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Is Gluten Evil?

 

Find out here the real story behind gluten and why it is so controversial! 

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Beyond “Food Jail” …er… Restrictive Diets

A lot of my patients are on restrictive diets. I walk them through the process, how to deal with the emotions, how to manage it with their busy chaotic lives, so they can allow their bodies to heal from inflammation, bacterial overgrowth, autoimmune disorders, etc. Most of the time these diets are meant to be temporary and therapeutic during treatment with a slow addition to widen the diet once treatment of the infection/inflammation/autoimmune has been accomplished. This way we can begin to see what the body can and cannot tolerate. It is often a non-linear journey.

Restrictive diets by nature are not very fun. Nobody wants to have a “NO!” in their life. It brings up all sorts of “stuff” for the person undergoing the diet restriction. I have blogged a ton on this and there is a massive amount of information and research out there about WHY the restriction is necessary for a time so I am not going to go into that very much in this particular post. You can...

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Healing GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Sally, 48, often felt a burning pain in her upper abdominal area after eating and received a diagnosis of GERD. After visiting  a gastroenterologist where she was told that it had nothing to do with her diet and she needed to be on a proton pump inhibitor indefinitely, (PPI), she scheduled an appointment with me. She felt there had to be a better way and she was correct!

GERD, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the epigastrum, or the upper abdomen. It can occur during, or several hours after eating. GERD can cause severe pain and many GERD patients have mistakenly thought they were having a heart attack because the pain can radiate to the chest area. GERD can increase during pregnancy or from conditions such as a hiatal hernia. While GERD is not necessarly present with a peptic ulcer, many patients have symptoms of an ulcer so that is something that should be ruled out. In some people a bacteria called H. pylori has...

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The Why and How of Autoimmune Diseases

Maryanne was diagnosed with 3 different autoimmune diseases.   When she came to my office she had been suffering for many years and was taking several prescription medications for her various symptoms.Her fingers ached as she typed her very first email to me.   Even a computer search was difficult because she had also had a bout with Iritis (inflammation of the Iris) along with fatigue because her thyroid was chronically sluggish from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

So where did I focus? So much going on! So much to do! So much to heal!

From Multiple Sclerosis to Lupus to Rheumatoid Arthritis, to Hashimoto’s, I have seen so many cases of various autoimmune disorders in my practice. What they all have in common is that they all improve when gut health improves.

So how does one improve gut health? By reducing inflammation, balancing the gut flora and healing leaky gut. Also by eating a therapeutic diet that reduces inflammation and antibodies in the body. This...

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Hashimoto’s, Thyroid, Gluten and the Gut

Kaitlyn first came to see me suffering with extreme fatigue, insomnia, and a feeling of “unwellness” many years ago. She had a young child and worked part time but felt very fatigued all of the time. She was health conscious and followed a vegetarian diet with her husband and fed her whole family that way.

The first thing we did together was to run some bloodwork and to check into how her digestive system was working with Functional Medicine Testing. Through the allergy testing we found that she was allergic to most vegetarian protein foods such as dairy, beans, gluten (seitan – in meat substitutes) and soy. And her thyroid levels were way too low. She decided to add in clean animal proteins (grass fed beef, organic free range poultry and wild clean fish) and she went on prescription thyroid medication and with some fluctuations began to feel better.

After a period of stress and adjusting her thyroid medications a few times, we decided to test for Thyroid...

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"My Gut Hurts and My Brain Isn't Working!"

Have you ever felt this way? Janine certainly knows what this is like! “I have had chronic digestive issues since I was a little girl. And when things are especially bad I would forget simple words, and forget about remembering names! I am only in my mid-40’s! I can’t fathom what my memory and cognition will be like as I reach my 50’s and 60’s! I used to be really sharp, but now not so much! As my digestive issues have worsened, so has my brain! I also have severe mood swings now that I never used to have. I had my hormones checked and they are fine so it must be related to my digestion! Dr. Tara, can you help me?”

For many years I have noticed this brain and cognition connection in many if not most of my gut health patients.   I would do my usual work of identifying gut pathogens through stool samples and correcting the imbalance with the correct blend of probiotics. Other more mainstream scientists happily are also noticing this...

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Why does Gut Health Affect so Many Things? Especially Autoimmune Diseases?

Evelyn, age 51, sat tearfully in my office. Her hands were in constant pain and she had trouble buttoning her clothes and typing on the computer.  She had just been diagnosed with a debilitating autoimmune disease and her rheumatologist had prescribed some heavy duty immune suppressing pharmaceuticals for her condition. He told her she was to be on medications for the rest of her life. Evelyn found me so that together we could unravel the cause of her autoimmune disease and hopefully find a way for her to heal and at the very least manage her condition. When I asked her about her digestion, she mentioned having lots of gas, cramping and bloating every time she ate. This was still happening even after she gave up eating gluten on the advice of a friend!

I personally have skin in this game against autoimmune disease! I watched my mother suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis for over 30 years! At the end of her life she was utterly dependent on opioids and naproxen to manage her pain....

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Are you Wondering Whether You have Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity?

celiac gluten Jul 07, 2016

You were just minding your own business and living your life when you went to a picnic on the 4th of July. You knew something was wrong as soon as you ate the cous cous salad. You felt sick to your stomach, or maybe you felt a nap attack coming on, or maybe some brain fog kicked in. Or you joints started hurting… Oh wait!!!! Cous cous has GLUTEN in it right? “D’oh! I did it again! I got cous cous mixed up in my mind with quinoa!”. “Maybe”, you think, “I just can’t handle any wheat or gluten at all, even a little bit!”

Janine, a 45 year old mother of 3 noticed worsening gas and bloating after she ate wheat. She had read online about celiac disease and asked me about it. Does this sound familiar? It seems like a lot of people are reacting negatively in their guts to wheat and gluten products. She did notice that she felt better when she took gluten out of her diet entirely. Her stomach didn’t blow up so much but she also...

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What is the deal with eating grains?

Back in the not so distant past, the vegetarian diet was considered a cure-all for many illnesses. This was back when we believed that carbs were good and fats were bad. It all sounded like such a great idea… the problem was that clinically it just didn’t work!

We all read articles in magazines in the 1970’s and 1980’s about how vegetarians lived a long healthy life, or some marathoner who was a vegetarian etc. I was a vegetarian for over 20 years! 5 of those years were vegan! The problem was that despite my meticulous vegetarian supposedly healthy diet, I was fatigued, moody, spacy, with achy muscles and joints plus I needed a nap almost every day. If that weren’t bad enough I carried some extra weight on my hips that I was not so thrilled with.  But there I was trying to save the world by being a vegetarian. “Diet for a Small Planet” was a dog-eared well used book in my household as I was growing up. So was the “Moosewood...

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“Glutened! What do I do now???”

celiac gluten gut health Apr 27, 2016

You feel it right when it starts. You think “Oh no! Not again! I was so careful! !” But perhaps there was cross contamination at that restaurant and that entrée wasn’t really gluten free. Perhaps someone snuck some flour into the sauce at that potluck (Potlucks are often a nightmare for those of us with Celiac or multiple food allergies). Perhaps Aunt Betty put just a spoonful of wheat flour in the casserole, because, after all, it isn’t like it’s bread!  Your belly starts to fill up with air like a balloon , but the air just sits there and grows until your back hurts too from the pressure on your internal organs. Next the deep fatigue and brain fog set in and you want to go lie down somewhere quiet and dark because you can’t even sit or stand up straight the pain in your gut is so bad. So until you can get yourself to bed, your are walking around hunched over.   But you know! You’ve been “glutened” !...

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