Showing posts from May, 2018

Immunoglobulin A, Aflatoxin and the Celiac Screening Test

The Celiac Disease screening test most commonly used is IgA-anti-tTG, and it should be used with an IgA deficiency test, both together.  If IgA is high enough, it means the anti-tTG (tissue transglutaminase) test is valid.  Yet in some cases it is too low and then an IgG-anti-tTG may be used (again with a check for deficiency in IgG).

But what does it mean, in general, if IgA is low?  IgA deficiency (or at least functional deficiency) is a possible explanation, for some of the complications of Celiac Disease, including the development of certain cancers like Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  The mechanism would be that a lowered IgA leads to chronic immune insufficiency and erratic immune activation.  After a period of time, it could lead to a disordered immune response that looks a lot like autoimmune disease.  It's so simple, it's almost simplistic.  But we must begin at the beginning, at aflatoxins.  
This post is long and very dense.  If you're not into the sticky details o…

Gluten Free Sunny & Sweet Egg Bake Breakfast

Here's something you can make to speed up busy mornings or to wow your family on a Sunday at brunch-time.  if you have eggs but are tired of the quick scramble, you can make an egg bake.  There are many recipes for them, from savory to sweet to themed.  But of course you must convert them to gluten free if they aren't.

Today I just took what fruits I had, combined fruits and bread, and poured some well beaten egg over it.  I often do this at the beginning of a week and refrigerate portions to eat on other days.  Each week I just use what I have.  It's a great strategy if you don't know what your energy level will be like on any given day.

-- Dates and Cinnamon Sweet Egg Bake --

Into a frying pan or baking pan, place:

Two slices of gluten free bread you like.
Four dates, pitted and cut into 4-8 pieces.
A few cubes of a neutral vegetable like zucchini.

In a bowl blend together:

8 eggs (I used 5 chicken, and 2 duck eggs)
1 tablespoon flour (I used potato flour)
1/4 tsp of…

The Most Notable Nutrition Scientist in the USA

If you haven't heard of him before, then it's my pleasure to introduce you to Dr. Bruce Ames (please take a moment to view his achievements over a lifetime in science) who is and has been a nutrition warrior for 50 years.  He has a distinguished record of publication and still occasionally speaks about health today in his 90s!  Dr. Ames came to my attention when the San Diego Stein Institute for Research on Aging featured his videos on mitochondria and other metabolism subjects.  He speaks with humor and insight and everyone interested in good health should hear him out at least once.

His videos and those of others fell victim to the budget crisis in California and were later moved to Vimeo or Youtube, so now you have to know about him and search for him on the general internet, it's not quite as easy as pointing people to the UC-SD website, which is what I did for a few years after discovering his videos. On the other hand, the momentary loss of his videos was a blessing…

BCBS Insurance Rules for Infused Drugs in NC Have Changed - what this means

Now for some local news:  Blue Cross Blue Shield has changed some rules that affect many chronically ill patients.  If you have an illness that requires the infusion (at a hospital) of certain drugs, you may be affected by this change.  It also has some interesting implications for those of us who are hoping for more IV services from our doctor's office. The rule also includes other non-outpatient settings such as a larger role for urgent care and in home care.

I think this is significant because it affects teachers and state workers (we love them, don't we?) and BCBS can often prompt similar actions from other insurers because it's such a large insurer (the "follow the leader" effect). 

I've mentioned before that you can get IV vitamins  in some places in North Carolina.  However some chronically ill patients, including those with Multiple Sclerosis and anyone who takes a list of medications outlined in this document (PDF) need an IV of certain drugs to co…

Looking Good, Feeling Confident

I didn't add "in every size" because it's irrelevant.  Everyone deserves to feel good right now, the way they are.  We can all spend some "spoons" on grooming each day.  It will only go toward making the day nicer for us and those around us.  Fashion and beauty is not irrelevant as soon as someone gains some weight.  It's actually even more important to maintain the narrative that you're attractive and fun to be around, when you're ill.  People react strangely to the ill.  They don't know what to say.  They wonder if you're the same person they joked with last year.  They miss you while they're sitting 3 feet away.  Paying attention to your looks is a good way to signal that you're still the same person, and can be there for your loved ones.

There are several resources online for looking good while obese.  There are even websites that strongly refute the idea that people must lose weight and attempt to lose weight until they succe…

How To Shop for Someone Who is Gluten Free

There are so many instances where someone is in need of shopping help.  An accident, an illness or old age can make someone reach out and ask for help, sometimes temporarily.  It's important that we all know how to do that if we have a loved one with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease.

A dietary restriction like gluten free or allergen free can be very taxing on a family.  It's expensive and very inconvenient.  Sometimes families leave the person in question to fend for themselves, buy their own food, prepare however they want, and keep their own utensils separate.  That's fine while you're young and not injured.  It's better if the whole family knows how to do this, so that people can support each other in times of crisis.  Just think of it as an interesting talent.  
In this presentation, I talk about how to shop at the grocery store for gluten free items.  It's not as simple as just looking for the words gluten free or a certification label.  There are pitf…