On episode 255 of The Nurse Keith Show, Nurse Keith interviews his dear friend and colleague, Nadine Grzeskowiak, RN, BSN, CEN, also known as The Gluten Free RN. Nadine is a nurse specializing in celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and intestinal health. She is an expert consultant, professional speaker, author, podcaster and research enthusiast. If you want to understand these common conditions impacting millions worldwide, look no further.
After 15 years of nursing experience in emergency, trauma and critical care, Nadine founded three successful independent Nurse owned and operated businesses, RN On Call, Inc., Gluten Free RN and Celiac Nurse Consulting in February 2007.
Nurses are in a unique position to evaluate patients for celiac disease and gluten intolerance, Celiac is grossly unrecognized and untreated in the United States, even though intestinal health is so crucial to overall health. We also must recognize that people with undiagnosed celiac have intestinal damage even when unsymptomatic. And why has the U.S. not instituted mass screenings for celiac disease like they’ve done in Italy? Listen to the episode for the incomprehensible political aspects of celiac disease, including inaction by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Since so many people see gluten sensitivity as a fad, this doesn’t help the situation of massive misunderstanding and misdiagnosis. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical industry and other players do not want to recognize that the actual cure for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Why? Perhaps because they’d prefer to create a medication that treats the symptoms and earns them a tidy profit.
Wheat, barley, oats, and rye can cause organ failure in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease, but according to Nadine, they cause inflammation in the body of every person who consumes them.
Celiac disease is a disease that has the gene markers HLA (human leukocyte antigen), HLA DQ2, and/or HLA DQ8, and you only need one sub-marker to have a positive diagnosis. Celiac causes increased permeability of the intestinal (sometimes called “leaky gut”, as well as an autoimmune response that breaks down epithelial tissue such as the intestinal lining. This means that anywhere in the body where there are epithelial cells will be impacted, leading to a leaky blood-brain barrier, leaky skin, leaky lung tissue, leaky blood vessels, etc.
Nadine almost died from multisystem organ failure from the age of 36 to 40, and was misdiagnosed for many years. Many of the tests reveal false negatives, including 70% of antibody tests. That said, the gene tests mentioned above are the gold standard.
Nadine has delivered numerous lectures and seminars internationally, consults with individuals and families, is author of Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease From Missed Diagnosis to Food Health Activism and is co-authoring a textbook on celiac disease. She also leads international gluten free and Paleo travel groups. Nadine enjoys spending time with her family and friends, knitting, hiking, mountain climbing, reading, cooking and eating excellent meals, and traveling all over the world.
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