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I Love Oatmeal!
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I am having trouble understanding if oats are safe for me to consume. I know that it varies from person to person, so how might the doctors test for it? Do I simply try eliminating it if my symptoms persist after a few months of a gluten-free diet?

Also, I haven't been strict about eliminating foods containing "artificial flavors" especially ice cream. I know you're supposed to be extra strict in the first few months, but I just feel like I totally suck at this diet, even though I think and talk about it constantly. UGH.

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First of all, you don't suck at this diet. There's definitely a learning curve, which gets much easier the longer you're on it. Everything seems very confusing at first and we've all been there.

It's hard to say if you can tolerate oats or not. About 10 to 15% of celiacs can't tolerate oats. I've read that it's suggested you wait a year to introduce oats into your diet. I actually waited 9 months to try them and seem to do fine with them. And then I buy only certified gluten-free oats (I buy Bob's Red Mill but there are other brands available, too). I don't know if there's a way your doctor can test for them or not. Unless you have an actually allergy to oats, food intolerance testing isn't very accurate.

Personally I don't worry about artificial flavors. A lot of ice creams are naturally gluten-free but you have to watch for certain kinds like the obvious cookies and cream and others that include ingredients we can't have. I guess my favorite ice cream is Haagen-Dazs vanilla and it has a very minimal ingredient listing. Some of us are lactose-intolerant when first diagnosed and have to eliminate dairy products for awhile. Now that sucks more than the gluten-free diet!!!

Hope this helps...ask any questions you may have as there are many knowledgeable folks on this forum who've been there, done that.

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