Health

Tell Me More: Genetic Testing for Celiac Disease

Genetic Testing for Celiac Disease.

Celiac Disease Testing Matters

Patients are usually screened for celiac disease with a blood panel. The diagnosis is then confirmed with a biopsy of the small bowel. Not every case of celiac disease is a straightforward diagnosis, in part because each test for celiac has an important limitation.

Pediatric Allergist Question & Answer

Unlike allergies to food and airborne substances, family genetics do not appear to play a role in medication allergies. Even when multiple family members report having an allergy to a particular drug, there’s no greater likelihood that others in that family will develop a similar reaction. An important exception is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a rare and potentially life-threatening reaction to certain drugs, usually sulfa-containing antibiotics or epilepsy medicines (although other medications can also cause this condition). There’s some evidence that patients who develop SJS may have a certain gene in their immune system that predisposes them to this type of reaction. SJS aside, many medication allergies are “outgrown” or lost over time, even in adults. Testing (albeit difficult for certain types of drugs) often reveals that patients are no longer allergic.

Research Roundup: Celiac-Disease on the Rise

Research continues into the effects of BPA (bisphenol A), a component in polycarbonate plastic that can interfere with reproductive development in animals. BPA has also been linked to heart disease and diabetes in humans. Led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers, a recent study (published in Environmental Health Perspectives) found that students who drank cold beverages from plastic drinking bottles for a week had a 69 percent increase of BPA in their urine—this, after a “washout” week where students drank instead from stainless steel containers. The Harvard study is the first to show that drinking from polycarbonate bottles increased the level of urinary BPA. Earlier work revealed only that BPA leaches into container contents. The students in the study did not wash their bottles in the dishwasher or put hot liquids in them, activities said to increase the amount of leaching.

What Is Autism?

Autism is characterized by abnormalities of social interaction and communication, as well as highly repetitive behaviors and restricted interests. It is a spectrum disorder, meaning that it encompasses a broad range of symptoms and affects people differently.

Living Without Books: A Diet for Life – Autism & ADHD Diet Book

The Autism & ADHD Diet, A Step-by-Step Guide to Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free and Other Interventions (Sourcebooks, Inc.) by Barrie Silberberg is one mother’s story.

Living Without Books: Wake Up Call: An Uplifiting Read

Psychotherapist David Kundtz introduces quiet wisdom a page at a time.

Medical News: Hay Fever, Celiac Research, Autism Recovery and more

Hay fever can affect more than your nose. It also can impact your love life. A recent study by YouGov, a market research firm, on behalf of pharmaceutical company Schering-Plough found that almost half of people with hay fever symptoms become more irritable and that affects their relationships. The survey, which included almost 800 participants, suggests that hay fever sufferers feel less affectionate and have more arguments with significant others due to their symptoms.

Vitamin B for Brain Fog

If you’re on a special diet due to food allergy or an autoimmune condition like celiac disease or Type 1 diabetes, you’re vulnerable to the impact of dietary restrictions on mood and cognition. Many of my patients complain about “brain fog,” a frustrating combination of lack of focus, forgetfulness and difficulty retaining new information. Sound familiar? Symptoms of brain fog differ from those of early dementia. It’s normal to forget where you put your keys; it’s a red flag if you can’t remember what your keys do. For many people with brain fog, B vitamins can make a world of difference in mental and emotional wellbeing.

Treatments for Autism Spectrum Disorder Through Special Diets

When you see Kaitlyn Ford with her friends, you might not notice anything unusual about her. If she stands out at all, it’s most likely because of her long red hair and bright blue eyes. It still amazes parents David and Kathy Deery Ford of Norwood, Massachusetts, that 6-year-old Kaitlyn fits in so well, since just a few short years ago she was lost in her own world, unresponsive to anyone but her mother. Kaitlyn was only 19 months old when her mother began to worry. The toddler was a terrible sleeper, waking every two hours thirsty and drenched in sweat. She had bright red cheeks and chronic loose bowels. Most troubling, she had very little language. As she approached her second birthday, Kaitlyn spoke just a few words and used them inappropriately. Kathy knew that all children develop at their own pace, but it troubled her to see how different Kaitlyn was from her sister Nicole, who was 2 years older. Family members were worried about Kaitlyn’s minimal language, low muscle tone, lack of eye contact and her obsession with playing with hair—her own and any she could get her hands on. Shortly before the little girl’s two-year check up, Kaitlyn’s aunts confronted Kathy and David.

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"Oh, how I wish my doctors had told me about the psycho-social impact of celiac disease—social isolation, anxiety, depression. People stop inviting you to potlucks, lunch with friends, dinner celebrations and neighborhood gatherings because they don’t know how to deal with your dietary issues. Gluten Free and More helps me deal with these issues. But it really takes internal fortitude to push through the isolation and step out the front door."
- Kathleen E.