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Dr. Oz: Enemy Of Gluten Free Efforts

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I want to make sure that other Celiacs and people with an allergy to gluten know what he is portraying gluten free food to be...

Dr. Oz: Enemy of Gluten Free Efforts

Today while working out I became interested in a television program that was showing photos of gluten free foods, so I switched my headphones from my Zune to that program and listened. It didn't take me long to become outraged.

Dr. Oz's passion for this topic stems from his belief that "Gluten Free food is making us fat." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I'm in such a state of disbelief and outrage that I'm finding it hard to organize my thoughts properly and will have to break this down bullet style. The general topic being, SHAME on you Dr. Oz for discrediting an industry that is helping millions of men, women, and children to lead normal lives.

Dr. Oz said: Gluten Free food has more calories and more carbs and fewer nutritional benefits so it's making people who aren't allergic to gluten fat.

I can't believe how silly and ignorant this point of view is. It's hard to know where to start. I'll start with this: Everything makes you fat out of moderation. You say that there are 130 more calories in the gluten free waffle you selected than in the non-gluten free waffle you selected. Well then I'll eat one waffle instead of two. Shouldn't you be more concerned with getting your viewers and clients to eat healthy breakfasts? And when they do have foods that are a little less than perfectly healthy, to eat them in moderation? Me personally, I like to make a smoothie of fruit, yogurt, fresh spinach, flax seed, and orange juice for my breakfast. No how healthy does your waffle look?

So you may say, "But Dr. Oz said that this only applies to people who aren't allergic to gluten. That only people allergic to gluten should eat gluten free diets." Well then explain to me why, if all of this gluten free food makes us so fat, you can't find an overweight diagnosed celiac or person with a gluten sensitivity? By Dr. Oz's logic, since all we can eat if we want to have the same kind of food as "normal" people must be gluten free, we should weigh twice as much. In reality, it's the "normal" people who tend to weigh more.

You also said that gluten free foods lack fiber on your segment. That is very true and it's very difficult for us to find the correct balance of nutrients for our diets. It is not, however, as impossible as you seemed to implicate. With the industry beginning to grow and understand the life of someone who cannot tolerate gluten, products that help us to get our nutrients are appearing. Katz Gluten Free appears to be pioneering this effort (in my opinion, as I haven't seen any other gluten free producers focused on providing the nutrients we missed... only on the wonderful goal of making it taste halfway normal).

You also seem to neglect to mention that despite the fact that those gluten free foods have such a low amount of fiber in them, we are able to get some fiber from them. We are getting more with them than without them. Again, you efforts should be focused on teaching people who to maintain a healthy and balanced diet regardless of dietary constraints, rather than misleading viewers into thinking that there is no way to eat gluten free and get fiber.

Dr. Oz said: You should not eat a gluten free diet if you are not allergic to gluten. It will make you fat.

This falls under the same type of category above, but needs to be pointed out specifically. Again... the first thing dietitians will teach is moderation. Eating a gluten free diet is healthy for people who are not allergic to gluten. It's just as possible for people allergic to gluten to moderate the food they eat as it is for people without that allergy. I use My Fitness Pal to help me keep an eye on my calories, cholesterol, vitamins, nutrients, fat intake (all three kinds), sugar intake, sodium intake, water intake, and workout efforts.

Since you mentioned that 99% of people have some sort of sensitivity, it would logically follow that it would behoove most of us to avoid gluten in our diets. To say that living on a gluten free diet will make you fat is ignorant at best. At worst, it's a stance that is very harmful to an industry that is allowing children to have a birthday cake, men and women and children to have a burger on the Fourth of July, and the general benefit to all of us of being able to eat like the rest of the population.

Not only that, but your stance is completely untrue, if not purposefully misleading. Perhaps if someone were to shove gluten free food in his face constantly with no attention paid to caloric intake, carbohydrate intake, fat intake, and all of the other things that need to be moderated in our diet, he may gain weight. But again... that can be said of any kind of food! You discredit yourself by saying this and hurt the efforts all of us who are making an effort to get food producers and restaurants to understand, accept, and provide for those of us who are not able to tolerate gluten.

Dr. Oz said: Getting off of gluten will NOT make anyone lose weight.

When Dr. Oz attempted to get the expert on his segment to agree with this statement the expert informed him that, actually, people with an allergy to gluten will lose weight. You can ask most people with this allergy the same question and they will tell you that they did indeed see at least some weight loss. Before you go on your show and use your (somewhat misplaced) influence to tell people all about the evils and lies of gluten free food... check your facts out.

While Dr. Oz's segment did promise tips on discovering whether you are gluten intolerant (stop eating it) and "healthy" recipes for a gluten free diet... the beginning of this segment destroys any amiable efforts the "Doctor" may have had for the rest of the show.

Even the "expert" he had on the show said that the recipes they shared on the show are foods that he eats every day for dinner. Exactly. Gluten free diets and healthy diets are one in the same. The "expert" understands that gluten free food in moderation is no worse for you than is any other food.

Dr. Oz,

If your goal was to bring awareness to the elevated levels of calories and carbohydrates in gluten free foods, and not to give the appearance that gluten free food is evil, secretly extremely more unhealthy for you than regular food, and just some kind of excuse to jack up the cost of food, you failed miserably.

I am outraged at your portrayal of a wonderful group of products that allow me to enjoy more than just fruits, meats, and vegetables. I am 26 years old and have known I was severely allergic to gluten for nearly three years now.

I was told after being hospitalized around 2004 that I had Crohn's Disease and would have to take a handful of pills every day for the rest of my life and would constantly struggle with a disease for which there was no cure and little maintenance.

After four years of living with pain and discomfort and extreme inconvenience in every area of my life, I went to another doctor. This doctor told me immediately that he was almost positive that I did not have Crohn's, and that he suspected it was a problem with gluten. After several tests to rule out other possibilities and a blood test to find out if it was just an allergy or celiac (both have the same "felt" symptoms, but celiac does permanent internal damage when gluten is consumed), it turned out to mercifully be an extreme allergy.

So I proceeded with the extremely difficult process of learning how to eat gluten free. Even three years ago the market was as different as night and day from what it is now. I could not find any decent tasting bread, bagels were non existent, and forget about any sweets or crackers. I could not go out to eat with friends because I couldn't be sure the restaurants fully understood what gluten was and how to avoid it.

Luckily, with the growing number of people diagnosed with the same allergy, companies began to recognize it and provide us with options already available to "everyone else." With companies like Udi's Gluten Free, Glutino, Outside the Breadbox, Larabar, Mary's Gone Crackers, Ian's, Pamela's Products, and Kinnikinnick, we are able to lead normal lives and enjoy the foods that others are allowed to enjoy as well. With restaurants like Ling and Louie's, Outback Steakhouse, and Beau Jo's Pizza, we are able to go out to eat with friends and have more than a dry salad (with no croutons, of course).

I have been eating gluten free foods (pasta, bagels, bread, muffins, crackers, soy sauce, microwave meals, restaurant dishes) in normal healthy moderation for three years and have NEVER been in better health. I keep track of the foods I eat and the exercise I get with My Fitness Pal, and I exercise regularly. I am 26 years old, 5 feet 2 inches, and weigh 127 pounds with a body fat percentage of 22. I am, gluten free food consumer though I may be, arguably among the more healthy part of the population.

I lost 20 lbs in two weeks after beginning my gluten free diet. I felt more awake, more alive, more "with it" than I ever had in my previous 23 years. I spent my entire life thinking my body just couldn't handle breakfast, when in fact the problem was that most breakfast foods contain gluten. I stopped getting sick. I went down from a size 6 to a size 2, mostly due to the extreme bloating associated with consuming gluten when an allergy is present. I would literally look 6 months pregnant for several hours (and feel like I was experiencing labor pains to boot!) after having gluten, and still do to this day even if I "just have a little" gluten.

All of this to say... Dr. Oz, if you've never experienced it, or never at least known someone very close to you who has, or even properly researched the subject, you have ZERO authority to speak on the subject. If your segment on gluten free foods has done anything, it's to confuse and mislead the population. Shame on you for any damage you may have done to this extremely helpful emerging industry.

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I have never been a big fan of Dr. Oz . . . he tries to cover too many topics in one show and ends up doing a lousy job on all of them (IMO).

I just have to bring up one interesting fact . . . don't know if the video is still around to prove it . . .

A couple of years ago, he had Elizabeth Hasselbeck on to talk about Celiac Disease and promote her book. He actually made a comment that the gluten free diet could help you lose weight. I remember it so well because I rolled my eyes and talked back to the TV that believing you would lose weight was no reason to go gluten free!!

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I watched his show today. Parts were interesting and parts just urked me to no end! They had a gluten free 'expert' on there and he showed some nice healthy alternative meals for gluten free and mentioned some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance. Then they had a nutritionist on who basically showed all the poorest examples of gluten-free foods with the highest calories and lowest nutritional content and then touted the benefits of 'whole grain' in the diet but said NOTHING about non gluten containing whole grains, of which there are many. the gluten-free expert did mention that pre-packaged gluten-free foods just like any heavily processed food is a 'frankenfood' and should be avoided. So I was both interested and ticked off by the episode. The nutritionist basically said that anyone who is not definitely gluten intolerant should NOT eat a gluten free diet. She basically said it will mess with your blood sugar and make you fat. What did everyone else think?

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I had to stop reading because I got so angry at this man. I live in Australia, I'm 17, and I've been overweight my WHOLE LIFE. And since I was diagnosed [two months ago] I have lost weight, I am still ''overweight'' but I have lost a HECK of a lot of weight, which, having celiac disease does make me sad, but fitting into jeans [which may I add I have NEVER worn since I was little because I couldn't find a pair that made me feel good] HAS MADE ME FEEL AMAZING. Oh jeez I'm gonna stop before I explode.

Dr Oz has NO idea what the HELL he is talking about so he should go crawl back under the rock that he came from. :angry: :angry: :angry:

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I'm glad I didn't see it I prolly would have cried.

It has saved my life. If people believe him...oh my god....

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Here is the Dr Oz show blog on going gluten free, where you can leave some feedback (and others already have been doing so, good for them ! ) http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/robynne-k-chutkan-md-fasge/going-gluten-free

This column has the name Robynne K Chutkan, MD, FASGE attached to it, as author. I'll pull the first and middle paragraphs, so you can see some of the problems.

Celiac disease is an allergy to gluten, a substance found in wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats that affects millions of Americans. Exposure to gluten in genetically susceptible individuals results in flattening of the villi in the small intestine, the fingerlike projections responsible for absorbing nutrients.

___

Most of us don't have celiac disease, but many of us have gluten intolerance, which means your body feels better when you’re avoiding gluten-containing foods. Most people who are gluten intolerant can ingest small amounts of gluten without too much of a problem. But if you have celiac disease, you need to be super vigilant about completely eliminating gluten, so that your small intestine can heal, and also to avoid some of the conditions associated with untreated celiac disease, like esophageal cancer, lymphoma, arthritis, osteoporosis, anemia, and even infertility.

___

The goal for all of us should be to avoid packaged, processed foods and ingredients, not to swap one for another. If you have celiac disease, you should be avoiding cookies and bagels, not eating the gluten-free version. Just like if you have diabetes, I'd recommend avoiding candy instead of eating sugar-free sweets on a regular basis.

Dear Doctor Chutkan,

Celiac is not an allergy but an auto immune reaction, as you have been told several times by now by lots of others, so I won't browbeat you with that. Gluten is a protein found in all grains, but it's the triticum wheat family of wheat, rye, barley, spelt that tend to cause problems, oats, while not technically the same, do provoke a reaction in some gluten intolerants and celiacs, either because of cross contamination or some other reason. While perhaps 30% of the population is genetically susceptible, fortunately a trigger is needed, and only a small percentage actually react to these proteins.

I do not know if it is true or not that gluten intolerant people can actually tolerate small amounts of gluten better than celiacs can. As others here at celiac.com who are wiser have pointed out, we are all exposed to tiny amounts no matter how vigilant, and each of our individual reactions vary, just as the pain response varies from person to person. I do know that the label "gluten intolerant" is applied to those who also get very sick from miniscule amounts of gluten consumption, and that there are also silent celiacs, who had no idea that anything was wrong until some one ran a blood test as a routine screening, and the next thing they knew they were being told to get a biopsy which subsequently showed damage, and they were handed a diagnosis and an order to abstain. They still don't "feel" sick when they eat it, and they're upset. And then there are people like me, who are called gluten intolerant because we never could get medically diagnosed with the celiac tag, in spite of our best efforts - yet we are completely motivated not to eat small amounts of gluten because our non classic but serious reactions, most definitely auto immune in nature, make us very, very sick.

We are many, and we really wish you wouldn't say things like we could ingest a small amount of gluten "without a problem." No we can't, and even if we could, we would still be promoting the wrong level of vigilance for the commercial food industry. See those comments under that blog.

It's an auto immune disease, NOT AN ALLERGY. Exposure to the trigger does NOT make tolerance.

Now, about that part on celiacs avoiding the gluten free bagels and cookies -

-that was completely over the top, and downright rude.

You obviously have no idea of the amount of willpower and self discipline necessary for some people to stick with this gluten free diet.

I can stick with a diet without grains at all and low in carbohydrates, if I have to. This means fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, nuts, and fats. This is just not possible for most people. But it is possible for some celiacs and gluten intolerants. Those that can't, hey either have a mental block about it, or intense sugar and carbohydrate cravings, but it is mostly a gift of metabolism. I know this, because my normal spouse gets ravenously hungry on such a diet, while I can be comfortable on it. You would no doubt also condemn it as extreme and harmful to my health, and "deprived."

Yet this is what I had to do the first years of eating gluten free, to survive. About 8 years into this, I still cannot eat cereal and milk substitute for breakfast, without counterbalancing it with a real protein and a vegetable, without feeling poorly afterwards. I very seldom eat cookies unless I baked them myself to give to a holiday party. I don't eat much sugar or honey at all. But please explain to me how eating half a gluten free bagel with some cheese melted on to it, maybe once a month, is the end of the known nutritional universe for the gluten intolerant and a sin. How is the Sunday brunch gluten-free pancake of nut or seed meals a disaster when it is next to the eggs. Please tell us also how is one expected to tell a gluten free child who is already deprived of most junk food that he or she doesn't rate "treats," either.

It is the draconium, all or nothing, judgemental approach to any diet which breeds anxiety and even failure.

Yet there you are, first telling gluten intolerant people eating a little gluten isn't bad, and then telling them no gluten free cookies, bagels, or what next, gluten free toast ?! Do you have any idea of what my, or other people's toast, is really made of ?

Did you grind yourself, what ever you used to bake with the last time you baked, to make sure it was fresh and uncontaminated and high protein ?

Mixed the message, inconsistent, and got it backwards, much ?

I did not see this show. I am actually glad I did not see this show, because I get annoyed when they screw it up this badly, as was described in detail in the original blog link above in the first comment in this thread. (uhm, say, the original blog review of the Dr Oz show, pink background, Gluten Free Living, says they learned of this from the person at Gluten Free Optimist. That blog has a Jan 22, 2011 blog post "10 Great Websites with Accurate Information" which says "celiac.com was excluded from this list because of their forums. While forums are good for connecting with people, most contain a plethora of misinformation." :ph34r: This is a really interesting attitude about real - life feedback. The profile says "I am a freelance writer and social media specialist who was diagnosed in 2007." That's nice. I'm likely double her age, been eating this gluten free style a lot longer, have read of so much heartache, comment unpaid to increase awareness and get others motivated, and wouldn't quite have the nerve to pretend that calling one's self a social media specialist meant anything certifiable. )

Another review of the Dr Oz vs. the Gluten Free Diet, v. Thurs Mar 24, 2011 is here-

http://www.current-movie-reviews.com/tv/2011/03/23/dr-oz-recap-the-gluten-diet-and-medieval-cures-that-work/

For something funny, see the last part of what was on that same show-

Next on the show, Dr. Oz revealed four cures from the middle ages that actually work.

To relieve constipation, take chicory root! This “weed” is ground up and served as a tea, and can be blended with coffee and drunk daily.

To reduce stress and anxiety, use lemon balm oil. Put a few drops in a glass of water and drink daily.

To treat menstrual issues, drink sage tea. Some cultures burn sage too, which smells great and might work too. Sage tea might not taste too great though!

Dr. Oz also revealed that leeches are now being used for medial reasons, to reduce swelling and help blood circulation. That is just GROSS. I’ll pass.

I think if I had 5 to 10 minutes one on one with a "nutritionist," or a "registered dietician," I could maybe get them to be a little less flippant about the misinformation of why anyone who didn't have to, would still use a gluten free diet - for example, to prevent gluten cross contamination. I'm assuming they haven't actually lived in a family situation with a food allergy, and can't wrap their brains around a family meal done without gluten, voluntarily, so that the optional ones are keeping the necessary ones safer. I don't really care what their attitude is towards celebrities on weight loss diets.

Did you get the name of the nutritionist on the Dr. Oz show ? There's been one who's been on quite the misinfo rampage lately. Watch too much tv, and you'd think the gluten free diet's baked grocery wares were evil. :angry:

Just how does Asia survive on rice, not wheat, anyway ?

The worst cable news tv video I have seen was one on MSNBC in the past year where their Health/Medical Editor, Dr Nancy Snyderman, basically acted like a snobby food troll - again, this theme about emphasizing the trendiness vs. the medical needs of a gluten free diet. She told a person who called in to the show and asked about whether her newly medically diagnosed celiac husband could eat gluten again, and she said perhaps he could later on once he felt better. I about fell off my chair. She's supposed to be the "medical editor," and 10 minutes research on this website or in a medical textbook says that the this is not a passing fancy but an auto immune condition !

But don't compete with "Dr Nancy" in this way.

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I really hope the show gets enough complaints that the producers decide to revisit the topic with some good information.

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I really hope the show gets enough complaints that the producers decide to revisit the topic with some good information.

ME TOO!!! <_<

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There has to be someone we could all write to in order to make it public that this show was mis-information.

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This guy is tool and not a real Dr. He is just some TV Dr. that uses trends to make himself popular.

He probably does not even see real patients at all and has probably never been published in anything except

People or Oprah's magazine.

I put him in the same bunch of "Dr.s" they show on late night infomericals selling enlargement pills or

bogus weight loss product.

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Actually, Dr Oz is a real doctor. He's a heart specialist. He may be excellent in that field (I have no idea one way or another) but that does not make him an expert in any other. Shows five days a week and a variety of topics on every show means that there is a staff performing the research on these segments. Medical qualifications of the staff???? . . . I have no idea.

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I just got home from a followup visit with my cardiologist. I was hospitalized for five days for chest pains (I've had a heart attack before), and this is the 4th heart catheterization that I have had. This morning, my dear cardiologist said to me "I think your problems may lie elsewhere. And I think they could be related to your Celiac diagnosis." He is very knowledgeable about it and told me he had discovered it in 6 of his heart patients last year! He said they never taught them anything about it in medical school and that MANY doctors think it is just a fad or "something in your head." He doesn't think that at all! He also told me that he wanted me to go dairy-free to see if that could also be a problem. So I will now do that.

He was also very interested in how I got such a fine education about going gluten free and I bragged about this site! Said he will recommend it to his patients.

I LOVE MY DOCTOR!!!!

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Actually, Dr Oz is a real doctor. He's a heart specialist. He may be excellent in that field (I have no idea one way or another) but that does not make him an expert in any other. Shows five days a week and a variety of topics on every show means that there is a staff performing the research on these segments. Medical qualifications of the staff???? . . . I have no idea.

Thats my point. The guy is to busy doing TV spots and promoting his own ego to actually do any research or treat people. Real Drs. do research, write papers, do studies, and treat patients. Not go on TV and sell books and crap. Also giving sound bites for Oprah and doing TV shows that have little if any value to the general public.

Real Drs know each person is different.

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I think that his audience deserves better from him.

After finally gaining recognition in the market place, he dealt us a terrible blow.

For shame Dr. Oz!!!

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Not related to the Celiac Disease show, and I never watch his show, however a friend of mine, Dr. James Beckerman taped a show with Oz last week. It's going to be on today. I'm interested to watch now and see what misinformation I can find... :huh:

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I watched his show today. Parts were interesting and parts just urked me to no end! They had a gluten free 'expert' on there and he showed some nice healthy alternative meals for gluten free and mentioned some of the symptoms of gluten intolerance. Then they had a nutritionist on who basically showed all the poorest examples of gluten-free foods with the highest calories and lowest nutritional content and then touted the benefits of 'whole grain' in the diet but said NOTHING about non gluten containing whole grains, of which there are many. the gluten-free expert did mention that pre-packaged gluten-free foods just like any heavily processed food is a 'frankenfood' and should be avoided. So I was both interested and ticked off by the episode. The nutritionist basically said that anyone who is not definitely gluten intolerant should NOT eat a gluten free diet. She basically said it will mess with your blood sugar and make you fat. What did everyone else think?

I was very disappointed. He actually depressed me, I was diagnosed in August and have gained weight, can't seem to lose it. After watching his show I was very discouraged. He made it sound like all gluten free food is fattening and not good for you. I had to turn the video off. He made gluten free seem awful.

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Not one word was said about the dangers of cross-contamination for the Celiac. (or was I out of the room) Gluten free diet as a "fad" is 100% different from being Celiac!

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I was at PT for the crippling pain I have as a result of this disease and the Dr. Oz show came on with this gluten-free foods segment and this woman was basically trashing gluten-free breads and crackers for being high in calories. So what? Some of us need to put weight on, lady! I wanted to jump off the table (if I could, with these weak, malnourished legs) and smash the TV...that is how irritating I found the whole discussion.

If you are going to present information that is helpful, it needs to be 100% accurate.

How your healing gut absorbs nutrients if the issue. How your metabolism works is the issue. How you determine the balance of whole foods and supplement with gluten-free foods is the key.

Some gluten-free products are essential for our survival. Granted, one needs to pick and choose the best ones. But, not all of them are "bad".

And just for the record....I was a FAT celiac for years until I became very ill and lost 90+ lbs. rapidly.

I know someone who went gluten-free with her celiac son and she lost over 50 lbs. and has never felt better!! If someone adopts a gluten-free lifestyle and feels better (using gluten-free products) what difference does it make??!!

There needs to be a better understanding of gluten intolerance. Many people are ill and in pain and they do not know why.

OY! :D I could go on and on, but I won't....I'll get off my soapbox now....sigh....

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I was very frustrated by the Dr Oz show and as a pediatrian and a newly diagnosed celiac (6mo or so), I wanted to make sure he had some feedback. I tried to respond directly to their show but couldn't figure out how to get through. Any thoughts on educating Dr. Oz?

BTW- this webiste has helped me so much in the last 6 months, so thanks to you all! This topic made me finally register.

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I was very frustrated by the Dr Oz show and as a pediatrian and a newly diagnosed celiac (6mo or so), I wanted to make sure he had some feedback. I tried to respond directly to their show but couldn't figure out how to get through. Any thoughts on educating Dr. Oz?

BTW- this webiste has helped me so much in the last 6 months, so thanks to you all! This topic made me finally register.

Glad you are here!

CS

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Very disappointing way of dealing with the subject, I must admit. :( I don't really ever watch Dr. Oz, but recommending avoiding the diet is the worst of his advice, in my opinion. It would have been so easy to give a run down of some of the pitfalls of eating gluten free strictly for weight loss, and give suggestions for how to eat a healthy diet that is gluten free without a lot of the worst processed foods.

And we Celiacs and gluten intolerant are so under-diagnosed that just his saying that has likely cost some people a possible cure that they might have tried on their own. So, so upsetting.

...however, that said...

I don't completely disagree on his coming down on gluten-free products. There are some definite negatives that are pretty common to many gluten-free food. Although not exactly for the reasons he said, IMO. There is a lot of gluten free 'junk' food out there, without even added vitamin fortification to make it slightly better. It's often more calories. It's often more sugar. It's often the same ingredients over and over and over again. This can't be good for us.

And I think it's fine to say that we need to look at these types of products as something to eat in moderation, or as a treat, but so many Celiacs don't know that. Their doctors don't tell them that the foods aren't the same, because they have no clue. Often the celiacs aren't going to a nutritionist who might inform them about the issue - some can't afford it, and some don't even get the recommendation. They don't even know that it's recommended at all. Far too many doctors leave their Celiac patients hanging out to dry, and unless they have lots of time or motivation - which many don't - then they have no clue what stuff is in the gluten-free food supply that can do them harm.

Most of the time, it doesn't even occur to people to check for different levels of fats or sugar and what not. I mean, how many of us read the gluten labels with the careful eye we read the gluten free ones, after all? And if we didn't, then we aren't aware of the change, and then we're not eating healthy, but think that we are. We think we just need to avoid gluten and everything will be the same as it was, and that's not the case at all.

Personally, I'm so frustrated with the Gluten Free industry that I'm a little jaded at this point. I'm an oat sensitive Celiac - which means that most of the gluten-free stuff in the USA isn't all that safe for me. Gluten tests don't test for oats. gluten-free oats can be used and processed with any gluten-free grain and it's considered safe. And having to learn about this sort of thing has really opened my eyes to how unsafe it is to be ignorant about our gluten-free products.

We don't get enough vitamins from them. We DO get low levels of gluten from them. With the 'in moderation' model, that's okay for most people. But again - most people don't have a clue. They don't even know enough to know what they don't know. They don't realize there is anything else TO learn. And IMHO, that's resulting in people not healing, or starting to sicken again. No, I have no proof, no studies, nada. But I've watched my father eat these gluten-free foods in a little more than moderation for 9 years, and he's getting sick again. I'm meeting other Celiacs in my local group who have been eating more and more of the gluten-free foods now that they're available...and some of them are starting to get sick again.

I wish that Dr. Oz had approached this as an informational opportunity rather than what reads more like shock news, where they only focus on the worst outcome. He could have helped people who ARE Celiacs, or people who are trying to eat a healthy gluten free diet, instead of just scaring them. He could have shared information on how to eat safely, eat in moderation, what to look for on labels for health information and nutrient values - that would have been great.

I really wish he had.

Just as a quick note re: the idea of not finding an overweight Celiac, though? Have to disagree there. My father and brother both lost weight on the diet for a few weeks, but they are both overweight now, by about 30-50 pounds, and they both eat a lot of the gluten free processed foods. I have met quite a few overweight Celiacs. It's actually not uncommon, at least in my area. And I really do think that a lack of knowledge on the gluten free products is a part of the problem. Again, Dr. Oz could have given some of these folks a helping hand instead of a closed door.

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What kills me is that when I was at my sickest...bumping into walls, falling down, crying, depressed, anxiety, migraines,and muscles so weak I could hardly get out of bed except to try to go to yet another Dr. who thought I was a hypochondriac, in spite of the fact that I had several unhealing sores. That went on for 5 years....well, all I could really do was watch TV, so that was my only source for company or information. There are other people out there who are sick as I was and can't get outta bed and their Dr.'s don't listen...and this could have been their lightbulb moment..and their lifeline...if only he had tried. I was too sick to work and therefore too poor to have the internet, but I did watch TV and so do lots of sick undiagnosed people.

Can we get a Celiac commercial that would play over and over and over...just like their depression commercials...(I know I know it's drug companies) But really, Dr. Oz could have helped a lot of undiagnosed people. It is very sad.

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(My comments. You can click on the "contact us" at the bottom of the page to e-mail the show directly.)

Dr Oz,

I was somewhat horrified by your recent coverage of celiac disease/gluten sensitivity/gluten intolerance. While I realize it is a complex and understudied subject, there were blatant errors.

First, as any medical professional should know, celiac disease is AUTOIMMUNE. It's not an allergy. Even your average PCP knows this, as do many other health professionals.

Second, processed gluten-free products do often have lower levels of fiber and/or higher levels of refined flours and sugar. This is an issue that many companies are addressing and it is now possible to buy bakery products made primarily from whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, and even sorghum. Other products may feature added sources of nutrients like ground flaxseeds, or gluten free oats. Van's, for example, makes a buckwheat waffle which is quite respectable nutritionally (for a frozen waffle, which is the issue). A truly healthy alternative would be my typical breakfast, hot cooked whole grain cereal with fruit, nuts, and sometimes maple syrup and soymilk.

Addressing the issue that processed gluten-free foods are not necessarily "healthier" was a good idea. However, by pushing whole wheat and gluten-containing foods on everyone who is not diagnosed with celiac disease, you neglected to include sufficient information on alternative whole grains and unprocessed gluten-free foods. It is entirely possible to eat gluten-free whole grains in the place of wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Cultures ranging from the Andes to East Africa and Asia have do so for millennia. Even areas of Europe were historically dependent on alternative grains like buckwheat or vegetables like potatoes.

A gluten free diet is, like any diet, as healthy as you choose to make it. It is quite easy to prepare your own food and eat generous amounts of fruits and vegetables with whole grains, beans, fish, nuts, eggs, and small amounts of meat and dairy (eaten). I do so most days, but I also like to eat black bean brownies once in a while, munch on the occasional bag of tortilla chips, and even snag some good dark chocolate. As long as these remain in the "treat" category, there is no reason to not consume them.

The statement that people with "gluten intolerance" can eat some wheat is especailly problematic. The most current research shows that there is a substantial "iceberg" of gluten-based disorders beneath the small number of biopsy-diagnosed patients with celiac disease. The broader category includes patients in many situation. For example, some of us have positive bloodwork for the antibodies but negative biopsies (me) and would likely go on to develop it in the future given further exposure to gluten. There was a paper out of Italy recently looking at a range of metabolic biomarkers in biopsy negative, biopsy positive, and controls. The patients with (-) biopsy but (+) antibodies matched of most of the biomarkers shown in the celiac patients, indicating that flattened villi are the LAST symptom. It's much like diagnosing cancer in stage 3 or 4.

In another recent paper, there appears to be a separate immune reaction to gluten outside of the celiac path. In this case, patients have different metabolic profiles and no villi damage but a clear set of symptoms and some positive biomarkers like antigliadins. There is no evidence to support the fact that they can or should eat small amounts of gluten.

Finally, being diagnosed for celiac disease can be very difficult in the US. My father, for example, should have been tested as a first-degree relative given my somewhat confusing but nonetheless significant diagnosis. However, his MD refused, based on a lack of classic celiac symptoms. This is one example among many. Sending a confusing message to your wide audience that eating gluten-free is a trend only, and that even those with gluten sensitivity can eat small amounts of gluten only makes it more challenging for those of us who must eat a gluten free diet to safely eat away from home. Personally, I spent six full months convincing my grandmother that I cannot eat ANY flour. She cannot flour the cake pan; I cannot eat butter that has had toast crumbs in it. Undermining the efforts of those with true gluten-based disorders is quite depressing for us.

I do become ill after exposures-- for example, last fall I ate two bites of fudge that actually had wheat flour it in and had severe steatorrhea for three days and lost 5 pounds (I only weight 110, so that was significant). I was diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity after mounting classic celiac disease symptoms combined with bloodwork and later genetic testing (anemia, weight loss, diahrrea, pain, fatigue, joint pain, vitamin D deficiency/low vitamin D with supplementation, fingernail abnormalities, bone density loss, and even unexplained bruising, nosebleeds, and fainting). It is very important that I maintain a gluten-free diet, and given the severity of my symptoms combined with bloodwork and genetics, I honestly believe that I was well on my way to developing full-blown celiac disease.

Please do not undermine the important and validity of the gluten-free diet for those who follow the diet for health issues. The celiac community and others who follow a gluten free diet to resolve serious health conditions would appreciate a follow-up show that clarifies these issues.

Thank you,

name, MS

e-mail

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p.s. My apologies for not including lit citations, but I'm not on my home computer. I'd be happy to send them if you or your staff would like them.

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I was very disappointed. He actually depressed me, I was diagnosed in August and have gained weight, can't seem to lose it. After watching his show I was very discouraged. He made it sound like all gluten free food is fattening and not good for you. I had to turn the video off. He made gluten free seem awful.

eating nothing but the pre-packaged gluten-free foods can and probably will make you gain weight. But eating alot of packaged foods gluten free or otherwise is likely to make you fat! Its not gluten-free foods doing it, its eating too much of the wrong things. We learned this fast and have transitioned to cooking with ALOT more veggies and desserts usually are fresh or frozen fruit with home made whipped cream. We are eating much more healthfully now than we ever were while eating gluten, because then we relied heavily on pasta and packaged foods. Now we are re-learning how to cook and portion sizes. We don't eat out at all anymore and have turned our attention to fitness. So I am sort of glad we had to make this change. It will end up being a good thing.

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