Evidence seems to be coming to the forefront that gluten intolerance could be behind common symptoms diagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, diabetes, esophageal reflux, intestinal disorders and even infertility.
This March, the Wall Street Journal cited a study in the Journal BMC Medicine that may show a link. Lead study author Alessio Fasano, a medical director of the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research said in the March article, "For the first time, we have scientific evidence that indeed, gluten sensitivity not only exists, but is very different from celiac disease." (WCxKit)
Melinda Beck, reporting for the WSJ’s Health Journal wrote the news will be welcome to people who have suspected a broad range of ailments may be linked to their gluten intake, but have failed to find doctors who agree.
" ‘Patients have been told if it wasn't celiac disease, it wasn't anything. It was all in their heads,’ said Cynthia Kupper, executive director of the nonprofit Gluten Intolerance Group of North America,” Beck reported. Although much remains unknown, it is clear that gluten — a staple of human diets for 10,000 years — triggers an immune response like an enemy invader in some modern humans.
Beck wrote, “Some experts think as many as 1 in 20 Americans may have some form of (gluten intolerance), but there is no test or defined set of symptoms. The most common are IBS-like stomach problems, headaches, fatigue, numbness, and depression, but more than 100 symptoms have been loosely linked to gluten intake, which is why it has been so difficult to study.”
One human resources worker for a large medical company in the workers compensation business recalled an employee who suffered from fibromyalgia for nearly three years. She was diagnosed by a medical doctor, according to our source, who asked not to be named. The doctor was a specialist in treating fibromyalgia and gave the employee “every test you can imagine to rule out brain injury/neuro disorders. She spent thousands of dollars and underwent (physical therapy) for many months.”
Our source estimated health costs exceed $150,000 in tests, doctors’ visits, physical therapy and medications.
After all those dollars and hours were spent, it turned out not to be fibromyalgia, our source said.
After attending a chiropractor’s advanced nutrition course, she learned some believe fibromyalgia can be cured if the patient is willing to change his or her eating habits. “This involves avoiding all sugars and grains and consuming good fats and protein. Among the treatment included were chiropractic adjustments – she underwent about 12 and will need about 12 more on and off throughout her life,” the source said.
“In under 45 days she had reduced her need for medication (saving over $300 each month) and is pain free for the first time in 3 years,” she said.
Another source told us she had severe esophageal reflux (heartburn) for more than 20 years and was on prescription medication to combat it.
“Finally when I could not carry on a conference call without a colleague to assist me because I coughed so much, I consulted several specialists including ear/nose/throat and pulmonary specialists who diagnosed reflux and asthma and put me on an inhaler and Aciphex. I gave up coffee, spicy food, slept on my right side, inclined the bed, and went to yoga to reduce my stress because I was told my stress was so high it was making excess stomach acid. I gave up my cardio exercise to control the ‘asthma.’ Finally, they ruled out asthma with a complex and expensive pulmonology test,” she told us.
She continued, “On my own, for a routine physical, I went to a naturopath, and she suggested I might be allergic to gluten. I thought that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard, but she said 50 percent of people with ‘breakthrough reflux’ have a gluten allergy. … To make a long story short, I gave up gluten on a trial basis (no more oatmeal with bran), and within four weeks my cough and reflux went away. I suffered for 20 years! Today I am fine, off all medication, and do not eat gluten.”(WCxKit)
In conclusion, look at your diet if you are shelling out money to treat these symptoms:
Abdominal distention, pain or cramping; alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation; anemia, arthritis, attention deficit disorder, bone density loss, depression, anxiety, irritability, dermatitis herpetiformis (skin rash), diabetes, fatigue malodorous flatulence or stools, hair loss headaches and migraines, hypoglycemia, infertility, joint pain, lactose intolerance, mouth sores or ulcers, nausea, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, osteoporosis, teeth and gum problems, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, vomiting, and unexplained weight loss.
Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing, publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.
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