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Doctor Denial – Why Most Doctors Ignore Gluten Sensitivity

Traditional Medicine is Flawed

The pill for an ill approach has failed miserably when it comes to modern diseases. Mainstream doctors focus only on symptoms and use synthetic drugs to mask these symptoms. No meaningful treatment is performed in such a way. Ignoring diet and nutrition has lead to a health care crisis in this country. Unfortunately, nutrition is typically not even taught in medical schools. This leaves doctors completely blind to the role of diet in disease. When gluten sensitivity, intolerance, or allergy is mentioned, most doctors look at you like you are crazy. The common physician rhetoric is…
Diet has nothing to do with your ___________.
Just fill in the blank. Skin disease, heart disease, bone disease, celiac disease, autoimmune disease, etc. If you are frustrated with the typical doctors visit, read on below about functional medicine (FM). Keep in mind that Gluten Free Society is in the process of putting together a list of FM doctors so that people across the country can get access to meaningful medical care.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine is a medical approach that focuses on identifying the causes of disease rather than treating the symptoms. It seeks to understand the origins of chronic disease so that meaningful treatment and prevention methods can be developed and implemented. The functional medicine approach is a partnership between the patient and the doctor. The goal of this partnership is to bring the patient back to health as well as to teach the patient about the core principles of health maintenance and prevention.

Functional Medicine Philosophy –

The philosophy recognizes that each patient is a unique individual with a unique set of genetics and biochemistry, as well as a unique set of environmental and lifestyle factors. These genetic/environment interactions are complex not simple. Thus a person could potentially have the same disease with a completely different set of causes. To that end, the approach of functional medicine relies less on synthetic drugs and more on the thorough investigation of a patient using the following tools:
  • Comprehensive medical history
  • Evaluation of the patient’s lifestyle and environmental factors.
  • Functional outcomes based laboratory workup vs. static labs based on standard deviation bell curves of an assumed normal range.
  • Comprehensive physical evaluation
  • Education based approach so that ultimately the patient is less dependent on the doctor to maintain their health.

Mainstream Medicine is Broken –

Mainstream medicine is problem focused. Drugs are prescribed to mask symptoms without concern for the root cause of the disease. Drug companies have a huge influence over what is being taught in medical schools. Additionally, drug companies are allowed to advertise to consumers directly. Both of these practices are extremely unethical and lead to numerous problems. The new health care bill created socialized medicine. What does this mean for you? – Free care that doesn’t work for chronic health conditions. Medicine is the largest business in the world despite the fact that it has perpetually failed it’s customers. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases continue to increase and spiral out of control. What is mainstream’s solution? More drugs? Drugs only mask the underlying cause of disease. If drugs haven’t worked to date, why are they perpetually pushed down our throats as the solution?

Town Center Wellness and Dr. Osborne’s Approach –

My approach is to identify the cause for their problem vs. medicating symptoms. The only way success can be achieved is to educate the patient on why the illness exists in the first place. Mainstream medicine places the patient in the role of a victim. Functional medicine empowers the patient with education so that health can be restored. The diagram above illustrates my philosophy. I developed this functional approach to fill the current medical gap.
  • DNA is influenced by the three outer triangles (these outer triangles represent the environment)
  • Biochemistry = Nutrition (vitamins, minerals, water, etc) Additionally, food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities affect biochemistry as do pollution in the air and water.
  • Physical = structure. For example, being 20 pounds overweight causes excessive pressure on your heart, blood vessels, joints, and more. Exercise greatly influences the physical aspect of the Triangle of Health.
  • Mental = your psychological and spiritual state of mind.
If you are tired of a 50 minute wait for the doctor followed by a 5 minute consult and a quick drug prescription fix, you are in the right place. Many of you that know me know that I am on the cutting edge of medicine. What I do in my office today to help patients will be common place in medicine in ten years or so. Do you have 10 years to wait to get healthy? Whether you are local in Houston or Sugar Land or far away (out of state or country), click on the become a patient tab if you have been chronically ill and don’t know why. If you are a doctor and would like to get involved, please contact Sally at

13 Responses

  1. On May 24, 2011 from Michelle:

    What you told us sounds good if you really are doing it for us an not too become rich as I have had My share of night mares with doctors an my mom had to bring me to Houston
    three years ago once we found a Doctor to care for me as all Locsl Neurolgist Had Me on so much Medicine that I had to be Detoxed once again as far as past an present GI Doctors
    I think they give up on Me as I Have A Rare Disease Whicj There Is Little Kmown About So I am one that has few good doctors as not all are in the medical field as to cate for us but rather to get rich fast while the rest of us struggle to make money ……..

    Sincerley yours,

  2. It is sad that Dr’s aren’t trained fully. That being said if a person is cd or “just” intolerant the ONLY fix is going gf. So maybe instead of being upset at someone who ‘practices medicine’ people should step up and look out of their own health. I went off gluten 12 yrs ago. I had talked to Dr’s who laughed in my face. However, 4 days after stopping it I came out of a fog. No pill will fix it as nice as a magic pill would be it is still up to me to care for myself. The Dr’s test won’t keep me from ingesting gluten, only a personal decision will. Further when I stopped I went to the Dr’s less and 12 yrs ago gf was almost a flat out joke. Because of me and people like me it isn’t any longer. Is it a pain yes but not near the pain of ingesting gluten.

  3. I was told the “diet has nothing to do with it” and you have IBS in my 20’s. Avoid caffeine and spicy food (which didnt seem to help). It wasn’t until my 7- year-old was undeniably sick that I learned more about the food and health connections. Please don’t be foolish and wait. I saw signs as early as two years earlier and i didn’t make the connection for her until reading about food allergies/intolerances for my developmentally delayed nephew.
    It was too late for me as I am struggling with leaky guy issues and growing food intolerances.
    Learn now. Change a few things at a time. Don’t wait especially if you have kids. I want to live well and long plus keep them healthy. Thanks Dr Osborne for making the info accessible. There is a great need for it.

  4. Hello Patricia, how heartening your words are. I have suffered for the past 13 months and, seven doctors later and only idiopathic diagnoses, I figured it out for myself. I am on the road to recovery, but looking back, I learned a most valuable lesson and its the one that you are spearheading…doctors will let you die, if you let them! I look forward to the day when Functional Medicine is listed on the benefit plan of every corporation in this country! God bless, respectfully, dee seilo

  5. I recently lost my brother whom was only 56 doctors never did any good for him just pill after pill, I lost my dad 25 years old age 59, I lost my mom to liver cancer 76 4 years ago, I have another brother 52 about to lose ,God help him ,to ignorance of doctors that keep feeding him pills and himself not believing in me that I found away to help him. Going Gluten Free!!!! Society and the way we eat today it is crazy and criminal! Food is killing people, my family is proof! I went Gluten Free almost 5 years ago. After so many health issues to name a few I had malignant melanoma (thank God cancer free now for 5 years!) infertility, back issues so bad, chronic throat infections my whole life 43 now (haven’t had one since going Gluten Free) hormones of the charts, migraines…. I could go on and on. I have lost family members, friends to the way I eat now. But its only their loss. I have never been so healthy and my kids are healthy! I keep up the strength and positive attitude to know my body is not in pain any more. But sad for those whom don’t believe. Thank you Dr. Osborne for saving my life and my children’s lives and the many lives you have touched! May this cycle be broken.

    1. Donna,
      My heart goes out to you for all of your losses. I am so glad that you have been able to find a gluten free lifestyle so helpful to your health!
      All the best,
      Dr. O

  6. From the time I was 26, I spoke to several Doctors about my array of symptoms for years (nausea, night time wake ups to dry heave, always cold and tired, dark circles around my eyes, brain fog, (skipping digesting issues) and my hair started to fall out and then my eyelashes, et cetera) some blew it off and others tried to rationalize it by accusing me of not taking care of myself. I took very great care of myself. I was 30 when I talked to my neighbor, a student who was in the process of studying Functional Medicine, who asked me about my background and asked to see a food diary that included how I felt after each meal. He told me he believed it was related to gluten and to just pull it out for a few months to see if I got better. I was desperate so with 100% dedication, I did. And every symptom I had before disappeared within the first week to 6 months later.

    I’m almost at a year of being gluten free and every week I feel better. I can’t believe how sick I was even going back to my teen years when I was diagnosed with depression and acid reflux and was given anti-depressants at 16! And I was an athlete who ate very healthy (read: wheat and whole grain) and didn’t even know I had a gluten sensitivity.

    So, I ask other people this question
    “What would your Dr. do for you if they couldn’t prescribe you medicine?” Because a prescription pad is the first thing they reach for before you are even done telling them what you’re going through.

  7. On June 28, 2011 from Michelle:

    Dr. Oshkourn,
    Michelle I saw that you still have my email on this page but you switched some of my spelling to make me sound dumb, an I do have many health problems as I told you above do to my rare disease an I hope that you can find someone closer to me as I do need help
    as I do have insomnia but do things right again I have been told it’s do to my disease so I
    am still having trouble not just with sleep but have gained weight back even tho I have been on the GF Diet for the last thirteen years, I just went to a allergist an had the test where they prick your back an all was normal an then had a lot of blood work done an again it came back normal so the next visit I will have the Ice Test but for now I feel like heel an am
    having more trouble including seizures.

    Sincerley yours,

  8. I look forward to the day when no resident will say, “I am sick”, its crazy, they will let you die. (Isaiah 33:24)

  9. Question:

    For those docs who say diet has nothing to do with any disease…..why do they then go right on to say avoid spicy foods, caffeine, etc.? Do they not hear how stupid that sounds?

  10. It amazes me, whether regular or natural doctors, that nothing is connected to diet, except weight which is only connected to diet. And since I dx my own celiacs or whatever I have to be wrong and I don’t have a problem with gluten.

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