This Celiac.com 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.
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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
Where can I buy gluten-free stuff?
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My Celiac son will usually get facial hives after dairy consumption. What is a little baffling, though, is that he does not have a positive reaction to the standard skin allergy test (we just had him tested).
Another doctor ordered a blood test for the level of IgG and IgE for an array of foods, and he was very high on dairy. My allergist doesn't know how to interpret the results of this test (IgG and IgE), and insists the skin test is the gold standard.
All I know is he gets the hives after eating dairy, and his body is making antibodies to dairy, so we're just avoiding milk.
I'm interested if any others have had this happen, or could at least shed some light into what is going on.
I don't doubt that some Celiac patients do get sick after drinking Vodka. The relevant question, though, is why do they get sick? Of the thousands of components you cite, maybe one (or more!) of them is the culprit, and it does not have to contain gluten. My Celiac son reacts to dairy, but he is not allergic and it does not contain gluten. Maybe something similar is going on with vodka and other distilled spirits.
Mathematical models are not a substitute for empirical evidence, which in this case would be actually testing the result of the distillation to see if it contained gluten. Have you done this, or can you point to others that have?
One of my in-laws cannot drink tequila, as it makes him sick. Scotch is not a problem, though, and he doesn't have a problem with gluten. But clearly something in tequila makes him ill, but it doesn't have to be gluten-related.
I was under the impression that Vodka, and and other distilled liquors were gluten-free. Certainly this website lists them as such:
Here's another source that touts distilled liquors as gluten-free:
"The American Dietetic Association (ADA) has published an updated and revised edition (6th) of the "Manual of Clinical Dietetics" that offers an international perspective on the dietary treatment of many diseases. The chapter on celiac disease, written by a team of dietitians, includes diet guidelines that are consistent with international standards. Therefore the chapter's list of safe foods includes buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth, teff, distilled vinegar and distilled alcoholic beverages such as rum, gin, whiskey, and vodka."
It's certainly possible that the alcohol itself or something else in the vodka could exacerbate an already irritated digestive tract. But vodka, even if made from grains, should be gluten-free. The distillation process should leave the gluten behind.
I think it does mean that products following the new labeling law DO have to have wheat listed, either in the ingredient list itself, or at the bottom in the "allergens" section. As I read the law, they have the option of doing it either way. What they can not do is list something like soy sauce that is made using wheat, and not list wheat anywhere.
As for the other gluten sources (barley, rye, etc.), I believe you would see those listed in the ingredient list. And they aren't generally used in things like "natural flavorings." To quote what I was told by an informed member:
"At that meeting Dana talked about hidden gluten. Her explanation is that while it is technically possible for natural flavors, spices etc. to contain a gluten source other than wheat, it is unlikely. She knew of no instance where this had occurred. Plus she spoke to a number of food manufacturers who said that barley, rye and oats do not work well in these situations and they are expensive.
So technically speaking it is possible for those other grains to be hidden, but it is unlikely. So, if it is not listed the food should be safe. "