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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.

New To This - A Few Questions
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4 posts in this topic

I was actually diagnosed with celiac disease in 1998 but after a misunderstanding between my PCP and myself (I hadn't realized that he had tested me, let alone that the results were very positive), and because I was pretty much symptom free, I did not take on the gluten-free diet at that point. Now, after losing my 23w old fetus and nearly my life to pneumoccal sepsis, my previous celiac disease diagnosis has come back to the forefront. I just started the diet 2 days ago and seem to be doing okay - my family eats a wholesome diet with much cooked from scratch so I am hoping with keeping an eye out, we wil manage.

I am worried about accidental exposures though through flavourings and coloring etc. For example, do I have to worry about any sodas? I am also wondering about food prep. The rest of my family are staying on a regular diet for now (we are in the process of having my 2 young children tested). Do I need to worry about touching pasta that may be cooked for them, or cereals that I serve them? What about my breadmaker? It has been previously used with wheat flour, do I have to trash it, or will a thorough cleaning do? It seems to me like a stupid question, but I just don't want to miss anything. I am sick and tired of being so utterly exhausted and really want this diet to work for me.

I also enjoy baking but was quite overwhelmed at the store yesterday trying to work out what gluten-free ingredients I needed to have in. There are so many different flours ... I would mainly be making cookies with my kids and probably some bread for me. What ingredients should I make sure I have in my cupboards?

Thank you so much

Heather

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Heather,

I have been on a gluten-free diet for 22 years but only recently realized the dangers of cross contamination. I have my own toaster now, my own pans for cooking. I have gotten rid of all the wooden spoons and plastic spoons and teflon pans which could have contamination.

As far a baking there was a mixture of rice flours on this site a couple of days ago I believe from Connie. You use equal parts asian flour (fine) glutenous flour, and a regular rice flour and substitute that mix for flour in your cookies etc. I did it yesterday for toll house chocolate chip cookies and I took them to a BD party for my niece and no one knew they were gluten-free until I told them. You can purchase the asian rice flour and the glutenous flour at an Asian Market and the cost is much more reasonable then at the health food stores.

You must be very careful using the same mayo, peanut butter etc, as your other family members may have used those products and contaminated them. I really didn't think this was possible until I was having problems and when they tested my blood it showed an elevation of gluten levels. Since I have been more careful they have dropped below 20.

I hope this helps a little, I am sure more people will give you suggestions to help you. Hang in there.

Kathy, NJ

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I've heard about some "Bob's Red Mill" (or similar) flour...this way you don't need many different flours. One common baking ingredient is xanthan gum, but I would suggest using mixes at the beginning -- some of them can be really delicious and amazing.

Kathy made some good cross-contamination suggestions. Get new pots, pans, toaster oven, wooden spoons, collander, etc. You do need to be conscious of what you touch. If you're making a gluten-free and regular pasta at the same time, make sure that a utensil you use to stir the regular pasta doesn't touch the gluten-free one. Don't put anything in the microwave or on a countertop--use a plate. Don't double-dip anything (cream cheese, butter, pb, jelly....don't remember if this was mentioned). Finally, don't eat anything that you question. I don't cook gluten-free...well, don't cook beyond using mixes, so I can't really help, three. Good luck.

-celiac3270

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I've been gluten-free for a couple months now and I'm finally getting a handle on what I like/don't like. It takes a lot of experimenting. The best bread I've made so far is a variation of the four flour recipe in Gluten Free Gourmet by Bette Hagman. It has tapioca flour, corn starch, garfava flour (made with garbaonzo bean and fava bean) and I use glutenous rice flour rather than sorghum flour for the fourth flour. I also had to adjust a bit for elevation by using a little less water. But the bread tastes like high-quality white bread, good texture and taste. You can modify it by adding raisins and cinnamon, or by adding onion powder and sprinkling dehydrated onions on it, etc and so forth. Only by experimenting will you find what works for you.

As for the bread machine- I found that most gluten-free bread works better if you don't use the bread machine. Typically gluten-free bread works much better with just one rising rather than two, so I just use our bread machine to make wheat flour bread for the family and I make my own bread in a pan by hand.

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    • Gluten ataxia...?
      I was explaining that some people have other trouble that is immune related and caused by eating gluten, but doesn't effect the gut in a noticeable way. According to the paper that I quoted there are some people which have different types of brain problems but don't have inflammation when tested by a biopsy.  The author used the term "non-Celiac gluten sensitivity" to refer to anyone who has any brain trouble that can be traced to gluten but without obvious gut inflammation.  There are a lot of different possible ways gluten can effect the brain some may not be related to the gut.  It could still be an immune system problem.  Normally "non-Celiac gluten sensitivity" refers to just a food intolerance.  Withdrawal symptoms are not normal and could be indicative of an immune system response of some sort, but I don't know for sure.        
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie I've put the above in quotes as you have described in the first and second sentence how I felt six months prior to my DX.   In my own case, in the end I concluded it was anxiety after consulting Dr Google!  It was such an alien feeling to me, I couldn't even think what it was, particularly as life was pretty good at the time.  Anxiety is a problem for a lot of celiacs prior to diagnosis, and often after glutening after going gluten-free. You mention breathlessness, this of course can be for reasons such as anaemia (again a common celiac problem, I had this prior to DX) but of course also can arise if you are anxious.   Re 'gluten free' - Flowerqueen is right, from what I have read on this forum some people really do seem to react with less than 20ppm.    But perhaps some other things to consider...  could there be something wrong with the batch you have consumed?  Might it be worth contacting the manufacturers?   That said, you could , as Flowerqueen suggests, have a problem with another ingredient, in the product or something else you consumed. In the past I have had a terrible reaction - fever, trembling, diarrhea, stomach cramps that lasted up to three hours the last three times I ate..... broccoli, of all things.    Who would have thought that possible?  I have often thought I should try it again, just to be sure it was the broccoli, as it is a 'super food' that I ought to have in my diet, that I like very much, but the thought of having such a reaction again has put me off. I do hope you will find some answers soon.  
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie,  I've not heard of this drink before, as I live in the UK, but any drink made from barley is something you should avoid.  There's a brand in the UK that makes lemon and barley water and orange and barley water and Coeliac UK say it is not safe for people with Coeliac disease.  (Our labelling laws in the UK changed a couple of years ago).  You say the drink you had was under 20 ppm, which is acceptable (usually) for coeliacs, but a lot of people are super-sensitive to gluten even in very small amounts.  I recently had a similar problem with something which was supposed to be okay for coeliacs, but when I checked the website of the product, for all it said there were no gluten containing ingredients, it was produced in an area where gluten was present, which was enough to put me off and must admit, the symptoms you describe sound very much like I experienced at the time.  (Personally I'd be avoiding that particular drink like the plague from now on). One other thing though,  have you checked the ingredients to see if there could be anything else in it which you may be intolerant to? 
    • Confused
      I have not. I'll talk to my doctor about it
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