Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New study finds an increase rate of celiac disease in children who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome

New study finds an increase rate of celiac disease in children who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome
A recent article published in Jama Pediatrics, highlighted the importance of having children with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) tested for celiacs. The study found that children with IBS have a much higher prevalence of celiac disease then the normal population. This was an important finding as, “recurrent abdominal pain is a prevalent health issue in childhood.... Studies of adults have shown an increased prevalence of celiac disease among patients with irritable bowel syndrome” but there was little known “with regard to children”. From this study, we now know that the link of IBS to celiacs disease is true in children as well as adults.
The Celiac Disease Foundation  says, “celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.  It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide.  2.5 million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.” Celiac disease is becoming more well known with ongoing research worldwide, but with over 300 symptoms is is difficult to detect and often misunderstood and untreated. The disease can cause lifelong consequences and much discomfort, so it is best to detect celiacs as soon as possible.
The six-year prospective study was conducted in southern Italy.  The 992 children involved in the study were referred to the clinic for recurrent abdominal pain by their primary care physicians. They were classified as having IBS, functional dyspepsia, functional abdominal pain, or abdominal migraine. The study found that of the 992 evaluated, “270 were classified as having IBS, 201 as having functional dyspepsia, and 311 as having functional abdominal pain, and 210 children were excluded from the study.”
Of the remaining 782 children, 15 tested positive for celiac disease.  The numbers broke down as follows: “12 of 270 patients with IBS [4.4%], 2 of 201 patients with functional dyspepsia [1%], and 1 of 311 patients with functional abdominal pain [0.3%]”). This means that children with IBS are 4 times more likely to have celiac disease than the general pediatric population. The study concluded that abdominal pain related functional gastrointestinal disorders “might help to select children who deserve screening for celiac disease.”  
If you are gluten sensitive or have celiac disease, Kay’s Naturals is an excellent gluten free option! All of our products are made in a completely gluten free facility, so you will never need to worry about cross-contamination. Additionally, all of our snacks and cereals are healthy. Every serving is high in protien and low in fat, sugar, and carbs. To learn more about Kay’s Naturals, simply visit our website!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Understanding the Glycemic Index

Within the health food, disease prevention, and weight loss communities, there has been a lot of discussion about the Glycemic Index. You may have seen “low GI”  or “Low Glycemic” labeled on foods and wondered what it meant. This article outlines essential points of the Glycemic Index and why a low glycemic diet will improve your health. Information contained in this blog article came from Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load; an excellent article written by the Linus Pauling Institute, a micronutrient research center of Oregon State University.

Remember the low-carb diet craze? Did you try it? It did help many to lose weight quickly, but it won't necessarily improve their long-term health goals. Healthy carbohydrates are an essential component of a healthy diet, but not carbs are created equal. The Glycemic Index helps measures the quality of carbs contained in food.

One of the failures of the low-carb diet was it simplified carbs as either simple or complex, depending on the number of sugars in a molecule. Simple carbs were thought to be bad, and starchy or complex carbs were assumed to be good, because it would, “ lead to smaller increases in blood glucose than sugary foods (1).” The low carb movement helped change nutritional guidelines, but it’s overly simplistic because blood sugar (glycemic) levels will vary significantly between complex carbs. It became apparent that a more accurate system was needed for understanding what carbs would have a minimal effect on blood sugar. The glycemic index was developed to tell us how significantly different carbohydrates alter blood sugar levels.

How the Glycemic Index (GI) is measured
Determining if a food is low GI or high GI is done by comparing a carbohydrate to pure glucose or white bread. Blood samples are taken before and after eating a carb at regular intervals for several hours. A baked potato has a GI of 76 when measure against glucose, meaning “that the blood glucose response to the carbohydrate in a baked potato is 76% of the blood glucose response to the same amount of carbohydrate in pure glucose(2).” The GI of cooked brown rice is  “55 relative to glucose and 79 relative to white bread (3).”  Before the Glycemic Index was developed, brown rice and potatoes were classified as complex carbs, despite the fact though they both have a significantly different effects on blood glucose levels.

How bodies respond to high and low GI foods
According to Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load , “the consumption of high-glycemic index foods results in higher and more rapid increases in blood glucose [sugar] levels than the consumption of low-glycemic index foods.” A  rapid increase in blood sugar triggers insulin secretion. High insulin levels caused by eating high GI foods, will cause a dramatic drop in blood glucose levels after a few hours.  Low GI foods cause a lower and longer sustained increase in blood sugar levels and will not result in high insulin secretion or a sharp drop in blood sugar levels. Therefor, low GI foods do not cause a sugar crash like high GI foods. Low GI foods result in sustained energy over more time.

Why Blood Sugar Levels Matter
Diabetes  Prevention  Excessive and repeated insulin secretion caused by high GI foods over time is believed to contribute to “the loss of insulin-secreting function… that leads to irreversible diabetes (4). High dietary glycemic loads have been associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) in several large prospective studies.”

Cardiovascular Disease “Impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance are known to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 DM” (Diabetes Mellitus).

Obesity A meal with 500 calories and a high GI load will cause blood sugar levels to rise higher than a 500 calorie meal with low GI. The high blood sugar levels will cause a higher secretion of insulin that will trigger a sharper drop in blood sugar levels then a low GI meal. The sharp drop in blood sugar levels will lead to feeling hunger faster than a low GI meal. “15 out of 16 published studies found that the consumption of low-glycemic index foods delayed the return of hunger, decreased subsequent food intake, and increased satiety (feeling full) when compared to high-glycemic index foods(5).”
Gallbladder Disease According to the article, “results of two studies indicate that dietary glycemic index and glycemic load may be positively related to risk of gallbladder disease. Higher dietary glycemic loads were associated with significantly increased risks of developing gallstones in a cohort of men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (43)and in a cohort of women participating in the Nurses' Health Study (6).

Diabetes Mellitus
Multiple studies suggest that a low GI diet improves glood sugar control for indidividuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Strategizes to lower your consumption of high GI foods
-Consume less high GI foods like potatoes, white rice, and white bread.
-Eat more whole grains, beans, fruits, nuts, and non-starchy vegetables.
-Minimize consumption of sugary foods, such as soft drinks and desserts.

Kay’s naturals knows a low GI diet is very important. All of our snacks and cereals have a low GI and are diabetic friendly! Every 1.2 oz serving has 12 grams of protein and is also certified gluten free! You have to try them to believe how wonderfully crunchy they are. Visit to learn more. For a list of carbs and their GI levels, visit the University of Sydney’s GI Web site.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

It can be hard to comprehend just how damaging the lack vitamin B12 can be on our health. A case study, cited in The New England Journal of Medicine, highlights how important Vitamin B12 is to maintain our overall health. A 62-year old man developed “pins and needles” sensations that started in his hands and grew to affect 40% of his sensations. Symptoms continued to develop and the gentleman had difficulty walking, suffered severe joint pain, developed jaundice, became progressively more short of breath, lost dexterity in his hands and began dropped things. Eventually, he was unable to climb more than four stairs at a time without resting, had difficulty standing, and lost considerable weight, among other symptoms. These symptoms rapidly developed over a span of 2 months because he lacked vitamin B12 in his bloodstream. According to the New England Journal symptoms of severe vitamin B12 deficiency can cause even more detrimental health effects. Examples include paranoia and delusions, deep depression, loss of memory and the ability to taste and smell, as well as incontinence.
Why is vitamin B12 necessary?
According to Harvard Health, Vitamin B12 is responsible for creating nerves, red blood cells, DNA, and many other functions. Most vitamins, including B12, cannot be made in the body. Therefor, 2.4 micrograms should be consumed daily via food or supplements. Symptoms, like the man experienced in the aforementioned case study, occur when individuals do not consume enough vitamin B12 or their bodies are unable to absorb it properly.  Vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common says Harvard Health. This is especially true among older people, vegetarians, vegans, individuals who have had weight loss surgery or have undiagnosed celiac disease. Up 20% of adults over the age of 50 have  borderline vitamin B12 deficiency, while 3.2% are at seriously low B12 levels, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Why do people become deficient?
Vegans and vegetarians are more likely to lack vitamin B12 because it is exclusively found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs. Weight-loss surgery, such as stomach stapling, can negatively affect the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12. A a study published on NCIB reported that 41% of individuals in a celiac disease study suffered from a vitamin B12 deficiency. According to the study, “Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in untreated celiac disease.” The elderly and others who are more likely to lack stomach acid production are also at greater risk of a B12 deficiency because stomach acid is required to absorb vitamin B12. Finally, metformin (a diabetes drug), can also block the absorption of vitamin B12.
Symptoms of a B12 deficiency
Symptoms generally appear gradually over time but sometimes develop quickly. Harvard Health published the  following list of symptoms:
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet
  • difficulty walking (lack of balance, unsteady gait)
  • a swollen tongue
  • yellowed skin (jaundice)
  • difficulty processing cognitive functions or memory loss
  • paranoia or hallucinations
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • anemia

Symptoms can be easily confused with another health disorders and vitamin B12 is often overlooked by physicians. If you think you may suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency ask for a blood test as early detection is important.
Kay’s Naturals’ supports your overall health and wellness. We create healthy snacks and cereals that are 100% gluten free and do not affect blood sugar levels. If you would like to find out more about our products visit our website.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity

Unexpected signs of Gluten Sensitivity.
Feeling some gastrointestinal discomfort after a meal? Does your brain feels like it is moving through sludge? These are classical symptoms of gluten sensitivity (GS), and you might be wondering if you're gluten intolerant. There are many symptoms of gluten sensitivity,  sometimes called  known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. This article will shed light on eight lesser known symptoms of GS that were published in U.S. News.
If you have done a bit of research already, it is likely that you know gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is often added to processed foods as it helps to bind the ingredients together. This means unexpected foods, such as potato chips or candy bars may contain gluten. For those with celiacs disease, gluten is extremely harmful to the body. For those with mild forms of GS, it can cause slight discomfort. An individual's reaction to gluten lies on a spectrum from mild to severe. For some, times of increased stress will intensify their bodies negative reaction to gluten.
If you have a single symptom of GS, is is probable that the reaction is caused by something other than gluten, but not definitively. Multiple symptoms is highly suggestive that gluten is the cause of your discomfort.
1. Gastrointestinal effects. Symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome and gluten sensitivity often overlap, despite being different health concerns.. These include bloating, diarrhea, and constipation.
2. Poor absorption of nutritions. The stomach lining of individuals with GS can become compromised. The stomach can become unable to adequately absorb vitamins and minerals. This is why low iron is a commonly the result of of GS.
3. Migraines. Like gastrointestinal effects, headaches can be caused by multiple things. If you receive migraine with other GS symptoms and/or an hour or two after ingesting gluten, this may suggest you have gluten sensitivity.
4. Joint pain. Inflammation can occur when body is unable to digest gluten properly. Inflammation will often cause joint pain. Joint pain is a common symptom of gluten intolerance and is frequently misdiagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Lactose intolerance. GS can compromise the lining of the stomach. This results in the malabsorption of nutrients, as well as the stomachs inability to properly digest lactose.
6. Chronic fatigue. If the body is unable to absorb essential nutrients, it will quickly become exhausted. This symptom on its own is not a clear sign of GS, but when paired with gastrointestinal difficulties such as diarrhea, it makes a stronger cause for GS.
7. Skin rash.Two rashes, keratosis pilaris and dermatitis herpetiformis, are a direct consequence of exposure to gluten.These rashes are very itchy and develop on on the arms,elbows, buttocks, face, and hairline. Additionally, GS can cause other rashes that are similar in nature to eczema
8. Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is believed by some medical experts to be a symptomatic of another condition, not a disease in itself. “Inflammation of the connective tissue is one of the strongest symptoms of a gluten intolerance,” according to U.S. News. Gluten is believed by the body to be harmful, and will dispatch antibodies to eliminate them. Those same antibodies destroy the lining of stomach and intestines. This can cause inflammation in any part of the body. Eliminating gluten may reduce inflammation and the symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
According to Katrina Plyler, the articles author, stress is often cited as the cause of these symptoms. Instead of anti-depressants, sleeping aids or anti-anxiety meds (some of which contain gluten), take a good look at what you're eating.”
We are what we eat. It makes perfect sense that the food we consume will have a major effect on our health and well-being. If you want what is best for your body or to eliminate gluten from your diet, check out Kay’s Naturals. We make some of the world’s healthiest snacks: gluten-free, high-protein, fiber rich, and low sugar! We are transforming the way we snack one marvoulous protein chip at a time.