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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.

Traveling To Israel In July
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10 posts in this topic

My husband and I are going on a 2 week tour in Israel in late June. I have celiac (diagnosed 2008) and this will be my first trip abroad since diagnosis. On the tour, all breakfasts are included (standard Israeli buffet breakfast) but most dinners and lunches will be on our own. We'll be staying in the Dan Panorama Hotel in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the Kibbutz Lavi in the Galilee, and the Agamim Hotel in Eilat. I plan to bring some food for emergencies, but want to know if anyone could recommend any restaurants that serve gluten free meals. Also, are gluten free foods available in grocery stores, and are many foods labelled gluten free as they are here in the U.S.? I'm a little nervous about how I'm going to manage eating safely for 2 week. I have a feeling I'll be eating mostly fruits and vegetables. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you,

Roberta

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I've traveled alot internationally.

Try to not eat off the buffets. If you ask at the hotels they will generally bring you hard boiled eggs from the kitchen. A fruit you peel yourself like a banana or an orange makes a nice compliment. Apples can work too if you can wash them. If you see prepackaged brand names from the US that you know are gluten free do not think that they will be over seas. They are often made differently. If it is labeled gluten free then of course it is OK. But don't think just because you can eat M&Ms here that you can eat them there.

Bring along prepackaged bars such as Kind bars to take with you on tours or for back-up. In Turkey rice, meat and vegetables were staples in the restaurants. I believe it was the same for Israel so I did Ok with eating out. Indian food restaurants often have lots of gluten free options so are often a good choice.

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Thanks for the good suggestions. Am I allowed to bring packaged food in my suitcase? I hope so because I'm planning to bring a lot of light weight snacks and some dehydrated food for an emergency.

I've traveled alot internationally.

Try to not eat off the buffets. If you ask at the hotels they will generally bring you hard boiled eggs from the kitchen. A fruit you peel yourself like a banana or an orange makes a nice compliment. Apples can work too if you can wash them. If you see prepackaged brand names from the US that you know are gluten free do not think that they will be over seas. They are often made differently. If it is labeled gluten free then of course it is OK. But don't think just because you can eat M&Ms here that you can eat them there.

Bring along prepackaged bars such as Kind bars to take with you on tours or for back-up. In Turkey rice, meat and vegetables were staples in the restaurants. I believe it was the same for Israel so I did Ok with eating out. Indian food restaurants often have lots of gluten free options so are often a good choice.

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I've never been to Israel but in Australia we get gluten free foods (pretzels, cake etc) that are made in Israel so I'm sure that they would be available there too. I can't think what the brand is offhand - might be Etzel, or something like that?

I just googled gluten free israel and lots of good links came up - it seems to be a country with good awareness. I hope you have a fabulous trip!

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Thank you. I will check out the links!

I've never been to Israel but in Australia we get gluten free foods (pretzels, cake etc) that are made in Israel so I'm sure that they would be available there too. I can't think what the brand is offhand - might be Etzel, or something like that?

I just googled gluten free israel and lots of good links came up - it seems to be a country with good awareness. I hope you have a fabulous trip!

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Hi. We live in Israel. Most large and well known hotels will accommodate for all your celiac needs, especially if you let them know a couple of days in advance (call, email or fax). They usually provide gluten-free bread, will let you know what ingredients in the buffet are safe for you, and sometimes throw in some goodies ( ie cake or cookies or pancakes). Israeli breakfast buffets are very rich and vast, and I'm sure you'll find a large variety that will be both gluten-free and tasty.

As for other meals - there are some food chains that offer gluten-free food regularly, such as "Black bar and burger", many "pizza hut" branches, "Oshi Oshi" sushi stands, etc.

Most restaurants can offer gluten-free modifications of their regular menu. You just have to make sure they understand about celiac and cross contamination.

Large supermarkets (for example SHUFERSAL chain) have health/gluten-free areas, with a wide variety of gluten-free food - bread, rolls, pastas, crackers, cakes etc.

Will be happy to reply to any further questions here or by email.

Natalie

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I went to Israel last year and had NO problems. I did take some of those dining cards printed in Hebrew, although most people speak good English. But they did come in handy one time. But please don't pass on the buffet! They are SO fabulous. omg...

I would recommend that right away when you get to the hotel or place you're staying ask to talk to the head of the kitchen. Sometimes it's different people for different meals so you might need to talk to more than one. At our hotel in Jerusalem I made friends with the head of the dining room and he was waiting for me at every meal, to take me around the entire buffet and point out what to eat and what not to eat. All the salads were fine except the obvious ones like couscous. One time all the hot entrees had gluten (broth and sauces) and he was very upset. I said it was fine because I had all those salads and fruit to choose from but he went back and had the chef cook me a piece of fish. It was delicious, perfectly cooked and spiced. :)

There were always hard boiled eggs on our breakfast buffet and on the first day I asked my friend the dining manager if I could take one so that I would be sure of having something for lunch. He said yes of course. Then the next day he found me at breakfast and handed me a bag and said "for your lunch." Inside were two eggs, two small containers with two of the salads from the breakfast buffet, and a piece of halvah (which I hadn't even seen on the dessert bar). :wub: He did that for every day that we were at that hotel. I was sorry to leave him! lol.. The next hotel was just as accommodating about explaining what was on the buffet, but I didn't ask about the eggs, just took two. lol.. (our tour guide told me to).

So for those lunches I had my eggs, a bar of some kind -- Glutino or Lara -- and some fruit that I bought. Omg the fruit is fabulous.

We at at one kibbutz and I asked about the fish they were serving. The girl wasn't sure so she had the chef prepare a new piece for me, on a different grill. Or so she said. I never did get sick so I'm assuming they did.

We never ate in restaurants, only from food vendors, so I can't comment on that. (and our Israeli guide helped with the food vendors, asking about ingredients in Hebrew.) But I found everyone to be very nice, helpful, and understanding and never had any problems. In fact, the only person to get sick was one woman who was allergic to tomatoes and ended up sick one night because she ate a salad with what she thought were red peppers. But really that was her fault because she didn't ask.

Anyway, I loved, loved, LOVED Israel. You will find it the most amazing experience. :)

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I just found this thread and am so happy. I am going in June with a group, and have been pretty nervous. thanks to everyone for great info!

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I would love an update about gluten free in Israel after everyone's trip.  Any tips? Special restaurants not to go to or make sure I get to?

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Hello, I just got back and thought I'd let you know how it went.

 

Mostly my meals were preplanned as I was with a group. The leader of the group was supposed to let any place we would be eating know about my needs. this took a few days to really start working, but once she got the hang of it, it was pretty good.

 

The hotels generally have wonderful fresh salad bars for breakfast. I didn't trust the eggs since I am allergic to dairy, so I took my packets of oatmeal with me from home and had that every day with fresh fruit.

 

I took a large zip lock bag with me to breakfast, and filled it full of beautiful salad and hard boiled eggs for lunch. so lunch was fine.

 

Dinners were always a crap shoot, once they got it together it was better, but I never knew. I took individual packs of tuna with me from home and always had one in my purse, along with kind bars. some nights this was dinner.

 

We went to some restaurants on our free nights, and I would say that everyone spoke English and understood, I never had a problem.

 

I missed my family, yes, but I definitely missed my kitchen!!!!  I noticed that doing this brought me out of my comfort zone, since at home I never eat out, but wow, it wasn't easy, but so worth it!!! enjoy!!

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    • Will my doctor test me? So many symptoms...
      Remember that you have to be eating a normal gluten diet for the testing so don't cut back & don't stop eating it. Make sure they do the full, current celiac panel: Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgA
      Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgG
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      Also can be termed this way: Endomysial Antibody IgA
      Tissue Transglutaminase IgA 
      GLIADIN IgG
      GLIADIN IgA
      Total Serum IgA 
      Deamidated Gliadin Peptide (DGP) IgA and IgG
    • Will my doctor test me? So many symptoms...
      Yep, get tested for celiac.  You have plenty of digestive symptoms to indicate it.
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie, It definitely sounds like you got glutened.  Over here in the USA they can't label foods gluten-free if they are made from gluten ingredients, period.  So your barley drink would not be labeled gluten-free here.  A while back I read something about the testing for gluten in foods not being as accurate for detecting barley hordein as it is for wheat gliaden.  So the gluten-free testing (if they do any) that your drink maker does may not be reliable. Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition.  So the immune system starts reacting when it detects gluten and damages the gut lining.  An immune reaction is not like a food poisoning event, where most of the damage is only while the food is actually in your system and then ends.  An immune reaction can continue for weeks to months.  The immune system is really quite serious about protecting our bodies.  And since it is designed to detect and attack micro-organisms it reacts to tiny amounts of gluten. Wheat, barley, and rye are the main gluten grains that affect celiacs.  But some celiacs also react to oat gluten.  
    • Weird Reaction
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    • Weird Reaction
      I think, if all this is caused by glutening, it could be that it takes a while to work its way out of your system. I should explain about what I said about organic broccoli.   I don't have a problem with organic food,  in fact, I buy organic milk and carrots all the time, but I don't want to try organic broccoli in case it is the broccoli that is the problem, not the insecticide.    I meant to ask, are you a coeliac or is it non-coeliac gluten intolerance that you have?   I wonder what sort of support you get in Australia for these conditions once diagnosed?   Here in the UK I think the understanding is that if new gastro symptoms have lasted for more than six weeks it needs to be investigated.   I have found this very helpful advice because I do get odd twinges of pain and sometimes changes in bowel movements (sorry if tmi) but they rarely last more than a couple of weeks.   If they do persist I mention it to my gastroenteroligist and he follows it up.  I recently had a sigmoidoscopy for left sided pain and they found nothing.  Turns out it was to do with lactose intolerance, but I always imagine the worse!    
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