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Anna Kaplan, MD

Anna's BackgroundAnna Kaplan MD

Anna L. Kaplan is a licensed physician and very experienced freelance writer. She has been writing for more than 15 years on a wide variety of topics, during the last two to three years predominantly focusing on medical subjects.

Dr. Kaplan graduated with a BA in English literature from Pomona College in 1975. She received her MD from U.S.C. School of Medicine in 1979. A three-year residency (training period) in family practice followed, and she was certified by the American Board of Family Physicians in 1982. She recertified, a normal procedure, in 1988 and 1995. She retired from active practice after 13 years, but keeps up with medicine via continuing medical education. Dr. Kaplan’s husband is a physician in a very busy practice.

Anna's Gluten Free Journey

One of the primary reasons for Dr. Kaplan leaving practice was her young son. He suffered from severe and extensive food allergies, as well as asthma, chronic sinus infections and hay fever. He was initially allergic to milk, soy, eggs, peanuts and nuts. He was unable to tolerate any kind of formula or milk replacement. His allergic symptoms varied from hives and other rashes to anaphylaxis – a life-threatening reaction including breathing difficulty, whole body redness and swelling and other symptoms that can progress to shock and death if not treated properly. He was only able to drink Tolerex, an elemental formula with 100% free amino acids, usually given by tube feedings. While he was not allergic to wheat, there were essentially no baked products that he could eat because of his other allergies. He also had a mild immune deficiency.

Because of his near-constant illness, Dr. Kaplan and her husband made the decision that one of them should be home with him. They essentially set up an emergency department in his play area, where he would be given his asthma nebulizer, allergy shots, and whatever else he needed. They had epinephrine ready in case of an anaphylactic reaction, which they only had to use once.

They also trained themselves even more fully to understand and treat food allergies, read food labels, and find ways to cope with eating restrictions. The only packaged foods like granola bars or cookies that Dr. Kaplan’s son could eat without problems were purchased from gluten-free companies. While assuring products are gluten-free, these manufacturers are also more careful to label everything correctly.

She is happy to say that he outgrew most of these allergies; he is still allergic to peanuts and nuts as well as shellfish, and always carries an Epipen in case of an accidental exposure. His diet is much less restricted. Even once he was allowed to eat more foods, he had a significant fear of food, and it took many years for him to learn to enjoy eating.

Other family members have less severe food allergies. There are lots of autoimmune diseases in the family, including rheumatoid arthritis, Grave’s disease (thyroid) and polymyalgia rheumatica. Family members have been evaluated for possible gluten intolerance; to date only one has been diagnosed with it. There has been so much illness in the immediate family that Dr. Kaplan does not even feel like she completely left medical practice. She is aware that many other autoimmune illnesses may show up later.

What Anna Is Up To Now

Dr. Kaplan has written articles and book chapters on food allergies as well as dietary supplements and carbohydrate-restricted diets. She enjoys writing about gluten intolerance and bringing up-to-date information to the members of our website.

15 Responses to Anna Kaplan, MD

  1. Eloise January 27, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    I also have a lot of allergies, soy I run to the bathroom, shellfish nuts, dairy pennicillins, anything with wheat, have asthma. Don't eat veggies because I don't break them down if you know what I mean, and within 20 minutes of eating suffer with pain and cramps .A heating pad wont work. What should my next step be, im 58 yrs old, have lost weight . I thought I was the only one with this all going on.

    • Angie Halten (Admin)
      Angie Halten (Admin) January 27, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

      Have you considered a Ketogenic diet? If you can eat meat, eggs, etc., it might be what you need.

  2. Neta March 8, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    Thank you for the excellent information !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Elaine April 10, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    I was just diagonosed with celiac disease,so appreiate all the help I can get.The Dr. thinks I have had it several years.I have been also having problems with yeast in my lungs which cause mega problems.The Dr, has given me anti-yeast medication,which helps,but after I am off it mthe same lung infections come back.Would be happy with any help you could give me,

    • Debbie August 13, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      Hi Elaine, what type of lung problems, I am newly diagnosed and had a lot of dry coughing issues.

  4. Donna April 22, 2014 at 7:15 am #

    O, for heaven's sake! Of course there is cause and effect with the GMOs and the rise of food allergies and celiac disease! Angie, much of the wheat grown in the United States is genetically modified. The protein molecules in gluten containing grains are larger than other foods, and are more difficult to digest. Unfortunatly for celiac disease individuals, these proteins cause inflammation in the digestive tract. Animals that eat genetically altered feed are developing digestive ailments, but are killed for meat before they become too sick and ailing for the public to notice. These genetically altered crops are engineered to withstand the application of the herbicde RoundUp, hence the link to celiac disease...I understand that the "old" wheats, grown without glyphosphate, such as those grown in Italy, do not cause inflammation symptoms in celiac patients; depending how sick (inflamed) they are, and therefore able to digest an already difficult food.

    • Lidia May 5, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      That is true. I was born in Europe. While on Vacation in southern Poland

      I had no problem eating bread. Over hear in USA I am on gluten free diet

      or I have a lot of digestive problem . I often look for staff made in Italy.

      I have no Celiac but I was told by Allergy MD in 1987 that I have allergy to

      to wheat . Gluten free diet seems only solution.

  5. Pauline Yaschuk June 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

    my husband suffers from celiac disease and is doing peritoneal dialysis once in a while our son in law brings tim hortons muffins and my husband thinks it is okay to have one as he thinks it wont hurt him and idon,t agree with this as i know it will bother his intestinal tract AND COULD IT BE HARMFUL TO OTHER PARTS OF HIS BODY

    • Angie Halten (Admin)
      Angie Halten (Admin) July 2, 2014 at 8:43 am #

      Your husbands doctor would be the best person to advise him on what and what not he should eat, and what is harmful to him. However you may want to mention to your donut-loving husband (we are working on a gluten free donut recipe, so I will let you know when its perfected!!) that when he eats anything with gluten, his immune system responds by damaging the lining of his intestinal tract. It's not just an upset tummy he's experiencing (some people don't even symptoms), eating gluten actually causes internal damage and consequently affects the body's ability to absorb nutrients.

    • Marla Hingley
      Marla Hingley December 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

      I just finished making these delicious little doughnuts. They may not be just like Tim Hortons but I think they'd put a smile back on his face! https://www.glutenfreeclub.com/mini-cake-doughnuts

  6. Zelma July 11, 2014 at 5:40 am #

    Are there any supplements you should be taking for inflamation or any other issues that ong with celiac? I was diagnosed 4 months ago, and have yet to be seen by a nutitionist or dietitian.

    • Angie Halten (Admin)
      Angie Halten (Admin) July 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

      That is a question best directed towards your doctor. Since they know your complete medical and dietary history, they can give you the best recommendations.

  7. Elaine October 7, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi, Well I am on gluten free because I am allergic to Nickel and Wheat contains nickel. I am open to all suggestions elaine k.

    • Angie Halten (Admin)
      Angie Halten (Admin) October 8, 2014 at 8:38 am #

      Once you start doing some research, you realize how many foods contain nickel (grains, vegetables, fruit, meats). A gluten free diet is definitely a way to start, then substitute out any nickel-containing ingredients from the gluten free recipes you find. Unfortunately we don't have our recipes categorized for nickel-free at this time.

  8. MAE July 29, 2015 at 5:46 am #

    I have eaten gluten free food and sometimes I still have stomach cramps and diareah I,m very careful I don,t know what to do as I have celiac as well anything you tell me will help thank you .

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