Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gluten free means ZERO gluten

Often I am asked: "How strict do I have to be?"

"Does a little bit of gluten-food now and then really matter?"


The word that I use for gluten is "ZERO". I have come to this conclusion because it is important for your antibodies against gluten to slowly disappear. Every time that you have gluten (by error or as a deliberate choice) you stimulate your immune system to continue to produce these potentially harmful antibodies again. This undoes a lot of the work that you have been doing to dampen down the gluten reactions.

So I say Gluten free means ZERO gluten - not negotiable.

To achieve this, you will need to be absolutely convinced about your "gluten-induced-disease" (get a confirmed diagnosis and get the correct set of blood tests). Also develop a group of people around you (who understand the gluten thing) who can help and nourish your diet path. AND, you can help them. Join our facebook page - that will help too.

The simple answer is "ZERO gluten"

Cheers Rodney

Visit the eClinic for a second opinion:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hi Friends

We are now at day-5 following our last massive earthquake. Christchurch, up until 6 months ago, had not ever had a significant quake. Now it has!

My reaction has been mixed, up and down. When it struck, I was in clinic, with a patient (a little 8-month old boy with cow’s milk allergy). His mum scoped him up in her arms and dropped to the floor, protecting him. It dawned on me that this was a BIG shake, and so ducked under my desk. The violence of this shaking, of this 6.3 magnitude quake, lasted for about 15 seconds. I finished our consultation and escorted the shaken mum to reception and got her into her car.

Initial calm. At that moment in time I had no idea how bad this earthquake had been – our clinic had not been too damaged – fallen books, cascading glass and crockery. But no injury.

Then felt panic. Where was Chris, my wife - was she safe? The mobile network was patchy, but when we spoke she told me she was unharmed: she was driving and thought that a bomb had gone off and blown out all of her tyres. The roads were broken, blocked and gridlocked – she took 2 hours to crawl home in the traffic.

Gratitude. A sense of “so-wonderful-to-be-alive”. That health and family is the only treasure we have. Broken buildings can be fixed. Broken bodies need graves. A sense of enjoy the moment with the people we love.

Grief. For hundreds dead and even more seriously injured – being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Loved ones wrenched from their families. Tragic. Tears well up from time to time – tears wanting to flow freely, but held back as this cannot-be-happening-to-us.

A feeling of together. All of us Christchurch citizens have this shared experience, which makes us closer: closer in adversity. And well-wishes from phone, email, facebook and networks connect us to you all. Thank you all for sending much-needed blessings and love.

Inertia. My brain has slowed down and my plans of re-editing a book this weekend are out-the-window! Why the hurry? Enjoy the beach, the sunshine, and the sense of being-alive. Cherish my wife and family. Focus on the now.

Wanting to help. Everyone is helping everyone else. A huge combined effort to restore our health, community and city. We are safe and well, but there are thousands who are not. We are running our clinic next week, business as usual.

We have cleaned up much of the quake-mess. We are so grateful for your thoughts.

Cheers Rodney & Chris

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do not put food on your skin

Please, do not put food on your skin

People with food allergies get symptoms if the eat the culprit food. But also if they put it on the skin.

This is very interesting - I am a food allergist. Often I see parents putting foods (in creams and potions) onto their child's skin and subsequently getting an allergic reaction - or worse, they are sensitizing their child to yet another food via the skin.

Foods are for eating - not for skin care in people with food sensitivity. Although these creams promote that they are “natural”, it is best to put something inert on the skin (such as a fatty cream).

This also applies to gluten. Gluten in cosmetics, and especially lipstick, is a no no. Many people get itchy or even feel unwell when gluten gets through the skin. Do not breath it is either: wheat dust can be breathed in and make you sick as well.

Free-from means free from on the skin and in the lungs.

Author of The Gluten Syndrome

Gluten sensitivity is real

Gluten sensitivity is realPDFPrintE-mail

10 Feb 2011 My response to The Gazette Montreal

Dear Sir,

Gluten-sensitivity: a medically proven entity. So I was disturbed to read the piece by Brian Dunning “Is gluten really something that most people should avoid?” I am also a “skeptoid”. However, my reading recent medical research has convinced me that gluten-sensitivity is indeed a common and serious entity.

A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, has confirmed the presence of gluten-sensitivity in the absence of coeliac disease. They set out to determine whether gluten ingestion could induce symptoms in non-celiac individuals. It did. (Biesiekierski JR et al, Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jan 11. “Gluten Causes Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Subjects Without Celiac Disease: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial”).

Six years ago, Dr. Marios Hadjivassiliou, Consultant Neurologist, wrote in the British Medical Journal: “published literature supports the contention that gluten sensitivity represents a diverse spectrum of which coeliac disease is just one part.” (Gluten ataxia: science versus conviction).

The entity of gluten-sensitivity has been validated by many others, including Prof A Fassano, celiac expert at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA. Last year he said: “A category of people appear to be sensitive to gluten without having full-blown celiac disease. For them, symptoms may be less typical, involving depression, mental fogginess, mood swings and behavior changes.” Gluten-sensitivity is recognised to be ten times more common than coeliac disease. Fassano goes on to say: “Previously, gluten sensitivity was diagnosed mainly by ruling out celiac disease and wheat allergy in people with symptoms. But researchers are evaluating antibodies to gliadin, a gluten component, as a possible biomarker. About 7% of the population has these anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA); intriguingly, so do 18% of people with autism, and 20% of people with schizophrenia.”

Yes, gluten-sensitivity is a common and important medical condition that requires treatment with a strict gluten-free diet.

Yours sincerely

Dr Rodney Ford.

M.B., B.S., M.D., F.R.A.C.P.

Paediatric Allergy & Gastroenterology Specialist The Children’s Clinic and Allergy Centre.

Author of “The Gluten Syndrome: Is wheat causing you harm?”


Thursday, February 3, 2011

My celiac panel came back negative

Most common question: "My celiac panel came back negative. My biopsy was negative as well. Do I keep pushing for a diagnosis, or assume I am truly not sensitive to gluten?? So perplexed!! :)"

This is the most common question that I get asked. So I wrote 4 books about it!

  • The Gluten Syndrome;
  • Are You Gluten Sensitive? Your Questions Answered;
  • The book for the Sick Tired and Grumpy;
  • Full Of It: The Shocking Truth About Gluten.

Three things to think about:

1- Did you get a gluten antibody test? (IgG-gliadin antibody)? That helps with the diagnosis. What lab tests were actually run - have you had a look at the actual numbers?

2 – If you feel better gluten-free, and get sick/unwell when you eat gluten: then you are gluten sensitive. The diagnosis is made by your own experience (that is made by elimination & challenge). It is not exclusively a blood test diagnosis.

3 – The blood tests can help with diagnosis (checking for gut damage [celiac disease], confirming gluten antibody responses, checking nutritional status). But if you have “normal” tests, this does not rule out gluten-sensitivity … The Gluten Syndrome.

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