Weekly Update January 22 2016

In the News
Zonulin research
Up until now, there has been no test for Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. With new research released this week, that may change. Zonulin is a protein that "regulates" the junction in the intestinal wall. A researcher discovered that the levels of zonulin in a patient with NCGS were as high as someone with Celiac Disease. Those with NCGS had zonulin levels almost 4.5 times higher than that of a healthy patient, and only .003 less than those with Celiac Disease. Hopefully the detection of these levels may help in diagnosis and treatment for those with Celiac Disease, NCGS, IBS and other diseases affected by "leaky gut." Dr Fasano is working on a drug called "larazotide acetate" that will hopefully prevent gut permeability. While this will help with the issue of leaky gut, this is not a cure for Celiac Disease itself. To learn more, click on the link above. 

In the Kitchen
One of the things I missed most after being diagnosed was Sweet and Sour Chicken. Due to soy sauce, many things are off limits at a Chinese restaurant. With the added issue of breaded chicken, Sweet and Sour Chicken is definitely off limits.

I found the easiest and most delicious Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe on the Simply Recipes website. The recipe is written by Jaden Hair, "an award-winning food blogger" and television chef. This dish is so simple it can easily be on your dinner table every week. With a thinner sauce and lightly coated chicken, it's lighter in calories as well. Find this recipe and more on the Simply Recipes site.

Hot and saucy. Just like me!

In the Mail
So as you've noticed I've been mentioning all of the great things that I won during the GIG Twitter Party back at the beginning of December. My third and final gift was a case of Beanfield's Bean & Rice Chips!

You can't have any, because these are "Not-cho" chips! Ha ha! 

This box came stuffed full with 12 bags of their chips in assorted flavors. With flavors that range from sea salt to nacho to barbecue, there is certain to be a flavor that you'll enjoy. These gluten-free, nut-free, corn-free, non-gmo vegan chips list beans as their #1 ingredient. Each serving has 6 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein and 36% less fat than regular tortilla chips.
Besides loving the taste, I love that this United States company is also a B corporation. B corporations are companies dedicated to not only making quality products, but also improving the world around them. You can find out more about companies like these by clicking here.

I used the Sea Salt chips to make Tortilla Encrusted Cod. Recipe needs a little work....
In My Opinion
To Biopsy or Not to Biopsy?

I'm a rule follower. I check off lists, I color inside the lines, and balance my checkbook to the penny.
I'm also not a doctor, a nutritionist, or a nurse. Therefore, there are certain doctors whose word is law to me. (Most people want to meet famous actors - I want to meet highly respected gastroenterologists.)  Because I'm not a medical professional, I base what I tell my support group members on current medical advice.

Up until this date, an intestinal biopsy is the "gold standard" in diagnosis. With my family history, my gastro didn't even bother with a blood test - he immediately scheduled me for biopsy to see the extent of the damage. It was pretty bad. It's been over a decade and I've moved and going to a new gastro. He's doing another endoscopy, and I'm okay with that. Honestly, it's the best sleep I've ever had.

I belong to an online group for those with Celiac Disease. Some of the people are self-diagnosed, some diagnosed only by blood test, and some with blood test and biopsy. We're a mixed bunch, and there are lots of opinions on practically every issue.

I've been staunch "all must get a biopsy" supporter since I was diagnosed over a decade ago. But after listening to the stories of some, I'm starting to soften a bit. Some don't have insurance, some were wrongly told to go on a gluten-free diet first, some were pregnant, and some simply don't feel it's necessary. My softening is also due to the new ESPGHAN guidelines being used in Europe, which outlines the parameters for diagnosing without biopsy. Dr. Guandalini has given his approval of these guidelines. (Met him in person. One more "star" checked off my bucket list!)

A day without biopsy may be coming soon.  But there are a few things that will never change. DO NOT diagnose yourself. I've heard stories of people misdiagnosing themselves and instead discovering they have intestinal cancer. DO NOT stop eating gluten prior to diagnosis. While one can get the genetic test to rule it out while eating gluten-free, you MUST be eating gluten for blood and biopsy tests to come back accurate. If your doctor tells you to stop eating gluten before the test, FIND A DIFFERENT DOCTOR. Alo make sure they can read read the biopsy results accurately.sYour health is too important to trust to someone who is ignorant. Also make sure the doctor knows how to read your blood tests accurately, I know of a young man misdiagnosed via blood work for years. Instead of having Celiac Disease, he really had Chron's disease.

If you're not getting a biopsy due to fear, please know that it's not that bad. I've had worse pain getting a cavity filled. There is no "prep" with an endoscopy. And if your doctor tries to diagnose you via colonoscopy, FIND A DIFFERENT DOCTOR. They are putting you through too much to get a diagnosis, and they probably aren't doing it correctly. If you doctor refuses to do it, FIND A DIFFERENT DOCTOR! If your insurance doesn't cover it, I can only apologize. The ridiculousness of our health insurance system makes me want to punch someone in the throat sometimes.

Celiac Disease is a serious disease. It's not a fad, it's not a diet you can cheat on, and it is tied to other autoimmune diseases with serious consequences. Too many have suffered for years without a diagnosis. Getting an accurate diagnosis helps the medical community takes us seriously.

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