Thursday, November 30, 2006

celiac disease -- whatever happened to the old cure for it?

This is in regard to the Wikipedia entry for Celiac disease, which states, "At this time no medication will prevent damage, nor prevent the body from attacking the gut when gluten is present. The disease is controlled by strict adherence to a gluten-free diet, which allows the intestines to heal and resolves all symptoms in the vast majority of cases..."
It contradicts itself later, however, by stating. "Even while on a diet, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is decreased in people with coeliac disease. Some have persisting digestive symptoms or dermatitis herpetiformis, mouth ulcers, osteoporosis and fractures." (there is more, too, but you get the point. I'm amazed that mainstream medicine still stands by this, despites lots of doubts about what really causes celiac disease and what can be done about it.

There is an alternative diet to the gluten free diet, the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (TM), which restricts not only gluten containing grains such as wheat, rye, and barley, but also all grains (including rice and corn) and most complex carbohydrates including potatoes, most beans (including soy and pinto), and other starchy vegetables and all sweeteners except for honey and saccharine. This diet is based on the idea that the gut is damaged by an imbalance of intestinal flora, and that the unfriendly flora must be starved off by depriving them of food. The diet only allows carbohydrates that are monosaccharides such as those in fruits, sweet vegetables such as squash, non-starchy veggies such as broccoli and zucchini, and honey. All fermentable carbohydrates are removed from the diet to allow the gut to rest and heal. This diet was first developed to treat celiac disease, but fell out of favor because of its difficulty to maintain and further studies that pointed to gluten, a protein, rather than starch, as the culprit in celiac.

There is a small minority of people who believe that celiac disease, irritable bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and even perhaps autism, are all caused by carbohydrate intolerance rather than gluten intolerance. This is because only monosaccarides can be digested completely by the human digestive system and absorbed properly. All other carbohydrates cause problems, particularly if there is intestinal damage such as that caused by coeliac disease. The complex carbohydrates, disaccharides and polysaccharides, are not properly digested in the stomach, and go on to feed unfriendly intestinal flora such as Candida albicans, which in turn cause more intestinal damage. Thus, this vicious cycle causes increasing damage to the intestines and an out of control imbalance of intestinal microflora.

It turns out humans never really were meant to be eating starches, especially in the huge quantities most modern diets -- not just the US diet, but most around the world (other than traditional Arctic people and a few other isolated groups). It was less than 10,000 years ago that humans started to live settled enough and farm enough that they could grow large quantities of crops, including grains. Before that, most humans ate meat, fruit, vegetables, some tubers and a few grains gathered a few weeks a year, doled out very frugally throughout the year. And only a thousand or so more years before that were we regularly cooking our foods, so we really couldn't eat grains or tubers. Many people's bodies have adapted to this new diet, but many have not, and celiac disease is just one sign that it's an ill-suited diet.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet(TM) solves this problem. It does not restrict protein foods such as meats, and allows some beans, such as lentils and navy beans once healing is well under way. It includes dairy, although in cases where dairy is not tolerated it can be excluded as well. This diet was developed in the early 20th Century, and was commonly used as recently as the 1950s to treat Celiac disease. (Haas SV and Haas MP: Management of celiac disease, p x. J B Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, 1951)

Monday, November 20, 2006

What did we do today? What should we have done?

Often, right before he goes to sleep, ds will ask me, "what did we do today?" He likes to hear about what we did, maybe because he finds it comforting, maybe because he forgets. Anyway, today, it felt like "what did I do today?" or "what should we have done today" because we had kind of a lousy day. It's raining, ds had a tantrum, we didn't really do much fun stuff. I feel like a bad mommy for not doing more fun stuff with ds. I feel like he's using his DVD player for a replacement mommy.
Today started out like many days. I made breakfast, almond flour porrige (which ds asked for and used to eat). He refused to eat it, and only ate an apple. He is a very picky eater, by the way. Anyway, we went to my doctor's office for my cranial sacral therapy appointment (he had some goat milk yogurt in the waiting room), then we stopped at a supplements store for cod liver oil. DS got a raw vegan energy bar, which he devoured. When we got home, he had a tantrum. Was it the energy bar on basically an empty stomach? Going to the doctor's office (where he watched his DVD player while I got my treatment)? Was it something else? Well, he ended up falling asleep, which is not something he usually does anymore. He had been running around at the doctor's office in the waiting room, and one of the receptionists said "I wish I had his energy." Little did they know it was being hyper. And that he would collapse a short while later.
Why won't he eat better? Why does he ask for food that he then doesn't eat? Why does he eat so many sweets? Well, it's the candida, duh! But why can't we kick it? Why does a kid have to go through this? Why can't he be healthy? I am so tired of these worries. I don't know what to do.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Probiotics are cool

What don't probiotics do? It would seem nothing! They help with many things, including digestion of oxalates (in many things such as most veggies and nuts), which helps with mineral absorbtion. They help digest carbohydrates. They fight yeast infections. They help absorbtion of other nutrients. They are just so cool. How do you get them? Naturally fermented foods are the best sources, like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut (homemade without vinegar), and other similar foods. There are plenty of pills and powders, too, but they are usually less effective. Some people are very allergic to dairy, and have to take extra precaustions in finding fermented foods or probiotic supplements they can handle. I am fairly reactive to cow's milk dairy, although goat's milk yogurt doesn't seem to be a problem for me, fortunately. I didn't like goat's milk yogurt until I got fresh goat's milk. I prefer it raw, if possible, but it is very expensive. It's almost $9.00 for half a gallon. I would love to have my own goats to milk so I could save a bit, but then that would be a lot of work. Not to mention the land for them would be pricey, at least around here. See why I call this my ramblings :=?
Here are some links:

More later! I am needed to get ds ready for bed.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Jokes about congress I've gotten in my inbox

I got an email the other day with these jokes about congress, apparently related to the Tom Foley fiasco:
Q:Why don't members of congress need bookmarks?
A: They bend over the pages

Q. What is the difference between Congress and the Library of Congress?
A. At the Library of Congress, you aren't allowed to lick the pages.

This was from a church email list, by the way. But it was a Unitarian church group, and in Washington state. tee hee.

The rains are here! Is this 50 days and 50 nights or what?

So, it's the second week of November, and it's been raining nearly constantly for over a week, I think, and is supposed to rain every day for the next two weeks or so at least. See: Oh, and it's supposed to get colder, too! There are flooded basements, flooded rivers, and even some cancelled schools. Sure, this is the Seattle area, known for its rainy weather, but this is ridiculous! I lived in Northern California, which does get a winter rainy season although it's shorter and drier, but it did not prepare me for this thing of days and days going by without any dry days. And for such a rainy place, it really doesn't have a lot of things to do with kids that are indoors. Sure, towns have recreation centers with some periods of indoor play, but they are for toddlers mostly. Oh, wait, that's right, most kids over two are in daycare or school now, so their parents don't have to take them to the park. No wonder! Yet another problem with being a homeschooler (sort of) in a world where school is starting younger and younger.
I don't like the extremely dry air in places like Tucson, AZ but envy them their sun and warmth. I would like the warm and the sun without the incredibly dry air or the unbearably hot summers. Is ther such a place? I'd like the humidity to be about 50% all year, with a variation of temperature from about 55 degrees in the winter to about 85 degrees in the summer, with a long warm spring and fall. Sigh. Rain isn't all bad, it's just when that's all there is that it gets to be a downer. It would be nice to have some sun every once in awhile. Even just an hour a day, sheesh!