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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.

Some gluten-free Bread May Not Be Gluten Free!
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91 posts in this topic

How do you know corn alone does not cause a celiac reaction? If you know that for a fact please publish your research. Until then I prefer to avoid corn until I can check the research of 'the product guy".

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This is from National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, updated January 27, 2012. Is this recent enough for you?

"Some people with celiac disease show no improvement on the gluten-free diet. The most common reason for poor response to the diet is that small amounts of gluten are still being consumed. Hidden sources of gluten include additives such as modified food starch, preservatives, and stabilizers made with wheat. And because many corn and rice products are produced in factories that also manufacture wheat products, they can be contaminated with wheat gluten."

It's recent but it doesn't say corn & rice are harming celiacs. It says corn & rice might get some wheat on 'em.

I actually have a problem w/ corn myself. Not as severe as soy (or, of course wheat/barley/rye gluten) and more like non-organic tomatoes. It can get complicated but it doesn't mean that the average celiac should expect these problems.

Sometimes I have no idea whether GMO is a factor, or pesticides or what. Canola oil makes me dizzy but it's highly GMO so I can't be certain whether original form organic canola would be fine like org tomatoes are fine for me. I mostly decline to run these experiments on myself just to keep from being sick sometimes. Any experiment w/out multiple outcomes is a poorly designed or executed experiment.

None of this makes me think the forum should highlight these possibilities any more than it already does, w/ the well-trafficked category "Other Food Intolerances .. ..".

Imho, an overstressed immune system combined w/ damaged intestines can lead to issues w/ other foods but doesn't make those foods an essential part of the definition of celiac disease in the way that wheat/barley/rye are. (Grammarians feel free to rephrase w/ your "that which"es & such) :lol:

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Ya know I could say the same thing about soy. I would have healed faster if I had known in the beginning that I couldn't tolerate it but I didn't know and no one could tell me. It wasn't until I started making notes of ingredients on products that made me sick and saw that soy was the common denominator that I removed it and then had more good days than bad and then healed fully. It wasn't however a gluten reaction. After some time some of us can tell the difference between a reaction to gluten and our own reactions to what we may also be intolerant to. It does take time though. We don't get sick overnight and we don't heal overnight and no one can give us all the answers.

True, but there's only a handful of known controversial products and that handful should be shoved in our face every chance they get by those calling themselves experts.

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As you probably know I am new to this whole thing. I'm coming to you as the newbie I described earlier. I am told to maintain a gluten-free diet and that it's OK to include corn in my diet. All this I understand. No problem.

So I eat corn and do my best to only eat acceptable foods. Why am I not told, either on the celiac.com site or the mall site that corn has a long history of being controversial. Doesn't celiac.com owe it to me and to all of us to at the very least mention that some foods are somewhere in the middle between acceptable and not acceptable?

Why is corn on the acceptable list if it may or may not be based on the person?

One of my first posts in this forum was to ask why the research mentioned gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance, gluten allergy and celiac disease as being different levels of the same disease. Yet the first line on the celiac website says that celiac disease is also known as gluten intolerance.

There just doesn't seem to be one answer to any particular question. When I asked one of the moderators about the difference in sensitivity, intolerance, celiac he implied the site was written a long time ago and that was the feeling at the time.

I don't want to base my decisions on data that was written so long ago that it's not even accurate. I feel like this is a condition that's in the process of becoming. There is not one authority giving me a straight answer. This is our health and our lives and there is not one authority that agrees with another.

If something is iffy I want to know about it from the experts, not from trial and error, after I'm sick and miserable.

I feel like some people here take the label and run with it. 'I'm celiac, I'm celiac'. How many people have asked how long it takes to heal, etc. Some are suffering for a year, some longer. Are any of those people considering that food products they thought were safe maybe are not safe for them? Maybe they're only celiac because they're continuing to poison themselves.

Are any of them considering maybe corn is destroying their intestines, although it's on the 'Safe' list. I laugh at the comments that I have to take responsibility for my own health. Are these people who are constantly suffering taking responsibility or are they taking the word of a website that apparently hasn't been updated in a very long time.

I do not have time for this condition and I need to get rid of it. And I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. All I ask is that the experts I come to for advice offer me current, accurate advice and info. If not here I will find it elsewhere.

You aren't told its controversial, because its not. You are new, so we thought maybe you didn't understand the term gluten and how its used in " plant talk " and how we use it, in "food talk." We tried to explain that.

We have tried to explain that it takes more than a month or two to heal and get your digestive system in order. You could have a problem with another food. Sometimes its temporary, and you can eat it after you heal. If you can't tolerate corn or tomatoes or bananas - don't eat them. It does not mean they are causing your immune system to destroy your intestines.

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True, but there's only a handful of known controversial products and that handful should be shoved in our face every chance they get by those calling themselves experts.

How do you decide where to draw that line? How many controversial products (ingredients) are you going to list? The top three? The top ten? Who's going to do the testing to rank them?

The three that everyone (Celiacs/Gluten Sensitives) has to avoid are wheat, rye and barley.

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You aren't told its controversial, because its not. You are new, so we thought maybe you didn't understand the term gluten and how its used in " plant talk " and how we use it, in "food talk." We tried to explain that.

We have tried to explain that it takes more than a month or two to heal and get your digestive system in order. You could have a problem with another food. Sometimes its temporary, and you can eat it after you heal. If you can't tolerate corn or tomatoes or bananas - don't eat them. It does not mean they are causing your immune system to destroy your intestines.

I'm not sure what your definition of controversial is, but I posted several articles from different authors who all used the word 'controversial' in regard to corn and celiac. In addition, the fact that the celiac.com website lists corn as acceptable, and the the authors I posted, as well as some of the people who posted on this forum, have problems with corn.

This is from 2011 from Livestrong. Again, all I'm saying is corn products may be controversial and, as such, it would be nice if these innuendos were mentioned when coming to this site. This site is a resource and should be intuitive, accurate and up-to-date:

Questionable Corn Products

While many corn products are naturally gluten-free, food producers sometimes add gluten from wheat, barley or rye during the manufacturing process. Before purchasing any questionable corn product, read the label carefully or contact the manufacturer directly to ensure it's gluten-free. Avoid ingredients that often contain gluten, such as cereal extract or binding, dextrin, modified food starch and cereal flours.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/367364-is-corn-gluten-safe/#ixzz21J2jFexl

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How do you decide where to draw that line? How many controversial products are you going to list? The top three? The top ten? Who's going to do the testing to rank them?

The three that everyone (Celiacs/Gluten Sensitives) has to avoid are wheat, rye and barley.

We discussed that already, several pages back. There were 5 or 6 on the list that were the most obvious. If it is common knowledge (and it seems to be) that corn can easily be contaminated by wheat because they are often manufactured at the same plant, I want to know that..not by poisoning myself to find out. I want the celiac organization I trust with my health and my life to tell me that.

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I'm not sure what your definition of controversial is, but I posted several articles from different authors who all used the word 'controversial' in regard to corn and celiac. In addition, the fact that the celiac.com website lists corn as acceptable, and the the authors I posted, as well as some of the people who posted on this forum, have problems with corn.

This is from 2011 from Livestrong. Again, all I'm saying is corn products may be controversial and, as such, it would be nice if these innuendos were mentioned when coming to this site. This site is a resource and should be intuitive, accurate and up-to-date:

Questionable Corn Products

While many corn products are naturally gluten-free, food producers sometimes add gluten from wheat, barley or rye during the manufacturing process. Before purchasing any questionable corn product, read the label carefully or contact the manufacturer directly to ensure it's gluten-free. Avoid ingredients that often contain gluten, such as cereal extract or binding, dextrin, modified food starch and cereal flours.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/367364-is-corn-gluten-safe/#ixzz21J2jFexl

That isn't what you were saying. That doesn't say corn is bad, it says there might be a wheat, barley or rye added to a corn product, so don't assume. Read ingredients.

Honestly, I don't know if we aren't explaining something well enough, we are all misunderstanding each other, or you are too upset to really read what people are trying to say. I don't think there is anything else I can do, tonight, to help you. Tomorrow is a new day.

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I'm not sure what your definition of controversial is, but I posted several articles from different authors who all used the word 'controversial' in regard to corn and celiac. In addition, the fact that the celiac.com website lists corn as acceptable, and the the authors I posted, as well as some of the people who posted on this forum, have problems with corn.

This is from 2011 from Livestrong. Again, all I'm saying is corn products may be controversial and, as such, it would be nice if these innuendos were mentioned when coming to this site. This site is a resource and should be intuitive, accurate and up-to-date:

Questionable Corn Products

While many corn products are naturally gluten-free, food producers sometimes add gluten from wheat, barley or rye during the manufacturing process. Before purchasing any questionable corn product, read the label carefully or contact the manufacturer directly to ensure it's gluten-free. Avoid ingredients that often contain gluten, such as cereal extract or binding, dextrin, modified food starch and cereal flours.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/367364-is-corn-gluten-safe/#ixzz21J2jFexl

From the exact same article that you are quoting. (The bolding is mine)

The term "gluten" refers to a group of protein particles in grains. In wheat plants, the gluten is known as gliadin, while the gluten in barley is hordein. Rye plants store protein as secalin, oats create a storage protein known as avenin, rice gluten is known as oryzenin and the gluten in corn is called zein. If you have celiac disease, your body can't safely digest gluten from wheat, rye and barley. However, the zein form of gluten in corn is safe for individuals with celiac disease.

I believe that part that you are referring to means that just because a product that by name (for example a corn tortilla) may lead you to believe it is safe because it has corn in its name is not necessarily so. You need to read the ingredient list of a processed food (anything that has more than one ingredient) to determine if anything else has been added. If you are highly sensitive, you may need to contact the manufacturer to investigate manufacturing processes (shared facility/equipment).

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That isn't what you were saying. That doesn't say corn is bad, it says there might be a wheat, barley or rye addded to a corn product, so don't assume. Read ingredients.

Honestly, I don't know if we aren't explaining something well enough, we are all misunderstanding each other, or you are too upset to really read what people are trying to say. I don't think there is anything else I can do, tonight, to help you. Tomorrow is a new day.

I completely understand what you're saying. First of all you're blowing off 'the product guy's' research, which may or may not be accurate. Assuming it is not accurate, you're saying corn by itself is gluten free but can easily be contaminated because it is often manufactured in facilities that also manufacturer wheat products.

Great! I want to know that. And I want to learn it from the gluten free organization I choose to trust. When I read that corn is on the acceptable list, I want an asterisk next to it warning me of cross-contamination.

When I go to the mall to buy a product containing corn, I want a disclaimer next to the product again warning me that it may be contaminated.

Not every single food product falls into the 'iffy' category.

I expect to be advised about those that do.

My company sells products to pet owners. We have warnings everywhere to advise them of any possibility. Should I just let them find out by trial and error? I don't think so. Forewarned is forearmed.

I did not know about cross-contamination of corn products until today, yet I consumed a lot of corn because it's on the 'safe' list.

How much more can I explain my point of view? I don't mind that corn is on the safe list. I do mind that there was no warning about cross-contamination, since it seems to be more problematic than with other foods.

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Also quoting from your ref. to the Livestrong article:

If you have celiac disease, your body can't safely digest gluten from wheat, rye and barley. However, the zein form of gluten in corn is safe for individuals with celiac disease.

And:

However, the gluten found in corn will not cause this autoimmune response and your villi remain healthy.

And the references for the article are:

Celiac Sprue Association: Treatment of Celiac Disease

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness: The Gluten-Free Diet

Celiac Sprue Association: Gluten-Free Diet: Grains and Flours

The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center: Gluten-Free Diet

MayoClinic.com: Gluten-Free Diet

DW in NYC, please know that we are not against you. We are aware people & are not being "hoodwinked" on the subject of corn.

I really think you are upset right now & more than a little anxious. This DOES happen when newly gluten free. As has already been mentioned part of gluten withdrawal is brain fog & I think perhaps you are getting a bit mixed up. I do not say this to infuriate you! I know this is true b/c I had it; and sooooo many others here went through it. Please try to calm down & look at this subject on a new day in a new light.

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One more try....I and your Livestrong article do not say corn is cross contaminated. We both say that a corn product may have gluten grain added to make a finished product. We both say to read the ingredients as that added grain will be listed.

This Livestrong article is no where near what you first said.

Accusing us of lying or misleading or trying to trick you about corn.....enough...

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From the exact same article that you are quoting. (The bolding is mine)

The term "gluten" refers to a group of protein particles in grains. In wheat plants, the gluten is known as gliadin, while the gluten in barley is hordein. Rye plants store protein as secalin, oats create a storage protein known as avenin, rice gluten is known as oryzenin and the gluten in corn is called zein. If you have celiac disease, your body can't safely digest gluten from wheat, rye and barley. However, the zein form of gluten in corn is safe for individuals with celiac disease.

I believe that part that you are referring to means that just because a product that by name (for example a corn tortilla) may lead you to believe it is safe because it has corn in its name is not necessarily so. You need to read the ingredient list of a processed food (anything that has more than one ingredient) to determine if anything else has been added. If you are highly sensitive, you may need to contact the manufacturer to investigate manufacturing processes (shared facility/equipment).

Hi Janet, close but not exactly. I am saying that 'the product guy's' research says something different. If his research is garbage, that still leaves the fact that corn is easily contaminated in facilities that manufacturer wheat products. There should be a warning on the celiac site and the mall site about the possibility of cross contamination.

Several people on this site have problems with corn. We depend on this organization to warn us about known situations like the cross contamination of corn products. I've been eating corn since I went gluten free. Although I feel better, my arms are a mess from DH and that means I'm still getting gluten somehow. Maybe it's from the cross contamination of the corn I'm eating. When I first went gluten free if I had known about the corn controversy I would not have touched any product containing corn.

I expected the information on the celiac site to be up to the minute accurate and I don't think it is, and I'm disappointed and annoyed because, once again, this is our health and our lives.

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...you're saying corn by itself is gluten free but can easily be contaminated because it is often manufactured in facilities that also manufacturer wheat products.

That's not what Karen was saying. Karen said:

That isn't what you were saying. That doesn't say corn is bad, it says there might be a wheat, barley or rye added to a corn product, so don't assume. Read ingredients.

Read the ingredients. Just because it's a corn-based product doesn't mean something else hasn't been added to the "recipe". If it has, it will be listed in the ingredients. Read the ingredients.

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One more try....I and your Livestrong article do not say corn is cross contaminated. We both say that a corn product may have gluten grain added to make a finished product. We both say to read the ingredients as that added grain will be listed.

This Livestrong article is no where near what you first said.

Accusing us of lying or misleading or trying to trick you about corn.....enough...

Kareng, if a corn product may have gluten grain added to make a finished product that is a bad situation, don't you agree? If I am buying a product online, like from the mall I would appreciate a warning about the possibility of cross contamination, since it seems to be a common occurrence with corn products.

If I am reading the acceptable list on the celiac website I would appreciate the same warning about the possibility of cross contamination.

What I first said was in direct response to 'The Product Guy's' email that I received this morning. You are all shooting him down, without even doing any due diligence. What if he's right and you're all wrong!!

Anyway, assuming what you all say is correct, there is still much controversy online about the safety of celiac's eating corn. If what you say is right the problems are then related to cross contam. We should all be advised that corn is a food product subject to cross contam because it's often manufactured in factories that also manufacture wheat products.

Do you have a problem with that? If so, why?

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Hi Janet, close but not exactly. I am saying that 'the product guy's' research says something different. If his research is garbage, that still leaves the fact that corn is easily contaminated in facilities that manufacturer wheat products. There should be a warning on the celiac site and the mall site about the possibility of cross contamination.

Where did you see that corn is easily contaminted? It's common knowledge that oats are, which is why Celiacs that eat oats should be eating certified gluten-free oats.

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That's not what Karen was saying. Karen said:

Read the ingredients. Just because it's a corn-based product doesn't mean something else hasn't been added to the "recipe". If it has, it will be listed in the ingredients. Read the ingredients.

The ingredients do not tell you that the product was manufactured in a facility that also manufactures wheat products.

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Kareng, if a corn product may have gluten grain added to make a finished product that is a bad situation, don't you agree?

If a corn product has anything added to it to make a finished product, it will be listed in the ingredients. Read the ingredient list.

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I bought a vitamin supplement last week that contained only gluten free ingredients but when I called the manufacturer to double check they told me it was manufactured in a facility that also manufactures non gluten free products. You cannot always tell from the ingredients. If I was running this forum I would add a note to the corn listing on the celiac.com website to warn about cross contam. I would add the same note to the product page for every product in the mall. My goal in doing that would be to offer a higher level of customer service to those people who are depending on me for their good health.

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.... that still leaves the fact that corn is easily contaminated in facilities that manufacturer wheat products. There should be a warning on the celiac site and the mall site about the possibility of cross contamination.

Any ingredient, not just corn, can be contaminated by a shared facility. Most manufactures will list a disclaimer as to that. And as to your requested warning...only you are responsible as to what you put in your mouth. No one else.

If I choose to go to a restaurant, I make that choice! And if I get sick, I assume the responsibility. As you should. Buy carefully, choose carefully to the best of your knowledge and educate yourself on the ins and outs of living in a gluten free world.

I would suggest that you keep a food journal and document everything you eat and routines in your life. Take some time to read the information here. And I would especially ask that you review our Board Rules. :)

It would be nice to show a little appreciation to those here who are trying to be helpful.

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If a corn product has anything added to it to make a finished product, it will be listed in the ingredients. Read the ingredient list.

The ingredients do not tell you the product was manufactured in a facility that also manufactures non gluten free products. Read my last post.

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Any ingredient, not just corn, can be contaminated by a shared facility. Most manufactures will list a disclaimer as to that. And as to your requested warning...only you are responsible as to what you put in your mouth. No one else.

If I choose to go to a restaurant, I make that choice! And if I get sick, I assume the responsibility. As you should. Buy carefully, choose carefully to the best of your knowledge and educate yourself on the ins and outs of living in a gluten free world.

I would suggest that you keep a food journal and document everything you eat and routines in your life. Take some time to read the information here. And I would especially ask that you review our Board Rules. :)

It would be nice to show a little appreciation to those here who are trying to be helpful.

I agree. I have been trying to be helpful since I first posted this morning, and all I'm getting is sass and aggravation. I don't see anyone thanking me for spending this entire day on this sad topic.

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And maybe your rash is still going crazy NOT b/c the corn gluten is causing a reaction with you BUT b/c you have been loading on corn & corn is high in salicylates WHICH can aggravate dh to no end! If you go read on the dh forum then you will see that MANY of us have had to go low salicylate (sals) as well as low iodine.

Salicylates have caused most of us with dh no end of problems with keeping the rash "in a state"!!!!!!!!!

Now, are you going to say that every single processed gluten-free food should have a big warning in big letters that if you have dh THIS product could harm you? Are you going to say that this site should carry a header warning ppl with dh NOT to consume ANY products which are high in sals? NO! NO, NO, & NO!!!!!!

You will be informed simply be reading posts on this board & in the dh forum. That's how I learned! I have a pkg. of Bob's Red Mill Cornbread mix sitting in my cabinet right now, unopened, b/c shortly after I bought it I read on this board that some celaics have problems with corn in the beginning or maybe forever. SO, I decided I will give it a year before I try corn. THEN I found out that corn is high in sals & sals were re-firing up my dh.

I found out that Oats can be problematic for some ceilacs also --- either at first or perhaps forever. Same thing --- I decided to give it a good year before I tried oats.

You just have to use common sense & DO YOUR RESEARCH. This board can not possibly warn every celiac of possible foods they may not do well with. IF you do your research; you WILL find the answers as well as the WARNINGS on here.

YOU must do YOUR homework.

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