Today we want to share an amazing story from one of our readers.
It is from experiences like this that I learn about the possible consequences of gluten intolerance. I have seen heart arrhythmias related to food allergies and intolerances, but not to this extent.
Please feel free to share your comments as well. It's stories such as these that remind us that there are others out there suffering, too. And sharing our stories is just one of many ways that we may help each other.
Dear Dr. Wangen,
In all my research on gluten and symptoms I have never seen anything like I have experienced.
My name is Kathleen S. I am 49 years old, just under six feet, and weight approximately 157 pounds. I do not smoke and on only rare occassions have a drink.
I have asked doctors to share my story, but have not seen it out there. Actually, many do not believe nor have they heard anything like it.
About three years ago I began having heart issues. My heart would go into an abnormal rhythm or beat so hard I thought my heart would explode. I was told I was under stress and was put onto a beta blocker. Things got a little better, but the symptoms continued. The beta blocker was increased.
Finally, I reached a point one night that I ended up in the hospital; I thought I was going to die. My husband and I just came home from having a burger and fries at a local restaurant. On my way home my heart rate began to drop. By the time I got home my pulse had dropped to 38 and my heart rate was hard and irregular. I thought I was going to pass out.
The doctor in the hospital ran several tests and everything came back fine. I was given medication to "calm down" and after several hours my heart rate got somewhat better, but certainly not normal. I was sent home and told to go see my family doctor.
The following week I was put on a 48 hour monitor. The monitor was not normal and I was sent to a cardiologist. The cardiologist told me I had SVT. The doctor I saw recommended one of two pills - both caused very serious side effects. I asked for another option and she told me an ablation. I did not want to go there so I asked for another option. She told me to go back to my doctor for a nerve pill and I was sent on my way. I returned, once again, to the clinic and was given prozac.
After two days on prozac I broke out in a horrible rash and almost ended up back in the hospital. I sought yet another opinion. The next doctor put me on a thirty day monitor and told me to stop all medications and to monitor all food I consumed. What finally hit me was when I had oatmeal and my heart rate dropped again. I refused to stop going. That day I went to a friends house. While there I told her my symptoms and what I had eaten. She asked me if I had celiac disease. I told her I had no idea, but began to realize that everytime my heart went out of rhythm it was related to what I had just eaten.
It was evident that any wheat or oat product sent my heart into this awful rhythm. After 30 days my doctor confirmed the wheat and oat connection and sent me to the allergist. After three weeks of no wheat or oats I tested positive to a skin test for both.
For just over one year I have been gluten free and I have only had one heart episode back in June when I drank a Coke. Not only has my heart been fine, but the eczema on my face has gone away, the constipation I suffered with for years is gone, and I no longer have joint pain.
Please share my story with others. I would be happy to have my doctor confirm this with you if necessary.
Thank you and thank you for the wonderful book you have written!
Article Courtesy: Dr. Stephen Wangen
So nice to hear stories like this... I too had heart issues even being rushed to the ER due to a racing heart. When the cardiologist did ALL the test they could, they found my heart was very healthy. It wasn't until I got off gluten that my asthma, anemia and all heart issues went away. It still blows me away that gluten can do this to a person. I went from feeling like I was on my death bed (on gluten...) To now hiking mountains (3 years off gluten.)
So glad to hear you are healthy now Kathleen~ Thanks for sharing your story.