Gluten Free Dietitian Nashville Tennessee

I wanted to make a quick post about a gluten free dietitian in Nashville, Tennessee that we met yesterday. Her name is Kristen Pardue and she is a Registered Dietitian. After searching for someone in the Nashville area to help us with making food and supplement selection, we found her and make an appointment. She was very accommodating with our schedule and after finding out that she has a gluten sensitivity and follows a strict gluten free diet herself, our confidence that we found the right person was even higher.

Due to being in the gluten free lifestyle for over two years we were able to tell that she knew what she was talking about right away. She took time to learn about my wife’s eating habits, medical issues and what we were trying to accomplish by hiring her. Because she is gluten free, she was able to show us what supplements were necessary to maintain proper vitamin levels and describe why each one is necessary along with the proper doses to take each day. My confidence was boosted even more when she went to her own cabinets and displayed the actual supplements that she was recommending. We had met with one other so called gluten free dietitian who seem to just wanted to sell us her brand of supplements which she knew nothing about. Kristen was not selling anything and knew a lot about what she herself was taking.gluten free dietitian

During the meeting, Kristen prepared a set of short term goals to adjust eating habits and even offered to prepare a menu plan if necessary. I feel that making the changes that she suggested will help increase and maintain nutrition levels and make our walk along the celiac road a little easier to handle. I would suggest that anyone needing her services contact her to see if she can help. You can look her up on Facebook or go to her website,

Nexvax2 To Begin Phase Two Trials

ImmusanT, Inc., a biotechnology start up based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is testing a vaccine to desensitize celiac patients to gluten. It is called Nexvax2, and it has already passed Phase I clinical trials, which means that it is safe and tolerable to humans. Nexvax2 is slated to begin Phase II trials, which address efficacy, within the next year. Nexvax2 was developed by Nexpep Pty, Ltd., a company in Melbourne, Australia. It is based on their findings that only three peptides are responsible for eliciting the majority of the T cell response that goes on to destroy the intestines of celiac patients. HLA molecules function to present these toxic peptides to T cells; this presentation is what activates the T cells, instigating the inflammatory response. Thus, this vaccine relies on the HLA type. It is specific for celiacs with the HLA-DQ2 haplotype, accounting for about 90% of celiac patients.

Nexvax2 encompasses these three proprietary peptides, presenting them to T cells in the absence of a second, T-cell stimulatory signal. T cell recognition of the HLA-DQ2 bound toxic peptides thus occurs in a non-inflammatory environment, establishing tolerance to dietary gluten. This peptide based approach has been successful in generating tolerance in people with cat-sensitive asthma, and has not been used more broadly because it has been difficult to identify the correct toxic epitopes. Similar efforts are underway to discover and develop peptide-based therapeutic vaccines for other autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, Type-1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, but celiac disease is an ideal target for the technology because the HLA types that activate the inflammatory T cells in celiac disease are so well defined.

The vaccine consists of a weekly or monthly injection, and would allow those with celiac disease to resume eating “normal” levels of gluten without suffering adverse effects. Other therapies that have proposed to treat celiac disease, such as those promoted by the companies Alva, Alba, and Chemocentryx, did not aim to replace the gluten free diet; they allowed only small, intermittent exposure to gluten. During the Phase I trial of Nexvax2, some people who got the injections containing the highest doses of the toxic peptides suffered gastrointestinal distress; they thus inadvertently acted as a positive control, indicating that the peptides administered are in fact the correct ones. ImmusanT is also partnering with INOVA Diagnostics to use reactivity to these peptides as a diagnostic test both for celiac disease and for those celiac patients who might be good candidates for the Nexvax2 vaccine – i.e. those 90% who are HLA-DQ2 rather than those who are HLA-DQ8.


Gluten Free Food Labeling Summit - Support Gluten-Free Food Labeling

In 2007, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) tasked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to finalize standards for gluten-free labeling. Four years later, the FDA has failed to fulfill that mandate. To the millions of Americans who eat gluten-free food, this inaction is a big deal.

To draw attention to the FDA’s inaction, and to galvanize the burgeoning gluten-free community, leading members of this community will host Capitol Hill legislators, noted celiac disease researchers, gluten-free community leaders and food corporations to the first Gluten Free Food Labeling Summit, in Washington, D.C. on May 4th, 2011. Coinciding with the newly recognized National Celiac Awareness Month, the event will also feature the world’s largest gluten-free cake – symbolizing the big deal that clear, accurate, reliable labeling plays in the lives of people dependent on labeling for their health.

Allergen Labeling – Whole Foods Market

I am wondering if anyone else has experienced problems with the labeling at Whole Foods Market. As I write this my spouse is in the middle of the worst gluten attack that she has had in a very long time. We stopped at Whole Foods Market and bought one back of gluten free groceries, costing about $80. Maybe we have become too complacent with the new “CONTAINS” labels. She picked up an order of fresh sushi and scanned the label which had a “contains” statement. Soy and Fish were the two allergen items listed. I too looked at the label and gave my ok. Steak and sushi was a good meal, until about 2 hours later.

When she became violently sick, I started checking  all the labels again. There it was, in the fine print in the middle of the sushi label, “wheat” (as an ingredient of soy sauce). I know that it is our responsibility to read the entire label and wheat was listed.

BUT, I feel that if a product is going to have a contains statement and wheat, which is one of the main listed allergens according to the FDA, is in the product, it should be listed in the contains statement. I feel that the intent of the labeling regulations are to make the reader of the label quickly aware if the food contains one of the 12 main allergens, so why not put it there?

I have not had a chance to discuss this with the grocer yet but I plan to. I will post their response here. Any thoughts?

What Is Celiac Disease?

What is Celiac Disease?

Explaining what Celiac Disease is has become second nature to most of us who deal with it on a daily basis but it occurred to me that some people reading this blog might not know the basics. So here it is:

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found mainly in foods but may also be found in everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and lip balms.

When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging or destroying villi—the tiny, finger-like protrusions lining the small intestine. Villi normally allow nutrients from food to be absorbed through the walls of the small intestine into the bloodstream. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished, no matter how much food one eats.

Celiac disease is both a disease of malabsorption—meaning nutrients are not absorbed properly—and an abnormal immune reaction to gluten. Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue, and gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Celiac disease is genetic, meaning it runs in families. Sometimes the disease is triggered—or becomes active for the first time—after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or severe emotional stress.

How Common is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease affects people in all parts of the world. Originally thought to be a rare childhood syndrome, celiac disease is now known to be a common genetic disorder. More than 2 million people in the United States have the disease, or about 1 in 133 people. Among people who have a first-degree relative—a parent, sibling, or child—diagnosed with celiac disease, as many as 1 in 22 people may have the disease.

Celiac disease is also more common among people with other genetic disorders including Down syndrome and Turner syndrome, a condition that affects girls’ development.

How is Celiac Disease Treated?

The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Doctors may ask a newly diagnosed person to work with a dietitian on a gluten-free diet plan. A dietitian is a health care professional who specializes in food and nutrition. Someone with celiac disease can learn from a dietitian how to read ingredient lists and identify foods that contain gluten in order to make informed decisions at the grocery store and when eating out.

For most people, following this diet will stop symptoms, heal existing intestinal damage, and prevent further damage. Improvement begins within days of starting the diet. The small intestine usually heals in 3 to 6 months in children but may take several years in adults. A healed intestine means a person now has villi that can absorb nutrients from food into the bloodstream.

To stay well, people with celiac disease must avoid gluten for the rest of their lives. Eating even a small amount of gluten can damage the small intestine. The damage will occur in anyone with the disease, including people without noticeable symptoms. Depending on a person’s age at diagnosis, some problems will not improve, such as short stature and dental enamel defects.

Some people with celiac disease show no improvement on the gluten-free diet. The most common reason for poor response to the diet is that small amounts of gluten are still being consumed. Hidden sources of gluten include additives such as modified food starch, preservatives, and stabilizers made with wheat. And because many corn and rice products are produced in factories that also manufacture wheat products, they can be contaminated with wheat gluten.

Rarely, the intestinal injury will continue despite a strictly gluten-free diet. People with this condition, known as refractory celiac disease, have severely damaged intestines that cannot heal. Because their intestines are not absorbing enough nutrients, they may need to receive nutrients directly into their bloodstream through a vein, or intravenously. Researchers are evaluating drug treatments for refractory celiac disease.

Hope this helps for those that are new to this…..


Just A Thought…

Yesterday’s history……
Tomorrow’s a mystery…….
It’s all what you do in the moment baby…….