Doug’s Great Pizza Misadventure

Last week a supposed friend of mine tried to kill me with a pizza. Not by beating me over the head with it but by feeding it to me. He claims it was an accident and blamed it on a bad iPhone connection; which may be true since he has the new iPhone4.

If you happen to be sensitive to gluten, then you know it can cause serious GI complaints. I thought I was mildly sensitive, but I was wrong. Last year, after seeing many of my patients test positive for gluten antibodies and seeing how well they did when they adopted a gluten-free diet, I decided to test myself, since my GI system wasn’t perfect. I wasn’t terribly surprised when I tested positive for gluten antibodies. This was the incentive I needed. I became a convert, discontinuing all sources of gluten- both obvious and hidden. My minor GI complaints rapidly disappeared as did the constant frog in my throat and frequent sniffling, so I was pleased with my improved health. It really isn’t as hard as it seems as there are many gluten-free options for bread and pasta.

Last year, I developed an occasional atrial fibrillation. I have had lifelong benign extra-systolic contractions, but it became more serious. Unfortunately the culprit responsible for this was wine! How can one live in Napa without drinking wine and enjoying the great restaurants we have? Much to my chagrin, I was forced to drastically reduce my consumption. Think of the health benefits I was missing from not drinking the recommended two glasses a night of cabernet!

Then I discovered a miraculous (for me anyway), non- drug solution to the problem. I bought an Earthing bedpad. In its basic form it simply involves using the Earth as a “ground” or source of free electrons to provide the body with additional electrons to reduce the potential difference between Earth and our body due to the insulation we have created by carpets, wood floors, linoleum and most importantly, rubber shoes. By reducing the increased positive charge we accumulate, Earthing (as it is called), provides additional electrons to reduce free radicals. Well it worked for me. In addition to better sleep, the night I started using the Earthing bedpad, was the last night I had any atrial fibrillation for almost two months, until my attempted murder. I could drink the recommended 2 glasses of red wine a night with impunity! No more floppy heartbeats!

I was helping my purported friend put up crown molding in his house (because I know how to do that stuff). In return he fed me lunch. Little did I suspect that when he ordered gluten-free pizza from a restaurant that they didn’t hear that part of the order. I was promised gluten-free and I ate 3 pieces loaded with gluten. Several hours later, my throat got scratchy and froggy. Later that evening I developed the worst atrial fibrillation I had ever experienced. The following morning I was so tired and had so much brain fog that I could barely function. It took 36 hours for it go away. I tried to file attempted murder charges, but the police apparently don’t recognize gluten as a deadly weapon.

If I ever needed any proof that gluten is not for me, I got it. The interesting thing is that it can cause symptoms so remote from the GI tract. I didn’t develop any GI complaints from my accidental ingestion. Who would dream that fibrillation and brain-fog would be caused by gluten? I guess that’s why it is called the Great Masquerader. If you are having GI complaints or any other unusual symptoms that haven’t been explained, you may want to consider being tested for gluten. When we finish the crown molding- it will be salad for me.