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John F. Kennedy Likely Had Celiac Disease

President John F. Kennedy was plagued with documented gastrointestinal issues throughout his life.  According Irish Central, they were likely the result of undiagnosed celiac disease. Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten, is common among individuals of Irish ancestry and a diet free of grains could have spared JFK a great deal of agony. 

To the outside world, Kennedy appeared to be a picture of health. When compared with his predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower, he radiated vitality and youth. Famously, Kennedy was seen as the victor in the first televised presidential debate. His opponent was a haggard and sweat-soaked Richard Nixon. Ironically, radio listeners actually gave the nod to Nixon. This was a turning point in presidential history and still illustrates importance of perception.

It is now known that the fit and dynamic persona that Kennedy presented to the world was a fiction. He spent much of his youth ill or convalescing from a litany of ailments. At one point doctors thought he might have leukemia, and what followed were aggressive treatment protocols involving steroids and repeated X-rays.

Later in life Kennedy apparently suffered Addison’s disease, an adrenal condition that is potentially life threatening, and serious back problems. It is possible that these debilitating ailments were the result of the overuse of powerful pharmaceuticals. That he accomplished all that he did, despite his health problems and questionable medical care, is a testament to his vigor and determination. 

Awareness of celiac disease has grown significantly, and many Americans embrace a gluten-free diet despite not suffering from celiac disease. Keep in mind that just because a food is gluten-free does not automatically make it healthy. There are plenty of gluten-free junk foods out there.

In my experience, nearly everyone benefits from avoiding grains, even whole sprouted grains, whether you have a gluten intolerance or not. That's because grains have high net carbs and avoiding them will help improve your mitochondrial function. Impaired mitochondrial function can exacerbate health problems related to insulin resistance, such as overweight, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and more serious problems like heart disease and cancer.

The first course of action for curing celiac disease isn’t medicine or surgery — it’s actually a strict and lifelong gluten-free diet. Once you’re diagnosed with celiac disease, consult a dietitian to know the right foods that you should eat. The first step is to eliminate major sources of gluten, typically found in whole grains.

By removing these gluten sources from your diet, you can potentially reduce the inflammation in your small intestine. Although you start to feel better in a few days, healing time may take several weeks. Complete healing and regrowth of the villi, or small intestinal lining, lasts for several months or years.

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