Archives for: December 2007, 01
If you don't know what White Lines are, view this video.
I often get asked about celiac disease, by those with symptoms or those who discovered the above info about white lines. My advice for Blood Type Dieters is a bit different from my advice for standard americans, since BTDers are generally more willing to make lasting dietary changes, without being advised into it by an MD. But here it is:
If you suspect gluten intolerance but don't have severe intestinal problems, a biopsy is not necessary, IMO. (It is necessary with severe problems, since other things could be going on instead or in addition to Celiac disease, or the damage may be so extensive to require follow-up care). You don't need a lab to tell you something you will already know, once you eliminate gluten for a few months and see how it helps. Of course, you give up the chance of getting a positive biopsy in the future, if you're gluten free, but if you see real results, you won't need lab results. (This applies especially for BTD pioneers, we are willing to give a diet and honest try and listen to our bodies). Poor gut glycosylation can be so minimal on a biopsy that they may not interpret it correctly anyway, if you haven't developed full blown celiac disease. And as I read in an article by Dr. Rodney Ford about testing children for celiac disease, why wait till the bitter end for positive test results, if consuming gluten is making them sick? I've never regretted putting my youngest on a GF diet, because I know it makes him sick, but I often regret waiting so long to put my oldest on the diet, after so much damage and misery.
I can certainly see changes in my white lines, when I'm compliant and avoid accidental glutens. The ridge height then improves and the lines fade. Yet, if I get glutened or have milk the lines come back pretty fast and the ridge height gets lower (the very middle of my prints is almost smoothed down, at its worst.) Take some prints, and compare in a few months. My prints were much easier to get last spring than they were 2 years ago, though I still have some way to go, thanks to my occasional milk relapses and restaurant-going.
I also have dermatitis herpetiformis, so my elbows and knees also 'speak to me' if I've been too careless, and I get rough circles of thick dry skin on them, and milk can cause these for me as well. I am certainly lectin-sensitive, from too much time eating gluten and damage that isn't so fast healing when you're no longer a youngster. Many avoid lectins can mimic my gluten response, to a lesser extent.
Without a biopsy, maybe you can't officially call yourself a celiac, but chalk it up as gluten sensitivity which can be just as serious as celiac disease. It wasn't too long ago that dermatitis herpetiformis was not considered as serious as celiac disease, the medical community now realizes it has all the same risk factors as CD, including gastrointestinal cancer, etc. and no longer require an intestinal biopsy before putting DH patients on the diet.
You could get a stool test from enterolab if you want something to back you up. That's what I did for my son because no matter how much I told family that gluten was making him sick, they believed the lab more than they believed me. He had a classic case, as many children with it do. He hardly needed any tests since gluten made him look like a walking skeleton, gluten-free made him healthy, simple as that. If I had subjected him to all the tests, it would have been misery for him (and me), and the tests may not have come out positive yet, since it can take months or years of illness before the damage is extensive enough to show up on the test.
Doctors will cast doubt on the stool test, but at least it's something. Blood tests may also be affordable enough, but they miss too many cases, even of full blown CD.
I've been using Intrinsa again. I've gone on and off it a few times because it caused me to have very loose stools. I finally decided this was probably a candida die-off reaction, or something similar, and I've been sticking with it this time. As expected, that reaction improved with time. It's a very good supplement for healing the intestines, and fighting candida. Of course, diet is key...so avoid the gluten and avoid the avoids.