I had the pleasure to chat with author Tina Turbin the other day. She’s an author and campaigner and her main area of interest is in the treatment of celiac disease using dietary changes. Lowcarb and Paleo type diets could well make a good starting point for many.
MM: How did you get to know about paleo and what was it that attracted you to it in the first place?
TT: Okay for me those are two different questions so as far as the first question is concerned, I am celiac and I could not have gluten. There’s just no question about it.
TT: I’m a very sensitive celiac and also two of my three children have been diagnosed with celiac and one of them has the gene. You have to have the gene to even be able to have celiac. If you don’t have the gene you’ll never have celiac disease so for anybody without the gene – you know – all the better for them.
TT: It doesn’t mean you can’t be sensitive or have allergies or react to gluten but you will never have the autoimmune disease,
celiac disease. I had this after close to seven years of being misdiagnosed and once I was diagnosed I went into the field aggressively to
raise awareness as an advocate working with over 200 of the gluten free companies, many of the surgeons, the doctors, the research scientists at the university, the restaurants, the gluten free groups, the celiac groups, the various chapters around, radio shows, you name it I was out there full fledge because I’m a children author as well. So, I really wanted to make this known. There’s an issue here. There’s a real issue and I wanted to really make it known, I wanted to be supportive in raising awareness to getting people properly tested and have doctors know what those indicators are because they’re not taught that in the university well enough. If they’re taught it at all – it might be just a one day or half a day crash course you know, as part of their program over years of study. You know it’s just not right and over I felt that it needed more. So here I am out here promoting that the diet, working with all these people and I went on the standard gluten free diet and did I make improvements?
There’s no question about it but I was still not thriving healthwise and even though my kitchen had been a dedicated a gluten free kitchen – so I no longer had the toasters, the old pots and pans in fact, every-thing was thrown out and it was deep cleaned. Yet, I would still come home having
eaten and say “Gosh! Maybe that (meal) had some cross contami-nation in it and I’d look at the packages – and you know they had the gluten
free certification. But I was still reacting. The answer came from the fact that I had done a review and worked with Dr. Lefler who wrote a
book – which is phenomenal by the way – and in one of his chapters he ended up discussing refractory celiac disease or what you could call nonresponsive celiac.
So, once again I find myself doing my own homework… I was like okay, here are the various reasons of why somebody with celiac disease might
not be responding to this diet favorably so I called Dr. Lefler and I said you know I am not getting cross contamination, I’m out here on big fronts making big strikes but I feel like I’m kind of in a little corner all by myself and that I maybe one of these people who are not responding. I was basically told “you know Tina there’s many,many like you”.
So I started talking to people on my own and finding out that – I would say – one out of three people I was speaking to who are celiacs were in the same boat as me but they had never said anything. Those are my own statistics, one out of three people I was speaking to.
And as a result of that I started looking at what could it be. I narrowed it down to “I think I am still responding to grains”. Then what happened was that I was doing another review for a diet called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet which eliminate the grains, but does allow some legumes and does allow at some point of the healing some dairy. Well my husband was gone for a week and I thought well instead of just reviewing this – I’m going to put it to a test.
I spent a week off of all the grains, no dairy, (I also lack the enzymes to digest dairy which is very common for celiacs). If I do eat dairy I
know that I’m going to suffer the consequences – so that’s my choice.
So with the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, I went off the grains for that week. I really adhered to avoiding the dairy too -I didn’t even sneak little goat cheese here and there. The only thing that I did eat on day six, was lentils.
TT: So here I am by day four, and it was like the cloud had been lifted off. Though before I never felt bad – I just didn’t feel as good as I knew
I could feel. Even though I was very healthy and I was an athlete – until I started having children.
Anyway, it was a sort of epiphany for me and I’m going “my gosh what happened here?” You know, there’s something here which just
touched me and took me to a higher and a greater awareness of how good my body could feel. It was just a matter of deduction. As I had
eliminated the grains and still I did feel okay when I ate the lentils.
And there was no denying this.
After that, I got another ship load of products to test in my kitchen for gluten free companies.
So my team and I test them…
The next morning I’m back to the same old effects again. This food was affecting my body. I continued on like this for a year and I sort of ignored, it and slowly weaned myself off.
Now, my husband who is an avid athlete – really cared about what was going on with me and my daughter as she was having a very rough time. She wasn’t yet diagnosed and she had been in and out of the hospital for about a year.
So he started doing some research and at the same time I had many friends who were started getting into the paleo diet and at that point ‘paleo’ was a very very strict term. There was no paleo-ish you know. It was very – ‘you do it this way or you’re really not paleo’.
From my own research on it – I came in to understand that, this isn’t just a diet but there’s a scientific reason that makes sense of why these grains are not being digested by our human bodies and that made sense to me – that there’s science behind it – rather than it just being another diet of me ‘eliminating something’.
I could work better with it like that because I’m not a diet person. I’m not one of these people that go to nutritionists and end up with 15 bottles of something – I’ve never been one of those people. I’m somebody who wants to do something based on results. Lab results say a lot to me as far as making my hormones better.
There’s no denying blood and saliva tests you know.
MM: No that’s true.
TT: So that’s what I did… I went grain free and three months later I did my blood test and everything had improved.
Whereas before, I was getting worse and worse with osteoporosis and my teeth enamel and I’d get the tummy pain and so on… It all stopped!
My blood and urine test – for how much calcium your body is giving versus taking – showed for the first time in years that my body is building bone like crazy. It’s doing a metastasis, it’s just going crazy.
Everything else just skyrocketed; I mean there was no looking back.
This is just the initial part of the interview. You can read the rest of the interview and find out more about Tina by downloading Low Carb Mag here. It’s absolutely FREE!