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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 SymptomsWhat testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease ScreeningInterpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test ResultsCan 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-FreeIs celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic TestingIs there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and DisordersIs 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 BeveragesDistilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free?Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free DietFree recipes: Gluten-Free RecipesWhere can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Store.For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity

    Welda Johnson

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    About Welda Johnson

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      Advanced Community Member
    • Birthday 10/08/1944

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    • Gender Female
    • Location Escondido, California

    Welda Johnson's Activity

    1. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Depressed About Eating A Restricted Diet   

      I joined this forum for the first time in 2000 or 2001.  Have spent the past 12 years going through the same things as all of you in the posts above, I always think it will get easier, and, certainly, at times it does seem easier, but it seems that being intolerant of all grains, all milk & dairy, egg whites, yeast, casein, whey, maltodextrin, modified food starch and msg is definitely a daily challenge.  Learning to cook almost all foods at home and to be so diligent when eating out have been two concerns.  Reading those tiny ingredient labels always makes me wish I had a magnifying glass at the store, and figuring out new and appetizing recipes keeps my brain functioning continuously, but, I think, the greatest challenge is mixing with other people socially, because just about each and every social activity centers upon food.  "Oh, you can't eat that?' or "Can't you have just a little bit?" seem to be common responses, and then the lengthy explanations begin, but I must say that more and more people are now aware of their intolerances, and are living with the same challenges we do.  Today I read about the flak Gwyneth Paltrow is taking for keeping her two kids on special diets because of gluten and milk allergies.  To those of us who are working so hard to be healthy, and to encourage others to do the same, I send special greetings this Memorial Day.  We are still here, and we are still working to be strong.  Happy Day! 
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    2. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Newly Diagnosed Baker   

      Thirteen years into being gluten and milk & dairy free, I also had to stop all foods except fruits and vegetables because of asthma, gout & rheumatoid arthritis.  This morning I took my grandson to a fairly new bakery in Escondido, CA, 30 miles north of San Diego.  All the pastries contained milk, so those were out, but they offered breads that were acceptable.  It is called, "Gluten Not Included," on Centre City Parkway in Escondido.  Maybe the lady would be a resource you'd like to contact.
      I've found that if you just switch your entire household over to gluten free, it saves so much grief.  As a previous person who posted said, make sure you check them too.  I ordered tests from Enterolab on the internet.  i offer you my condolences on this "change of direction" in your life, and since I once worked at a bakery during the day, and an ice cream parlor at night, and couldn't eat any of the products, I do appreciate how satisfying it was to see the smiles on the faces of those enjoying the foods and the experience.  I know I would have a huge smile on my face if someone offered pastries and bakery items that we could eat.  I think that sometimes those "changes of direction" work out just as they're meant to.  I hope you have smooth sailing during this transition time.  Please email me at if I can offer brands of foods that work, or even encouragement.  Best wishes, Welda
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    3. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Living Normally While Battling Celiac Is Like:   

      I can understand how desperate you might have felt during your times of transitioning to a gluten free diet.  I've been gluten free since 2000 and also had to eliminate all milk & dairy products, meats, etc., so am now vegan.  It used to really bother me when people were not accepting of my sometimes futile efforts to get this disease (and I also have asthma, gout & rheumatoid arthritis) under control.  I would get so angry at times that I would stay home rather than go out to social events.
      Now, 13 years later, I have learned that it is usually because most people have no idea about what celiac disease is, or food intolerances, or diseases that you can't readily see, so they simply respond without having any knowledge of what we are going through.  I used to think that if I went to a family gathering or a social event, the person putting together the party would remember that I could only eat limited items.  That didn't work!  Finally I began taking along foods I liked and could eat, even to restaurants, and that solved all those problems, and allowed me to have fun, rather than being angry.  Sometimes my food was better than what I was seeing being served. 
      I also bought tests from Enterolab for my immediate family members, since celiac is a genetic condition.  The one person who proved to have celiac hasn't made any dietary changes, and has experienced thyroid cancer and colon polyps which were thought to be cancerous, conditions which I've read can be a result of celiac disease.  Thank God it wasn't colon cancer.  BUT, now, nine years after those tests, some family members are getting tired of stomach aches, rashes, serious illnesses, and are beginning to change their diets.  Sometimes progress takes longer than we would hope for, but I am gratified to have been doing the best I could to help others.
      This disease makes one less of a "people pleaser," and a stronger, more vocal individual.  As you're sitting eating the delectable meal you brought along, in a group, someone always notices and makes a comment.  Now I can smile and be happy with what I've brought.  One of my challenges for myself is to find as many new products as possible, each and every day.  I read every ingredient on every label that I think might be a "new find."  I float on air as I'm leaving the store, satisfied that my search has been fruitful and successful. 
      Be kind to yourself.  Experts say that one out of every 133 Americans has gluten intolerance, and, believe me, there are tons more gluten free products on the market now than in 2000.  We ARE making progress.  Watch for the changes and you will certainly see, and most likely, you "went the extra mile" to make those changes happen.  Best wishes.  Welda 
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    4. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic What Do You Eat?   

      I was telling my grandson yesterday that I had had the Playmate Ice Chest I carry with me for 20 years, and it really makes life easier.  I can only eat fruits and vegetables because of serious food allergies, so it is a challenge.  I take orange juice in small containers with a twist-off lid, and even eat frozen orange juice with a spoon.  Pickles are good to take.  I take green salad mixed with a topping of sauteed garlic, green onions & mushrooms, and some Walden Farm's mayonnaise.  Walden Farms products have no calories, carbs or protein, and there are syrups; jams; marshmallow, chocolate & caramel toppings; salad dressings and dips.  You can see the selection on the internet at Walden Farms.  Corn tortillas work and any soy product that doesn't contain wheat.  So many of the "vegetarian" replacement products have "vital wheat gluten."  Rice or soy ice cream is a possibility if you keep the ice chest really cold.  I also eat Vegan Gourmet soy cheese, but only the mozarella.  The others have someting in them that bothers me.  At Trader Joe's you can get "This is not a tub of sour cream, this is a tub of non-dairy spread."  Food for Life makes gluten free English Muffins.  Purely Decadent makes vanilla soy ice cream bars covered with chocolate.  And I found the best veggie burger the other day at Jimbo's Market--called "Hilary's Veggie Burger."
      So good.   I make meatless enchiladas, tacos or tamales, and sometimes have a small serving of rice or beans.  Fresh fruits & vegetables with dip and cooked vegetables that were leftover from other meals also work.   I've been eating gluten free & milk and dairy free since 2000.   Best wishes to you!
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    5. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Tips For Switching A Household Of 6 To Gluten-Free   

      No, I also get the regular, and I thought maybe it was the Jumbo that had the wheat.  I live in Escondido, CA, and get them at Trader Joe's.  I live 30 miles north of Escondido.  Hope you all can find the ones with soy--they are great!
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    6. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Tips For Switching A Household Of 6 To Gluten-Free   

      My Lightlife Smart Dogs show the following ingredients:  water, soy protein isolate, soybean oil, evaporated cane syrup, pea protein isolate, tapioca starch, salt, potassium chloride, Baker's Yeast Estract, carageenan, dried garlic, natural flavor (from plant sources), natural smoke flavor, xanthan gum, fermented rice flour, guar gum, oleoresin, paprika (color).  Contains: SOY
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    7. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Tips For Switching A Household Of 6 To Gluten-Free   

      LightLife Smart Dogs--7 grams of protein
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    8. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Tips For Switching A Household Of 6 To Gluten-Free   

      I'm from San Diego County, California, and I, too, shop each day, but today broccoli was $1.49 a pound, and lettuce was $1.69 each. Since I can only eat fruits and vegetables, I have an orange juice with fresh pineapple smoothie each day, using one whole pineapple & one can of frozen orange juice. That's $5.00 for one person, right there. Mushrooms are $3.00 or more per pound, and I agree with you, by looking around you will discover cheaper prices the more aware you become. Today I found an extra large jar of minced garlic at $4.99, which would have much costlier elsewhere. What a challenge this is, but what a wonderful way to live, because this morning, since strictly adhering to this diet, I laughed and thought, "I feel as though I could do gymnastics today!" And I'm 68. I'm still stretching every food in every way I can. Good luck and best wishes.
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    9. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Family Members Who Just Don't "get It"..   

      Having struggled with these issues since the late 1970s, let me tell you, I have had to become numb to being called "weird," "eccentric," and who knows what else? But by rigidly sticking to my diet, I am no longer frequently in the hospital, as I used to be. No grains, milk & dairy, egg whites, yeast, maltodextrin, msg, casein, whey, and now no meats either. I am officially vegan because of food intolerances, but I am able to breathe, walk every day, work, and sleep well. Oh yes, digestion is often a dilemma, and a few other things, but I can live with those. You'll never know how many years it took me to become immune to what other people were saying and doing because of my food intolerances. Now, however, they don't even have to be concerned with what I am eating, because I've taken the complete responsibility for my well-being onto my own shoulders, and I always take my own food, my own containers, my own plastic-lined purse in case of spills, and my own cheerful attitude, knowing that I have chosen foods which will benefit my health, which are allowed on my regimen, and which are guaranteed to taste great and leave me better off than before I ate.

      At Christmas, while the whole family was having prime rib and cheesy potatoes, I was eating chinese vegetables and a yam, which I had prepared at home and brought along. No problem! I still think of how good that prime rib looked and smelled, and how luscious those cheesy potatoes appeared, but my mind is now in tune with my body, and I enjoyed my dinner to the fullest. Oh, " the fullest!" Ha. That's for sure, because I was so full I wasn't even tempted to look longingly at the cheesecake they served for dessert, just took a glance and walked away.

      The way to solve the problems we've discussed is to make sure they are not a problem at all. You have the power to do just that! Make the best, most mouth-watering foods you can imagine, and, soon, those issues will seem to have just dissolved. I'll be waiting to hear how you're doing.
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    10. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Daughter Diagnosed With Rheumatoid Arthritis   

      I have Celiac Disease, Asthma, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and gout, which IS Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am female, 68, but mostly men suffer from gout, so I was surprised when that diagnosis came in. I've had Asthma since the age of 8 and probably Celiac always, but the gout and arthritis came in 2002 after I went vegan. I am now strictly fruits and vegetables, because when I touch chicken, fish, turkey or meat, within one day I have pain in my right leg from rheumatoid arthritis so bad that I have a hard time walking. If I continue eating those, the pain extends to my whole body and I also get so congested that I have a hard time breathing. Yes, nightshade vegetables also aggravate the arthritis (tomatoes, potatoes and eggplant). So, no grains, milk & dairy, egg whites, yeast, maltodextrin, msg, casein, whey, and, recently, asparagus, cauliflower and spinach, which experts say aggravate gout, which is evidenced by a throbbing, inflamed, painful big toe.

      Here's the good news--if I walk an hour each day, stay on this strict diet, and drink a lot of liquids, I feel good. I also sleep well. There IS hope. The arthritis CAN go away, in my opinion. Our bodies will tell us what we need. It is probably different for each person, but I hope that your daughter learns what she can tolerate, and ends up healthy and happy!
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    11. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Casein-free Replacement For Cheese   

      I've been gluten-free, milk & dairy free, egg white and yeast free, maltodextrin, msg, casein & whey free since 2000, though the casein dilemma threw me for a loop until I learned that is what was causing some of my problems! There is ONE cheese that I know of that has no casein or whey, and it even melts. That is VEGAN GOURMET mozarella. But, any other cheese made by VEGAN GOURMET is not safe. Good luck with this journey!
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    12. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Tips For Switching A Household Of 6 To Gluten-Free   

      Our family is going through this right now. There are 3 health food stores in our town, and we are able to find everything we need. I've been gluten-free, milk & dairy free, and no egg whites, yeast, maltodextrin or msg since 2000. What I've found is to S-T-R-E-T-C-H whatever you're making in any way you can. Adding bits of water to things like mustard, salad dressing, ketchup, sauces, etc. helps. Eating fruits and vegetables used to be the solution, but today broccoli is $2.99 a lb., asparagus is $4.99 a lb., and even spinach is $1.79 a bunch, which is amazing, so we've got to be more creative than ever.

      Since those 3 health food stores are within walking distance from my home, I keep track of which products are the cheapest where, and still it's a real challenge. Mushrooms are healthy but somewhat expensive, so I stretch them by sauteeing them with garlic, green onions and scallions, water chestnuts, peeled cucumbers, celery, red bell peppers, green chiles, or sometimes whatever is the cheapest. Yesterday, big red bell peppers were 3 for $1.00, which I also thought was amazing, in the opposite way. Rice is pretty inexpensive, and adding green onions, cheaper green vegetables, zucchini, corn, etc. to it works well. I bought vegetable broth once for $4.00 but now I make my own by boiling any vegetables I have in a large pan of water, and adding Kitchen Bouguet, which is a soup extender that my mother taught me about years ago. It's so much cheaper and gives a good beef flavor (I am vegan, so don't eat meat).

      There is only one cheese that I can use, and it's Vegan Gourmet Mozarella, at $4.49 a package. The yeast-free bread is $7.49. Soy hot dogs cost $2.99 so that's reasonable, and they're good on corn tortillas. Hey, that's how I stretch some things, is to roll them in a slightly sauteed corn tortilla or a cold piece of romaine lettuce instead of a gluten-free bread, which doesn't agree with me because of the potato flours they so often use. Reading labels to avoid casein & whey in cheese and other products is essential, along with whatever intolerances you have. Sure wish I had a magnifying glass at all times though, because some of the print is so small. I do a lot of cooking at home, and that seems to help. I'm very leery of eating out because you never know what is going on.

      Soy Delicious ice cream is great, and I also cut up corn tortillas and make my own corn chips. I add spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce to crushed nuts and use that as a dip with the chips. Walden Farms makes a broad array of salad dressings, pancake syrups, jams, toppings, etc. with no carbs, no calories, no protein. Check them out if you have a chance. Also, Mexican markets and Asian markets sometimes have much cheaper produce because they sell in volume. Seaweed wraps are about $2.99 a package and taste great with vegetables inside. La Choy makes gluten-free soy sauce.

      I suggest taking several large boxes and filling them with everything gluten-free and milk & dairy free you can find in your cupboards first. Then purchase whatever is missing to round out a couple of weeks of eating, or at least one week, because success is all in the planning. When you have the foods there you will be more and more likely to stick to the diet and really enjoy eating. Write out all the foods you like that are gluten free and milk and dairy free, then plan your breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Put the foods where they're convenient to reach. Limit your utensils and pans to as few as possible. Cook as many foods at once as you can, cross-referencing the ingredients for use in more than one dish. Sample as you go along. Eat every couple of hours. Drink lots of water. Play music as you're cooking. Talk to your family and get them involved. Keep a routine schedule of preparing, serving and eating. Ask for feedback. Try new foods. Check as often as possible to see what the prices are. Good luck!
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    13. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic What Food Intolerances Do You Have Along With Celiac Disease?   

      I am intolerant of all grains, all milk & dairy products (including casein and whey), egg whites, yeast, maltodextrin & modified food starch. So, I am able to eat meat, fruits & vegetables.
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    14. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Glutened Recovery Time   

      I remember standing in the grocery aisle reading the Orville Redenbacher packages and determining that I couldn't have them, though now I don't remember what was in it. Instead, I buy bulk popcorn at the Health Food Store. It's much cheaper and I do fine with it every time. I also never eat anything with casein, whey, or any kind of milk product. Hope this helps.
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    15. Welda Johnson added a post in a topic Pity Party   

      Good strategies for success!
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