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    • Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Store. For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity


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  1. Gluten-free Pizza In Orlando?

    Liberty, I am please to hear you are finding lots of gluten-free options in Orlando. I'll be there for a conference in April and Pizza Fusion is on my list. I'm from Chicago, so I don't miss anything particularly, but just want good, safe food and prefer not to go to chains. What options have you found that you think are notable? Thanks!
  2. David, I am interested in your recipe, but haven't a clue as to what ground rice is. . .how does it differ from rice flour? Also, do you know - is cornflour on your side of the pond the same as cornstarch on this side of the pond? Thanks!
  3. Namaste "blondies" Mix

    Man, I love their chocolate cake mix, liked the spice cake, thought the yellow cake was OK...but I hated these. So did DH...I froze them initally, but after trying them the second time, I threw them out. We don't throw out much. I ended up using the mix as a basis for a light chocolate cake - it turned out delic - so much so that I might buy the mix just to use to make the cake. But, never again to make these. So, I guess as with all things, there are few absolutes, huh?
  4. So, how is it going? You've had lots of suggestions for recipes. . .I'll just throw out my 2 cents about baking in general. There is no flour that works best for everything, to me. And, we all have slightly different taste buds, etc. Some people LOVE a bean-based bread - it's lighter, it's softer, it's bendable - but some people just can't stand that taste. And, as already was pointed out, using white (or even brown) rice, tapioca starch, and potato starch is truly empty calories (and more of them, because our products are more dense - hence the weight gain so many of us experience). So, to me, any new baker needs to do at least a little experimenting if they are going to bake more than once every few months. Sure, start with rice flours and the 3 easy to get starches: potato, corn, and tapioca. But, then try slipping in some new things. Sorghum is so wheaty in texture and rise. Flax adds taste and nutrition. Montina adds nutrition and taste. Then there are bean flours, amaranth, quinoa, mung bean and many more to try. Just don't buy them all at once - start small and add some things here and there. Oh, last thought on this: different brands have different "grinds." Some are very coarse and then they taste gritty. Asian store rice flours have the finest grinds for white rice. Authentic Foods has the finest grind brown rice. Yes, there are different conversion ratios. You really need to pay attention to the function of each ingredient. Does it have a lot of eggs or few or none? Eggs will help add protein and act as a binder. If you don't have them, you need more xanthan gum. If the recipe only calls for one, you might want to add an extra egg or at least an extra white and reduce the liquid a bit. And, the ratio of xanthan varies: 1 tsp per cup for bread, and 1/4-1/2 tsp per cup for cookies, quickbreads, cakes, etc. In terms of the flours you use, as long as you use a minimum of 3 flours/starches together, you can measure 1 for 1 with most recipes. Baking powder may need to be increased slightly. Also, it seems to me that our flours are not as strong, and can't handle as much fat - they get too weighed down. So, sometimes I decrease the fat a small amount - 10 percent or so. If you have more questions, let us all know.
  5. Two Questions...

    Xanthan performs the function of gluten - to hold things together. It's like a glue - few of the gluten-free flours have much of their own glue. BUT, some of the gluten free starches have some - like tapioca. It's a very sticky flour. It will hold together without xanthan. Sweet rice has a some of its own glueyness. Oats has some of its own glueyness (of course, only use gluten-free oats after you've had negative antibodies). Eggs also add glueyness, though. So does gelatin. And cottage cheese (it's already got gum in it, quite frequently). And nut butters. And, sometimes, you don't want a lot of glueyness, you just want a little., like in a cake that you want to be very tender - to melt in your mouth. That's why recipes say that. It just depends on what you are making and what it's got in it. General guidelines are: 1 tsp per cup for bread 1/4 to 1/2 tsp per cup for cakes, cookies, quick breads, pancakes, etc.
  6. Rising Question

    It really doesn't appear to matter in my ktichen, lol. I sometimes do bread just like I used to. Sometimes I don't. What I seem to notice is that I have a slightly "finer" texture from the double rise. But, it probably doesn't make enough of a difference to bother. I'd do whatever is easiest. I would think mix, shape, rise would be the easiest and best - but that's just a guess (sometimes what seems logical is not what turns out to be my favorite way). You do need some rise time, unless you're using a TON of yeast. We don't get too much oven-spring (at least I don't) if I have a full rise, but I don't get enough oven-spring alone without any rise. So, maybe a 20-30 minute rise and you'd be good to go.
  7. Larry, sweet rice flour is great in making gravy and helps keeping things more "stuck" together. Use a small amount in pancakes and cookies and pie crusts. Sweet rice and glutinous rice are the same thing! Mung bean is one of my favorites, but use it sparingly! A teaspoon or two per cup of other flours really adds the chewiness. Sweet potato starch, I've found, works almost identical to potato starch. I haven't found any differences between them. Happy baking!
  8. Hi Angel, It is a hard transition, isn't it? To bake gluten-free, as another person mentioned, you really do need several flours. But, here are some things that might work. First, buy a ready-made gluten-free mix. Several companies sell them. Then, in your recipes, add up the total cups of different flours, and just sub this mix. For example, if it calls for 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup tapioca, 1/4 c potato starch, then add 1 3/4 cup of your mix instead. Just be careful, as some of these include the xanthan. If it does, you need to NOT add it if it's listed in the recipe. Second, make a mix like this for yourself - it's much less expensive The most common ingredients in mixes are brown rice, white rice, tapioca starch, potato starch, or corn starch. I think that the most common mix is about 2 cups brown rice, 2/3 cup potato starch, and 1/3 cup tapioca starch. The brown rice is the hardest to find, but you can order on line. The potato starch is most easily obtained at a Jewish food store, especially during Passover. The tapioca starch is also easily available online. As another writer mentioned, you can find all of these (maybe not the brown rice) at an Asian grocer. I just went yesterday and paid 50 cents for 16 ounces of white rice and tapioca. I paid 89 cents for 12 ounces of potato starch. Also used sometimes are bean flours, sorghum, almond meal, etc. Use a mix from Annalisa Roberts, Betty Hagman, Rebecca Reilly, or Connie Sarros. If you want any of these, just let us know. I have all the cookbooks and can post any of their mixes. Then, just buy the ingredients for that mix and make up 5 pounds worth. Then use it in your recipes. Third, try a different cookbook. Do you live in a metro area where you have a library that has any of these cookbooks? I went to the library and checked out, or ordered from other libraries in my system, EVERY gluten-free cookbook available. I looked to see what recipes they have, if they were similar to what I liked, how hard they were, etc. From this, I can tell you the following: If you like to bake and want high quality, bakery type goods, try Rebecca Reilly's book. She is clear in her explanations, but does make things that are not run of the mill. She uses the same mix in most recipes (brown rice, tapioca, potato) though does add some other flours occasionally (usually almond). Carol Fenster doesn't use any outlandish ingredients - usually brown rice, tapioca, and potato, though she doesn't make a mix ahead of time. I think you could easily make a mix of your own to use in place of this. I use this cookbook rarely. Annalise Roberts uses a mix that she has you make and store. The recipes are easy to follow. I use this rarely, but mostly because it's recipes I don't make often ( I tend to bake exotic stuff), but for a beginning gluten-free baker, I think this would work well. Connie Sarros is also very easy to follow. She just says to use gluten-free flour mixture. You can use her's or one that you make or buy. She has some very interesting things and a lot of things that can be made quickly and easily. This sounds like a winner for you. Washburn and Butt have some very good recipes. I love their ciabatta bread. But, they tend to use different flour mixes in each recipe. If you keep them on hand like I do, not a problem. But, if you want to simplify, you'd have to sub a mix of your own stuff. This would probably work fine, but just makes more work for you. Someone else mentioned Robin Ryberg. Also great for beginners. But, things to taste a lot a like, as the other person said. And, there it's all carbs and NO nutrition at all. At least with brown rice flour there is a little nutrition! Not much, but a little :-) I have this and used it five years ago when I started baking. I haven't made anything from it in several years, basically because I like a different flour mix now. Bette Hagman is last but not least (out of my collection). I tend to use her cookbook on breads more often, but her desserts are fine. What I like about her cookbook is that when possible, she tells you to use one of her mixes (and you can sub for the one she recommends - I don't like the bean mix at all, so when it recommends that, I use the gluten-free mix). But, when the recipe benefits from using something else, she doesn't try to make it work with the mix and tells you to use other flours. So, you can stick to the items using the mix. I don't know how long you've been doing this, but you did say you weren't Julia Childs. It definitely helps to LIKE to bake when you have to be gluten-free. You may discover that you like it after you do it for awhile. But, getting the right start might be really important so you aren't frustrated. Try to find some cookbooks you can look at. Maybe you have a local celiac group and some members can let you borrow theirs. Or, just try a new one - order two at Amazon to make it $25 or more and shipping is free if your budget isn't too tight. Try the Connie Sarros and the Roberts. Oops - sorry about the long post!
  9. Good idea on the bread crumbs. I make croutons out of my failures. Per the bread, it really does take awhile to get something you like. But, most of us do. I have several recipes that I really, really love. And I am not the celiac! The mix really is crucial. I don't like any bread that has less than four or five flours in it. My favorite pancakes have about ten. Anything that is based on one grain? Yuk. But, perserverence will pay off. I didn't like much to start, either. So, I bought lots of flours. I kept experimenting, not willing to give up. Boy, it really paid off. Now, we can eat so many things that other people can't even tell aren't full of gluten. So, keep trying. It's not cheap, though. Sometimes I make a partial loaf - you know, cut the recipe in half, or even in thirds, whatever. Then, I just make it as a small loaf, or even a roll. Then I can see if I like the taste without spending a fortune on croutons, lol. Oh, yeah, there are some good commercial mixes. All of them are measured the same as gluten flour. Again, though, it's finding the mix that YOU like. They differ tremendously. And, they sure are costly. If you can afford it, mail off for about ten of them and then compare by baking the same thing with them. You'll really get an idea of what you like and don't like, the textures, etc. I haven't bought to many mixes, but when I have, I've looked at the ingredients. When I don't like it and when I do - that helped me figure out what I might like to use to bake with. Good luck - day 3? It must still seem so overwhelming. I remember how hard it was at first and how awful some of the stuff tasted. You get the hang of it after awhile. And learn how to make better substitutions etc. Truly. You'll like bread again eventually. At least, most of us do.
  10. Date Squares

    Well, the date paste is easy! For the base. . .Here are a couple of ideas. Obviously you need to sub a gluten-free flour for the flour - make sure it has xanthan added - if you make your own mix, add about a 1/2 tsp of xanthan per cup of flour for this. You might get away with 1/4 tsp. Now for the oats. First, if you have been gluten-free for awhile (and I don't think you have), you can buy the gluten-free oats that are sold in Canada. But, no one should try oats until they have healed and antibodies are negative. Then, as I understand it, you still need to have your antibodies checked to make sure that you are not intolerant of them. So, once you have healed, this may be a great option. Second option is to use the quinoa flakes. Not sure in Canada - in the US, I buy the Ancient Harvest brand. They can be used in oatmeal cookies, etc. and similate the taste and texture quite well. Lastly, you can just make up a new base. Use buckwheat like you were thinking- it will be considerably stronger in taste, or use all flour for a cookie-type base (add a little more xanthan per each cup of flour). If you try any of these, let us know how they turn out.
  11. Well, I'll add my two cents to the discussion. IMHO, gluten-free flour mixes are a very personal thing. Truly. Some of us seem to be happy with the first thing we try. Others of us? Not! Bean flour? Very personal - I can't tolerate it at all (tastewise). Also, there is the health perspective. If you use all those starches, where is the nutrition? And the calories are much higher because it's denser. So, I really believe if you are not happy, that trial and error is the only way to go. I don't buy mixes for several reasons. First, they are so much more expensive than buying individual ingredients (but you have to have the room to store all those other flours). Second, I never found one I really liked that much. Third, I use different mixes in cakes, than cookies, than bread, etc. Fourth, I like to experiment with tweaking mixes - my pancake mix has about 8-10 flours in it, lol. In terms of gums like xanthan, nothing takes the place of it. Some things are "stickier" or gummier, so you need a little less, but you have to have some gum. You can use guar or xanthan, or methycellulose. Some people like a mix of half xanthan and half quar. To start? You could try guar. It's much cheaper and easy to find. You might find you need a bit more of it, though some people don't think so. I've seen xanthan from at least three manufacturer. If you do a search onlinel, you'll find it from many places. You need gum in any of your own mixes or store bought mixes that do not have it added. Read the ingredients. If it's already in the mix, you don't have to add it. If it's not in the mix, you do. Usually, if it is simply a flour - like garbanzo, tapioca, brown rice, etc, the xanthan is not added. If it is a baking mix of some kind, it usually is added. Again, you have to read the ingredients. Amounts to use (general rule) - cookies, try 1/4 to 1/2 tsp per cup of flour. Cakes, try 1/2 tsp per cup of flour. Breads, try 3/4 to 1 tsp per cup of flour. In terms of the formulations, they don't affect the gums all that much. Tapioca is stickier than potato starch, for example, but it really doesn't mean you need to reduce the gum by a whole not, if any. Sorghum is really mostly like brown rice - it is not sticky at all, so the xanthan is the same. I think of flours in three camps - grains, starches, and sticky. The grains - like corn flour, amaranth, brown rice/white rice, quinoa, sorghum, bean, buckwheat etc. have little to no stickiness and have more nutrition, protein and fiber than the starches. I like to make sure my recipes are at least 40-50% of this type of flour (often a mix of at least two of them). The starches - corn, potato, arrowroot - have little stickiness or chew, but are bland (so they don't add flavor and can help neutralize strong flavors) and can contribute to lightening the texture and balancing flavors. The sticky - these contribute to chewiness and do help keep things together (but they don't eliminate the need for gum). These include tapioca, sweet rice, mung bean. They can add some crucial chewiness. Hope that helps some.
  12. Date Squares

    I hate to say this. . .but what do you consider date squares? Sometimes we all have different names for things. Maybe if you post the general ingredients in your fav recipe of old, we'll have an easier time helping finding a replacement or can tell you how to sub something in it.
  13. Restless Legs Syndrom (rls)

    Well, anyone with celiac can have RLS. The RLS could be primary, secondary, or both! I often suggest to people with RLS to get a celiac test, especially if they don't have any RLS in their family, especially if they have any other "odd" neurological symptoms or anemia. RLS is only secondary to celiac disease (as far as I know) when the person is anemic. It's the lack of iron causing the RLS. It's the celiac disease and absorption problems causing the anemia. Though both are genetic, the genes aren't related to each other, so having primary RLS as a child wouldn't indicate undiagnosed celiac disease. It would just be one of those coincidences. It would be the secondary RLS that indicated celiac. The difficulty is knowing if the RLS is primary or secondary. For me, it's easy. I'm the third generation in my family to have it. But some people's families never discuss it, so they don't know if anyone else has it or if there is a secondary cause (or it's idiopathic - no known cause). My partner has primary RLS and celiac. But, they aren't related in any way. His RLS got worse when he was undiagnosed but had active celiac disease (from the anemia). Once he went gluten-free, the anemia stopped and the RLS went back to very mild. His sister has RLS, as does his nephew, but neither of them have celiac disease (both have been tested). Hope this is as clear as mud!
  14. Restless Legs Syndrom (rls)

    I know this thread started a long time ago, but wanted to offer some info that may help everyone with their RLS. There are two types of RLS, primary and secondary. Primary is an inherited condition; the genes are currently being identified. There is a 50/50 chance you will have it if one of more of your parents have it. This manifests as early as infancy but always before age 40-45. Many children are misdiagnosed as having growing pains. There is also some research indicating the RLS may be the cause of some ADD/ADHD. Secondary is when you have RLS because of another disorder - this list is very, very long. The last I looked, there were over 20 other diseases/disorders to which RLS can be secondary. This includes celiac, diabetes, anemia, kidney disease, fibro, pregnancy, and many others. RLS occurs while awake. There are four criteria essential to a diagnosis - a weird/strange/creepy/painful sensation in ANY body part (though legs are most common), the sensation is relieved by movement, the sensations are worse at night (though they may be present 24/7), and the sensations start with rest/relaxation. No test is available to diagnose it; anyone can pretty much self-diagnose. If anyone wants to know what the researchers have discovered about why we get RLS, let me know. PLMD, or periodic limb movement disorder (which used to be call nocturnal myoclonus), often occurs with RLS. Estimates are that 85% of those with RLS also have PLMD. PLMD occurs primarily while sleeping, though may also occur while awake. In PLMD, the affected limb, usually the foot, calf, or leg, jerks/extends every so many seconds. Some people are bothered by this (it can prevent getting to Stage 3-4 sleep), though many are not. If you are not bothered, no treatment is needed. This often also occurs during sleep apnea. A sleep study is required for diagnosis. Treatment for RLS is complicated, as there are no medications for it that were developed just for it. All available meds were/are used for other problems primarily, and just happen to help some people with RLS. There is no drug that helps all RLSers, but there are about 30 drugs used to treat it. Treatment should not start with medication unless RLS is preventing sleep/work and the lack of sleep is causing problems. 1. First thing should be a blood test for BOTH serum ferritin and anemia. While doing this, the doctor or you yourself should look at all medications you take. There are many medications that can cause/worsen RLS including Benadryl, antidepressants (both older and newer), all anti-psychotics, OTC cold preparations with Benadryl (dipenhydramine), Dramamine, and others. 2. Then decide if RLS is primary or secondary. If no one else has it in your family, it doesn't mean it's not hereditary - they may just not talk about it. If other people in your family have it, you could have secondary only or in addition. For example, you might have inherited RLS, but are pregnant so have secondary on top of the primary. If the RLS is secondary, the primary problem needs to be resolved. Most times, the RLS will also resolve when the primary problem is treated. For example, many celiacs have it when they are still eating gluten and not absorbing iron. When the gut heals, iron is absorbed, and the RLS goes away. However, some causes of secondary, such as injury (broken bones) or back injury/surgery/injections, cannot really be healed, so the RLS will not really get better when the bone is healed, or the back in healed. 3. Check your diet/lifestyle Many things can worsen RLS - caffeine, smoking, alcohol, sugar (for some people, especially hypoglycemics), too much exercise and too little exercise, hot weather, too tight clothing, dry skin, irregular schedule, and other things that are individual. 4. When the blood tests come back, determine if you need to take an iron supplement, but never take iron without getting a test first! If you are anemic, take iron. If your ferritin is below 50, take iron. Please note that 50 is much higher than the low end of the range. If your doctor doesn't know much about this (chances are high he/she will not) take information from a reputable site, such as the RLS Foundation's site ( and show it to him or her. The low range is often between 10 and 20, so your doc won't know you need iron. However, many people's RLS will resolve when the ferritin gets over 50. It may take several months of iron therapy to get it to move over 50 - increasing iron is slow treatment and you will not get immediate relief, if you get relief (40% of those taking iron do not show an improvement.) 5. After doing all of this, see how your RLS is. If you need help reducing/eliminating the RLS while working on increasing your iron, or the iron is not low, and your RLS is keeping you from having a good quality of life (interferes with sleep, activities, work, etc.), then you are a candidate for drugs. It's just my personal belief, but please don't withhold drugs from yourself if the RLS is affecting your life. On the other hand, don't take them until you've gotten off meds that may make them worse, get your ferritin tested, or see if a secondary problem may be causing the RLS. In terms of meds, the Mayo Clinic created an algorithm for patients and doctors to use. According to it, the primary meds used are dopamine agonists. Requip and Mirapex are the best choices. Sinemet should not be used on a daily basis, though is works very well if you take it intermittently. If you need help less than 5 days a week, Sinemet is a great choice. If you need it 5 or more days a week, Mirapex or Requip are the best options. If these are not tolerated or don't work, other options include anti-seizure meds (Neurontin, Gabitril, etc.), benzos (Klonopin, Restoril, etc.), or opioids (Methadone, Levorphenol, hydrocodone, etc.) 6. Get educated :-). Just like celiac disease, being educated about RLS will really help you manage it better and do better. Most people with RLS can be treated to have zero symptoms. If you still have symptoms and are taking meds, most likely you need other meds, additional meds, or a new doctor, or all of the above! This link is to a post on the RLS Foundation's message board. It gives much more detail than I just did, including links to the algorithm, the criteria, and many articles that you can review or take to your doc to help educate him or her. The sad truth is that there are many similarities between RLS and celiac. Most doctors don't know much about either of them, and mistreatments abound. Many doctors start people off on the wrong drugs (Sinemet or quinine or Klonopin) when none of those are considered primary (or in the case of quinine, appropriate at all!). The more you know, the better your treatment. Hope this helps someone.