Natural Medicine Centre

  Gluten Intolerance & Celiac Disease

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Research has established a strong genetic link between
Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes
and Gluten Intolerance and over 150 Immune System Conditions!

Eating processed grains is relatively new to mankind. Our digestive tracts have had little time to adjust to anything but our inborn hunter-gatherer metabolism. We have evolved but our digestive system has changed little. Consider a diet free of gluten grains!

Some Interesting Statistics:
...Man developed millions of years ago but cultivates grains only for the last 10-12,000 years, i.e. for less than 0.5% of our evolutionary history.
...Most Northern or aboriginal groups consumed gluten grains for less than a few centuries – too little time for our digestive systems to adapt.
...Close to half of mankind carries genes that make humans unable to digest grain (>43%!).
...Gluten-rich wheat is the most consumed grain worldwide (in excess of 600 million metric tons per year – 2002 numbers).
...90 million Canadians and Americans (20%) are suspected of having non-celiac gluten sensitivity (gluten, gliadin, glutenin). - Celiac disease is only one form of gluten intolerance - the only one diagnosed by mainstream medicine.
...In Comparison, the number of pre-diabetic Americans has reached 60 million. About 40% of people ages 40 to 74 are pre-diabetic. - The number for full-blown diabetes presently stands at 24 millions for the US.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a group of storage proteins difficult to digest but favorable for grain germination and grain storage. – Growing grain in Northern areas requires higher Gluten content. - Not surprisingly, gluten-sensitivity is more widespread among Northern peoples (Irish, UK, Scandinavian, and indigenous heritage)!

Gliadin, one of the glutens, is suspected of inflicting most of the damage to the human intestines.

Glutenin, another storage protein contained in gluten, is associated with some forms of asthma and autoimmune skin diseases.

The only effective remedy against this grain dependent condition is a 100% gluten-free diet.

Less than 1 gram of gluten can keep your gut from healing!

Gluten is Addictive!

Some Peptides found in Gluten (grain) and Casein (milk) look and act like Morphine.

Gluten contains 5 Opioids (A4, A5, B4, B5, C). - Yes you read right! So do dairy proteins...

  • Gluten: 15 sites of A5 (gluten exorphin) in one (1!) single glutenin protein = equal to 1nM of morphine.

  • Dairy: 8 sequences of amino acids (casein)!

Opioids (and opiates) interfere with our natural “killer cells”. In plain English: they disable our protection against cancer and other diseases. This interference occurs within 30 minutes of introducing gluten to the blood of celiac patients.

In addition, opioids can act through the HPA axis (hypothalamic – pituitary – adrenal control function of the brain) who in the healthy individual are responsible for the activation of these very same killer cells.

Celiacs and drug addicts show similarly enlarged gastrointestinal lymph nodes – sometimes misdiagnosed as lymphoma. 

Celiacs too (like heroin addicts) run a greater risk of developing cancer, altered T-cell and spleen function, thus reducing the immune system function.

An addict’s immune system takes 3 to 5 years for recovery after drug withdrawal; it takes the celiac 5 years of strict gluten-free compliance to regenerate the bowel tissue.

OFF-LIMIT Gluten-Containing FOODS

Grains contain proteins (gluten, gliadin, and glutenin) which a person with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance is allergic to.

Gluten contains opioid exorphins. This makes  it addictive to people with a particular genetic predisposition (i.e. comfort food turning toxic!).

Avoid these gluten-containing grains and everything made from them...

  • Wheat

  • Barley

  • Rye

  • Oats (danger of contamination)

  • Spelt

  • Triticale

  • Kamut

Often overlooked, there are other No-No's in many of today's processed foods where starch is often used as an anti-caking agent or as a binder or texture improver.

Therefore, AVOID...

...malt (barley) (malt)
...baking powder
...brewer’s yeast
...durum flour
...sprouted wheat or barley sauce
...teriyaki sauce
...soup mixes
...soup bases
...mustard powder cheese
...vegetable starch
...edible starch
...FU = dried wheat gluten
...HPP = hydrolyzed plant protein
...HVP = hydrolyzed vegetable protein
...MSG = monosodium glutamate
...TPP = textured plant protein
...TVP = textured vegetable protein.

Scroll down for Safe Foods!

A Genetic Pattern

Gluten-sensitivity/celiac disease is passed on consistently and silently since it is seldom diagnosed prior to the child-bearing years.

In Canada and the US an accurate diagnosis of gluten-sensitivity or celiac disease takes an average 11 years! In active screenings 1 in every 111 seemingly healthy and symptom-free American adults has the more severe form of gluten intolerance: celiac disease.

In Canada and the USA 39 out of every 40 celiacs are neither diagnosed nor treated!

...65 to 68% celiacs possess antibodies that attack their own tissues leading to a variety of autoimmune diseases.

Misdiagnosis or missed diagnoses are the rule.

...A direct link between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes has been established.

...Irritable bowel disease or leaky-gut syndrome, wherein 15-42% (!) of all people absorb some undigested or partially digested gluten into their blood causing chronic inflammatory conditions.

...47% of adult rheumatics are gluten-sensitive - meaning their rheumatic pains improve on a gluten-free diet.

DNA can predict!

HLA (human leukocyte antigens) are tied to the progression of infectious diseases.

Three of the most commonly found HLA proteins are: HLA-B8, HLA-DQ2, HLA-DQ8.

Some of these genes are present in about 43%(!) of the North-American population and in many diabetics while close to 90% of some South-American and other indigenous people carry those same genes. 

Gluten and Diabetes or Cancer

Insulin Production

These same gluten exorphins also seem to trigger increased insulin production and release (insulin moves glucose into the cells) leading to blood sugar imbalances.

This frequently leads to insulin resistance. Many of the calories absorbed by celiacs thus are stored as fat with the resulting tendency to obesity.

Excess Sugar Feeds Tumors

Moreover, cancer cells need glucose (sugar) for tumors to grow. This explains the higher cancer rates among type-2 diabetes. In short, our gluten exorphins raise blood sugar levels and feed tumors.


A diet that contains gluten, gliadin, or glutenin depletes the nutritional status and immune system.

Nutrients, essential vitamins (incl. fat-soluble vitamins) and minerals can no longer be absorbed once an inflammation affects the intestinal lining.

An intestinal inflammation affects the body's coping mechanisms and opens the door to chronic diseases.

Gut cells are replaced every 72 hours (if they are not damaged) - but only if we do not re-assault our system.

Also NOT safe are:

Deli Meats and most Sausages!

They may contain starch binders or coatings.


Some celiacs have issues with soy milk because some of its proteins may mimic the action of the glutens.


Recently, LEGUMES have been causing problems due to contamination with wheat or barley during transport.

Make sure to thoroughly rinse all dry or canned legumes and avoid buying legume flour.

Over 150 Health Conditions may Respond  Positively to a Gluten-Free Diet

Some of the diseases that are linked to HLA-B8 and other antigens common in those experiencing gluten intolerance:

Addison’s (under-active adrenal glands), blood sugar deficiency, low blood pressure, low body temperature, anemia / iron deficiency, celiac disease, childhood asthma, chronic autoimmune hepatitis, dermatitis herpetiformis (celiac related skin eruptions), type-1 and 2 diabetes, Grave’s (increased thyroid activity with bulging eyes), lupus, muscle weakness, pernicious anemia (chronic gastrointestinal and neurological disturbances due to an inability to absorb vitamins), rheumatism, scleroderma, thyroid toxicosis, ulcerative colitis, vitiligo, and others.

Several cancers have been said to go into remission after following a gluten-free diet.

Worth Knowing:

  • Gluten and dairy products make up the leading six foods causing intestinal inflammation.

  • Both are leading allergens.

  • Both contain building blocks that prove to be physically addictive (morphine). Hence, carbohydrate addiction.

In the hope that some of the following information will trigger that long overdue “uuh – aha” moment...

Gluten-Sensitivity and the Impact of our Food Pyramid.

For decades, our food pyramid recommendations have influenced the way we eat - a diet excessively high in sugar from converted grain carbohydrates.

"Eat whole grains" may be better than processed grains but far worse than low-grain or no-grain food choices.

Changes are planned but meet with resistance from the professional medical and food preparation establishments.

The “wheat is the staff of life” understanding and the “whole grain is best” hype have started a trend that only now shows its dangerous sides:

  • Intestinal Inflammation - Celiac disease, Crohn's, IBS, ulcerative colitis

  • Obesity, metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes and diabetes

  • mineral deficiency related conditions, chronic metabolic acidity, electrolyte and hormonal imbalances

  • bloating, diarrhea or constipation

  • brain fog, sleep disorders, fatigue, depression.

NOTE: Over 150 autoimmune disorders and other conditions have been linked to gluten-sensitivity, incl. ADD/ADHD.

The Bottom Line:

Gluten-Sensitivity is never overcome!

(food allergies may be outgrown)

The Role of the Duodenum

It all starts with an inflamed small intestinal tract.

Our body grows new cells consistently. Cells on average live for 105 to 125 days. Gut cells are replaced every 72 hours.

How you nourish the new cells during their growth is how they will function. You ARE what you EAT!

When the body experiences bloating it no longer can absorb the life-essential minerals and vitamins.

This lack of absorption over relatively short time leads to mal-nutrition and an increased risk for cell and organ malfunction.

The first to show signs are your general metabolism, immune system and respiratory system.


  • Symptoms of non-celiac gluten sensitivity and of full-fledge celiac disease may be absent, minor, or nonspecific well into adulthood.

Most gluten-sensitive people appear in good to excellent health until a serious chronic illness strikes seemingly out of the blue.

Many infants turn ill on commercial formula or when their mothers first feed them soups, crackers, cookies, etc....

Even small amounts of gluten may cause:

  • sniffles and recurrent light colds

  • colics, diarrhea, smelly, pasty stools, digestive problems

  • rashes, ear infections

According to the medical school books, Celiac Disease is suspected if there are Signs and Symptoms of ...Weight loss, ...muscle wasting, ...failure to thrive, ...chronic diarrhea, ...smelly stools, ...abdominal bloating, ...abdominal cramping, ...iron-deficiency anemia.

Today, we see also...
...mostly overweight or obese people, ...psychological depression, ...intestinal cancer, ...insulin-dependent diabetes, ...osteoporosis, ...short stature, ...canker sores, ...chronic liver disease of unknown origin, ...and more..

Gluten-sensitive people or celiacs may experience...
...compulsive eating habits, ...chronic discomfort, ...fatigue or lethargy, ...excessive gas or bloating, ...floating stools - often with high fat content, ...low-grade fevers, ...low back pain, ...iron deficiency anemia, ...spontaneous bruising, ...thyroid imbalances.

Other Warning Signs

In the atypical form of celiac disease the following may occur...
...severe cases of arthritis, ...persistent headaches, ...damage in the lung wall, ...many other single, seemingly not connected symptoms, ...low blood pressure, ...heartburn, ...esophageal reflux, ...mineral deficiencies, ...vitamin C and K deficiencies, ...bruising and bleeding, ...shortness of breath, ...coughing, wheezing, nasal stuffiness, ...mucosal defects in the lungs, ...painful canker sores, ...brittle fingernails, ...clubbed fingertips, ...short pinkies (don’t ask me about this one – but yes, I have it too!), ...slightly orange palms, ...soft teeth (cavities) or loss of tooth enamel, ...and many more.

What if you have carefully avoided all gluten containing foods, but still experience problems?

You may unknowingly re-introduce minute gluten quantities on a regular basis through

  • supplements, vitamins

  • prescription medication

  • personal care products

  • cleaning agents, etc.

Check with your pharmacist and/or supplier!

Rx  WATCH OUT for Prescription Medications, Pills, and some Supplements

Over 60% of prescription medication contains gluten in one form or another, mostly in form of starch, etc. (e.g. vitamin E made from wheat germ or something with added Flavor).

Carefully check ALL your toothpastes, cosmetics, and cleaning agents!

DO NOT lick envelopes and stamps!

Other Culprits

While not containing gluten, other food sensitivities may also contribute to your problems. You may need to avoid...
...citrus fruit
...night shade plants (tomatoes, eggplant, even potatoes)

...lactose - most people sensitive to gluten may also be lactose intolerant - casein, a component of lactose also contains opioid exorphins and thus can be addictive and toxic at the same time for individuals with a particular genetic predisposition.

Good grocery stores are happy to provide you with a list of GF (gluten-free) Foods.

Become a “label reader”:


The terms Flavor, Flavoring, Natural Flavor, could mask gluten.
Stay away from these additives!

Weigh potential risks of contamination - particularly when eating out!

As little as 1 gram of gluten may offend the system of a Celiac and gluten-sensitive person.

Vitamin Deficiencies may include...

  • vitamin A

  • a wide range of the B group vitamins

  • vitamin C

  • vitamin D

  • vitamin E

  • vitamin K

Mineral Deficiencies may include...

  • calcium

  • copper

  • iron

  • magnesium

  • manganese

  • selenium

  • zinc

Do You want to be Safe?

It is always best to prepare your own food and drink!

Stick to these...

...fresh vegetables
...meats and fish
(avoid store-bought marinades and coatings)
...olive oil or grapeseed oil
...fresh water tea


Gluten sensitivity, intolerance, and Celiac Disease require a special diet.

Unless you have a specific allergy (e.g. corn in the case of cadidiasis, etc.) the following may be "safe eats."

Make sure though the check for possible contamination with wheat or other gluten-grains during transport and processing...

  • adzuki beans

  • alfalfa

  • algae

  • almond

  • amaranth

  • arrowroot

  • artichokes

  • buckwheat

  • sweet chestnut flour

  • chickpeas

  • corn

  • corn meal

  • corn flour

  • corn starch (but not modified starch)

  • corn syrup

  • flax

  • fruit

  • lentils

  • maize

  • millet

  • mung beans

  • nuts (but cashews may be drenched in wheat to avoid bleeding)

  • peas

  • pea flour

  • potatoes

  • potato flour

  • psyllium

  • quinoa

  • rape

  • rice

  • rice flour

  • seaweed

  • sesame seed

  • sorghum flour

  • soy

  • soybean

  • sunflower seed

  • tapioca

  • tapioca flour

  • teff flour

  • wild rice

  • whey

  • yam flour

By appointment, Rivkah Roth DO DNM® DAc DTCM is available for consults and treatments at the Natural Medicine Centre or for long-distance consults via telephone or Skype.


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