Dr. Lani, can a person have gluten intolerance (celiac disease) but not test positive for celiac disease?
Absolutely! Though testing has improved, it is not 100%. The most accurate test is a biopsy that is obtained from an endoscopy to reach the small intestine for the biopsy. However, going gluten-free is the real test and these days it is pretty easy to do. Health food stores typically carry a wide range of gluten-free foods. And in Oakland CA we have the Mariposa Bakery which is 100% gluten-free. If you have GI problems that include loose stools, excessive bloating and gas you could have gluten intolerance. If you have had the condition for some time it can also result in bone loss due to malabsorption caused by intestinal damage. In fact, just about any condition you have including hypothyroidism will be made worse with celiac disease. This fall I will offer an on-line webinar regarding food intolerances and food sensitivities and how to tell the difference.
Dr. Lani, what do you think about the Wiley Protocol for bio-identical hormones?
Personally, I think the protocol is potentially dangerous. The Wiley protocol was created by T.S. Wiley and endorsed by Suzanne Somers in her book, Ageless. They recommend dosing women with extremely high levels of bio-identical hormones, equivalent to what a 25-year-old woman would produce. Part of the rationale of the protocol is that 25-year-old women are less likely to get breast cancer. This assertion does not consider the multitude of problems that can arise when you add estrogen and progesterone at such high levels later in life and for a long period of time. While some women will feel better initially on the Wiley protocol many will experience other problems down the road, most notably a decrease in thyroid function and/or adrenal problems.
While I do feel hormone therapy is appropriate for some, I recommend only low doses. A small amount can stop bone loss during peri-menopause and up to 10 years post-menopause when some women lose up to 20% of bone mass. Hormone balancing can also relieve hot flashes, brain fog and depression and joint and muscle pain. However, I believe that nutrition and exercise should always be the foundation of any program. Yes, you can get too much of a good thing. Avoid the Wiley protocol.
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