She is co-author of “The Gluten Effect,” a bestselling book that has been celebrated by leading experts as an epic leap forward in gluten sensitivity diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Vikki herself is acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of gluten sensitivity. Featured in an exclusive interview on CNN Headline News, Dr Vikki is also endorsed by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness and The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America for her contributions to gluten awareness in our country.
Hi Dr. Vikki,
I’m a 24 year old with celiac. At least that’s what all the doctors tell me. Maybe you can help me figure out what’s the next step for me?
Ever since I was a child, whenever I got a cut or scab it would take a month plus to heal the wound and the end results were always scarring (this still happens). I have seen dermatologists and they tell me they can’t do anything. I’m told I can’t see internal specialists because they can’t help me. I’ve been told lasers can’t correct the scarring and that the only way to find a solution is to have a skin biopsy done, which I will have done in August.
When I explain to doctors my symptoms, they say they can’t help because they don’t how know to, so I saw an allergist. He tested me for several things and decided it was celiac disease (he didn’t order any blood tests but I have had them done recently for other things and apparently nothing about them says whether I have it “officially” or not).
At first, we (my family and I) discovered that it was just gluten products that were making me sick but within the last year I have discovered that I have issues with milk and red meats. Again, I mentioned to my allergist the latest allergy developments and he really couldn’t give me an answer. He said he doesn’t know what to tell me. He just gave me more medications. I hate taking meds. I was taking Allegra but had a heart arrhythmia, so now I’m just taking my Zyrtec which helps, but makes me drowsy and tired. The symptoms that bother me are: fatigue, lack of energy, constant itching/scratching, and depending on what I eat, bloating, abdominal pain etc.
I’m not sure what to do or where to go next because the scarring caused by celiac takes a major toll on my life. You would not believe the amount of people who think I’m either self-destructive or abused. I’m going out of my mind trying to decide what to do next. I have made most of the necessary food adjustments including switching to rice milk and I’m now mostly vegetarian (with an exception for chicken and fish) and have cut certain other things out of my life as well.
Any help or advice would be majorly appreciated!
P.S. I’m not sure if this helps, but I’m also allergic to latex and vinyls (I’m a chef with an Epi Pen, LOL)
As you may know, the skin is your largest organ. The condition of the skin tends to reflect the health of the GI tract. With your ‘maybe’ celiac diagnosis, sensitivity to other foods, reactive skin and fatigue, the first thing I would do is to test some facets of your digestive health.
It seems likely that gluten is a problem but if you have removed it completely from your diet and want to be sure that it’s an issue we can get you a genetic test that tests for celiac genes and gluten sensitivity genes (both). You don’t have to eat gluten for this test to be accurate.
It also seems likely, based on your symptoms, that you have a leaky gut. Healing this properly depends on detecting and completely eliminating any foods that you are reacting to, discovering the presence of any pathogenic organisms (a lab test is needed), the health of your good bacteria and enzymes (same lab test as previous) plus testing for any nutritional deficiencies and cross-reactive foods.
I think we could give you data about your body that hasn’t yet been revealed to you, though I can’t promise a solution to the scarring. What I can say is that a good in-depth analysis (something that we’re known for) would improve your digestion, energy level, and overall health. Hopefully some skin changes will occur as well.
Please do contact us for a free consultation. We would be delighted to help you.To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen
Heidi here, I’d like to share the following video of Dr. Vikki discussing gluten sensitivity and skin conditions:
Having personally suffered from numerous skin conditions associated with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity (I shared my experience with atopic dermatitis/eczema, dermatitis herpetiformis, psoraisis and canker sores here), I can certainly empathize with the deep emotional impact that the highly visible symptoms of these conditions can have on a person.
Since my diagnosis, I have spent a great deal of time researching gluten intolerance and its related skin conditions, so I thought I would share some of the articles and books that have been helpful for me:
- Gluten Intolerance and Skin Diseases PMID: 16436335
- Serologic Markers of Celiac Disease in Psoriatic Patients PMID: 18384553
- Detecting Celiac Disease In Your Patients American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
“Certain skin problems, such as angular cheilitis*, recurrent aphthous ulcers (canker sores) or dermatitis herpetiformis should lead the physician to consider celiac disease as an underlying cause.”
*Reading the above blurb about angular cheilitis, made me recall having those painful, deep cracks at the corner of my mouth when I was a kid (see figure 6 in the above mentioned AAFP article, “Detecting Celiac Disease in Your Patients”).
- Foods Trigger Eczema Dr. Rodney Ford
- Probiotics Protect Against Eczema Dr. Rodney Ford
- Eczema, Cure It! (an e-book by Dr. Rodney Ford)
- Dr. Vikki has an entire chapter dedicated to skin disorders and gluten sensitivity in her book, The Gluten Effect.
- Celiac Disease and Skin The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
- Dr. Peter H.R. Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and internationally recognized expert on the condition, discusses dermatitis herpetiformis at great length in his book, Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic. He also talks about the connections with eczema, psoriasis, vitiligo, alopecia (hair loss) and aphthous stomatitis (an autoimmune condition in which people get canker sores in their mouth).
Did You Know?
According to Dr. Green:
Patients with dermatitis herpetiformis have a higher incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My uncle passed away from NHL.
Patients with DH have a higher incidence of other autoimmune diseases. I’ve been diagnosed with 5 of them.
It’s important to know that if you have dermatitis herpetiformis, you always have gluten intolerance. With DH, the primary lesion is on the skin, whereas with celiac disease the lesions are in the small intestine. The degree of damage to the small intestine is often less severe or more patchy than those with celiac disease, making the intestinal biopsy much more tricky. To read more, click here.
And now it’s time to announce the winners of the Green Beaver Gluten Free Personal Care Products Giveaway:
The winner of prize package #1 goes to:
#115, Staci A.
Staci will receive the following products, compliments of Green Beaver: (1) Junior Shampoo, (1) Junior Conditioning Detangler, (1) Junior Bubble Bath, and (1) Zesty Orange Toothpaste
The winner of prize package #2 goes to:
Lisa will receive the following products, compliments of Green Beaver: (1) Cranberry Delight Shampoo, (1) Cranberry Delight Conditioner, (1) Cranberry Delight Body Lotion and (1) Frosty Mint Toothpaste
Congratulations ladies, I will send you an email for your shipping information!
If you have a question that you would like Dr. Vikki Petersen to answer in a future blog post here on Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, please email your question(s) to me at: email@example.com
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