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Ask Dr. Gott
Simple answers to stomach problems
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DEAR DR. GOTT: I am writing in response to a letter concerning a person with stomach and bowel problems. Medical testing provided no clues as to the illness, and medications only made the person ill. You suggested further testing and hypothesized that the person might be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Is it possible that the person has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, for which simple dietary changes might make all the difference in health without the fancy pharmaceuticals you suggested?
    As a child, I was plagued with bouts of nausea, stomach cramps and constipation that continued into adulthood. The only relief came when I stuck to a low-carb diet. In my 40s, while trying to eat healthfully, I reintroduced carbs into my diet. Overtime, I doubled my weight, developed fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, and the indigestion reappeared as acid reflux. Rather than take medicines to alleviate the health issues, I sought the advice of an allergist who was trained in food sensitivity testing. I found out that I am sensitive to a variety of foods that infants and toddlers have trouble ingesting, including milk, wheat, corn and oats. When I eliminate these foods from my diet, my energy level goes up, the brain-fog disappears, the burning pain in my muscles dissipates and the acid reflux subsides. Although changing my eating habits has been a bit of a challenge, the benefits are worth the effort. I hope the person with the stomach and bowel problems finds a simple diagnosis and treatment as I did.
    I am looking forward to receiving your no-flour, no-sugar diet book that my husband and I just ordered. Thank you for a most informative column.
    DEAR READER: Thank you for taking the time to remind me that food sensitivity or allergy to certain food classes is an issue that needs to be addressed by selective elimination -- and, if necessary, food-allergy testing. For others who would like to purchase the book, "Dr. Gott's No Flour, No Sugar Diet." it is available at most book stores or online at or
    DEAR DR. GOTT: Here is a new use for Vicks VapoRub that your readers might want to try. I had been treating a plantar wart on the bottom of my right foot for over two years with Dr. Scholl's salicylic acid pads. The result was poor, so I tried Vicks VapoRub on my plantar wart, and within three weeks my large wart was gone. Even my foot doctor could not believe this.
    DEAR READER: I've received several letters stating that Vicks VapoRub is appropriate therapy for plantar warts. Others have had success with such things as duct tape, garlic and even castor oil. Thanks for writing.
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