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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.

I Am Starting To Hate Food...
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So last week I was told I was gluten intolerant. This didn't really come as a huge surprise I guess. Next month I will be doing the complete elimination diet at which point I will probably find out I am lactose intolerant as well. Hoping the Dr and I are wrong though. But this week I am depressed. I am a mom of 2 kids, one of which has a very active after school life with dance and girl scouts. My youngest is a busy 2 year old. I work full time caring for infants. My husband works 2 jobs and is hardly home, especially for meals, so I feel like a single mom most of the time. Which has meant that our food choices were not the best all the time. Either something quick out of the house or something quick and easy at home. Now my food choices are limited. We had come up with a deal that after Thanksgiving we would avoid fast food. So that has gone ok. But now at home I feel like I cant eat anything. I know I can eat, don't get me wrong. But it isn't the same. So I am mad. Or grieving. Or something in between I guess. I am angry that I cant just eat whatever. I am sad I cant eat what I want. I am frustrated that I don't have great choices in my home. The choices I have seem boring in comparison to my old choices. Even after planning.

Take tonight for instance. My husband is home. He makes amazing liver and onions. Was gonna make dinner for us. But we cant use flour. And so then it wont taste the same. And we cant have the mashed potatoes in our cabinet with it cause they are not gluten free. We can have rice. But no gravy cause that is made with flour. So in the end I feel like I have ruined dinner for him and I am upset about it so I don't even feel like eating. It is horrible. Next week is our company Christmas party. The main dish...Lasagna and garlic bread. My grandmother is super excited telling me today about the dessert she is making for the family dinner Christmas day...totally forgetting that I cant have it. Goes on to tell me she can freeze it for me for another time. Obviously the life time aspect of this whole thing made no sense to her. And my parents talk about going out to eat. They love the Chinese buffet and so do I...but seriously? What exactly will I be eating there? Not much.

Now I know I am one of many having a difficult time with this. It is hard. Going from being able to eat anything to being able to eat some things. I know other people are struggling with it. I just needed to vent. I feel like crying. I feel like screaming. And I know that it will get easier. But it is just so permanent. It is so final. Lol, it is like food has died. And I feel like I would almost rather have nothing at this point. Ok, enough venting lol.

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So last week I was told I was gluten intolerant. This didn't really come as a huge surprise I guess. Next month I will be doing the complete elimination diet at which point I will probably find out I am lactose intolerant as well. Hoping the Dr and I are wrong though. But this week I am depressed. I am a mom of 2 kids, one of which has a very active after school life with dance and girl scouts. My youngest is a busy 2 year old. I work full time caring for infants. My husband works 2 jobs and is hardly home, especially for meals, so I feel like a single mom most of the time. Which has meant that our food choices were not the best all the time. Either something quick out of the house or something quick and easy at home. Now my food choices are limited. We had come up with a deal that after Thanksgiving we would avoid fast food. So that has gone ok. But now at home I feel like I cant eat anything. I know I can eat, don't get me wrong. But it isn't the same. So I am mad. Or grieving. Or something in between I guess. I am angry that I cant just eat whatever. I am sad I cant eat what I want. I am frustrated that I don't have great choices in my home. The choices I have seem boring in comparison to my old choices. Even after planning.

Take tonight for instance. My husband is home. He makes amazing liver and onions. Was gonna make dinner for us. But we cant use flour. And so then it wont taste the same. And we cant have the mashed potatoes in our cabinet with it cause they are not gluten free. We can have rice. But no gravy cause that is made with flour. So in the end I feel like I have ruined dinner for him and I am upset about it so I don't even feel like eating. It is horrible. Next week is our company Christmas party. The main dish...Lasagna and garlic bread. My grandmother is super excited telling me today about the dessert she is making for the family dinner Christmas day...totally forgetting that I cant have it. Goes on to tell me she can freeze it for me for another time. Obviously the life time aspect of this whole thing made no sense to her. And my parents talk about going out to eat. They love the Chinese buffet and so do I...but seriously? What exactly will I be eating there? Not much.

Now I know I am one of many having a difficult time with this. It is hard. Going from being able to eat anything to being able to eat some things. I know other people are struggling with it. I just needed to vent. I feel like crying. I feel like screaming. And I know that it will get easier. But it is just so permanent. It is so final. Lol, it is like food has died. And I feel like I would almost rather have nothing at this point. Ok, enough venting lol.

It is hard, but you CAN have foods you like. You can have flour, just not wheat flour.....so you can have your husband's liver and onions. Bob's Red Mill All Purpose gluten-free Flour is a good substitute in dishes like that and in gravies. As for mashed potatoes, the real thing is better anyway. :) but the Idahoan brand is gluten-free if you want to keep the instant on hand. You will be fine....just stay here with us and ask lots of questions. Welcome and good luck.

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Your emotions are very normal & even expected...

Just to let you know you will get through this & survive. ANd even be healthy...

Now corn starch works well for making gravy.. Real spuds are way better than those artifical ones....& better for you..

Lasagne can be gluten free & no one will ever tell the difference ..We serve it alot & no one ever knows.....garlic bread is so easy. Get a gluten-free baguette& make your own ..We like Against the grain or everybody eats baguettes....

Honestly there is everything gluten-free that is wheat based now days. But you have to do your homework..... read labels, listen & learn

One thing that will never change is planning& pre-planning is a constant but it becomes so simple after you accustom yourself to it you will never think much about it...sot of that old hat!

It is okay to mourn & go through all the stages of grief but don't let it destroy you or the disease wins...you be in the driver's seat & you control........

Now to family ...... sometimes they just never get it......& other family is supported, I got the latter one!!!! But I never stay home from anything because I can't eat the food... I always take a dish that I can share & it is gluten-free (this way I know I can have something safe to eat). I always make a dessert to share again gluten-free.....now days when I go to family gatherings many will not know what I brought & tell me oh are you sure you should eat this or that... It makes me laugh tha that they have no idea about what is gluten or not...love grandma anyway even if she doesn't understand.... I bet her dessert can be gluten-free too!!!!

If you need help please just ask..

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So last week I was told I was gluten intolerant. This didn't really come as a huge surprise I guess. Next month I will be doing the complete elimination diet at which point I will probably find out I am lactose intolerant as well. Hoping the Dr and I are wrong though. But this week I am depressed. I am a mom of 2 kids, one of which has a very active after school life with dance and girl scouts. My youngest is a busy 2 year old. I work full time caring for infants. My husband works 2 jobs and is hardly home, especially for meals, so I feel like a single mom most of the time. Which has meant that our food choices were not the best all the time. Either something quick out of the house or something quick and easy at home. Now my food choices are limited. We had come up with a deal that after Thanksgiving we would avoid fast food. So that has gone ok. But now at home I feel like I cant eat anything. I know I can eat, don't get me wrong. But it isn't the same. So I am mad. Or grieving. Or something in between I guess. I am angry that I cant just eat whatever. I am sad I cant eat what I want. I am frustrated that I don't have great choices in my home. The choices I have seem boring in comparison to my old choices. Even after planning.

Take tonight for instance. My husband is home. He makes amazing liver and onions. Was gonna make dinner for us. But we cant use flour. And so then it wont taste the same. And we cant have the mashed potatoes in our cabinet with it cause they are not gluten free. We can have rice. But no gravy cause that is made with flour. So in the end I feel like I have ruined dinner for him and I am upset about it so I don't even feel like eating. It is horrible. Next week is our company Christmas party. The main dish...Lasagna and garlic bread. My grandmother is super excited telling me today about the dessert she is making for the family dinner Christmas day...totally forgetting that I cant have it. Goes on to tell me she can freeze it for me for another time. Obviously the life time aspect of this whole thing made no sense to her. And my parents talk about going out to eat. They love the Chinese buffet and so do I...but seriously? What exactly will I be eating there? Not much.

Now I know I am one of many having a difficult time with this. It is hard. Going from being able to eat anything to being able to eat some things. I know other people are struggling with it. I just needed to vent. I feel like crying. I feel like screaming. And I know that it will get easier. But it is just so permanent. It is so final. Lol, it is like food has died. And I feel like I would almost rather have nothing at this point. Ok, enough venting lol.

It takes awhile for everything to fall into place. At first I would eat at friend's home as long as they made sure it was gluten-free, I didn't totally understand cross contamination and all that goes with it. Then I had to back track and make the iron clad rule that I would not eat anything at anyone's home except for what I had made. That was harder for some friends to understand than if I had understood at the beginning. Stick to your guns. Eat your own food.

Try to find out what is being served and then bring the same, or close to it, for yourself. Lasagna being served? Bring your own. I make alot, freeze it in individual portions so that I have a "company" dinner ready to go. It's hard at first. No question about it. But it does get easier. One thing I have discovered is that after the initial "Can't you eat this?" is over with everyone else is so busy snarfing down their own food that they don't notice what you are eating anyway!

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There is a grieving process that many of us seem to go through. Some go through it right away, some not for several months. It really is okay. About the liver and onions (mmmmm.....I love liver and onions) I use 1/3 white rice flour, 1/3 sorghum, and 1/3 millet (all available at most whole foods (not the chain) stores). For gravy I use 1/2 potato starch and 1/2 potato flour since neither my wife nor I can have corn starch.

I make our own gluten-free bread (Breadman Pro bread machine rocks!), and I make our own gluten-free croutons as well. That's how I make stuffing for Thanksgiving and for Christmas dinner. Learning to cook gluten-free is an interesting adventure. I've cooked since I was about 8 years old, and I cooked for a living for a number of years. So having to relearn how to cook after 30+ years of cooking was not the easiest thing in the world. But I figure if some friends of ours who own a catering business could successfully convert their entire business to gluten-free, without anyone knowing, because they had to for their own health, and get BETTER reviews from people after going gluten-free, it certainly must be doable! :D

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At first I was absolutely pissed about not being able to eat pizza, fried chicken, fast food, and beer....

And now after 2 weeks gluten-free I feel so awesome I don't even miss it! Living life healthy is way better than eating stuff that's poisoning you! :)

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You can adapt to this and have your children and husband have a healthier mother and wife, and avoid a lot of complications, or ..... :ph34r:

I am a generation older, so this concept of using real foods and cooking from scratch (to save money and because it is better for you anyway, besides, in a rural area, everything is a long drive) is not so foreign. I don't think I would ever mourn the loss of instant mashed potatoes.... gee whiz, we have microwaves now so cooked potatoes are only minutes away with no pan to wash up.

I went thru a phase decades ago where we were not only doing most of our own cooking, but growing our own food including raising our own meat, and heating the house with wood, I'm not going to get riled up over the loss of some fast food, it's all relative. I am grateful that I do have something decent and good to eat, period, in this time of economic hardship for many.

I think what you will need to do is to start shopping a bit differently and more, uhm, aggressively for yourself so you have plenty of choices and do not feel "deprived." This may involve some mail order, depending on where you are located and what resources that you have. The thing with using gluten free flours for gravy can be so easily solved, it just takes having the correct ingredients around. This can be either a single ingredient like cornstarch (found in any grocery) or potato starch or a homemade blend of whatever (I will mix amaranth and sorghum, and I've also used all sorts of other things, like home ground nut or seed meals), or using a pre made all purpose mix, such as Pamela's or King Arthur's gluten free. You also may contemplate taking your household cooking gluten free (not right now if you feel overwhelmed), but in the meantime you need to have LOTS of "I can eat this" type foods on hand just for your own sanity. This can be as simple as always having a stash of gluten-free rice cakes and safe peanut butter around with some bananas, a bag of gluten-free corn tortillas and a favorite salsa, plus a favorite box of gluten-free cereal, to always having the right gluten-free flours around to make a gluten-free pancake and/or flatbread that is safe and fast.

I would bookmark some gluten free cooking blog sites to get inspiration.

For social eating, you just end up having to pack food or a plate of things to take along, such as leftovers from the night before, such as a plate of your own homemade rice pasta lasagna. Garlic bread can be easily duplicated either using store bought pre made or from a mix such as Chebe, or homemade. The restaurant PF Changs has a gluten free chinese food menu. Other restaurants do have gluten free menus, if you go exploring on the internet and do searches.

Relatives exist just to drive us crazy and none of them "get" it unless they are also either celiac, gluten intolerant, or have food allergies.

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Everyone is right, you'll go through some mourning if you find you need to live without certain foods the rest of your life. Consider it this way - although you don't want to have food intolerances - you also don't want to have them and not know it.

Once you get used to gluten-free shopping and cooking, though, you'll be very pleasantly surprised at your options.

What I found helped me at first was to have a special cabinet that no one else in the house is allowed to open. I store my gluten-free flour and pasta there, but I also have stashes of Sour Patch Kids or Hershey Carmel Kisses and other goodies or comfort foods. I also make batches of Betty Crocker gluten-free choc chip cookie dough and freeze uncooked discs of the dough in freezer bags and periodically, especially if I'm feeling deprived, cook a big cookie and eat it right out of the oven when it's gooey and warm.

Hang in there!

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I totally understand. I am two months and several days into being gluten free. That means I started right before Halloween. I definitely agree that there a mourning and adjustment period. So many cultural celebrations are centered around food. Around Thanksgiving we went to Costco and I actually kind of got upset because there were so many things there that I couldn't eat- including their giant pizza slices and churros.

But what helped was changing my point of view to focus on the things I can have instead of the things I can't. There are gluten-free breads, muffins, pastas, etc. that are really tasty and you can't tell are gluten free. When I first started I used them to sort of ease my transition. But they are really expensive (at least for me), so I stopped buying them. Now I only have them on special occasions. I made an incredible gluten free cake and gluten free corn bread (the Betty Crocker recipe, just using rice flour instead of all-purpose) and no one even knew they were gluten free.

I eat pretty much everything except processed foods: meats, veggies, fruits. I am lactose intolerant so I avoid most dairy. I limit my starches and other grains (like rice and corn). That still leaves a huge variety of foods.

Plus, there are a ton of benefits to going gluten-free. I dropped 20+ pounds without counting calories or watching my calories (and it's still going down!), my moods are stable, my skin has never looked better, I sleep better, I don't get "mean hungry" anymore, I am more focused and motivated, and on and on and on....

So yeah, it takes some getting used to, but in the long run there are so many health benefits.

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At first I was absolutely pissed about not being able to eat pizza, fried chicken, fast food, and beer....

And now after 2 weeks gluten-free I feel so awesome I don't even miss it! Living life healthy is way better than eating stuff that's poisoning you! :)

I missed the pizza and beer also. I didn't miss the fried chicken because I hadn't eaten fried food since I was a child due to IBS. I found a wonderful cookbook after going through three useless ones and now make pizza better than anything I could buy and faster and cheaper than delivery. I also have developed a taste for fried checken because if you use gluten-free corn starch as opposed to flour the way my mom and her mom both from the south did it and skinless chicken there is no grease to upset us with IBS. I also use Almond Breeze Milk due to a lactose intolorance and to cut out the Soy from those wonderful soy milks.

Now the Beer, that's another issue. I have found several Gluten-free Beer in specialty stores. They run from expensive to very expensive. Although they are Gluten free at least the one's I have found are not free of all things Celiacs should avoid so I too am still missing beer. What I have found to be the great advantage is a large loss of weight and according to my doctor very thin people live longer. Reward you skinny self with some really dark gluten and celiac healthy chocolate on occasion. Once you lose the weight, no guilt. :-).

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