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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      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 Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    LOW AVAILABILITY AND INCREASED COST OF GLUTEN-FREE FOODS


    Kathleen La Point

    Celiac.com 12/06/2007 - Celiac is an autoimmune disease triggered by consumption of gluten in genetically predisposed people. The only treatment for celiac disease is a diet free of gluten, a group of proteins found in some grass-related grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. A healthy gluten-free diet is typically rich in unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and meats; previous studies have established the high relative cost of such a diet. Researchers from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University sought to further understand the economic burden of a gluten-free diet by focusing on the gluten-free substitutes for naturally gluten-containing foods.


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    Using data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) about typical household food consumption, researchers assembled “market baskets” of regular and gluten-free foods. The availability and the difference in price between the 11 regular and gluten-free items in the market basket were compared according the type of store and the region in which the items were purchased.  Researchers surveyed local grocery stores, upscale grocery stores or regional chains, health food stores, and 4 online sites. Regions of the country were represented by New York City and Westchester County, Portland OR, Atlanta GA, Rapid City SD, and Chicago IL.

    The researchers found that health food stores and online sites had the largest selection of gluten-free foods, carrying 94% and 100% of the market basket items respectively, compared to availability of 41% in upscale markets and 36% in local grocery stores. Although local grocery stores generally carried the smallest selection of gluten-free foods, Portland’s stores were unique with a relatively high availability of 82%. However, when considering availability in all types of stores, gluten-free foods were most available in the New York area (i.e., 73%).

    In general, the price of the gluten-free foods was about 79% greater than their normal counterparts. gluten-free cereals were the exception with a small and statistically insignificant increase in cost compared to the non-gluten-free cereals. The internet appears to be the most expensive place to buy gluten-free foods, followed by health food stores and upscale markets. However, these differences were not statistically significant due to the small number of stores and internet sites surveyed. Interestingly, even though availability of gluten-free foods varied widely among the geographic locations, cost did not.

    The economic burden of a gluten-free diet has important implications for people with celiac disease. Compliance with a gluten-free diet is made more difficult by the low availability and relatively high cost of packaged gluten-free foods. Noncompliance with a gluten-free diet is associated with an increased mortality rate and worse quality of life.

    Resources

    Lee, A., Ng, D., Zivin, J., and Green, H. (2007) Economic burden of a gluten-free diet. J. Hum. Nutr. Diet. 20, 423-430.

     


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    I am so happy to have come across this article. I live in Jerusalem, Israel and I am struggling to find a proper selection of some of the basic substitutes for gluten full foods. (I have researched the whole country) And yes I actually have family sending me some of these from NY. Also financially it is costing me more than double to provide my family with gluten free meals since we all need to be gluten free. This really echoes my latest sentiments

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    I hope they didn't spend too much time or money on this study. Any of us dealing with this diet every day could have told them this, and my reaction to the article is 'Duh'.

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    Guest Robena Lasley

    Posted

    Believe me, I know first hand about the increased cost of living gluten free. I also must eat dairy and soy free. Being retired on a fixed income, makes it near impossible to be able to afford the high priced foods. To compensate for the financial burden, I am growing as many of my own fruits and vegetables as possible. Hopefully in the future, as Celiac disease becomes more diagnosed in the U.S., there will be some kind of financial relief.

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    I have been told that since gluten free foods were more expensive that I could right it off on my taxes as a medical expense.

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    I agree with the no brainer of this article. I have found that it is not that expensive to live gluten free. JUST DON'T BUY PROCESSED FOODS! What is so hard about buying the basics and actually cooking for a change? Once I got used to not eating Rice a Roni and that kind of fare, cooking was and is a breeze. There are many ways to cook Veggie dishes and Beans without adding wheat.

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    Guest Doris K. Roane

    Posted

    I agree with the writer who said that we all know this to be true. What to do about it would be the better course of action. Shipping costs are exorbitant. The tax deduction route proved to me to be useless for one person. We need some more answers.

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    Guest Rebbecca

    Posted

    I agree with comment #6. Eating healthy doesn't have to include many, if any, special special foods. It makes shopping a lot easier to buy fresh, naturally gluten-free items! There is less worry about contamination in production too. Plus, I feel a lot better than when I eat something pre-packaged or processed.

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    Guest laura Pritchard

    Posted

    I agree that the money spent on this research study was pointless. Anyone who shops for a gluten-free person knows it is more expensive. While I whole-heartedly, completely agree it is healthier and cheaper to eat more veggies-rice, back to the basics food and we do in our family when we are at home. There are times however when prepackaged food is just appropriate in our very busy lives today, especially with teens and children. It is very important to me to be able to visit family, attend church functions, end of the season sports parties and many other functions that we attend as a family. Without frozen dinners, pizza, cookies, cakes etc... being able to attend these events would be challenging to say the least. Yes I know that I can make most of these things from scratch but as a homeschooling mom, working part-time, with a dh that works crazy hours, I just don't have the time or the energy to always think and prepare far enough in advance to always have food prepared and frozen and ready to travel at a moments notice. So, I do buy gluten free foods and I do really wish it was cheaper.

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    Guest Carol Frilegh

    Posted

    One of the things about the most popular gluten-free diet is the plethora of store bought convenience foods available in the U.S. and Canada. Thinking of the gas and time spent going to a store and hidden costs like packaging. it is cheaper to do some things at home.

     

    The Special Carbohydrate Diet allows very few store bought foods. Under federal law, 2% of ingredients on labels do not have to be disclosed which creates the possibility that small amounts of restricted ingredients may exist.

     

    In the past few years there are a few good sources of nut flour baked goods that comply with starch, sugar, yeast and gluten free requirements of the diet and they taste pretty good. It is a mistake to overdo nut consumption even if the cakes, cookies, crackers and breads meet specifications. Home baking is very easy. We substitute nut butters or nut flours for grain, rice or potato flour. Nut butter is just nuts ground for a longer time.

    Baking soda takes the place of baking powder

     

    We have one incredible cake made of Medjool dates that tastes and feels like 'fudge-y' chocolate.

     

    Make great 'chips' and 'fries' from butternut squash, popcorn from roasted cauliflower and 'rice' also from cauliflower .

     

    Sauces and gravies can be thickened with roasted or boiled pureed onion.

     

    You can even create a traditional 'roux' base out of butter and almond flour and add liquid and drippings for a thick gravy.

     

    A good system is to set aside a few hours once a week to bake and cook. Most things can be frozen. My favorite is the basic Special Carbohydrate Diet muffin recipe. I use pecan flour instead of almond flour and the muffins are moist and really melt in your mouth.

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    Guest patricia

    Posted

    I agree that this is known by anyone who needs this diet. I am a single mom with three kids working 60+ hrs a week. Finding time to cook is just one of the problems. Some of us are having to do not only a gluten-free diet but also dairy-free. that gets expensive and hard on not only me the parent but also the children who all of a sudden have to change their diet and watch friends and family eat things they love and not be allowed these things. That is why I get some of the gluten-free foods for my son. I just wish it was easier to find and didn't cost so much.

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    Guest Eleanor

    Posted

    They were written with true sincerity and experience. I am trying to bake my own gluten-free breads. I think the cost of these items as with other food prices are expected to be higher but NOT as high as they are. What Can we do about it?

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    Guest Belinda

    Posted

    Hey Patricia, I know where you are coming from--we too have a time buying the 'EXPENSIVE ' flours to make anything we use to like. I have posted a easy corn dog recipe and it goes a long way and isn't too expensive. Not sure what you would substitute for the buttermilk though (I hope you can find a substitute). They freeze well and last a long time in the freezer and we serve them with gluten free ketchup and mustard. I have an easy cheap recipe for gluten-free pizza crust if anyone would like...my son loves it.

     

    Good Luck to all and yes there will in time be an answer for cheaper ways to eat healthy and gluten-free.

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    It doesn't matter if you cook fresh food everyday...the basic ingredients are still too expensive. I'm talking about flour, pasta, pancake mix, etc. The point is that we have no financial help at all and it's not easy to tell your child that he can't have pancakes for breakfast. I cook 3 meals every day! In other countries like Italy people with celiac disease have great support from the government--they get a set amount of money every month to buy basic food like bread, flour, pasta, cereal and some desserts. Hopefully soon something will be done!

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    Guest sophie O'Toole

    Posted

    I do most of my own baking for Celiac, but I find it expensive also I am from Canada and the government doesn't seem to consider celiac a disease.

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    I've been on a gluten-free diet for over three years and agree with others about the higher cost of ingredients and the extra time needed to maintain a normal lifestyle.

    I make bread almost every week and tend to rely too much on quick gluten-free frozen entrees for dinner. I'd like to bake more and would sure like to have Belinda's (#13) recipe for gluten-free pizza crust.

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    Guest David

    Posted

    We have to get everyone in power (insurance, gov't) to consider our food as medicine, not just food. When we stay on our diets and are healthy, it saves money in the long run. It is like exercise, you have to do your best to find the time to grow vegetables, or bake, or price shop. We bought all of the on sale rice flour from our local store. It might help to form associations regionally to buy ingredients in bulk from the companies.

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    Then, my second brush with a natural disaster happened, without any notice, leaving us once again scrambling to find a safe place to shelter. It was a warm and muggy summer morning, and my husband was away on a business trip leaving my young daughter and me to enjoy our summer day. Our Severe Weather Alert Radio was going off, again, as I continued getting our daughter ready for gymnastics.  Having gotten used to the (what seemed to be daily) “Severe Thunderstorm warning,” I didn’t pay much attention to it. I continued downstairs with my daughter and our dog, when I caught a glimpse out the window of an incredibly black looking cloud. By the time I got downstairs, I saw the cover to our grill literally shoot straight up into the air. Because we didn’t have a fenced in yard, I quickly ran outside and chased the cover, when subsequently, I saw my neighbor’s lawn furniture blow pass me. I quickly realized I made a big mistake going outside. As I ran back inside, I heard debris hitting the front of our home.  Our dog was the first one to the basement door! As we sat huddled in the dark corner of our basement, I was once again thinking where are we going to go if our house is destroyed. I was not prepared, and I should have been. I should have learned my lesson the first time. Once the storm passed, we quickly realized we were without power and most of our trees were destroyed. We were lucky that our house had minimal damage, but that wasn’t true for most of the area surrounding us.  We were without power for five days. We lost most of our food - our gluten free food.
    That is when I knew we had to be prepared. No more winging it. We couldn’t take a chance like that ever again. We were “lucky” one too many times. We were very fortunate that we did not lose our home to the Los Angeles wildfire, and only had minimal damage from the severe storm which hit our home in Illinois.
      
    In 2017 alone, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) had 137 natural disasters declared within the United States. According to FEMA, around 50% of the United States population isn’t prepared for a natural disaster. These disasters can happen anywhere, anytime and some without notice. It’s hard enough being a parent, let alone being a parent of a gluten free family member. Now, add a natural disaster on top of that. Are you prepared?
    You can find my Gluten Free Emergency Food Bags and other useful products at www.allergynavigator.com.  

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/23/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to learn whether celiac disease patients commonly suffer cognitive impairment at the time they are diagnosed, and to compare their cognitive performance with non-celiac subjects with similar chronic symptoms and to a group of healthy control subjects.
    The research team included G Longarini, P Richly, MP Temprano, AF Costa, H Vázquez, ML Moreno, S Niveloni, P López, E Smecuol, R Mazure, A González, E Mauriño, and JC Bai. They are variously associated with the Small Bowel Section, Department of Medicine, Dr. C. Bonorino Udaondo Gastroenterology Hospital; Neurocience Cognitive and Traslational Institute (INECO), Favaloro Fundation, CONICET, Buenos Aires; the Brain Health Center (CESAL), Quilmes, Argentina; the Research Council, MSAL, CABA; and with the Research Institute, School of Medicine, Universidad del Salvador.
    The team enrolled fifty adults with symptoms and indications of celiac disease in a prospective cohort without regard to the final diagnosis.  At baseline, all individuals underwent cognitive functional and psychological evaluation. The team then compared celiac disease patients with subjects without celiac disease, and with healthy controls matched by sex, age, and education.
    Celiac disease patients had similar cognitive performance and anxiety, but no significant differences in depression scores compared with disease controls.
    A total of thirty-three subjects were diagnosed with celiac disease. Compared with the 26 healthy control subjects, the 17 celiac disease subjects, and the 17 disease control subjects, who mostly had irritable bowel syndrome, showed impaired cognitive performance (P=0.02 and P=0.04, respectively), functional impairment (P<0.01), and higher depression (P<0.01). 
    From their data, the team noted that any abnormal cognitive functions they saw in adults with newly diagnosed celiac disease did not seem not to be a result of the disease itself. 
    Their results indicate that cognitive dysfunction in celiac patients could be related to long-term symptoms from chronic disease, in general.
    Source:
    J Clin Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar 1. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001018.

    Connie Sarros
    Celiac.com 04/21/2018 - Dear Friends and Readers,
    I have been writing articles for Scott Adams since the 2002 Summer Issue of the Scott-Free Press. The Scott-Free Press evolved into the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. I felt honored when Scott asked me ten years ago to contribute to his quarterly journal and it's been a privilege to write articles for his publication ever since.
    Due to personal health reasons and restrictions, I find that I need to retire. My husband and I can no longer travel the country speaking at conferences and to support groups (which we dearly loved to do) nor can I commit to writing more books, articles, or menus. Consequently, I will no longer be contributing articles to the Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. 
    My following books will still be available at Amazon.com:
    Gluten-free Cooking for Dummies Student's Vegetarian Cookbook for Dummies Wheat-free Gluten-free Dessert Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Reduced Calorie Cookbook Wheat-free Gluten-free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults (revised version) My first book was published in 1996. My journey since then has been incredible. I have met so many in the celiac community and I feel blessed to be able to call you friends. Many of you have told me that I helped to change your life – let me assure you that your kind words, your phone calls, your thoughtful notes, and your feedback throughout the years have had a vital impact on my life, too. Thank you for all of your support through these years.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/20/2018 - A digital media company and a label data company are teaming up to help major manufacturers target, reach and convert their desired shoppers based on dietary needs, such as gluten-free diet. The deal could bring synergy in emerging markets such as the gluten-free and allergen-free markets, which represent major growth sectors in the global food industry. 
    Under the deal, personalized digital media company Catalina will be joining forces with Label Insight. Catalina uses consumer purchases data to target shoppers on a personal base, while Label Insight works with major companies like Kellogg, Betty Crocker, and Pepsi to provide insight on food label data to government, retailers, manufacturers and app developers.
    "Brands with very specific product benefits, gluten-free for example, require precise targeting to efficiently reach and convert their desired shoppers,” says Todd Morris, President of Catalina's Go-to-Market organization, adding that “Catalina offers the only purchase-based targeting solution with this capability.” 
    Label Insight’s clients include food and beverage giants such as Unilever, Ben & Jerry's, Lipton and Hellman’s. Label Insight technology has helped the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) build the sector’s very first scientifically accurate database of food ingredients, health attributes and claims.
    Morris says the joint partnership will allow Catalina to “enhance our dataset and further increase our ability to target shoppers who are currently buying - or have shown intent to buy - in these emerging categories,” including gluten-free, allergen-free, and other free-from foods.
    The deal will likely make for easier, more precise targeting of goods to consumers, and thus provide benefits for manufacturers and retailers looking to better serve their retail food customers, especially in specialty areas like gluten-free and allergen-free foods.
    Source:
    fdfworld.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/19/2018 - Previous genome and linkage studies indicate the existence of a new disease triggering mechanism that involves amino acid metabolism and nutrient sensing signaling pathways. In an effort to determine if amino acids might play a role in the development of celiac disease, a team of researchers recently set out to investigate if plasma amino acid levels differed among children with celiac disease compared with a control group.
     
    The research team included Åsa Torinsson Naluai, Ladan Saadat Vafa, Audur H. Gudjonsdottir, Henrik Arnell, Lars Browaldh, and Daniel Agardh. They are variously affiliated with the Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Karolinska University Hospital and Division of Pediatrics, CLINTEC, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institute, Sodersjukhuset, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Mathematical Sciences, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden; the Diabetes & Celiac Disease Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden; and with the Nathan S Kline Institute in the U.S.A.
    First, the team used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS) to analyze amino acid levels in fasting plasma samples from 141 children with celiac disease and 129 non-celiac disease controls. They then crafted a general linear model using age and experimental effects as covariates to compare amino acid levels between children with celiac disease and non-celiac control subjects.
    Compared with the control group, seven out of twenty-three children with celiac disease showed elevated levels of the the following amino acids: tryptophan; taurine; glutamic acid; proline; ornithine; alanine; and methionine.
    The significance of the individual amino acids do not survive multiple correction, however, multivariate analyses of the amino acid profile showed significantly altered amino acid levels in children with celiac disease overall and after correction for age, sex and experimental effects.
    This study shows that amino acids can influence inflammation and may play a role in the development of celiac disease.
    Source:
    PLoS One. 2018; 13(3): e0193764. doi: & 10.1371/journal.pone.0193764