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Molly Hallström posted an article in Winter 2017 IssueCeliac.com 01/04/2017 - Ever since I was a young girl I have always had a bad stomach. Last year, when I was 16, I decided to move to London. Circumstances became difficult, and I ended up becoming physically and mentally ill, which included anorexia nervosa and then onset depression and trauma, as well as almost crippling anxiety. Things led to me getting so ill that I went to a doctor who noticed that I had serious mouth ulcers—and this is what finally led them to diagnose me with celiac disease, after what seemed to be months of suffering. At the time my diagnosis seemed to make a lot of sense because of the stomach pains I had, especially after eating certain foods. My symptoms included much confusion, dire pains, and resulted in my having a phobia of food. As most celiacs know, currently there is no medicine available to treat celiac disease, and the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet. I got diagnosed in late January 2016, and have been on a strict gluten-free diet ever since, and although I believe this has helped me a lot, more than nine months later, I still often have the same symptoms. They vary in levels and are sometimes uncomfortable and very painful. Sometimes I have migraines, stomach bloating, churning, etc., all of which are not very nice. Let me explain a little about what celiac is. It is an autoimmune disease where the immune system kills off tissue in the small intestine in response to ingesting gluten. This can make eating more difficult, and a lot of the time I am left in pain with nothing to do but sit in agony and wait for it to stop. But what if there was something else out there that could help with ongoing symptoms? I recently discovered that thousands are being helped by using cannabis to treat their celiac disease symptoms. Marijuana is gluten-free and for some, can ease the painful symptoms. Special note: This approach is NOT meant as a substitution for a guten-free diet, but for some people, like myself, it can offer additional symptom relief for those who need it. Reset.me has this posted: "Marijuana 'cools the gut,' in which it slows down the muscle contractions that move food through the stomach and intestines and reduces the secretion of liquid into the intestines associated with diarrhea (one of the most severe symptoms of the disease)," Deno writes. "Marijuana also controls the muscle spasms associated with diarrhea. It also increases appetite and can offset the inefficiency in the Celiac's ability to absorb nutrients from the food you eat." "People with celiac in some states in America are able to get access to to medical marijuana if they have chronic pain. The rest of us [celiacs] are left with buying illegally or simply avoiding this one plant that may be the most effective celiac treatment of all!" HelloMD.com states: "Inflammation can be suppressed by activating the cannabinoid receptors, CB2, on immune cells. Though there have not yet been clinical human trials, this study opens up new avenues to investigate as possible treatment options for autoimmune diseases. Though this study only looked at THC, CBD is also known to help the immune system. CBD helps repair the bodies [sic] ability to recognize the difference between normal internal body functions and foreign entities, keeping the body from attacking itself." Remember, Marijuana is not a cure, but is a natural anti-convulsant and can suppress seizure activity. It is also anti-inflammatory, and has helped people with other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and many others. I smoked cannabis even before I was diagnosed, and I always found that it settled my stomach. I have since spoken to many other people with celiac disease online and face to face, and I've done a fair amount of research to find out if there are other celiacs who experience the same relief from their symptoms. While doing my research, I came across an interesting post on Medhelp.org by Betherie Mommi about a girl with celiac who also suffers with IBS and has a history of chronic pain, nausea and, just like me, eating disorders. With such a weak stomach it's always hard to eat things without discomfort. She goes on to say that she uses medical marijuana becuase the meds that the doctors gave her have not helped with the pain and side effects of the medications, and the marijuana has also helped her appetite. She goes on to give one of the best descriptions of stomach pains, which I also get, but had difficulty explaining: "like velcro made out of razor blades being pulled apart in certain parts of your belly." She goes on to say that it also gave a sense of community back to her life, as you do sometimes feel excluded as a celiac, because there's a lot you have to miss out on. Betherie Mommi was a medical marijuana patient. I really notice the effects it has on me, and how it relieves my stomach pains, including providing relief from the confusion and anxiety that I've experienced. I feel that other people shouldn't have to go through what I've had to experience, and I really do believe that this is an exceptional way forward for some people. You can find CBD only "vapes", liquids, and waxes, which are also supposed to help, but in my case the THC, even if it is a low dosage, was essential to get rid of the pain. What I have described in this article is only what has helped me, after much suffering, and I urge all celiacs to do their own research and speak to their doctors before making a decision. I really believe that this approach could be helpful to so many others, but I also realize that it may not be for everyone. Sources: Cannabis May Cure Celiac Disease Can Cannabis Help Autoimmune Disease Sufferers? Medhelp.org
Jefferson Adams posted an article in Additional Celiac Disease ConcernsCeliac.com 11/15/2016 - The YouTube video that helped to spark litigation against blood pressure drug Olmesartan, also marketed as Benicar, was made by celiac disease expert Dr. Joseph Murray, a gastroenterologist and a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, New York, who is very familiar with the drug's side effects. In July 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning to patients and doctors that the popular blood pressure medication Benicar had been linked to a severe side effect called sprue-like enteropathy. The side effect was easily confused with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, and caused serious problems in many patients, including cases of irreparable gut damage. A week after the FDA's warning, Dr. Joseph Murray took to YouTube to notify patients about the drug's risks. In the video, Dr. Murray advises anyone who is taking Benicar, and who has also been diagnosed with celiac disease, to consult a doctor about the FDA warning. Many Benicar patients learned the hard way the drug can cause debilitating side effects, but Dr. Murray's video no doubt helped spread awareness to patients who suffer from sprue-like enteropathy. Many patients feel Benicar's manufacturer, Daiichi Sankyo, failed to warn consumers of the risks associated with the drug and are now trying to hold the company responsible through legal action. There are more than 1,700 lawsuits currently pending against the company. Plaintiffs have called into question the validity of the clinical trial leading to Benicar's approval with the FDA. Managing high blood pressure is a long-term proposition, but the clinical trial testing Benicar's safety and efficacy only lasted three months. Plaintiffs believe the short clinical trial caused the makers to overlook the risk of sprue-like enteropathy, but plaintiffs are also pointing to the fact that drug maker Daiichi Sankyo spent $1 billion on Benicar advertising between 2002 and 2008. The plaintiffs say that company advertising focused more on the benefits of Benicar, while downplaying potential risks. The suit has been slate for court docket in 2017. Stay tuned for developments on this and related matters.
Well, since my last post things have really turned around in a good way. My mom is now on my side fully with going gluten-free. I feel so much better, though I am now having huge flare-ups of new and typical allergies, and also now having loose stool and gastro pain. I think it's my daily pills... I'm having issues with lactose still, gluten (of course), my tea tree organic castile soap (Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Bar Soap), any shampoo (currently am using Mane and Tail), an organic body wash called 100% Pure White Peach Hydrating Body Wash which I used to be able to use to wash my face and now it causes an awful full-faced itchy, burning rash, and I'm sure other things which I can't think of at the moment. I take 40mg Lexapro daily for depression and anxiety. I have for about 10 years. Well all of a sudden on Thursday when I took all my pills in the afternoon I began having this awful panic attack - but it wasn't the kind where my brain is panicking - like "THE SKY IS FALLING" no, it's a body-only thing where my body gets super hot in the core and upper arms/legs and my hands and feet get freezing cold! and It's like there is a fire burning inside my torso. It's freaky and awful and I hate it! I eventually got over it mostly Thursday night and was finally able to fall asleep at about 4am. Then Friday afternoon I took only 2 Lexapro and no other medications. Same reaction, though not as severe. So I googled it and it seems it may be seretonin toxicity. Hmm. My gut may be healing - so it's absorbing more of the Lexapro - which makes my brain more saturated or whatever. So today I will only take 1 Lexapro (20mg) which is half dose. I'll see how I do tonight. I think I will take my blood pressure pill though. I do need that one. So, yeah, my body is freaking out severely and I have no idea why. Allergies, pain, rashes, panic attacks. I'm a walking mystery at this point. But hopefully I can get over these problems. *shrugs* I do see my allergist March 21st - this coming Friday. I will tell him everything that is going on and hopefully he can help me figure this out.