During the German occupation of the Netherlands in WWII, massive starvation took place in 1944 and 1945, resulting in an estimated 22,000 deaths. One group of patients with intestinal problems paradoxically improved because of the shortage of bread. The Dutch physician, Dr. Willem Dicke, theorized that the culprit was the gluten in the wheat. Since there was a bread shortage, these patients got better. As a result of of this dreadful famine, celiac disease became understood.
What is Celiac Disease? Celiac disease is primarily a digestive disorder caused by an immune reaction to gluten which in turn results in damage to the lining of the small intestine. This leads to malabsorption or difficulty absorbing nutrients. Gluten can be found in wheat, barley and rye, and also can be Continue reading →
“Ahh choo, bless you, ahh choo, gesundheit “ are the expressions one hears this time of year from allergy sufferers and their companions. People who have migrated to California from other parts of the country are surprised to experience allergy symptoms they never had previously. Allergy victims march into doctor offices and pharmacies every spring because of the combination of the long growing season here, habitat for many species of plants in California, and windy days. The “bless- yous” and “gesundheits” exclaimed by empathetic bystanders are exclamations based on an ancient superstition to forestall evil spirits from entering the body after one sneezes, but now it seems impolite not to offer consolation. Sneezing usually heralds the onset of a cold, but can also be triggered by exposure to sunlight or strong odors. This time of year, sneezing portends hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis. You may be one of the estimated 20% of Americans who have this condition and if so, keep reading.