Woot! A Cure for Celiac Disease!! Oh Wait…

cure for celiac disease

I’m not sure if I should laugh at this one or cry.

There is a doctor…yes an actual doctor…who has written an article titled “The Home Cure for Celiac Disease”. Here is the link.

The doctor’s name is Scott Saunders. He sounds quite educated but ungodly misinformed.

The sad/pathetic thing is that he appears like he knows what he’s talking about for a good part of the article, but then he jumps on the crazy train.

Let’s take a look at some of the tidbits from his article, shall we?

The Good Doctor: In studies done on Celiac disease, it seems that about 1 percent of every population that eats wheat has gluten intolerance.

Gluten Dude: Celiac disease is not the same as gluten intolerance and gluten is in more than just wheat. Ok…perhaps I’m being picky. Let’s move on.

The Good Doctor: The blood test for gluten sensitivity is quite accurate, around 90 percent compared with a biopsy of the intestine. However, you don’t need a doctor because you can do a very effective test at home called the elimination diet.

Gluten Dude: I get his point, but the idea is to be tested for a serious autoimmune disease. And once you’re off gluten, the test will no longer be accurate. Find yourself a good doctor and get tested BEFORE going off gluten.

The Good Doctor: While the gluten-free diet can keep the problem in check, what you really want is a cure for the reaction so you can eat “normal” food again.

Gluten Dude: Sigh. Here we go. Using the word “normal” like we are some freaks of society because we can’t eat what everyone else is eating. Hey doc…I’m ok not being “normal”. I don’t need to eat what everyone else is eating. I need to eat what will keep my alive and kicking.

The Good Doctor: If you digest gluten in the stomach, it won’t go into the intestines and cause a reaction so the cure for the problem is to fix the stomach where the initial breakdown of gluten is supposed to occur.

Gluten Dude: There is that word “cure” again. Where is his medical proof that one person has ever been cured of celiac disease?

The Good Doctor: The following list is a guide; you may employ some or all of these to improve the function of your stomach: eat less, eat lots of fiber, avoid high-calorie foods, avoid processed sugars, avoid alcohol, blah, blah, blah.

Gluten Dude: These are all great pieces of advice for anybody to be as healthy as possible. Again, how the heck does this “cure” celiac disease?

The Good Doctor: The secret that most doctors won’t tell you is that just because you reacted to gluten in the past doesn’t mean you will always have this problem. It is curable — at home by improving the digestion of the stomach. This will improve your life in more ways than simply going on a gluten-free diet. The diet is necessary for a time (usually six months or more) while you work on the stomach, but most eventually become “normal” again.

Gluten Dude: Oh…I get it. It’s a big secret that doctors are keeping to themselves. Now it all makes sense.

This stuff just infuriates me. Why sell false hope without any scientific or medical claims to back it up? What purpose are you serving?

I called the good doctor a few weeks ago after reading his article. Got his voice mail of course. I left him a nice message regarding my feelings for his article and asked him to call me back. If I did not hear from him, I would write a blog post about his misleading BS and leave his contact information.

Dr. Scott Saunders
The Integrative Medical Center of Santa Barbara

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61 thoughts on “Woot! A Cure for Celiac Disease!! Oh Wait…”

    1. Right there with ya Miss Dee Meanor – my mom has already emailed this to me, and other family members have sent me ‘congrats – we know you will be strong enough to follow this guy so we’re SO excited to know that we can stop trying to accommodate your freakish needs and that you will be totally normal at the family get togethers!’

      Yup. One article and every single tiny bit of ground gained in my family (all but my husband – he’s standing right next to me thank heavens!) wiped out in a heartbeat. I can now expect 6 months of people yelling at me for not getting involved with this idiot, as well as a constant barrage of “Are you cured yet? You just aren’t TRYING”. The desire to smack this idiot up the side of the head is serious growing… mainly because as I typed this, I honest to god just got another email about it from an aunt I haven’t spoken to (for good reasons) in over 18 months. Sigh.

  1. Actually (sorry, don’t have the link), there is a cure for celiac disease: in children with leukemia that have both celiac and leukemia, if there is a complete bone marrow transplant, that seems to cure celiac. They’ve only seen this in young children, though.

    Bone marrow transplant anyone? Anyone?

    1. Lisa,
      I actually know a pediatric oncologist who has done this and he loves to remind me that he “cured” a patient’s celiac.

      I don’t need to be “cured”, I just need to be able to eat safe, gluten free food without being questioned, criticized or embarrassed.

      1. I’d just smile I tell him you’d be happy to discuss your health issues with him AFTER you need an oncologist. Then keep eating GF to avoid cancer 🙂

  2. I also wonder where the doctor got the idea that a blood test is so much better than an endoscopy at diagnosing celiac disease. In my case and in others, multiple blood tests came up negative and it was only after having an exploratory scope to see what the problem could be, was the celiac diagnosed. I can’t imagine how sick I would be today if I had relied on the blood test to be accurate.

  3. I was approached by a doctor at a kids birthday party (the party was for her daughter) who told me she could cure my celiac disease. Once she said that, my eyes pretty much glazed over for the rest of the conversation and I got out of there as quickly as I could.

    1. This is a trap, because I dare not tune anyone out that proposes a cure for what ails me (wouldn’t want to miss it), yet, there should be a price paid for casually dispensing $**! poor (“crazy train”) advice to vulnerable people that brings about gross misdirection & confusion at the least, or harm & suffering at worst. This is my advice, do what you want with it…is bad advice, because it’s meant to (knowingly or not) sidestep any responsibility for what may happen, yet the disclaimer devalues the message anyway.

      Of course, I can imagine a host of reasons for hightailing it out of that party, particularly if she was the hostess.

    2. I’m a doctor and I’m a celiacs holder as well! Yes sure there is no cure tell now. But one day it will be. Never lose the hope and never stop searching for others experiences. I know a lot of diseases that been cured by accident or coincidence, never underestimate celiac even with a Gluten Free diet .

  4. He’s not an allergist or an immune specialist, so right there I discount him. Second, exactly how do you get your food to just digest in your stomach and then not digest in the small intestine? That’s a medical miracle, if it’s possible.

    1. Did you call or email the office? I just sent them an email – which I know will never get read – pleading them to remove the article ASAP.

      What if even one person believes this article??

      1. If anyone takes this doctor’s advice they will end up like my friend. Her blood test was positive for celiac and her scope showed damage to the small intestine. Her dr. told her to stop eating whole wheat for at least 6 months to allow healing to take place. White bread and regular pasta, etc. were OK to eat, and there was no mention made about barley or rye (the word gluten was not even used!!). After the 6 months she went back to her regular diet thinking that she was healed. Of course her health went down hill over the next several years and her list of symptoms grew longer eventually including severe depression and anxiety. She did not return to the doctor for follow up, although what good would it have done anyway? She’s now on disability and on a ton of medications that have altered her mind and body in a negative way. I have urged her to see a different doctor, but she refuses to believe that her symptoms are caused by her diet because she followed doctor’s orders and she is “healed”.

  5. I left comment to gluten dude, I’m still getting use to using blogs, etc, slow learner and private person. However, I’m so glad I’m here! Yes I’m sure he is knowledgeable, so am I. I’ve been a nurse for 20 plus years, focusing on mental health and diabetes. I amazed myself how much I did not know about celiac! Still am. So again a “professional” has the mysterious cure. Just eat healthy, makes me crazy. My doctor, one of the 25 I saw, told me there are just not enough studies and the medical profession has a long way to go! Started treating symptoms independently, along with gluten free everything and eating foods that work for me. I love it when people say” oh they have come a long way with celiac, look at all the gluten free products, you got this at a good time” sigh…… I try to explain autoimmune system to people who really care about me and it is complex, I understand. I’m glad we can leave him feedback, I hope I stay calm and kind???? Kim64

  6. Kudos to the mom for figuring this out on her own. Sadly, unless they go through a couple of months of intense sickness neither may get a verified Celiac diagnosis from the medical community.

    I truly think the percentage of people with Celiac Disease would be astronomical if so many had not been forced to discover the intolerance on their own. And how many will be willing to put themselves (or their children) through a couple of months eating gluten?

  7. This makes me so mad. If there was actually a legitimate “cure”, I’m pretty sure that the NFCA would have a huge announcement regarding it. I hate that people like him find pleasure (and money) in misleading people who have Celiac Disease. For those of us who fully understand Celiac, this is an annoyance, but for those who are newly diagnosed or easily swayed, people like this can be extremely dangerous!

    Sending him a little anti love note and I will be messaging the NFCA and the University of Chicago Center for Celiac Research. There needs to be accountability here.

  8. I guess this serves as a sad reminder – there are some MDs that became doctors to make money and feel important. Not all doctors, but a few like this guy, who don’t care who they hurt. They are about the scam and the money.

  9. So scary and so sad that ignorance on this level is being dispensed to patients in the Santa Barbara area after a UCLA education. I emailed the ‘good’ doctor:
    “Dr. Scott D. Saunders- You are sadly misinformed and uneducated about celiac disease. It is horrifying that you are advertising a cure for celiac. There is no cure currently and I am amazed that the medical advice you dispense after attending UCLA is very dangerous for any celiac. It is truly sad and scary to think that medical “professionals” are out there taking “care” of patients like this. Please educate yourself. Mayo Clinic and Univ of Chicago have very good resources for your learning.

    Sincerely, Penny Moffat”

  10. GD-

    Great blog.

    Great, another idiot with a doctorate spewing lunacy. Hey “Doctor S” maybe after this the travelling circus will take you in and you can make magic potion for us all. Just sayin’…..

    Jersey Girl

  11. ….’scuse me, just looking for a place to bang my head on my desk that will not leave too huge a mark….

    This is the very thing many celiac babies’ parents were told 40 years ago and they all went back on gluten and now have a host of autoimmune diseases, like diabetes or renal failure and cancer, MS or lupus…… and have had a lifetime of sickness.

    and, I see that with an herbalist and a reiki master on staff, he is probably scamming hundreds of people a day. ARGH.
    BTW, when I was very ill, I saw one of these “integrative med docs” for 9 months. He never tested me for celiac, despite my symptoms and was going to cure me with supplements and elimination diets and chelation therapy too (which I balked at, thank God) He has a big “wellness center” here in the Albany NY area and just opened a second one in VT. Makes me sick just to think about it..

      1. The thing is…..when you are very ill for a long time and no doctor helps you, you will resort to just about anything to get well. I was desperate myself at one point, so I can see how it happens.

        The blame lies squarely on his shoulders for dispensing completely wrong information about Celiac Disease.

        Maybe a call to the AMA is in order…..

    1. I was one of those kids. I was diagnosed at birth as celiac but my parents were told that I might grow out of it. They took that to mean that if they fed me enough wheat that I would get used to it and be okay. They decided not to tell me I had it… ever…. My Aunt used to call me her silly yak… I had no idea what she meant… just a silly nick name. I was rediagnosed when I was 46. I was almost dead. So many misdiagnoses… so many problems and so much pain. since then my adult daughter was diagnosed also. When she was off gluten for a year she finally got pregnant and is now the mother of an amazing 3 month old baby boy who was diagnosed with celiac at 2 weeks by his pediatrition. I am still not well but I am better than I was. I have hope that I may get better still one day soon.

  12. Wow! I’ll look forward to hearing his presentation of his research at the ICDS in a couple of weeks!

    What? He’s not sharing his “extensive research” and “cure” with the medical community?

    I was just curious to see how he can fit the entire digestive process into an organ that is only meant to be the beginning of the process . Oh well….

    1. It appears that we know more about the gastrointestinal tract than this guy…. seriously, I am shaking my head so hard at this whole thing that I think I may have dislodged something… 🙂

  13. Thanks for the laugh. His article is so convoluted and non sensical I don’t know how you addressed it. He calls it an allergy and an intolerance in the same sentence. Unfortunately this is just a money making machine.
    Personally, as a registered dietitian I am more offended by their nutrition expert who is actually an herbalist and reiki master! Who needs a nutrition degree?!!

    1. snort..! hahaha…oh boy…..thanks for the coffee spit on my laptop! 😉 .

      My GI doc will love that one when I tell him it before he puts me under for my endo/colono/and repeat biopsy to rule out refractory sprue and lymphoma next week…yes,indeed fun times a’comin….

      and I will tell him this too so he can laugh his arse off…”but, Doc, if I just take gluten out for 6 months, I can put it back in and be cured!!”

      omg I need a drink! STAT!

  14. I am exhausted today, and I don’t know why. I haven’t been cross contaminated, nor eaten gluten intentionally, in years, due to my Celiac Disease diagnosis, and haven’t been ‘glutenized’ (as we say in our house) in error for a while (only happens when I eat out at restaurants). If I went to this doctor’s office, I am worried that he is the kind that would start running a bunch of tests and doing exploratory research on me, not understanding the Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder.

    Doctors need to admit when they do not specialize in an area, and shouldn’t be offering solutions to the problem that they don’t know enough about. If you go to a doctor that looks puzzled or disinterested or unsure, GET OUT and find another who will help you.

  15. Nice break down gluten dude.

    I just looked at his website. It is promoting a whole range of treatments that are entirely non-evidence based. Hyperbaric oxygen for autism? IV chelation, IV vitamin C. This is a good website that exposes scammers such as this guy: http://www.quackwatch.com/

    This supposed doctor quotes, in another article, “peer review just means ‘status quo'”! WHAT??!!..clearly ensuring one’s research is vetting by qualified peers to confirm a valid scientific methodology and legitimate interpretation of results is something he clearly does not wish to take part in.

    He prefers to push total waffle that was made up in his visit to the Twilight Zone. Seems to be raking in the big bucks though.

  16. My head is about to explode. Wow, this man is a quack I checked and he did go to med school he is licensed as a surgeon also, but where are his profesional ethics. His license #G78847 should be revoked for explicitly claiming to have a cure for celiac disease without providing evidence of his research or the studies conducted to verify this information. Also he is the only actual Medical Doctor at this treatment center. If I violated my profesional code of ethics the way this man has I would be disbared. Hey everyone I have a way for you to avoid prosecution for armed robery, anyone want to give it a try. I am contacting the board of medicine in California and filing a complaint. Good grief a simple disclaimer at the bottom of the page can not be a cya blanket.

  17. It looks like you have to be a “member” (not a patient?) at his facility (minimum of one year it appears) and follow a “wellness plan” made just for you! Seems to me this quack is telling people they “don’t need a doctor” because he’s trying to convince them not to trust traditional medicine. Break down that trust and get people so sick they’re willing to do anything to get better, and that’s how he gets his clientele. Not only that, but he’s also willing to help you alter your insurance coverage to cover catastrophic illness only? Thereby, taking the money you would spend on insurance premiums and paying monthly membership fees to him? Seems like a nice little scam to me. I can’t believe this guy is even a licensed doctor!

  18. Five years ago I was so naive and desperate that I would have believed all this doctor’s crap. So sad that many people out there will probably spend tons of money on a “cure.” Kudos to you, Gluten Dude, for getting the word out that this guy is a quack.

    It sounds like he’s talking more about “leaky gut” which I believe can be “cured” by healing the stomach lining. I had leaky gut which brought on multiple food allergies, eosinophilic esophagus and may or may not have triggered celiac disease. Because my gut is no longer “leaky” I am not developing more food issues, but of course CD is a lifetime diagnosis.

  19. When I heard Dr. Fasano speak he mentioned that they were in trials to develop a drug that would block gluten from entering the small intestine. He added that it was not a cure nor would it be something taken except on very special occasions (wedding, vacation, birthday party. etc.) It will be quite cost prohibitive and a band aid to place on the disease lifestyle..not a cure.

    Most of us by now have figured this out lifestyle out and lead perfectly normal lives eating healthier real foods because we have to avoid the processed crap. I, for one, am never deprived in my own kitchens. Eating out in restaurants or in other’s home can knock my paranoia up a notch.

    I wonder if this doctor heard Dr. Fasano’s talk and decided if he beat him to the punchline he would sound scientific and make a killing on the premise of this before the read drugs make it to primetime.

  20. It is absolutely horrifying that this man is in practice! Thank you for bringing our attention to this GD. I always find it a “red flag” when a doctor has no research or publications to support his or her claims about a treatment or cure. Also, another red flag is when one is trying to treat a group of people who are outside of one’s specialty.

  21. What’s his e-mail address? I can’t believe the article is still up. There are no comments so I’m guessing they have been removed.

  22. I had a doctor in Japan tell me basically the same thing. That if I stayed off dairy, yeast and fungi I could ‘rebalance’ the good bacteria in my intestines and be ‘cured’ of Celiac.
    She also suggested expensive vitamin IV drips once a week

  23. Ivan Wang Sanchez

    Doctors are full of crap, being taught only to treat disease not cure it. They are just pharmaceutical pimps. I rarely go to doctors only for physical injuries. All other ailments, even cancer can be treated by oneself. I know people who beat cancer, AIDS (with God’s help), allergies, MS, HCV, I could go on and on. Give this this guy a break, maybe he is on to something.

  24. Well, well…
    I am sorry to say but illness is curable if you know how to go about it. A very close friend of mine that I had warned about her diet choices for years started to become symptomatic. I had told her numerous times that her diet is very top heavy in glutamic acid and that she consumes not enough of the amino acids and minerals and vitamins that her body needs to not overload with it. Bottom line – she laughed at me. First she came down with Fibromyalgia…totally unrelated to Coeliac you say? It is not! Glutamat is glutamic acid in simple words. Glutamat is the number one thing to excite nerves… well learn yourself about it. My friend still ignored that it had to do with her diet. She was diagnosed some time later with Coeliac and also Depression. All started to affect other systems because the body wanted to shut her down consuming too much of a thing. Desperate becasue she got worse and worse she started to listen to what I had told her so many times in the years before onset of symptoms. She went on a regimen to reduce glutamin and up all the needed nutrients to “balance” it out. And low and behold…symptoms started to get better and better and are still improving. But remeber..you can not fix in a short time what took often years to ruin. Not with the body.
    Genes do play a role as we inherit our parents and often our grand parents diet inefficiancies. So some people are already more suseptible to more mistakes they make on their own then others. I am merely stating a fact what happened to my friend. Believe it or not. It’s up to you.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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