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Dr. Drew: What is Leaky Gut?

Recently a reader left a comment for me about an unfortunate interview in which Dr. Drew discusses celiac disease and leaky gut with a famous actress.

As those of us with celiac disease know, we are often questioned (not always in a constructive manner) by family and friends who do not understand the medical challenges we face.

Here is what we are often told about our conditions and the steps we take to remediate them:

  • just a little bit won’t hurt you (fill in that sentence with gluten or other substances that make you ill)
  • it’s all in your head
  • you’re just following the latest fad

These types of questions are not malicious, they come from a place of ignorance and lack of education.


Unfortunately, it seemed that during his show, Dr. Drew was not entirely aware or informed when it came to his subject matter and did not display a comprehensive understanding of celiac disease and leaky gut. This is most regrettable as the doctor missed an opportunity to educate his audience on a disease that is widespread in the American population and around the world.

Celiac awareness and education is much farther along in other countries; in fact, in Italy, children are tested for celiac disease before they reach the age of 6. Celiac disease meets the World Health Organization standards for universal screening and is considered an epidemic by this organization.

Here is the video in which Dr. Drew takes a less than sympathetic tone towards an individual with celiac disease and leaky gut:

As you can see from the video Dr. Drew is not familiar with leaky gut and does not entirely understand the concept of this medical disorder. Dr. Drew, here is a description of leaky gut from Dr. Andrew Weil, who says that leaky gut:

..affects the lining of the intestines. The theory is that leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability), is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction.

Leaky gut can lead to the following disorders:

  • chronic inflammation
  • food allergies
  • skin rashes
  • joint pain
  • fatigue

So, here is my urgent plea to Dr. Drew: please use your platform as a public persona to further education regarding medical issues, rather than perpetuating common stereotypes and misinformation. This is a small request from those of us in the celiac community who work so hard in the name of celiac awareness and education.

Now is the time to rectify the unfortunate interview of Jennifer Esposito with a story on what celiac disease actually is and how it impacts the lives of millions of Americans. Leave a comment below if you wish to urge Dr. Drew to remedy this situation.


posted on December 2, 2012, 121 comments

  1. Lauren

    He should be ashamed of himself. The way he acted in this interview was quite unprofessional and also portrayed him to be a bit under-educated. He changed his tone a bit as the interview went on, but the first 2 minutes really left a bad taste in my mouth.

    • Enid Barnes

      I agree with everyone re his unprofessionalism and the spin that he was trying to put on things. It was like he was trying to do some kind of investigative piece. He kept prodding her to answer in a way that would demonstrate his “understanding:” that she was being ‘overly-dramatic,’ and that this was probably psychosomatic. He certainly was not LISTENING, and there is no excuse for him, especially as a physician, to be so obtuse, undereducated, and insensitive.

      • unfortunately for invisible chronic illnesses like celiacs, chron’s, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue it is common for most physicians even trained specialists to have this tone…it’s just that in this case a situation that happens frequently with myself in the confides of a patient room, this was televised for the world to see. Doctors can be facetious, condescending, arrogant and just plain mean and rude.

  2. Education, for him and then for others, seems to be needed here… thanks, Elana!

  3. Elyse

    Thank goodness there are other educated and compassionate doctors in the world. Dr. Drew should be ashamed not because of his apparent ignorance about Celiac disease and leaky gut, but because of the number of times he interrupted this woman who is sharing a personal health story on television.

  4. Sara

    I am horrified by his manner and his tone. This would have been a perfect moment for him to learn by listening, rather then interrupting Jennifer. I hope that he will do some research about leaky gut syndrome and then educate his viewers, because they sadly were not given the opportunity to learn from Jennifer who it appears would have loved to explain more.

  5. Kudos to Jennifer for retaining her composure while Dr. Drew made mis-assumptions, was condescending and exercised medical hubris.

  6. Mary Ann

    I hope that Dr. Drew WILL educate himself on celiac disease and leaky gut syndrome. Maybe Dr. Weil and Dr. Drew can get together and do a show about this chronic disease. This reminds me of how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was seen just a few years ago!
    Dr. Drew use your platform to clarify this disease. If you don’t know what it is, then there must be a huge number of people who need more info as well!

  7. Amy G.

    Jennifer is a class act. I don’t understand what Dr. Drew’s angle was with trying to trip her up and embarrass her at the beginning. I so hope that she returns to “Blue Bloods.” It isn’t the same without her!

  8. Marianna March

    I feel this was an unfortunate interview that did little to educate the public about the seriousness of celiac disease. I would love for someone more educated on the matter to be able to participate in a televised conversation regarding celiac disease to better help the public to understand the disease.

  9. vedjen @ vedjen.com

    Agreed. Dr. Drew should be ashamed of his lack of preparedness for his interview with Jennifer Esposito. As the tagline for the interview is that she was suspended from the show because of medical conditions — a quick google search will bring up her new site which is all about celiac, her experience with celiac, and her new gf products.

    But I digress. We’re talking Dr. Drew here. Celebrity Rehab, anyone?

    Mad props to Jennifer Esposito though. I was impressed with how well she kept it together even after it was clear he was ignorant to Celiac and leaky gut and kept trying to put words in her mouth.

  10. We need more awareness for all these diseases. I have not been formally diagnosed yet, but am pretty confident I do have celiacs. My wife also has Multiple Sclerosis, and because of me having to go Gluten Free, she is too. Many of here symptoms have been reduced or eliminated. MS and Celiacs is very similar in that they both share that “but you don’t look sick” persona. Hopefully more shows will bring awareness to the cause without sensationalization. (Not sure if that is a word. LOL) We were on Anderson Cooper last year to talk about my wife’s MS, but much of the interview was edited. Lastly, I gotta say Dr. Drew’s interviewing style was a bit harsh and he needs to understand that because he is a Dr, doesn’t mean we will understand the answers he was looking for. Let people explain it as they experience it!!

  11. Joan Z. Rough @ jzrart.wordpress.com

    This is a doctor I wouldn’t go to even if you offered me millions of dollars. He needs help with his attitude and needs to keep up with what is going on out in the big world.

  12. Education on just celiac disease would help him but his personality, mannerism, out right rudeness are things that can’t be changed. He’s a jerk, plain and simple. And good grief, stop running over your ‘guest’! Condescending, arrogant, no listening, un-informed…
    Jennifer held up to him well but he’s the exact kind of doctor that is the problem with this disease.

  13. Mary Waldner @ marysgonecrackers.com

    Well said, Elana. Even if we excuse the hostility displayed by Dr. Drew, he clearly was trying to reach a larger audience by continuously focusing Ms. Esposito on “what most people can relate to.” Meanwhile, he missed an opportunity to educate “most people” on this common and hugely undiagnosed disease. Sadly, he seems to reflect the ignorance in the medical community in the U.S. Hope he listens to his audience.

  14. Christine Grice

    I have always felt that Dr. Drew is quite a compassionate man, but he clearly did not understand the gravity or the frustration Jennifer was trying to get across. Thank you Jennifer for putting yourself out there for all of us, and for your superb composure in the face of ignorance!!

  15. Anne

    I sincerely hope this man is not practising as a GP. He is rude, speaking over his guest, not listening to her at all, and ignorant beyond belief. What an unprofessional Dr.

  16. Beverly

    I was pleased toward the end when Dr Drew finally started listening and let Jennifer complete her sentences and thoughts. He seemed to be trying to sensationalize the story at the beginning. TV marketing games strike again.
    CBS needs to make up with Jennifer. Not sure what is going on but the new actress “replacing” Jennifer on Blue Bloods seems ackward in the role. Maybe the writers are still writing for Jennifer and the new actress just can’t pull it off.

  17. Nicole

    Dr Drew needs to remember that he is a healthcare provider first and a tv personality second. He had horrible “bedside” manner. Seeing as he knew what the topic was going to be he could have at least googled Celiac disease to get a basic understanding. I can completely relate to her frustration an hopefully now it will be seen as more than “trendy” condition.

  18. Kimberly

    It took me 10 years to find a doctor that diagnosed “leaky gut syndrome”. It would be helpful to doctors and people who suffer these symptoms to be made aware of how it works. Please use your media as an educator giving the facts.

  19. PS

    My mother was a psych nurse who worked with Dr. Drew at a psychiatric hospital back when he was on KROQ’s Loveline and when his celebrity career was just starting. My mother was star-struck with him, and at the time, so was I… but I also started hearing rumors of him being an arrogant know it all jerk even then.

    Looks like the rumors are true and that he does indeed believe he knows it all. It doesn’t make him right… it just pigeonholes him with a lot of other people in the mental health field who think they have all the answers and that they’re better than everyone else.

    Most of his career has been working with psychiatric conditions and drug addictions and he should therefore keep his professional opinions in that realm, not in subjects where he doesn’t have a clue. He might have studied internal medicine but that was decades ago, and well before we knew what we do now about celiac. I wouldn’t trust his opinion on this subject half as far as I could throw him.

  20. Judy

    Sadly, Dr. Drew’s attitude is typical of many in the the medical profession. I, the physician, know everything, and you, the patient know nothing.

    It’s just not limited to Celiac Disease. In my case I’m an asthmatic who is also a diabetic. If my blood sugars get too low then I have an asthma attack. If I eat the ADA diet my blood sugar spikes and then crashes. Yup, you got it, then I have an asthma attack. This is why I’m on your site and others pursuing a grain-free diet to stabilize my blood sugar because breathing, I have learned, is a privilege.

  21. Monique

    Wow. I am shocked by the way Dr. Drew treated her. It was like he did not believe she was sick and was interrogating her. I guess I should not be surprised since I have suffered that treatment from some doctors as well as co-workers and so-called friends. I hope Dr. Drew will educate himself on this issue. Bravo for the actress for publicly speaking out on her condition. I sincerely hope it does not affect her ability to get work int he future.

    Monique

  22. Lorna

    Wow. Props to her for persisting through his bullying tone. I’ve been a fan of his until now. He’s lost all credibility with me for not being prepared & informed . But it does reflect aptly, doesn’t it, on how families & “friends” often treat the celiacs they love?

  23. Diane

    Good for Jennifer Esposito to maintain her composure and to continue to try to get her message across despite the antagonistic attitude Dr. Drew had in the beginning of the interview. Dr. Drew, and other doctors, ought to respect the voice of the patient and start to see the value in what we patients have to say about our own health, rather than to denigrate us.

  24. Josef @ msn

    I feel sorry for the actress for being in the same set with the less educated doctor that I wouldn’t ask to advise me on anything medical.

  25. Carolina

    Jennifer was so graceful in this interview, and presented herself and her experiences with a lot of intelligence–despite the lack of knowledge and sensitivity on the part of Dr. Drew. I am baffled by his attitude towards her, particularly when repeatedly interrupting her–and practically antagonizing her–when she was discussing her blood tests. The “what blood test, what blood test.. . ” questioning was remarkably tactless and somewhat aggressive; what on earth was the purpose in questioning her like that? Why did he feel the need to challenge her in this way? Clearly, he is not educated in the issues surrounding celiac disease and leaky gut, and as someone who has been struggling for years to also gain recovery from these illnesses, this was so disappointing. Dr. Drew missed an opportunity to learn something, and to help educate the public about these health issues. What a shame.

  26. Jenna

    Dr. Drew, coming from a viewer that highly respects you and the work you have done for years on the radio and television, I ask you to please get educated on celiac disease. The American public needs to be educated about the problems associated with this disease and know that 1 or 2 Tablespoons in a dish at a restaurant or friend’s home will hurt me. Thank you.

    • Susan

      Reply to Jenna…

      “…know that 1 or 2 Tablespoons in a dish at a restaurant or friend’s home will hurt me.” Count yourself lucky if you don’t get sick when there’s only a little bit of wheat in your food! I got sick at a restaurant that seemed to do everything right to prevent cross-contamination. (I had spoken to the kitchen manager prior to going.)
      When I called the next day to let him know I had been sick, the only thing he could think of was the flour used to make the (non-GF) pizza might have settled in the sauces in the steam table. Yes, that would be enough to make me (and many others) sick. Too many people would not believe that an infinitesimal amount of wheat will make us sick.
      We must all persevere, as Jennifer did so beautifully, and educate people whenever we can.

  27. I saw this a few days ago and signed a petition for him to make a public apology for his condescending behavior. I don’t have celiacs, but I do have intolerances to food and many friends with it. There is nothing more frustrating than people thinking it is all in your head, and that you can just pick and choose what you can eat, and that your suggestions to leave off croutons is the biggest pain in the butt ever….

  28. Kristin

    He was really rude at the beginning of the interview, but she did a wonderful job explaining about her disease.

  29. Tessa@The Domestic Diva @ tessadomesticdiva.com

    I think any of us who have dealt with allergies and intolerances can totally relate to what Jennifer experienced in this interview. Here is a doctor who is supposed to know what to do to help you feel better and yet they look at you like you have two heads when words like “leaky gut” come out of your mouth. I has certainly been my experience with the ream of specialists I have seen for my son…no help and no information. It’s maddening to feel so helpless. And Dr Drew just perpetuated the problem. Good for you Elana…yes…he SHOULD be using his platform to educate people and help reverse this gross mis-understanding. Celiac and beyond!

  30. Grace Wise

    This really hit home for me. I feel a daily struggle to explain my symptoms to my friends and family and especially my husband. We look fine on the outside but feel like we’re falling apart. It has been a long journey getting diagnosed and understanding leaky gut.

  31. Sally - only gluten free baking @ onlyglutenfreebaking.com

    I don’t understand what point he was trying to make by trying to trip her up on everything she said. I would never see a Dr like this one where is his compassion? Its a shame he couldn’t of been more educated on the subject and try to help viewers. I think Jennifer was brilliantly composed because I would of walked out in the first two minutes.

  32. Pam

    Please educate yourself before you speak. Living with disease that others “can’t see” is bad enough, but to have those who should be able to speak for us make matters worse is adding more emotional stress to the physical and emotional stress that we carry everyday. If you can’t help, please don’t hurt.

  33. Amy

    His arrogance disgusts me. As he says, “he’s a doctor” — then get the facts and inform yourself, doctor! I admire her ability to not lose it with him.

  34. Andrea

    Dr. Drew should be ashamed of himself!! Unfortunately, Dr. Drew, like so many main stream doctors, has a narrow, traditionally trained focus instead of a holistic approach to health and wellness. As is often the case with hard to diagnose symptoms, in traditional medicine the symptoms are given a name but the underlying illness is not recognized or named. Auto immune diseases like rheumatoind arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, celiac disease, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, autism, ADHD, etc. are often treated with medication by doctors who should rather learn what role nutrition plays in eliminating the underlying inflammation and illness. Hopefully, Dr. Drew heard some of what Ms. Esposito said to him and he will be eager to learn about leaky gut and celiac disease.

  35. Stephanie

    Elana, thank you for taking the time to write this thoughtful and informative post. I’m so proud of the response garnered from the Celiac community regarding Dr. Drew’s interview. Thank you for sharing your stories and opinions – I don’t feel quite so alone in my journey. I implore Dr. Drew to take responsibilty for this situation and utilize his power to educate and heal. Please join us at change.org to sign the petition – we can make a difference.

  36. Christy S

    I hope Dr Drew will educate himself and use his platform to provide accurate information on celiac disease and leaky gut. I also hope he will apologize to Ms Esposito as he was not polite or compassionate towards her.

  37. Bev

    I get angry when professionals constantly interrupt someone’s attempt to explain as the doctor did here. I, too, am dealing with multiple food allergies as a result of gluten allergy and undiagnosed leaky gut. I’d like the Dr to know that his last comment was the most insulting. This disease is not related to “not taking care of yourself”. It is an ALLERGY THAT RECKS HAVIC ON THE BODY and continues to grow more widespread. Professionals who won’t listen to clinical presentations from patients but instead think the answer lies in their own medical school knowledge need to realize that their one-size-fits-all approach to medicine can destroy the people they propose to help. Please step outside the box, doctor. Thankfully, many doctors are.

  38. C. Wood

    Yikes, his tone… God, I relate to everything Jennifer was saying. I know what it’s like to be the healthiest looking sick person and deal with the misunderstanding. I wish her and everyone else dealing with this disease the best of health.

  39. Resolving my health problems, all of which involve chronic inflammation, has required me to educate myself beyond the narrow understanding and limiting perspectives of many doctors.

    My litmus test for a doctor is whether she or he understands why a blood test for a wheat allergy is not useful for diagnosing celiac in someone who has been gluten free for almost ten years.

    I am grateful to have discovered a group of bright and thoughtful doctors in my time, and to have the benefit of their services now. These people have my respect, gratitude, and any business I can refer to them. I am astounded by how many practitioners I have met, in the medical and other highly regulated professions, who have run the gamut from uninformed to incompetent.

    Another eye opener has been the number of restaurant professionals who lack a basic understanding of food, such as the kitchen staffer who suggested the I have the key lime pie because the crust was made of “graham flour, not wheat,” and the upscale restaurant chef that suggested I have the “wheat free” cous-cous, and when I asked to read the box, sent it out beautifully presented in napkin origami, but failed to realize that the only two ingredients – semolina and durum – are both wheat.

  40. Peggy

    I was shocked at the ignorance Dr. Drew displayed about celiac disease. It is quite a bit more than diarrhea and dehydration! And to continue to insist to the end that she is better now so it’s all okay was disconcerting; a doctor educated about autoimmune diseases would know better. I suggest Dr. Drew contact Dr. Peter Green at Columbia University for an education on this serious and growing disease. Maybe he will believe another physician, because he sure didn’t seem to believe this experienced victim.

  41. Unbelievable. Cudos to Jennifer Esposito for remaining calm, because just listening to the interview, I wasn’t able to! What arrogance. Being a “so called” doctor, does not give that man license to be drilling her so haughtily about what kind of blood tests she’d had done. A degree does not a physician make. Shame, shame, shame Dr Drew. You need to make this right and an apology is the first step.

  42. Karin Ward

    Many people have intestinal bleeding when they eat foods they are intolerant to. If they have hemeroids as well, they can be and are easily miss diagnosed.
    Many Dr.s do not want to leave the food pyramid that is touted by nutritionists. My husband and I both went on the blood type diet. We stopped eating foods we are not tolerant to at least 4 years ago. We are both doing extremely well and we can eat well without problems.
    Most people’s egos can’t handle the self discipline or even the thought of a more restricted diet. They want medicine to come up with a diet pill. No diet pill can stave off inflammation continually. The inflammation will show up a bit differently in each person, but if someone is having an ailment medicine has already determined it is from inflammation. Step aside from your ego Dr Weil and do your homework!

  43. Annetta Black

    My heart goes out to that dear woman. I could feel her frustration with him as the interview went further downhill. She was so patient with him, I suppose hoping that she could say something he COULD understand.

  44. Chrissy M

    That clip made me angry. Dr. Drew is a psychologist, not a psychiatrist. He hasn’t earned a MD. He only plays a medical doctor on television. So, why anyone would look to him to provide credible medical advice on physical ailments is beyond me. In my opinion, he’s not even great at his first profession with helping to cure addictions and other psychological problems.

    Drew lost my respect a long time ago after the rude way he humiliated Cindy Sheehan on his show. He equated Sheehan’s protest of the wars with her being mentally unstable and crazy. He’s also diagnosed stars he’s never met, and posted them on his show.

    Let me say this, I don’t dislike psychologists at all. I appreciate great therapists. But Drew is only after the spotlight, not helping people.

  45. Suzanne

    Its seems we still have a very long way to go.

  46. Nancy

    A very sensitive part of me was touched by his arrogant rudeness. Many of us deal with this more often than we care to be reminded of and a little part of me dies each time because I wonder if I’ll ever have the freedom to explain myself (when asked) without wondering if my mental or emotional health will be questioned openly. Jennifer was so wonderful. Her ability to continue in her mission of educating others AS he tried to demean her speaks volumes about her. He let his ego do his talking until his ignorance got in its way. The lack of understanding has affected me more than any of the many other things this disease has had me handle.

  47. Ashley @ bodhi-life.com

    Disgusted with him. So sad :(

  48. Barbara

    I realize that not every Dr. is familiar with Celiac Disease and that is not part of his medical specialty. But he really seemed to be trying to do a psych. tv intervention instead of interviewing someone with a disease. Dr. Drew, please make sure when your staff hand you your notes that they have at least looked up the definition and symptoms of the condition your guest has or check your pocket computer. You really came off looking foolish and missed a great opportunity to provide a real service to the celiac community. Celiac and Leaky Gut really wreak havoc with peoples lives.

  49. Beth

    This is so horrible. I never leave comments on blogs, but I am so shocked by this interview and they way she was treated by someone who is supposed to be a therapist?? Obviously he had his own message to get across…good for her for being aggressive to get out the truth of the conditions. I see many patients as a nutritionist with celiac and the damage caused by late diagnosis…I feel for her and everyone in that situation and I’m happy she gave them a voice. It’s sad so many doctors are still not current on research or open to newer diagnosis…

  50. Sharon

    “He let his ego do his talking until his ignorance got in its way.” Nicely said Nancy. Who would watch his preformances? Not on my radar.

  51. Thank you, Elana, for bringing this to the table! This interview seemed so “Hollywood” on his part, in that he kept trying to dramatize what happened to Jennifer. She was awesome! My husband and I have opened a coffee shop and paleo bistro in Denver. All the food is strictly paleo. We have proudly created a place where people can come and eat, enjoy themselves, and never have to worry about cross contamination or have to explain why they eat the way they do. It bothered me how Dr. Drew kept trying to put her on the spot…who wants to feel that way, ever!
    Elana, you are the best!
    Jami

  52. Jodi

    I don’t watch his show and I’m happy abou that, this guy is rude! He needs to have her back on and apologize.

  53. Robyn

    Pleae, please do your homework…it’s not that hard.

  54. Unfortunately people can respond to ailments with a similar tone of Dr. Drew – somewhat aggressive and defensive, when what is called for is curiosity and compassion. He should have been more informed but the key here is his approach. I do like Dr. Drew and I’ve been educated by his show, but it seems this actress is ‘under fire’ from several angles, as I understand. Good for her for standing up for what is true.

  55. annaroggen

    I wish he was my doctor so I could fire him. I would tell him what I have told a few other M.D.’s, “You’re going to be professionally humiliated as soon as the medical community catches up to the science behind this disease.”

  56. Eliana

    Kudos to Jennifer for maintaining her composure. This guy really thinks that MD stand for Medical Deity…not only is he clueless but he’s poo pooing her condition. Apparently he had coaching from the show with the script to see if something “newsy” and controversial would come out. He also doesn’t score high as an empathetic type. He asked about her blood tests and threw out that he’s a doctor and would know what they were–but not know the sympotms of celiac and leaky gut. Golly, just google it before the show if you are not sure.

  57. Anna

    What incredible ignorance. He thinks a leaky gut is a leaking colon, which he equates with diarrhea? Basically he implied that leaky gut is when your bowel leaks.

  58. rebecca antonacci

    Dr. Drew, does his medical career a dis-service along with all of his patients. For an educated Doctor, he comes off as an ignorant, accusatory lay person. I have read articles written by Jennifer Esposito prior and can feel for her frustration and would not have kept my cool like she did under his onslaught of ignorance. I give her a lot of credit she’s a wonderful actress even on set with this Bully.I’ll not listen to him ever again, knowing how little he knows of major health issues and exhibiting no compassion to other people.

  59. Stephanie

    Is Dr. Drew really a doctor? Or is he someone who has a little knowledge about some things and decides to call himself a doctor so he can get a tv show? Not only was his lack of knowledge embarrassing, but his lack of people skills makes me wonder why anyone would watch him in the first place. Kudos to Jennifer for maintaining composure when he was so obviously condescending, rude and ignorant. Thankfully there are other famous doctors who are willing to educate themselves and others about this illness.

  60. Belinda

    And this guy is a doctor??? Scary stuff.

  61. BJ

    I am appalled at the ignorance of this so-called doctor. How is it even possible for someone in the medical profession to be so ignorant?

  62. Angela Stroup @ angelettaart.com

    Like the majority of doctors, Dr. Drew needs to learn to listen. The average length of time that passes before most doctors interrupt a patient is 18 seconds. He also needs to learn that an MD does not mean that he is a medical diety.

    It would be wonderful if he would educate himself and really be of service to his audience. I am a retired mdical school professor who has a nursing background. I know there are many kind, caring, and open minded doctors. Unfortunately Dr. Drew does not appear to be one of them.

  63. Lynn

    I agree with you that Dr. Drew should fully educate himself on celiac disease and CERTAINLY before interviewing a guest who has the disease. Shame on him and his apparent giant ego. Come down off of your platform, please! Jennifer is quite a warrior. She has been through a barage of both good and bad criticism since her problem with CBS vs. celiac disease. I applaud her and her efforts. We all support her and the celiac community to educate the public…so sad. Any other autoimmune disease would never be treated this way.

  64. Marie

    He was completely unprofessional and came across as a real jerk in this interview. While watching it, I felt so bad for the actress because the interviewer certainly wasn’t listening to her and didn’t even seem to believe that what she was saying was true. In my opinion, he owes her an apology.

  65. Jenn

    I really can identify with this post along with the arrogance of Dr. Drew. I have been flabbergasted by the lack of understanding and support from mainstream doctors.

    So here is what I’d like to say to any MD who reads this: BE THE CHANGE. You wonder why so many of us skip coming to you and go to NDs instead. Well, TAKE A CLUE. You have lost the compassion – PLEASE find it again. I also urge you to step outside the box and be up to date on research.

    I had been told by several md’s to “stop coming in” because “there is nothing wrong with you.” It was humiliating and depressing and I had thought on several occasions that I needed to check myself into a facility. How awful is that?? We do need better education. It crushes me.

  66. micki kaudewitz

    For Dr. Drew to do a show to clarify what celiac disease and leaky gut syndrome is, he would have to humble himself. Does anyone really see this happening?

  67. Beth Crean

    I couldn’t watch the interview till the end. You’d think he’d do some research on a condition he knows nothing about but was going to interview someone with the condition.

    Dr. Drew: you owe Jennifer an apology and you owe the public a show that accurately describes celiac disease and all of the ramifications it causes.

  68. Kimberly

    I am horrified that this man would attempt to diminish the effects and seriousness of a disease he seems unwilling to educate himself about. It would be only the height of professionalism if Dr. Drew took it upon himself to understand and put forth correct information regarding something that does not seem to fit into the diseases he would prefer to focus on.

    Thank you, Elana, for posting this. I’ll be forwarding this along to my family as they, too, seem to have little understanding of what goes into taking care of someone (my son) with Celiac.

  69. T @ None

    Dear Doctor Drew:

    I am writing to thank you for you have done all chronically ill patients a huge service by demonstrating in front of the world in your interview with Jennifer Esposito the type of treatment we get from doctors day in and day out. Thank you for showing that doctors are completely capable of showing:
    -A lack of understanding basic diseases, and the possible nutritional deficiencies associated with them
    -A complete dismissal of the patient, her illnesses, and treatment goals,
    -An utter lack of compassion, and likewise,
    -A lack of empathy with your guest and audience,
    -An inability to let a speaker continue uninterrupted,
    -An inability to listen to the person speaking to you,
    -A complete lack of preparedness for the subject at hand, and
    -An inability (or lack of motivation) to read your guest’s body language to gather clues about her reaction to your rude treatment.

    Thank you, Dr. Drew, you have shown me the light.

    Thank you so much Dr. Drew for showing publicly many of the very reasons I have fired doctors myself. How would you respond to this kind of treatment from a doctor? As gracefully as youmguest did?

    Most Sincerely Yours,
    A Patient who is getting better despite her previous doctors efforts to medicate her with all manner of painkillers and antidepressants, and whose mother went to her grave untreated of many of her problems, partly because she was treated like this.

    P.S. Maybe you should consider staying off gluten for at least a month. It can do wonders for the brain fog and mood issues it seems could be plaguing you and preventing you from preparing more effectively for your professional duties on this program. Could you be pushing yourself too hard and working too many hours? There are many effective relaxation strategies that can help, too.

  70. Marguerite

    Dr Drew is a physician who specializes in Addiction medicine. what we witnessed is an interrogation process reserved for individuals one does not believe is being truthful. he thought her situation was due to substance abuse. he ended with you were working too hard and “for whatever reason” you became ill…

    he did not believe her.

    • David

      I am also trained in addictions counselor and have treated clients. One thing you are trained to do is listen. Not necessarily believe, but listen.

      You do not interrupt a patient, minimize her statements or invalidate her experiences. This is actually abuse from which the patient is seeking to recover. Dr. Drew was very rude. One trait a medical practitioner needs is compassion and empathy.

  71. Terri

    Dr. Drew just proved his own ignorance along with so many other Drs.
    My husband also went to the Dr. many, many times. All his blood tests came back ‘within normal ranges’ and no offer to do any more tests. Finally, with the help of a naturopath, he was diagnosed and within one week felt so much better.
    Dr. Drew would gain back any credibility he had, and help others, if he would educate himself on this topic and do another show.
    I’m very proud of Jennifer for keeping her cool during this man’s disrespectful interruptions.

  72. Kathy

    I have always liked Dr. Drew, but I am amazed by his ignorance regarding the effects of small intestine permeability – malnutrition, food allergies and their link to autoimmune conditions. Unfortunately there are so many doctors out there who don’t entirely understand it’s effects on the body and how very sick it can make you. He was almost condescending. Jennifer handled herself really well but how frustrating. Dr. Oz did a great show on leaky gut and food allergies. I wish other doctors would follow suit and educate themselves on this very real problem affecting so many of us.

  73. Lois

    Jennifer Esposito was so calm and poised especially when being smacked in the face by “Dr.” Drew. Drew, you might actually have a medical degree, but in my opinion, from what I saw on this broadcast, you are just newshound like any other reporter that wants his “moment”. You should decide whether you want to be a doctor or a newscaster or your own show.

    Personally, I would never watch you on your own show. And, I don’t think you are even a good medical doctor.

    You didn’t evern give Jennefer a chance to answer the questions you fired at her – shame on you!

  74. Janet

    I have always liked watching Dr. Drew. After seeing this segment I will never think of him the same way again. I was disgusted in the way he interviewed his guest. He really did a disservice to his audience, who could have been educated about Celiac Disease and leaky gut. Thank you for sharing this Elana.

  75. Bee

    Sorry, couldn’t read all 75 messages, so please forgive if I repeat what may have already been said. (To be honest, all the comments on Dr. Drew’s manner were starting to give me acid reflux…)

    He may have once been a doctor, but he threw that out when he entered the world of yellow journalism. His over-bearing, condescending manner in which he tried to “manage” Jennifer and direct her to his own conclusions, reminded me of how doctors used to speak to women 20-30 years ago, when they were ignored, patted on the head and given Valium for ANYTHING that ailed them. They created a generation of addicts.

    I had that phase “I’m a doctor” or “who’s the doctor?” thrown at me more than once in order to shut me up if I challenged their prognosis or questioned their advice. I’m not a malcontent nor a hater and I don’t challenge all doctors (there are many fine, dedicated physicians should you care to look for them), but both I and my husband were misdiagnosed and had our repeated symptoms dismissed only to find out later when we persisted, that we had life threatening diseases that were completely missed because of their arrogance and lack of accountability. (If you’re wondering which ones they were…brain aneurysms and stage 3 colon cancer. Both conditions that I think would be pretty hard to miss.)

    Frankly, Dr. Drew’s ego is bigger than his brain and I never watch him because I can’t stand the underlying arrogance that comes through when he speaks.

    Trust me, you don’t need him as a spokesman for Celiac Disease. That would be giving him an importance that he doesn’t deserve. He should only be made to apologize for the way he treated Jennifer and to the sufferers of this life altering disease. If the public needs to be educated…find someone we call all respect.

  76. Krissy

    He was so rude and unprofessional, it’s like he wanted to help discredit her some how–is he working with the attorneys of CBS?
    I really hope this reaches him and he can educate himself. I really don’t know what he was trying to accomplish. You have to give her credit for really not losing it completely with Dr. Drew!

  77. Shelly

    He’s another PUPPET of the control media. I felt bad for Jennifer, but she did great I think I would have bit his head off. I didn’t care for him before, and I see that will not change.

  78. zosia

    that’s hard to watch…dr. drew makes himself out to be a knuckle-head…(i’m being nice, by the way…)

  79. Tammy McIlwain

    I find that Dr’s who do not understand or dot believe in certain diagnosis tend to speak down to patients by cutting them off, not allowing you to finish your thoughts, speaking over you, and veering to a different subject whether in an interview or their office is quite prevalent today. It was not made clear that you can have leaky gut because of any intestinal desease such as Celiac’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s, IBS etc. Because it is Autioimune and inflamatory it is also going to affect your nervous system. Leaky Gut is very debilitating and is very difficult for a patient to get help from the medical community. Usually a person has this for years until you are unable to function and have a good quality of life. I am sure I have Leaky Gut but, I am told I am doing everything I possibly can and yet I am unable to work as I have pain, anxiety.panic attacks, many allergic reactions to food and am completely exhausted all the time along with many other maladies. It is time for the medical community to learn more about this disease and help their patients instead of making us feel helpless.

  80. Heather

    Such a disservice Dr. Drew did to the health community during this interview.

  81. TN Farmette

    This video does not surprise me in the least bit.

    This is the SAME treatement I received from my primary care physician and two gastro doctors when I attempted to explain my gastro symptoms.

    I was actually told I was “too fat” (5’8″, 170 pounds) to have Celiac disease!! One gastro doctor told me that I must be too stressed. The other told me that he “thought” I may have IBS. They both shook my hand, patted me on the back and sent me on my way.

    I hope that Dr. Drew does some research on Celiac disease, and all of the lovely issues that go along with Celiac disease, and invites Ms. Esposito onto his show again with a big fat apology!

    I grew up watching Dr. Drew on MTV and he has always been “pushy” but this video takes the gluten free cake!!!!!!!

  82. Mary Roberts

    I too am so amazed that Dr Drew can be so uninformed. He brought this guest on his show and didn’t even have the courtesy of finding out about the disease. He not only insulted her but the rest of us that suffer with this disease. Please take the time to educate yourself before you speak. Celiac is a disease not a condition and many suffer from the multiple conditions that it manifest within our systems. No two cases are alike just with other diseases.

  83. Sharon Petrini

    Dr. Drew owes Ms. Esposito and the celiac community a HUGE apology. A diagnosis of Celiac disease is just a start – the list of foods that irritate in addition to gluten, the social ostracization. Shame on Dr. Drew, and God bless Jennifer Esposito.

  84. there is a reason I decided to apply to naturopathic medicine after years of thinking I wanted to go to med school and become a family doctor. ND’s are actually interested in finding the root of the problem (i.e. underlying syndrome or disease) not just addressing the symptoms. Her celiac disease should have been caught much earlier, and his whole “syncope” term is completely wrong. Its too bad mainstream medicine doesn’t understand the devastating effects that improper nutrition can have on our body, and that pushing prescriptions is not the answer.

  85. Colleen Young

    What kind of doctor is this??? No one knows what Blood work they get, how does he expect her to know this? Leaky Gut is not diarrhoea. WHAT kind of doctor is this piece of work? Better yet, when does his contract expire so a REAL doctor who keeps informed and up dated can take his place?????

  86. Unbelievable! I’m afraid this is not the first time a doctor spreads misleading and incorrect information, think about for example the lies related to cholesterol, “good” fats and whole grains, which just support food industry and pharmaceutical industry.

    This is very unfortunate, I feel so sorry for Jennifer. Dr. Drew should be ashamed!

  87. Candy Thomson

    My son goes undiagnosed but has had to change his diet.
    He is having so many problems with and upset stomach and joint pain.
    We need public awarness so … to all the talk show hosts please listen and learn when you have a chance you could help so many.

  88. DamselflyDiary

    I tried to post a comment on Dr. Drew’s website and it kept erroring out on me. I wonder if they are intentionally blocking posts? Here is a copy of what I was going to post:

    Dr. Drew should be ashamed of his treatment of Jennifer. However, it is entirely indicative of the way most doctors treat patients, especially when they can’t figure out what’s wrong. Throw some drugs at us to try to cover up symptoms and say it is all in our heads. This is why I rarely use traditional doctors any more, instead I rely on naturopathy, functional medicine and acupuncture for most of my health needs (except for yearly screening exams).

    Since going gluten/wheat and soy free, my canker sores have gone away, I rarely get unexplained skin rashes and my digestive system is so much better. If you have unexplained health issues, try going gluten free and read labels carefully. It doesn’t cost you anything except for food (and there are so many good gluten free foods out there today). You should start feeling symptom improvement within a few weeks but long-term damage will take longer to repair.

    For more information you can Google “elimination diet” to learn how to properly eliminate suspect foods from your diet, and re-introduce them as a test.

    Note: I am NOT celiac but gluten and soy intolerant, as is my sister. So don’t try to solely rely on celiac blood screening tests.

  89. What. A. Jerk. Shameful treatment of his poor guest!

  90. Diane

    That wasn’t an interview, it came across more as an interrogation! He proved his ignorance over and over. That was painful to watch. I applaud her for not losing her patience with him as I certainly would have!

  91. LeeAnn Parry

    I think it’s really unfortunate that he did not familiarize himself more with Celiac disease and all of its repercussions before conducting this interview on his show. What makes me sad is so many doctors don’t want to dig deep into medical conditions, and unfortunately Dr. Drew seems to be one of that lackadaisical attitude.

  92. bethanyf

    That was a bit frustrating to watch. He seemed so dismissive, and unaware of a wide spread problem that people are becoming much more educated about.

  93. Rachel

    It’s Leaky Gut not Leaky Butt Dr. Drew!

  94. Mrs G

    I do think that those remarks you mentioned do come from a lack of emphathy and understanding of other people’s problems.
    Do take any non visible medical condition (infertility is just another big example)and the result will be the same.
    For some people putting themselves in another person’s shoes is simply too much. They would minimise, belittle and mock your condition.
    They will tell you that there is worse in life. No doubt. But in the world there’s always someone who has it worse than you, no matter how bad your situation is.
    However it’s sad when such attitudes come from the medical profession.

  95. Sas

    Good grief, this was painful to watch. Dr Drew acted in a way that no one should, especially not a physician. But Jennifer handled herself with integrity and grace.
    I am ashamed of my fellow physicians who will not do right by their patients and learn about functional medicine. Millions are suffering (I did) needlessly with celiac and other problems that can be treated. It is so frustrating to me as a doctor to see things like this interview. Thank you Jennifer Esposito for talking about your journey.

  96. Sara Jean

    dr. drew infuriates me!!!!!!!!!! He is like SO many GI’s and other docs I’ve had to sit and talk to over the years. ARGHHHHHH. He needs to LISTEN instead of assume and interrupt all the time.

    Jennifer did amazing to hold herself and her position well. I can relate to her so very much.

    Thank you for speaking out about Celiac disease!

  97. Liz H

    I don’t know who Dr Drew is but duh. How, in this day and age, can a provider be so ill informed? I kind of laughed that he had to remind her that “I’m a doctor” because he certainly didn’t sound like one. I happen to be a medical provider and also have Celiac disease. I listen to patients and let them speak. And I BELIEVE them. Often I’m the FIRST person to believe them. It’s sad the state of medicine. Dr Drew needs to get educated and perhaps give Ms. Esposito and apology.

  98. So sad! Poor Jennifer is trying to explain what we all know – and is harassing her. Thanks for the share.

  99. Jessy

    This is horrible!

    Not completely related, but I think that comments that you mentioned (”a little won’t hurt you” and ”you’re just following fad”) ARE caused by people who are indeed following a fad (paleo etc.) or looking for an excuse to restrict their diet (disordered eating).

  100. There has been a treatment for Celiac Disease for more than 50 years. It is call the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or SCD. It was delevoped by Dr Sidney Haas. It was designed to heal the digestive system by only allowing meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and homemade yogurt (this is very easy to do). No corn, soy, wheat, or other grains, no sugar (honey is allowed), etc. My family and my sister’s family are starting it now and we are already seeing improvements (we have been GF for about a year already it helped, but not enough). My nephew is 3 and celiac or highly sensitive to gluten (horrible skin rash and asthma). My other nephew is 5 with mild skin rashs from gluten. My eldest daughter is 10 and gets skin rashes when she eats gluten. My eldest son is almost 13 and has autistic symptoms, so he has been dairy free for 2 years (He was getting high from the partially digested milk.I had to figure this out myself as his doctor thinks he is fine ). My asthma flares up and my scalp itches when I eat gluten. My youngest son, aged 6, becomes hyper and violent when he eats sugar and carbohydrates.With all of these family members and assorted symptoms, going GF helped to stop further problems, but it cured nothing. We needed a cure, so we searched for answers for months until I came across the book Breaking the Vicious Cycle . We have only been on the diet for 2 weeks now, but I am already impressed. My 3 skinny children are gaining weight, while my husband and I are losing weight without trying. The allergy shiners under the kids eyes have totally faded away (removing gluten reduced them). Their skin color looks healthier. We plan to continue the diet for 12 months and then see how well each person can tolerate gluten again. Although the diet seems very restrictive, it is very healthy. It takes a bit more effort to make meals, it isn’t much more difficult than going GF. Let’s face the facts the typical American diet is garbage and it is slowing killing us all. Our health is in our own hands. Most doctors don’t have a clue about food and how it affects our health, so it is up to us to take charge of the situation and cure this health epidemic through healthy food, not pills.

  101. Jennifer

    This video brought tears to my eyes. It is so difficult living with these misunderstood conditions. I can’t believe something like this was shown on TV. It makes it a lot more difficult to educate the people around us.

  102. roz

    I see a Naturopathic physician and this Dr. Drew interview reminds me why.
    He failed to listen to his interviewee, he failed to research the topic which they were to discuss prior to the interview. He trys to make up for his ignorance with paternalism. He comes off both arrogant and sexist with an leaning toward self-promotion. ‘What I think people can relate to… is not what you have to say but the topic of my up-coming special, on a topic about which I may have chosen to do the slightest bit of research.’

    Leaky gut is diarrhea, pfft.

    • Diana kantz

      M y sister had diarrhea for years and finally passed away,we believe from a leaky gut since I have been tested and foumd out that I have celiac
      My grandchildren have been tested and found they have food allergies. My son has had diarrhea for many years and has been very sick.

  103. Melissa McClure @ mcclurefamily.tumblr.com

    I believe many doctors are uninformed And uneducated when it comes to celiac disease and food allergies. Dr. Drew does need to rectify this situation of misinforming the public under the premise of expertise knowledge behind a medical license.

  104. sara

    i’m proud of her that she stood her ground. it’s hard to believe a dr would act like that but sadly a lot of people with her issues can relate to the dr brush off.

  105. MAIRBUNNY

    I HAVE HEARD THE WORDS “JUST ALITTLE BIT WONT HURT YOU” FROM MY DR.(GP) IT MADE ME FURIOUS!! SO I PROCEEDED TO TELL HIM BOOKS TO READ SO HE WOULD BE MORE INFORMED!! ITS TIME THE U.S. GOT MORE INFORMED ON CELIACS!! IT GETS SO TIRESOME TRYING TO EXPLAIN WHAT CELIAS IS OR EVEN GLUTEN. I HAVE BEEN GF FOR 3 YEARS AND SOME THINGS HAVE CHANGED FOR THE BETTER BUT WE HAVE A VERY LONG WAY TO GO.

  106. Megan

    WOW! This woman is trying to attract attention to a disease that affects many peoples lives and Dr. Drew really came off so combative and like a total jerk….let alone completely unknowledgable about this topic. She handles his with such grace and I applaud her. He is a total fame seeking quack!

  107. Natalie

    Ugh, that is so frustrating. I hate that “I’m talking to an attention-seeking crazy person” attitude! I get it all the time from my family. Every single meal. Esposito holds her own a lot better than I do. Some people are too close-minded. They know what they know and they have this authority and so they refuse to keep learning.

  108. Beth Martin

    I would like to encourage Dr. Drew to become educated on celiac disease and leaky gut. These conditions are real, and he could use his platform to educate the public.

  109. Patricia Noll

    Dr.Drew sounded more like a bubble-headed talk show host than an MD. It’s unfortunate that he squandered this opportunity to raise awareness of celiac disease and the myriad issues people with celiac and gluten intolerance face. I’ve never seen him before, and would never watch him again.

  110. sigh coexboifrend

    Dr. Drew doesn’t know everything. He certainly has no humility and resorts to talking down to people when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. For years he denied that women could ejaculate and now he speaks as if he’s an expert on the subject. Dr. Drew, how do you expect to help people when you ridicule them? It’s not your place to heckle people that’s what Adam Carolla gets paid to do and he does it well. If you are the model of sobriety then I need a drink. You sound like a dry drunk. You sound angry and bothered with those who seek your help. Have you no compassion? If everyone communicated with each other the way you do then the world would be more messed up than it already is. I wonder what your diagnosis is? Megalomaniac? Narcissistic jerk? Stop living in denial Dr. Drew, check in with yourself or get off the air.

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