House Call

Ask the Doctor

Australian-born gastroenterologist Peter H.R. Green, MD, is one of the world’s leading experts on celiac disease. He’s the Phyllis & Ivan Seidenberg Professor of Medicine, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and author of Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic. Dr. Green sat down with GF&M’s associate editor Eve Becker at Digestive Disease Week earlier this year to talk about celiac disease and wheat sensitivity. This edited version of that interview contains additional information from Dr. Green in response to our follow-up questions.

A Good Night’s Sleep

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 35 percent of adults aren’t getting the recommended seven hours of sleep each night. Insufficient sleep is associated with the development of a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and depression.

10 Survival Tips for Gluten-Free Holiday Parties

We compiled top advice from our editors and readers to help get you safely and successfully through the holiday season.

Research Roundup: Feeling Your Oats, Peanuts in Household Dust & More!

Australian researchers say they’ve identified the key components in oats that cause an immune response in some people with celiac disease. The team said in a press release that the findings may lead to better tests for oat toxicity and have implications for new treatments being developed for celiac. Their work also supports the safety of oats for the majority of celiacs. Just 8 percent of the 73 celiacs who took part in the study reacted to oats. The study was published in November 2014 in the Journal of Autoimmunity.

Pregnant Skin

Many doctors recommend that mothers-to-be use personal care products that are pure, gentle and contain no harsh chemicals. Double-check the brands you’re using to make sure they’re best for you and your unborn baby. Fortunately, you can easily create your own safe and soothing products at home. Here are a few easy recipes to keep your skin healthy during this special time.

At-Home Massage

A good massage relaxes tight muscles, relieves tension and boosts circulation. Combine massage with natural oil and pleasant fragrance and the experience is delightfully enhanced. Today, different types of massage are practiced around the world. Basic techniques can be mastered by anyone. Massages are a romantic activity for couples and they make a lovely Valentine’s Day activity. Here are a few simple tips:

Research Roundup: Nannies and Food Allergies & More

Almost all nannies who took part in an online survey about food allergy recognized the condition as potentially life-threatening. However, only 58 percent of nannies who cared for food-allergic children had self-injectable epinephrine with them at all times and 46 percent felt uncomfortable using epinephrine in an emergency. In addition, 30 percent of nannies thought it was acceptable to pick an allergen out of a prepared meal before giving it to an allergic child and 19 percent didn’t always wash their hands after touching food allergens.

All About Zinc: How to Fit It into a Gluten-Free Diet

“Well, he’s low in zinc,” the doctor said as he thumbed through the overstuffed binder holding my son’s medical records. I had consulted this doctor, known as a medical detective, for help with my son’s numerous health issues—food allergies, developmental delays, slow growth, picky eating and more. “His zinc level definitely needs to be corrected first thing,” he said. It turned out that both my children were deficient in zinc, a trace mineral critical for healthy growth and development, skin integrity, attention, immunity and appetite. “There’s a clear link between low zinc levels and growth hormone deficiency,” the doctor added, touching on one of the problems my too-small-for-her-age daughter had been struggling with for years.

Research Roundup: Food Allergy Slows Growth & More!

Studies show that food-allergic tots tend to lag behind their non-allergic peers in height and weight. Milk-allergic children are particularly vulnerable to growth impairments. Now a large study published last July in the Journal of Pediatrics has found food-allergic kids with commercial insurance are more likely to fall behind on growth charts than those with state health insurance. It’s unclear why.

Research Roundup: Brain Fog Is Real, Allergy Anxiety, and More

In the new study, researchers spent a year evaluating all new patients at celiac centers across Italy for gluten sensitivity. Those diagnosed with the condition were overwhelmingly female (84 percent) and most suffered from gut symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome, as well as symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, depression and joint pain. There’s not yet a definitive test for gluten sensitivity, making accurate estimates of its prevalence difficult. Diagnosis is usually made after ruling out celiac disease and wheat allergy and noting an improvement in symptoms on the gluten-free diet. The study was published in May in BMC Medicine.

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