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Hippies Weren't the Only Ones Tripping in the Sixties


New insights into celiac disease and schizophrenia

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2010 edition of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

Celiac.com 10/06/2010 - Do you know where LSD comes from? It is made from gluten grains.  In 1938 Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist, discovered LSD, having refined it from a mold that grows on grains.  However, it was not until 1943 that he discovered its psycho-active properties.  In his own words Hofmann states: “I synthesized the diethylamide of Iysergic acid with the intention of obtaining an analeptic.” The expectation of such a drug was based on its source—ergot—which grows on gluten grains and causes ergotism, also known as ergotoxicosis, ergot poisoning, holy fire, and Saint Anthony’s Fire. 

This poisonous mold has long been known to infect gluten grains.  It was to prevent the development of these molds that the Romans invented central heating systems.  They stored their grains on the lowest floor of residences and other buildings that were centrally heated and well ventilated.  Their fears of ergot were based on the powerful and bizarre symptoms that developed in people who ate grains that had become moldy with ergot.  Some afflicted individuals began to hallucinate, often becoming so mentally disturbed that they injured or killed themselves.  Others experienced loss of blood circulation to their extremities which became gangrenous.  Their digits and limbs sometimes fell off before these people died.  Some experienced a combination of these two sets of symptoms.  Animals sometimes display similar symptoms after consuming moldy grains. 

Familiar with the vaso-constricting nature of ergot, Dr. Hofmann was trying to develop a stimulant drug that, in combination with another drug refined from ergot, could be used to halt hemorrhaging following childbirth.  Hofmann experienced an accidental dosing of LSD.  Here are some of his comments from his laboratory notes:

  • Last Friday, April 16, 1943, I was forced to stop my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and to go home, as I was seized by a peculiar restlessness associated with a sensation of mild dizziness.  On arriving home, I lay down and sank into a kind of drunkenness which was not unpleasant and which was characterized by extreme activity of imagination.  As I lay in a dazed condition with my eyes closed (I experienced daylight as disagreeably bright) there surged upon me an uninterrupted stream of fantastic images of extraordinary plasticity and vividness and accompanied by an intense, kaleidoscope-like play of colors.  This condition gradually passed off after about two hours. From http://www.psychedelic-library.org/hofmann.htm.
Several days later Dr. Hofmann intentionally ingested 250 µg of LSD which he hypothesized would be a threshold dose.  Here is what he said about his second ingestion:
  • April 19, 1943: Preparation of an 0.5% aqueous solution of d-lysergic acid diethylamide tartrate.
  • 4:20 P.M.: 0.5 cc (0.25 mg LSD) ingested orally.  The solution is tasteless.
  • 4:50 P.M.: no trace of any effect. 
  • 5:00 P.M.: slight dizziness, unrest, difficulty in concentration, visual disturbances, marked desire to laugh...
  • At this point the laboratory notes are discontinued: The last words were written only with great difficulty.  I asked my laboratory assistant to accompany me home as I believed that I should have a repetition of the disturbance of the previous Friday.  While we were cycling home, however, it became clear that the symptoms were much stronger than the first time.  I had great difficulty in speaking coherently, my field of vision swayed before me, and objects appeared distorted like images in curved mirrors.  I had the impression of being unable to move from the spot, although my assistant told me afterwards that we had cycled at a good pace.  http://www.psychedelic-library.org/hofmann.htm
The difficulty Hofmann experienced with speaking coherently is reminiscent of a 1988 case report from Massachusetts General Hospital in which a patient was admitted for investigation of bowel complaints.  While in the hospital he became unable to speak coherently.  Eventually diagnosed with celiac disease, he was placed on a gluten free diet.  After several months on the diet, his speech was fully returned.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  We were talking about Hofmann’s discovery. 

LSD arrived in the USA in 1948 and was used to gain a better understanding of the schizophrenic experience:

  • In psychiatry, the use of LSD by students was an accepted practice; it was viewed as a teaching tool in an attempt to enable the psychiatrist to subjectively understand schizophrenia.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_LSD
These students who tried LSD apparently failed to consider that the connection between the symptoms of LSD ingestion and schizophrenia might be due to a common source—psycho-active peptides from gluten grains. 

About a decade after LSD had crossed the Atlantic, and from a very different research perspective, Dr. Curtis Dohan began investigating the possibility that gluten grains might be a factor in schizophrenia.  He had found that people with celiac disease and those with schizophrenia both excrete increased quantities of specific groups of indoles in their urine.  Some such indoles are known to be psychoactive and some psychoactive alkaloids also contain such indoles. 

Having learned about this connection between celiac disease and schizophrenia, Dr. Dohan then undertook a study in which he examined hospital admission rates for schizophrenia both during periods of plenty and during World War II grain shortages.  He found that there was, indeed, a reduction in admissions during grain shortages, which normalized when ample grains became available again. 

Dohan’s next step, along with several colleagues, was to design and conduct a single-blind cross-over study of schizophrenic patients in a locked ward.  They found that symptoms of schizophrenia abated on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet.  These same patients relapsed on re-introduction of these foods.  These data were published in The British Journal of Psychiatry in 1969.  Dohan’s findings were replicated and published in the January1976 issue of Science by Man Mohan Singh and Stanley Kay.

Three years later, Christine Zioudrou and her colleagues demonstrated the presence of psychoactive peptides in the incomplete digests of gluten grains, including some with morphine-like properties, which they named “exorphins”.  Subsequent research by Fukudome and Yoshikawa has shown that there are five separate sequences from gluten grains that have psycho-active properties.  They named these exorphins A4, A5, B4, B5, and C. 

At some point in this process, Dohan may have learned about the pseudo-hallucinations sometimes reported in celiac patients.  The primary difference between the schizophrenic’s hallucinations and those associated with celiac disease is that the celiac patient can exercise conscious control to stop them.  The schizophrenic appears unable to do this. 

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As he continued to accumulate more such data, Dohan went on to publish 16 more papers and letters over the next twenty years demonstrating an impressive body of evidence to support his suspicion that psychoactive peptides from gluten and possibly dairy proteins had a powerful impact on many cases of schizophrenia.  Yet, to an even greater extent than today, most people simply could not believe that such supposedly healthful foods as gluten grains and dairy products could be causing illness.  It was probably this paradigm that helped lead to subsequent publications and a period of dormancy in this area of research. 

Several reports of very small numbers of schizophrenic patients, chronic patients, which Dohan had specifically identified as unlikely to respond to the diet, showed no benefit from a gluten-free diet.  Other studies were improved through double-blinding but weakened by extremely limited dietary control, permitting visitors to bring food to patients participating in that study, essentially abrogating the value of the entire study.  Some researchers ignored Dohan’s assertions that celiac disease could serve as a model for studying schizophrenia.  They chose, instead, to produce data that discredited the possibility that schizophrenia is identical to celiac disease by showing that most schizophrenic patients do not show signs of malabsorption.  Other work, conducted in the same vein, showed that celiac antibodies are not found in most schizophrenic patients. 

Despite all the powerful evidence compiled by Dohan and others, this wave of studies and letters discredited Dohan’s work by contradicting notions that Dohan had never voiced.  For instance, he never expressed the notion that schizophrenia was celiac disease.  He simply asserted that there were compelling similarities and a small but significant overlap between schizophrenia and celiac disease, suggesting the need to explore gluten as a possible contributing factor in schizophrenia.  Considerable data support that notion but Dohan’s vigorous and persistent pursuit of this important discovery was soon depicted as a personal quest.  For instance, in a private email with one of Dohan’s contemporaries, Dohan was repeatedly called “unscientific.” Yet, fifteen years later, this same researcher has since participated in a published study that supports Dohan’s hypothesis. 

Fortunately for all of us, the last dozen years have seen a resurgence of interest in the gluten hypothesis regarding schizophrenia, beginning with a case report by De Santis et al.  They described a patient with schizophrenia and a SPECT scan showing abnormal blood flow patterns in the brain typical of schizophrenia.  This patient developed symptoms of celiac disease and was placed on a gluten free diet.  Not only did this patient’s celiac symptoms disappear, her/his symptoms of schizophrenia disappeared and blood flow patterns in her brain normalized.  The gluten-free diet was the only plausible explanation for these changes.  

A list of reports suggest important reasons to investigate the impact of gluten on our brains.  For instance, Dr. Knivsburg reported the discovery of two cases of celiac disease and one of milk protein sensitivity among 15 dyslexic children.  That is a huge increased incidence over the general population.  Similarly, Dr. Kozlowska found that almost 70% of celiac children have ADHD that normalizes on a GF diet.  The Massachusetts General Hospital case study mentioned earlier reported celiac-associated aphasia that resolved on a gluten free diet.  Dr. Hu and colleagues report a laundry list of cognitive impairments in association with celiac disease including amnesia, acalculia, confusion, and personality changes.  Many of these disabilities wax and wane according to the gluten content of the diet. 

However, the notion of gluten-driven cognitive deficits, including learning disabilities, and behavioral abnormalities in association with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, has only recently gotten some research attention.  For instance, Alexandra Blair of The TimesOnline in the United Kingdom reported on an informal study conducted at a small school for dyslexic children in Northumberland.  They got some startlingly positive improvements in students’ performance after placing them on a gluten free diet.  Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou et al.  at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, U.K.  have repeatedly reported that a majority of patients with neurological disease of unknown origin are also gluten sensitive while only about one third of these patients have celiac disease. 

Kalaydjian et al.  reviewed the medical literature to about 2005 and called for large, controlled studies of the connection between gluten and schizophrenia because it is clear that some schizophrenic patients benefit enormously from a gluten free diet.  Similarly, earlier this year, Kraft et al.  reported on a schizophrenic patient who was diagnosed at seventeen years of age.  Fifty three years later, at her doctor’s suggestion, she undertook a ketogenic diet to lose weight.  Not only did she lose weight, she also lost all signs and symptoms of schizophrenia. 

As 2009 comes to a close, two more publications have made this year into something of a turning point for this research.  Cascella et al.  state that “Our results confirm the existence of a subgroup of patients with antibody characteristics associated with the presence of a specific immune response to gluten.”

Similarly, Samaroo et al.  report that their findings “….  indicate that the anti-gliadin immune response in schizophrenia has a different antigenic specificity from that in celiac disease…” they go on to assert that the genetic HLA markers for celiac disease were not found in the schizophrenic patients they studied. 

At the most basic level, we know that gluten causes increased intestinal permeability among a wide range of genetically susceptible individuals.  We also know that substances from moldy grains will cause schizophrenic symptoms in any of us.  It is not a great leap to suggest that, in the context of gluten-induced increased intestinal permeability, similarities in hallucinations, altered brain perfusion, and a range of cognitive deficits found in schizophrenia, celiac disease, and gluten sensitivity might all be rooted in the commonest food in our diets from which hallucinogenic drugs can be produced. 

Institutional nutrition and food programs for the needy and/or homeless include large proportions of inexpensive gluten-laden foods.  Such diets, often provided charitably for those at the lowest socio-economic strata, are at least self-defeating.  Further, such foods are often consumed at this economic level despite visible molds growing on them.  I have heard stories of homeless persons scavenging through dumpsters located at or near bakeries.  There can be little doubt that such eating practices perpetuate the very psychiatric conditions that have reduced many of these people to a state of homelessness. 

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12 Responses:

 
Barbara Greene
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said this on
11 Oct 2010 11:03:47 AM PDT
Are there any epidemiological studies comparing numbers of diagnosed schizophrenics in countries where wheat is not the predominant grain consumed with those in countries where wheat is the predominant grain?

 
Ayobro
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said this on
13 Nov 2010 9:41:06 PM PDT
In developing countries it resides after a shorter length of time, that is to say countries that still have a rich farm economy of fruits and such??

At least India maybe, they have a lot of curry in their diet and one of the effects is anti depressives from kava?

 
Ron Hoggan
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said this on
21 Dec 2011 9:59:14 PM PDT
Not that I know of, but there are several studies by Dohan that look at WW II grain shortages and admission rates for schizophrenia. He also reports on populations where gluten is rarely eaten and shows that schizophrenia is rare.


1. Dohan FC.Wheat "consumption" and hospital admissions for schizophrenia during World War II. A preliminary report. Am J Clin Nutr. 1966 Jan;18(1):7-10.


2. Dohan FC, Harper EH, Clark MH, Rodrigue RB, Zigas V. Is schizophrenia rare if grain is rare? Biol Psychiatry. 1984 Mar;19(3):385-99.

 
Ron Hoggan

said this on
27 Apr 2015 7:09:59 PM PDT
Yes. Just search the publications by Curtis Dohan in the 1960's to 1980's. I don't remember the title of the study, but he did publish one that makes that comparison.

 
ralph Kuon
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said this on
11 Oct 2010 3:11:51 PM PDT
I like it a lot, makes a lot of sense, I have a wife and two children with celiac disease and it prevails in the majority of mother's side relatives; they who now try gluten free diets are doing much better than those who not.

 
Crystal
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said this on
12 Oct 2010 11:19:37 PM PDT
From personal experience, ADHD symptoms, are significantly reduced when a gluten free or reduced lifestyle is achieved.

 
Christine Toms
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said this on
21 Oct 2010 9:54:19 AM PDT
Excellent! My family has had the courage to do something about it and the results are outstanding. I encourage other people to do likewise. Don't give up, it's worth it.

 
ayobro
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said this on
17 Jan 2011 1:31:23 AM PDT
Just say no to the body of Christ.
The blood being the water....

 
Sarah
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said this on
04 Dec 2012 4:46:45 PM PDT
Schizophrenia runs in my family. When my 20 year old daughter began showing paranoid behavior, a friend knowledgeable about celiac disease persuaded me to have her evaluated by a nurse who is a specialist in celiac. After 2 weeks on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, her mental symptoms have disappeared and she seems to be her "old" self. The change was dramatic. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen this personally. I got tested, and I have the gluten antibodies and genes. A gluten-free trial takes little effort, but could be a literal life-saver.

Thanks for the excellent informational article.

 
Ron Hoggan

said this on
27 Apr 2015 7:12:36 PM PDT
Hi Sarah,
Congratulations on your personal discovery. You are very welcome.

 
Paul
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said this on
26 Apr 2015 8:12:20 PM PDT
I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD when I was 32 after complaining to my doctor (whom had me on antidepressants for years) that I was not depressed and I didn't like the numb feeling that the antidepressants gave me. A different Doctor put me on Dexedrine for 7 years, to no avail. I would always get very angry at the littlest things (like road rage angry), at things that never made sense. My wife and kids were terrified of me, and we were on the verge of a divorce. I stopped eating all carbs to loose weight after new years 2012. Being completely carb free was to hard and just went gluten free (this is completely random at this time, and for no other reason then to loose weight). 6 weeks later on Valentines Day, we celebrate as a family, and we were going to order a gluten free pizza, but they were all out of gluten free crust. So, we went with the regular crust (What a mistake that was). I had the worst meltdown I had ever had, I have only vague memories of it, but my wife filled me in and it was not pretty (There was a lot of screaming and throwing things). Over the course of about a year and a lot of trial and error, for us, it turns out that we cannot eat Wheat. Every time I eat Wheat all my ADHD symptoms return and I feel drunk, and I act the way you would expect a stereotypical 42-year-old Alcoholic would act like (I know now that Wheat was the cause of 90% of all my family problems). I still don’t know what to call it when people ask. My doctor says that he has never heard of anything like it, so I call it Gluten Ataxia (after a lot of my own research). I don’t think people would respond to well if I called it Wheat induced schizophrenia. After about 2 months of a Gluten Free diet I stopped all my medication and have been medication free for 3+ years now.

 
Ron Hoggan

said this on
27 Apr 2015 7:14:40 PM PDT
Hi Paul,
Very cool. Thank you for sharing your experience.
I'd suggest that you have neuological symptoms of gluten sensitivity. Ataxia is characterized by a robot-like gait.




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That makes sense...I cried with relief when I got my diagnosis just because there was finally an answer. Please know that you are not weak or crazy. Keep pushing for testing. It could still be celiac, it could be Crohns. Push your Dr's to figure this out. Best wishes.

Thank you all very much. I actually cried when I got the answer. I wanted an explanation that I could "fix." Now I'm back to thinking I'm just weak and possibly crazy. I know I'm not crazy, but you know.

From what I have read online there is about a 1-3% chance of getting a false positive for celiac disease from a blood test. Was it a blood test that you got done? It may be worth your while to get a biopsy or more testing just to confirm it. I know being gluten free is a pain but it is better than getting cancer or other auto immune disorders.

I prefer edible candy. I have glaucoma and celiac so it helps me on a daily basis for all of my medical problems. I wish I could find a strain that has laxative effects so I didn't need linsess. Leafly.com has a lot of strain information and cannabist is a good resource, too. You can use CBD or THC and not get 'stoned'. I function fine on 20 mg of the candy. I refuse to drive if I smoke though. Good luck, hope it helps.

Is it NCGS or Low stomach acid misdiagnosed Low Stomach Acid and Celiac Disease Dear Gluten Intolerant please consider Low Stomach Acid as a possible Differential Diagnosis as a possible way to achieve remission of your GI symptom's. ?Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things? 2 Timothy 2: 7 Low stomach acid has now been linked to a probable cause of damage to the Small Intestine before and/or occurring with a Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) or Celiac diagnosis. See this research as reported on celiac.com that discusses the increased risk of/for someone to develop celiac disease after taking PPI?s. http://www.celiac.com/articles/23432/1/Do-Proton-Pump-Inhibitors-Increase-Risk-of-Celiac-Disease/Page1.html Note how the article starts quoting ?Rates of celiac disease and the use of drugs to inhibit the secretion of stomach acid have both increased in recent decades. A research team recently set out to explore the association between anti-secretory medication exposure and subsequent development of celiac disease.? If these medicine are lowering stomach acid what cause effect relationship does/ could this have on Celaic/NCGS diagnosis is what he is postulating. He goes on to say without being very technical (read the whole article for yourself) that ?The data clearly show that patients who use anti-secretory medications are at much greater risk for developing celiac disease following the use of these medicines. The fact that this connection persisted even after the team excluded prescriptions for anti-secretory medicines in the year preceding the celiac disease diagnosis suggests a causal relationship?. If even after a year OFF these medicines your chances of developing Celiac Disease (celiac disease) not to mention even NCGS which is much more prominent surely the researcher is correct in postulating that there is a cause and effect relationship between low stomach acid and NCGS and/or Celiac disease. Surely there is something we can learn here. I now postulate some homework for the reader of this blog post. Do some research for yourself and see if achlorhydia or hypochlorhydia symptoms don?t at least resemble in some manner all of the GI symptoms you have been having. (I note some of the many symptom?s low stomach acid can present with below as referenced from Dr. Myatt?s online article ?What?s Burning You? for easy reference (It might not be what you think (my words)) It is important to note here that ?some? symptoms does not mean all but many or several. It is called a differential diagnosis. It is an important diagnostic tool in medicine. Think of the tv show ?House? where they spend the whole hour/over a week times going through the ?differential diagnosis? in short any one symptom can/have many different causes. The trick is how to quickly eliminate possible outcomes as symptoms (many) go up. All is usually never meet because that would make the disease in full outbreak and obvious even to the layman a condition described as ?frank? or ?classic? Scurvy or Rickets as an example. Sadly too often after 8 to 10+ years of testing after all the differential diagnosis?s are ruled out you are said by process of elimination to have Celiac Disease if you are lucky or maybe NCGS and not some other acronym GI disease as I like to refer to them as a group. GERD,IBS,UC, Chrons etc because if they turned down that street ? . you are/could be in/at a dead end for they stop looking at the trigger (gluten) as the cause of your gastric upset/digestive disorder(s). So in summary if 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 of these symptoms overlap ?many of? these symptoms could be Low Stomach Acid related. IF that is the cause/case for you then there is hope! For remission! From Dr. Myatts? Online article what?s burning you? From Dr. Myatts? Online article what?s burning you? http://healthbeatnews.com/whats-burning-you/ Diseases Associated with Low Gastric Function Low stomach acid is associated with the following conditions: * Acne rosacea * Addison?s disease * Allergic reactions * Candidiasis (chronic) * Cardiac arrhythmias * Celiac disease * Childhood asthma * Chronic autoimmune hepatitis * Chronic cough * Dermatitis herpeteformis * Diabetes (type I) * Eczema * Gallbladder disease * GERD * Graves disease (hyperthyroid) * Iron deficiency anemia * Laryngitis (chronic) * Lupus erythromatosis * Macular degeneration * Multiple sclerosis * Muscle Cramps * Myasthenia gravis * Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) * Osteoporosis * Pernicious anemia * Polymyalgia rheumatica * Reynaud?s syndrome * Rheumatoid arthritis * Scleroderma * Sjogren?s syndrome * Stomach cancer * Ulcerative colitis * Vitiligo When low in stomach acid we become low in essential nutrients Quoting from Dr. Myatts ?what?s burning you? online article ?Our bodies need 60 or so essential nutrients. ?Essential? means that the body MUST have this nutrient or death will eventually ensue, and the nutrient must be obtained from diet because the body cannot manufacture it. Many of these essential nutrients require stomach acid for their assimilation. When stomach acid production declines, nutrient deficiencies begin. Calcium, for example, requires vigorous stomach acid in order to be assimilated. Interestingly, the rate of hip replacement surgery is much higher in people who routinely use antacids and acid-blocking drugs. We know that people who have ?acid stomach? were already having trouble assimilating calcium from food and nutritional supplements due to lack of normal stomach acid production. When these symptoms are ?band-aided? with drugs which decrease stomach acid even more, calcium assimilation can come to a near-halt. The result? Weak bones, hip fractures and joint complaints resulting in major surgery. Jonathan Wright, M.D., well-known and respected holistic physician, states that ?Although research in this area is entirely inadequate, its been my linical observation that calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, manganese, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt, and many other micro-trace elements are not nearly as well-absorbed in those with poor stomach acid as they are in those whose acid levels are normal. When we test plasma amino acid levels for those with poor stomach function, we frequently find lower than usual levels of one or more of the eight essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Often there are functional insufficiencies of folic acid and/or vitamin B12.? Remember, these are essential nutrients. Deficiencies of any single one of them can cause serious health problems over time. Weak bones, diminish immune function, failing memory, loss of eyesight and many other ?diseases of aging? are often the result of decreased stomach function.? It is me again reader. So low stomach acid is the triggering agent (often) for low nutrients. Make too much sense! Now don?t take Vitamin?s for this condition where low Vitamins/Minerals are known to be low in patients who have this condition because . . . . (if you do you won?t need to keep coming back to the doctor) I can almost hear the doctor say now. Of course he/she doesn?t say that . . . just that the ?average person? doesn?t need to take Vitamins. Well I hate to break it too you . . . . but if you are having GI problems and reading this blog post on celac.com then you are not the ?average? person. You my friend or a sufferer or a friend of a sufferer still looking for answers. If that is you then consider taking either powdered stomach acid ? Betaine HCL or taking Niacinamide to help you reset your stress clock. A Canadian researcher wrote about this connection 15+ years ago but still most doctors? don?t understand this connection between about how ?Niacin treats digestive Problems? Here is the full link so you can research it more yourself. http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2001/articles/2001-v16n04-p225.shtml And you might not after a first reading. I didn?t believe it myself for over a year . . . but every time I thought about it ? it (Low Stomach Acid) made/makes the most sense to me. **** Note: research this yourself. Here is a link about how to take Betaine HCL (powdered stomach) for maximum effectiveness. http://20somethingallergies.com/how-much-hcl-do-i-take-learn-to-test-for-your-correct-dose/ Don?t take my blog post as medical advice. It is only what I did . . . it might not work for you but I think it is worth a try especially if you are not now taking an acid reducer. (see notes below about why this might) be more difficult if you are already taking an acid reducer . . . because the rebound wall (see chris kresser link) keeps us locked in . . . sometimes for years. Since I was not taking acid reducers at the time I took Betaine HCL my stomach problems improved and I am sharing this now in the hopes it might help yours too! Now back to (really) LOW stomach acid being diagnosed as HIGH stomach acid these days. How can we know if it truly high or low? You?ve heard the phrase timing is everything well it is here too! Timeline is important in any diagnosis. IF your stomach acid was HIGH as you often hear (everywhere) you hear take a Proton Pump Inhibitor aka acid reducer?s for heartburn/GERD (medical name for heartburn) then eating food (carbs, greasy things) wouldn?t bother you. The acid would cut it up but if it is already low/weak then even a little acid can burn your esophagus which is not coated like the stomach to protect you from high acid. BUT if it is low to start with then food will WEAKEN our/your acid so that you lose the food fight your in and things (carbs/fats) become to ferment, rancidify and cause heart burn. Leading in time to Non-Celiac disease first and with enough injury (and time) to Marsh lesions qualifying you for diagnosis as a Celiac candidate / patient. See above link between/about PPI?s in the year preceding a Celiac diagnosis. If you (can) be that patient and weight the xx number of years for all this damage to occur, there is a better way it is called digestion! A virtuous cycle can replace the vicious cycle you are now in ? it is caused digestion. Digest your food with healthy stomach acid and your body will thank you for it with the God given burp. A healthy child burps (at 6 months of age normally) and a healthy adult should too and you will again after taken Niacinamide 3/day for 6 months or this is not the right diagnosis. *********Note this is not medical advice only my experience with Niacinamide and my many years researching this topic as a fellow sufferer. Let me make these disclaimer(s). If you are a) experiencing heartburn that causing vomiting (with unintended weight loss) you may have a special case of heartburn that feels like heartburn (on steroids) that is really Bile Reflux and taking Stomach is not something you should do without medical advice and supervision. See this NYtimes article that discusses the many complications often seen with Bile Reflux patients and why it is treated as Heartburn often and why Bile Reflux is especially hard to recover from. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/health/30brod.html you are already taking an acid reducer then the chance you will get better (off of acid reducers completely) is only 50/50 on your first try but going low CARB can help your transition. Otherwise most people will get better when taking BetaineHCL for gastric support and Niacinamide to help them/you reset your digestive processes. See this online article about how Jo Lynne Shane got off Nexium for good. http://www.jolynneshane.com/how-i-got-off-nexium-for-good.html and her Epilogue http://www.jolynneshane.com/epilogue.html You will see she still struggles some but is much better when she let her natural digestive juices do their job. I call it the ?Natural Order of Things?. See this article about the digestion process being a North South Affair from the bodywisdom website http://bodywisdomnutrition.com/digestion-a-north-to-south-process/ Taking it (Niacinamide) (or any B-Vitamin) should be taken 2 to 3/day (too keep up serum levels) for 3 to 4 months (the time you can store B-Vitamins) in the liver mostly. Once you have a distinctive BURP that displaces the bloating and sense of ?I am going to explode? if I eat another bite (though you haven?t eaten half your meal) then normal digestion is occurring again. If you stool did not sink before this process (of taking Niacinamide begun) and burping became your ?new normal? then it (your stool) will begin to sink too! Burping without bloating is the ?Natural Order? of good digestion. Don?t stop this process of taking B-Vitamins as Niacimaide or Slo-Niacin 2/day for at least 4 months then you should see most of your GI symptom?s go into remission. (I did not say "cure" but remission from your cross contamination's (flares/symptom's etc.) might be possible. Because our defenses are now strong enough to cut up proteins before they reach our small intestine (where most of the damage is done). Think of a castle with a moat around it (stomach acid is designed to protect us) when it is low (the moat doesn?t protect us) and when the moat is dry the castle becomes a ruin!!! So do proteins (lactose (casein), gluten, soy, seafood etc.) to our small intestines (they become ruined) when our stomach acid (moat) is low or worse dry! I repeat again Timeline is important in any diagnosis. All heartburn is not equal. IF your stomach acid is truly high then it WILL occur between meals when there is no food to tamp down the fire (occurring in your stomach) not your esophagus. The excess pressure from fermented carbs push open the trap door allowing the low acid you have to burn the lining of your uncoated esophagus. See also this online article by Chris Kresser to study this more about why/how this could be a case of medical misdiagnosis in more detail https://chriskresser.com/what-everybody-ought-to-know-but-doesnt-about-heartburn-gerd/ This is part of a 3 part series that I think you will find very informative. This (low stomach acid) is a vicious cycle. STRONG stomach acid makes it a virtuous circle/cycle. Now food benefits you because low acid not only causes heartburn it limits your body?s absorptive ability by limiting its ability to cut up your food into digestible peptides and amino acids which are no longer harmful to your Small Intestine but helpful to your overall health because nutrients can now be absorbed because the food particles are now small enough to not cause harm to your villi. I hope this is helpful and it helps you the way it helped me. Maybe it will help you in a similar manner. I write this only as a guidepost on your way. May you find your way back to digestive peace! The ?Natural Order? of things! Praise bee to God! It is not a long way if you know the way . . . . from someone who has found his way back God being his help! There are more things I could say . . . but this post is getting kind of long but you get the gest. I noticed someone else on the celiac.com noticed the same improvement when they treated their low stomach acid and thought it was time a blog post talked about it. It is so much easier to consume all this information in one setting instead of hunting and peeking through several thread posts. Search for the posterboy on celiac.com and you will find it is my focus (how low stomach acid is misdiagnosed) and how Niacinamide helped me to restore its ?Natural Order? in the digestive process because it helped me! Here is the link to the Prousky?s abstract. 15+ years is a long time for people to continue to suffer but if the research it right then Niacinamide might help you too! http://www.yourhealthbase.com/database/niacin-treats-digestive-problems.htm Let?s hope it is not another 15 years before doctor?s and people realize low stomach acid can explain many of the same symptom?s an IBS, NCGS or even a Celiac patient might experience given a long enough time for these conditions to develop from too low a stomach acid to protect our Small Intestine. See link at start of this blog post posted here again for convenience. http://www.celiac.com/articles/23432/1/Do-Proton-Pump-Inhibitors-Increase-Risk-of-Celiac-Disease/Page1.html And it is worth noting about the time Celiac disease started (began to be more prevalent) / to increase in the population Acid reducer?s became more and more popular. *** Some plot the increase in time to Roundup usage but I am not buying it. PPI?s increase seam more plausible to me based on the relatively new research (less than 5 years old) is pretty current by research standards and the near linear response to increased first H2 stomach acid reducer?s then PPI?s in the population at large. *****Note: after I finished writing this blog post new research that in my mind confirms this connection was reported on celiac.com today that notes the link between gastric pH and impaired nutrient absorption. This very topic as I was getting ready to publish my post about low stomach acid possibly being diagnosed as Celiac disease on my posterboy blog mentions how a Celiac patient?s absorption can be impaired by gastric pH. https://www.celiac.com/articles/24738/1/Can-Celiac-Disease-Impair-Drug-Therapy-in-Patients/Page1.html Where they (researchers) say/ask discussing Celiac Disease and whether it (celiac disease) can impair drug therapy in patients. Note the opening paragraph discussing this topic quoting ?Celiac disease is associated with numerous chronic conditions, such as anemia and malabsorption of some critical vitamins. Changes in the gastrointestinal tract, rates of gastric emptying, and gastric pH are responsible for impaired vitamin and mineral absorption." i.e., low gastric pH can effect absorption. It stands to make reasonable sense to me they are related conditions and one is being diagnosed for the other often or at least one is being confused as the other and treating one (raising your stomach pH) might treat the other since many of the symptoms? are the same. *** this/these opinion(s) are my own and do not reflect an endorsement by celiac.com of these ideas, comments, thoughts or opinions. I hope this helps! You the way it did me! Good luck on your continued journey, Remember **** This is not medical advice and should not be considered such. Results may vary. Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your regimen. 2 Timothy 2:7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Posterboy by the Grace of God,