Don’t Drink the Kool-Aid

I have a really twisted commercial in my head. There are a bunch of kids studying intently, when one of them looks up and says, “Man, I am super focused…” Cue the big red Kool-Aid man. He busts through the wall (awesome commercial back in the day) and starts doling out big glasses of red dye and sugar.


Next scene: The kids throwing airplanes, yelling over each other, and running around the room like they are on fire. Ludicrous right? We won’t be seeing that commercial, but basically, that is what’s happening with our kids when they eat and drink foods containing red dye and other artificial food colors (AFC’s).  

I hate to be such a Debbie Downer! “Let kids be kids!” you might say. “Are you saying the Muscle Glow 2000 my kid is drinking after soccer is affecting his behavior?” Yes. It is. The studies are there to back me up. This quote is from an article in 2014: “Artificial food colors (AFCs) are widely used to color foods and beverages. The amount of AFCs the Food and Drug Administration has certified over the years has increased more than 5-fold since 1950 (12 mg/capita/day) to 2012 (68 mg/capita/day). In the past 38 years, there have been studies of adverse behavioral reactions such as hyperactivity in children to double-blind challenges with AFCs. Studies that used 50 mg or more of AFCs as the challenge showed a greater negative effect on more children than those which used less.”

“Greater negative effect” is the way the scientific community has to say it. The way it presents in the home, the classroom, and in my office has shown more far-reaching effects than this study will ever be able to convey. Dyes equal Chaos, whether they cause your kid’s brain to turn off so that they can’t respond to their own name (my daughter), or it ramps them up so much, they are shaky and irrationally angry (my son).

The good news is that AFCs and preservatives are some of the easier things to eliminate from our diet. Simply start by reading food labels. I had my kids read them to me in the store and in the end, made the “Don’t ask for anything that you see if it has colors because the answer will be ‘no’” rule. When they shout out for Fruit Loops and Swedish fish, you can just say, “What’s our rule?” They may pout, but that’s what kids do, then they get over it. 

Many of the alternatives offered to parents with children who present with symptoms of ADD and ADHD are detrimental to the child. Often, meds turn him/her into a zombie while they are active, then when it wears off for the day, it’s like a switch flipped and they are suddenly acting out seemingly with more frustration than before. 

Parental guidance in this can be the difference between a 200 dollar plus amphetamine a month versus having to say “no” to Nuke’m Neon Red Fizzy soda. The side effects with amphetamines often include loss of appetite with stomach irritation, disturbed sleep patterns, as well as loss of creativity. Suffice it to say, it’s much better if you can avoid these drugs.    

Some kids have to have medication and it can be a life-changer, but the majority of kids in my practice were treated without these stimulant medications and did just fine. I treated the patients with things that helped with dopamine production, like Rhodiola Rosea and DopaPlus. As well as things to help calm the brain like CogniMag and Lithium Orotate and L-Theanine

Keep in mind, supplements alone do not carry the impact that lifestyle change, like getting rid of AFCs does. I could be the poster child for ADD, (Bless my Mama’s heart. She refused to give me medication.) and I have survived to the ripe old age of 49 with a medical degree behind my name and many accomplishments to show for it.  

Was it easy? Not always. As an adult, I’ve had to remove things that inflame the brain, like AFC’s, gluten, dairy, and ultra-processed food. This has definitely changed my focus, my temper, my gut, and my ability to organize my thoughts in order to accomplish all of the things I want to do. I’ve had to work on my sleep and exercise routines. These changes have affected my entire family in all the best ways. The hard choices are not so hard to make once we experience feeling well, with or without medications. I will take life “without,” thank you.

Nathan Morris, MD

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2014 Feb;53(2):133-40

2 Children under treatment with MPH showed a lower global Creative Index and lower scores on Fluency, Originality and Creative Strengths, compared to when not under treatment”  Psicothema. 2016;28(1):20-5

Surviving or Thriving the Holidays?

“Surviving Holidays and Social Outings” is always a large concern for patients working to place symptoms of Autism and chronic conditions into remission. But is that all we want to do? Merely survive? With a little planning and some modified expectations, the holidays, and social outings can be enjoyable for every member of the family, including those with the diagnosis.

It’s important to discuss what is important to each family member, and make a plan. A plan will help replace traditional ingredients that later will cause symptoms to flare. A plan will help extended family members understand how much this mean to you, which will reduce their feelings of being hurt or offended.

The internet is flooded with recipes that provide satisfying substitutions for most traditional foods. Google Search words such as: Paleo Auto Immune Thanksgiving, Paleo Thanksgiving, SCD Thanksgiving, provide ample ideas. Starting the planning process now will not only provide food you can eat, but also reduce “holiday stress.”

Here are some suggestions to have the best Holiday Season yet:

Prepare in advance.
Talk with your extended family or friends and identify what is being served for the holiday. Feel confident to ask permission to bring your own version or something different to share with family and friends. When you are kind and Matter of Fact about living this lifestyle, more people will be intrigued than insulted. Chances are they or someone they know are struggling with digestion issues and poor health.

Sugar is a large villain, which compromises your efforts. Bring some dark chocolate to satiate your sweet tooth and help you feel satisfied in order to by-pass the dessert table. Another great way to reduce the carbohydrates is with crust-less pies or with pumpkin mouse. There are many dairy free versions of mousse, which use ingredients such as: avocado, cacao powder, maple syrup or honey, and coconut milk.

Helpful Supplements
In the event you do eat food which creates a flare, talk with Dr. Morris ahead of time about which supplements are best for you to help break down and digest the high allergen proteins more quickly such as Gluten/Dairy Digest Enzyme, L-Glutamine, or Inositol powder.

Talk with Dr. Morris about taking extra magnesium to make up for any that alcohol indulgence will deplete further from your body.

Abundance vs. Scarcity
A large piece to healing is to train the mind to look for abundance rather than scarcity. To look at what we can do rather than staring all the seemingly insurmountable obstacles. To look at what our condition is teaching us rather than what it is taking away. To look at all the foods we can eat rather than perseverating on the foods which will cause us to react/regress. Read more about Mindful Eating, and our Mind Concept Piece to include in your Care Plan.

Cook ahead of time
Try the recipes, found on the internet or in a cookbook, ahead of time. Print out the recipes and take notes. Make your own binder of recipes to use for future holidays. A little bit of planning goes a long way to feeling pleased with your food options. has a fantastic library of recipes.

Flour Alternatives
With so many patients becoming sensitive to Coconut and Almond there is the option of Cassava Flour. Cassava is gluten, grain and nut-free, as well as vegan, vegetarian and Paleo. Since cassava is a high in starch it could mean an insulin spike for you! This means use in moderation particularly if you’re following a low carbohydrate, low-sugar or Paleo-based diet. To reduce the amount of grains, a perfect place to skip the carbohydrates is the stuffing. Try a ground pork, mushrooms, green peppers, apples or pears or another version that does not require GF bread.

Translation: don’t eat cassava flour recipes at every meal! As always, moderation is key.

A Well-Stocked Baking Cabinet
Having a well-stocked baking cabinet helps to organize the ingredients, in one cabinet, to minimize the amount of time to bake your deserts/rolls for the holidays.

Use Ghee or Duck Fat or Avocado Oil to rub on the bird rather than butter. Melt Coconut Oil and Ghee together. Place in glass container and use on your GF rolls rather than butter. Use Ghee or Duck Fat for your gravy.

If your kids are the ones recovering from a chronic condition/developmental delay, it’s best if all family members adhere to the nutritional recommendations of his/her care plan. Parents are the role models and lead the family toward healing through their actions more than by their words. If you need to eat high allergen foods, then do so once the kids are in bed and there is no way for them to see you ‘sneaking’.

Eating out this holiday season? Feel confident to phone ahead and review the menu with the staff. Restaurants are becoming more accommodating to whole food nutrition and substituting out high allergen ingredients such as gluten and dairy. Taking a few minutes to explore what you can eat off the menu will eliminate the awkward feeling of asking a million questions at the celebration.

Ultimately, the holidays are for celebrating our relationships with the loved ones in our lives. Being together, communicating and sharing our experiences in life, even the burdens such as having to watch what we eat, allows those people we don’t see often to know us better.

We should never have to be ashamed that we are doing the best we can to take care of ourselves. Being matter of fact and kind enough to offer to bring safe food allows us to partake in the fun without the worries of exposure and subsequent reactions.

Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season from the Staff at Good Medicine!!

Kara Ware is Good Medicine’s Clinical Coordinator and Functional Medicine Health Coach. She also provides online courses and coaching for families living with Autism.

Stages of Change

Happy New Year! January came and went quickly!
Does the New Year have you feeling inspired more than ever to make change? We all know we want to exercise more, eat more whole foods, and feel better! But HOW do we make the required lifestyle changes?
Let’s first review The Stages of Change. If you know where you currently are, it will help you move more easily toward where you want to go.


  1. Precontemplation: Everybody thinks you have a problem but you. The best example is the wife dragging her husband to the doctors because of her concerns for his health
  2. Contemplation: You are aware you have a problem, but feel it’s really hard to change. Depression is at an all-time high because you know you should change but feel like you can’t. It’s not the right time with Valentine’s Day & Birthday’s this month plus fear of change are common barriers. You feel stuck.
  3. Preparation: You haven’t made changes yet but have made some of the initial steps. You have been thinking more about what you want and why. You have been looking at different foods in the grocery store. You’ve been reading and preparing.
  4. Action: You have started making the change you have desired to make. You are no longer afraid to give up old patterns and you move right into the action.
  5. Maintenance: You have achieved your goal. Your feel stable with this change in your life and it is now a part of you. It’s time to circle back to precontemplation and start the process over to layer in the next piece of your care plan.



Stages of change


Change happens in community, not in isolation. If our friends and families are eating toxic food then we are 50% more likely to repeat those same patterns. Families work together to identify what do they want and what are some small changes they can make together. Our homes are the headquarters for our healing. Everyone in the home gets on board with the nutrition and lifestyle required to heal the one with the diagnosis. This creates a United Team; which makes social situations much easier to navigate. When we feel good and confident about our choices and when we practice being Matter of Fact that we are choosing rather than acting as though we are being deprived our friends interests may be peaked. Chances are they too are living with a chronic condition. Read HERE for some more social strategies.


Change: to cause to be different. Doing something different can be uncomfortable, even frightening. Fear of change is a big issue. This makes us stay with what we know even if we are unhappy. But note: staying the same and not making any decision to change are still decisions. A good tool is to use the Change Assessment Tool. What are the pros to remaining the same; what are the cons? What are the pros to changing, what are the cons?


Your brain actually wires itself and forms neuronal connections based on what you do over and over in your life. Vegging out in front of the TV. Having a sugar fix. Sipping soda. Fixing a cocktail to unwind after work. Smoking cigarettes. Biting your fingernails. These activities literally become wired into your brain.  Your brain is a self-reinforcing feedback loop. We are creatures of habit. Over time, patterns evolve which determine your brain’s form and function. What you do, experience, think, hope, and imagine physically changes your brain.You may have the desire to change but you first have to dissolve the old tracking so the pattern is no longer automatic and unconscious. How? Read more here.


When we start this road to heal the root cause of our symptom sets; it’s something we will start and only getter better at living the solution. It’s not something we try for a few months and then give up because we don’t see the results we are seeking. You must identify small steps, which are reasonable, and which interest you. Overtime, these small steps will accumulate into big change. Overhauling our lives and then growing exhausted and more stressed from the drastic change is counter intuitive to healing. Look for our next post on care plans.


There is no one thing that you can do to improve any one symptom. These foundation pieces to a Functional Medicine Care Plan must be priority. This foundation is how we make the medical interventions provide results. There is no silver bullet. Results come from establishing a strong foundation. Next you continue layering pieces to work in combination to maximize the medical piece. Once you place something into your plan you maintain it just like pouring the footers of a home’s foundation. What small things can you do to improve the following foundation pieces?

  • Sleep and Relaxation
  • Exercise & Movement
  • Nutrition & Hydration
  • Stress and Resilience (identify stressors and areas where they have been successful in the past so to tap into strengths)
  • Relationships and Networks

Kara Ware is Good Medicine’s Clinical Coordinator and Functional Medicine Health Coach. She also provides online courses and coaching for families living with Autism. You can read more here.

The Mind Piece

These 4 Key Concepts along with other gratitude practices will be a leading force in restoring your health and freedom. These Key Concepts, or perhaps ones you create, will help you no longer rely on will-power alone. By practicing these key concepts, and other positive psychology tools,  you will heal self-sabotaging, destructive thought patterns. This is how we create successful and sustainable behavior change.


We believe Autism and Chronic Conditions are a tap on the shoulder to learn how to live a life to best support our bodies to function more optimally. Once we begin to accept we are exactly where we are meant to be, doing exactly what we have been called to do, the anger can begin to subside. Choosing gratefulness in place of anger helps to embrace what is being gifted to us by our healing journey, rather than focusing on all that may be taken away. This concept can help to heal past traumas, grief, and anger, all of which contribute to the development of chronic conditions and can sabotage our efforts to heal. In order to heal, our thoughts must be aligned with our end goal of improving wellness to reclaim our freedom. “Our thoughts create our words, our words create our actions, our actions create our habits, our habits create our reality.” Ghandi  When we think about what we are thankful for and talk about what we are doing to improve our wellness and reclaim our freedom, more opportunities seem to present themselves. This is how we maximize our healing experience. It is common for patients’ lives to become more fulfilling and happy because of life lessons learned and past traumas healed from living the solution to place symptoms of Autism and Chronic Conditions into Remission.


When we become aware of our thoughts and our words, we choose actions which create an Atmosphere of Healing.  Rather than talking about the stress and despair associated with Autism, and Chronic Conditions, we actively practice talking with our children and spouse about what we want, what we are presently working to layer into our care plan, and what we are thinking to layer next. This will include everyone in co-creating this atmosphere, in and outside of the home. Everyone in the family is living the solution. Many family members will have similar symptoms as the one with the diagnosis, perhaps to a less severe degree however, everyone will benefit from this lifestyle. When everyone is included in the atmosphere of healing, the family can focus on the solution rather than constantly staring at the problem. The home becomes the headquarters for healing. The home is our safe haven where we protect our air and water quality and the foods we have available. When we constantly stare at the problem, we only get more evidence of that problem. What we focus on grows. Recognizing when we have depressing thoughts and replacing those thoughts by answering the question “What Can I Do right now?” and by practicing other positive psychology tools, we can steer ourselves in the direction of creating an atmosphere of healing.


A great idea for families is to have weekly Family Meetings to determine what everyone CAN DO to adopt this lifestyle and to contribute to the Atmosphere of Healing. When we include our kids in our decision-making process it empowers them as part of the solution. This can even be done around the dinner table. Everyone needs to be involved, even if your child seems like they can not understand the conversation, I can bet they understand more than we give them credit.  The entire family is affected by the diagnosis, therefore, everyone must be a part of the solution. What Can I DO helps to train our minds to shift from the depressed chain of thoughts commonly associated with Autism, and  chronic conditions to identifying what is reasonable to do so we can build upon our success. Some days, we will be able to do more than others. However, the more we identify what we can do and act upon it, and become consistent, the more confidence, motivation determination, and conviction we will feel.  This is when the behaviors and symptoms stop being the focus and stop ruling our world. This is how we own our own healing.


Friends, Co-Workers and Extended Family can challenge a health care plan which is different than the “standard of care.” When you are in social settings, it’s important to be Matter of Fact that you are CHOOSING to eat foods which are not high allergen foods. You CHOOSE to remove as much burden from your body as you can to help it to heal. There is no reason to argue with others who feel Gluten Free is a fad or a waste of time. Being Matter of Fact about your conscious choices will help you to build confidence and to stay on board even in social settings. Chances are you could be helping save someone else’s life leading by example.
Care Plan Appointments are fantastic ways to learn more about positive psychology tools. These tools help us to better understand the philosophy of healing. We can be eating all the right foods, and taking all the supplements but may never experience improved wellness or regain our freedom. Healing is much more than nutrition and supplements.

Call today to learn if Care Plan Appointments are a good fit for you and your family. 513-273-9944.

Kara Ware is Good Medicine’s Clinical Coordinator and Functional Medicine Health Coach. She also provides online courses and coaching for families living with Autism. You can read more here.

Here is to “Silly Acting” Disease!

Here is to “Silly Acting” Disease!

There is a local doctor who often rides my patients for being Gluten Free, which they are with my encouragement, so they can effectively treat diseases from Autism to Arthritis. He is making fun of the fact that the majority of the medical establishment really only recognizes Celiac Disease as a reason to stop gluten in one’s diet and so being gluten-free without this diagnosis was to have “Silly Acting” Disease. Pretty witty right? I thought so and laughed, after my ego driven indignation got out of the way.

Well in honor of the saying “Just cause you don’t believe it, don’t make it so,” here is the link to the British Medical Journal article on the separate disease process of Gluten Sensitivity and how it is a wholly different inflammation process and affects many more people than Celiac Disease.…/e…/2016/07/21/gutjnl-2016-311964.full

There, my indignant ego is much better, thank you!

Dr. Nathan Morris, MD

The Truth About Autism Recovery

The Truth About Autism Recovery

Recovery or Remission?

It is true; Children are emerging from this once thought dead end diagnosis. Autism is no longer a mystery. We understand the complex biological and cellular dysfunctions resulting in the symptoms referred to as Autism.

In the face of environmental exposure and toxicity, two processes get started in the human body– a chronic inflammatory response, and oxidative stress. These processes, when that human body cannot adequately address them, further manifest as compromised methylation pathways, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, Th1/Th2 immune imbalance and immune dysfunction, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Children living with AD/HD, ADD, Asthma and Allergies all have similar root causes resulting in the symptoms of each diagnosis.

When these root causes (underlying medical conditions) are acknowledged and addressed, the symptoms of AD/HD, Asthma and Allergies and the behaviors and developmental delays referred to as Autism improve significantly.

Families have many more options today rather than learning to manage their children’s behaviors. Our approach is different than the traditional standard of care such as ABA. ABA focuses on correcting the behavior; we strive to heal the underlying medical conditions creating the behaviors.  When children feel better, they behave better and therefore, their therapies are more productive.

Dr. Nathan Morris, MD and Kara Badgley, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, each have spent the past 11 years saving their families from Autism. Over time, they have learned their children have not recovered but more correctly, their children’s  Autism is in Remission.

The Reality

It has taken both Dr. Morris and Kara Badgley more than a decade to heal their children’s bodies from the underlying medical conditions. Every system in these children’s bodies are burdened; it takes time to experience improvement. Recovery insinuates their is a finish line; however Dr. Morris and Kara Badgley both understand they will always need to support their children’s bodies to keep their symptoms in remission.

Regressions are part of the healing journey. Exposure to high inflammatory foods, or environmental triggers such as mold, or high stress levels can create a surge of inflammation; which the child can not regulate. Regressions can happen even when the child is said to be recovered. This is exactly why we choose the word Autism Remission in comparison to Autism Recovery.

Regression is not always a bad thing. We are obsessed with progress; we want this Autism to just go away. Sometimes Regression can sometimes be better explained as Rebuilding. When we are asking the child’s body to perform more efficiently, although this is healthier, and in the long run will create a strong foundation for him/her to emerge, it is uncomfortable and therefore the child regresses for a time. Time and time again we see these “Rebuilding” Phases lead to improved functioning, communication and sleep. If a “Rebuilding” phase goes on for longer than a few weeks then it’s recommended either to see how to better support the methylation and detox pathway or to scale back on the dosage of the most recent supplement/prescription most recently introduced.


To become a patient of Dr. Morris’  Become A Member


Remission of your child’s Autism Symptoms  only comes when the parents lead by example. The healing of the family is a shared journey with the child. This life empowers the entire family to heal; which creates sustainable change to experience autism remission. Autism Remission, is a community outreach program offered in communities beginning Spring 2018. Coaching sessions are also available with Kara Badgley. Online scheduling to be available soon.
Conscious Conception: Family Steps to Baby Planning.

The first steps to a healthy family happens before your baby is born. Pre-Natal planning starts with you; your health and your environment.

Preparing your own body prior to conception allows you to optimize your fertility plus your baby’s development& health.  Conscious Conception is a program for couples to be intentional about their family’s future through functional medicine principles


Ultimately we all have to find our own way; but these truths will be universal for any journey parents take to save their family.

    1. Make a plan. Autism Remission outreach program helps families to create, organize, budget, document and track their care plan. Success comes from layering interventions to work in combination. A plan helps to layer well timed interventions based on each families current and unique circumstances.
    2. Your child will mirror your habits. If you want your child to do anything, you first have to lead by example. You HAVE TO LIVE THE SOLUTION.
    3. No one said this life will be easy. No one is spared from trials and tribulations. Learning to be thankful in times of misery is a key to self-actualization. Practicing Mind Body Techniques such as deep breathing, yoga & meditation help us to shift into the Parasympathetic Nervous System. It is from this state that we no longer react to the chaos but can hear the guidance we all are praying for…
    4. Begin to think about long term planning rather than short term gain. A journey of placing symptoms into remission is not something you try. It’s something you become. Autism never goes away. Even when you are in remission, there is chance for regression.
    5. A little bit of food dye, gluten, casein and other high allergen & artificial foods and preservatives does hurt. A lot.
    6. There is no cure. There is no one thing, no one silver bullet, that will make everything better. It’s going to be intelligently timing, and layering interventions to work in combination for the rest of time. And yes, THE BASICS ARE ABSOLUTELY REQUIRED.
    7. You are not alone
    8. Your child knows everything you are saying. Please stop talking about how terrible his/her behavior is or how much you suffer in front of him/her. Likewise, they understand way more than we give them credit. Explain what you are doing and why; educate them also as you layer pieces into your care plan.
    9. What you do right now: the thoughts, the words, the actions which create your habits, which create you character, which create your destiny -right now is what counts. Surfacing from Autism is an accumulation of choices every minute of every day that YOU choose (you are in charge, not your child). These choices ultimately take you toward your goal. Focus on what you can do rather than attaching to all the odds stacked against you. (See #4)
    10. Miracles happen. If you choose to show up.

You may also like:
Sleeping on AD/HD
The Missing Element
Cut Autism by 300%

About the Author:
Kara Badgley is the Clinical Coordinator & Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach at Good Medicine. She has been a health coach since 2002. For the past 4 years Kara has worked in the clinical setting with families living with Autism. She co-creates personalized care plans with families based on what they are ready to do. Her passion is to meet a family where they are at in their current circumstances and identify the next reasonable steps, and help the families to budget, organize, document and manage their care plans to live the solution. She loves most when families, who previously had lost all hope; are now enjoying their freedom and their families once again.

To hear more about Kara’s journey through Autism and her insight on How to Live the Life of Recovery click Here.

Good Medicine respects families who celebrate their children’s Autism. Good Medicine works with families whose children are clearly struggling and who are clearly in pain; therefore, the family is in pain.

Kara Ware is Good Medicine’s Clinical Coordinator and Functional Medicine Health Coach. She also provides online courses and coaching for families living with Autism. You can read more here.

Things You Must Know About Gluten Sensitivity

Things You Must Know About Gluten Sensitivity

More and more “gluten free” is showing up in our food markets, advertising and in daily conversation. This could easily be written off as another food fad much like low fat, low carb, and numerous other recycled food crazes. We may have someone we know that is trying to convince us that “gluten free” is the lifestyle “you just have to try.” Our doctors often tell us that if you do not have celiac disease there is no need to subscribe to this trend and that it is too radical to remove gluten from the diet. So why is this “fad” gaining momentum?

  1. This is not a fad.
    Gluten free is a lifestyle change and the reason for the momentum is because it works for numerous medical conditions and not just gut-based symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and heartburn. In my practice, I recommend that most patients eliminate gluten immediately. Why?
    Simply because 80-90% of my patient population responds to this therapy. Patients with seizures, migraines, anxiety, depression, attention deficit disorder, multiple types of arthritis, fatigue and many other non- gastrointestinal related conditions are feeling better than they ever have before. First, let’s define gluten. Gluten is the protein portion of the wheat kernel. It is also the hardest protein to digest and process.Gluten now makes up about 26% of the kernel compared to 3% just 30 years ago, due to the hybridization of wheat. So, when you eat two slices of bread today, it yields about the same gluten equivalent as 17 slices did back in 1980. Gluten is also found in barley, rye, spelt and often in oats due to cross contamination from wheat in harvesting and processing. It is also found in numerous other processed foods.
  2. Gluten sensitivity is not celiac disease.
    The gluten sensitivity disease classification is brand new, although it has been a term utilized by functional medicine practitioners for years. Gluten sensitivity as a “medical diagnosis” has just appeared in the medical literature as of March 2011 and that article strongly advocates that gluten sensitivity is a separate disease from celiac.Celiac disease is mainly oriented to small intestine destruction/dysfunction. This is present in about 1% of the population and increasing. Celiac disease is the only autoimmune disease of the small intestine completely initiated by a food protein – gluten. Celiac disease destroys the villi (the absorption “fingers” of the small intestine) resulting in poor absorption of food and nutrients. Gluten sensitivity, unlike celiac disease, is not an autoimmune disease, but rather it is a
    generalized immune reaction. This is much like the flu virus, where symptoms present because of the bodies response to the irritant.
    In the case of gluten sensitivity, it is gluten, and not the flu virus you are reacting to, but with a lot of similar symptoms such as joint pain, headache, fatigue, brain fog etc which all starts in the small intestine where 60-70% of your immune tissue resides.
  3. Gluten sensitivity is not diagnosed with blood tests but rather a trial of elimination of gluten from your diet for at least 4-6 weeks.
    Celiac disease can be diagnosed with blood tests or the gold standard, intestinal biopsy, but even negative test results do not rule it out. Celiac disease, however, is still easier to diagnose and confirm than gluten sensitivity. The test for gluten sensitivity is this: if your symptoms get better when you avoid gluten, then you are sensitive.It takes about a 4-6 week trial of being off gluten and then reintroducing it to see if you are sensitive. If symptoms go away with removing it and then reappear with reintroducing gluten after 4-6 weeks, viola you are gluten sensitive. There are stool tests and saliva test for this from specialty labs but they are still
    considered experimental. Gluten sensitivity affects about 10% of the population, but I would say from clinical experience, the more subtle presentations of this disease make this percentage much higher. Under this conservative percentage, it means 30 million Americans are gluten sensitive.
  4. Gluten sensitivity is not an allergy to wheat.
    Wheat allergy is different than gluten sensitivity. Wheat allergy causes immediate symptoms, as it is a histamine driven reaction, much like other food allergies or bee stings, which cause quick onset of swelling, airway problems, rashes and redness. This reaction is much like a peanut allergy.
    In gluten sensitivity it is a more delayed response driven by a different immune pathway in the small intestine. When the small intestine is inflamed by gluten then the whole immune system is inflamed (Note: 99% of our immune response is due to our interaction with food in the small intestine.). When the immune system feels it is under attack, it sends out the signal to the body to defend itself. This defense to certain foods causes an overreaction of the immune system to normal stimuli such as dust, pollen, pet hair, etc. In my experience, this is where we get a lot allergy symptoms-runny nose, sinusitis, sneezing etc., although this is not “wheat allergy” technically.The same thing happens with imperfect areas of the body such as joints to name another. Our immune system then attacks that which is not “perfect” due to this up regulation of the immune system and a lot of arthritis sufferers joints are being assaulted because of what they eat. The same thing occurs with the brain as it is exquisitely sensitive to ramping up of immune function through cytokines (chemicals released by the immune system which can cause inflammation and regulation of other pathways) which are why you feel like crap when you have the flu.Depression and anxiety are severe in a lot of patients with gluten sensitivity due to the cytokines which block production of serotonin and other neurotransmitters which are essential in upregulation of mood. With the elimination of gluten and often dairy, many patients (myself included) have been freed from allergies, arthritis, and numerous other medical conditions due to overactive immune function.
  5. Gluten free is a lifestyle.
    When going gluten free you are choosing to eat a majority of whole foods. This is the same diet that prevents diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, just to name a few. Whole foods are best described as foods that are not processed. Processed foods are those that are manually changed from their original structure. This is done by grinding, adding sugar, preservatives and dyes.

BONUS: Gluten free grocery tips:

Shop on the outside of the grocery store and avoid the middle.

When shopping in the middle, read every label and choose products with 5 ingredients or less in them (most of these should be spices or things that you can pronounce). “If you can’t read it, don’t eat it!”

You should try not to spend hard earned money on gluten free items such as bread, cookies, and pasta. These foods as a whole have little to 0 nutritional value. They are still processed and/or refined gluten free grain products.

Google the Internet for ingredient and product lists to help you avoid gluten. and are good places to start.

Dr. Nathan Morris, MD

Sleeping on ADD and ADHD

The diagnosis’ of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is skyrocketing among primary care physicians.
Although I am not the first one to get on my soapbox and holler about dietary modifications, supplementing for deficiencies, and lifestyle changes, I have discovered, through more research and even self experimentation, yet another common thread among these wonderful, complex children: Sleep disorders.
According to the data, 25-50% of Attention Deficit Disorder is sleep related. When I ask a parent, “How does he/she sleep?” I will usually get an immediate response because they have been dealing with these issues for years.

  • The child sleeps 12 hours per night, yet they are fatigued all day.
  • The child wakes up constantly.
  • The child has problems falling asleep.
  • The child wets the bed.
  • The child does not dream regularly, and if he does, he has night terrors.

These are the typical things I hear in the office, and as I’ve learned, they are many times a result of sleep and airway problems. These kids cannot get enough oxygen because many of them have mouths/airways that are not allowing them to breathe properly, therefore, both the quantity and the quality of their sleep suffers.
It is easy to see things like dark circles and drowsiness in these kids, but there are multiple things that can produce those symptoms, so I’ve had some training recently from dentists and orthodontists who are concentrating on airway problems and sleep apnea to identify some physical factors that will allow for proper diagnosis.

These physical characteristics include:

  • The child has poor posture with rounded shoulders.
  • When looking at the child in profile, their head will jut forward so that the ears are in front of the shoulder instead of being lined up on top of of the shoulder.
  • The child may have crowded teeth, indicating narrowed facial structure, which does not allow the tongue to fit correctly in the mouth.

Problems with concentration, inability to settle down and relax, feeling the need for stressful physical activities in order to keep a higher heart rate, and snoring are all considered for objective diagnosis.

Sleep studies are helpful and seeing a dental sleep specialist is a good place to start.

I can say that almost all of the kids I see, whether they are on the autistic spectrum, have depression, or diagnoses such as oppositional defiant disorder, have a sleep issue plaguing them as well.

From what I’ve seen in my office, and judging from all of the research I’ve done, ADD and ADHD have never been caused by a Ritalin deficiency. If you are concerned on any level about your child’s sleep and/or sleep patterns, consider having them evaluated properly. You too can rest easier with more knowledge on your side. With that in mind I have included a link to look at another major cause of attention issues. Best 5 minute presentation I have seen on this subject
Another Hidden Cause of Attention issues