January 4, 2006 |
After Rebecca Rosen was finally diagnosed at age 5 with what was ailing her for several years, her parents placed a loaf of bread in front of her. "This is something you can't eat ever," Rebecca, 10, recalls her parents saying. To reinforce the point, they spelled out the critical word on the bread wrapper: W-H-E-A-T. Rebecca has celiac disease. Her digestive system can't tolerate gluten, a protein found not only in wheat but also in rye and barley. The condition, once thought unusual, is far more common than many experts realized.
May 17, 2011 |
ALICE BAST thought she was dying. Her hair was falling out. Her teeth were filled with cavities. She had horrible migraines. Her digestive problems were so bad she was afraid to be far from a bathroom. Her weight dropped to 100 pounds on her 5-foot-9 frame. She had three miscarriages and a full-term stillbirth. Her youngest daughter was born through emergency Caesarean section and weighed just two pounds. Because her mother had died of pancreatic cancer at age 52, Bast was convinced she had cancer.
April 23, 2009 |
When, after months of tests, doctors finally concluded it was celiac disease that was causing Alice Bast to lose weight, her hair, and her general health, they told her this way: "The good news is we know what's wrong with you. The bad news is you have to go on a diet and you can never eat out again. " Celiac is a digestive disease triggered by the consumption of gluten, which is found in foods that contain wheat, rye, and barley. That means traditional pastas, breads and baked goods are out, as are unexpected items that contain gluten like soy sauce, some soups, and pasta sauces.
October 2, 2000 |
As her 15-month-old son, Tyler, laid on an operating table at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in April 1997, Wendy Wark waited in the hallway for news. In many ways, her mourning had already begun. Two days earlier, doctors there discovered what looked like a fingerlike, cancerous mass invading Tyler's abdomen. The surgery was designed to get a closer look - and to install chemotherapy ports he would desperately need as he battled the killer. But when a doctor emerged from the operating room that day, Wark couldn't believe her ears.
April 17, 2011
Last Sunday's article about a woman's courageous battle with celiac disease was remarkable ("Alice Salomon Bast wins Philadelphia Award for celiac work"). Bast's dedication is inspiring, but poses an interesting question: Given that celiac disease is so common, why has the life-sciences industry not developed viable treatment options? The reason, of course, is the connection between investing in innovation and the risks inherent in drug development. Significant development costs and the time it takes to market often drive corporate decisions and limit innovation.
April 10, 2011 |
The first part of her story is heartrending. Alice Salomon Bast endured three miscarriages and delivered a stillborn child in her ninth month of pregnancy. She suffered hair loss, and her teeth became thin and fragile. She experienced extreme fatigue and gastrointestinal distress for more than a decade as one doctor after another - 22 in all - failed to decipher her symptoms. The second part of Bast's tale is a triumph. A veterinarian, of all people, told Bast that her symptoms sounded a bit like those of celiac disease, an autoimmune illness seen in humans as well as some dogs.
August 9, 2015 |
A 40-year-old woman came to see me with a one-week history of explosive diarrhea that would come on about an hour after eating any solid food. She also had painful gas after drinking liquids. The stools were bright neon green; her urine was orange. But she didn't have any fever, nausea, or vomiting. Her appetite was fine, though she had lost seven pounds. Imodium, an effective over-the-counter medication for diarrhea, wasn't helping. She didn't really feel all that sick, though. There was no blood in her stools and her urinalysis was completely normal, as was her physical exam.
June 24, 2013 |
Alice Bast was diagnosed with celiac disease in the early 1990s, requiring the permanent, total avoidance of foods containing wheat - and promising an ascetic life of grim and tasteless meals. "We ordered our food from Canada," Bast recalled. "The bread you ate tasted like the cardboard it came in. " Not now. Today, a multibillion-dollar market has arisen to make and sell safe, good-tasting foods to people like Bast. Walk the floors of a Giant supermarket, and you see a revolution.
August 21, 2012
The camera pans across piles of oat, millet, and rice flour and an invitation to a "food allergy party. " The soundtrack swells with the Les Miserables show tune "One Day More," which gets a hypoallergenic rendering as "One Grain More," showing heartbreak in the kitchen - and the bathroom. Then four miserable French chefs try to whip up confections with no allergens. Inspired by his own diagnosis of food allergies, Wynnewood-based musical theater actor-writer Michael Bihovsky has made a music video showing the burden of living with food allergies in a gluttonous, gluten-heavy society.
January 16, 2006
Celiac disease Thank you for the excellent Page-One story, "Hidden danger is coming into focus" (Jan. 3). This article accomplished double duty. First, it informed thousands of people, including patients and their physicians, about the nature of celiac disease and the reality that it is not rare but actually affects about 1 percent of the population. That means doctors will consider the diagnosis and help patients narrow down the cause of their continuing illness. Second, it will benefit those already diagnosed as more and more people, including those who prepare food in public eateries, become aware of celiac disease.