Protect your heart with a gluten-free diet

The damage of celiac disease doesn't end when the misery from eating something contaminated with gluten passes. No, over the long run, the inflammation caused by endless reactions to gluten can hurt you in other ways, putting you at risk for chronic disease.

As a result, celiac disease patients have double the risk of heart attack and a higher risk of stroke, according to a new study.

The bad news, of course, is that there is no cure for celiac. When you have it, you have it for life.

But the good news is that life with celiac doesn't have to mean a life of misery and inflammation -- and it certainly doesn't have to end with chronic disease or a heart attack.

Get the disease under control, and you can eliminate those risks.

Start by committing to a healthy gluten-free diet. It's easier than ever. Even many restaurants now serve gluten-free meals.

Don't just do it to avoid the misery and humiliation of hiding in the bathroom for hours after your dinner. Do it for your heart, because when you limit the attacks, you can limit the inflammation.

And while you're at it, you can further reduce your inflammation with natural supplements such as turmeric and fish oil (and you don't have to be suffering from celiac to benefit from those).

The bigger problem is that millions of people are quietly suffering from celiac and other forms of gluten sensitivity but haven't been diagnosed -- in part because mainstream tests recognize only "celiac" and "not celiac."

But many people who don't have celiac do have a gluten sensitivity -- and because they're never properly diagnosed, they never know what's wrong or how to make themselves feel better.

If you're feeling lousy too often -- if you spend too much time in the bathroom -- go gluten-free for a few weeks and see if it helps. Even if your own doctor has told you that you don't have celiac, give it a try.

You might be surprised by the difference it makes.

Be sure to work closely with a holistic medical doctor. And if you're in the Southern California area and want answers, I can provide them. I run the most comprehensive food sensitivity testing program around in my clinic outside San Diego. Contact my office to make an appointment.

Not in the area? I'm also available for telephone consultations. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule yours.