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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.

Cheating When On A Gluten Free Diet
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11 posts in this topic

Is cheating ever allowed when on a gluten-free diet? I can't imagine eating something with gluten one time a month is would

do harm to a person with Celiac.

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Bad idea. Each time you ingest gluten, you restart the autoimmune reaction that damages your body. It can take a few weeks for the system to recover. Cheating once a month would render the other gluten-free days of the month pointless.

This isn't like diabetes, where the effect of some sugar is gone from the system in 24 hours. The adverse effects of gluten last at least a couple of weeks.

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It depends on why you are eating gluten free . . . If it's because someone has Celiac disease, then no, no cheating. It will do damage and most people have painful reactions.

If it's because someone is following the fad diet thinking they're going to lose weight, then they can do whatever they want.

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No cheating. Hear it from medical experts:

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/medical-professionals/guide/treatment

"The gluten-free diet is a lifetime requirement. Eating any gluten, no matter how small an amount, can damage the intestine. This is true for anyone with the disease, including people who do not have noticeable symptoms"

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Do you have Celiac? Gluten intolerance or allergy? I'd never dream of purposely cheating on my gluten free diet. Even a small amount now makes me feel so terrible that I couldnt imagine what I'd feel like if I had eaten a whole slice of bread. Also, if you do have Celiac (the autoimmune response) and you keep "cheating," then you run the risk of developing other serious health problems. Is pasta, cookies, or bread every once in a while worth developing more health problems? If you have a craving for something there's usually a pretty good gluten free substitute that will calm your cravings without making you sick - you just may have to hunt around for it.

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No, cheating is not ok if your in the diet for Celiac. I get so sick from cross contamination I wouldnt dare a full on cheat.

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The repurcussions of a "simple" CC last well over a month for me. There is no amount of money in the world that would get me to eat gluten on purpose. You'll come around and see that also. Even if you don't get horribly ill like many of us do, as already stated you increase your chances of so many complications that really, it isn't worth it. How many AI diseases do you really want before you regret not just sticking to the gluten free diet like you should have in the first place? I can tell you from someone more than 30 years undiagnosed that once you are eliminating a buttload of other things from your diet for a host of other AI diseases that can be treated by diet, you'll be counting your lucky stars that gluten is the least of your concerns.

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The longer you are on a gluten free diet, the more intense the reactions to cross contamination can be, so there is little motivation to "cheat" at all. Plus, after a short while, most people adapt to the tastes of their new, healthier diet, and "regular" food doesn't seem that appealing, and the gluten isn't missed. So it is just the social aspect that has to be dealt with. It is easy for some of us to make this trade - off of eating our own food, in return for being able to be a lot more active. Plus, we can cook for other people. With the holidays coming up, cooking for ourselves handles the conundrum of what to do with the relatives who won't cooperate, or who don't get the entire cross - contamination issue.

A few doctors seem to have said it is okay to cheat once in a while.... :ph34r: uh, either they are misinformed, or they are using that sort of age old trick of letting someone make their own decisions so as to regain a feeling of having some control over the process, if they mess up, (even accidentally, by cross contamination) they can then get "back on the wagon" more quickly if they aren't berating themselves for failing and thinking it is impossible to stick to the diet.

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Is cheating ever allowed when on a gluten-free diet? I can't imagine eating something with gluten one time a month is would

do harm to a person with Celiac.

That sentence about not imagining a little bit once a month would harm someone with celiac is a common misconception, particularly by those who do not have it or do not have someone close in their lives with it. If you have celiac, even if you suffer no physical pain from ingestion of gluten your body goes through a lot of damage to your intestinal villi. To intentionally cause that damage once a month is almost inviting the future problems that long term untreated celiac can bring. Some research into celiac can provide answers regarding cancers and other pretty bad outcomes, and may give you some insight into what a little gluten can cause in the long term. For many even a crumb can wreak havoc on the system and require weeks, months or even years to repair. To ingest that crumb (or bites/meals) monthly is not reasonable in any way and will have significant long term health repurcussions.
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Never, ever, EVER... I've become so sensitive after 10 years and the accidental glutening I experienced a few months ago made me so danged sick... I'll never, EVER cheat.

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I think we've said it all: Short answer: Definitely Not!

For Celiacs and the Gluten Sensitive, even trace amounts of gluten can cause a reaction and do damage to our intestines. The reality is that unless you do all of your own cooking (with completely gluten-free ingredients), are extremely dilligent when eating out at either a restaurant or someone's home, then you will likely accidentally eat gluten at some point. But even getting glutened from cross contamination once a month is enough to cause problems for a few days at least. If it happens more than that, or if you eat a significant amount at once, you compound the problem.

"Cheating" - deliberately eating something that you know is not gluten free - is not a good idea.

Also, the reactions from gluten don't show up immediately in everyone. For some, it might take several days before you realise something is wrong. Even if you don't feel horrible, it doesn't mean you aren't recovering from the damage.

For example: a couple years ago, my mom, my sister and I (all Celiac) were eating the same bread from the freezer, for about a week over xmas. We all started feeling run down, bit bloaty, grumpy, nothing serious so figured it was from all the other things we were eating. Not until the day before I went home did I look closely at the bread bag and thought, wait, I didn't know they made gluten-free bread. Looked at the ingredients, and there it was: spelt. "Um, Mom! Did you know you've been poisoning us for a week?" She'd picked up the wrong bag at the store because it looked like the gluten-free one she usually gets. Lesson of the day: ALWAYS read the labels, even when it's in your Celiac mother's freezer... I never got really sick, and I'm not sure how long it took to recover, but was run down for weeks. No fun.

So, we're all going to make mistakes and get glutened accidentally, which is bad enough as it is. Cheating just isn't worth it.

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