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NatureChick last won the day on June 26 2014

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    "Leaky gut " when mentioned in terms of celiac disease and autoimmunity is not at all "nonscientific". Have you read anything by Dr. Alessio Fasano? Here are just two of many pub med articles.






    An hypothesis is defined as "an idea or theory that is not proven but leads to further study or discussion". 


    Not sure why you are arguing the meaning of these two words, but I am still sticking with the leading celiac researchers who say

    there is no scientific evidence that gluten is additive (like a drug) in humans.

    Evidence of the effects of opioids on rat brain tissue does not seem to support "gluten acts like an opioid " and causes "gluten addiction."


    Thanks for the links. I have seen various definitions and descriptions of the term leaky gut depending on the context in which it is being discussed, some of them based on solid science, others wild conjecture, which is why it is a term that I try to avoid using simply to avoid muddying an issue.

    In science, the term hypothesis means an educated guess based on observation. The term theory means a hypotheses that is supported with scientific tests and is valid as long as there is no evidence to dispute it. As far as I know, there are studies that show that opiod peptides are addictive while there aren't any that prove they are not.

    Again, I'm not disputing that gluten is not addictive in the same way as heroin. This would be such a leap that it isn't even one that I would presume anyone would make which is why I didn't clarify more carefully in my original comment. I didn't realize that I was stepping on such a landmine that would get so many people's feathers ruffled.

    But none of the links you shared said that gluten was not addictive or that opiod peptides weren't the cause of the addiction. One said that there wasn't enough study to fully understand, another said that the opiod peptides looked like likely culprits. So we aren't in disagreement.

    I'm also aware that many of the claims made in the book Wheat Belly don't hold up to scientific review, which is why I chose not to read it.

  2. Apologies. When I first did my research into opiod peptides in gluten years ago, I didn't realize that anyone had made claims that gluten had the same effects as heroin in the brain. I should have clarified when I made my first comment that just because they fit into the same receptors, doesn't mean the opiod peptides in wheat have the same effects as heroin.

    That said, in one of the links Irish Heart provided that debunks this claim, the author does link to this study in mice that showed that one of the opiod peptides in wheat has been found to produce various effects in the peripheral and central nervous systems that facilitates learning, reduces anxiety, and when introduced directly into the brain, produced analgesia (pain killer).

    There is another study that found that some of the opiod peptides in gluten appear to be inactive, while the most active were equivalent to a low dose of morphine. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0196978184901803

    There was a study that specifically looked at whether or not opiod peptides were addictive and found that they definitely had an effect that involved both dopamine and serotonin. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0026049581901724

    And another that relates opiod peptides to addiction. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/205/4404/415.short

    But much of the issue that Irish Heart brought to our attention appears to be semantics. Of course I'm having difficulty taking seriously anyone who misuses the terms hypothesis (unproven) and theory (scientific evidence exists). But it appears that opiod peptides fall right in the middle on the scale. On one end, it is not "proven". On the other, it isn't just complete conjecture that hasn't been studied yet, a hypothesis. Rather if falls right in the middle as a theory and that scientific evidence does exist. 

    I agree that gluten should not be equated to heroin so I should have been more careful in my wording earlier. And though it may not be "proven" that the opiod peptides are what makes gluten addicitve, there is evidence to suggest as much.

    And Irish Heart does quote a mention of leaky gut playing a role. I personally am not a fan of the term leaky gut in general because it is so often misused in nonscientific claims. But I'll eagerly await a study of the hypothesis that a damaged digestive system could be more porous, which could be a reason why someone might have a stronger reaction to the properties of gluten than someone whose digestive system is working ideally.

  3. I personally don't care for the pressure that seems to be placed on people to get tested, and then retested to check progress because a certain percentage of that is always going to be doctors finding ways to make money. But I do understand that there are societal pressures.

    But if I were in your shoes, I'd skip the gluten challenge for now and hope that they finish developing new testing that requires much less time consuming gluten for accurate results, days rather than weeks. 

  4. It sounds as if you have been doing a little mini-experiment on yourself to see what your reactions might be. Unfortunately, there really isn't a way to do an armchair diagnosis.

    • Bloating and fullness could be celiac, but can be a reaction to lots of different things.
    • Rash - can't see the picture, but rashes can also be a symptom of an allergic or autoimmune reaction.
    • Diarrhea might only be a symptom if larger amounts of gluten are consumed, but can also be caused by all sorts of food intolerances and digestive problems.

    • The stools - tarry and black normally means that there is bleeding somewhere in the digestive tract.
    • Itchy, sore throat is an indication of an allergy.
    • Stomach aches and cramps - could be celiac-related but can also be caused by ulcers or vitamin deficiencies (B12) and plenty of other things.

    For now I'd keep an open mind about possible causes and hold off on doing a gluten challenge until you talk to the GI. He may start with doing some sort of stool test to see if there is blood present. But while there, ask him to test you for vitamin deficiencies as well (They can also help narrow in on possible causes because some are more prevalent in particular health problems). And because of the itchy throat, seeing an allergist may be another appointment to make before considering eating wheat at all. If you are getting a scratchy throat from just a crumb and you do have a wheat allergy, eating an entire piece of bread might bring on a worse reaction.

    Note that a gluten challenge requires that you consume the equivalent of two pieces of bread a day for 4-6-8-12 weeks (different sources) to ensure accurate celiac blood-test results. 

    Also, be prepared to not get all of the answers you seek with just one doctor's appointment. I know, not what you want to hear, but getting a proper diagnosis is often a long-term ordeal.

    But glad to see that you're asking questions and looking for answers on your own. And I'm sure someone else here on the forum who has more experience with allergies or ulcers or gluten reactions different from my own can offer different thoughts once they get back from their Fourth of July picnics.

  5. This says 'sucralose' not sure what that is, i just looked it up and its fake. I know 'ose' means its some form of sugar so It didnt occur to me that it was artificial when i purchased it. i know we don't usually buy artificial sugar products unless we make a mistake. Like that time my BF made a mistake of getting sugar free ice cream, i refused to eat it, he had one.. lets just say he had an EXPLOSIVE reaction to malitol.

    Thanks for the heads up on Malitol. I don't normally run into these products in the places I shop or in the types of foods that I buy, but I got hit by Xylitol when my favorite gelatin brand went out of business and the store replaced it. Horrible nightmares and insomnia so I ended up throwing away the rest. Looks as if I'll have to do more research in order to avoid them, but most sugar alcohol names seem to end in "ol".

    Hope you finally got your rain to cool things down.

  6. So sorry to hear that you're feeling lousy but good to hear that you're not eating the cat's food.   :D  I haven't had a pet since going gluten free so I don't have any personal experience with how much contamination pet food can add to your home.


    I'll admit that I occasionally worry about what the long-term effects of gluten damage might be because I went undiagnosed for decades as well. I know I still have thyroid disease but worry what else might be going on or how aging will exaggerate issues.

    I personally feel that a diagnosis of IBS isn't actually a diagnosis at all. I know I used a food diary to help figure out additional intolerances but my IBS turned out to be a B12 deficiency.

    B12 deficiencies can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Symptoms can arise if levels drop below 400 (according to the lab that ran my tests) but the U.S. range for normal dips down to 200. (Japan's low end of the normal range is 500.) Because vitamins and minerals play a role in so many of our digestive processes, if you haven't in a while, I'd get tested for vitamin deficiencies in general and get the results in hand so that you can see how far you might be from ideal levels. Exercise and stress (as well as being vegetarian or vegan) can sap our B12 stores.

    Have you changed the way you eat because of the seasons? Are you eating more raw foods or more produce in general as they become more-available in summer? The cellulose in fruits and veggies is difficult to digest, especially as we get older. Cooking does help break down cellulose. And there is some compound in fruits and veggies that disappears as foods ripen that many people are hypersensitive or allergic to. I forget the name of it, but it starts with an S. It didn't used to be a problem back when people were picking ripe food out of their own yards or gardens, but has become more of an issue these days when food is shipped halfway around the world and picked long before ripening. And some people have an intolerance to melons that might also be a seasonal problem. (The chemical they react to is near the surface and in the skins, so watermelon that you only eat the center of might not be a problem, but an unpeeled cucumber might be.)

    If not a food intolerance from a food itself, artificial colors also cause some pretty varied symptoms and can cause damage to the digestive system.

    The way your symptoms present themselves might help you figure out the causes. Some food intolerances don't cause pain right away, but when the food makes it to the large intestine without being fully digested, it can cause cramping first and possibly D. Then it would be more likely to be a problem of lack of enzymes to help digestion.

    Hormone imbalances can also cause digestive symptoms. Or have you taken antibiotics recently or have you tried probiotics to affect glut flora?

    Of course, there are plenty of other things that can cause pain or D, but those are some simpler ones that are pretty common.

    I hope that helps get you started on researching some topics you might not have already. I'm sorry that we can't really do much other than proffer ideas.

  7. bluelove, 

    How about recipes that substitute applesauce for sweeteners?

    I've also heard of coconut sugar but don't know much about it.

    And if it is a mild fructose intolerance that you're dealing with rather than the full-on genetic intolerance that means you can't digest it at all, you may be able to substitute just some of the sugar in a recipe with something like stevia so that you can still use some of your old recipes.

    I'll also keep my fingers crossed for you that your intolerances might resolve themselves in time, whether you are able to find a way to get your get flora on track, or benefit from the digestive tract healing.

  8. Sucralose is commonly known by the brand name Splenda - nasty stuff made in a lab. It is low in calories because the body doesn't recognize it as being food so most of it goes right through you. But what does get digested is recognized by the body as being toxic and gets stored in fat cells. So it could still make you gain fat despite being low in calories. What gets flushed ends up polluting our waterways, showing up in water-quality tests way too quickly after it hit the market, and affecting wildlife now as well.

    If you're looking for a low-calorie sweetener, stevia appears to be the safest option we have ... for now.

  9. Here is an idea for you to help manage your family's desire for junk food. If you can't beat them, perhaps you can join them in some small way.

    I know this varies from place to place, but many of the protein/snack bars you can find in a gas-station convenience store may be gluten free. 

    Brands: Quest, Luna, Think Thin, Kind. I'm not sure if all of the flavors in their lines are gluten free so you'll still have to check the labels.

    Potato chips and corn chips that don't have any added flavors are often gluten free. Of course cross contamination will vary from one brand to another, but it may mean you can snack on at least one thing at a party.

    At fast food places, smoothies have started to show up. Many of them will have gluten-free ingredients. It isn't the same as having a burger, but better than just sipping on water. 

    Really sorry that your family refuses to support you. That birthday sounds pretty awful.

  10. I have never made mac and cheese from scratch but I use potato starch to thicken my gravies and sauces. I prefer it to flours because it doesn't impart any flavor so you don't have to cook it in order for it to be done, just add enough to get to the thickness you want and serve. 

    But you do have to use less of it than flours so adding slowly helps to avoid going too far too fast. 

    I haven't tried xanthum gum as a thickener but I generally try to avoid it and guar gum because both are known to cause digestive symptoms and mess with blood sugar levels. I only had a bad reaction once when I ate too much of something containing it in one sitting, but it was bad enough for me to learn that the maximum daily doses for each are pretty low.


  11. CahunChic. I totally agree on skipping supplements for vitamin D because they tend to do very little compared to the side effects or damage they can cause. 

    Sun is really the best way to get D levels back up again. One tip for that. The "good" rays from the sun do get blocked by our atmosphere so you get the most of them if you expose your skin at high noon, when the sun has to penetrate the least amount of atmosphere to get to us. The "bad" rays don't get blocked so they hit us all day long. 

  12. I'd do some more research into fructose intolerance and hope that you simply have a mild intolerance vs. not being able to digest it at all. If you just had a mild intolerance, then you may be able to consume smaller portions if balanced out with glucose and protein.

    I avoid all artificial sweeteners like the plague because all of them are toxic to us to some degree. I have tried stevia but it wouldn't help you for the baking.

    But I do recommend not using Splenda (sucralose) because the only reason it is low in calories is that the body doesn't recognize it as being food. But what does get digested gets identified as being toxic and the body stores it away in fat cells to get it out of the system. The rest gets flushed into the waterways where it started showing up as a pollutant just a few years after it was put on the market. So not only does it hurt you, but every other species too.

  13. Ditto on the iron but I'd make sure they check B12 as well. But I'd get a full panel that includes about two dozen vitamins and minerals.

    Here is an official list of the deficiencies common in celiac.


    But before you get more tests, get the printed copy of the tests you have already had. Just testing vitamin D would be pretty odd. It may be that the doctor only mentioned the one that tested as being low. But just being in the normal range doesn't mean that a level of something is ideal, and many "normal" ranges dip low enough to still cause symptoms so you have to get your results in hand and do your own research.

    Sorry that I know nothing about shortness of breath as a symptom, but I wish you luck.

  14. First, apologies for stating the obvious if any of this information seems rudimentary to you. But here are the basics as they relate to the burping portion of your question.

    Burping can definitely be the result of a change in diet. As the bacteria that make up our gut flora do their job in aiding in digestion, they release gases. Some happen quickly and cause burping, others later in the process after food leaves the stomach causing flatulence. Some bacteria are considered bad, some good, and even yeast plays a role in keeping things in balance.

    Studies have shown that changes in gut flora can react to changes in diet in as little as 24 hours. Some bacteria prefer to eat meat or dairy and multiply, others thrive on fruits or vegetables. Many people take probiotics in order to increase the good bacteria in their gut. Others find nutritional sources such as yogurt, but various raw veggies also impart good bacteria into our systems.

    If a source of the burping doesn't have an obvious cause just remembering back to what you ate, then a food diary may help narrow it down. I'd expect burping to happen within just a few hours of eating the food that triggers it. But burping in itself is not considered dangerous.

    Burping can also be caused by simply swallowing air. Chewing gum, smoking, or drinking carbonated beverages can all make you burp ... and can cause bloating if the air doesn't get released before passing into your intestines.

    A diet heavy in carbs can cause bloating if they aren't well digested. This could be a reason why someone may see an improvement in bloating symptoms if they try a gluten-free diet but don't have Celiac.

    H. Pylori (a bad bacteria) is also known to cause both burping and bloating along with other symptoms.

    Low stomach acid can cause both bloating and burping.

    Some sugar alcohols are not well tolerated by some people and may cause burping.

    Hormones can affect bloating as well, though I'm guessing you're already aware of cyclical changes, and bloating likely wouldn't be the only symptom if you had a hormone imbalance. But there are some other female issues that can cause you to feel bloated.

    And there are other food intolerances other than gluten that may also cause bloating as a symptom.

    If I were you, I'd probably start with doing some more research on a variety of topics. You know yourself best so you can weed out some of the possible causes of your bloating or burping, realize that you may also have some other symptoms, or learn a few things to avoid (such as chewing gum or carbonated beverages) or discover that one of your favorite foods is a known culprit for some of your problems.

    Based on just symptoms of bloating, I would not presume that Celiac was the cause. And that is a good thing considering how difficult living gluten free can be. However, since you've already started down the road of paying more attention to what you eat, keeping a food/symptom diary is a great way to help discover possible sources of problems.

    If the problem were just a matter of the gut flora being out of whack, eating meals that have variety can help, ie. not having meals that are all carbs, all sugars, all meat, etc. And one thing that could help anyone is to research the foods that contain probiotics naturally and add more of them to your diet. Taking a probiotic pill helps some people, but causes stomach upset for others because many of them just contain too much of a good thing.




    Though sugar of any sort doesn't help anyone, I'd probably just do low sugar for now rather than try to eliminate all of it and go gluten free at the same time. Though trying gluten-free foods is one way of lessening the ways in which you feel deprived early on, long-term, you'll probably end up cooking more foods for yourself from scratch so the amount of sugar in your diet will go down anyway.

    Beauty Products:

    I tried eye shadows and foundation from a brand called 100% Pure. I'm not a huge fan of how the foundation applies, and the color selection for the shadows is limited but they are good enough for how infrequently I wear makeup. But I do like that all of their ingredients are less toxic than those that you find in mainstream products. 

    Cross Contamination: Take it seriously. The first few months will likely include lots of accidents so don't bee too surprised when they do. Most people spend at least the first 3-4 months getting glutened on a regular basis until they figure out some hidden sources or realize that what they hoped would be safe actually isn't.

  16. The only time I avoid social gatherings because of food is when I don't have the time to prepare something to eat ahead of time, for instance, if I don't get enough notice.

    Otherwise, I have to be honest with myself and recognize that I choose not to go simply because I don't want to, and the food issues are just an excuse. Sometimes that is a good thing - not wasting the energy and money on activities that leave me feeling as if I just wasted an evening. Sometimes it is a sign that I'm just not all that comfortable with some types of social situations for a variety of reasons.

    I personally prefer meeting up with smaller groups or individuals much more than larger groups, and would prefer to do an activity rather than just sit around and eat. And I think my least favorite is when the only thing on the agenda is drinking alcohol. Perhaps you and your husband can find some middle ground by figuring out what factors other than food might make you more or less interested in attending, or occasionally have people come to you where you can control the menu.

  17. Others seem to have already covered the gluten aspect of this issue, so I'll pose alternate ideas. 

    Nausea and depression could both have causes other than gluten. If you haven't already, I'd head back to the doctor and get other tests done, specifically to see if there is something off with your hormone levels that could be a sign of thyroid disease, and because it is a good starting point to indicate other possible problems, get tested for other vitamin deficiencies.

    I've also seen people comment in the past about trying to introduce some foods that are completely new to them to see if they are well tolerated. For instance, if you haven't eaten quinoa in the past, give it a try.

    Sorry that a food diary hasn't helped so far. It is still possible that you might be experiencing additional intolerances, but perhaps haven't narrowed in on them yet. For instance, I have a touch of fructose intolerance, which could turn up in all sorts of different foods but doesn't mean that you can't have fructose, just have to balance it out with other food types. And right after I went gluten free, I had an allium intolerance, though that seems to have gotten better. There are also some odd allergies out there, such as to a chemical that is found in fruit and veggies, but it only occurs in high quantities if the fruit or veggie is picked before it has finished ripening. I'm not saying any of these are your issue, but perhaps you simply haven't stumbled upon the information about the right intolerance or allergy to have your food diary make sense ... yet.

    Also, it may help to consider different timing for food reactions. Are your reactions to the foods you just ate, or to the foods you ate the day before? That would vary from person to person and from intolerance to intolerance. Some foods cause problems once they hit the small intestines, others the large, etc.

    The FODMAP diet is supposed to be good for eliminating some common intolerances, if you haven't tried that yet.

    I'm a big believer in food as medicine so I do hope it doesn't take too long to for you to get back to the point where you can eat your way to better health. In the meantime, I'd probably buy some ginger to make ginger tea which is supposed to help calm nausea. You can also google foods that are supposed to be good for depression and see if any of them are on your safe list.

    I do hope that this at least gives you some ideas for things to try or to research while waiting for a doctors appointment.