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Yvonne (Vonnie) Mostat posted an article in Autumn 2018 IssueCeliac.com 10/26/2018 - Did you know that a new study shows people with celiac disease are more likely to suffer nerve damage? Jonas E. Ludvigsson, a clinical epidemiology Professor in Sweden, discovered that women with celiac disease are 2.5 times more likely to develop neuropathy or nerve damage. There is a real association between celiac disease and nerve damage. "We have precise risk assessments in a way we haven't had before" he stated last year. Yet even Sweden has its quandaries. 60% of women in Sweden who have celiac disease have neuropathy and they do not totally know why! Statistics vary from country to country, and even vary between specialists within that country. Nerve damage is no laughing matter, it presents with numbness and tingling of exterior areas (extremities). Basically, numbness in the nerve endings of the fingers and toes and other frustrating areas. Just try picking up pencils, or something hot out of the oven. If you do not feel the heat you will know that you may have nerve damage. Following a rigid gluten-free diet, however, can alleviate this problem to a certain degree, and that is why we keep repeating the mantra: “Eat Clean & Gluten-Free!” However, sometimes accidents happen, and people who have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or dermatitis herpetiformis get exposed to gluten. How to Recover From Accidental Gluten Exposure Kathy Holdman, M.S., R.N. and Certified Nutritional Therapist lists numerous ways to recover after gluten exposure. You need to take into account the amount of gluten exposure, length of time from last exposure, degree of gluten intolerance present, health of the digestive tract, existing inflammation or infection in the body and overall health status. Some people say they can recover in a few days, others say they may experience significant setbacks in their health that lasts weeks to months. For those with positive celiac disease it may take years for complete healing of the small intestine after gluten exposure, although "outward symptoms" may resolve sooner. Nurse Holdman suggests the following 10 tips to help alleviate symptoms from gluten exposure, and hopefully speed up recovery: Drink plenty of water, and this cannot be emphasized enough. Water is an essential nutrient for every cell in the body for proper function. Many people live in a state of chronic dehydration, which of course results in constipation. Then they take something to rid themselves of constipation and take too much and lose potassium, magnesium and throw out the balance of the salts in their body. When you have celiac disease you learn something new every week. Last week an Internist told me, after incurring my second bladder infection in eight weeks, that it could possibly be from the diarrhea following being glutened, and not totally washing myself. That made me a little sick just thinking about it. But, she told me an interesting fact about urinary tract infections and celiac disease. Celiacs do incur more frequent urinary tract infections due to more frequent diarrhea, no matter how meticulously clean we are. Taking four or five "Craisins" with each meal several times a day can limit the amount of bladder infections. I told her that I was also taking Cranberry tablets and she told me to throw them out because they are "useless." She said that you do not need to buy fresh cranberries, as they are "sour and expensive." Just buy a bag of the dried Craisins and eat some either before or after meals. Ingredients in the pure dried cranberries helps prevent bladder infections from occurring. Studies done in several Nursing Homes where many incontinent patients lived were given five Craisins either alone or in a salad twice daily and the decrease in urinary tract infections was nothing less than amazing. Get extra sleep and rest. Sleep is the time your body repairs itself. Avoid strenuous exercise, (the type that causes you to sweat). Exercise in moderation is what I think she wants to tell us. Drink bone broth. It is rich in minerals and gelatin and other nutrients that are soothing to the digestive system and nourishing to the entire body. Another health benefit of bone broth is hydration, and the more liquid intake the better. You can dress up bone broth with onions and garlic to improve the taste. Take epson salt baths. They contain magnesium, a mineral that can help the body to relax. The sulphate minerals found in Epson Salts are detoxifying, and they can stimulate the lymphatic system and support the immune system. Nurse Holdman also urges us to take digestive enzymes which can help modulate the symptoms of celiac disease. Take digestive enzymes. If taken immediately following the accidental consumption of gluten, some people believe that digestive enzymes can help to modulate the symptoms of celiac disease. It is well known that digestive enzymes soothe the stomach lining and ease the abdominal pain. Drink ginger or peppermint tea. They are both known to help relieve nausea and can be soothing to the digestive system. Drink a cup if you are having nausea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Take activated charcoal. It is an over-the-counter-supplement that may be beneficial if taken immediately after an attack. It helps by binding with the offending food and preventing it from being absorbed into the body. This supplement can bind with medications so be sure to consult your licensed health care professional prior to taking it, especially if you take medications for other diseases or conditions. Eat fermented foods. Who knew!? Possibly the Koreans and their staple Kim Chi, or the Ukrainians/Romanians with their fermented red cabbage coleslaw of course! Fermented foods are high in nutrients that nourish the entire body. Start out with a small amount of fermented food and slowly increase it. Drink nettle leaf tea. It is an antispasmodic with antihistamine properties. It can help relieve muscle and joint pain, and relax your body naturally. Neither gluten intolerance nor celiac disease are mediated by histamine, but some people report that nettle leaf can help relieve symptoms of rash and itching following gluten exposure. It is a gentle diuretic and can be detoxifying. So if you experience dehydration symptoms it is time to drink more water. Get acupuncture treatments. It may relieve inflammation, especially in the abdominal area, and it can be relaxing. Only you can tell how many treatments are beneficial, and you need to take into consideration the cost factor because most health insurance plans do not cover acupuncture. Tips to Help People with Dermatitis Herpetiformis Recover from Accidental Gluten Exposure A suggestion from Me: If you have itching from dermatitis herpetaformis, try Scalpacin. I have been using it for years and nothing stops the itching in such a short time span. Once the sores start to appear, even just a slight "itch" is like a doorbell warning you ahead of time. I apply Scalpacin lotion, which is not a cream, but is a clear liquid. At first it stings but that is how I know that I have an impending outbreak. It is a non-fragrant liquid. You can use it on your scalp without totally ruining your hair style. Don't wash you hair with it, search out the spots, or, if you have a partner, they may be able to help you with the sores in your scalp, and you can point out itchy areas. For dermatitis herpetiformis itch you can also try a mix of baking soda and water by making it into a paste. This is not great for your scalp and hair, but it will ease the itching. It can be a little messy when it dries and the white powder flakes off on your floors, but you do not have to use it for hours at a time; it is a temporary method for temporary relief. You can also ask your physician if he or she will prescribe the prescription drug "Atarax" for you. It is a strong allergy medication and must be taken exactly as directed. It really helps the itch, but it can be sedating, especially when first trying it. Don't over-use the prescribed dosage. I would not suggest driving a car while taking Atarax, but if the itching, scabbing and bleeding have become so severe it definitely is the one allergy medication that helps with the itching from dermatitis herpetiformis. I have tried Benadryl, Claritin and other over the counter allergy medications, and nothing works as well as Atarax. Talk to your family physician about a prescription and read the instructions carefully. Hopefully these tips will prove helpful in the unfortunate event that you ever get cross-contaminated by gluten. I certainly hope this never happens to you!
Yvonne (Vonnie) Mostat posted an article in Summer 2018 IssueCeliac.com 08/03/2018 - Do you know that there are numerous sites on the web to help you with the symptoms of getting glutened, and other suggestions to prevent you from ever getting "glutened". There are tips to help heal gluten exposure even for the gluten sensitive or person with dermatitis herpetiformis to speed up the process of getting the gluten out of your system. The dermatitis herpetiformis sores can be assisted with some simple home remedies that can ease you through to the scabbing and eventual disappearance, save for the scarring which is slower to heal.. First, we need to really "get" the fact that this is a disease that you will not grow out of despite what some advertisers attest. There are fewer people being mis-diagnosed today because of the blood test being readily available. Most physicians have crawled into the 21st Century and know about the symptoms of celiac disease, but some are still at a loss when looking at a severe outbreak of dermatitis herpetiformis. The United States and Canada have different laws concerning allergy labeling. A recent survey presented at the AAAAI Allergists' Convention in Los Angeles in March revealed that 40 percent of consumers avoiding one or more allergens when buying foods "Manufactured in a facility that also processes allergens.” Beyond buying habits the researchers also found a lack of awareness of labeling. Another problem occurs with differences in the food laws between the United States and Canada, and with the fluctuating Canadian dollar many Americans close to the border are taking advantage of the savings and shopping in Canada. 45% of people were unaware that precautionary labeling is not required by law. In Canada, labeling regulations require manufacturers to clearly indicate if major allergens are ingredients of a product. But there are no legal guidelines on how companies should identify products that may have come into contact with food allergens during manufacturing. I did a survey of six bakeries this past month that baked gluten free products. Out of the six, four cleaned their ovens and pans by pressure washing and only baked gluten-free on one particular day a week. Even their gluten-free home made noodles were made on a separate day and had to be ordered ahead of time. Recently Health Canada recommended companies limit the advisories to the phrase "May contain", but even that is not yet a legal issue, just a precautionary one I was told. A recent study tested 186 products with precautionary peanut labels and found 16 (just under 9%) contained the allergen. It becomes very serious after a 22 year old Minnesota man, with a peanut allergy died in January of anaphylaxis after eating a chocolate candy with a label that it had been made in a plant that also processed peanuts. "Not the same', you say but it brings to the foreground the fact that there are too many different types of wording, says author Dr. Susan Waserman, a professor of medicine in the division of allergy and immunology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. "Patients assume that differences in wording imply a lower level of risk, which they don't. " Gupta and Waserman would like to see precautionary labels reduced to one or two clearly defined phrases. For instance, Dr. Gupta says if a "May Contain" label meant that the food might have up to 100 milligrams of an allergen, then the patient could work with their doctors to find out just how much of their allergen may be safe to consume and purchase foods accordingly. The study shows that there is already research "underway to develop thresholds for such labels." Did you know that the outward manifestations of getting glutened may be different for everyone, and can cause a variety of symptoms such as brain fog, diarrhea, constipation, headache, rash, weakness, joint pain, swelling, vomiting and fatigue. Inside your body gluten is perceived as a toxin that causes inflammation and damage to the intestines. Ridding yourself of this toxin, reducing inflammation and healing your gut from the damage are essential to recovering as quickly as possible. Did you know that digestive enzymes help speed up the breakdown and absorption of micronutrients. Be sure to take an enzyme that includes dipeptidyl peptidase (DPP-IV) and or AN-PEP, both of which help to break down gluten. In fact several sites recommend that those with celiac and gluten intolerance take enzymes with DPP-IV and/or AN-PEP when dining out. Activated charcoal and bentonite clay rid toxins and help reduce gas and bloating. It is best to increase water intake when taking either of these to avoid constipation, which will only delay healing. Speaking of water intake, it is one of the biggest ways of removing gluten from your body. Cleanse, don't drown yourself, but drink as much water or a pure juice, (not pop) is one of the fastest ways of doing a body cleanse from a celiac outbreak, whether a diagnosed celiac, gluten sensitive, or those afflicted with dermatitis herpetiformis. I have been nagged so many times to drink more water when experiencing a dermatitis herpetiformis outbreak. You can try coconut water, which contains electrolytes that may have been lost through vomiting or diarrhea. Decreasing inflammation occurs naturally in our body when there has been an insult or inflammation to it. Decreasing inflammation is essential in healing your gut. 10 tips may help you reduce inflammation and recover quickly should you accidentally ingest gluten: Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oils, flax and chia seeds are full of anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids. It is recommended to take 1 - 2 grams of omega 3 oils daily. You can go up to 4 grams a day for a week after an accidental gluten ingestion. Never play guessing games with celiac disease, or cheat. In the scheme of things it is NOT worth it, and deep inside when you are really suffering you know that sneaking a regular donut is definitely not worth it. The man that said to me, "Every time I come back from Japan to the U.S.A. I have to have Kentucky Fried Chicken and to heck with the consequences", I noticed the last sabbatical when he came over for a visit he did not succumb to his favorite Kentucky Fried Chicken. He now had dermatitis herpetiformis, which is basically celiac disease of the skin. I have been told it can often be caused by extreme stress or constantly cheating on the gluten-free diet. If you think being a celiac is "The Poor Me Syndrome" think again! Dermatitis herpetiformis on your scalp can give you an extreme desire to shave your hair off, and pick the itchy sores off your legs until they not only scar, but look like a shark attack. Don't do it! And I am not even telling you about what it does to the lining in your bowel and the nutrients that are flowing through your body right down the toilet. Ginger has high levels of gingerol, which gives it a natural spicy flavor and acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body. It also has potent anti-nausea properties and can ease stomach cramping, Drinking warm ginger tea is a great idea. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family that contains the active ingredient curcumin, which is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Try an anti-inflammatory smoothie with turmeric. It is a great drink to help you quickly recover from getting glutened. Did you know that nearly 70% of our immune system is in our gut? Having a healthy gut is crucial for optimal health. Probiotics. Many researchers suggest or recommend taking a highly concentrated probiotic (24-100 billion units a day). Amy Myers, M.D., is a renowned leader in functional medicine and a New York Times best selling author of "The Auto-Immune Solution".She received her doctorate in Autoimmune Diseases and has several books on celiac disease and its mystifying complex symptoms. Celiac disease reacts differently with each person, and childhood celiac disease symptoms are often different than adult onset celiac disease. L-Glutamine. It is an amino acid that is great for repairing damage to the gut, helping the gut lining to regrow and repair, undoing the damage caused by gluten. Dr, Myers recommends 3 -5 grams a day for a week after exposure. *MY ADVICE to you all is to write these suggestions down and show them to your general practitioner, research them on the internet, Do not take my word for it or the words of these authors; check and re-check your facts. It is your body, and just like you would change grocery stores if they sold you a bunch of out-dated food products, you would complain and possibly shop somewhere else. You have a right to read about new things and be heard. Slippery Elm. It contains mucilage, which stimulates nerve endings in he gastrointestinal (GI) tract to increase its secretion of mucus. Mucus forms a barrier in the gut to protect it and promote healing. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). DGL is a herb that is being used for more than 3,000 years in Marshmallow root is a multipurpose supplement that can be used for respiratory or digestive relief. Like slippery elm, it contains mucilage, which eases the inflammation in the stomach lining, heals ulcers and treats both diarrhea and constipation by creating a protective lining on the digestive tract. Bone Broth is very high in the anti-inflammatory amino-acids glycine and proline. The gelatin in bone broth protects and heals the mucosal lining of the digestive tract that may et disrupted by being glutened. Baking Soda Remember, be your own researcher and look into each of these before trying them.