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Hey! I’m Not "Allergic" to Wheat…

Hey! I’m not “allergic” to wheat, barley, or rye;
but I know that living without them takes a knack.
The term “allergy” doesn’t really apply
when my immune system begins its attack.
I can get sensitive to other foods—so sly
are my body’s defenses when they’re out of whack!
I am, or have celiac (Greek for abdomen)—
no allergy but an autoimmune disease,
such that I cannot eat a type of gluten.
So on my order, hold what’s macro-processed, please!
Or better yet, I’ll bring my meal from the kitchen,
my haven from the restaurants—those minefields—
amid the big-box grocery stores, my oasis.
The power of that on which I dine wields
an early grave or healthy homeostasis!
Shall I continue down an awful rut
of cancer, leaky gut, and osteoporosis?
Or shall I eat with respect for my upper gut?

No, I don’t want to risk gastrointestinal pains
or the effects of further malnutrition
upon ingesting gluten from those three grains!
I’ll miss Mom’s cooking, but I’m firm in this position.
For, when such gluten—which is called gliadin,
protein complexes in wheat, barley, and rye—
has passed the stomach into the small intestine,
my immune system reacts in ways that defy
the understanding of modern medicine:
destroying the digestive folds, called villi,
with endomysial antibodies.
And this destruction, the body’s self-attack,
is different from all wheat allergies,
or enteropathy, or sacroiliac.

Now, as for starches, I can eat rice, wild rice, corn,
buckwheat, sorghum, mesquite,
teff, arrowroot, and tapioca; but neither einkorn,
malt, (sprouted) barley, rye, nor wheat.
I can eat quinoa, millet, montina,
flax, and amaranth; but neither spelt, orzo,
durhum, udon, couscous, matzo, kamut, farina,
seitan, emmer, semolina, nor farro.
And, I may or may not be able to eat oats;
if I am, they must not be cross contaminated
by nearby wheat, whence gliadin floats.
My oats must be carefully sourced and crated.

Attacks can also happen on the other systems
of my body—that’s quite unlike most allergies!
And, Celiac has over 200 symptoms;
someday I will collect as many recipes.
I may be any age and either male or female.
When diagnosed, I was a child—if by the textbook!
I may be very plump or as thin as a rail;
in either case, I don’t wish to attract the next look.
Or I may appear just like any other person,
and even be unaware that I have this disease
until its symptoms have already worsened—
its complications brought me to my knees!
Or I may not even have a single symptom,
except a slight anemia, perhaps.

Americans have shown a lack of wisdom:
Three million undiagnosed cases—walking death-traps!
In the United States, it takes eleven
years to rule out or diagnose this malady.
But this determination is made by age seven,
had you been born and raised in Italy.
I know that for most folks, the term “gliadin”
is neither on their minds nor their vocabulary.
It doesn’t pose as great a danger as bin Laden,
controlled by a well-funded constabulary.
Americans—three million of them—face a threat
unknown to almost all of them—that’s scary—
until they’ve had the screening they should get.

Get screened if you have chronic diarrhea
or other symptoms showing malabsorption;
if for lack of iron, you have anemia;
if you have got abdominal distention;
or if you’ve lost weight by the classic formula—
though weight gain’s a possibility with distinction!
Get screened if your stature’s on the shorter side;
if for you, puberty was or is delayed;
if a woman who’s given babies shortened rides,
and if your efforts to conceive are unrepaid.
Get screened if you have persistent cold sores;
if you have irritable bowel syndrome;
if even passing by wheat agriculture
excites your respiratory symptoms;
if, in your relationship with your body,
the autoimmune system does all the talking;
if you sense pin-pricks in your extremities;
if you have trouble keeping balance while walking;
and if enamel’s missing from your teeth.
A screening may show that Celiac was mocking
another ailment, while present underneath.

Gliadins, as any gluten, are gummy
and may be stretched or otherwise compressed.
Gliadins, after passing through my tummy,
rob me of my ability to digest.
Those barley, wheat, and rye crumbs make me feel just crummy.
Gliadins make the wheat-dough pliable
and able to contain the air injected into it—
almost as elastic and viable
as I’ve become adopting a gluten-free diet!
Yeah, so much “gluten” talk is deniable,
injecting me, too, with hot air—but I don’t buy it!
My body’s fickle needs are modifiable;
so if a food is clearly gluten-free, I’ll try it.

While gluten has neither odor nor color,
in processed foods it is ubiquitous, eclectic.
Along the edge of cold cuts, it’s a filler
of the mold—just so it looks symmetric!
It’s added in proportions just to texturize;
that foods once had wrong textures would not surprise me!
And in a liquid food, it’s used to stabilize—
perhaps that’s so, but gluten doesn’t stabilize me!
The additive is fine when micronized as wheat dust,
but not so fine by me when it is used by
most food makers, in whom I don’t place complete trust.
(A grumpy celiac, you’d rather not be accused by!)
I’m watching every label and each calorie—
avoiding gluten as I make my own sweet crust.
I’m tending to my dietary needs as carefully
as anyone who likes or needs to eat must.
But I am challenged to watch what I cannot see!

So no immune reaction’s set in motion
by going off my diet, I’ve had to learn the ropes.
I want to shop safely for my toothpaste and lotion,
and I cannot lick stamps or envelopes.
Wheat dust—since it has an airy, elastic feel—
prevents the oils in dried herbs and spices from clumping.
A substitute is xanthan gum with flaxseed meal
or eggs whenever I am baking something.
And, gluten’s also used to thicken many sauces
and condiments—tell that to other people
who fail to understand what all the fuss is!
(Sit back and watch them dig themselves into a deep hole.)
While to the senses it’s hardly detectable,
the additive is popular. What’s stranger is
it doesn’t make food more or less delectable
except to me—to whom gliadins are dangerous,
yes, even in the tiniest amount!
It’s also added to food for the change there is
on the label showing you the protein count.
Please share how versatile an additive it is
with someone who doesn’t understand
a gluten-free diet can pose a challenge,
and that I’m safer buying food of certain brands;
and keeping all my nutrients in balance.

While others went out to eat, I sat home by the stove.
In January, I’d longed for crust and crumb.
So I went shopping for Bob’s Red Mill and Maple Grove
and invested in a bag of xanthan gum.
A teaspoon of the gum, of Rumford baking soda;
corn and potato starches, one half cup of each;
and just a quarter cup of corn meal—I showed a
knack in both gluten-free action and speech.
In February, I made my first flour mix
of rice and tapioca—three parts each;
and one part corn starch; and I’ve learned some tricks,
but baking pastry’s still beyond my reach!
I once looked in the mirror, and my tongue was crimson:
For iron, I eat beans, clams, or a peach.
Everyday, I eat a few nuts or seeds with raisins;
and every week, one or two servings of spinach.

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If packaged, boxed, or canned, it’s processed food;
whatever brand, that it be gluten-free is urgent!
Al Fresco’s sweet Italian sausage suits my mood;
polenta, San Gennaro or Food Merchant.
Or I’ll eat franks by Shelton’s, Trader Joe’s,
H. N., Whole Ranch, Wellshire, or Cantella’s;
boil one; warm the corn or rice tortilla that I chose;
and wrap it up with minced onion and red-leaf lettuce.
Unless a vegiac, I eat fresh meat; for I’ve become
a carnivore who trusts the butcher’s hand
for meat that’s processed at a minimum,
that’s labeled, or that has a gluten-free brand.
For meat, water, and salt, I’ll buy Tyson chicken.
Pacific, Shelton’s, Trader Joe’s, or Wolfgang Puck’s—
beware of other meat broths gluten’s used to thicken,
regardless if they’re premium or deluxe!

My strength’s returned as I have gotten nourished;
I’m vigilant for vitamins and minerals.
I’m gluten-free, my protein sources have flourished,
and so I’m feeling well in general.
My dietician cares that this transition succeeds;
and monitors my nutritional uptake,
ensuring that my diet meets my body’s needs.
Meanwhile, I’ve made my first gluten-free cupcake,
and I am getting out more nowadays.
But for millenia, the Natives cultivated Quinoa;
today I also eat grains like Montina
that just amazes me; and have seen wha-
t the Quinoa Corporation makes in Gardena.
Imbibing Native lore in Nu-World Amaranth
I feel so grateful for Manna from Anna;
attuned to Nature’s Highlights and to Nature’s Path;
and have been caught eating cookies by Nana’s.

Perhaps tonight in my kitchen, I will fix
a dish of Tinkyada or Trader Joe’s brown-rice penne.
Vermicelli, maifun, and Thai sticks—
like all rice pasta—are cooked al dente.
Some days, I have a salad at Subway—
a place where I can be safe from gluten attacks.On other days, I check in with Chick-Fil-A
where it’s also possible to eat and relax.
At In-N-Out, I’ll order up a hamburger
in protein style (wrapped in lettuce instead),
raw onion, and French fries; I then watch that the servers
do not touch or tangle my order with their bread.
Or for a big night out, I go to P. F. Chang’s
and order off the gluten-free menu,
Chinese food in which I can safely sink my fangs
to please my palate, stomach, and my every sinew!
I won’t be able to go out again—or will I?
I will if I may go to Outback Steakhouse
because I know I’ll spare my precious villi.
The baked potato at Wendy’s, I douse
with a cup of Wendy’s old-fashioned chili—
last time I checked on line, it’s free of gluten!
Whoever’s heard of my disease won’t think it silly
that with my salad, I can’t eat a single crouton.

The mental fog dispelled, my thoughts are clearer;
I plan my travels with help from Bob and Ruth.
I get up every morning, look in the mirror,
and see the gleaming white enamel on each tooth!
Together, we can struggle, learn, and grow,
grow healthy, grasping the Enteric Truth.
To celiacs in whom I see someone I know,
I give encouragement at meetings of our chapter.
I’ll swoop down to the nearest El Pollo Loco
for plain, roasted chicken and, like a raptor,
devour it with veggies and plain pinto beans.
Whatever nutrients my body’s searching after,
I can derive some comfort from my new routines.

I eat red palm oil and produce that’s yellow
or orange to get my vitamin A—
lest night blindness make me injure some other fellow!
As an adult, I need 900 micrograms per day.
I eat brown rice or some whole grains, potatoes,
nuts, meats, or legumes for 1.2 milligrams
per day of thiamine, lest I feel pins and needles
on my feet; for I like the way I am!
On my lips and mouth, I don’t like fissures or scales,
which are signs of unhealthy mucous membranes.
Therefore, everyday, I eat enriched cereal
for my 1.5 micrograms of riboflavin.
I eat whole grains, legumes, or fish
for 2 milligrams of B-6 per day, lest my nerves or skin
sustain disorders or anemia I don’t wish.
For 2 micrograms of B-12, cobalamin,
I eat meats, eggs, or milk, or take a supplement
so that my red blood cells fully develop—
lest I should go into a steep descent,
the red blood cells within my body swell up
(and if a woman, lose my shapely curves),
my hands and feet tingle, little acid in my stomach,
look pale, feel weak, and suffer damaged nerves!
Alongside B-12, folate makes red blood cells.
Therefore, everyday I eat raw, leafy veggies
and fresh fruits, hoping to absorb the folate well.
My folate’s in fresh fruit, especially strawberries.
A vegiac may take a B-12 supplement.
I also eat dark leafies for A, C, K-1,
and E—alpha-tocopherol, an antioxidant
ensuring that the battle for my health is won!

And, lest my bones grow thin, I eat potatoes, cabbage,
and citrus fruit for 60 milligrams of C;
one gram of calcium in beans, fruits, and kale (roughage);
sweet almonds and sunlight for 10 micrograms of D;
legumes and nuts for 0.9 grams of phosphorus;
greens, nuts, grains, and legumes, 2 milligrams of copper.
Except for vegiacs, seafood is good for us;
as are nuts with magnesium—0.3 grams is proper.
And, seafood—if I choose to eat it—will supply
my 2 milligrams of B-6, pyridoxine;
fifteen of zinc, lest I should lack digestive enzymes;
to stabilize my thyroid’s energy, some iodine
(150 micrograms). Magnesium’s
responsible for healthy nerve function
and bone formation with minerals and calcium—
macro- and micro-nutrients wrought in conjunction!

The food I eat is only as hard to find as my genes,
but seldom does my food come with big names or cans.
My vermicelli’s made of either rice or mung beans;
my waffles, Lifestream, Trader Joe’s or Van’s.
My macaroni’s made of corn, rice, sorghum or quinoa.
And my tortillas?—They are made of corn or rice. I read the ingredients for gluten incognita
in maltodextrin, flavoring, or spice.
My carbonated soft drinks are translucent—
365 or Hansen’s makes as big a splash!
It’s not as dreadful as is getting glutened;
while traveling, I carry GF food in stash.
Becoming gluten-free was like full-time employment;
some people cared, while others could be brash.
My life’s progressed, but it’s not all enjoyment.
This shopping gluten-free leaves me short on cash,
so that I can’t afford the Dapsone ointment
that I could use to treat my DH rash.

In the long course of human evolution,
I am a victim of the Agriculture Clash.
My atavistic gut and I got glutened—
those food preparers’ sloppy, careless tricks!
I’ll head back to the haven, my own kitchen;
and learn how to make another flour mix.
Did my genes know about my upper gut since birth?
Am I an evolutionary oddity?
A loving God might have put me on the Earth,
but I still have to care for my own body.
If I had some other disease that people had heard about—
and one they’d not dismiss as a wheat allergy—
they wouldn’t hear my cry of anguish as a pout
because I have to choose food that is gluten-free;
nor think I overeat if I am stout,
or am bulimic if my build is slighter.
Each individual has unique views,
but every celiac has felt like an outsider,
and wondered—reading lists for clues—
if “vinegar” was pure-distilled or apple cider!

Those other people could begin to listen
to my concerns about related diseases
with whose symptoms my body seems to threaten
in such mysterious ways as it pleases.
If other people—non-celiacs—would care more,
I wouldn’t wonder if I’m being selfish.
(Perhaps Enjoy Life cares too much; before I pour,
did anyone suspect a cereal had “shellfish”?1)
If—God forbid—I were knocking on death’s door,
more people would remind me where the B-12 is;
and wouldn’t mistake my sense of confusion
for self-neglecting irresponsibility.
Nor would they overlook the obvious conclusion
that Celiac brings regular uncertainty,
as any cryptic, autoimmune disease.
Not just allergic to the Gliadin-laden Three,
I wish they’d formulate stronger hypotheses!
I’d also ask the U.S. government
for research, education, and lives to increase,
despite this epidemic’s one percent.
To nourish healthy lives instead of cancer is why
three million people should go gluten-free;
they’ll do so, hopefully before I’ve mastered my
technique of baking fruit-filled pastry!


1) According to the side panel of the carton of Enjoy Life’s Very Berry Crunch Granola (good with warm milk or water, btw), it's a breakfast cereal that contains neither wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, nor shellfish. Who would have thought a breakfast cereal would have any shellfish in it? When in doubt, leave it out—now that's what I say!

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).

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8 Responses:


said this on
15 Aug 2008 7:08:52 PM PDT
I was diagnosed a few years ago and looked at it as an allergy but after reading this it truly opens my eye, thank you very much for for that and I hope someday I will be able to teach people about celiac disease, so once again thank you.

Debbie Medicus

said this on
21 Aug 2008 6:52:57 PM PDT
Can one be sensitive to gluten and not allergic to wheat? I think I may be gluten sensitive, but my wheat allergy test came back negative.

Joy B

said this on
25 Aug 2008 7:51:06 AM PDT
This article was so interesting! I have a 6-year old that has been allergy tested and they said she had allergies (or intolerances) to gluten, eggs, dairy, and wheat. I've been to so many doctors I can't tell you. I had her off of all of this and she was better for awhile but it didn't last. Then the next two doctors said (after more testing) that she did NOT have celiac. I've had a blood and stool test done but I still just don't feel like I have and solid answers. Do you have any way of knowing for sure? This is so stressful to not know how to give your child the proper things for her health. It's such a hidden mystery. She doesn't have most of the symptoms I've seen described. The only one thing I see is that she has symptoms of hypoglycemia if she doesn't eat. I could go on and on, but would welcome any suggestions you might have.

Chris ping

said this on
03 Sep 2008 9:10:25 AM PDT
This really is a large article very interesting.


said this on
03 Sep 2008 6:41:39 PM PDT
The author went to great lengths to make this story both informative and entertaining. And I think he succeeded. I share his wish that more Americans recognize the seriousness of the disease and that American businesses reform their practices regarding food additives. Eating in hotels and restaurants brings with it a constant danger of food 'poisoning' with gluten. Having to decide between staying at home or risking a chance brush with gluten is a choice that we ought not have to make.


said this on
05 Sep 2008 8:02:44 AM PDT
Oh my goodness, it's a poem! This is wonderful! Have you ever considered writing a Celiac Stanza?


said this on
09 Sep 2008 11:14:46 PM PDT
Thank you! I have been unable to speak about how devastating this disease really is...and how all consuming it is as well. Thank you!


said this on
26 Sep 2008 7:08:03 PM PDT
Thank you, thank you PTJ, I applaud you for your poem. I will be printing it out and passing it on to my children, with your permission. They Just Don't Get It!

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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,