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OUR NEWSLETTER (just a sample - please join to receive the newsletter by mail)


Print in "LandscapeGluten-Free Friends

Newsletter--Editor, R. Jean Powell

Montana Celiac Society Newsletter 1019 South Bozeman Avenue  #3 Bozeman, Montana 59715  406-586-1285 

        Excerpts: The following articles have been published in Past Issues of Gluten-Free Friends.

 ur 12th Annual MCS Convention will feature  Dr. David Sands, PhD., Plant Pathologist,  MSU, as the speaker at our August 6th, 2005 Convention, which will be held in Great Falls at the East Campus of Benefice Hospital (Formerly Deaconess) on Saturday, August 6, 2005 from 1:00 until 3:00 or 4:00 pm.    Dr. Sands will educate his audience about the properties and uses of grains and why some are toxic to many people and animals.    He spoke at the Oklahoma City CSA convention in 2004, and was highly recommended to us by Thordis Seagar and others as an enlightening and entertaining speaker.  We plan to invite grain growers in the Great Falls area to attend as well.  Our good health is dependent on them too!

            The street address is 1101 26th Street South and Diana Goff  noted that 10th Avenue South will take you right by the hospital.  The conference room has not yet been designated.  A map to help you find your way will be published in the Fall issue of Gluten-Free Friends; for further information, you may call Dianna and Larry Goff in Great Falls at [406] 761-8126.    Great Falls has an active support group that will provide treats and iced tea.  There will be a Question and Answer period, and an informal audience participation during the last hour.  Bring your stories!  We all love to hear them.

***************************************Vital Information******************************************

Celiac Disease  is not rare.                                  Symptoms are not all typical.

there is not yet a cure.                        A Gluten-Free diet reverses symptoms.

Ý   1:125 People of Caucasian Descent carry the genetic Profile for Celiac Disease.

Ý   1:12 People who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with Celiac Disease is at  Risk.

Ý Symptoms vary according to the progression and extent of the malabsorption.

Ý There can be weight gain as well as weight loss; constipation as well as diarrhea.

Ý Dermatitis Herpetiformis also causes intestinal Damage.

Ý Symptoms can become overt at any age once one begins consuming the Gluten/Gliadins  in wheat, rye, and/or barley

Disclaimer :  All data generated by the Montana Celiac Society are intended for the benefit of our members and other interested  parties. Individuals should consult with their personal physicians before following any medical recommendations mentioned in this newsletter.  Mention of products does not constitute endorsement.  No liability is assumed for the use of this information.   Reproduction of any material is allowed with accreditation [with the exception of copyrighted material].    Please reference. Information is routinely upgraded.  Because product ingredients can change, check labels.  For medical recommendations, contact your physician or health care worker.





The following excerpts are from Gluten-Free Friends Newsletter. A variety of authors and articles are published in Montana Celiac Society's quarterly newsletter. Information comes from medical books, presentations, physicians, nutritionists, dermatologists, fellow celiacs, published research, other newsletters and numerous other sources. Articles are displayed here as a sampling of the contents of the publication. To order, subscriptions may be purchased from Montana Celiac Society, % Kerry Anselmi, 216 Mountain Lion Trail, Bozeman, Montana 59718, [406] 585-5574; or from Montana Celiac Society Office, 1019 South Bozeman Ave., #3, Bozeman, Montana, 59715; [406] 586-128514 pages each issue, 4 issues, $10.00 per year. 

Another Celiac Tale of Diagnosis

by Debbie Holladay, from the Alamo Celiac, San Antonio, Texas, Lynn Rainwater, Editor

Oftentimes DH is thought of as the orphan in the attic; this excellent article brings the specifics of DH to our attention, where it belongs. Yes, DH is Celiac Disease, but it also has its own gripping history.

"When compared with the average time it takes for a celiac to be correctly diagnosed--10 years--the six months that it took for me to be diagnosed with Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) was remarkably quick. My good fortune was in the fact that my younger sister was diagnosed with DH more than ten years before I ever had symptoms [in the early 1990's]. Knowing what her DH rash looked like was a valuable tool in my diagnosis.

 I was taking allergy shots when I broke out with the initial rash, and of course, my first thought was that the allergy shots had triggered a reaction. However, none of the staff at the allergy clinic had seen anything like this rash, which first presented on my knees, and they sent me to my primary care doctor.   

By the time I was able to get an appointment with the primary care doctor, I had become itchy, with the rash now breaking out on my elbow. It was beginning to look suspiciously like my sister's DH, which was what I told my doctor. As the primary care physician had no idea what DH was, he referred me to a dermatologist. Meanwhile, he noted that I was quite anemic and started me on megadoses of iron and folate.

The first dermatologist told me that I couldn't possible have DH if my sister had it because it was such a rare disease that it would be nearly impossible for two people in the same family to have it. She began treating me for scabies [a contagious skin disorder caused by parasitic mites], and I began reading medical textbooks on dermatology. It wasn't long before I discovered my rash did not look like scabies or present in the same places where scabies would normally be found. I also discovered that DH was genetic and therefore for two people in the same family to have it would not be unthinkable.

On my next visit to the dermatologist, I suggested that she biopsy a blister (having just read about that approach), and she reluctantly did so, although she also continued to treat me for scabies. When the results of the biopsy. returned with the possible diagnosis of DH--and it was only a possible diagnosis since she had done an excisional biopsy and had neglected to treat it with the proper medium for immunofluorescence--she still refused to believe that I have DH. She wanted to continue treating me for scabies. I made an appointment with a different dermatologist.

The second dermatologist was a teacher and researcher at a medical school in Miami, Florida. I lived in Florida at the time. He listened to my family history and my tale about being treated for scabies, took a good look at my elbows and knees, and said it looked as if I had a classic case of DH. He did a punch biopsy of a blister, carefully divided the sample and sent the two halves to separate labs to get two opinions at once. What a great doctor!

By this time, I was sleeping only a few hours at a time at night because I itched so badly that I woke myself up scratching. My entire body was itching, and nothing provided relief. I was exhausted and yet running in high gear because I couldn't stand to sit still and itch. I spring-and-fall cleaned my house to keep from scratching. My family practice doctor was concerned and perplexed that my blood count was going down rather than improving, and he began doing other diagnostic tests, such as fecal occult blood tests. He doubled my iron and folate dosage and warned me that if my blood count dropped to a certain level, he would have to consider more drastic measures. At the time, neither he nor I had any idea that the rash that I had was in any way related to my falling blood count.

When the biopsy results finally arrived at the office of my dermatologist, he confirmed that I had DH. He immediately put me on Dapsone and prednisone to give me relief from the itching but also told me that I had to go on a gluten-free diet. I had no idea what a gluten-free diet was because my sister only took Dapsone for DH. He did not refer me to a dietitian, but I was born to do research, and began reading everything I could find. There was not much information available back then, but with persistence I was able to learn what I needed to know and to make the changes in my diet.

When he diagnosed me the dermatologist said that it would probably take 6 months of being on a gluten-free diet before I could get off Dapsone, but within 4y months I was completely off Dapsone and was itch, rash, and blister-free. Not only that, but my blood count was back to normal, and I was off the iron and folate therapy.

My family practice doctor was mystified by my improved state, but happy. Even more interesting was the fact that after being on the gluten-free diet for the first month or so, I realized that my stomach had been hurting for such a long time that I had not noticed the pain until it quit hurting. The bloating and other mild gastrointestinal symptoms also disappeared. I later figured out that I had been having mild celiac symptoms for nine years before I broke out with DH.

Over the past 10 years that I have been eating gluten-free, there have been a half dozen or less times that I have had to go on Dapsone for a short period of time when I have had a relapse. Each time, it has been due to a hidden source of gluten in my diet. Once was when the manufacturers of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing changed their formula so that it was no longer gluten-free. That was truly hard for me to detect, because I had called the company in the past and gotten their assurance that the product was safe. I never thought about having to check again. Another time, I was getting small amounts of gluten in a prescription medication. This was far easier to detect because I could ask myself, "What am I doing differently than I normally do?" and the answer was that I had gone on a new medication.

What I have observed over years of experience is that if I get a significant amount of gluten at one time--and it is always completely accidental because I am very careful and don't cheat--I get GI symptoms rather than DH. However, if I get small amounts of gluten consistently over a long period of time, as in the case of the salad dressing, I get a flare of DH. I don't know if that happens to other people with DH or not. I do know that my sister, who finally decided to go off Dapsone and go on a gluten-free diet several years ago, has the same experience.

It was my sister's earlier diagnosis of DH that enabled me to recognize the possibility that I had DH and to find a doctor who was familiar with the condition. In turn, it was I who informed my younger sister of the health benefits of maintaining a gluten-free diet rather than controlling the DH rash with Dapsone. We sisters now share information, cookbooks, recipes, and ingredients. Our third sister has discovered that she has celiac disease without DH. Though the three of us may have been unlucky in the gene pool, we have been fortunate to have each other.


by Dr. Joseph Murray

Published from the Sprue-Nik Press, Jim Lyles, Ed., 1996; Reprinted in Gluten-Free Friends, 1998. Revised 2004, by Editor Jean Powell

DH is an extremely itchy skin rash. There is nothing that is as itchy, not even poison ivy according to those who have had both. It can erupt on the elbows, knees, buttocks, back of the head, and scalp. One of Dr. Murray's patients had lesions in her outer ear canal.

DH is often thought of as a skin disease, but that is not strictly true. It is a manifestation of intestinal intolerance to gluten. Research was done in which gluten was injected under the skin of DH patients and no blisters were produced, indicating that DH is NOT a skin allergy to gluten. Gluten by the mouth, however, does erupt as DH lesions on the skin. Appearing in waves, crops of little bumps appear and soon turn into itchy blisters.

In the intestine of a DH patient, the bodyís immune system mounts a response to the gluten/gliadins. Part of that response is the production of antibodies, which are little chemical messengers the body produces to defend itself from invaders. In DH patients those antibodies are dumped under the lining of the skin, where they sit for days, months, or years. Then one day something triggers a reaction (sunlight, iodine in a cleanser, pregnancy, etc.) and the skinís immune system begins attacking the deposits, resulting in a bursting forth of DH blisters. The original deposits, however, occur due to the intestine being exposed to gluten/gliadins.

Pregnancy can suppress some Celiac symptoms, but because the skin is even more sensitive during pregnancy Dermatitis Herpetiformis symptoms remain. The IgA [Immunoglobulin Antibodies] deposits sit like little land mines under the skin, until finally they explode in blisters. The blisters clear slowly, taking as long as a year to a year and a half on the gluten-free diet for the skin to rid itself of the deposits.

DH is the skin manifestation of intestinal gluten sensitivity that is indistinguishable from CD. Most, if not all, DH patients will have some degree of damage to their small intestine, even though they may have no GI symptoms.

Q. Is the danger of intestinal cancer as high if the DH patient is not completely compliant to the GF diet?

A. "The danger is probably not quite as high in DH as in CD, but it still happens; and there still is an excess of lymphoma patients, especially in middle-aged men."

Q. Can you have dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) without having CD?

A. If you have DH, then you have an intestinal sensitivity to gluten that will cause some damage to your intestine and may become more significant as you get older. "The treatment for both CD and DH is a GF diet. If you have DH you may...find some temporary relief with Dapsone, which suppresses the symptoms until the diet takes effect."

The DH [type of] gluten enteropathy can be latent or silent but earlier reports of patients with DH who did not have small intestinal damage may not have considered the milder forms of celiac disease.

Dr. Murray Assures us that ALL Dermatitis Herpetiformis [DH] patients have Celiac Disease.

Celiac Disease and the Military

by Captain John Himberger USA Air Force

from Lifeline, CSA/USA Summer 2003

Since the late 1800s, the medical community has recognized celiac disease. But not until recently has it begun to gain favor among professionals. Several factors contribute to the improved recognition and identification of celiac disease--continued development of countries with wider distribution of grain agriculture patterns, an increased incidence of food aid and humanitarian needs and the population's demands for a stable food supply. (Let us include the factor of increased education of the medical community by activist groups around the country that include medical experts and paitents, whose advocacy has greatly increased recognition of CD. GFFs Editor)

As a result, within the civilian community there is a conglomerate of 16 labs working in synergism to understand disease patterns and treatment regimes. Although celiacs can be treated relatively quickly with lifestyle changes, military members and their families face difficult challenges.

More than any other military in the world, our forces are expected to go any where at any time to enforce policy or engage in conflict as necessary. This mandates a rapid deployment force that requires a fast supply of pre-packaged equipment and food. All this food contains gluten.

Many assignments are isolated and far from medical facilities that can help support the management of celiac disease. The US Armed Forces could potentially face a quandary of an already shrinking force with the increasing medical occurrence of celiac disease, in both military members and their families.

The Armed Forces varies its policy on individuals with medical conditions depending on the mission and the branch of service. Although the definition of "fit to deploy" is relatively variable, many presentations are not well defined and many are considered disabling.

Once the diagnosis of celiac disease is determined, officials must decide whether the individual will be retained in the military or released to the civilian community.

If the individual has been a productive member of the military for several years, he or more likely to be retained.

When making decisions about retention or separation, officials also consider the type of function an individual performs. No occupation is exempt from celiac disease. The Armed Forces is more likely to make accommodations, such as limiting duty assignments or assigning temporary duty. Currently there are six persons on active duty in the Air Force with a category limiting code for celiac disease, gluten intolerance or gluten-free diet. More have likely been released, but there was no specific statistical information available. It has been reported that there is an individual on active duty for the Navy as well. Generally speaking, the Army and Marines maintain tighter medical standards and would not tolerate the restrictions of celiac disease on active duty.

What of a military family member diagnosed with celiac disease? It is relatively easy to contract out services to treat the disease because families are covered by the military's health insurance. So treatment and diagnosis of the family member becomes manageable, depending on the knowledge of CD in the local community.

"The Exceptional Family Member Program," the result of a Department of Defense directive, ensures better whole family care.

Currently, the Armed Forces provide adequate programs to evaluate and treat military members and their families with celiac disease. But with the increasing incidence and recognition of celiac disease, the system may become taxed and inefficient. Adapting programs as necessary to meet these demands (will) ensure services to celiacs and their families while providing a healthy and fit force.


From Alamo Celiac, San Antonio, Texas. "Kellogg's is adding wheat starch to Kellogg's Corn Pops, as of mid-January. We no longer consider it  GF."

This has been confirmed by a call made by Stacey Schmier, West Yellowstone. The gluten-free product will still be available on grocery shelves until gone. "Wheat starch will be clearly stated on the ingredient legend," according to Kellogg's.


Target: Celiac Disease Part I.

Leave it to science to get it right! A Science News article sent in by Joanna Pugh, Eugene, Oregon is the finest description of the disease, its biological structure, and the accompanying obstacles I've read coming from outside the Ce

liac Community. Its author is Ben Harder, Science News, June 21, 2003, Vol. 16. Excerpts follow:

Science News (Part 1)

Ben Harder profiles Stanford University Biochemist Chaitan Khosla, who is researching Celiac disease with the aim of developing a possible drug therapy.  Khosla has had to teach his 6-year-old son to avoid foods with gluten in them, because he has Celiac disease, "an inherited immune disorder," that has sentenced him, for life, to refrain from eating wheat gluten and similar proteins in rye and barley. In the boy's small intestine, those grain components would trigger a chain of events that can cause bloating, diarrhea, and malnutrition, notes the author.

Ben Harder, Science News author, discusses issues such as the belief 10 years ago that CD was considered rare, but today 2 million people in the US probably have the disorder, so "there are hundreds of thousands of misdiagnosed people out there."

Before an astute pediatrician diagnosed CD in Khosla's son, the researcher 'had never heard of the disease.' They know now that it is the cause of  Koshla's wife's symptoms. 'After sugar,' Khosla says, 'gluten is the second most prevalent food substance in Western civilization.'

"With the aim of releasing his son, wife, and other people from their strict, life-long diets," explains Harder, "Khosla and other scientists have turned their attention to therapeutic alternatives that could short-circuit the disease's development. The right drug might block the degeneration of the intestinal lining--the hallmark of celiac disease." The scientists have found "three potential molecular targets for drugs."

Harder continues: "Because gluten is a complex protein, normal digestion doesn't completely break it down." Leftover peptides come into contact with the small intestinal lining and molecules of the immune system, possibly causing an over-reaction. "Nearly 90% of celiacs carry so-called DQ2 molecules, and the rest carry the DQ8 molecules." When immune T cells are activated by the complex reaction of peptides they "mount an attack on the intestinal lining," notes the article. 'A drug could potentially dismantle all gluten peptides into their individual amino acids,' according to Khosla.

A drug might compliment the gluten-free diet rather than provide a cure, but Khosla is hopeful that there will be a prescription pill by the time his son goes to collage in 11 years.

Target: Celiac Disease Part II.

Following is a review (Part I) and Part II of a SCIENCE News article sent in by Joanna Pugh, Eugene, Oregon. Its author is Ben Harder, Science News, June 21, 2003, Vol. 16. Excerpts follow:

Science News--Review of Part I:

Biochemist Chaitan Khosla, who is researching Celiac disease with the aim of developing a possible drug therapy, has had to teach his 6-year-old son to avoid foods with gluten in them, because he has Celiac disease, "an inherited immune disorder," that has sentenced him, for life, to refrain from eating wheat gluten and similar proteins in rye and barley.

Ben Harder, Science News author: "There are hundreds of thousands of misdiagnosed Celiacs out there." Khosla 'had never heard of the disease.' The family knows now that it is the cause of Koshla's wife's symptoms. 'After sugar,' Khosla says, 'gluten is the second most prevalent food substance in Western civilization.'

"Khosla and other scientists have turned their attention to therapeutic alternatives that could short-circuit the disease's development. The scientists have found 'three potential molecular targets for drugs. A drug could potentially dismantle all gluten peptides into their individual amino acids,' according to Khosla. A drug might compliment the gluten-free diet rather than provide a cure, but Khosla is hopeful that there will be a prescription pill by the time his son goes to collage in 11 years". Excerpts, Part I.

Taking Aim

Early in both normal digestion and the pathological cascade that marks celiac disease, an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase (tTGase) alters gluten peptides. When T cells mount an attack on the intestinal lining, the digestive tract becomes inflamed and loses the fingerlike projections or villi, that normally provide a vast surface area for absorbing digested nutrients. Many of the symptoms of celiac disease, including malnutrition and anemia, develop in response to the small intestine's reduced effectiveness in absorbing nutrients.

To forestall this cascade, a drug could potentially dismantle all gluten peptides into their individual amino acids. That approach treats gluten as a pathogen, Khosla say, and aims to detoxify the protein before it can cause trouble. Researchers refer to this approach as enzymatic therapy. If a single therapy can't break a link in the chain, the best treatment might be a drug combination that weakens several links. A pill could theoretically deliver both enzymatic therapy to dismantle gluten peptides and compounds that inhibit tTGase, the disease-linked DQ molecules, or both, says Frits Koning of Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

Khosla and his colleagues have recently made progress on both of these fronts. University of Oslo researchers tested and discovered a peptide of 33 amino acids that seems to be a major source of the problem. Khosla and his colleagues then sought a way to neutralize the newfound peptide and found that a peptidase enzyme from the bacterium Flavobacterium meningosepticum [I threw the bacteria's' name in just to impress our readers. ED) rapidly breaks down the peptide and could lead to an enzymatic treatment for celiac disease. They also are investigating a way to use an artificial peptide, which differs by only one amino acid from the natural one, to act as a tTGase inhibitor in the body.


'Barriers still remain.' says Allan Mowatt, of the University of Glasgow. " 'One is the difficulty of formulating a pill so that it releases a peptidase at just the right time. Otherwise gluten would make mischief before the peptidase could kick into action, or it might not remain in the intestine long enough to work. The enzyme then also would need to penetrate the chemically complex mass of food being digested and find its specific molecular targets,' Mowatt says."

Different amino acid sequences on peptides have also been discovered that seem to trigger celiac disease in some children and adults. A further complication is that tTGase plays an important role in repairing the stomach lining, "so inhibiting it might cause intestinal bleeding."

"The safest therapy for celiac disease would probably be to block DQ2 and DQ8", two immune molecule types, one or the other carried by 90% of people with celiac disease, according to Koning and Vader.

"With such hurdles ahead...researchers estimate that it will take at least 5 years, and probably about 10, to bring to market any new drug for celiac disease.

Other researchers have suggested trials using drugs known to be effective against intestinal disorders such as Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. [The Crohn's Disease trial was halted when the 3 Celiac patients re-developed celiac malabsorption symptoms]. Researchers would have to follow patients for years to determine if such treatments are more medically advantageous than the gluten-free diet alone or combined with a drug. Such obstacles don't discourage Khosla, who is motivated by his son's struggle.

"That is what keeps me going," he says.

The NIH Conference (Dated Past Notice; an example of important meetings and conferences listed in  GFFs').

The National Institute of Health is sponsoring a Consensus Development Conference of Celiac Disease on June 28 - 30, 2004, at the Natcher Conference Center, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland. Its purpose is "to explore and assess the current scientific knowledge regarding celiac disease." There is a concern that "the disease is widely under-recognized." Coming from the NIH this is promising news; in 1999, NIH wasn't showing a great deal of interest in CD. As requested by Dr. Fasano, some of us wrote letters to the NIH describing the perils of CD, and, never discouraged, he continued sending research and descriptive information to them. It worked! The NIH has become an ally.

To receive a brochure, contact CSA/USA: Phone: [877]-CSA-4-CSA or e-mail: to receive a brochure and/or information. You may also call Montana Celiac Society for a copy of the registration form. You must register by June 1, 2004.



12 Supplements You Should Avoid

Definitely Hazardous

Likely Hazardous

1. Aristolochic acid                  

7. Bitter Orange

Very Likely Hazardous 

8. Organ/Glandular

2. Comfrey

9. Lobella

3.  Androstenedioune

10. Pennyroyal Oil

4. Chaparral 

11. Scullcap

5. Germander

12. Yohimbe

6. Kava

For Complete list of Product Names, go to

A Gluten-Free Robin...

Dr. Phil's wife Robin recently announced on the Dr. Phil Television Show that she is gluten intolerant!


Messages from Dottie

MCS President Dorothea Caluori, Missoula sent the following information about Colorectal Cancer with this informative message: "Remind Folks--this is what I had!"

Dottie Caluori sent the following from Digestion & Diet Health Monitor

The absence of large studies in the US has given rise to the belief that celiac disease is not a common problem. Recently, however, US researchers studied blood samples from 13,145 individuals and found that the disease was present in 1 in 133 people who had no symptoms or relatives with the disease (a risk factor). It was found that 1 in 22 people with a close relative who was affected did have the disease--even though 40% had no symptoms.

These findings may make testing for celiac disease more common in the US.       Archives of Internal Medicine.

First Colon Cancer Screening

Digestion & Diet Health Monitor

The U.S. Multisociety Task Force on Colorectal Cancer updated the 1997 guidelines that focus on screening for cancer of the colon and/or rectum. The revisions emphasize the need for people to get a first test done. Colorectal cancer--the second leading cause of death from cancer, after lung cancer--is often cured if caught early through screening. Currently, though, too few colorectal cancers are caught soon enough to increase a person's chance for survival.

To encourage people to be screened that first time, the task force suggests that not only colonoscopy but also other options be offered--fecal occult blood test, signoidoscopy, and the double-contrast barium enema. The effectiveness of these tests varies, but professionals feel that more people would have their first test if choices were emphasized. A timely test will provide an opportunity to detect threatening intestinal growths. Moreover, establishing a relationship between doctor and patient will encourage follow-up.

Men and women at average risk for colorectal cancer should have their first screening at age 50. An estimated 93% of all colorectal cancers occur in people age 50 and older.

Guideline Revisions:

The 2003 guidelines for people 50 and older at average risk for colorectal cancer differ from the 1997 guidelines as follows:

   < The interval between screenings using double contrast barium enema should be shortened from 10 years to 5 years.

   < Colonoscopy--rather than barium enema--is now being endorsed as the preferred method for further               investigation of suspicious findings revealed by colorectal screening.

   < Colonoscopy is also recommended over barium enema for screening individuals with close relatives who have had either colorectal cancer or benign adenomatous polyps by age 60; for screening people with possible genetic mutations that raise their risk for colorectal cancer; and for screening people who have had colorectal polyps or tumors removed.

   < Individuals who have had one or two small tubular polyps removed should have the first follow-up colonoscopy after 5 years rather than 3, because potentially dangerous polyps are unlikely to develop in the 3-year interval.

In keeping with the earlier guidelines, persons who have had advance polyps or more than 3 polyps removed should undergo their first follow-up colonoscopy at 3 years.

Excerpts from Ask the Doctor

Memory & Focus by Dr. Decker Weiss

Q. Do vitamins B12 and B6 help memory & focus?

A. "Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient in the regulation of nerve transmissions. It is required by the nervous system for normal brain function and it may also help with mood. Vitamins B6 and B12 help prevent memory and focus problems further on down the road.

Researchers have learned that people with Alzheimer's and other dementias (including Parkinson's disease) have elevated homocysteine levels. B vitamins can reduce homocysteine, an amino acid that is produced in the human body. The amount of homocysteine in the blood corresponds to the severity of the disease. Homocysteine irritates blood vessels, makes it easier for blood to clot, and can cause cholesterol to become more harmful.

Most people with a high homocystein level don't have enough folate, vitamin B6 or vitamin B12 in their diet. Replacing these vitamins helps return the homocysteine level to normal."

Dr. Weiss then cites the Nun's Study (first brought to our attention by Celiac visionary Dr. Lloyd Rosenvold in 1998: A Remarkable Colony of Nuns).

Weiss states, "Sisters who had high levels of folic acid showed little evidence of Alzheimer's-type damage in their brains after death."  Dr. Rosenvold noted: "A most interesting finding was that among the nuns who are well educated (college, etc.) and/or who have avidly pursued intellectual activities, that group was much less likely to develop dementia, AD, or other debilitating brain diseases."

Conclusion: Take your B vitamins and use your brain!

(ED. The maximum dosage of vitamin B6 to be taken safely, according to Dr. Vernon Mark, neurosurgeon and author of "Brain Power" (HM), is 20 mg.).


Missoula Garage Sale  A two-day Garage Sale will be held on Friday, July 9th & Saturday, July 10th, 2004, starting at noon, at 1440 River Street, Missoula.  MCS President Dottie Caluori is in charge of the sale and says all proceeds will go to the Dr. Murray Travel Fund, Montana Celiac Society.  You may not receive this newsletter in time to attend, but Dottie promises she will hold another garage sale in the future.  Thanks to Dottie, this is a fun opportunity to support Dr. Murray and to help fellow Celiacs!



Our Paleolithic Past

& New Stone-Age Future

by R. Jean Powell, Bozeman

For millions of years, Paleolithic "peoples" consumed wild foods such as game, fish, seeds, fruits, nuts and vegetables. Grains were not palatable to our ancestors--the genetic make-up of the hunter/gatherers excluded grains for a logical reason: raw grains are toxic. They made people sick. Hunting and gathering was a continual occupation that required high-energy foods. Grains are small, tough, and bitter. According to Dr. Ben Blazer, M.D., in The introduction to the Paleolithic Diet: "Grains, beans and potatoes are full of energy but are inedible in the raw state as they contain many toxins."

The toxins in wheat, corn, barley, rice, sorghum, millet, and oats convey an advantage to the plants, serving as pesticides, preservatives, and sprout inhibitors. Dr. Blazer: "Lectins and other toxins are natural pesticides and can attack bacteria, insects, worms, rodents, and other pests (including humans, of course)."

The Neolithic Diet

Ten thousand years ago, Homo sapiens [wise men--or as some might prefer, wise guys] discovered that cooking grains rendered them edible; heat neutralizes many (not all) of the toxins or antinutrients, giving mankind access to more energy fuels. Flour, bread, noodles and pastas made from grains "entered the menu of New Stone Age (Neolithic) man," and freed people to develop agriculture; others became builders and explorers, which in turn led to the founding of cities, civilizations, governments, rulers, a host of wonderful and awful innovations. Food supply advantages included longer storage time, preservation of surpluses, easier seed availability for replanting, and lighter transport due to highly condensed calories.

The simple Paleolithic diet, genetically programmed for the human constitution, fell away and was replaced by a composite of foods to which we are still trying to adapt. Foods such as grains, beans (including soy), potatoes, dairy products, sugar, and even salt should be avoided, according to Dr. Blazer. Most are rich in carbohydrates but poor in vitamins and minerals. The Paleolithic diet he recommends includes meats, chicken, fish, eggs, fruit, vegetables (not potatoes), nuts (except peanuts and cashews), and berries. Eating these foods will decrease sugar spikes and increase vitamin levels. The modern diet has since introduced more toxins such as caffeine, additives, colorings, preservatives and pesticides, several noticeably tasting quite nasty...

Reading about one more diet unquestionably causes many of us to nod off with our eyes glazed over. The interest in this diet, however, is anthropological. We live much longer than ancient peoples, but suffer many more diseases, according to fossil records. Our pets, it has been noted by veterinarians, are not as healthy as they were even 30 years ago. Ancient man died primarily of infections and accidents. Proper disposal of sewage changed life expectancy dramatically, as did antibiotics. Modern man, conversely, lives a long time with, and dies from, a multitude of chronic disorders.

Dr. Blazer: "There are races of people who are all slim, who are stronger and faster than us. They all have straight teeth and perfect eyesight. Arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, schizophrenia and cancer are absolute rarities for them. These people are the last 84 tribes of hunter-gatherers in the world...Their diet has changed little from that of the first humans 2 million years ago; it is the diet that is encoded in our genes."

The Soup Pot...

"Humans are omnivores, meaning they can utilize foods from both plants and animals. This was a huge advantage to ancient peoples when they traveled away from the native sources of food. Their survival was guaranteed with the discovery that they could make grains, potatoes and beans edible by heating them in the soup pot. Grains, beans and potatoes, says Blazer, are "loaded with toxic protein and full of enzyme blockers and lectins. You may be surprised to know that uncooked flour is very toxic."   (No surprise that cooked and uncooked wheat flour is toxic to us).

Recounting the Neolithic  S. Boyd Eaton, MD, states: "The chief dietary innovation that accompanied agriculture involved cereal grains. Actual cultivation followed and, in many areas, cereals became staples. This nutritional departure was unparalleled; no other free-living primates routinely consume cereal grains." As noted by Dr. Alice Pilgeram, PhD. Assistant Research Professor and Research Plant Pathologist, MSU: "Biologically, the gluten/gliadin protein is an odd one, especially the peculiar protein found in wheat. Many mammals have an adverse reaction to it."

The Human adaptability mechanism, I would suggest, is still trying to play catch-up to benefit from the "new," prevalent grain menu. Those of us with the genetic inability to process certain grains without being harmed have been unable to adapt. Evolution or natural adaptation devised a remarkable way to favor those generations who could change, and reject from the gene pool those who could not: Reproduction. Capable nutrition initiates reproductive stamina and a long life-span; undiagnosed gluten intolerant humans suffer from acute reproductive disabilities such as infertility, spontaneous abortion, and a high infant and child mortality, which leads to the termination of genetic lines. The same natural mechanism affects populations that are lactose intolerant. During times of famine, adaptability means survival.

Tamala Powell, B.S. Sociology/Anthropology, MSU, GFFS' Round Table: "Domesticated wheat was introduced as a staple into the human diet 10,000 years ago in Iraq, but only 1200 years ago in Ireland. We see very little gluten enteropathy in the Middle East because those early ancestors who were afflicted did not survive to pass on their intolerant genes. In Northern Europe, evolution has not had enough time to eliminate them (us?) from the gene pool. And now that we know, we, perhaps the closest genetic link to our ancient hunter/gatherer ancestors, have thrown a monkey wrench into the works with the gluten-free diet!"

In the Middle East, gluten intolerance is minimal, while lactose intolerance occurs frequently. Wherever dairy animals have been grown for thousands of years, lactose intolerance is minimal, but gluten intolerance occurs frequently. In Northern European populations, wheat, rye and barley grains are a toxic food for one in every 120 people because they carry the specific gene set. The ratio reaches an average level of 1:12 in families that have a diagnosed member.

The Industrial Revolution

"With the industrial revolution," says Jack Challam, Paleolithic Nutrition: Your Future is in your Dietary Past, "the diet changed even more dramatically." According to Easton, "Beginning around 1900, whole grains were routinely refined, removing much of their nutrition and refined sugar started to become commonplace. That the vast majority of our genes are ancient in origin means nearly all of our biochemistry and physiology are fine-tuned to conditions of life that existed before 10,000 years ago." Our bodies are the same machines that they were 40,000 years ago. "The foraging lifestyle [of early humans] required vigorous physical exertion, and skeletal remains indicate that they were typically more muscular than we are today," says Eaton.

Jack Challen in Paleolithic Nutrition: You are what you eat--and perhaps surprisingly, you also are what your ancestors ate."

Barley Grass/Barley Green

Georgia Streeter, Bozeman, asked us to research the products called Barley Grass or Barley Green, which claim on their website to be Gluten-Free.

Herbal Remedies: Organic, Gluten-Free: "Barley was the first cereal crop to be cultivated. Egyptians and Greeks believed barley to be a sacred gift from the gods. The tender young grass is harvested when it is 8 inches high before the grass goes to joint, and the top 6 inches are used. Thus all the benefits remain in the grass instead of being used to generate grains." Herbal Remedies.

Nature's Way: "Barley Grass has no filler, additives or dilutents and is gluten-free."

Pro Greens: "Green Organic gluten free grasses: Wheat grass powder 350 mg., Barley grass powder 350 mg., Alfalfa powder 350 mg., Oat grass powder 350 mg. Contains No: Gluten, egg, dairy, animal products, yeast, malto-dextrin, barley malt, simple sugars, preservatives, artificial flavoring or coloring."

Their claims seemed curious, and so I asked MSU Assistant Research Professor Dr. Alice Pilgeram if she could analyze a sample, supplied by Georgia. The results are as follows: The product was tested for 20 parts per million [ppm], and the result was negative. This is an acceptable amount in European gluten-free foods, but it is considered high by US standards. Dr. Pilgeram noted, however, that while Barley Green may contain less or even no gluten, testing for a lower measurement wasn't feasible due to the fragility of the sample. Theoretically, grasses harvested before forming the grain stalk should be GF, but Dr. Pilgeram added that the members of her department discussed the problem and the possibility of contamination in harvesting. "We are not comfortable recommending the product for Celiac patients," said Dr. Pilgeram. We thank her for providing this information.


Is your Kitchen Gluten-Free?   Articles by R. Jean Powell, Revised reprints

When other members of your family arenít restricted to a gluten-free diet, you have to be vigilant. Do you share a toaster? You need to purchase one for your Gluten-Free breads only. How about the microwave? Clean the inside top of it as well as the sides and cover your food.

The can opener? The knife blade can collect a film if not washed after each use---so rinse before and after using,. Crumbs on the counter? Collect and wipe with disposable paper towels rather than your dishcloth.

What about the refrigerator? Crumblies can sift down into your uncovered dish of applesauce, settle on your bowl of fresh fruit or sprinkle onto your cube of butter. Cover all.

The sugar bowl is a collector of whatever is in the air. Own your own and keep your lid on! Check the dry dog and/or cat food for the ever-prevalent wheat ingredient, then dish it out using a cup, and wash your hands afterward. [My doggie was wheat-intolerant, confirmed by a $100 vet bill, so we had to read labels for her too].

Designate GF on the lids of containers of peanut butter, jellies & jams, mayonnaise, olives, any product that others might dip out of the jar with a contaminated knife, fork or spoon. Own your own bags of corn chips, potato chips, and cookies, etc. I watched with dismay as my husband, a fastidious sort of fellow, reached into my bag of Fritos after eating a soda cracker. Now, to regular people [are we irregulars?], being concerned about such a minor possibility of contamination borders on the obsessive; however, bombarded as we are with gluten/gliadins, I'd rather be considered an eccentric than to get sick. Think of gluten as rat poison...

Do you store your pots and pans in the bottom drawer of the stove? Itís an excellent gathering place for a multitude of crunchy crumbs--oddly enough--so store them upside down and rinse before using. It's even better not to share baking pans such as muffin tins, cake pans, pie tins, and pizza pans--invest in your own.

   The chances are excellent that dust from crackers, bread, noodles, etc. will collect in your cupboards,  settling on the GF canned goods. Rinse lids before opening with your spotless can opener!

When all else fails--HIDE your stuff!

Once again, life for a Celiac proves to be more difficult and complex than it is for gluten-tolerants--lucky guys--but itís worth the effort to feel well. Lots of "lucky guys" take feeling well for granted. Not us!

The Elimination Diet

Many of us are well acquainted with the Elimination Diet, but for the newly diagnosed person who is desperately trying to identify an offending food, it can be a confusing struggle. Trial and (t)error eventually led me to develop some kind of organized method to ease the distress.


[1]. After a contamination episode, return immediately to a guaranteed safe meal, no matter how bland and boring, such as a breakfast of O.J., GF toast & jelly, poached eggs, and tea for breakfast; fresh or frozen fish, fruit, and rice for lunch; meat (chicken, pork, chop, burger), veggies and rice in soup, apple sauce, sweet potatoes and apple juice for dinner. Skip dessert.

This is comfort food and once your tummy feels soothed--after a day or two--you can begin to:

[2].  Add new foods one at a time, waiting one or two meals before adding or trying another. Donít complicate the process by experimenting with more than one new addition per meal. If lactose-intolerance must be considered as well, eliminate all milk and cheese products, and later reintroduce them slowly using the same method.

3]. Maintain a diary of the foods that cause you no grief, to be used for referral. Avoid processed foods if possible.

[4]. Call the Customer Service 800 phone number on the label if a processed food is the suspected culprit. A representative usually can give you information on the gluten status of the product, and will mail a gluten-free list to you of all of their products. Remember to inquire about the packaging and conveyor belt powder used by the company, and be sure to check on your vitamins as well as prescriptions...

[5]. Be prepared to give up a food you enjoy. If it canít be proven safe, avoid it.

[6]. Consult with others; someone may know of a different brand that is completely safe.

[7]. Accidents happen, so don't freak out! The food you ate may be safe but contaminated by a bread or cracker crumb, a family memberís knife in the butter, a spoon in the Mayo, snacks, a spatula in a restaurant kitchen, etc. If itís a nutritionally important food to you and reportedly safe, try again after meticulously eliminating all other suspected sources of contamination. A shared microwave or toaster can also be a source of wheat crumbs, so cover your own foods and use a new, separate toaster. Did you lick a stamp or envelope? Yes, their adhesive contains glu[e]ten.

[8]. Mistakes are made. The same meal prepared in the same restaurant by the same chef may differ from time to time. If you've eaten in a restaurant shortly before getting sick, suspect that source too.

[9]. The Elimination Diet in time will become routine and automatic, the mysteries dispelled. If you read labels, keep a food diary, research food suppliers and maintain a healthy skepticism, you need no longer feel overwhelmed. The G-F diet in time becomes a piece of cake!



The following are excerpts from the Recipe Collection, Published by Montana Celiac Society; recipes first appear in Gluten-Free Friends Newsletters.


Cracker Jacks

by Kathleen Karlsen, Bozeman

Ä cup popcorn (unpopped)                                         í cup toasted nuts/seeds

Pop the popcorn and toast the seeds in an oven at 350ļ F for 5-10 minutes. Watch closely and stir so they donít burn. Put the popcorn in a large container and sort to remove unpopped corns. Add the toasted nuts/seeds.

y tsp. cinnamon   ē tsp. salt                                                        í cup Lundbergís GF rice syrup

Heat the rice syrup, cinnamon and salt in a sauce pan over medium high heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Pour in a thin stream over the popcorn/nut mixture, stirring regularly.  Spread on a cookie sheet and place in the hot oven. Toast for 5-7 minutes until the popcorn begins to get golden in color. Remove and allow to cool. Mixture will stiffen. Break into pieces and store in bowl or airtight container.  ["Great for parties & holidays!" Kathleen ]


Rice And Wild Rice Stuffing

                                  For Your Thanksgiving Turkey  by Eloise Faber, Manhattan, Montana

              Melt: y cup butter in pan

                 Add: 1 large onion, diced and 1y cups celery, chopped 

                                                   Cook or Sautť: Until soft

Mix: with 3 cups cooked brown and wild rice combined in a large bowl

Add: Äcup water

Season with:  1 or 2 teaspoons thyme and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper; or your own preferences

Stuff turkey: when mixture is fully cooled. 

Cover well.   Bake: at 350ļ for one hour, then at 325ļ for 5 or 6 hours, basting as necessary.  

Optional Additions: Chopped green or red pepper; 1 large apple chopped; chopped raisins or dried apricots.

Spices and Herbs From Foods & Household Management, 1916:

Spices: "Red, black, and white pepper, cinnamon, cloves, all-spice, nutmeg, mace, and ginger are examples. They are made from the seeds of certain plants, used whole or ground. Stick cinnamon is a layer of a stem. Ginger is a root."

Herbs: "Thyme, mint, sweet marjoram, summer savory are the leaves of old-fashioned pot herbs, used either fresh or dried. There were many others used in olden days that are not common, such as sweet basil and pot marigold. A quite complete list will be found nowadays (1916) in any good seed catalog. These herbs are used with meat dishes.

Vanilla Beans CSA Pantry Collection #4"Vanilla Sugar: Split a bean in half lengthwise and place both halves in a tall jar. Fill jar with powdered or granulated sugar. Store for at least 24 hours. Leave the bean in the jar and replenish the sugar as you use it. The bean will work for several months; some last for more than a year."