Tag Archives: villi

Listen To Your Body… Before Gluten Does You In!

I’ve taken a long hiatus from blogging and with good reason. The last week in August I tripped over a stone in a parking lot that should have been removed years ago and wound up in the hospital for two days with a moderately severe concussion and five staples in my head. I had no recollection of the ambulance, the emergency room, or the concern on the faces of my family as I repeatedly told the doctor how good-looking he was and that he seemed too young to be a doctor.

All the family were around as the next day our kids were planning a big surprise 50th for my husband and me. Needless to say, “I didn’t make it.” I hear it was a great party.

I knew how important it was to have little to no visual stimulation so I spent 3 ½ weeks on the coach with no TV, videos, or books and wore sunglasses and a cap to keep the light down. After a week, books-on-tape and friends got me through the next 2 ½ weeks. My husband was a peach tending to my needs.

After 3 ½ weeks I slowly got back to using my mac and some reading. Fortunately, the neurologist found nothing out of the ordinary on all the tests and I was given the ok to venture to the Far East on a trip we had planned. I managed to keep up with the group fairly well, but opted out of a few adventures that would have been too taxing. My balance was still somewhat off, but manageable.

We arrived home just prior to Thanksgiving and I had to put extra holiday time into the Clever Hand Gallery, an artisans’ co-op in Wellesley that I belong to. Then there was shopping, cleaning, and decorating for our own Christmas holiday party with the whole extended family that we have hosted for close to 50 years. It was taxing, but I got through it. We wound up going out for New Year’s Eve for a quiet dinner with great friends.

On New Year’s Day my youngest daughter who is a captain called and asked if I’d like to join her on a trip to see the northern lights. When she’s not working she’s apt to be flying somewhere in the world. I felt as if I’d been on a rollercoaster for some time and that I needed to rest. Listening to my body, I reluctantly refused this lovely invitation to spend time with my daughter to stay home to rest and recoup by the wood-stove. Of course, my husband doesn’t let an opportunity slip by so he went and they had a lovely father/daughter connection even though it was overcast and they didn’t see the lights. I feel that my balance improved over this quieting stretch.

This story may seem unrelated to my topic of gluten, but it isn’t. First, I expect that being gluten-free may have played a huge roll in the health of my brain and neurons and in my quite successful recuperation. Aside from a balance issue I didn’t seem to have any other serious symptoms that can be associated with a moderately severe concussion. Gluten is a sticky protein in wheat and is linked to many cerebral and neurological disorders. Not having a body full of this hazardous protein destroying the intestinal villi that absorb nutrients to keep the brain/body healthy undoubtedly helped with healing.

Second, I finally listened to my body that was screaming at me to rest. Many of you reading this blog may manifest subtle to more troublesome symptoms and maladies/diseases linked to gluten that can affect any part of the body. There comes a time when you need to stop ignoring and start listening to your body before life gets worse, especially if you want to avoid the slippery slope of aging. You need to realize that your ailments, no matter how seemingly subtle or problematic could very likely be linked to gluten.

The following are just a few symptoms that you may think are a normal part of life (they are not; something is causing them): dry skin, chicken elbows, mouth sores, reflux, rashes and other skin conditions, brain fog, headaches, migraines, joint pain, dull flat hair, hair loss, splitting/weak fingernails, nail striations and white dings, irritability, moodiness, paleness, red face, weight-loss or weight-gain, fatigue, depression, sickly, allergies, asthma, bleeding gums, most any gastrointestinal ailment, etc.

For many more gluten-related issues see the Toxic Staple Table of Contents at: http://toxicstaple.com/wp-content/uploads/TS-TableOfContents.pdf and sign up for the blog notification top right at http://www.toxicstaple.com for a free report and a list of 50 gluten-related symptoms and maladies. You will know people whose lives could drastically change if they address what’s making them so sick and tired.

There are many very serious complications of celiac disease and gluten intolerance that you might avoid or ameliorate including cancer, autoimmune diseases, organ and glandular issues, blood and bone problems, pregnancy/fertility issues, and numerous neurological and cerebral ailments, all supported by easy-to-read research in the book.

What may seem like a simple irritating symptom may be a sign of underlying mal-absorption or antibody activity that is slowly eating away at your body and your health. It would be important to address the matter before it gets worse, but you need to get educated and become your own advocate in working with your doctor. You need to request certain tests. Mainstream medicine is still in the early stages of awareness (mostly unaware) of the devastating issues linked to gluten and how to detect intolerance.

Listen to your body if you have any chronic symptom or disease. Do not delay in getting tested for celiac or gluten intolerance. This intolerance is too serious to just “try” the GF diet. You need to know if you are intolerant then pay close attention to the GF diet. Get educated so you can advocate for yourself. It is a must! Unfortunately, mainstream medicine blood testing is not that reliable that’s why I wrote Toxic Staple. I spell out four blood tests and very sensitive stool testing that will nearly 100% get an answer if you are intolerant to gluten.


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

Do You Understand Celiac Disease? Does Your Doctor?

I realized, in talking with a few people, that they did not understand what celiac disease was. Like most people they thought it was a disease you just had the misfortune to get and had no idea you could control the outcome by what you consume.

Yes, if you never consumed gluten you’d never develop celiac disease and very likely many other autoimmune diseases and diseases linked to malnutrition due to malabsorption.

To develop celiac disease: you will have one or two genes (HLA DQ2 and/or HLA DQ8), you need to be consuming gluten, and your gut biome will likely be in poor shape due to antibiotics, bad bacteria, parasites, poor diet, and/or, of course, gluten among others.

With celiac disease there is a destruction of your villi, the tiny hairs in the small intestine that absorb all the good vitamins and minerals from the good food we eat. They become flattened and shorn off like a twenty-year-old shag carpet and no longer have the absorption space up and down each side. Spread your fingers apart; there’s lots of absorption room up and down each finger; now make a fist: your villi are shot to pieces, worn down, and your body pays a huge price for not detecting intolerance to gluten sooner.

You can imagine how devastating this can be for the human body. All parts of the body need nutrition to function optimally. Just think what can happen to your eyes, brain, neurons, muscles, skin, heart, liver, blood, and on and on. Over 300 ailments, diseases, and symptoms are linked to gluten by major world research. Yet many of our doctors are not up to speed on what these maladies are or how to adequately test for intolerance to gluten.

I’ll leave it to you to read between the lines. All I can say is that my family and I (you can read my family saga in Toxic Staple), after a year on the gluten-free lifestyle, were basically going to the doctor’s office for health checkups, not sick visits. Everything that was wrong with us (including the 4 grandkids, 3 daughters, my husband and myself), and believe me there was plenty, began to clear up once gluten was removed. Most everything resolved.

If you have lingering sinus, cough, allergy, asthma, aches and pains, low energy, dull hair and weak nails, paleness, thinness or overweight, stomach issues (most any chronic issue, this is just a drop in the bucket) you need to consider that something is the root cause of your ailments. Gluten can be a huge trigger of illness. Throw in dairy too. Well over 50% of those intolerant to gluten also can’t handle dairy.

We all have choices to make. You can either eat to be sick or eat to be healthy. Your health lies in your own hands. You can become your own advocate by getting educated on the hazards of gluten and how to test for intolerance by reading Toxic Staple. As a driven grandmother I have spelled it out. You will know more about gluten than 90% of our doctors by the time you finish the book. Be sure to read the Endorsements from professionals at http://toxicstaple.com/endorsements/ saying doctors should read Toxic Staple.

A new wave of medicine is in the works. It’s all about addressing the trigger/s of what’s making you sick and not about managing and controlling diseases, once thought to be incurable, with drugs. I even see much of it as preventative medicine. I know that as long as I follow an absolute GF lifestyle and stay away from dairy my allergies, asthma, fatigue, dry skin, brittle nails and on and on will not return.


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

For your copy of Toxic Staple: http://toxicstaple.com/buy-the-book/ paperback

https://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Staple-Gluten-Wrecking-Health-ebook/dp/B00I45HWWM paper or e-book


Is Gluten An Enhancer To Cancer?

Just as I was wrapping up a new post on my blog my attention was diverted to a TV add looking for donations as several young children spoke about their type of cancer. What a heart-wrenching appeal. You want to give everything you have so these children (and your own) won’t have to suffer the consequences of cancer and chemotherapy.

It makes me crazy when I learn of very serious disease, especially in children, because I’ve read way too much about the hazards of gluten. Yes, many cancers are linked to celiac disease and gluten consumption by significant research in my book.

Quoted from Chapter 13 in Toxic Staple: Gluten Indicted: An Enhancer to Cancer “…gluten plays a role in the cancer equation, and for those who are gluten-sensitive, this connection can be significant: ‘Untreated celiac disease increases the risk of cancer 200–300%.’(1) A wide range of cancers, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, throat/esophageal, stomach/intestinal/colon, and others are now being connected to gluten consumption. In addition, liver and throat ailments that can turn into cancer can clear up or improve on a gluten-free diet (GFD).” Many other cancers are mentioned and some studies are with children.

A 2013 study concludes, “in any patient with celiac disease, having hematological [blood] complaints… a possibility of lymphoma should be kept. Bone marrow examination should form a part of work up, as some of these patients may be harboring more sinister leukemias.”(2) Acute myeloid leukemia and osteosarcoma, blood and bone marrow cancers, were mentioned by the children in the appeal.

I searched one site that talked about healthy foods to help fight cancer. But if you have celiac disease, a malabsorption issue, your villi that absorb vitamins and minerals are being damaged. Lack of nutrition can affect any part of your body, even your blood and bones, and can lead to a weakened immune system, very likely setting one up for cancer and certainly making it difficult to fight it off.

Is gluten the bottom-line in many cancers? One of the phrases I repeatedly ran across in my research for Toxic Staple was, “If you want to avoid the complications of celiac disease and lymphoma, you need to do the gluten-free diet 100%.” But so much more research is needed on the ramifications of cancer and gluten. Then this vital info needs to be made available to our doctors.

I firmly believe most cancers could be prevented if one detected intolerance to gluten or celiac disease and then addressed a 100% gluten-free lifestyle. You will understand this by the time you get through the many GF success stories and supporting research in the book.

Please share this blog with anyone dealing with cancer or any chronic symptom or disease.

  1. Celiac Support Association, “Celiac Disease Facts”
  1. Aggarwal M, Kashyap R, Aggarwal G (2013) Celiac Disease with Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Rare Association. Pediat Therapeut 3:163. doi:10.4172/2161-0665.1000163


Zika, Microcephaly, and Gluten

Is it possible that microcephaly is linked to celiac disease (CD) and gluten? Most definitely! Perhaps many of the cases of microcephaly being linked to the Zika virus are really linked to gluten! Microcephaly may be caused by malnutrition among other reasons such as drug use, toxic chemicals, untreated PKU, and viruses.1

Celiac disease is a malabsorption disorder created by the destruction of the intestinal villi in response to an immune reaction to gluten. Healthy villi absorb vitamins and minerals that keep the body functioning optimally. When celiac robs the body of nutrients it can affect any part of the body, especially the fetus if the mother has undetected and untreated celiac disease.

“Microcephaly is relatively rare, affecting about 25,000 children in the U.S. a year.”2 This number seems astronomical for such a serious condition much of which might be prevented by the detection and treatment of celiac.

A quote from Toxic Staple points to the seriousness of celiac disease and how important it is to have a healthy pregnancy by detecting celiac disease and addressing a gluten-free lifestyle:

“Thyroid hormones also play a role during pregnancy. In fact, these hormones ‘have been shown to be absolutely necessary for early brain development.’ ” Pregnant women with thyroid disease [often associated with celiac disease] who do not receive hormone therapy can expect a troublesome outcome.3

“Folic acid, iron, and vitamin K are other nutrients crucial to the development of the fetus, and CD may lead to their deficiency. Some researchers surmise that ‘endocrine imbalances and immune disturbances’ play a part as well.4 Babies born to women with CD had ‘a three-fold higher risk of intrauterine growth retardation…’ if the mother’s CD was recognized after the birth. The bottom line is that ‘treatment of celiac women is important in the prevention of fetal growth retardation.’ ”5

In one study “a 15-month-old girl with celiac disease presented with microcephaly and developmental delay.” A gluten-free diet allowed for head growth, but when gluten was reintroduced there was no head growth, and antibodies for celiac disease increased.6

In a perfect world where there was no malnutrition due to celiac disease or a very poor diet many of these cases of microcephaly and many other fetal maladies would not exist. When the body cannot absorb vitamins and minerals necessary for normal development huge deficits in mental and physical health and development may occur.

Read this most interesting slant on the Zika virus by Jon Rappoport:


  1. http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/microcephaly/symptoms-and-causes
  1. Ashwal S1, Michelson D, Plawner L, Dobyns WB, Practice parameter: Evaluation of the child with microcephaly (an evidence-based review), Neurology. 2009 Sep 15;73(11):887-97. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181b783f7.
  1. Radetti, G., A. Zavallone, L. Gentili, P. Beck-Peccoz, and G. Bona. “Foetal and Neonatal Thyroid Disorders.” Minerva Pediatrica 54, no. 5 (2002): 383–400.
  1. Stazi, A. V., and A. Mantovani. [Celiac Disease. Risk Factors for Women in Reproductive Age.] Minerva Ginecologica 52, no. 5 (2000): 189–96.
  1. Nørgård, B., K. Fonager, H. T. Sørensen, and J. Olsen. Birth outcomes of women with celiac disease: a nationwide historical cohort study. Am J Gastroenterol. 1999 Sep;94(9):2435-40.
  1. Bostwick HE1, Berezin SH, Halata MS, Jacobson R, Medow MS. Celiac disease presenting with microcephaly. J Pediatr. 2001 Apr;138(4):589-92.

Testing Children And Adults For Celiac Disease And Gluten Intolerance

After a short talk on my journey in writing my book, TOXIC STAPLE, within 10 minutes of each other, two different people told me of their friend whose child had been diagnosed with celiac disease. I took a minute to explain that sometimes doctors neglect to inform them that other siblings and the parents should also be tested due to the genetic component of celiac disease. The general answer I get is “Oh, the child (or other children or themselves) was negative.” In which case I inform them that quite often not enough testing is given to detect an intolerance.

I can vouch for this myself with just about everyone in my family except for the grandchild that was very compromised and was off the charts positive for celiac. The rest of us all tested negative on the blood tests, and I had read enough to even request 3 tests. I hadn’t discovered the specialized stool test until a few months later. We were all positive on those. If we hadn’t done Dr. Fine’s stool testing I shutter to think how much more our health might have slipped down the tubes.

It seems mainstream medicine is setting the bar too high and too often they give only one test and by the time someone tests positive for celiac they have a full-blown case or near to it with very damaged villi (hairs that absorb nutrients)…..and quite compromised health.

Testing negative on blood testing to celiac disease or if positive on blood testing, but  negative on the endoscopy does not negate gluten intolerance which can also have devastating and degenerative consequences.

Be thankful you or your other children did not test positive for celiac disease (yet), but that is not the end of it until you make sure you have received enough testing to detect intolerance to gluten. It’s kind of like preventative medicine.

You will need to become your own advocate as few doctors are giving a panel of 4 blood tests, few are recognizing they should also be looking at the lower antibody numbers, and most of them are unaware of a very sensitive stool test that will pick up intolerance in nearly 100% of the cases.

If you can catch gluten intolerance before your body becomes so compromised, you are ahead of the game of life.

As always, please share my information with your doctor.

I spell it out in TOXIC STAPLE with research to back it up. The real story is not just about celiac disease, it’s also, and more so, about whether one is intolerant to gluten. It seems to be a progressively worsening continuum, according to some experts.