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There is a lot of information given out in these forums without any scholarly, medical, or scientific studies being referenced, and without any qualifying remarks to precede what is often times opinion. I qualified my remarks. Also, there is a generally recognized threshold of acceptable levels of gluten and if you are very careful with your regular diet, you should be able to keep within the threshold even with minute amounts of cross contamination. Some of these statements are more scare statements than facts. Where are your referenced studies?
I suggest the original writer consult: http://www.celiac.com/st_prod.html?p_prodid=994 for more informed response.
I can tolerate trace amounts of gluten so if I take a hamburger off the bun I don't get sick. There are others who feel that the contact with the burger is enough to contaminate the food with gluten. It may be for others, but not for me.
You will need to come to your own conclusions.
Celiac is a big pain as a diet. Most diets all you need is will power. Not with celiacs. No one willingly goes off diet as the consequences are too unpleasant to discuss.
But it is a poor decision, in my opinion, to eliminate more foods from your diet than you absolutely have to. There are too many that get bounced as it is.
I don't try to bake gluten free. I try to find substitutes.
Rice Krispies, fried eggs, cream of rice, are all viable substitutes for fried eggs on a roll or pancakes.
Burger King and Wendy's will serve minus the bun. Watch out for French Fries as they are sometimes floured to hold the crispiness or the flavorings.
Bakes Potatoes and Corn on the Cobb are generally safe everywhere.
Ice cream makes a good desert and with Haagen Daz I feel I can get over the loss of brownies.
The Cheese Cake Factory will prepare gluten free at their restaurants. They also sell cheese cake at Sam's Club (frozen). They list the ingredients for the graham crust separate from the cheesecake so you can read the ingredients and slice off the graham crust for yourself and serve the entire piece to the other members of your family. Or for guests and not feel like you are being left out.
All I am saying, is if you stop and think about what you are doing, you can get by reasonably well.
There is always the possibility that someone will blind side you and you will get symptoms. I find that it is few and far between. The occasional large contamination only gives me mild symptoms that I am able to shake off quickly and continue on.
Celiac is a pain, but with a good attitude and thinking, it is not quite as bad as some make it out to be unless you have a really bad case.
My advice is don't make it worse than it really is. Learn your own condition and what you can do and can't. If needed, keep a notebook so you don't forget.
And DON'T ELIMINATE MORE FOODS THAN YOU REALLY HAVE TO.
There is a general feeling amongst Celiacs that if eliminating some foods made them feel this much better, then imagine what eliminating whole classes of foods will do for me. Don't fall into that trap.
My condition is not as bad as some and I take medications for psoriatic arthritis that also mitigates the effect of wheat contamination. Keep that in mind while reading my response.
I eat in restaurants frequently.
I consider certain foods "safe". Some examples are: steak, roast chicken, broiled chicken, baked potatoes, eggs, omelettes, bacon, 100% beef hot dogs and hamburgers (no bun).
Not safe: Salisbury steak, anything with gravy,
Anything that is not intact as grown. For instance: Steak, safe; Salisbury steak, not safe.
100% beef burger, safe (if you trust the label); beef chili, not safe.
I find that there are certain Chinese restaurants that I can eat in as long as I don't eat anything with noodles (or egg rolls), or gravy or breaded sweet and sour dishes. Then there are other Chinese restaurants that I cannot eat at. Find one that works for you and stick with it.
I do find that I am consuming too many eggs another health issue.
McDonald's claims that their salads are OK (but I don't enjoy them). Burger King will prepare burgers without the bun, but skip the french fries.
I routinely ask for a knife and fork at McDonald's and remove the bun and eat it. For other people there would be a cross contamination issue.
Add only one new item a day and see if you are bothered by it. If not, add it to your list.
Many fast food restaurants have websites and list their gluten free items.
Over time you can build a list of acceptable foods to eat.
There are many grilled options at TGIF (Fridays) that I have no problems with.
But like I said, my condition may not be as severe as yours. You will have to build your own list. Be aware that every once in a while you will get blindsided by a restaurant. Wendy's claims that the chili is gluten free. From several experiences I would say that it is not.
I've always assumed that I was lactose intolerant (my father was). Not much of a hardship as I don't normally drink milk.
However when I was going through the testing process "T.R.O." as my doctor called it (To Rule Out), I took a lactose tolerance test. It is very simple:
You eat nothing from 10:00 the evening before and show up at the doctor's office. The give you a sweet tasting drink that is loaded with lactose. Then every 30 minutes they have you blow into a tube that is attached to a meter. If you are very intolerant you will get a positive reading on first try. They will make you blow into that tube every half hour for 3 hours. If you do not show a positive during that time you do not have a lactose intolerance issue.
It is a really good idea to know for sure. There are so many foods that you cannot eat, that it is foolish to eliminate ones that you can for the lack of a test.
And ice cream is a really nice substitute for brownies.
That's what I thought I had, but the doctor said otherwise. The patches of dry skin were in fact psoriasis. And the condition is psoriatic arthritis.
My condition was quite bad. I had swelling in the knuckles, wrists, and elbow. I had tendinitis in the elbow, jaw and neck. It was so painful that it kept me from sleeping.
There is a worrisome aspect of these forums: Going on a gluten free diet is clearly indicated for celiacs. There is no scientific evidence that the diet has any effect on other auto-immune diseases and in fact maybe denying people the treatments that they should be seeking.
There is a lot of anecdotal stuff floated around here about diet helping this or that. Largely because there is a substantial improvement in how we feel as celiacs by going on this diet there is a feeling that the diet will, by extension, help all the auto-immune issues. Where is the science? There is none. I can find nothing in the scientific reports that supports these thesis.
The worst is that some members here will go on a diet for 6 months to no purpose and not get the treatments that will truly help. And then the "diet gurus" tsk, tsk those who use the medicines that have been proven to help.
I find this very distressing.
When discussing diet as a benefit, it would behoove the poster to state whether the information put forth is annecdotal, from a doctor, or from a recognized scientific journal so that other members can make an informed opinion regarding the information put forth.
I had that condition (still do, but it is well controlled).
Do you have any psoriasis any where on your body? If so, you might want to see a rheumatologist.
I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis; it was very painful and rapidly progressive. It was a long time in figuring out what it was. Ask your doctor about this.
This is an auto-immune response. If left un-treated it will leave your joints damaged. My finger joints are permantently damaged (I cannot make a tight fist). It is treated with immuno-suppressant drugs (not as strong as for psoriasis, but powerful drugs). The Embrel is quite expensive and it took 6 months to convince the insurance company to pay for it. It costs about $25,000.00 to $30,000.00 per year. By the time the insurance company agreed to pay for the treatments, the damage had been done.
Try to get a diagnosis early.
The only good thing about this is that:
1. It is treatable
2. The treatment reduces the psoriasis
3. The treatment reduces the severity of the celiac
On the downside, the Embrel reduces your immunity to infection, and the Methotrexate requires constant monitoring of the liver function.
But if you have this same condition that I have, then these are very fair trade-offs.
I read the labels. Several of the low calorie meals list no offending ingredients.
My condition is not so severe that minute amounts of cross contamination is a problem. None of them carry a label, "Gluten Free", though you can e-mail the manufacturer to check.
Also, BJ's Wholesale Club carries many Thai and Vietnamese instant meals that are gluten free (rice noodles). They fix quickly. I enjoy them at work and so do a couple of my co-workers. A couple others think they smell bad. If you enjoy them, they are always available. I carry a couple in my car. A cup of boiling water from the diner or deli is all you need for a meal. They are very cheap too--about 70¢ per meal.
I just Googled: "frozen dinners, gluten free"
Not only were there several listings for frozen meals, there were listings for companies that will deliver gluten free meals fresh to your door.
There are a lot of really acceptable substitutes for oatmeal so this really should not be a big issue. I eat oatmeal (Quaker) with no issues, but my celiac is very mild and mitigated by the drugs I take.
There is Cream of Rice as a substitute. I make a cheaper version of Cream of Rice. I buy Minute Rice and put a couple of scoops in my coffee grinder. It cooks in 5 minutes. Since I always keep rice on hand, this is an easy thing for me.
My Chinese roommate in college used to make porridge in a rice cooker. He simply left the cooker on overnight and in the morning it was porridge.
Brown rice is an excellent source of iron (about 1/2 that of oatmeal).
Google: "Iron Rich Foods" and you will get many lists of foods that are high in iron. Wheat and Oats come up often, but there are others.