August 12, 2014
Grocery store shelves are filled with gluten-free products these days and there seems to be a great interest by many to follow a gluten-free diet. Gluten is a...
Grocery store shelves are filled with gluten-free products these days and there seems to be a great interest by many to follow a gluten-free diet. Gluten is a compound made up of two proteins and a carbohydrate and is found in the endosperm of grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale – a hybrid of rye and wheat. It is used most widely in the food industry in bakery products for its leavening qualities. It can also be found in unlikely products such as salad dressing, soy sauce, lunch meats, hot dogs, imitation fish, bouillon cubes, food additives and many packaged foods. For about 1 percent of the population diagnosed with Celiac disease, intake of gluten can be life threatening.Celiac disease is characterized by inflammation of the small intestine, which adversely affects the absorption of water and nutrients. For those affected, the only treatment is the strict avoidance of products containing gluten. Along with Celiac disease, there is a milder form termed non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, which is observed in about another 6 percent of the population. Although this group experiences an allergic reaction and similar symptoms, no damage to the intestinal lining is observed. Even though the prevalence of gluten sensitivity has increased, it still only affects a minority of the general population.
Recently, there seems to be this idea that gluten is “unhealthy” or “bad” for everyone and eliminating it from the diet will lead to better health and even weight loss. There is no evidence that gluten is unhealthy or bad for those tolerant of it. Following a gluten-free diet may lead to weight loss for some individuals, but this is because eliminating gluten includes eliminating many processed foods and following a diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, fresh fish, lean meats, low fat dairy, beans, nuts and seeds – a diet that is naturally lower in calories.
Bottom line: Besides those who have been diagnosed with clinical disease, there is no evidence that a gluten-free diet will benefit most people in any way.
For more information on Celiac disease and a gluten-free diet please see link below:
August 11, 2014
Mike Siegel MD
Children / Exercise / Physical Health / Safety
Concussions are nothing new in sports, but you have probably been hearing a lot more about them lately. The NCAA recently reached a settlement with former collegiate...
Concussions are nothing new in sports, but you have probably been hearing a lot more about them lately. The NCAA recently reached a settlement with former collegiate athletes who suffered concussions while participating in NCAA sports. Many famous athletes have shared their stories about the long-term effect concussions have had on their lives. Just last week, former NFL player Anthony Davis, spoke to a group of fans and members of the Long Beach community at College Medical Center to raise awareness about the issue
Concussions, also known as traumatic brain injury, can have mild or very serious effects including changes to one’s thinking, sensation, language and emotion. Sports-related concussions are a common occurrence – especially among youth. According to the CDC, emergency rooms in the United States treat over 170,000 concussions every year among people under the age of 19. Moreover, people who suffer from multiple concussions – even if they are mild – are at a higher risk for conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s later in life.
Now that the risks of concussions are so widely recognized, it makes sense that parents are questioning whether contact sports like football are a good idea for their children. While sports are a great way for kids to get exercise, learn about sportsmanship and make friends, concussions have given many parents pause about encouraging their kids to participate.
There are no easy answers, but it is important to know how to recognize the symptoms of a concussion – such as confusion, memory loss or lack of normal motor skills – and then take appropriate action. If you notice these symptoms in yourself or others, it is very important to stop play and be evaluated by a medical professional immediately.