Success Stories – Gluten Sensitivity

“ I just could not bring myself to give my daughter oral steroids for her eczema  as none of the Drs could tell me why her skin was so bad or what was causing it. I knew I needed to calm her immune system down & bring her body back into balance. I felt that adding steroids to the situation would only make things worse – at best it would be a band aid to get her through, but it would not cure the eczema and I just felt the long term effects of steroids was a route I didn’t want to take.

We started a g-free diet. It took a few weeks of dedication but her skin started to heal & clear up.  It was incredible – clearly she had always had an issue w/ gluten but it w/ the stress of the move her body could no longer “cope” with it. My daughter does eat some dairy, but she never touches gluten.

I know for sure that gluten is the issue. I don’t need to put her through a biopsy.  On 2 occasions when she inadvertently had gluten her skin immediately (within an hour) reacted – she developed hives/blisters on her skin which were very uncomfortable. It took 6 wks to calm down. She manages her diet herself – she truly understands cause & effect -she knows gluten is her enemy & she is the one that suffers if she eats it. She very happily has adopted a g-free lifestyle.

Watching my daughter go through this pain was one of the worst periods of my life.  I am glad I did not resort to steroids. I am sure that would have made her situation worse.  I am so grateful that we took gluten out of our diet.  I think my daughter is very lucky – she discovered at an early age that gluten is not good for her.  She is looking very healthy now – her hair is thicker (it has been thin since birth) – she had a growth spurt & has a lot more energy – she is just really a totally different child to a year ago.  She could have been like me & had a lifetime of feeling unwell, but never having any obvious sxs of gluten.”

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“Thank you for changing my life. Indeed, saving my life.

I had discovered through a laboratory test that I had antibodies to gluten in 2003. For the last seven years, I had very carefully avoided gluten. I learned all the unsuspecting places gluten might be found, and I have been very careful to avoid them. Since avoiding gluten, the sharp, stabbing pains that I had in my lower abdomen have gone away, but I was still extremely fatigued. Fatigued to the extent that I took an early retirement from work, I underwent a sleep study which did not find any major problems, and I would limit my car travel to just a few miles from home. It felt as if someone had drained all the blood from my body. Also, each annual physical would come up with a finding of progressively lower total white blood cell counts.

In 2009 and 2010, I saw both Dr. Petersen and Dr. Mousseau. They had me take a stool test checking for parasites. As strange as that might sound because I had not been backpacking or traveling to third world countries and I had no complaints of diarrhea, I followed their directions. Amazingly, the results came back positive for a parasite called Cryptosporidium. They explained that this parasite is common on food and in the water. It frequently does not bother people who do not have a reaction to gluten and who have normal immune systems, but people who are sensitive to gluten can have irritated intestines that allow the parasites to stay and make a home. Although it was challenging, I took the medication they prescribed, and right away my energy levels jumped about five hundred percent. I now feel like I have normal energy levels.

There is just no way to say “thank you for giving me my life back.” What a gift these two doctors have to unravel very illusive issues that can make you feel like part of the “walking dead”. Dr. Petersen and Dr. Mousseau, thank you a million times.”


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Conventional medicine kept pronouncing me healthy, but I knew there was something terribly wrong. I had to go through five doctors before I found the doctors at HealthNOW, who immediately identified the root cause of my problems as a gluten intolerance.

During the second half of my 50′s, I was feeling constant pain–traveling joint and muscle pain that felt like I had the flu. I took a lot of over-the-counter painkillers, and when those didn’t work anymore, I complained to my primary care doctor, who sent me to a rheumatologist, who did some tests and said I had arthritis like everybody else and would have to learn to live with it.

He gave me some little tools for people who have limited mobility in their hands. As the pain got worse, my primary care doctor eventually started giving me steriod injections. I knew the risk, but life wasn’t worth living with that much pain.

A year ago, I tried to tough it out without steroids. I started to get migraines every day or two. I was overweight and couldn’t lose weight. It hurt even to walk, so I wasn’t getting enough exercise. Everything felt swollen, and I was exhausted.

One morning I woke up with really severe joint pain, a migraine coming on, and a stuffy nose from hayfever. I took an antihistamine, and within two hours, the stuffy nose was gone, the migraine was gone and nearly all of the pain was gone. That was a huge discovery, because it narrowed down my question to “What’s causing my body to make all this histamine?”

I started looking for the answer, and I had a feeling it was going to turn into a quest. I started with the standard tests at my annual physical–all results were normal. My doctor’s jaw dropped when I told him the antihistamine story, but he didn’t have any ideas. My next stop was an endocrinologist, who did more extensive testing, and once again the results were normal. Her jaw dropped with the antihistamine story, but because of that, she sent me to an allergist.

By then, I had read several books that I call “epidemic” series, which described common problems that standard medicine tends not to treat. I read a couple of books on delayed food sensitivities and also found out that I had an aunt and a cousin with celiac disease. I started to wonder if I might have one or more food sensitivities. The allergist did a blood test for celiac disease, and it was negative and she said I had no food allergies but found that I had various common airborne allergies. She concluded that that was what was causing my problems and prescribed a second antihistamine. She kept saying “you are a very unusual case,” and finally I asked why. She said that most people with such severe joint pain usually have very severe respiratory problems, and I hardly had any.

That was a major red flag. I was not yet ready to give up my quest to find the root cause. I wanted to find a clinic that knew more about delayed food sensitivities. Otherwise I would have resign myself to my fate to continued daily anitihistamines that the allergist prescribed.

Coincidentally, I found out that one of my coworkers had recently been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, and she told me the name of her clinic: HealthNOW in Sunnyvale. I looked at their website and called them immediately. Even before the blood and saliva tests confirmed that I was gluten intolerant, I was put on their elimination diet. Within the first four days, I lost four pounds and 90% of my pain, as the inflammation immediately faded away. The shape of my face changed in the first week on the diet.

In the past six months, I have lost 16 pounds without trying to diet. My routine medical tests have gone from “normal” to “remarkable for a person of my age.” Unless I eat gluten by mistake,  I have no pain–not even arthritis pain. I have flexibility in my joints that I haven’t felt for many years. I have much more energy, and my short-term memory span has increased from five digits to eight digits. I am taking no medications. Life is worth living again. I do my best to spread the word. I could have saved years of pain and a good deal of medical expense if I had only known about the HealthNOW clinic sooner.


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Over the last several years, I felt my mind and body slowly declining in health.  I wasn’t “flying high” on life like I used to feel.  My ability to juggle family, work and the Reserves was taking its toll. Something wasn’t right. I was increasingly fatigued and brain-fogged – coworkers and family took note. I thought I was eating well, but was slowly gaining weight.  I reached an all-time high of 163 lbs (I’m only 5’4″). I suffered from head, neck and back aches, eczema, high cholesterol, heartburn and lots of irritability (my wife would agree). Bottom line…this jet was grounded!

My primary care physician (PCP) visit was not pleasant.  He was quick to prescribe simvastatin (for life) to address the high cholesterol. He didn’t write down the other symptoms I was suffering from and suggested I “just eat better and work out more.”  He had to attend to other patients…my visit was pushing the 15 min limit. In his mind, it was an easy fix.

I asked him if there was any way to avoid the simvastatin and whether or not we could get to “root cause”, as advertised in this HealthNOW Medical ad I saw on TV.  He just scoffed at the notion and said, “you gotta watch out – there are a lot of quacks out there trying to make a buck off you.  Besides, I am solving your problem.  Take the simvastatin and come back in 6 months for a follow up.” I was treated like nothing more than a name and a number on a chart.  Not good enough for me.

As an engineer, I am well versed in root cause analysis.  My PCP was useless.  Enter HealthNOW – my jackpot discovery for 2008.  I was thoroughly tested like never before! The high cholesterol (even when on simvastatin) was confirmed. I suffered from adrenal exhaustion. I was the poster-boy for something called “gluten intolerance” (WHAT?!), and it was all topped off with a bonus bug called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) found in my intestinal tract! It was an eye opening and humbling experience. Time to bring the “high-flying” jet in for an overhaul. At least I was treated like a customer at HealthNOW – better yet…more like family.

Nearly five months later, I am a slim 142 lbs, free from H. pylori (a Class-I carcinogen – see, I did my research), my adrenals are back to “normal,” and I am well on my way to eating better for the rest of my life. ALL the credit goes to HealthNOW Medical and the entire staff. I now avoid gluten like the plague. When I do accidentally eat it (even just a trace), boy do I feel it! The elimination diet helped me determine that I am also sensitive to eggs, citrus and dairy. The PT/Chiro combo has paid HUGE dividends. “Rupa said so!” is my fighting mantra! I haven’t felt and looked this good since 1990s (my wife – also a HealthNOW patient, would agree). I am flying high again juggling everything on my plate with ease, a clear mind, motivation and energy, and without simvastatin. Who’s the quack now, PCP?!

Thank you, HealthNOW!

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“I started working with Dr Rick Petersen in the fall of 2005 after attending a seminar he presented at my company. I had problems sleeping, was very overweight, and suffered from high cholesterol and blood pressure.

With a program of lab tests and a specialized diet called the modified elimination diet, Dr Petersen diagnosed a gluten sensitivity (which I had never known about nor suspected), and a bacterial infection, H.Pylori, (didn’t know about that one either!) and put me on a program to restore my health. By adopting the weight loss plan that HealthNOW utilizes, I lost 40 lbs. and brought my weight down to an optimal level for my height.

My blood pressure also normalized and my cholesterol dropped 77 points in 9 months without taking any medication.

I have more energy than I’ve had in many, many years and I feel like a new person.

More than three years after starting the program, I now go rock climbing twice a week, do yoga exercises each week, and everyone I meet exclaims “You look great, have you lost more weight?” My body composition is improving and I have actually started to gain some weight, this time in the form of muscle instead of fat.

I have learned to select natural, real foods that are compatible with my nutrition plan, and don’t miss at all the things I no longer eat.

In short, the HealthNOW Method has helped me turn my life around.

Thanks very much”


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“I complained that I was exhausted all of the time, my gut hurt most of the time and I had chronically inflamed and painful sinuses, AND the medical profession didn’t have a clue what to do with me as I appeared otherwise ‘healthy’ and they could find no CAUSE for the above problems.

Dr Petersen said, ‘Be patient and work with us and I promise you that we’ll do everything we can to fix you up and get you feeling healthy again.’

Well, it’s been an adventure!

Our first major discovery was that when I eat gluten in any form my body mounts an immune response and I feel horrible all of the time.

3 months after quitting all gluten my gut quit aching, my tendonitis in my arms cleared up, my enlarged tonsils shrunk away to nothing, my sinuses got 100% better (after 25 years of pain!) and I felt much better.

The doctors never gave up on me, even though I live 2 ½ hours away and couldn’t visit often, they continued to check in on me with ‘How are you doing NOW?’

Well, with the most recent discovery that I am very carbohydrate sensitive, I FINALLY feel HEALTHY again. NO tiredness, LOTS of energy, no pains, no stomach aches, no sinus problems … YEAH!!!!

This note is to say ‘Thank You’… my life is happy and wonderful because I actually feel healthy ALL OF THE TIME!

If you need help with your Health, put yourself in their hands… they CAN help, they WANT to help, they LOVE helping and you’ll feel better… just remember, be patient!”


Photographer, Sacramento

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With my gluten sensitivity, my body has gone through much deterioration which is only now being cured with the help of HealthNOW Medical Clinic. The back of my retinas had holes in them. I woke up one morning and could only see wavy figures and dark shadows.

I was actually going blind but now I can see without my glasses. I called Kaiser but I was told they couldn’t do anything and that I would only get worse. Through a network of friends, someone finally directed me to HealthNOW Medical in Sunnyvale. The holes in my retinas have been healed and even the spider veins in my legs are going away because my body can focus on healing now that my small intestines are healing. I trust HealthNOW Medical. They have been incredible.


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I remember asking Dr Petersen how good should an almost 50 year old feel. I didn’t know the answer to that, and to be frank, I was dubious that anyone could help me to feel much better than I did.

Boy, was I wrong! Between the program of adjustments and chiropractic care and the nutritional diagnosis and regimen, I am, literally, a new woman.

Within days of going on a modified elimination diet, I felt more energy, less fatigue, and even a lot less moodiness! I didn’t know exactly what the key was until my lab tests came back, but I knew they’d hit on something important. I never would have guessed at my intolerance for gluten without them.

Now, gluten-free for over 4 months, I have lost weight and I’m able to start reintroducing lactose into my diet.

Still, when Dr Petersen claimed that their program of slowly de-stressing my adrenal system would allow me to be allergy-free, even from cats, I was again skeptical. I had been acutely allergic to cats since I was eleven years old. I couldn’t even be in the same room with them! However, last month, after three months of being gluten-free and caring for my adrenal system’s repair, I was able to pet a friend’s cat with no reactions! I never would have believed it.

I just want to thank everyone at HealthNOW. You have a wonderful clinic filled with helpful and caring professionals.

Regards, N.E.

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I was first referred to the HealthNOW Medical Center in the spring and while I’ve only been actively receiving treatment for 30 days, the results have been amazing.

This is the first time that I can truly say a course of treatment has literally changed my life. I have been a chronic sufferer of airborne allergies, sinus problems, migraines, stomach disorders and severe back, neck and shoulder pain. While I have used prescription medication virtually all my life to control the related symptoms, I’ve never found any treatment to relieve the underlying problems. The team at HealthNOW was the first group of medical professionals to actually find the underlying cause of my symptoms!

Since following the course of treatment prescribed, including a gluten-free diet, vitamins, supplements and regular chiropractic appointments, virtually all my symptoms have disappeared in 30 days or less.

When first arriving at the clinic, I was on three types of allergy medications a day, along with prescription migraine pills and the occasional painkiller for my back aches. After starting treatment, I stopped using all my medications and have found no need to even keep them in my purse or cabinet.

You really don’t know what a good day is until you have one again after years of pain and problems. The treatments and consultations I receive at HealthNOW are painless and productive. I have searched for a group of medical professionals who actively wanted me, the patient, to be involved in my own course of treatment. Dr. Rick and Dr. Dean are the first doctors to allow me a seat at the table, so to speak.

While my treatments involve permanent lifestyle changed including saying goodbye to wheat products forever, this is a small price to pay for the amazing changes in how I feel, how I’m able to function and the overall quality of my life.
- H.G.

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Prior to finding HealthNOW I was getting very discouraged with traditional medical practices. I was told over and over again that the trouble I had with walking was simply because I was too fat and have arthritis. I was beginning the think the next step for me was a wheel chair.

I attended one of Dr Petersen’s lectures and started treatment the next week. After going on the modified elimination diet and finding out that I am gluten intolerant everything has fallen into place. My allergy symptoms are almost gone and I have eliminated 5 of my 7 medications. I have lost 23 lbs in 3 months!

The clinic has helped me so much with the chiropractic treatments and the physical therapy has helped tremendously.

My energy level continues to improve daily.

Thank you to each and every one of the staff at HealthNOW for the wonderful care. – K.G.

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I am 37 years old and have been chronically ill, bedridden and on prescription steroids for nearly 20 years.  I have suffered from disabling chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, chronic infections, insomnia, allergies, asthma and irritable bowel syndrome.

I have sought help from physicians all over the country, including renowned rheumatologists, endocrinologists, pain specialists and a host of others.  I have been prescribed hundreds of drugs, many of which have made me sicker than my original ailments.

As recent complications from the steroids got worse, I knew that if I didn’t get off these powerful drugs I may eventually die from drug-related complications, rather than from the original ailments.  I expressed my concerns to specialists at three local hospitals and the unanimous conclusion was that there was nothing they could do and that I would likely be on steroids for life.

I thank God that I made the call to HealthNOW as it changed my life forever.  Within 2 weeks the doctors found numerous infections which had been causing the symptoms which I had experienced for half of my life! We also found out that I am gluten intolerant.  I am experiencing a truly miraculous recovery.  After one month of treatment I felt a dramatic reduction in my pain and fatigue and was able to reduce my steroid medication.

I am now nearly OFF my steroids and feel incredible.  I feel like I have a future to live into now – a future full of new found happiness and vigor, the possibility of children and a future free of suffering!

I thank the entire staff of HealthNOW for this gift of new life.  You practice brilliant medicine! – E.M.

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Before coming to HealthNOW Medical Center I was controlled by food, hungry all the time, not feeling full once I ate, craving carbohydrates and getting into a circle of eating sugar and then trying to go off. I also had trouble concentrating, my memory was weak and I had trouble sleeping, being overly tired at the end of the day.

I had most of these symptoms since adolescence.  Since I was treated with Adrenal support vitamins and for gluten intolerance, I feel free of my symptoms.  I can sleep more soundly, I remember the notes on the piano, I have more stamina and….da-da…have lost and kept off 16 pounds!

I now eat only foods without gluten, sugar and dairy, keep up my activity and rigorous exercise helps even more. I try to small meals, often, and depend more on nuts and fats such as avocado and goat cheese to satiate my hunger in between meals.

I am very grateful to the staff who have given the gift of health back to me.


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Before coming to HealthNOW I was fatigued all the time no matter how much I slept the day before. My energy level was horribly low and unnatural for my age (33). Even though I had these symptoms for many years, they have disappeared after 2 months of treatment!

I have learned that certain foods were contributing to this and I have removed them from my diet. Living dairy and gluten-free requires more thought and planning but is well worth the benefits.

In addition to the fatigue I also had problems with insomnia and neck and back pain. Again, these symptoms have completely or nearly subsided after this short course of treatment.

The adjustments and vitamins have made a tremendous difference to my overall health- it is dramatically improved.

Thanks! – T.H.

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I came to HealthNOW Medical to merely gather information about ways to alleviate extreme fatigue I’d been experiencing.  For more then 10 years, I experienced a number of issues ranging from digestive to neck and back problems to just an overall bad/uncomfortable physical state.

Now not only am I almost 100% symptom free, but I’ve learned about triggers, such as gluten, that cause my body to react negatively.  I have learned that I’m gluten intolerant so I’ve modified my diet to eliminate gluten.

I was a heavy coffee drinker, and I learned that caffeine was affecting my adrenal glands, which was causing my fatigue.

Overall, I feel like a normal human being!!!! It’d been so long that I’d forgotten what it was like to feel “normal” and pain free.  This wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the folks at HealthNOW Medical. – N.C.

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I was a mess. I felt really old, struggling to get through the day. I got “summer colds” 5 and 6 times a year, in spring, summer and fall. Most of those times, I had to take a few days off from work.

I hated to drive at night, when oncoming headlights made my eyes hurt so badly. (Yellow lenses helped, but they weren’t good enough.) I absolutely had to wear sunglasses during the day, for the same reason.

And all of that was before things got really bad.

When things were at their worst, I was gaining a pound or two a month, instead of a pound or two a year. I gained 25 lbs in no time at all. I had hives on my legs, elbows, and the tops of my feet. They itched so horribly that I just had to scratch, until I had open sores everywhere.

Serious antihistamines gave me temporary relief, so I knew I had an “allergy” problem. But I didn’t know what I was allergic to–and I’m not a fan of taking drugs to treat symptoms. So I kept my eye out for solutions.

Fortunately, I found the folks at HealthNOW Medical. I went to Dr. Vikki’s lecture on weight loss, of all things, and discovered that the most common food to produce negative reactions is, wheat, due to the gluten it contains.

I did my homework on gluten reactions. Sure enough, most every single symptom I had been experiencing stemmed from that single, root cause–and it explained quite a few childhood ailments as well.

I began working with Dr. Rick. We removed all possible symptom-producing foods from my diet, slowly adding back those that were found to be OK. We shored up my exhausted adrenal glands, and provided higher levels of nutrients I hadn’t been absorbing well–with the understanding that these were temporary measures necessary to counter gluten’s ill effects.

The results were astonishing.

In a matter of months, I dropped the 25 lbs. of excess weight. Over the next year, my energy levels steadily rose. I became more productive at work, and began exercising more regularly and more vigorously, so my body fat percentage keeps improving.

The itching stopped almost immediately. The sores on my legs and arms began to heal, and recede. Eventually, they vanished altogether. I still have an “early warning radar” in the form of itchy elbows or feet whenever I unknowingly encounter something that has gluten in it. But I use that warning to identify the offender and remove it from my diet.

Now, I frequently find myself outdoors or driving at night for quite a while before suddenly realizing that I forgot to put on my shades.

I found gluten-free versions of breads and even cookies, so I didn’t feel like I was missing much–but I also found that I was no longer, addicted, to them, as I had been with wheat. I can go days without eating them and never even miss them.

I feel great after my treatment. And, as my insides heal, things just keep getting better.

Most of all, I feel energetic as I did 20 years ago. I no longer feel like I’m too old that I’m just “hanging on” unable to do much. In many ways, I’m stronger now than I ever was. It’s a kick and a half to be young and active again!

Oh, yeah and the rosacea (acne) that was slowly taking over my face? It’s all gone. I couldn’t be happier.

Health Advocate

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