Tag Archives: gluten-related disorders

Is Hepatopulmonary Syndrome (HPS) Linked to Gluten? Do you have shortness of breath or a low level of oxygen? What shape is your liver in?

While looking for something else I ran across a website on hepatopulmonary syndrome. Hepato has to do with your liver, and pulmonary has to do with your lungs. When your liver is compromised your lungs may also become damaged and not function up to capacity causing shortness of breath and lower oxygen levels in your blood, among other issues.

It appears the only “cure” for HPS is a liver transplant.

In steps gluten. A number of lung and liver diseases are linked to celiac disease and gluten toxicity. Many of them will reverse or resolve when gluten is removed from the diet. Neither of the sites I peeked at mentioned a word about gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

“At a gluten-related conference I heard the story of a man who needed a liver transplant who was diagnosed with CD. When his doctors put him on a GFD his liver began to mend; ultimately, he no longer needed the transplant. This story was undocumented, but there is a formal study proclaiming that patients with critical liver dysfunction who adopt a strict GFD may preclude liver failure, even when a liver transplant is being contemplated. Of the four patients in this study who had acute liver disease, ‘hepatic dysfunction reversed in all cases when a gluten-free diet was adopted.’ (1) Seems to me this should be headline news, but I wonder how many folks with severe or even mild liver ailments have ever heard the words gluten or celiac disease uttered by their doctors.” (2)

“Some of the liver diseases associated with CD are autoimmune hepatitis, nonspecific reactive hepatitis (‘the most common’), primary biliary cirrhosis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis.(3) Liver disease can occur in people of any age, including children. A 2009 Swedish study of children with CD concluded that ‘severe hepatic damage or failure’ could evolve and that children with CD should be assessed for ‘liver function and vice versa, children with severe liver damage should be investigated for untreated celiac disease.’(4) The link is obvious! Nearly 40 percent of children and adults with ‘fatty liver transaminitis or hepatitis’ who have barely any symptoms have liver issues that improve or resolve themselves on a GFD.”(5)(6)

Many lung diseases and ailments are linked to gluten. The research is sparse, but there is some linked to various ailmets that cleared up with my storytellers in Toxic Staple. A woman was told she had lung cancer with a short time to live. It turned out to be sarcoidosis which cleared up with a gluten-free lifestyle…even the pain from the scar tissue disappeared; asthma and reactive-airway disappeared on the GFD; a chronic dry cough vanished on the GFD; lung function crashed and returned (see Holly’s story on page 135).

Research exists on idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis and fibrosing lung disease as linked to gluten. Some patients with dermatomyosistis (DM) may have lung cancer among other cancers and it is recommended that those with DM be screened for celiac disease.

If you should have unrecognized and therefore untreated celiac disease or gluten intolerance and your body is not absorbing vital nutrients needed for optimal health how can you expect to have healthy lungs, liver, blood or even a healthy brain?

If you have most any serious disease, especially autoimmune, or any chronic symptom, I urge you to get educated and get tested. I spell it out in Toxic Staple as only an irritated grandmother could. You can make a copy of the testing, both blood and stool to discuss with your doctor. It is life-enhancing information.

See Disclaimer: http://toxicstaple.com/disclaimer/

 Your future health may depend on addressing gluten. To order your personalized copy now visit: http://toxicstaple.com/buy-the-book/ or visit https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Staple-Gluten-Wrecking-Health/dp/0989239217 or check in at your favorite book store.

http://hpscare.com/for-patients/ This site provoked my interest in writing this blog.

  1. Kaukinen, K. et al., “Celiac Disease in Patients with Severe Liver Disease: Gluten-free Diet May Reverse Hepatic Failure.” Gastroenterology 122, no. 4 (2002): 881–88.
  2. Quote from Toxic Staple
  3. Barbero Villares, A. et al.,. [Hepatic Involvement in Celiac Disease.] [In Spanish.] Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 31, no. 1 (2008): 25–28.
  4. Casswall, T. H., et al., “Severe Liver Damage Associated with Celiac Disease: Findings in Six Toddler-aged Girls.” European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 21, no. 4 (2009): 452–59.
  5. Duggan, J. M. “Coeliac Disease: The Great Imitator.” Medical Journal of Australia 180, no. 10 (2004): 524–26.
  6. Quote from Toxic Staple

Scenario 3: Weight Gain, ADHD, Brain Fog, Mucus, Lungs, Atrial Fib, Cardiomyopathy, and Skin Issues

It amazes me how prevalent gluten issues seem to be. On my way to Denver, once again, I jotted some notes. Mind you, I did not request to be seated next to people who had health issues that very well could be or are linked to gluten. In only one example below did the person know she was intolerant to gluten or had celiac disease; the others had no idea the ailments mentioned could be from gluten and perhaps dairy. Certainly there is enough research in my book discussing such connections to gluten, not to mention stories of lives turning around by going GF, that anyone with these symptoms or ailments might want to take testing seriously. It seems life only gets worse if gluten related issues are ignored.

As usual I always suggest requesting the 4 blood tests you will find spelled out in Chapter 16 and if negative on those or if they are not covered by insurance don’t stop until you read Chapter 17 and do the very sensitive stool tests (not your ordinary lab/hospital tests, but a patented specific test that will likely detect intolerance if it exists). Try to find a doctor who is familiar with gluten issues, and bring your list of tests or you probably won’t get enough to discover celiac or intolerance to gluten.

  • On the first leg to Denver I chatted with a woman who had weight issues. I relayed to her that many folks I’ve spoken with dropped 10-40 lbs. without trying by following a gluten-free lifestyle. The weight just sort of peeled off in nearly every case. I lost 10-15 myself without trying. There is scant research backing this up (because little has been done), but there is one study basically saying those people who are so thin due to celiac weight-loss begin to put weight on when the gut heals and those who are overweight begin to lose it.* Also, her grandson who was very smart was also very hyper. I mentioned a couple stories on ADD/ADHD and heavily suggested the parents get the child tested. But it’s the same old story: you need to know what to ask for or you probably won’t get enough testing and may be told you don’t have a problem with gluten when in fact you may be quite gluten intolerant.
  • On the second leg to Denver I sat next to a woman who ate no grains. If she gets hit with a grain her head becomes foggy, ears plug up, she fills up with mucus and her lungs feel heavy. It takes 1-2 weeks for symptoms to lift.
  • On the first leg back to NE I sat with a woman whose son died of cardio issues while running a race. Research exists in Toxic Staple on one form of atrial fib and cardiomyopathy that will resolve with a GF diet.** You will also find a few studies on heart disease. Of course, so much more research needs to done. It wouldn’t be difficult to take a hundred newly diagnosed patients with atrial fib or cardiomyopathy and ask them if they were offered testing for gluten-related issues. My educated guess would be less than 5%…and that’s being generous. Testing for gluten-related illness should be at the top of the list in my estimation; there is just too much bad health linked to gluten and so little is being done to educate our doctors.
  • On the leg back to New England I sat next to a young woman who was dealing with facial skin problems. So many skin problems can be linked to gluten and/or dairy as discussed in Chapter 11: The Skin You’re In. I mention nearly 20 skin disorders that you never heard of before, and it’s very likely barely 5% (that’s being generous again) of skin specialists have heard of their link to gluten. Skin issues can be a sign of unwellness, and many of them will clear up or get miles better once your gut heals with a GF lifestyle.

The purpose of these scenarios is to make the reader aware of some of the numerous and varied symptoms and maladies linked to gluten so they can become empowered to be their own advocate in conjunction with their doctors in seeking better health. Your best health lies in your very own hands.

* A new study concluded that a GFD “had a beneficial impact on BMI [body mass index]; underweight patients gained weight (66%) and overweight/obese patients (54%/47%) lost weight. The improvement in BMI adds to the impetus to diagnose celiac disease.” [from Toxic Staple page 71.)

  • Cheng, J., P. S. Brar, A. R. Lee, and P. H. Green. “Body Mass Index in Celiac Disease: Beneficial Effect of a Gluten-free Diet.” Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 44, no. 4 (2010): 267–71.

** “In addition to patients with chronic anemia of unclear origin, those with rhythm disturbances and myocardiopathies of unknown etiology should be tested for antiendomysial and antigiladin antibodies because, if positive, could indicate the presence of celiac disease.”

  • Callejas Rubio, J. L., N. Ortego, A. Diez-Ruiz, J. Guilarte, and J. De la Higuera-Iorres. “Celiac Disease Presenting as Chronic Anemia Associated with Heart Block.” American Journal of Gastroenterology 93 (1998): 1391–92.


30% of the US Population May Be Gluten Sensitive! Are You One of Them?

Celiac disease (CD) prevalence is about 1% of the US population. About ten years ago 97% of those with CD remained undiagnosed; now about 80% are still undiagnosed. Not a very comforting number! A recent study from Austrailia finds the prevalence of CD among women to be about 2%. (Anderson et al. BMC Medicine 2013, 11:188)

But CD (with villi damage) is just a small part of the gluten equation.

CD is still in its infancy as far as recognition of the myriad serious illnesses linked to it, but now a broader view beyond celiac is being identified. Non-celiac gluten intolerance (GI – no intestinal damage) is also in its infancy with miles to go. The patient may have a wide variety of health issues and have normal villi, the hair-like part of the intestinal wall that absorbs nutrients that are destroyed if one has celiac disease. The prevalence of GI may reach 30-40% of the population (perhaps even higher). This is huge!

About 1/100 with celiac disease translates to approximately 3,000,000 in the US; about 2,400,000 are dying to be diagnosed. If 1/3 of the population has gluten sensitivity that translates to roughly 100,000,000 – staggering numbers! Are you among them?

TOXIC STAPLE will help you sort out the testing you need to discuss with your doctor/s to detect whether you are malabsorbing due to celiac disease or have other gluten-related disorders. If you have symptoms and disease you may be able to relate to many of the 50+ stories and over 600 easy-to-read research citations. So many of our children are affected by gluten, and the aging process doesn’t need to be a slippery slope of degenerative illness if you adopt a gluten-free lifestyle, if positive, and  begin to absorb the vitamins and minerals (needed to keep your body healthy) as your gut  heals.

“Toxic Staple” Featured by Expert Dr. Rodney Ford from NZ

What a surprise! I was most honored and astonished to see my book, Toxic Staple, featured among such notable books as Wheat Belly and Grain Brain as one of the “go to” books for the bigger view of gluten-related disorders beyond celiac disease. It has taken a decade for me to bring this cutting-edge research and testing to the public.

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Dr. Rodney Ford, a pediatric gastroeneterologist and forward-thinking expert, lecturer, researcher, and author on gluten-related issues (from New Zealand) was most magnanimous to have included my book cover in his video, Daily bread: Can ANY human body handle gluten? This video is very worthwhile for everyone to watch. My mention is at about 9 min.


Dr. Ford stresses that it’s “risky” to consume gluten; that “a negative endoscopy does not rule out a gluten problem.” He alludes to Dr. Fasano’s research saying, “Nobody can digest the stuff” and that gluten leads to an overproduction of zonulin which in turn causes inflammation and leads to a “leaky gut.” He coined the term Gluten Syndrome and maintains it is mainly a brain disease, thus, the long list of neurological and cerebral issues linked to gluten.

Dr. Ford also gave a very strong endorsement of Toxic Staple to be found on this site under endorsements or in the front of the book.

A gentleman from NZ had sent Dr. Ford’s video to me, so you can imagine how shocked and thrilled I was to see my book mentioned by a world leader in gluten-related illness.