Popular Posts

Monday, December 20, 2010

My E-Book, “Gluten Toxicity”, Is Available

Thank you so much for your interest in “Gluten Toxicity: The Mysterious Symptoms Of Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, And Non-Celiac Gluten intolerance”. Click on the tab, “E-Book” at the top of my other blog, www.celiacnurse.com to purchase a copy. An environmentally friendly copy of my 355 page book will be available to download within minutes of your purchase.
Highlights about “Gluten Toxicity” can be found in a previous post and I posted the “Introduction” for readers to review as well.
Best Regards,
Shelly Stuart, R.N., B.Sc.N.

Book Review: Highlights From “The Better Bladder Book”

I am so impressed by this  book about chronic pelvic pain and interstitial cystitis. In fact, I included it in my book, “Gluten Toxicity” as a resource. It has been written by a registered nurse (RN) who knows how to advocate for her patients and who regularly thinks outside of the box. The author, Wendy Cohan, is a RN from Portland, Oregon, (US). She counsels patients with celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, non-celiac gluten intolerance, and bladder related conditions. As well, she is aware of lectin intolerance and the paleolithic diet. Wendy is also the author of Gluten-Free Portland, A Resource Guide” and maintains 3 websites at www.mywellbladder.com, www.glutenfreechoice.com and www.thebetterbladderbookinfo.com. I have had the pleasure of conversing with Wendy by e-mail and can say that she appears to be a very professional, approachable and knowledgeable RN with a passion for helping patients who are suffering.

Below, I have outlined the highlights that can be found in Wendy’s book. I know from my experience as a RN, that conventional medicine only offers the use of medication and a few procedures to help deal with urological issues. Wendy’s book offers endless ideas and alternative tips to help ease the pain and inflammation associated with chronic pelvic pain and bladder problems. For example, with interstitial cystitis, she describes it as the perfect storm with several overlapping contributing factors. Wendy discusses each factor and provides tips to help heal not only the condition, but your whole body and well-being. If you are suffering and looking for answers, then this comprehensive book about the urinary system, the types of disorders that can occur and how to direct your own healing journey may provide the perfect solution.  Currently, Wendy’s book is available from Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

Highlights From “The Better Bladder Book”

Comprehensive Symptom Review

Wendy discusses the symptoms and the chain of reactions that lead to the symptoms. She helps the reader to see the big picture and explores new ways of thinking about interstitial cystitis and chronic pelvic pain. Many case studies are included.

Lesson About the Urological System

A simplified lesson outlines the urological system and describes various types of dysfunction. Wendy also discusses other conditions that may contribute to chronic pelvic pain.

In Depth Discussion Of The Tests And Conventional Treatments

Diagnostic tests and traditional treatments are discussed. This includes medications, current available treatments and types of therapy that can be used. People who have suffered chronically with bladder issues and chronic pelvic pain may have been exposed to many of these tests and treatments. Wendy helps to outline the benefits with each test and treatment ensuring that patients are aware of all their options.

Alternative Treatments

This is my favourite part of the book. Wendy discusses various therapeutic diets, nutritional supplements, medicinal herbs, and other complementary techniques that can be used to decrease the symptoms, increase urological health and overall wellbeing. This part of the book helps to provide a sense of hope and control to many who are living with daily pain and empowers patients with many options.

Many Resources

Many resources are provided at the end of the book including organizations, websites, resources for kids, centers for IC research, along with articles and books for further reading.

My Thoughts

I think the information in this book really empowers patients so that they can have knowledgeable discussions with their doctors, make educated choices and direct their own recovery. I firmly believe that every patient with urological problems would benefit from the comprehensive knowledge provided in this book.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Gluten-Free Christmas Tip: Can Turkey Be Contaminated With Gluten?

Can turkey be contaminated with gluten? Sadly, the answer is yes. Sometimes, frozen turkeys can be injected with hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) to make the meat look more plump. Unfortunately, HVP can have gluten in it. Check with your local manufacturer to ensure that HVP hasn’t been added. The local manufacturer I called said that fresh chicken and turkey, that hasn’t been previously frozen, is okay. Check with your local manufacturer, this practice may vary in different areas.
As well, turkey that has been seasoned or pre-stuffed can be contaminated with ingredients containing gluten. Check the ingredient list on your turkey and call the manufacturer to clarify whether gluten is in the turkey. Hopefully, this information will help everyone to have a safe gluten-free and lectin-free holiday:)

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone,
Shelly Stuart, R.N., B.Sc.N.

Excerpt With “Introduction” From My Book, “Gluten Toxicity”

In this post, I am providing an excerpt from my book, “Gluten Toxicity: The Mysterious Symptoms Of Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, And Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance”. I really enjoy taking a peek inside books before I make a purchase and thought that others may enjoy taking a peek at the introduction to my book. “Gluten Toxicity” will be available as an e-book very soon.


Wheat was a staple food in our house. During my childhood, I loved how the lovely smell of fresh pies, bread, cookies, buns, or other treats baking in the oven filled the entire house. Waking up to the smell of pancakes or my grandmother’s Chelsea buns was always a special treat. I grew to love and appreciate the value of making baked products from scratch, using primarily wheat flour, but also rye, barley and oats. In my own kitchen, I frequently made French loaves, cinnamon bread, Chelsea buns, pie crusts, cakes, apple strudel, tarts, homemade pasta, and many other tasty treats from scratch. I never suspected these foods that I lovingly made for myself and my family, could have toxic effects on every physiological system in our bodies. The realization of that reality was quite a shock!
The path of ill health that led to my diagnosis was long, twisted, full of potholes (symptoms), and broken bridges (misdiagnoses). Only after diagnosis, did the path begin to straighten, the potholes filled, and the bridges mended. With this new path, I finally was able to heal myself and truly nourish my body with the gluten-free foods that I was genetically designed to eat.
Even though this journey was a struggle, I know I am very lucky. Currently, only 3% (approximately) of the people with celiac disease are diagnosed. Unfortunately, the other 97% are unaware that their symptoms are related to the ingestion of gluten (wheat, rye, barley, and for some people oats), and are living a decreased quality of life with the risk of multiple complications [7].
As well, many are living with a non-celiac gluten intolerance, which is both very under recognized and under diagnosed. Combined, all the forms of undiagnosed gluten intolerance can lead to unnecessary suffering, increased doctor’s visits, increased hospital visits, and possible death due to all the associated complications. This can drastically reduce an individual’s quality of life and adds an additional strain to an already overstressed healthcare system.
This book will discuss the many elusive ways gluten can affect all the systems of the body in gluten intolerant individuals. I reviewed large and small quantitative studies, case studies, and multiple articles while compiling this book. Also included, are my personal stories, patient’s stories and many other stories from people internationally. These stories help to demonstrate how the symptoms can range from vague to very pronounced and obvious.
While reviewing the literature and conversing with doctors, I noticed that many physicians have different views related to the diagnosis and management of celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, and non-celiac gluten intolerance. Therefore, patients who are consulting their doctor about gluten intolerance may only hear one point of view. My goal is to present all approaches in a collective and objective style. My hope is that this information will empower people so that they can have a knowledgeable discussion with their doctor and co-actively create a plan for diagnosis and a plan of care that is individualized to their needs. My belief is that more patient involvement equals better patient outcomes.

Lack Of Awareness Put Me At Risk

I was misdiagnosed and given a variety of explanations for my vague symptoms for most of my life. Unfortunately, even when the symptoms were obvious, misdiagnosis still occurred. For example, I was misdiagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome when I had classic celiac disease symptoms for 5 years prior to my diagnosis.
Eventually, I diagnosed myself by doing my own research and initiating a gluten-free diet to see if it provided symptom relief. Successful, I approached a gastroenterologist and confirmed my diagnosis.
This lack of awareness put me at risk for complications and at risk for a false negative test result since consuming a gluten-free diet prior to diagnosis can lead to false negatives. Unfortunately, delayed diagnosis is very common in many countries. This often leads to an increased risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, lymphomas, cancers, allergies, complications from malabsorption issues, possible decreased immune response to other illnesses, and many other health complications that will be discussed in this book.

What Inspired Me To Create This Book?

Inspiration #1: My love for my family has been a powerful motivator for the creation of this book. Gluten intolerance is very prevalent in my family. Therefore, this book is my gift to my current and future family members (grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc). I feel that this guide provides the information they will need to get diagnosed and to help improve their health once diagnosed. For many years to come, my infinite love and guidance can be passed on through this book.
Inspiration #2: Many are suffering and quite likely many are dying globally due to undiagnosed celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis and non-celiac gluten intolerance. This breaks my heart when I think of grandparents being lost due to dementia or illness, couples dealing with infertility or pregnancy issues (potentially leading to loss of a baby), mothers and fathers struggling with illness, children with cognitive disabilities affecting their ability to achieve their potential in life, and many others who are suffering with a variety of misdiagnoses.
This is what I visualized while I wrote this book. I shed tears a number of times just thinking of all the people who are afflicted by gluten intolerance. I am hoping that this book will help others to recognize that a link may exist between their symptoms and the ingestion of gluten. Recognition, diagnosis, and a gluten-free diet may be all that is needed to increase their quality of life and end the suffering.

Excerpt From My Book, “About The Author: My Struggle With Undiagnosed Celiac Disease”

As a toddler, I was frequently in and out of our local hospital with pneumonia and tonsillitis. Infections and antibiotics were a way of life for me.
As time passed, I developed into a tall, but thin child. My low weight didn’t make sense because I ate copious amounts of food. During family gatherings, my relatives would frequently comment about my appetite and my aunts marveled at my slim size. Everyone assumed that my slim build was due to my active lifestyle, growth spurts, and perhaps a high metabolism. No one suspected that it was due to a malabsorption issue, likely, because I didn’t have any gastrointestinal symptoms and I was tall. We now know that many people with celiac disease (CD) do not have gastrointestinal symptoms and many are tall, despite the malabsorption problems. Not everyone with CD has short stature.

In addition to the low weight, I would occasionally get pressure and tightness in my chest that was diagnosed as growing pains. Now, I know that this was likely indigestion, a symptom of CD. I also remember having problems with forgetfulness and sometimes it was difficult to think (I call this foggy brain).
With puberty, came anemia, canker sores, restless legs, leg cramps, brittle nails, low blood pressure, more foggy headed days, ovarian cysts, indigestion and I frequently felt an unusual heavy feeling in my abdomen after eating bread or pasta. The symptoms would exacerbate with any physiological or psychological stress. My mother experienced some of the same symptoms for years so I didn’t think it was that unusual. Our doctor prescribed iron pills for our anemia with no further investigations. I now have labeled this, “The Band Aide Treatment”, since it just addresses the symptoms without diagnosing the cause.
As more time passed, I went to university, graduated with honors (a real struggle on my foggy head days), and naturally started to avoid some of the foods (bread, pasta) that sat heavy in my stomach. This helped me to feel better and I didn’t question it further since I assumed that bread and pasta were very filling foods that made most people feel full and tired.
I married and shortly after I became pregnant with our first child. I had anemia and palpitations during the pregnancy. My daughter was born 3 weeks early due to my water breaking and, luckily, she appeared to be a healthy baby with no apparent health problems. My health problems continued. Three weeks postpartum, I started having loose stools multiple times a day and this lasted a few weeks. All tests were negative (a celiac screen was not included).
With my second pregnancy, I was hospitalized and put on bed rest, due to premature inter-uterine contractions and pain. I also had anemia with this pregnancy and delivered 2 weeks early. My second baby appeared to be healthy. My ill health continued, three weeks postpartum, the loose stools started again and I lost all my pregnancy weight. I was checked for parasites, had a colonoscopy, and investigations stopped there since the loose stools stopped after a few weeks. A upper endoscopy would have diagnosed celiac disease but it was not offered, instead the doctor diagnosed me with hormonal irritable bowel syndrome.
With my third pregnancy, I had inter-uterine fetal growth restriction and had to decrease my activity. I remember adding lots of pasta and bread into my diet to help increase weight (exactly the opposite of what I needed since the pasta and bread had a high gluten content). My third child was born 1 and 1/2 weeks early at 6 pounds, 6 ounces. Three weeks postpartum, the loose stools returned. Again, I was checked for parasites and had a colonoscopy. Since my results were negative, I was told that I conclusively had irritable bowel syndrome. With ongoing intermittent diarrhea, I was loosing nutrients and it was difficult to keep up my breast milk supply. I had to stop breast feeding my third child after six weeks due to poor quality and production. Due to diarrhea and malabsorption, I likely had multiple nutrient deficiencies
This time, my symptoms didn’t subside, only more were added. Muscle weakness, arthritis symptoms, weight loss, various nervous system symptoms, frequent lung infections, fatigue and skin rashes were more warning signs that I desperately needed help. During this time, I also had 3 little girls, ages 10 months, 2 years, and 4 years. It was a real struggle trying to be an energetic creative mother for my children. I remember my mom flew out to visit and she was in tears when she saw me. She said that I looked like I had terminal cancer. In many ways, she was right, my body was deteriorating, but not from cancer. Gluten toxicity was affecting every part of my body leading to inflammation and damage. During this period, I lost quality time with my family, my friends, and time at my work.
After a long undiagnosed journey with many symptoms, I managed to finally link my ill health to celiac disease. A gastroenterologist confirmed a celiac diagnosis and I have been living gluten-free for the last 6 years. Once diagnosed, I had my siblings, parents, and children screened. My mother and daughter also had positive results. My mother had canker sores, restless legs, leg cramps, brittle nails,and anemia. My daughter only presented with occasional stomach aches and pale skin. Finally, we were all able to heal.

My Mission To Increase Awareness

Once I was diagnosed, I learned that only 3-5% of people with CD are diagnosed. This along with my personal experience, inspired me to fulfill a mission to do my part to increase awareness and diagnosis. Working with a variety of patients at the hospital has allowed me to identify potential Celiacs in the hospital population. Many undiagnosed Celiacs have frequent doctors visits and are admitted to the hospital with a variety of diagnosis. I have requested Celiac screening for many patients.
Once my youngest entered grade 1, I knew I could begin writing a blog about celiac disease and gluten intolerance. In addition to my blog, I also began increasing awareness as Celiac Nurse on Facebook, and CeliacNurse1 on Twitter.
As time passed, I began to seek other ways to use my 21 years of nursing (including 5 years of gastroenterology) and 6 years of living successfully with celiac disease to help others. Currently, I am a Celiac Nurse and Gluten Intolerance Consultant at Stuart Healthcare Solutions (my company) in British Columbia, Canada. With this position, I am able to provide support services to assist with diagnosis, education, health assessments, a new lifestyle and problem solving when complication arise. This professional focus has become my passion. Helping others navigate the maze associated with gluten toxicity has become a way of life.
I am an optimist and I believe that change is possible. Imagine, a future with everyone diagnosed, doctors and nurses who are knowledgeable about the full spectrum of gluten intolerance, and all the restaurants, companies, and grocery stores competently selling GF products and meals. This is what I visualize as I start each day. A better future for myself, my children, my future grandchildren, and others who are adversely affected by this little protein called gluten.

Shelly Stuart, R.N., B.Sc.N.
Celiac Nurse & Gluten Intolerance Consultant
Stuart Healthcare Solutions, BC, Canada
Blog: http://www.celiacnurse.com
Blog: http://paleolithicrn.blogspot.com
Twitter: CeliacNurse1, PaleolithicRN, GlutenToxicity
Facebook: Celiac Nurse and author page, Gluten Toxicity
Myspace: Shelly Stuart, Celiac Nurse

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Highlights From My Book, “Gluten Toxicity: The Mysterious Symptoms Of Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis, And Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance”

Below, I have outlined the highlights that can be found in my book about gluten intolerance. Very soon, “Gluten Toxicity” will be available as an e-book from my blog for $9.99. This provides a lower cost option and the book can be available for your review within minutes. Within a few weeks, my 355 page book will also be available as a 7×10 paperback from Amazon for $19.99. I’ll post an update on my blog, Twitter (CeliacNurse1, PaleolithicRN, GlutenToxicity), and Facebook (Celiac Nurse and author page, Gluten Toxicity) when the paperback is ready.

“Gluten Toxicity” Highlights

Comprehensive Symptom Review

Chapters 3-14, discuss the many elusive ways gluten intolerance can present as vague or pronounced symptoms. Each chapter focuses on one system of the body and how reactions to gluten can lead to the symptoms in that part of the body. For example, in the gastrointestinal chapter, the book discusses how symptoms can occur in each area of the gastrointestinal tract including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.
Chapter 14 includes diseases, syndromes, and conditions associated with gluten intolerance and chapter 15 has a comprehensive checklist of symptoms that can be completed and taken with you to the doctor to request testing.

In Depth Analysis Of The Tests

Chapter 17 discusses the panel of gluten intolerance tests, all of the pitfalls with diagnosis and how false negative test results can occur. Special diagnostic considerations with ataxia and other neurological issues is also included.
Differences in doctor’s diagnostic practices is reviewed so that the reader can make informed choices for diagnostic testing. Due to the lack of awareness about gluten intolerance, some doctors do not use all of the tests. This could lead to false negative results or an incomplete diagnosis.

Gluten-Free Diet Information

My gluten-free diet is discussed with tips to improve the nutrient value of the diet. Thirty extra gluten-free diet and health tips help the newly diagnosed to learn a new way of eating.
There is much debate around the use of oats in the gluten-free diet. To help address this issue, I added some information about the pros and cons associated with adding oats into the diet and some recommendations for people who would like to consume pure uncontaminated oats.

Extra Therapeutic Diet Information

Taking the required dietary change a step further, the book discusses the use of other therapeutic diets such as the paleolithic lectin-free diet, the specific carbohydrate diet, the grain-free diet, and the elimination diet. My experience with each diet is included. Sometimes, the gluten-free diet doesn’t relieve all symptoms. Other factors along with the use of therapeutic diets need to be considered. Every patient is unique and requires an individualized care plan to achieve an optimum state of wellness.

Tips To Consider: What If The Gluten-Free Diet Doesn’t Work?

What if you have been on the diet for a while and it doesn’t seem to be working? Also, what if the diet was working, but now it isn’t. If you are dealing with these difficulties, then “Gluten Toxicity” has recommendations that you can discuss with your doctor, gastroenterologist, and other specialists.

Thirty Life Style Tips To Ease The Transition

Initially, the healing phase and gluten-free lifestyle can can present with some challenges. “Gluten Toxicity” offers thirty additional lifestyle and health tips that can help to speed up your healing and ease the transition into a new lifestyle.

Tips To Help Heal Intestinal Villi

Some people with a form of gluten intolerance called celiac disease have intestinal villi damage. Chapter 19 discusses 10 facts about intestinal villi and 10 steps that you can take to improve villi health.

Flow Charts

A helpful flowchart will help you to keep track of blood test results and your progress. Recommended blood tests are included on the chart.
A second flowchart provides a list of tasks to consider once diagnosed. Many recommended tasks are included in this chart as well.

New Theories

The prevalence of celiac disease has significantly increased over the last 50 years. This has inspired me to investigate the possible reasons behind this increase. I dedicated a chapter to discuss 12 theories that may shed some light on this public health issue. Some of the theories are currently being explored, others are just hypothetical possibilities. I look forward to discussing these theories further with readers on my author page at Facebook. Together, as a collective conscious, we can brain storm and may come up with some new theories to be explored.
My book discusses other theories as well, such as emerging theories for non-celiac gluten intolerance, the hypothetical link between the high prevalence of food allergies and gluten intolerance, the possible benefit of using therapeutic diets for other autoimmune diseases and the use of gluten-free diets to increase the health of pets. I think many people have been wondering about these possible connections so I took some time to explore this in the final chapters of the book. I look forward to discussing this with you on my author page.

Support For A New Lifestyle

I dedicated my final chapter, “Support For A New Lifestyle”, to all of the heroic souls who are advocating for those who are suffering from gluten intolerance. Collectively, the people listed in this chapter work tirelessly to promote awareness, diagnosis, and provide tips and recipes to help increase success with the GF lifestyle. They have made generous contributions to help others link their symptoms to gluten intolerance and to help others live a successful gluten-free lifestyle.
This chapter provides links for support groups, celiac disease centers, gluten-free magazines, gluten-free forums, travel and dining resources, food allergy magazines, gluten-free radio, and gluten-free television. A list of gluten-free bloggers and an additional list of helpful books is also included.

Many Empowering References

In the bibliography, many references are available to empower people with the research studies they need to influence their doctor to test them. Unfortunately, many patients have encountered doctors who discourage testing. This is often due to lack of awareness about the symptoms associated with gluten intolerance.

My Mission

Many are suffering and quite likely many are dying globally due to undiagnosed celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis and non-celiac gluten intolerance. This breaks my heart when I think of grandparents being lost due to dementia or illness, couples dealing with infertility or pregnancy issues (potentially leading to loss of a baby), mothers and fathers struggling with illness, children with cognitive disabilities affecting their ability to achieve their potential in life, and many others who are suffering with a variety of misdiagnoses. I am hoping that “Gluten Toxicity” will help others to recognize that a link may exist between their symptoms and the ingestion of gluten. Recognition, diagnosis, and a gluten-free diet may be all that is needed to increase their quality of life and end the suffering.

“Gluten Toxicity” will be available as an e-book from my blog within the next week and will be available as a 355 page, 5×10 book from Amazon in a few weeks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My E-Book, “Gluten Toxicity”, Will Be Available Within The Next 3-6 Days

For the past two years, I have been compiling a book about gluten intolerance called “Gluten Toxicity: The Mysterious Symptoms Of Celiac Disease, Dermatitis Herpetiformis And Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance”.

“Gluten Toxicity” provides a comprehensive checklist of symptoms, in depth analysis of the diagnostic tests, an outline of the gluten-free diet, tips to help with a new lifestyle adjustment, and recommendations to consider when complications arise. Helpful checklists will assist the reader to keep track of blood test results, and tasks to help with healing. If you are looking for a definitive guide that provides comprehensive information about gluten intolerance, then this guide is for you.

My e-book is currently finished and will be launched within the next 3-6 days (price $9.99). I am preparing my blog, www.celiacnurse.com, for e-book sales. Once the blog has been prepared, I will post a press release about the book and an additional post will provide the table of contents for review.

Following this, my book will also be available in a few weeks as a 355 page, 7×10 paperback book at Amazon (price $19.99). My hope is that “Gluten Toxicity”, will put gluten intolerance on the radar of medical professionals and the general public. Too many are still suffering and unaware that their symptoms are linked with the ingestion of gluten.

Lectins and the use of the paleolithic diet are also discussed in this book.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hello Everyone!

Hello everyone,

My journey to health has been long, twisted and full of potholes. I have endured many misdiagnosis and partial diagnosis. After many years, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I embraced the gluten-free diet thinking it would alleviate all of my symptoms. Most symptoms did subside, but not all.

Further investigations revealed that I have many other food allergies as well. My diet evolved from gluten-free, to grain free, and then with allergy testing and an elimination diet, it became paleolithic. Finally, I am able to live a healthy lifestyle free of symptoms.

I am creating this blog to share my story, tips, and recipes for living a quality of life that we all deserve. A life symptom-free:)