Where did my flat tummy go?
Below is a case study from our book, “The Gluten Effect”. This patient had some very common complaints, but the common treatment she was receiving was having no effect. Did you used to have a flat stomach but can't seem to “find” it anymore? Gluten intolerance could very well be the underlying cause.
J.W had developed a big belly that she could not get rid of. She felt bloated all the time—and no matter how often she exercised or how closely she watched her caloric intake, her weight remained the same. She felt and looked four months pregnant.
A Successful 30-pound Weight Loss!
We diagnosed her with gluten sensitivity, and after being off gluten for several months, she went from a size 14 to a size 6, with a thirty-pound weight loss. She not only lost the weight, but it came off her problem areas first—her stomach and face.
She now had a flat belly, which she had never enjoyed before. J.W. also noted that her bloating was gone, and that she felt “clean” inside.
Lab tests revealed several infections, which were treated successfully, and that removed other chronic stressors from her system.
In J.W.'s case, the distribution of weight around the mid-region of the body was typical of excessive cortisol (a hormone) production with adrenal (your stress gland) exhaustion, secondary to a food sensitivity. Once gluten was removed, the stress on her body subsided, and a normal weight distribution returned.
Do You Have a “Spare Tire” or “Muffin Top”?
What we've discovered after working with patients for over 20 years is that much of that “tire” can be due to swelling of the small intestine from the inflammation caused by gluten and the adrenal fatigue ensues from malabsorption of nutrients.
You have about 23 feet of small intestine—with the surface area the size of a tennis court.
Look down at your abdomen. That's a lot of track to be laid down in a relatively small space.
Now imagine, that 23 feet is swollen, due to irritation created by a diet that doesn't suit your body, or an infection. Infections in the intestine are very common secondary to gluten intolerance. When it swells it has to go somewhere—welcome spare tire!
What's the Solution?
The solution is to discover the underlying cause of the swelling. Now I'm not against exercise, quite the contrary. But I can promise you that all the crunches in the world will not flatten a tummy that's swollen from a food intolerance or irritation from an untreated parasite or bacteria.
5 Things You Can Do
1. Discover if you're gluten intolerant for starters. There are tests available for this and remember we're talking about finding out if you're sensitive to gluten, not just if you have celiac disease.
2. If you already know that you're sensitive to gluten, then realize that you must be perfect about removing if from your diet. Being good “most of the time” is just not enough.
3. If you have not had a comprehensive stool analysis to check for the presence of infectious organisms, this really is something you should look into. It is rare that a gluten sensitive individual DOESN'T have some type of infection due to years of assault on the immune system from eating gluten.
4. The damage created by gluten in the intestines results in a condition known as a “leaky gut”. This is very common. Removing gluten from the diet is usually not enough to restore the integrity to the intestine. Such treatments as probiotics, herbs and other supplements may be needed to repair the lining of the gut to it's normal healthy state.
5. Get an idea of how your adrenal glands are functioning. Adrenal fatigue or exhaustion is quite common in our society. It is especially associated with malabsorption of nutrients and unstable blood sugar, which is definitely an effect created by gluten sensitivity.
The good news is that with some help from clinical nutrition, including dietary changes and lifestyle management, restoring that nice flat tummy is within reach—no surgery required!
Please let me know how I can assist you. Or call us to schedule a Free Health Analysis: (408) 733-0400.
Here at HealthNOW we are a Destination Clinic and we see patients from across the country as well as internationally. We are here to help!
I look forward to hearing from you.
To your good health,
Dr. Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
IFM Certified Practitioner
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”
Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”