Sunday, November 28, 2010

Easily Detected

The Big List of symptoms is often challenged by medical practitioners. They say that it is impossible for gluten (and other foods) to cause so many problems. However, I think that this is a shallow argument - the answer needs much more thought.

For instance, consider a virus. It is a very small infectious particle. Nevertheless, it can cause just about any symptom you can think of. Think about it. When you get unwell from a virus you can have heaps of symptoms: a headache, sore tummy, vomiting, diarrhea, feel miserable, no energy, temperature, feel off your food, get stomach reflux ... and any other symptoms you can imagine.

Think about this. Your body does not produce many symtoms - you only have a small number of symptoms. This is your body telling you that you are unwell. Your symptoms are not specific - they are general.

Lots of conditions can cause the same symptoms

That is why if you have symptoms on "The BIG LIST", and these symptoms are unexplained - then you could be suffering from a food intolerance/ allergy.

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A little bit of flattery is always welcome!

Toby’s mother wrote this down:

“Dr Ford, thank you for giving me an opportunity to write my story. As last, Toby (now 14 months old) is well again. I am so relieved. Toby is my second baby. Everything went so well for the first few weeks. I was a contented mother. He was breastfed and beautiful. But then our troubles began! By four weeks he was starting to whinge and squirm after feeds. I noticed that his skin was getting dry and felt scaly.

I got anxious. Over the next few weeks his rash got worse and worse. His cheeks got red and began to crack and weep. He developed cradle cap. He was being sick after his breast feeds. At times he seemed miserable. My GP had given me a steroid cream to put on – but it didn’t make much difference.

Luckily, one of my friends told me that this might be a food allergy and that I should see Dr Ford. I did! He solved the problem!

After listening to me, he did a series of skin prick tests. They were easy to do. They were done on his back and Toby didn’t even notice. Within five minutes he had two big bumps like sand-fly bites on his back. They were reactions to cow’s milk and to egg. It was amazing! I had an answer!

It was now so easy. All I had to do was to remove all cows’ milk and egg from my diet. I did this. Within three weeks Toby’s skin was almost perfect. It was hard to believe!"

Thank you Toby's mom! and, yes, Eczema is often driven by food allergy.

Here's video which shows the process of the skin prick test:

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The Big List

This is "The Big List" of symptoms caused by gluten and other foods

Textbooks about celiac disease give very long lists of symptoms. This has puzzled many gastroenterologists. They see celiac disease as primarily a gut disease. Thus, poor nutrition and malabsorption have been the excuses used to explain many of the odd non-gut symptoms.

However, it is becoming clear that gluten can cause neurological harm. This is the most likely explanation for all of these symptoms experienced in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.


Urticaria (wheals, welts)
Dry skin
Itchy skin

Gut/ bowel/ intestine
Gastric reflux / GORD/ GERD
Food Refusal
Local Symptoms - in or around the mouth
Abdominal pain
Recurrent vomiting
Poor growth/ Failure to thrive

Tired/ lack of energy
Muscle weakness
Behaviour disturbance
Poor concentration
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)

Runny nose
Ear troubles

Poor health/ Run down

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Dermatitis vs. Eczema: what are the differences?


“Explaining dermatitis as a rash would be helpful.”
“I don't know the difference between dermatitis and eczema so I assume you are expecting us to have paid a visit to a doctor.”
“The questions on dermatitis, eczema, dry and itchy skin, I would like more information to help me answer these.”


These terms are interchangeable. “Dermatitis” and “Eczema” are the names of skin conditions, whilst the “dryness, itchy, redness” are the symptoms of these conditions. Many of these skin conditions, especially in children are driven by foods.

The idea behind the questions is to see if there are significant ongoing skin troubles. If so, then it is worthwhile looking to see if a food intolerance or allergy could be the trigger/ provoking factor.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A website recommendation

I found a great source for a gluten free food website for those of you who are in NZ! It's a local business selling Gluten Free foods. They also have a shop (429 Cameron Road, Tauranga). The person who runs the Gluten Free shop is called Lauren who is a Coeliac along with her three sons.

According to the website, they have the largest range of gluten free food in New Zealand. Moreover, they have recipes, videos, book, etc .. You name it! A lot of effort seems to have been put into that website. Without any further due, here's the link to the website:

I hope this is helpful to many of you. Check it out and let me what you think.

Keep well.