Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Disease, Drugs or diet? What is your choice?

I have just seen a boy Joseph in my Clinic. He is ten years old. He is gluten sensitive (diagnosed by high gliadin antibodies and a good clinical response to a gluten-free diet).

He complains of a sore tummy, he is tired and irritated. He has a degree of reflux and constipation.

In the past, he went gluten-free with good effect - all his symptoms disappeared. However, he has been eating gluten for the last year again and is now sick again.

Both he and his parents are reluctant for him to go back on a gluten-free diet because it is somewhat complicated for them, it is inconvenient and it costs more.

He has a choice of three outcomes: Disease, Drugs or diet?

1. DISEASE He can continue with disease probably getting more symptoms, and having a significant impact on his health, particularly in the future.
2. DRUGS He can take drugs for reflux, constipation and pain. This means he still has the ongoing disease and also the potential of harm from chronic medication.
3. DIET He can choose dietary changes. He needs to be on a gluten-free diet and eat more healthy food.

The third option is the most complicated for his family but would give him the biggest benefit. The choice seems like a no-brainer intellectually, but when you apply these thoughts to the real life, many people chose drugs and disease.

My call: diet not drugs. Eat better food for better health.

Cheers Dr Rodney Ford


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Laurie Donaldson asks on facebook: "I wonder how it feels, Dr. Ford, to be one of the people who has known this all along and has tried so hard to get the word out!"

Well Laurie, thanks for the question. In one word, it feels "frustrating!"

I have spent 30 years treating children with food allergies (and most docs still won't 'believe' in food allergy.

I have spent 21 years (since 1990 when the gliadin antibodies were available) learning more and more about gluten/celaic/sensitivity - and guess what - most docs still won't 'believe' in gluten intolerance.

So what can I do?? I have written 9 books on allergy, gluten and nutrition (2 more to come out soon); I have travelled the world speaking about gluten-harm; I have launched the concept of Gluten Free Planet; I do blogs and facebook and twitter!; I run an allergy clinic; I write medical articles and present at GI conferences; I advocate advocate advocate.

I am the first person to describe "Gluten Syndrome" and have written the book about it!

It is hard work - but as Churchill said "Never, Never, Never Give Up". I am an optimist - we (the GF community) will prevail.

If you want me to speak somewhere - please invite me - I will see if I can make it.

Cheers Rodney

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Are you gluten diseased?

When we are unwell, we look for a diagnosis for our illness/disease. Say we have been diagnosed with the ‘flu’. We get better and so we no longer have the flu. We are well.

In my question on facebook I asked, Why are you Gluten free? In the options I wrote "I had celiac disease". I used the past tense because when you go GF you should no longer be diseased. I want to talk about health, not disease.

Why do people use the description “celiac disease” when they are now fully recovered? Yes, they need to be gluten-free life-long. Yes, if they eat gluten they will get diseased again.

People could say “I am a healthy celiac”

What do you think?

Cheers Dr Rodney Ford

Friday, June 10, 2011

Anonymous food at conference

I was at a gastroenterology conference last week (ESPGHAN). The information was excellent (in Sorento, Italy).

But I am very disappointed about the lack of any food descriptions. The food was anonymous. No labels, no description, no allergen declarations.

At a GI/food allergy/nutrition conference, I would have thought that people on special diets would be catered for. For example, I am Gluten Free. Morning & Afternoon teas had no GF option. Boxed breakfasts - no GF option. Lunch boxes - GF option was hard to track down (no info given about how to get this food). There was no indication about dairy/eggs/nuts in any of the food. It was definitely not a food-allergy friendly conference. Very odd. This lack of food action does not give a very good message - we should be taking food allergy/intolerance seriously, at every venue. I say: less talking and more doing.