Jump to content
  • Join Our Community!

    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    Is all this stuff certified to be safe?

    No. Celiac sprue is not a well-researched disease. Most of what we know about foods that are safe and foods that are not is gathered from anecdotal evidence provided by celiacs themselves. There is a great deal of controversy about what affects celiacs and what doesnt.

    Take, for example, buckwheat. Along with corn and rice, this is one of only three common grains left on the "safe" list for celiacs. However, some celiac societies have put it on the "unsafe" list and there is anecdotal evidence that some individuals react to it as they do to wheat. Yet a well-known specialist in grain research points out that buckwheat is more closely related to rhubarb than to the toxic grains, so if buckwheat is unsafe then any plant might be unsafe.

    In considering anecdotal evidence for whether a food is safe or not, individuals must make their own choices, but each of us should clearly understand that anecdotal evidence is gathered from individuals with widely varied experience.

    It could be that the "buckwheat flour" that a celiac reacted to was actually one of those mixes that combines buckwheat flour with wheat flour. Another possibility is that, since buckwheat and wheat are often grown in the same fields in alternating years, the "pure buckwheat flour" may have been contaminated from the start by wheat grains gathered at harvest. Yet another explanation might be that the buckwheat was milled in a run that was preceded by wheat or any of the other toxic grains, so the flour was contaminated at the mill. Finally, some individuals -- celiacs or not -- may have celiac-like reactions to buckwheat; they are allergic. Celiacs who are allergic to buckwheat may be easily fooled into believing they are having a gluten reaction. Or, it could be that some evolutionary trick has put a toxic peptide chain into buckwheat despite its distant relation to the other grains, but the odds against this happening are long.

    As individual celiacs learn to live gluten-free, they must gauge their own reactions to foods, do lots of research, ask questions, and try to understand the many variables that may affect the ingredients in their food.

    The following is a list of ingredients which some celiacs believe are harmful, others feel are safe:

    • Alcohol
    • Grain alcohol
    • Grain vinegars
    • White vinegar
    • Vanilla extract and other flavorings (may contain alcohol)
    • Amaranth
    • Millet
    • Buckwheat
    • Quinoa
    • Teff  

    Wheat starch is used in the some countries gluten-free diet because of the belief that it contains only a trace or no gluten and that good baked products cannot be made without it. In a laboratory, wheat starch purity can be easily controlled, but in most plants this is not always the case. Wheat starch is not considered safe for celiacs in these countries: United States, Canada, Italy.

    For more information on this topic visit our Safe & Forbidden Lists.


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Yes, good information. I have seen buckwheat as gluten-free, so it was not clear to me whether it was safe or not.

    Yes, pure buckwheat is safe.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    You can now get a blood test through a lab called Cyrex labs that will test 24 foods that are common for people to have a cross re-activity to and for the body to perceive as gluten. Buckwheat is one of those listed, so is coffee, actually coffee is the number 1 cross reactive food. It is the oil in the bean.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Join the conversation

    You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About Me

    In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease. In 1998 I founded The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore!, and I am the co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

  • Related Articles

    Scott Adams
    Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) is a severely itchy skin condition that often starts abruptly, affecting the elbows, knees, buttocks, scalp, and back. It usually starts as little bumps that can become tiny blisters and then are usually scratched off. DH can occur in only one spot, but more often appears in several areas.
    The condition is related to IgA deposits under the skin. These occur as a result of ingesting gluten. These deposits take a long time to clear up, even when the patient is on a gluten-free diet.
    While most individuals with DH do not have obvious GI symptoms, almost all have some damage in their intestine. They have the potential for all of the nutritional complications of celiac disease. It is believed by some GI professionals that most DH patients do indeed have celiac disease.
    It is unusual to develop DH after a celiac patient starts a gluten-free diet. About 5% of celiac patients will develop DH, either before being diagnosed or within the first year on the diet. The fact that DH can develop even after starting the diet is probably due to the long lasting nature of the IgA deposits.
    For more information see the Dermatitis Herpetiformis page.

    Scott Adams
    Karoly Horvath, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pediatrics; Director, Peds GI & Nutrition Laboratory; University of Maryland at Baltimore: The biopsy is a small piece of tissue, such as from the inside lining of the intestine, that has been removed to look for diseases. The biopsy itself is not painful, because there are no pain-sensitive nerves inside the small intestine. An intestinal biopsy can be done in either of two ways depending on the age of the children and the tradition of the institution. Sometimes a blind biopsy procedure is performed by a biopsy capsule. This is thin flexible tube with a capsule at the tip, which has a hole and a tiny knife inside the capsule. This capsule is introduced into the intestine under fluoroscopy (X-ray) control. Alternatively, with an endoscopy the doctor can see inside the digestive tract without using an x-ray to obtain biopsies. The biopsy specimens are processed and viewed under the microscope to identify or exclude celiac disease. An important basic rule is that the biopsy should be performed safely. For a safe procedure children (and adults) should be sedated. There are two methods of sedation: unconscious (general anesthesia) and conscious sedation. During both kinds of sedation the vital parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation) of patients are continuously monitored. The method of choice depends on the child.
    Conscious sedation is performed with two different intravenous medications. One of them is a sedative medication (e.g. Versed), which causes amnesia in 80-90% of children, and even older children do not recall the procedure. The second medication is a pain-killer type medication (e.g. Fentanyl), which further reduces the discomfort associated with the procedure. In addition, the throat is sprayed with a local anesthetic in older children, which makes the throat numb and prevents retching at the introduction of the endoscope.
    During general anesthesia the anesthesiologist uses sleep-gases (e.g. halothan) and intravenous medications and then places a tube into the trachea. Children are completely unconscious. This is a safer way to perform endoscopy, because the patients are fully relaxed and their airway is protected. However, the anesthesia itself has certain complications.

    Scott Adams
    The following labs have excellent reputations for such tests:
    Specialty Labs
    2211 Michigan Ave.
    Santa Monica California 90404
    Tel: 310 828-6543 or 800 421-4449
    Internet: http://www.specialtylabs.com
    The University of Maryland at Baltimore
    Attention: Karoly Horvath, MD, or Athba Hammed, Research Assistant
    School of Medicine
    Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Laboratory
    UMAB/Bressler Research Building, Room 10-047
    655 West Baltimore Street
    Baltimore, MD, 21201
    410 706-1997 or fax at 410 328-1072
    University of Iowa Foundation for Celiac Disease Research
    University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, IA 52242
    IMMCO Diagnostics, Inc.
    Vijay Kumar, Ph.D.
    IMMCO Diagnostics 
    60 Pineview Drive 
    W. Amherst, NY 14228
    Tel: (716) 691-0091 
    Toll Free Tel: (800) 537-TEST
    E-mail: IMMTEST@AOL.COM
    Immunopathology Laboratory
    Dept. of Pathology
    5233 RCP
    University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
    200 Hawkins Drive
    Iowa City, IA 52242
    Tel: (319) 356-2688
    Mayo Clinic
    Dr. Joeseph Murray
    Internet: http://www.mayohealth.org/mayo/common/htm/index.htm
     
    Prometheus, Inc.
    5739 Pacific Center Boulevard
    San Diego, California 92121
    Tel: (619) 824-0895
    Toll Free (888) 423-5227
    Fax: (619) 824-0896

    Scott Adams
    Lactose intolerance is frequently a side effect of celiac disease. Celiacs who eat gluten become lactose intolerant after the villi and microvilli in their small intestine become damaged, and are no longer capable of catching and breaking down the lactose molecule. The problem usually disappears when celiacs remove gluten from their diet, which allows the damaged villi and microvilli to grow back. Lactose intolerance symptoms can continue for a long time after a celiac has gone on a 100% gluten-free diet. In some cases the villi and microvilli damage can take up to two years to heal completely, but in most cases it takes between six months and a year. Most people who are lactose intolerant can usually eat goat and sheep (feta) cheeses without any problems.

×
×
  • Create New...