‘Featured’ Celiac UPDATE You Don’t Want to Miss

Gerry is a wonder and an inspiration of how someone can turn their life around in a very short time when given the right tools of nutrition, a little shove and some guidance.

Just a few short months ago Gerry and his wife thought he was going to die.  He had been suffering for over 30 years, topped off by a heart attack and three major surgeries; he was in a steady declining state of no return.  With no clear diagnosis of what was causing all of this, besides a bad diet, both he and his wife were at a loss.

Until finally out of the blue his wife heard about the symptoms of Celiac Disease; she called Gerry and told him she might have figured it out.  He was diagnosed soon after and entered a strict life-saving 12 week nutritional program through the Cleveland Clinic.  Now look at him, he is the younger version of himself; healthy, happy and lucky to be alive.

Great Job Gerry, I am so proud of what you have accomplished in so little time.

Gerry’s Original Story


Gerry NOW                                        Gerry 12 Weeks Ago

photo cropped 7.3.14  cahead4


Hello Kirsten, I recently finished the 12 week CLIP (Cardiac Lifestyle Intervention Program) at the Cleveland Clinic. This was a very intense 12 week program where we met 18 times for 4.5 -5 hours. The program teaches you a new way of life. It was very comprehensive and taught by a group of very dedicated and intelligent professionals. I am blessed to live in a city where such outstanding lifestyle programs are offered.

In addition to being a celiac I have problems with many medications both over the counter and prescription. I had a heart attack a few years back and had 2 stents inserted in my arteries around the heart. When you have this procedure it is a must that you take a drug such as Plavix or Effient or at the least an aspirin a day. My body rejects all of these meds plus any digestive med they tried to give me to relieve my symptoms. Even a TUMS makes me sick. So this left me in a bad position knowing not taking an anti- coagulant increases the risk of another heart attack.

What I learned was eating organic vegetables gives you more of the needed component found in aspirin than aspirin does. This one fact alone made the program worthwhile. The diet we were taught is a plant based low fat diet. Gone are the days of eating meat, seafood, cheese, nuts, seeds, and cooking oils. In are whole grains (for me GF only), vegetables, fruits, soy (limited to 1 serving a day), and legumes. We had a chef who prepared our meals, lectured on what and how he prepared them, and conducted a couple of cooking classes. A nutritionist also worked with us each session.

The day started with an exercise physiologist and monitored exercise. Followed by lunch and food lectures. Next came the stress management sessions which entailed group support and yoga. The goal was to give us enough education to follow this type of regime for the rest of our lives. Continued support for each session is available to program participants and all the care givers have made themselves accessible.

Here are some quantifiable results after 13 weeks. My weight is down 12%. I am off of one cholesterol med and had the dosage reduced on another by 75%. My blood pressure med dosage was reduced by 50%. I was a Type 2 diabetic and now I am considered pre-diabetic. This was very important to me because I could not tolerate any of the diabetic meds and needed to find a holistic way to beat the disease. I can now eat pasta and have zero effect on elevating my blood sugar. I don’t know how this works, but it does.

From a qualitative standpoint I feel good. I now sleep deeply at night, something I can never remember doing. I handle stress in a completely different manner and it does not effect my well being at all. I have deepened my spiritual experiences especially during the awake hours. I am happier and more content. My essence is now ruled by my spirit and not my mind. When my mind was in control my physical body suffered and my spirit was clouded.

Kirsten, I thought the hard part of the program would be the change in eating behavior, but it turned out to be making the time each day to breathe the yogic breath, meditate, practice imagery, and practice yoga. Stress management is as integral to the success of the program as any other component. This lifestyle takes commitment and hard work, but it is worth every second Invested.

My next follow up with labs and a consultation is in 3 months. I look forward to continued progress and hopefully can be rid of all meds in my quest to being a healthier me.


Tags: CELIAC DISEASE, diet, fitness, Gluten Free Food, GlutenFreeGal, nutrition

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  1. Reply

    hey, do you have a twitter?

    1. Reply

      yes, @kirsten__berman

    • Dominique
    • July 12, 2014

    My Endo is actually the doc who thought I should be tested for celiac and sure enough, the blood test came back 85% positive! An endoscopy confirmed it 100% and my life has really changed. I had no idea how awful I really felt until I didn’t anymore. I was just diagnosed about a year ago, so I’m still learning about everything. But the difference since I’ve gone gluten free is amazing! Reading about other people’s challenges also makes me feel not so alone.

  2. What what an uplifting story. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Reply

    Similar for Me! I know Id be dead now, just 7 months later.

    But, where he is lucky, is medical support. Which I am still not confident in.

    I am a VERY healthy eater. I always have been, I don’t drink soda. And really not a fan of bad snacks.(a bit of an old hippie, making soap, etc., since the early 80s)
    But still, I suffered almost 30yrs, with chronic stomach issues, daily. I was hospitalized many time. (most notably, for 2 weeks, while pregnant with my youngest, who is 26 now!) And, there where only ever theories, never answers.

    Over the past 10 years or so, things changed…no more cramping. But, slowly, I began to unexplainably loose weight! There were other strange symptoms. And, odd blood test. One in which I was declared “Toxically anemic”, without explanation. There were rashes, headaches, dizzy spells, fatigue beyond belief, teeth changed color and depression beyond belief. Though I could have lived, though miserably, for 90 yrs, with most of these problems. The weight loss became scarey!

    Last Fall, I had gotten to close to 100lbs., and I am almost 6′ tall! The doctors recommendation…eat better, get more sleep, stay away from caffeine, & stop scratching, so rash will go away! PERIOD.
    Now remember…I eat really, well (LOTS of whole wheat, lol) I dont drink soda, or coffee. So where am I getting the caffeine? I was fatigued so badly, I finally had to stop working, so all I DID was rest & sleep. And I scratched because of the rash!

    I researched & researched & researched my symptoms. Mainly, unexplained weight loss, for at least a year. But because, that is apparently only common, with-out added stomach issues, after you are so very sick! Till suddenly, one day, it was as though all the pieces landed together. I went to my doctor, told him what I’d discovered & he flatly replied…”No, that’s not it.”
    I went home devastated!
    My husband and I talked & talked & came to the conclusion, I should try a diet change…Why Not?

    When I inquired, online. Many, suggested, going paleo. But, I needed to know, which thing was the devil, for me. And being a Mom of four. I went back to basics & decided to eliminate one thing at a time. FIRST, wheat!

    Within’ 2 weeks I was SURE I found my demon. And 9mnths later 45lbs healthier, skin clear, and fully energized. I am reborn! Even my eyesight has improved!!!
    Sadly, I have scars, and though my teeth look slightly less discolored, the damage done, is likely permanent. But, damn do I feel GREAT now!.

    NOW, my doctor want me to return to wheat to test me! So it’s my turn to say NO! And, am actively searching for alternative medical support.

    So my advice, as was this gentleman’s, and I’m sure yours is…
    Be your own best health advocate! School yourself!
    We are alike, but not the same. So do for you, what you need done!

    Take care of yourselves!

    1. Thank you for your comment, it hit me debilitatingly hard like that out of nowhere as well. I am so glad you figured it out and are doing better. It kills me your doc was like, eh not that. At that point, even if it is not wheat or Celiac, test for it anyway… Moron doctors know so little about nutrition today, it’s sad & frustrating.

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