Weekly Update February 5 2016

In The News

Photo Credit: Sarah Small / Getty Images 
Some of the biggest studies in medicine involve the microbiome. If you're new to that word, it's the bacteria (or mirco-organisms) that reside in an environment. Usually in the world of Celiac Disease, we talk about the microbiome of the intestinal tract. Research this week has us looking at the flora and fauna of the vaginal cavity.
A small (four patient) study was done on newly born infants whom were delivered via Cesarean section. Infants not born vaginally do not pick up the "good bacteria" from the vaginal cavity that supports their immune systems. Doctors pondered if it would be possible to swab these infants, post-birth, with their mother's vaginal secretions.
I know, it sounds weird. But it's the comment below of researcher Maria Dominguez- Bello that's garnering the attention of the Celiac Disease community.

"We think that the epidemic increase in asthma, allergies, Type 1 diabetes, Celiac disease, obesity are related to disturbances in the microbiome."

Is it possible that swabbing kids born via C-section can prevent the development of Celiac Disease? Further studies will need to take place to see if this technique can add to newborns health, as well as future health. More on this study can be found at NPR and the website Science and Sensibilty. And a good reminder from doctors and professionals - Don't try this at home.

In the Mail

Photo Credit: Margaret Clegg

As we venture into 2016, I've created a new focus in my blogging. Not only am I doing a recap of the week, but I will be working with companies to highlight Michigan products, restaurants and bakeries. One of the first such companies is Thai Feast. Look for a featured review and giveaway in the coming weeks!

In the Kitchen

Tuna pasta salad, Shell pasta with ricotta and spinach, and homemade shells and cheese with sausage and peas

Confession: I'm a gluten-free hoarder. When there are products on sale or clearance, I grab them and stash them in my pantry in the basement. I can't tell you for sure how long I've had this Meijer shell pasta. Possibly almost a year. It's so delicious I wish I would have used it sooner!
It's made entirely of corn, which may be better for us. Recent research has shown that rice-based products are higher in inorganic arsenic, which is a cancer-causing carcinogen. Lundberg Family Farms is one United States company that has been shown to have low levels of inorganic arsenic.
What's your favorite pasta dish to make?

In My Opinion

Photo Credit: sharronjamison.com

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease which needs to be taken seriously. It is estimated that at least 70% of those with Celiac Disease are undiagnosed. What have a lot of people to reach & teach.
On social media there are always stories of of family members resistant to be tested, They will say "I have no symptoms, I'm not like you, etc." Some can be flat out angry when we suggest it. 

Sometimes I wonder if our attitude may have something to do with it. Please don't get me wrong- this disease can be difficult and it can play an emotional toll on you. But if our posts about our disease are always about how hard it is, how bloated our belly is, or how mad you are that you can't have "regular" pizza, I wonder if people don't want to get tested because they think it's too hard. 

I could be way off base. Maybe our attitude has nothing to do with diagnosing members others. But it has made me question myself and how I discuss and represent this disease. It makes me question what I put on social media and say in the presence of others. There are so many blessings I have due to my disease. I have made friends that are so dear I can't imagine not knowing them. I've met companies with great stories that I believe will change the world. I've been the person who has gone shopping with the newly diagnosed patient, when they're overwhelmed. I've also been the person to persist in emailing a company to remove a product that can be dangerous to our health. 

In the words of Shirley Braden, "Therefore, many gluten-free folks join in on the chorus of how hard living gluten free is, usually before they’ve given gluten-free living its fair shake. They don’t move on to focusing on all the fabulous foods one can eat if gluten free. That keeps them from eventually reaching the “new,” final stage of Embracement.

This disease isn't easy. It takes an emotional and physical toll. 
But we can stand together and make health possible for so many more. 

So what's your attitude about this disease? Take Beyond Celiac's quiz on attitude this month!