and Public Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; the Section of Paediatrics, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; the Centre for Statistics in Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom; the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom; the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom; and Stanford University in the USA.
    Team members searched MEDLINE, Excerpta Medica dataBASE (EMBASE), Web of Science, Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), and Literatura Latino Americana em Ciências da Saúde (LILACS) for observational studies conducted between January 1946 and July 2013, and interventional studies conducted through December 2017, that evaluated the relationship between diet during pregnancy, lactation, or the first year of life, and future risk of allergic or autoimmune disease. 
    They then selected studies, extracted data, and assessed bias risk. They evaluated data using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE). They found 260 original studies, covering 964,143 participants, of milk feeding, including 1 intervention trial of breastfeeding promotion, and 173 original studies, covering 542,672 participants, of other maternal or infant dietary exposures, including 80 trials of 26 maternal, 32 infant, or 22 combined interventions. 
    They found a high bias risk in nearly half of the more than 250 milk feeding studies and in about one-quarter of studies of other dietary exposures. Evidence from 19 intervention trials suggests that oral supplementation with probiotics during late pregnancy and lactation may reduce risk of eczema. 44 cases per 1,000; 95% CI 20–64), and 6 trials, suggest that fish oil supplementation during pregnancy and lactation may reduce risk of allergic sensitization to egg. GRADE certainty of these findings was moderate. 
    The team found less evidence, and low GRADE certainty, for claims that breastfeeding reduces eczema risk during infancy, that longer exclusive breastfeeding is associated with reduced type 1 diabetes mellitus, and that probiotics reduce risk of infants developing allergies to cow’s milk. 
    They found no evidence that dietary exposure to other factors, including prebiotic supplements, maternal allergenic food avoidance, and vitamin, mineral, fruit, and vegetable intake, influence risk of allergic or autoimmune disease. 
    Overall, the team’s findings support a connection between the mother’s diet and risk of immune-mediated diseases in the child. Maternal probiotic and fish oil supplementation may reduce risk of eczema and allergic sensitization to food, respectively.
    Stay tuned for more on diet during pregnancy and its role in celiac disease.
    Source:
    PLoS Med. 2018 Feb; 15(2): e1002507. doi:  10.1371/journal.pmed.1002507

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 07/17/2018 - What can fat soluble vitamin levels in newly diagnosed children tell us about celiac disease? A team of researchers recently assessed fat soluble vitamin levels in children diagnosed with newly celiac disease to determine whether vitamin levels needed to be assessed routinely in these patients during diagnosis.
    The researchers evaluated the symptoms of celiac patients in a newly diagnosed pediatric group and evaluated their fat soluble vitamin levels and intestinal biopsies, and then compared their vitamin levels with those of a healthy control group.
    The research team included Yavuz Tokgöz, Semiha Terlemez and Aslıhan Karul. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, the Department of Pediatrics, and the Department of Biochemistry at Adnan Menderes University Medical Faculty in Aydın, Turkey.
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    Vitamin A and vitamin D levels for celiac patients were significantly lower than the control group. Vitamin A and vitamin D deficiencies were significantly more common compared to healthy subjects. Nearly all of the celiac patients showed vitamin D insufficiency, while nearly 62% showed vitamin D deficiency. Nearly 33% of celiac patients showed vitamin A deficiency. 
    The team saw no deficiencies in vitamin E or vitamin K1 among celiac patients. In the healthy control group, vitamin D deficiency was seen in 2 (4%) patients, vitamin D insufficiency was determined in 9 (18%) patients. The team found normal levels of all other vitamins in the healthy group.
    Children with newly diagnosed celiac disease showed significantly reduced levels of vitamin D and A. The team recommends screening of vitamin A and D levels during diagnosis of these patients.
    Source:
    BMC Pediatrics