Thursday, December 20, 2018

Welcome to Celiac Brain: 400% Increased Risk of Death if Celiac and Un-diagnosed

I have been studying Celiac disease and its other 
manifestation, gluten sensitivity since 1995. I have become aware of its hidden and virtually unknown consequences. And it is very common. I am a physician, practicing since 1977, and have seen the devastating effects of celiac/gluten sensitivity first hand. I have seen remarkable turnarounds of very seriously ill persons when they have been on a diet free of gluten.

This site is to spread the word of its serious and dangerous nature to those interested, whether you are a physician, other health care professional, or a person in need of more information.

I propose to bring to you the newest in scientific research, links to other reputable celiac disease/gluten sensitivity websites, and other helpful articles or news items.

The most important finding I would like to impress upon all people comes from Dr. Joseph Murray from the Mayo clinic and that is the 400% increased risk of death by age 65 in undiagnosed persons with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. This information highlights the need to get a diagnosis as early as possible to allow you to reverse the damage, if possible.

And to relax, if you don't have the genetics for celiac or gluten sensitivity. 

I push for ALL to get tested and as early in life as possible. With proper diet and treatment, one can "buy back your time!" and extend ones healthy life span by decades. See Dr. Murray's video.

400% increased risk of death by age 65 in undiagnosed celiacs
Dr.Joseph Murray and his team from the Mayo clinic reported on a small but significant study they published in 2009. Not only was there an astronomically elevated death rate, but they noticed that there has been a 400% increase in the incidence of celiac disease since 1948.

Listen to Dr. Murray::

So get tested and find out if you are one of the 40% of people that are susceptible. The best testing, in my opinion, is a genetic test found at www.enterolab.comI don't have any financial benefit from recommending the company. I have found this testing has revolutionized my practice and my ability to help people.

If you find yourself with gluten sensitivity, go on a gluten free diet, or better yet, the Gut and Psychology Syndrome diet. This diet includes healing foods and nutrients that positively affect the main problems: the damaged bowel and the wrong microbiota, "bugs living in the bowel", malnutrition, poor immune system. 

Untreated celiac or gluten sensitivity leads to increased infections, food allergies of all kinds, epilepsy, rashes, depression, 4 times the rate cancer, inflammed intestines, and 12 times risk of autoimmune diseases like type 1 Diabetes.

To Your Health

Dr. Barbara (TM)
CeliacBrain (TM) is the trademark and copyright of Dr. Barbara Powell. The right of Dr. Barbara Powell to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.
Note that all information on these pages is accurate to the best of our knowledge. Information from secondary sources should be double checked before being cited. Information is not meant to be medical advice. Please see your family doctor if you have concerns.

Cold or flu? Top Ten Natural Anti- Viral Agents, Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors

Since people with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are considered "immuno-compromised", meaning they get infections more easily than the next person, it is a good idea to have a few tricks and tools to get over an infection. 

The most common infections are viral, like colds and flu's.

Here is a report from the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors on the top natural anti-viral agents. Use three or four of them at the same time to counter a cold or flu. And if you are not getting better or have worsening symptoms, see your doctor. 

Winter is the time of year when we seem to be particularly vulnerable to all kinds of illnesses that are caused by viruses including colds, flu and cold sores. A virus is not to be confused with bacteria, which causes infection. Viruses are tiny bits of nucleic acids that contain information and use your body’s cells to create more copies of themselves.

There are very few treatments, allopathic or natural that can kill a virus outright, as usually a virus must run its course. However the list of natural remedies here come as close to stopping a virus in its tracks as Mother Nature can get.


Silver has been utilized as a medicine since ancient times to treat scores of ailments, including the bubonic plague.

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara (TM) (TM)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Do You Have a Gluten-Free Emergency Food Kit?

I have had an emergency "gluten free" small food kit for several years now which I keep in the car. I think if you are celiac or non-celiac gluten sensitive you should consider two types of kits:
One that has three or four meals in it, used for when you get stuck away from your home and your gluten free (GF) supplies, like if you are waiting in a hospital emergency department or admitted to hospital. It can take a few days after admission for the GF diet and meal plan to be arranged. Or if you find yourself suddenly changing plans or helping someone else and you need to eat. 

The second kit would be to supply meals for an extended period of time, a "survival" kit. Here where I live there have been severe floods,or ice storms and people want to stay in their houses. Making it difficult to go out to a store and there may or may not be services like phone or electricity. 

When making a GF emergency food kit, I do suggest:
- that there be a can opener in the kit. In the three or four meal kit, the small kit, I have cans that have pull tabs to allow me to open the can without a can opener. This keeps the portable kit that much lighter. My pantry has water and emergency food, with portable heavy duty can openers.

- Just in case buy or make provisions that can be eaten without the need for cooking. Peanut butter and crackers, or jerky or canned soups or canned vegetables. You may not have easy access to electricity. If you can, have a small camping stove available with enough fuel for a few days. 

- for severe or prolonged emergencies, you and your family need a good source of fat. One that does not go rancid quickly, such as coconut oil. Dark bottles of olive oil. If you have a freezer for storage, available to you, keep GF hot dogs and sausages. A freezer will stay cold for a few days without electricity, so the food will stay frozen for awhile. Yes, I have experienced a few black outs, and as long as you keep the lid closed, the food will stay frozen. Especially when the outdoor temperature is below freezing. 

- And do rotate out the food every 3 months or so replacing the older food with newer foods. 

- You can personalize the emergency kit to a GAPS protocol too. Grain free crackers may be pricey so you can make your favourite bread and slice it thinly and dehydrate the bread slices. They keep well in an air tight container or bag. Or make crackers. 

And don't forget "potted" bread which is bread in a vacuum sealed jar. You take your favourite GF bread recipe and a dry and sterilized pint jar used for preserving. Put enough bread dough in the jar to up to 2/3 the height of the jar and bake it as you would normally. It will be baked through much sooner than a full loaf of bread so watch for it to be done in about 20 minutes. When it is ready, it will have stopped rising and you can see dry bubbles through the glass. Remove from oven, and seal with sealing top. As it cools a vacuum will seal it air tight.  This will last at least half a year. ( I have put a jar of "potted" bread in my checked luggage when travelling, just in case I got stuck with out GF supplies and it works nicely.)

- I just found out about GlutenFreeEmergencyKit and I hope to try it out soon. It is not GAPS or Paleo friendly but there are bio-hacks available if one has to eat grains. This is a subject for a future blog entry. (hint: fermenting, specialized digestive enzymes and probiotics would be fundamental).

The following article from gives advice on how to prepare a  "survival" kit. 11/24/2

017 - Do you have an emergency survival kit at home should disaster strike? Does that include drinking water and gluten-free provisions for at least a few days?

The fallout from the latest string of disasters still looms over parts of America; over Houston, Florida and neighboring states devastated by Hurricanes and by resulting floods; and over northern California communities devastated by wildfires.

That got us thinking about emergency kits. Gluten-Free-free emergency kits, to be precise.

What's in Your Emergency Gluten-Free Food Kit? This list is by no means authoritative or final. In fact, we are inviting you to share any favorites or ideas you may have for your own emergency kit.

Your Gluten-free Emergency Kit should include the following:

Water: You'll need a minimum of 3 days worth of drinking water for ever person. This includes water for cooking and other non-drinking uses. When it comes to water, it never hurts to have more than you need, so consider stocking even more than a 3 day supply.

Food: When assembling a survival kit, you want to put together a kit that will feed each family member family 2 cups of prepared meals 3 times a day. Canned foods like black beans are essential.

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara (TM) (TM)

Monday, November 13, 2017

Celiac Disease Increases Cardiovascular Disease Risk- World Journal of Cardiology

A few years back I heard Dr. Houston, cardiologist say that 50% of heart 
attacks are from eating gluten in someone who is an untreated person with celiac disease, that is they are celiac (CD) and were not eating a gluten free diet either because they were undiagnosed or they were not serious about the treatment for CD which is a gluten free diet.

This figure shocked me at the time. Not now.

The August 2017 issue of World Journal of Cardiology published a review article worth reading, entitled Cardiovascular involvement in celiac disease. This review article delves into current research and knowledge about untreated celiac disease and its systemic effects on the heart and circulatory system. Read carefully: untreated celiac disease.   Gluten free diet did show in many studies to improve the condition. 

Celiac disease is a public health issue and more people need to be screened and diagnosed. If for every celiac diagnosed there are 13 to 31 people not diagnosed according to research on the incidence, then there are a lot of people with undiagnosed CD.

Here is an excerpt from a review of that paper by Linda J. Dobberstein, Chiropractor in the news letter Wellness Resources.   Bold is mine,

"Since 2000, increasing evidence points to several common cardiovascular diseases related to gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects millions of Americans, with many of whom are undiagnosed. There is, however, more to celiac disease than gastrointestinal symptoms.

Celiac disease is due to the immune system attacking the intestinal tract after gluten is consumed. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Classic celiac disease symptoms include diarrhea, bloating, gas, heartburn, indigestion, cramping, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, anemia, and weight loss.

Several cardiovascular disorders have been linked or found to be higher in individuals with untreated celiac disease. These disorders include cardiomyopathy, myocarditis, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, heart attacks, atherosclerosis, POTS, and several other cardiovascular disorders. Evidence shows that these cardiac disorders are more common in individuals with celiac disease than those without the disorder...........Here is a brief synopsis on this topic".

She goes onto summarizing the original review. Get the gist of the topic which demonstrates there are dozens of variations of cardiovascular and stroke risks associated with CD and eating gluten. And it affects all age groups including children.

Good news is that the gluten free diet has been shown to improve the conditions when it was studied. 
If you are not sure if you are celiac or gluten sensitive get tested. 
50% of people with celiac disease don't have GI or gastrointestinal problems, but have problems in other parts of the body including mental health issues. 
Be safe rather than sorry and get tested. 

To Your Health

Dr. Barbara (TM) (TM)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Are Doctors Missing 90% of Celiac Disease Cases?-From

by Jefferson Adams of

If a new study by Canadian nutrition researchers is any indication, most cases of celiac disease remain undiagnosed. 10/20/2017 - Are doctors even getting close to diagnosing the actual number of cases of celiac disease? Or are they missing the vast majority?

Researchers have said for some time that there are far more people with celiac disease than are being diagnosed, and that the vast majority of cases go undiagnosed.

So, just how far are we from the actual number? Well, if a new study by Canadian nutrition researchers is any indication, doctors are very far from diagnosing most cases.

The team studied the blood work of nearly 3,000 people, and their conclusions are stunning. They say that ninety percent of celiac cases go undiagnosed.

How could this be? One reason is that even classic celiac disease symptom, such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, anemia and weight loss can mimic other conditions. Less classic symptoms such as fatigue, low vitamin C, D and calcium levels can be misleading.

Ahmed El-Sohemy, a professor of nutritional science at the University of Toronto, wanted to see whether celiac disease results in subpar nutrition because of poorer absorption of vitamins and minerals. But to find out, he needed Canadian data on the frequency of undiagnosed celiac disease.

To that end, El-Sohemy and his colleagues checked blood samples from more than 2,800 individuals in Toronto. One group had an average age of 23, and the other 45. Among their findings is likely ~1%, with 87% of cases being undiagnosed. These findings suggest the need for better screening in high genetic risk groups.


To Your Health
Dr. Barbara (TM) (TM)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Complete Remission of Psychiatric Symptoms with Vitamin B12 -Case Study in Literature. Encore

Today I was asked by a 70 year old friend if there is anything he could do to feel better as he was being treated for depression and he is feeling unwell and tired on some of the medicine he is prescribed. 

I told him to talk to his doctor if he hasn't already done so, not to stop any medication until he has talked it over with his doctor and to learn more about B12. 

The subject is so important as we age that I thought that I would re-published this blog entry. Do take the time to open the link at the end with Dr. Prousky's award winning article on B12 and why it is important to at least try a few doses of B12 by injection as a trial to see if this makes a positive difference to your symptoms, especially mental health symptoms like fatigue, depression, or others. 

B12 deficiency rates are high in all people especially with gluten sensitivity. I list a number of mechanisms:

-low stomach acid ( achlorhydria) from an autoimmune process (Gluten sensitive people have 12 times the rate of autoimmune disorders) or from drugs like metformin and proton pump inhibitors.
-antibodies to intrinsic factor, disabling the protein that carries B12 from the GI system into the bloodstream.
- dietary restrictions.
- higher B12 needs because of methylation gene abnormalities called MTHFR.
- and brain fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may have a much lower level of B12 because of an impaired blood brain barrier and so the brain function may be impaired.

All these factors also make it tricky to take oral B12 and expect it to increase the amount of B12 in the brain, where you want it.The blood level does not accurately reflect the level of B12 in the CSF. ( van Tiggelen CJM, Peperkamp JPC, Tertoolen JFW. Vitamin B12 levels of cerebrospinal fluid in patients with organic mental disorders. J Orthomolec Psych. 1983;12:305–311.)

I would like to report the case of a man in his early thirties who came into my practice a few months after he was admitted to a psychiatric facility for 6 weeks. He had refused all medication, and after being assess as a person with schizoaffective disorder he was discharged in much the same condition. I placed him on a gluten free diet while testing proceeded, but this was easy as he was living with his parents and his mother was on a gluten free diet already. It was difficult to get testing done but when it was done it was clear he was vitamin B12 deficient,( and his hospital notes revealed the same thing). And he had two genes for celiac disease.

He had suffered for years with mood swings, lethargy, and intermittent perceptual disturbances and had been prescribed psychotropic drugs on and off. He was never suicidal although this symptom is common in gluten sensitive individuals.

On the gluten free diet, he was having less negative symptoms, but there was a noticeable improvement when he self administered B12 shots. He has had periods of going off B12 shots, but his family members notice and remind him to give himself a shot. When taking shots regularly, he is alert, oriented, and has a stable romantic relationship. He is looking for work in his field.

In the literature we find a severe case of psychiatric symptoms where B12 was the only additional treatment that gave complete remission. I don't find B12 deficiency unusual as a cause of mental symptoms. For testing I use homocysteine and urinary methylmalonic acid measurements as I find serum B12 measurements unreliable and it can miss methylation polymorphisms ( which has an prevalence in my practice of 76% for at least one SNP of c677T or a1298c). I will also do a trial of IM or Subcutaneous B12, and see what happens. If people feel better after the B12 the next step is to find the frequency. Some people need a shot a day but this is unusual.( this indicates multiple methylation polymorphisms, and/or heavy metal intoxication and/or active autoimmune disorders blocking B12 from going easily through the blood brain barrier, leading to low brain levels of B12.And needing more help). I recommend folate with B12 shots to avoid folate deficiency, in the form of a good B complex, with or without NAC.

Here is what Dr. Kelly Brogan, a psychiatrist has to say about B12 and mental health:

"If this is not a wake up call to the average psychiatric prescriber, I’m not sure
what is. Much of what we attribute to serotonin and dopamine “deficiencies” melts away under the investigative eye of a more personalized style of medicine that seeks to identify hormonal, nutritional, and immune imbalances that can “look” psychiatric in nature.

How can B12 impact brain health?
B12 supports myelin (which allows nerve impulses to conduct) and when this vitamin is deficient, has been suspected to drive symptoms such as dementia, multiple sclerosis, impaired gait, and sensation. Clinically, B12 may be best-known for its role in red blood cell production. Deficiency states may result in pernicious anemia. But what about B12’s role in psychiatric symptoms such as depression, anxiety, fatigue, and even psychosis?

The one-carbon cycle refers to the body’s use of B vitamins as “methylators” in DNA synthesis and the management of gene expression. There are three concepts that relate to B12’s role in chronic, long-latency neuropsychiatric syndromes:
1. Methylation
This process of marking genes for expression, like little “read me!” signs, is also critical for detox and elimination of chemicals and hormones (estrogen), building and metabolizing neurotransmitters, and producing energy and cell membranes.

2. Homocysteine recycling
B12 is a primary player in the one-carbon cycle and a co-factor for the methylation, by activated folate, of homocysteine, to recycle it back to methionine. From there, SAMe is produced, the body’s busiest methyl donor.
3. Genetic override
Sufficient supply of an activated/bioavailable form of a vitamin (ie methylfolate vs folic acid) is even more necessary in the setting of gene variants such as transcobalamin II, MTHFR, and MTRR which may function less optimally in certain individuals and result in pathology under stress. An example of this is a report of death in a B12-deficient patient with genetic variants who underwent anesthesia with nitrous oxide (which causes stress to the system). Notably the B12 blood level was normal, so this fatal case was attributed to functional deficiency, suggesting that access to B vitamins may not always guarantee proper utilization. For this reason, supplementing with activated forms of B vitamins enhances their likelihood of effectively supporting cellular processes."

Read her take on testing and causes of vitamin B12 deficiencies.

If you are interested in the scientific studies, see Dr. Prousky's award winning article on the rational of using B12 therapeutically for psychiatric conditions, even in the absence of "classical" deficiency.

In conclusion: if you are not feeling 100%, it could be B12.

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara (TM)  (TM)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Gluten-free Products ‘Not as Healthy’ as Conventional, New Study

So you have found out your are gluten sensitive or celiac and you want to eat healthy but just don't have the time to cook or bake everything from scratch which is what is demanded by the Gut and psychology syndrome protocol (GAPS) or Paleo way of eating.

And you don't want to give up croissants, Pizza, battered fish or crispy cookies. So you eat advertised gluten free versions of these. I don't recommend them for many reasons that I have written about extensively but there is another reason: often lower nutritional value to conventional products.

A new study focuses on fat, sugar, salt and fiber contents and that is good to know. But we must also remember wheat flour in conventional products are fortified with folic acid. And many breakfast cereals and other grain products (non-gluten) are fortified with B vitamins and other nutrients that gluten free products are not.

Read more about the new study out of the Netherlands that looks at fat, sugar, salt and fiber content of gluten free packaged foods here:

Gluten-free products ‘not as healthy’ as conventional

By Katy Askew, 08-Aug-2017

A new study has found gluten-free products are often not as healthy as their conventional counterparts.

To Your Health

Dr. Barbara (TM) (TM)