I thought this might be of interest to you in particular because you seem quite up to date with the mercury/autism/naturalism noise that is circulating the internet.
My name is John and I’m fairly new to blogging. I’m a big fan of http://scienceblogs.com particularly because there is so much skepticism of untested medical theory that passes as “wisdom” so often on the internet.
However, when it comes to my pet medical cause, Celiac Disease, I’ve noticed that the gluten-free diet often ends up associated with anti-vaccinationists and other sorts of medical quackery. Gluten returns as a search result 20 times on scienceblogs.com, almost exclusively in relation to tainted Chinese products or the latest fads in autism quackery. Celiac only returns three times: once as a user comment, once in a list of digestive conditions, and once in reference to the celiac trunk and not celiac disease at all.
What I would love to see for once, is a story about Celiac Disease and the medically verified effects of a gluten-free diet.
from my site http://glutenblog.com:
The University of Chicago estimates that as few as 3% of all affected Celiac Disease patients have been correctly diagnosed – and on average, those “lucky” few have waited 11 years from the onset of symptoms until the diagnosis was made.
Random sampling and records from nations with universal screening indicates that Celiac Disease affects between 1 in 90 and 1 in 133 people.
This meets the World Health Organization’s frequency criteria for universal screening, but we barely ever catch it. Everyone thinks of allergies: hives, asphyxiation, swelling – but the symptoms of intolerence are completely different.
The patient may be underweight or overweight, constipated or constantly suffering diarrhea. There might be an intensely itching skin irritation, or exhaustion, or symptoms of malnutrition and dehydration. Then again, there may be no symptoms at all.
The University of Chicago says there are over 200 possible symptoms of Celiac Disease and some of these include neurological disfunction or impaired development. Statistically, it makes sense for autistic patients to be tested for Celiac Disease but legitimate scientists shy away from the subject because of its exploitation by profiteering quacks. Maybe I’m wrong about testing autistic individuals for Celiac, but since the WHO says everyone should be tested for Celiac Disease, it would be a cost-effective compromise to at least test chronically ill patients for the disease.