Thursday, July 28, 2011

Create gluten-conscious-thinking

Food allergy/sensitivity/intolerance so common, but often unrecognized.

I am in a philosophical mood.

This week I have heard (via my patients) significant hear-say criticism from my medical colleagues about my approach to food allergies and food intolerance.

A comment on skin prick testing from one colleague was “this just a load of crap”. I was appalled to hear this comment reported ... and all it did for my patient was to display his ignorance about these illnesses.

Another colleague apparently commented “I don't believe in gastric reflux , it's just a fad, just deal with it!” Again, this attitude has distanced this family from their GP. Again, belief has triumphed over the fact.

Unfortunately, these are not isolated reports. It turns out that the notion that foods can cause anyone harm is difficult to swallow (deliberate pun).

This lack of a basic understanding of food allergy is very odd in the face of so much medical research. For instance, a recent study on food allergy (Differentiating Food Allergies from Food Intoleran... [Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2011] - PubMed result “Adverse reactions to foods are extremely common, and generally they are attributed to allergy.”

Yes, my experience is that Food allergy/sensitivity/intolerance so common, yet often goes unrecognized. Especially, gluten-illness.

Our plan is to create such a HUGE consumer demand that GF becomes main-stream - together we have great strength.

My mission: to Create gluten-conscious-thinking.
The recognition of wheat/gluten illness is very poor. Most medical people do not even consider the diagnosis. That is why as a GF community we have the responsibility of spreading the word about these gluten-related-conditions.

We all have a story - so go tell it.

Thanks Cheers Rodney Ford
Author of "The Gluten Syndrome"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Refractory iron-deficiency anemia caused by gluten intolerance

Yet another clear piece of evidence of the problems of un-recognised and un-treated consequences of gluten sensitivity. When do you think that mainstream doctors are going to wake up to this diagnosis? Every week that they continue in "self-induced-disbelief", thousands of patients unnecessarily continue to suffer undiagnosed.

Here is the abstract:

Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 2011 Jul;103(7):349-354.
Refractory iron-deficiency anemia and gluten intolerance - Response to gluten-free diet.Rodrigo Sáez L, Fuentes Álvarez D, Pérez Martínez I, Alvarez Mieres N, Niño García P, De Francisco García R, Riestra Menéndez S, Vivas Alegre S, Olcoz Goñi JL.
ntroduction: refractory iron-deficiency anemia has a multifactorial origin related to various gastrointestinal conditions, with celiac disease plus malabsorption and IBD together with isolated gluten intolerance being most common.Objectives: to determine the prevalence of serum, genetic, and histological markers for gluten intolerance, and to analyze the response to gluten withdrawal from the diet in these patients.Methods: a number of patients with refractory anemia were prospectively and consecutively enrolled. A protocol to measure serum (TGt-2), genetic (HLA-DQ2/DQ8), and histological markers for celiac disease was applied. All followed a gluten-free diet for a median 3.6 years. Sustained remission of anemia during follow-up was interpreted as positive response.Results: ninety-eight patients (84% females) with a mean age of 54 years were studied. Anti-TGt2 antibodies were positive in 5% of cases. A total of 67 cases (68%) were haplotype HLA-DQ2 or -DQ8 (+). We found villous atrophy (Marsh III) in 13% of patients, and an inflammatory pattern (Marsh I or II) in 13%. All remaining 72 patients (74%) had no histological duodenal changes.Age, anemia duration, number of transfusions, number of parenteral iron doses, and time on a gluten-free diet were all compared according to the presence or absence of villous atrophy and HLA-DQ2/8 positivity, and no significant differences were found for any of the analyzed variables. Response was positive in 92% of subjects.Conclusions: celiac disease with villous atrophy is rarely a cause of refractory anemia. Gluten intolerance with no histological lesions is seen in almost 75% of patients, and therefore plays a relevant role in its development.

Dr Rodney Ford
Visit the eClinic for a second opinion
Author of: The Gluten Syndrome

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gluten Free Planet - you can help me write the book

Gluten Free Planet

Introduction to the new book


“We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything”. Thomas Edison


Your first thoughts about the gluten-free planet idea might be to dismiss the concept as ridiculous. Maybe crazy or whacky. However, I challenge you to answer the question: “Why not?

This apparently crazy concept has got me intrigued. The practical question we are posing is “Under what circumstances could a gluten-free planet become a reality?”

This book is being created by the collaborative effort from the amazing people/friends on our facebook group “Gluten Free Planet”:

Modify the food, or modify the people?

There are two schools of thought about celiac disease: 1) Modify the food and avoid gluten (lifelong), or 2) modify the people so that they can tolerate gluten. The default option is do nothing – just leave millions to suffer unknowingly from the deleterious effects of wheat/gluten.

Modify our body

The first approach is to use drugs and/or vaccines to modify your immune response to gluten. The idea is to force your immune system to react differently to gluten, so you will not get sick.

Prof Bob Anderson (, a celiac disease researcher in Australia, has set up “The Coeliac Research Fund” (CRF) which he says is the first organisation in the world to actively seek to solve the problem of celiac disease. He believes that to do this, it is just a matter of working out the molecular basis for celiac disease, which will then revolutionize treatment and prevention.

I understand this to mean giving us drugs and vaccines, and making alterations to our immune systems so that we are able to tolerate a potentially toxic food (that is the gluten and other wheat proteins) that without this immune-protection make us sick.

I am totally opposed to such an interventionist research program. This research is centered on the idea of creating commercially successful new pharmacology products. Many patents have already been applied for. Vaccines are already in the early testing phases. The pharmo-commerce machine is already being created.

Should we give drugs and vaccines to smokers?

This is like saying that smokers should be given drugs and vaccines to allow then to continue smoking, rather than making it easy for them to quit. And it would be easy to quit smoking if we lived on a tobacco-free planet.

One of the CRF researchers, Dr Jason Tye-Din, wrote in the Coeliac Link magazine (2011): “As to why people with coeliac disease get symptoms is not well understood … we believe that certain chemicals are released by the body after eating gluten, and these can lead to adverse symptoms.”

This is such a vague comment to base the drive to create a vaccine. It is my hypothesis that the main pathway for gluten-harm is through the neurologic pathways.

Or … modify our food

The other approach is to modify your food. This is the current and only way that people with celiac disease have been able to manage their gluten-sensitivity. This has been the standard approach for the last 60 years.

This has meant eliminating every speck of gluten from our diets, and replacing it with other (more) nourishing foods. The gluten-grains of wheat, rye and barley have to be completely avoided. However, our big problem is that of cross-contamination. In this food-processing-world, wheat and wheat derivative are either purposefully added to foods, or it creeps (gallops) in by accident. Consequently, this makes it difficult to completely eliminate gluten from our lives.

Thus, if all foods and food-manufacturing activity could be transformed into being gluten-free, the problem would be solved.

Over the last decade, there has been exponential increases in the availability of excellent gluten-free products. It has never been easier to adopt a gluten-free diet. But the cross-contamination problem remains unsolved, and is likely to be getting bigger.


Request; This is the first part of my new book - you can contribute to it by writing feedback in the comments - next post will lay out the proposed structure.

Cheers and thanks

Dr Rodney Ford

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Neurological symptoms - will they heal on a GF diet?

Tom asks: “I am wondering whether or not my neurological symptoms from gluten will heal on a gluten free diet (left temple ache, left arm pain, right leg weakness, muscle twitching, etc)

Years ago, I noticed dizziness that seemed connected with allergy season. The more significant symptoms above started about six years ago--although some arm pain occurred before then.

I'm a 49 year old male. I've been gluten/casein free for about eight months with no improvement.

Please let me know your thoughts on this question. Thank you.”

My reply: Hi Tom, Good question. The longer that gluten damage has gone on, the slower any healing.
Did you get anti-gliadin-antibody tests?
Why do you suspect gluten might be a problem?
Do you feel any better on a gluten-free diet?

If you are happy on your current diet, keep going.
You also need to have an adequate micronutrient intake.
Also, taking a probiotic might help.

Keep fit.

Let me know progress.

Cheers, Dr Rodney Ford