Q. When I first met my friend Mike twenty years ago, he was going through bottles of antacids. He’d been doing this for 12 years, far longer than the bottle label recommended.
He had a severe bout of anemia and was told he had an ulcer. More medicine!
Finally, three years ago he learned he had gluten intolerance. Now on a gluten-free diet, he no longer suffers heartburn at all.
A. Gluten intolerance, or celiac disease, can lead to a wide variety of problems, from migraine headaches and itchy skin rashes to acid reflux or osteoporosis. With the correct diagnosis and treatment (a gluten-free diet eliminating wheat, barley and rye), those who suffer from celiac disease can avoid a lot of suffering and unnecessary medication.
Another reader shared her story: “As a child, I had stomachaches almost every night. No one could figure out why. I also was anemic for several years in grade school, again without a clue as to the cause.
“I am now in my 50s and have osteoporosis. I recently learned that my chronic abdominal pain, bowel problems, anemia and osteoporosis are all related to gluten sensitivity! I used to eat a piece of toast to calm my bowels down, not realizing that the toast was the culprit. When I modified my diet I was amazed at how much better I felt.”