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I'm an Australian coeliac who has travelled a few times in the US. Here's my two cents worth:
1. Re lollies/snack food - you should find a much wider variety of chocolates, lollies etc in the US than Australia that you can eat, as they tend to use corn starch and high fructose corn syrup, rather than wheat starch/wheat glucose syrup in manufacturing snack food. Just beware of chips (crisps) which sometimes are and sometimes aren't gluten free.
2. Beware of labelling in the US. In Australia, you must by law mention in the ingredient list if there is wheat, rye, oats or barley in the product. In the US, I think all they must mark is wheat;
3. Also watch out for 'gluten free' products in the US, many of which contain oats (which aren't allowed to be labelled as gluten free in Australia);
4. Saying you have a 'wheat allergy' tends to work better in the US in my experience than saying 'gluten intolerance';
5. And finally, the best fast food option I found in the states was Mexican food - just about always gluten free!
I used to get dry mouth periodically before I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. I don't think it's anything to worry about (assuming coeliac is the cause). My doctor recommended a gel for my mouth which performs almost the same function as a moisturiser for your skin. It worked to some extent. I'm in Australia - so I don't know how available the gel is in the US - but I just bought it over the counter here.
Thanks everyone for your responses! I don't normally react to wheat glucose syryp, nor do I have other allergies - but I must admit I haven't tried a snickers in over a year - so maybe I should ty again and see what happens? (and make sure it's one that's manufactured here, not overseas). I occassionally have the same problem with the snack size cadubury's plain chocolate - but not always. So it could be something to do with chocolate per se perhaps.
I know that snickers bars in Australia are gluten free according to their label - but whenever I eat them, I get glutened type symptoms. Does this happen to anyone else? I'm assuming that perhaps they're processed on the same line as non-gluten-free goods ...
I'm wondering if anyone has a good recipe for gluten-free buckwheat bread? I generally find all gluten free bread quite horrible, but I have come across one organic bakery which makes the most delicious buckwheat bread, however they don't always have it in stock - so I was wondering if anyone had a recipe so I could make my own.
I spend a lot of time in Cambodia, and some time in Thailand for work. I find that Thailand is quite difficult as they add soy sauce (or oyster sauce) to just about everything and they have absolutely no idea what wheat flour is (let alone gluten!) - so it's very hard to ask if something is gluten (or wheat) free. Cambodia is slightly easier for me (but perhaps that's just because I spend more time there so am more used to the cuisine). Nonetheless, in both Thailand and Cambodia you will never starve - there is always rice available, and fish sauce, garlic and chilli to have on the side. However, I think out of the countries mentioned, India would be by far the easiest. Even here (in Australia) I can walk into any Indian restaurant and usually eat 75% of the dishes on the menu without any trouble.
I'm from Sydney and I know that Crust does a good gluten free gourmet pizza (although check that the 15 year old kids who make it up don't dump it in flour - I got glutened once this way). I don't know if Crust are outside Sydney though ...?
I'm also loving the gluten free pastry that Coles sells (The Pastry Pantry). It's expensive, but oh so good :-)
I was the same way when I first got diagnosed (1 year ago). I could not wait to get to the shops and test out all the gluten free products. I even bought heaps of gluten free cookbooks. It was exciting to me to discover a whole lot of different foods I'd never tried before. And it helped to lessen the disappointment that I could never eat a normal pizza again, or pasta etc. It never gets cheaper to eat gluten free, but after a while you will probably get over the excitement of the gluten free aisle at the supermarket! I still, however, 'treat' myself, as I feel I deserve it if I can't eat normal food. And I make sure my cupboard is always well stocked with food I can eat. I actually lost weight when I went gluten free - probably because I could no longer eat all the junk food that I used to eat (despite trying out all the 'new' gluten free food I could find).
As far as I know, Italy is great for gluten free. I haven't been there since I was diagnosed, but many of the gluten free pastas, breads etc we get in Australia are Italian. Apparently they test all school kids for coeliac disease in Italy and as such there's a pretty good awareness of gluten intolerance. I'm not sure of any specfic restaurants, but hopefully as awareness is so high, you should simply be able to request a gluten free meal. Hope this helps!
You don't really need to know what the numbers mean. In Australia and NZ all labels, by law, must indicate if the product contains wheat, rye, oats or barley. Therefore if you do not see any of these words in the ingredient list, the product is gluten free. Also, keep in mind that the words 'gluten free' on a label override the ingredient list.
NZ and Australia have the same labelling laws, so if you contact the local coeliac society in either country they should be able to help you out if you have further questions regarding reading labels.
I also have the same problem with alcohol. It makes it really difficult when you want to go out drinking with friends but are sick for days afterward. Try sticking with lighter coloured drinks (white wine, clear spirits etc) - apparently they contribute less to hangovers than the darker drinks.