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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      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 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 Celiac.com Store.

CMCM

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  1. I am very sensitive to most sunscreens, but have found if I find one of the pure mineral "block" types which contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide those do not bother me. I believe Neutrogena makes one of these for sensitive skin (look at the active ingredients, and be sure it's only these 2 things above and not the other "new" ingredients such as helioplex etc). I myself use one daily made by paula's choice (online). It's only spf 15 though, so if I'm out in the sun a lot in summer or skiing in winter I use my basic one and then on top I put Neutrogena's highest one, and I generally don't have a problem with it on an occasional basis like that. Most of the other sunscreens sting when I put them on and I get blotchy from them.
  2. I eat very much like you do! When I finally got diagnosed with celiac disease, I was at a point where I felt like I couldn't eat anything at all. Now I've realized that I do best with meat, eggs, moderate cheese, veggies such as spinach, collards, broccoli & cauliflower, cabbage, squashes (which I love). For most of my life, I thought my big problem was dairy intolerance of some sort. Once I got off gluten, I can now handle small amounts of dairy, although I'm supposedly casein intolerant too. I mostly just have it in my daily cappuccino and a small amount of cheese and that's about it. If I start adding in yogurt, or if I have milk with cereal, I get bloated and feel lousy. So I really minimize the dairy. I can't handle starches at all, so potatoes & rice etc. are out. I really don't eat any of the nightshades because they all bother me. If I eat them, I pay for it. I have extremely small amounts of fruit: 1/2 grapefruit at breakfast sometimes, occasional apple, strawberries or blueberries, that's about it. I used to make lovely big mixed fruit salads but they made me sick. I believe I'm sugar/fructose intolerant too. When I first went gluten-free, I experimented a lot with baking and using the various gluten-free grains, but the large amount of sugar in these things made me sick, plus I think a lot of the alternate grains bothered me too. So I just don't eat any of the permitted breads and I rarely have cakes/cookies etc. either. I rarely eat legumes (beans) because they bother me too. Just tiny amounts when I do. I also don't eat much in the way of nuts. I like sunflower seeds (raw) on my salads, occasionally I put some pecans or walnuts in the salad too, but other than that I don't eat nuts. No particular reason....I like nuts now, although I hated them all as a kid. I used to be able to eat a lot, but now my system can only handle very small meals. And when I eat, I don't include a lot of variety because that's bothersome too. When I eat right I feel great. When I eat wrong, I'm bloated and feel horrible.
  3. Digestion

    Here's what I have learned the HARD way about myself. 1. I can't eat a large volume of food any more. Small meals. Small amounts. 2. I can't tolerate a big mixture of foods. Mixing meat, starch, carbs makes me sick. 3. In fact, I can eat meat and veggies just fine. Never meat and any starch. 4. I do best with fruit all by itself, although I do fine with a 1/2 grapefruit plus eggs/bacon for breakfast. 5. I can't handle hardly any sugars, including fruit sugars. If I eat fruit, it's a small amount only. 6. I do better with multiple smaller "meals". Large meals kill me. If I eat according to what I put above, I don't bloat and I don't get sick. I have had to totally change my way of eating. I don't know if it's due to gluten or to getting older or perhaps due to both.
  4. If you don't know about this cookbook, you SHOULD. The author is a chef and when she was diagnosed with celiac disease, she dedicated herself to creating gluten free versions of the foods she loved. She created a flour mix that is out of this world good...although it requires a special superfine brown rice flour which is somewhat hard to find. But almost all the recipes use this basic mix of 3 things she created, so I just do up a big container of it and then measure out what I need. I haven't tried everything in the book, but so far the recipes I've tried were absolutely incredible and every bit as good as a wheat version. My mom (celiac for 40+ years) cried when I made vanilla cupcakes....she said she hadn't had anything like that in 40 years! The neat thing is the texture of the baked goods....soft, spongy, not weird crumbly etc. like most gluten free goodies. And she has various techniques that mask the rice flavor, so these things just taste perfect. My favorite is the coconut cupcakes, but the vanilla cupcakes, the lemon cupcakes, the sugar cookies and the choco chip cookies are all incredible. No one can believe they are gluten free. Anyway, this book is called "Gluten-Free Baking Classics" by Annalise Roberts. I really recommend this cookbook to everyone. And she's has just come out with a gluten free bread machine book, although I haven't got that one yet so I can't comment on it. If you really miss the "old" stuff, I suggest you get this book. It has made me stop missing the wheat foods because now I have delicious things to make--not just lousy replacements, but really really good and virtually identically flavored alternatives. But you absolutely have to have the Authentic brand rice flour to make your flour mix with. That's the key, because this flour doesn't give things that gritty texture that the other flours tend to give. It has to do with the fineness of the grind, and also, it's a brown flour, which the author says also makes a difference in how things turn out. If you go to amazon, you can read all the reviews.
  5. Age Of Diagnosis?

    Age 56 for me, self diagnosed after a lifetime of digestive woes beginning in infancy (terrible colic). I guess I should have known earlier....my mom was diagnosed 40 years ago when she was in her early 40's. Since my symptoms weren't as extreme as hers and I wasn't underweight, it didn't occur to me that I had it...she had been told her children's chances of having it were maybe 10% or some such. I didn't get really sick until about a month before I decided to find out what was going on. I was already fairly gluten "light", so a blood test revealed nothing, but Enterolab testing was very helpful and I also got the gene test to be sure. Going gluten free certainly cleared up all the symptoms quite quickly, so I have no doubt about whether or not I should eat gluten. Turned out my whole family has the gene (that was a no-brainer because we got my mom tested and she has TWO celiac genes, so obviously we all got one from her. My two kids also have one, and my brother's two kids as well, PLUS, thru our flurry of testing we found out my brother's son has TWO celiac genes as well, which meant he got one of them from his mother, who had zero idea it was in her family. My other brother and sister obviously have the gene, but think they have no symptoms (yes they do...I know they do, but they won't look into it and they are in denial) so they continue to eat gluten. Nothing I can do about that!
  6. I'm so happy to hear this....I LOVE these caramels! They're addicting!
  7. I really need to take magnesium supplements but I have a hard time with them. Does anyone have a recommendation for a good one, perhaps a liquid, which doesn't upset the digestive system so much?
  8. Nobody knows much about it, and so many don't even know what "gluten" is. In one place, I asked if a particular dish had anything with gluten in it, and she came back and told me "no gluten, the only thing the chicken has on it is a dusting of flour." I don't mention gluten much because so many have never heard of it, I mention flour instead, but of course that doesn't cover the various ingredients which might contain barley, or perhaps rye, or some derivative. It's a minefield, and I only feel safe with certain food items. I actually don't much want to eat out anymore, only when I have to.
  9. Rice Chex is not only now gluten free, but they make a big old deal about it on the box, and one of the side panels tells all about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity!!
  10. I use Pamela's Baking and Pancake mix for a bunch of things. A 4-lb bag costs anywhere from $13.99 to 17.99. The best store rate I've found is Whole Foods at $13.99. The health food stores seem to cost the most. You can get it at Amazon for about $12.15, and they have a thing you can sign up for where you are shipped every 3, 6 or 9 months automatically, and if you do that it ends up being $11.50 or so. I've been trying to get a fix on how much I use, so I'm tracking usage right now to decide what I want to do. I haven't made a huge number of things yet with the Pamela's mix, but so far so good. The drop biscuits are good, the pancakes are wonderful (no one guessed they were gluten-free), and I do a wonderful banana bread with it (again, no one can tell it's a gluten-free recipe, it's moist, normal crumb texture, just great), the waffles are also good. Pamela's site has a bunch of additional recipes, plus a lot of recipes are on the back of the 4-lb bag. The Pamela's mix has a nice mix of flours, and tastes really good. I haven't tried cakes etc. with it yet. I have a wonderful cookbook called "Gluten Free Baking Classics" by Annalise Roberts, about $11 on Amazon. She set out to create the recipes we all love in good gluten-free versions. She utilizes a mix of flours from Authentic Foods, and found that Authentic's super fine rice flours make all the difference in creating good substitutes for gluten foods. I found these flours at a local health food store at $11.50 for a 3 lb bag. You can order on Amazon or from Authentic Foods, but with shipping costs the price goes way up. I just got the cookbook and the flour but haven't tried them yet. However, if you read all the Amazon review the recipes sound fabulous, and from looking thru the cookbook I have to say she's got it all covered.
  11. This may be old news to most of you, but I just noticed the ad on this site which says Rice Chex is now Gluten Free.
  12. The degree of sensitivity definitely varies person to person. My mom has been glutened by absolutely invisible amounts of gluten, and she got to sick she says she thought she was dying. 12 to 24 hours of this, too, violent vomiting over and over until she was weak, incredible nausea, and so on. So for her, any exposure is a major reaction, seemingly worse with each subsequent exposure. Luckily, this rarely happens. Once she even got glutened from a Whole Foods display where a woman was offering samples of gluten free baked goods. Despite eating a supposedly gluten-free item, she still reacted to something in it. I don't know what amount she reacts to, but it must be infinitesimal. As for me, my reactions vary, although nothing as severe as my mom's. I too can get a canker sore in my mouth almost as I finish eating something. But that doesn't always happen. Sometimes in the past when I deliberately ate something, no reaction. Other times I'll feel sick for a few hours. Other times I'll get a headache. Or a rash. It's different every time, but I'm at a place where I'm now really really careful. I've read that your body does its best to "tolerate" gluten. It seems for me, the longer I'm away from gluten the greater my loss of tolerance. So I react now to small amounts of something which in the past, when I was eating a small bit of regular gluten, I wouldn't have reacted to as much.
  13. Ahhh, sugar, the evil sugar. I am driven to eat the stuff sometimes. My body and mind are wired to love sweet tastes. That said, I can and have gone long periods with it almost entirely banished from my diet.....after ashort time sugar free, I'll lose the cravings and do just fine for awhile. Then at some point I'll break down and chow down on something sweet again....and again, and then I'm back on the sugar wagon again. I'd love to be more moderate with it...probably not going to happen, though.
  14. More About Dr. Kenneth Fine

    I was researching causes of vertigo, which hit me very suddenly and I found this forum, where I was launched into a lot of gluten/celiac research. My mom was diagnosed with celiac disease over 40 years ago, but I didn't have her symptoms so I never gave much thought to the idea that I might have it too. I had a vague sense that gluten didn't sit well with me, but again, since I wasn't violently sick from eating gluten I figured I couldn't possibly have celiac disease. I'd had digestive upsets my whole life, from infancy on, and I attributed my main problem to dairy, which I avoided as much as I could. After living through a lot of things from birth to age 55....continual digestive upsets, heartburn, chronic cough, asthma, migraines.....one day I had an attack of vertigo that was truly frightening. I started trying to figure out what might be going on. As I researched, pieces of the puzzle came together and it sure did sound like celiac disease was a possibility. Not a certainty, but a possibility. I found out about Enterolab and got testing done as a curiosity more than anything....full tests and gene tests. I knew going into it that the results didn't diagnose celiac disease, BUT....I thought it would be useful to check on my genes (to find out predisposition) and also to find out if I had any sort of observable reactions going on. I had the celiac gene, also reactions in all areas EXCEPT a very low, normal malabsorption score, which I saw as a good thing. My previous mainstream blood tests for celiac disease were negative. I also didn't know any doctors who knew anything at all about celiac disease, so no help there. My reading on the subject convinced me that my fairly light level of gluten consumption would not ever produce a positive blood test, and I did NOT want to stuff myself with gluten just to get a reading. So perhaps I had celiac disease, perhaps not. What I DO know for sure is that gluten affects me negatively. When I abstain from gluten, all ....ALL symptoms magically go away. I don't question the gluten connection, and even if it poses no medical danger I prefer to not suffer the negative effects of eating it. Dr. Fine: After I got the testing done, I expected to be questioned down the road about results of a gluten-free diet. After all, if he were researching this wouldn't he want more data from all his subjects? His lack of explanation for results also bothered me....I did get answers to my questions about the test results, but I had to initiate everything and draw it out of him bit by bit. So that also bothered me. I wondered why he wasn't more concerned that those who came to him for testing fully understood the results. However, I still see Dr. Fine as someone who is probably way ahead of his time in celiac research. He will probably end up being one piece of the celiac puzzle. Given the nature of the medical profession, the influence of the pharmaceutical co's, the fact that no money can be made from a condition that is cured by diet alone, the obvious ignorance of celiac disease in the medical community AND the lack of interest in it generally, the resistance to new ideas, I can certainly see why Dr. Fine might not be motivated to officially publish anything. He's very involved in his music, his Enterolab has a limited but successful purpose. All is well with him and he's not pushed to do more. He does just fine as it is and perhaps he is happy with that. He provides a service that is beneficial to many. I don't regret my $$ spent at Enterolab, and the test results I got there have most definitely been a positive thing for me. I kind of wish I had a solid, medically approved diagnosis one way or the other, but that's not going to happen and I can live with knowing what I know from Enterolab AND my results from being gluten free. Ultimately, from everything I've read Dr. Fine's ideas really do resonate with me, it just makes sense. You eat food, it goes through the digestive process, waste is eliminated. That gluten reactivity could be observed in the stool is completely logical. What I did find a stretch to believe was the idea that it could be observed as long as a year after your last gluten meal. However, there may be an explanation to this that I've missed. I can't ignore the facts: If I eat gluten very much I get a whole cascade of symptoms that disappear when I eliminate gluten. Enough said.
  15. Well, it's time to make Christmas cookies again....except this year I can't do my beloved wheat flour cookies any more. I have never had a gluten free cookie I liked, but I'm wondering if anyone has found a recipe that tastes good. The ones I used to make were simply butter, flour, vanilla, eggs, salt, then you refrigerate dough and later roll out and cut into shapes. When cooked, I would frost them. Any really good recipes out there???