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. Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com 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 Celiac.com Store.For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity
Eating out is the worst part of celiac for me as I don't really want to discuss my health history with strangers. I try to look at a menu online before going to the restaurant so I am prepared to discuss a particular dish. I try to pick a chair which will be accessible to the server so I am not yelling across a table. As others have mentioned, I also say I have a "gluten allergy" so the "peanut/shellfish/... allergy" reaction gets triggered in the server.
I never, ever reacted to gluten before my diagnosis but will now react to a crouton. Not severely but it is noticeable. Eating out is always a risk but I have only had a couple of problems in the 6 years since my diagnosis. Once at a resort where the server was a college student summer hire. Another time when the restaurant was noisy so I couldn't talk to the server and chose what I thought was a safe dish -- live and learn.
I don't claim to be a vegetarian, I simply don't eat meat unless I have to. Which means I only eat meat if I am at a restaurant or visiting. I don't cook so my preferred easy to prepare meal is brown rice from my rice cooker with cannellini beans topped with spaghetti sauce. For some reason, I never tire of it.
With regards to oats, this link my be useful,
The wikipedia page on oat sensitivity says this,
"There is no evidence that oats can trigger GSE (gluten sensitive enteropathy), only that in a small number of celiacs disease can be sustained or reinitiated by oats once triggered by wheat."
but there is no citation so not sure if it is accurate.
I suggest you read the book "Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic" by Dr. Peter Green. I found it invaluable for helping to distinguish the facts from the myths. It is particularly important for you since you mention not having any symptoms which might tempt you (as it did me) to not bother with going gluten free. I never had a digestive reaction to gluten before my diagnosis but after a few weeks being gluten free I was reacting at about the crouton level. It does get easier though you may find yourself going through the various stages of loss.
FYI, this was from part of the email I sent to family members,
However, as this is related to genetics, I am taking the advice of my doctor and informing you of your slightly increased risk. The probability of your also having or getting celiac is,
1 in 133: for general population (inlaws)
1 in 40: for second degree relative (niece,nephew)
1 in 22: for primary relative (parents,sibilings)
10%: for my long lost twin sister (which I don't have)
70%: for my long lost identical twin brother (which I don't have)
Actually the surprising thing is how high it is in the general population. Diagnosis consists of a blood test and if positive it is confirmed by a biopsy of the small intestine.
This was a while ago. I can't say if those statistics are still correct.
My philosophy is that if it is visibly clean then it is safe as long as it is dedicated to gluten free usage. If I go by the max recommended allowable gluten per day, then that can be easily seen. And if some how gluten is hiding in some type of crevice, it is not going to multiply like a bacteria so will only end up being safer with usage. I cleaned my bread maker thoroughly when I made the transition and have had no problem. As always, it is a personal decision.
I like pure fit protein bars as a filling snack and protein supplement. I also like the food for life frozen rice almond bread typically found at whole foods and the larger grocery stores for use with peanut butter and jelly (jif and smuckers). For extended trips, I pack a loaf and jar in my (checked) suitcase. It is also hard to beat cereal when you want something quick. Finding an affordable and tasty gluten free cereal can be somewhat challenging. I currently like nature's path mesa sunrise from wegmen's. There are several worthwhile amy's soups. For snacking, I like mother's salted butter popped corn and rice cakes. Can you tell I don't cook? Well except for my rice cooker which is my most valued kitchen appliance. Load it up in the morning and it is ready at night.
As a newbie, I would suggest reading "Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic" by peter green. It gets easier after a while but until then you will make mistakes. It is a process of finding what works for you. Good luck.
I stick to the simple and plain foods at a buffet and have not had a problem in my limited experience. At a thanksgiving dinner buffet that meant raw veggies and fruit for appetizers, plain turkey, potatoes, asparagus, no gravy ... I had to give up my normal vegetarian diet but it was a filling meal. The tough part is looking at all the deserts I couldn't eat. My sensitivity is at about the crouton level so I don't have to worry about trace gluten at these types of infrequent functions. My criteria for food I eat daily is more strict.
What you are suggesting sounds a lot like Hormesis. At least for someone with celiac, this sounds like an exceptionally bad idea since gauging the damage is difficult. I am not gluten free because of the symptoms but rather because of the other consequences which come from the disease. At diagnosis, I suggested to the doctor that because I was mostly symptom free that perhaps I did not need to follow the diet. He suggested I read up on the subject and as a result I am gluten free. Ironically, I am now sensitive at about the crouton level.
I am catholic and I have chosen to not take communion. I came to that decision after taking communion after 2 weeks of being gluten free and was surprised to have a reaction. I never liked the idea of doing the shared wine cup and didn't like the idea of approaching the priest about low gluten hosts. That was two and a half years ago. I am comfortable with that decision but if I were a better catholic I probably wouldn't be. But what I also noticed is that I have felt a loss in the sense of community through the shared experience of taking communion. That may be what your girlfriend is going through. The suggestion of talking to the priest is a good one. As others have mentioned, taking the wine or a low gluten (but not a no gluten) host is equivalent to the regular host. And maybe there are other ministries within the church which she could participate in so as not to feel separated. If the church has it, maybe as a eucharistic minister which handles the wine. Good luck.
3. 2 years
5. Not too bad -- my sensitivity starts at the crouton size.
7. No -- maybe more aware for doctors.
8. Following the diet is inconvenient but not a burden. No known long term consequences fortunately.
9. More choices at the super market and restaurants but given the percent of the population which has this disease it is not too bad.
I work out everyday and lost an unusual 6 pounds when symptoms started and gained them back a year later after I was diagnosed. I'm not convinced all of those pounds were fat so your gym results may improve as your gut heals.
My last official gluten meal was a burrito (sigh).