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    • Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This 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 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 Store. For Additional Information: Subscribe to: Journal of Gluten Sensitivity

Newbie Info 101

10 posts in this topic

You have been diagnosed and you do not know what to do next.

First, do not panic! and Welcome to the Forum!

I have posted this information in pieces and parts on this site during the past year so many times and some newbies suggested it would have been helpful if they had seen it ALL --right away after they were DXed.... so, I thought, why not paste it all together in one spot?

Don't think about what you cannot eat--think about what you can eat: Fresh meats, veggies, fruits, nuts, eggs, fish, etc.

Some celiacs are lucky and can tolerate dairy right now, but many of us had to give it up for a few months. Why? Because lactase, which is the enzyme that breaks down the sugar lactose, is produced in the tips of the villi. When the villi get blunted in celiac disease, sometimes the ability to digest lactose is decreased and you can become “lactose intolerant.” This may cause bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, etc. After you go gluten-free, the villi will heal and most people are able to tolerate dairy foods again.

Learn how to read Labels.

Dietary concerns –LISTS OF safe and unsafe gluten free foods


The following suggestions ---are just that: suggestions.

I have no affiliation with any of these websites, organizations, authors, or companies and I am not a paid spokesperson and I am not endorsing any specific products. They just worked for me or other members.

I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice.

I am not a nutritionist.

I am just a fellow Celiac who learned the ropes from months of research and from the generous and compassionate contributing members of

And, as my wise friend, KarenG pointed out, I should say this info applies to those of us in the US. I cannot say what companies in other countries do.

Some resources for negotiating a gluten-free life:

Living Gluten Free for Dummies--Danna Korn

Celiac Disease: the First Year by Jules Dowler Shepard

Cecelia's Marketplace Gluten-free GROCERY SHOPPING GUIDE

A quick “get-started” menu for gluten-free eating follows, but it is by no means "inclusive", just some ideas. Consult the many on-line gluten-free recipes available and the many wonderful contributions from our members in the cooking and baking sections of the Forum:

FLUIDS: Drink a lot of water. Celiacs are dehydrated from malabsorption. Plus, it helps cleanse toxins from body tissues and organs and keep the bowels running smoothly.

But, yes, (because I know you are going to ask smile.gif )

unflavored coffees and tea are okay. Check teabags for "malt" --sometimes they use it.

DIGESTIVE ENZYMES help if you have pancreatic issues that cause trouble when digesting fats and proteins. A good one is Digest Gold, but others may have suggestions as well.

Probiotics are very beneficial to restoring healthy gut balance. Choose a multi-strain variety like Florajen3.

All the digestive issues like acid reflux (GERD) and heartburn, excess gas, camping, diarrhea and constipation should disappear or diminish on a gluten free diet.

VITAMINS: Most doctors (and fellow celiacs) recommend a good, gluten-free multivitamin. Some of you will have vitamin/mineral deficiencies or B-12 or Folate anemia--and you should have blood work done to see where you stand. Malabsorption creates all sorts of problems.

FOLLOW UP CARE: I suggest follow-up care from a celiac-savvy doctor to everyone post-DX. Lab work ( including CBC, CMP, SED RATE, IRON/FERRITIN levels, B-12, Folate levels and THYROID panels) and barium studies of the GI tract, if warranted. Do not be afraid to ask your doctor.(IMHO)

A whole foods diet is suggested to many of us as the best way to speed healing of your gut lining, but many people succesfully incorporate Certified gluten-free products into their diets right away! As with all things regarding Celiac, everyone is different.

Earth Balance (soy-free) is a good choice if you cannot have butter. You need some good essential fatty acids: Safflower oil, sunflower oil, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil.

Some Breakfast ideas:

Erewhon crispy brown rice cereal or gluten-free Kellogg's RICE KRISPIES, gluten-free CHEX corn or gluten-free CHEX Rice cereal, gluten-free CHEX honey-nut or gluten-free CHEX Cinnamon

Add: rice milk, almond milk or coconut milk (The So Delicious brand is excellent) and add berries or sliced banana.

CERTIFIED gluten -free oatmeal w/cinnamon (glutenfreeda brand, Bob's Red Mill are a few examples) NOTE: It is my understanding that Quaker Oats are cross-contaminated! Some celiacs cannot DIGEST oats. Only you can decide.

Gluten-free muffins made from a mix or purchased.

Eggs and bacon or sausage with gluten-free toast or bagel (Kinnikinnick, Udi's, Glutino or homemade bread)

Pocono Cream of buckwheat --it's good!! (no worries--Buckwheat is not from the wheat family)

Amaranth pancakes w/pure maple syrup (bottled syrups can contain gluten)

gluten-free packaged pancake/waffle mixes (Pamela's brand is very good as is Bob's Red Mill –we use BRM on the site, for short)

Van's frozen waffles.

FRUITS and VEGGIES—eat plenty of these daily in your diet.

LUNCH and DINNER ideas:

Leftovers from last night's dinner make an easy lunch

Some Progresso soups are gluten-free. Check the label!

Some Pacific and Imagine brand soups. Read the label!

A sandwich with gluten free bread or rolls—UDIs, Rudi's, Glutino Genius, Scharr's and Canyon Bakehouse --all have decent packaged breads, rolls and bagels, but homemade is the way to go.

(I have a simple recipe for white sandwich bread that is delicious if you want it.)

A big salad or an antipasta with tons of veggies and grilled chicken or shrimp and Hard-boiled eggs/ with gluten-free or homemade vinegrette dressing.

A list of gluten free salad dressings is available online. Marzettis, and most of WishBone and Ken's are okay. Homemade is best!

Homemade vegetable minestrone ,chicken soup, stews, black bean or White bean chili (use gluten-free stock--pacific, imagine or make your own from scratch--even better!)

Chicken or bean nachos (can use corn tortillas)

Red beans and rice

grilled burgers and beans (Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce and Bush's Baked Beans are gluten-free)on a bun (Udi's makes hamburger rolls now or you can make your own. CHEBE bread mix makes killer rolls)

almost all mexican food is safe (just no flour tortillas!)

Pasta and sauce w/meatballs (brown rice or corn pasta)

TINKYADA BRAND penne pasta is delicious! Cook 13 minutes exactly. Trust me!) and use gluten-free breadcrumbs (purchase or just grind some gluten-free bread and season)in your meatballs

Another good pasta is CORN pasta. BiAglut or Sam's Hill are a couple. Cook as directed.

meatloaf (beef or ground turkey) baked potato or yams, green veggie of some kind

Other proteins: roasted or grilled chicken, turkey, pork, beef, salmon, talapia, scallops, lamb, some sausages are safe, bacon (Check labels)

Vegetarian chili--homemade.

I eat a variety of veggies.....whatever looks fresh at the super market or farmer's market or stands...steamed, grilled--- or roasted root veggies in stock.

Sweet potatoes—baked at 350 degrees in a pan for 45-50 mins.--are yummy

Potatoes—roasted, grilled, in a gratin or whipped with milk

Fritattas with veggies and salad

Stuffed peppers—with ground turkey, beef or lamb and rice

ANYTHING GOES!! smile.gif

ANY recipe you already use can probably be altered--just use gluten-free breadcrumbs or rice/corn pasta ---use any flour made from amaranth, corn, bean, etc...just NO WHEAT, RYE OR BARLEY or cross -contaminated OATS.

Snack ideas that are safe and handy

Cozy Shack Rice Pudding or Tapioca cups (in the dairy section)

All natural applesauce cups

Gluten-free cookies or muffins (Bake them or buy them.)

Pamela's Baking Mix is versatile and good for cookies, baked goods. There are many options (check the recipe and baking section on the forum)

Bagel with cream cheese and jam or nut butters. Udi's and Glutino bagels are pretty good (frozen section)

Pamela's and King Arthur gluten-free--makes a very good brownie mix too!

Chobani Yogurt or So Delicious coconut milk Yogurts- if you cannot have dairy

Scharr cookies (chocolate-dipped shortbread or the mocha layers--are VERY tasty!)

Lundberg rice cakes or sliced apples and celery sticks with natural peanut butter or almond butter or hummus smeared on

Mary's Gone Crackers, Crunchmaster's or Glutino crackers with cheese or peanut butter

BOAR's Head or Applegate Farms deli--ham, turkey, pepperoni, salami, proscuitto--most all cold cuts and cheeses

Slices of cantaloupe wrapped in proscuitto

Watermelon with crumbled feta cheese

Peanuts, almonds, cashews. (I like Blue Diamond or has a HUGE gluten-free selection of nuts and flours)

SUNMAID raisins, prunes. Craisins by Ocean Spray. (**some raisins and dried fruits are dusted with flour to keep them from sticking but these brands are safe.)

Smoothies- made with coconut milk, various fruits, yogurt, etc.

Potato chips----like Cape Cod, Kettle Brand, Utz

Indiana Popcorn--comes in all flavors--the kettle corn is delicious

Glutino brand pretzels—they come in all flavors even chocolate -coated

Coconut milk, creamer and ice cream ( So Delicious brand is very good)

Ice Cream, if dairy is not a problem for you. Most Haagen Das flavors are good, for example. READ LABELS!!!

Organic Corn chips w/salsa, hummus, or Guacamole

Sunflower , pumpkin or flaxseeds

Candy—Hershey's kisses or regular size bars, regular size Reese's cups, Snickers, York peppermint patty, Health Bars, Butterfinger and M &Ms plain and peanut. Ghirardelli squares. These were safe--last I read online--but READ LABELS!

Enjoy Life chocolate chips, chunks and Boom Choco Boom bars (free of ALL top 8 allergens)

Make some Chex mix with gluten-free chex cereals

gluten-free Rice Krispies treats (recipes are online)

CHEBE pizza and breadstick mixes—are very good.

Against the Grain and Glutino make some good frozen pizzas.

Check the labels of all packaged products-- if they were made with wheat or gluten, they will state so on the package.

Very important:

Cross-contamination is the bane of our existence. Learn how to make your home safe.

Hidden sources of gluten:

Packaged/processed Foods:

A package stating a product is “Gluten-free “ does not always guarantee it was processed and manufactured and packaged in a dedicated facility. It may just mean they did not knowingly put gluten ingredients in the product.

I, personally, look for the GIG (Gluten Intolerance Group) circle stamped on the package –it is a big G F in a circle. That's just me.

I also use common sense. I know that foods that are inherently gluten-free will not carry a gluten-free label on them (oranges, broccoli, plain cheddar cheese, etc.) smile.gif

Some DEDICATED gluten-free facilities are listed below. There are others. Google away! smile.gif:


Bob's Red Mill gluten-free

1-2-3 Meredith's Marvelous

Authentic Foods gluten-free


Cause You're Special


The Cravings Place

Andean Dream


Organic Nectars



Foods by George

Gluten-free FULL FLAVOR Gravy Packets

Prana Bar

Enjoy Life



Against the Grain

Many other companies will provide a list of gluten-free foods. The members on here can tell you which ones are good about this.

They make all kinds of ready made mixes and flours to make it easy to start baking.

The cooking and baking section on the forum has thousands of great ideas—these guys are amazingly creative!

That should get you started--- until you can create your own diet and menus and feel less "dazed and confused" by your new life.

You're going to be okay! wink.gif

Best wishes!



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Additional products people ask about:

San-J Organic Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce is available.

McCormick single spice/herbs and vanilla are gluten free.

For spice blends, be sure to read the labels!!

Spice blends can not hide grain (gluten). Seasoning blends are a whole different ball game.

Edited by psawyer
Spices are not the same as seasoning.

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If you wish to add to this discussion, please post here

Appropriate comments will be merged into the thread.


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Updated 11/1/12 by IrishHeart

A list of symptoms and conditions associated with Celiac from the Univ. of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

(adapted from Cleo J. Libonati's book Recognizing Celiac Disease)

I had dozens of symptoms myself and found that most short lists do not include them all.

This may help.



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Updated 1/2/13

Some advanced members felt this explanation of using the multi-quote option would be useful to new members.


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Updated 2/1/13

An excellent resource for celiacs ( Honestly wish I had found it 2 years ago--would have saved me a lot of research time!!)

Still plenty in it for me to learn.

Articles by more than 50 international experts. Not "too techie", short enough chapters ... and very enlightening.

Covers just about everything imaginable: the disease itself, obstacles to healing and solutions,

nutritional advice, trouble-shooting other food intolerances, related conditions, etc.

I was thrilled to see Dr. Gaundalini talk favorably about using probiotics.

I highly recommend it.

Real Life with Celiac Disease

Melinda Dennis, MS, RD, LDN Daniel Leffler, MD. MS

The Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston.


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Updated 11/22/13

Additional suggestions for avoiding cross contamination in your home.




• Don’t use wooden spoons or cutting boards that also are used to prepare gluten-containing foods because the spoons and boards can harbor residual gluten and bacteria. Metal or plastic are better options.

• Cover shared grilling surfaces when barbequing because unless the grill reaches 500˚F or higher for 30 minutes or longer, grilling won’t eliminate any residual gluten.

• Buy a separate waffle maker or bread maker if the one the family uses doesn’t have parts that can be disassembled and placed in the dishwasher.

• If using a separate toaster isn’t possible, use toaster-safe toaster bags such as Celinal Toast-It or Vat19 ToastIt, available online.

Pam Cureton, RD, LDN, a dietitian at the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland, adds these tips:

• When planning parties at home, prepare a buffet of foods that are 100% gluten free to prevent accidental cross-contamination among family members and guests.

• Buy squeezable condiment containers for ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise to prevent double dipping. If you don’t purchase squeezable containers, mark condiment jars as safe depending on whether they’ve been exposed to gluten-containing foods.

• Store gluten-free products on the top shelf of the pantry or refrigerator so other foods don’t accidentally cross-contaminate them.


Shelley Case, BSc, RD, president of Case Nutrition Consulting and author of Gluten-Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide, offers the following ideas:


• In supermarkets, don’t buy unpackaged foods stored in bins. The scoops used to place the foods in bags or containers may have been previously used on nearby gluten-containing foods and may not have been sufficiently cleaned.

• Use different colored stickers to distinguish between gluten-containing and gluten-free products in the pantry and fridge.

• Purchase a colander in a different color for gluten-free foods so it doesn’t get mixed up with the colander used for gluten-containing foods.

• Buy gluten-free grains that are certified gluten free to ensure cross-contamination didn’t take place during processing.

• Buy gluten-free flours marked as gluten free from reputable companies that are more likely to test for gluten.

• Avoid purchasing imported foods. Other countries may not abide by the same gluten-free standards as the United States.





Found here:


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New book with lots of good info:


Gluten Freedom by Alessio Fasano, MD 


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