I’m excited to share this short Q&A with Dr. Shikhman. Dr. Shikhman is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology and founder of the Institute for Specialized Medicine in San Diego, CA and Gluten Free Remedies. Gluten Free Remedies is an incredible line of gluten free vitamins and minerals.
Q & A with Dr. Shikhman
1) When did you realize that gluten was causing a problem for many of your patients?
Around 10 years ago I realized that gluten behaves as an infectious agent. Similarly to microorganisms and viruses, it can trigger chronic inflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases. The main difference is that infectious agents are capable of self-replicating in our body while gluten is not and requires a constant consumption to support the inflammation. Typically, elimination of gluten from the diet is much easier than eradication of chronic infection. I started eliminating gluten from my patient’s diet and noticed benefits above and beyond all expectations. Over time, I realized that appropriately performed elimination diet can do wonders in patients with various autoimmune diseases.
2) What different auto-immune diseases and conditions, besides Celiac Disease, have you seen improvement when a patient goes on a gluten free diet?
Autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases with good response to the gluten-free diet include: Sjogren’s syndrome, dermatomyosytis, certain subsets of patient with lupus, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto thyroiditis, pseudogout (calcium deposition disease), fibromyalgia, osteopenia and osteoporosis.
3) How would you say that gluten causes a role in these conditions?
In genetically-predisposed individuals, gluten peptides can penetrate in systemic circulation and trigger immune responses in internal organs distant from the intestine (thyroid gland, salivary glands, brain etc).
4) What’s the one condition (ADD, Cancer etc) that people would be most surprised to know about, that could be connected to gluten?
Endometriosis, infertility and bipolar disorder
5) What are the top 5 vitamins/ minerals a person with Celiac should be tested for?
Iron/ferritin, B12, Vitamin D, Zinc, Copper
6) Why are certain supplements better than others?
There are three cornerstones: quality of raw ingredients, formulation and the right dose
7) Just for fun: What would people be surprised to know about you?
Got my MD when I was 22, became MD/PhD at 27.
Gluten-free for over 8 years (by choice).
Special thanks to Dr. Shikhman from Gluten Free Remedies for taking the time to share with us.
Hugs to all of you,
AKA- The Celiac Diva.