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  • Christine Rudolph
    Christine Rudolph

    Top 4 Tips to Get Started With Your Gluten-Free Diet

      Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Summer 2016 Issue

    Celiac.com 08/01/2016 - If you are diagnosed with celiac disease, you have to completely avoid gluten for life. However, cutting out all gluten from your diet may seem quite daunting at first, but a gluten-free diet is the only remedy and treatment for this condition. Now you must be wondering what you can eat on a daily basis? Here are some tips to help you getting started with your gluten-free diet.

    Tip 1: Look for Healthy Food Items

    There are numerous food items which are naturally gluten-free. Stop worrying about the "off-limits" items, as there are plenty of healthy and gluten-free alternatives. These include the energetic ones such as meat, vegetables, fruits, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, dairy items, nuts, legumes and beans. Above all, you should always consider eating food items that are healthy, and will help you maintain your physical fitness and body tone, rather than unhealthy replacements for the items you miss.

    Tip 2: Avoid Eating Items Containing Gluten

    Wheat gluten is one of the staple food items and is enemy number one for people who are suffering from gluten sensitivity. You should avoid foods that contain any gluten. It is not just wheat that is harmful for those with celiac disease, harmful gluten is also present in barley, rye, bulgur, seitan, and many other foods in for form of additives and thickeners in things like chicken broth, salad dressings, malt vinegar, soy sauce, etc.

    However, not all grains need to be avoided, and you can eat foods made from corn, buckwheat, teff, amaranth, millet and quinoa, which are naturally gluten-free. Of course you need to be sure that you get uncontaminated versions, as some grains can be contaminated during processing.

    Tip 3: Make a Habit of Reading the Food Labels

    Now that you know that you must avoid gluten, it is time to take care of your diet. When going grocery shopping you should make a habit of reading the ingredient labels, which all foods should have on their labels.

    While reading it, you will get an idea whether or not the product is suitable for you or not. You should carefully look out for ingredients including rye, wheat, barley, or any ingredient containing gluten. If you find any of these ingredients, avoid purchasing them and opt for other alternatives.

    Tip 4: Be Vigilant When You Eat Out

    Having celiac disease and being on a gluten free diet, does not mean that you should avoid going to restaurants and eating out. You can eat out but you need to be careful with the food items that you choose to eat, and how you order your food. Try to stick with a gluten-free menu if they have one, or foods that you understand the basic preparation methods and ingredients, for example steamed vegetables and grilled meats. Above all be sure that you are sticking to your gluten-free diet to maintain your health and fitness. When there is no gluten-free menue it might make sense to avoid eating fried items and foods containing sauces, because they can be a source of hidden gluten. It is always wise to inform your chef beforehand about the dietary restrictions for a safe gluten-free eat-out.

    People with celiac disease can sometimes feel miserable due to their restricted diet, but they should not be sad because gluten-free meals can also be delicious and healthy, and often taste just as good as the foods that contain gluten.

    Now that you know these tips, we hope you will be able to get started with your gluten-free diet effectively.

    Sources:



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    Guest Gluten-Free Bebe

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    You forgot to mention the book 3 Steps to Gluten-Free Living! It's the perfect book that answers the question "Where do I start?" after diagnosis of celiac or gluten intolerance.

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  • About Me

    Christine Rudolph is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry and currently she is working as a blogger for Centra Care, an urgent care center in Orlando and neighboring cities including Conway, Longwood, Orange Lake and others.

  • Related Articles

    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 02/08/2007 - There is presently no cure for celiac disease. Celiac patients can vary greatly in their tolerance to gluten. Some patients may not notice any symptoms when they ingest tiny amounts of gluten, for example if something they ingest has been cross-contaminated, while others suffer pronounced symptoms after ingesting even the slightest amount of gluten. Avoiding gluten is crucial
    A life-long diet free of gluten is the standard treatment for celiac disease. To manage the disease and prevent complications, its essential to avoid all foods that contain gluten. That means it is crucial to:
    Avoid all foods made with wheat, rye, or barley. Including types of wheat like durum, farina, graham flour, and semolina. Also, bulgur, kamut, kasha, matzo meal, spelt and triticale. Examples of products that commonly contain these include breads, breading, batter, cereals, cooking and baking mixes, pasta, crackers, cookies, cakes, pies and gravies, among others. Avoid oats, at least during initial treatment stages, as the effects of oats on celiac patients are not fully understood, and contamination with wheat in processing is common. So, its best to eliminate oats at least until symptoms subside and their reintroduction into the diet can be fairly monitored and evaluated. Avoid processed foods that may contain hidden gluten. Wheat is commonly used in many processed foods that one might never suspect. A few examples include: candy bars canned soup canned meat energy bars ketchup ice cream instant coffee lunch meat mustard pastas processed meat sausages Avoid capsules and tablets that contain wheat starch, which is a common used binding agent in their production. Gluten is also commonly found in many vitamins and cosmetics, such as lipstick. Avoid beer (wine, brandy, whiskey and other non-wheat or barley alcohols are okay). Eat a diet rich in fish, fresh meats, rice, corn, soybean, potato, poultry, fruits and vegetables. Avoid milk and other dairy products, as it is common for patients with untreated celiac disease to be lactose intolerant. Successful treatment often means dairy products can be slowly reintroduced into the diet over time. Identify gluten-free foods. Because a gluten-free diet needs to be strictly followed, and because food ingredients may vary from place to place and even over time for a given product, it is important to always read the label. Consider purchasing commercial listings of gluten-free foods and products. For specific advice on adopting, shaping and maintaining the gluten-free diet that is right for you, you may wish to consult a registered dietitian who is experienced in teaching the gluten-free diet. Always read labels, as ingredients often change over time and products that that were once gluten-free may be reformulated and now include gluten in some form. Products that are gluten-free in one country are sometimes not gluten-free in another. Most patients who remove gluten from their diets find that their symptoms improve as inflammation of the small intestine begins to subside, usually within several weeks. Many patients who adopt a gluten-free diet report an improvement within 48 hours.
    Results of a gluten-free diet can be especially dramatic in children with celiac disease. Not only does their diarrhea and abdominal distress usually subside but, frequently, their behavior and growth rate are often markedly improved.
    A reappearance of intestinal villi nearly always follows an improvement in symptoms.
    In younger people, the villi may complete healing and regrowth in several months, while in older people, the process may take as long as two to three years.
    In cases where nutritional deficiencies are severe, celiac patients may require vitamin and mineral supplements to help bring about a healthier vitamin profile: folic acid and B12 for patients with anemia due to folate or B12 deficiency; vitamin K for patients with an abnormal ProTime; calcium and vitamin D supplements for patients with low blood calcium levels or with osteoporosis. For all such cases, individuals should consult their health professional.
    Skin lesions common in patients with dermatitis herpetiformis often improve with adherence to a gluten-free diet.
    For patients with celiac disease, the importance of maintaining a life-long diet free of gluten can hardly be over-stressed. Research indicates that only half of those patients who have had celiac disease for at least 20 years were following a strict gluten-free diet. Up to 30% of those patients showed evidence of bone loss and iron deficiency. These are but a few of the long-term consequences for celiac patients failing to follow a gluten-free diet.
    health writer who lives in San Francisco and is a frequent author of articles for Celiac.com. 

    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 02/27/2019 - Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition with numerous symptoms, and associated conditions. People with celiac disease often have gastrointestinal symptoms, including upset stomach, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, indigestion, and diarrhea. Some suffer from many of these on a regular basis. What are the most common symptoms? What are common associated conditions?
    However, many people show few or no symptoms. No single set of signs or symptoms is typical for everyone with celiac disease. Signs and symptoms almost always vary from person to person.
    So, while many people show classic symptoms, significant numbers of adults with celiac disease present few or no symptoms, including no gastrointestinal symptoms, when diagnosed.
    Symptoms Can Vary Between Children and Adults
    The signs and symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly and are different in children and adults. The most common signs for adults are diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss. Adults may also experience bloating and gas, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and vomiting.
    Symptoms in Children
    Children under 2 years old celiac symptoms often include vomiting, chronic diarrhea, failure to thrive, muscle wasting, poor appetite, and swollen belly. Older children may experience diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, irritability, short stature, delayed puberty, and neurological symptoms, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, headaches, lack of muscle coordination and seizures
    Associated Systemic Symptoms
    Certain associated conditions serve as potential systemic symptoms of celiac disease, including persistent anemia, chronic fatigue, weight loss, obesity, osteopenia, osteoporosis and fractures, amenorrhea, infertility, muscle cramps, and tooth enamel defects.
    Vague Symptoms Can Delay Celiac Diagnosis
    It is not uncommon for symptoms of celiac disease to be vague or confusing. Vague or confusing symptoms can include dental enamel defects, bone disorders like osteoporosis, depression, irritability, joint pain, mouth sores, muscle cramps, skin rash, stomach discomfort, and even neuropathy, often experienced as tingling in the legs and feet. 
    To make matters more challenging, celiac symptoms can also mimic symptoms of other diseases, such as anemia, Crohns disease, gastric ulcers, irritable bowel, parasitic infection, even various skin disorders or nervous conditions. Vague or confusing symptoms can delay celiac disease diagnosis.
    Signs and Symptoms of Celiac Disease
    Abdominal cramps, gas and bloating Acne Anemia Borborygmi—stomach rumbling Coetaneous bleeding Delayed puberty Dental enamel defects Diarrhea Dry skin Easy bruising Epistaxis—nose bleeds Eczema Failure to thrive or short stature Fatigue or general weakness Flatulence Fluid retention Foul-smelling or grayish stools that are often fatty or oily Gastrointestinal symptoms Gastrointestinal hemorrhage General malaise, feeling unwell Hematuria—red urine Hypocalcaemia/hypomagnesaemia Infertility, or recurrent miscarriage Iron deficiency anemia Joint Pain Lymphocytic gastritis Malabsorption Malnutrition Muscle weakness Muscle wasting Nausea Obesity/Overweight Osteoporosis Pallor—pale, unhealthy appearance Panic Attacks Peripheral neuropathy Psychiatric disorders such as anxiety and depression Skin Problems—acne, eczema, DH, dry skin  Stunted growth in children Underweight Vertigo Vitamin B12 deficiency Vitamin D deficiency Vitamin K deficiency Vomiting Voracious appetite Weight loss Conditions Associated with Celiac Disease
    People with one or more of these associated conditions are at higher risk for celiac disease:
    Addison's Disease  Anemia  Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia  Arthritis  Asthma  Ataxia, Nerve Disease, Neuropathy, Brain Damage  Attention Deficit Disorder  Autism  Bacterial Overgrowth  Cancer, Lymphoma  Candida Albicans  Canker Sores—Aphthous Stomatitis)  Casein / Cows Milk Intolerance  Chronic Fatigue Syndrome  Cognitive Impairment  Crohn's Disease  Depression  Dermatitis Herpetiformis Diabetes  Down Syndrome  Dyspepsia, Acid Reflux Eczema Epilepsy  Eye Problems, Cataract  Fertility, Pregnancy, Miscarriage  Fibromyalgia  Flatulence—Gas  Gall Bladder Disease  Gastrointestinal Bleeding  Geographic Tongue—Glossitis  Growth Hormone Deficiency  Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Heart Failure  Infertility, Impotency  Inflammatory Bowel Disease  Intestinal Permeability  Irritable Bowel Syndrome  Kidney Disease  Liver and biliary tract disorders (transaminitis, fatty liver, primary sclerosing cholangitis, etc.) Low bone density Lupus  Malnutrition, Body Mass Index  Migraine Headaches  Multiple Sclerosis  Myasthenia Gravis Celiac Disease Obesity, Overweight  Osteopenia, osteoporosis, osteomalacia  Psoriasis  Refractory Celiac Disease & Collagenous Sprue Sarcoidosis  Scleroderma  Schizophrenia / Mental Problems  Sepsis  Sjogrens Syndrome  Sleep Disorders  Thrombocytopenic Purpura  Thyroid & Pancreatic Disorders  Tuberculosis  Top Scientific References on Celiac Symptoms
    University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center Mayo Clinic Celiac Disease Center

    Wendy Cohan, RN
    Celiac.com 10/02/2008 - Whole grains are good sources of B-Vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and selenium, but one of their most important nutritional benefits is the fiber they bring to our diets.  Whole grains such as wheat, brown rice, and oats include both soluble and insoluble fiber.  Soluble fiber is easy to remember – it is water soluble, and as such can be assimilated into the body, where it plays an important role in blood sugar regulation and cholesterol balance.   Soluble fiber also helps provide a sense of fullness or satiety.  Insoluble fiber is - you guessed it - insoluble in water, and is not assimilated into the body, but passes through the digestive tract and is eliminated.  That does not mean insoluble fiber has a less important nutritional role to play.  Insoluble fiber is very important in keeping our digestive and elimination systems regular.  Fiber aids the transit of toxic substances out of the body, and in doing so, helps to reduce the incidence of colon and rectal cancers.
    In eliminating gluten grains from your diet, have you wondered what you are missing nutritionally?  Are you able to get adequate replacements for the nutrients in wheat, barley, rye, and oats, from the other nutritional components of your diet?  The answer is a qualified yes.  We know this on several levels.  For tens of thousands of years, entire cultures have thrived without growing or consuming any of the gluten grains.  We also know, from looking at what nutrients gluten grains provide, that there are more than adequate sources of these nutrients in alternative grains, and from vegetable sources.  Fiber is something we do need to be aware of, though.  Studies have shown that standard gluten-free diets are low in fiber, especially when baking with the “white” alternative products like white or sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch.  We can remedy this by eating alternative grains in whole, unprocessed states, and by including nuts, seeds, and other sources of fiber such as dried coconut and legumes in our diets.  Wheat is an excellent source of Vitamin E, so those on gluten-free diets might want to supplement with a good brand of Vitamin E.
    Some commercial gluten-free flour blends seek to duplicate white flour, and are made primarily of white rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch (see the nutrition comparisons on the next page).  These products are nearly devoid of nutrition and contain almost no fiber.  Using these types of products result in baked goods that are the nutritional equivalent of wonder-bread.  If you didn’t eat wonder-bread before going gluten-free, why should you attempt to duplicate it now?  When making your flour blends, coming up with new recipes, and altering traditional wheat-flour recipes, try to include alternative grain products (and sometimes nut flours) that contain substantial amounts of fiber, protein, calcium, and iron, all nutrients found in whole grains, but in much smaller amounts in highly processed grains.  Quinoa, sorghum, teff, amaranth, brown rice and millet flour are all good products to try.
    See the chart attached to this article (the link to it is in the "Attachments" section below) for the nutrient content of the many gluten-free alternative grains, starches, and nut flours.  The highest levels of nutrients in each category are noted, and you can see what nutritional powerhouses grains like teff, quinoa, sorghum, and amaranth are compared to white rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch.  


    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 08/12/2018 - Receiving a celiac disease diagnosis or being told you need to be on a gluten-free diet can be an overwhelming experience, and it is certainly not for the faint of heart. Most people get frustrated with the transition, and many don't know where to begin. While eating gluten-free can improve your health, I must emphasize that it is not recommended to attempt a gluten-free diet without a doctors supervision, as there are many potential health risks involved with making drastic changes to your diet, which can be avoided with assistance of a qualified doctor and/or nutritionist. If you suspect gluten-intolerance to be the culprit for your health problems, get examined by a doctor and get tested for celiac disease before initiating a gluten-free diet. It is very important to continually consume gluten while you are undergoing testing for celiac disease because many of the tests require you to be consuming gluten to get accurate results.
    Prescription: A Gluten-Free Diet
    Now that you have your diagnosis and need to eliminate gluten, you can make the transition to a gluten-free diet with confidence. The following information is a guideline of what you will need to know to get started. I must emphasize that this is only a guideline, and you will need to do your own research and consult with your doctor for more detailed information on a gluten-free diet. It is also a great idea to get involved in local support groups. Support groups will have members that understand what you are going through and they can help direct you to beneficial resources:
    Celiac Disease Support Groups, Organizations & Contacts Create New Habits
    To begin, if you are accustomed to doing things your own way, you will have to throw out many of your old habits. To avoid gluten poisoning you must keep all gluten away from your mouth. You will need to evaluate everything you ingest very carefully. Gluten can come in a variety of unexpected ways, including a kiss from a loved one, and any gluten that comes into contact with your mouth is a potential source of contamination. Cross-contamination can occur when a meal is prepared on cooking equipment shared with gluten-containing foods. It can also come from touching anything that has come into contact with gluten. It is therefore important to gluten-proof your house and to keep everything you eat separate from gluten and gluten residue. If you eat at restaurants, it is important to only eat at places that you know are safe. To help you avoid accidental gluten ingestion, please follow your instincts and use the following guidelines and avoid potential health hazards. Please remember that these are only guidelines--if you still have questions, please consult with a medical professional.
    What does "Gluten-Free" Actually Mean?
    Since gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley, it is obvious that you will need to avoid these grains. Less obvious however, are the myriad of products that contain gluten as a hidden ingredient. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently regulated the use of "gluten-free" on a food label, and there was already an FDA regulation that requires manufacturers to declare wheat if it is used as an ingredient in a product. Products that don't use "gluten-free" on their label unfortunately don't have to disclose ingredients that are made from barley or rye, which requires you to learn to read and understand ingredient labels. Many additives, natural or artificial, can contain gluten. Sometimes companies label products as "gluten-free" or the ingredients are naturally gluten-free, but the product may have be contaminated if it was manufactured on shared equipment. You will have to decide if you want to include such products in your diet. It is also important to remember, for reasons just mentioned, that “wheat-free” does not mean “gluten-free.”
    Batch Testing:
    According to current FDA proposals, products testing at less than 20 parts per million (PPM)  for gluten will likely be allowed to be labeled "gluten-free," and, according to them, are considered safe for people with gluten-intolerance or celiac disease. There are several organizations that offer gluten-free certification for companies who follow their guidelines and batch test their products. Check out the link below for more information on gluten-free certification and labeling.
    Gluten-Free Food Certification Program by the Gluten Intolerance Group Gluten-Free Shopping
    Shopping will likely take much longer for you than it used to. Don't rush. It is important to read all ingredients carefully. If you are in a hurry, you run the risk of overlooking a key ingredient that might contain gluten. I find it helpful to plan my meals in advance. There is nothing worse than coming home from work hungry and realizing that you have nothing to eat (and it isn't like you can go to the first drive-thru you find). So planning my meals on the weekend and doing my shopping in advance, cuts my stress level down considerably and keeps me from going hungry. Check your products against your gluten-free guidebooks, and contact the manufacturer if you are unsure about something. The following links will help you take the guess work out of shopping for gluten-free products:
    Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) As mentioned, there are also many products that are naturally gluten-free that are not labeled "gluten-free," and there are some very helpful books that can help you find these foods when you are shopping.
    A Gluten-Free Kitchen
    A gluten-free kitchen is very important. If you can have an entirely gluten-free kitchen, that is ideal, but it may not be an option for many households. Therefore it is especially important to keep your house clean and free of gluten contaminates.  It is also important to dedicate special kitchen supplies for gluten-free cooking. I bought a new cutting board that is dedicated only to gluten-free cooking. You may also want to have separate kitchen utensils such as sponges, toasters (a dedicated gluten-free toaster is highly recommended), sifters, bread machines, etc. This is especially important if you use utensils that are made of wood, plastic, or other porous materials that could harbor gluten and possibly contaminate your gluten-free food. If possible use an electric dishwasher to clean your dishes.
    If everyone in your household is going gluten-free it is important to clean out and empty all of the gluten products from your kitchen. If you share a kitchen with gluten eating family members, it is a good idea to store their food products separately from your gluten-free products, and to clean off all surfaces before you prepare your gluten-free food. Dedicating gluten-free cupboards and refrigerator shelves is a great way to start.
    Here are some important links that will help you cook gluten-free meals with ease:
    Gluten-Free Cooking Gluten-Free Recipes
    Kitchen Checklist - Possible Sources of Contamination:
    Bread-machine Toaster Sponges & cleaning pads All kitchen supplies & utensils Colanders Cutting boards Door handles Soaps For more information on maintaining a safe kitchen environment, click the link below:
    What You Need If You Can't Have A Gluten-Free Kitchen Dining Out Gluten-Free
    Dining out presents a challenge for most people on a gluten-free diet. Depending on your level of sensitivities, you may have difficulty eating out at all. Even if the restaurant offers a gluten-free menu, it is always important to find out what safety precautions the restaurant uses to avoid cross-contamination, and to make sure all the ingredients in your food are gluten-free. This may require you to modify your order, and also may mean talking with the chef about their kitchen practices. You may also benefit from utilizing a guide to safe restaurants.
    Here is an additional article that may be helpful to your situation:
    Take Charge of Your Meal When Eating Out A Gluten-Free Bathroom
    Believe it or not, your bathroom is another place where you might be getting sick from gluten contamination, and not even know it. There are many products in your bathroom to watch out for as many body products contain wheat and/or hidden gluten ingredients. Most celiacs can use body products without a negative reaction, though some people experience rashes and other unsavory reactions from gluten body products. However, if you are using face or body products that contain gluten, it is very important not to ingest them. I find it difficult to avoid getting shampoo or makeup near my mouth, so I don't take any chances. I use gluten-free soap, shampoo, conditioner, face-cleaner, toner, make-up, toothpaste; basically nothing goes onto my body that contains gluten. Using gluten-free body products allows me the freedom to worry less about accidental contamination, and gives me more time to enjoy my life. Many gluten-free body products are not labeled gluten-free, so it is important to read ingredient labels carefully and check with the manufacturer if necessary.
    Bathroom Checklist:
    Toothpaste Shampoo/conditioner Make-up Lip-stick, lip-liner, lip-gloss, cosmetics, etc. Lotion Sunscreen  
    Gluten-Free Medications (Prescriptions and Supplements)
    Most people with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance also suffer from malabsorption and sometimes malnutrition. Your doctor may prescribe pain, anti-inflammatory, digestive or other medications or supplements to help assist with your recovery. It is very important to note that some medications and supplements can contain gluten. Do not assume that just because your doctor knows you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance that the medications or supplements they may prescribe for you are gluten-free.  Be your own advocate and read the ingredients and contact your pharmacist and/or the manufacturer and find out if your prescriptions, vitamins and supplements are gluten-free.
    Gluten-Free Medications List Additional Concerns
    Children with Celiac Disease
    Raising children with celiac disease or gluten-intolerance is no easy feat. Your kids will have to deal with immense  peer pressure and there will be a great deal of temptation for them to eat gluten-containing foods. Talk to the staff at their school and help them to understand your child's special needs. The more support you have, the better off your child will be. There are many support groups that advocate for children with celiac disease, and it is important to get involved and learn everything you can to help support your child.
    Raising our Celiac Kids (R.O.C.K) Support Group Pets
    Your pets present another source of potential contamination, especially if you have pets like mine that love to smother you with unexpected kisses, sometimes on the mouth. What your pet eats can affect you too. Handling your pet's food, cleaning your pet's dishes and having young celiac children in a house where they may eat dog or cat food are all legitimate concerns. I decided to switch my pets to gluten-free pet food. Most pet food is not labeled gluten-free, so it is important to read ingredients carefully. I found grain-free, all natural pet food to be a great alternative to gluten-containing pet foods, that way I don't have to worry about accidental contamination or getting kisses from my pets--and it's healthier for them too!  It is also important to check all other pet products that you come into contact with for hidden gluten ingredients, like shampoos and soaps. It is of course always important to talk to your veterinarian before making any dietary changes for your pet.
    Other Food Sensitivities
    Most people who begin a gluten-free diet experience almost immediate relief from their symptoms. However, many people experience gluten-like reactions to other foods, and often suspect that their food was contaminated by gluten. As it turns out, many people who experience such reactions may in fact have additional food sensitivities. Some of the most common food sensitivities include, dairy/casein, soy, corn, sugar, nuts, shell-fish and processed or fatty foods. While many people report that they are able to add these foods back into their diet after they have established a gluten-free diet for many months, and after their intestines have had time to heal, it is up to you and your doctor or nutritionist to determine which foods may be causing you trouble. The 'elimination diet' is often recommended for determining what additional food sensitivities you may have. Ask your doctor if the elimination diet is right for you.
    Food Diary
    It is important to keep a food diary, especially when first initiating a gluten-free diet. Making notes of the foods you eat and the reactions you have to the foods you eat, and how you feel that day, can give you more insight as to which foods are hurting you and which foods your body can easily digest.
    Final Thoughts
    Be Picky
    Having a gluten intolerance means taking pride in your body, but not being too proud to say, "no, thank you." Don't worry about appearing too picky to others, you simply can't take care of yourself and worry what others think of you at the same time. You have the right to eat what you want; if something doesn't look, smell or taste right to you, or if you just don't feel right about eating something, don't eat it! It is better to come across as too finicky, than to spend the night in the bathroom or worse yet, the emergency room. Everyone has a different level of gluten sensitivity and you will have to find out through trial and error what works best for you.
    Be Prepared
    As a former Boy-Scout, my high-school teacher used to always say, "Be prepared".  I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this statement. It is important to be prepared and think ahead. Keep gluten-free snacks on hand at all times, because you never know when you are going to get hungry somewhere that doesn't offer gluten-free food. Keep shelf-stable snacks in your car, office, purse, and anywhere you spend time. It is better to have gluten-free snacks on hand, then to get hungry and make a bad decision to eat something you might later regret.

    Gluten-Free Quick-Check:
    Read all labels carefully Call the manufacturer whenever necessary Avoid cross-contamination at all times Keep your hands clean Check personal-care products for hidden gluten Check all vitamins, supplements and RX prescriptions for hidden gluten Make sure your pets are gluten-free Maintain a food diary Get involved-join a support group Rule of thumb-if you think it's possibly contaminated, don't take any chances. It's better to go hungry than to suffer later. Above all, trust your body Additional Resources:
    Gluten-Free Forum Celiac Disease Support Groups

    Tina Turbin
    Celiac.com 08/25/2016 - You just got diagnosed Celiac and are wondering how serious this really is. What if there is just a little gluten in your food? What if you use the same toaster for your gluten-free bread as your wife's/husband's regular bread? What if those french fries are gluten-free but they fry them in the same fryer as those nice gluten coated onion rings?
    Well, my answer is always that no amount of gluten is "safe". Items that are certified gluten-free must be tested and must pass, having less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. That means that less than .002% parts of that item contain gluten. That is quite a small amount but not necessarily small enough to not have a reaction to it. Some products even test as low as 10 ppm or 5ppm.  Anything lower than 3ppm is undetectable by any test out there right now. Some products state they are less than 20ppm but you really don't know if that is 19ppm or 5ppm so I always assume the worst just in case.
    So let's assume these french fries are nice and crispy and they share that fryer with those delicious onion rings. The answer is, stay away. You most definitely will end up consuming gluten. You may not have a reaction that you notice from these french fries, as some people are more sensitive or less sensitive, but that does not mean they are not causing an autoimmune reaction and causing damage internally.
    My advice: get your own dedicated gluten-free toaster; ask and ask again if sauces contain gluten; ask if the fryer shares space with gluten containing items and even let your server know you have celiac disease and to let the chef know. Your server may not know enough about gluten and celiac disease, but chefs almost always do and will understand the severity of it. I have had much better luck eating out when I have my server actually let the chef know I am celiac. There have been many occasions where my server said something was gluten-free without asking the chef and in the end I ended up sick in bed because of it.

    Miranda Jade
    Celiac.com 10/06/2016 - You do not need to be celiac to need to stay away from gluten. Wheat isn't just harmful to celiac or gluten-sensitive individuals. Did you know that just one slice of wheat bread raises one's blood sugar higher than 3 teaspoons of table sugar? That is equivalent to 12 grams of sugar! Talk about diabetes waiting to happen!
    I am very diligent in reading over even the gluten–free ingredients of products to ensure they are indeed gluten-free. I decided to start grabbing items off of the shelf to read the other listed ingredients as well. Wow, was I surprised! Sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, fructose etc.! Sweetener and especially sugar are added to so many things; it is really horrible. No wonder Americans are addicted to it. We have many new diagnoses and physical disorders stemming from the standard American Diet, the "improper diet", not to mention a rapid rise in obesity statistics and diagnosed diabetes.
    Americans love bread, gluten-free or not. Go to a restaurant and what is the first thing brought to the table? Bread! Can you imagine being brought some cut up cucumbers and celery instead? Now THAT would be a nice change! I often ask for this by the way and suggest you do as well.
    Kids products are the worst! To give a tiny or growing body with a rapidly developing brain that needs proper nutrition all that junk, additives and unhealthy ingredient are a crime. If your child has been having trouble focusing in school, I highly advise you to look at the ingredients list of the food and snacks he or she eats and check out the children's menu at a restaurant. Gluten-free foods as well.
    You may not have any issues with gluten and wheat type bread but it is harming your body in one way or another and I strongly advise you to stay away from it and keep your family off of it too. I also highly suggest you start being diligent and read your gluten-free product's ingredients list. Going gluten-free is the first step as a diagnosed celiac or one who is gluten intolerant, but getting healthier or staying healthy is of utmost importance to a long and healthy lifestyle. Your body's future is in your hands.

    Miranda Jade
    Celiac.com 11/01/2016 - Homeopathy has been around for quite some time. You even see it in drug stores these days. Here are some basics behind homeopathy.
    Certain substances that create a reaction in a healthy person can cure a sick person with the same symptoms. Unlike conventional medicine, homeopathy is considered more effective when the substance is diluted and shaken and is considered more effective each time this dilution and shaken process is done. This also makes it much safer as there is so little of the active ingredient actually in the homeopathy. It is tailored to each person depending on their health record, physical symptoms, emotional state, etc. Not just a one size fits all approach. One point that is great about homeopathy as opposed to "regular" medicine is the side effects are next to nothing.  The dosages are so small and contain so little of the active ingredient that the worst thing to happen would be that no beneficial effect occurs.

    If your child is celiac, then you have probably had plenty of issues with ingredients in medications as well as sensitivities with substances in them that aren’t even gluten. I have run into many kids who are celiac who cannot handle all sorts of other substances due to their gut. The good thing about homeopathic preparations is that many of them are gluten-free. I actually have never come across one with gluten so far. This makes it very easy to find remedies that your celiac child can handle. No strange ingredients that are made in a laboratory either.

    I specifically use chamomile and arnica for my son when he is teething. There is a combination of specific ones for teething but the individual dosages always work best for my toddler. I see a large difference in his overall attitude and pain level when I administer these two. 

    Of course there is always a place for standard medicine but I try to avoid drugs when I can.  Especially with my damaged gut from being misdiagnosed for 17 years! This allows the body to learn and adapt to properly fighting germs so there is less of a chance in getting sick the next time a bug is being passed around. Plus, have you read some of the warning labels on these drugs that doctors recommend? Pretty scary, horrible side effects! Worse than the sickness you are treating.

    Give homeopathy a try and see if it gives you, your celiac child or your family any comfort.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/05/2017 - To mark the start of Coeliac Awareness Week, Coeliac Australia and Nestlé Professional have launched Gluten Free Online Training – an interactive learning resource for foodservice professionals looking to expand their understanding of gluten free food practice throughout the hospitality industry.
    Under the guidance of Australian chef and author Tobie Puttock, the project will train up to 30,000 students at all TAFEs and culinary institutes in the protocols for gluten-free food preparation and service.
    People who successfully complete the training earn a Certificate of Achievement, which covers them for three years under Coeliac Australia's Gluten Free Standard for Foodservice Providers.
    Cathy Di Bella, special projects officer at Coeliac Australia, says training in safe gluten-free food prep and handling practices is a huge stepping stone to meet the future needs of the foodservice industry.
    Karen Kingham, dietitian and brand nutritionist at Nestlé Professional, says that the online training is intended to help people working in foodservice to become familiar with gluten-free customer and prep and server issues.
    The goal is to promote gluten-free awareness and protocols to culinary and food industry workers, to benefit them, the industry, and its patrons.
    "As most of us know celiac disease is real and symptoms are easily triggered, and I believe this should be treated the same as someone with perhaps a peanut allergy, and therefore food handling is of the utmost importance," said Puttock.
    It's good to see such influential figures in the food industry bringing such seriousness and professionalism to the preparation and handling of gluten-free foods. Stay tuned for more on this and other gluten-free stories.
    For more information: Australia's Gluten Free Online Training.

    Yvonne Vissing Ph.D.
    Celiac.com 05/05/2017 - What do you say to someone who doesn't "get" the fact that gluten makes people sick? It's not that people are intentionally callous and uncaring. They simply don't understand that going gluten-free isn't a fad or a choice for most people. This means that all too often when it comes to eating, they are perfectly content to go their merry way and eat whatever they want and if you're with them, well, you'll figure out something to eat. They don't mean to be insensitive jerks, but sometimes they present that way. As many of us have learned, when someone you love has a gluten sensitivity, the response of "it's their problem and it's not my issue" simply isn't good enough. Love means that you try to understand the experience and challenges of the person you care about.
    Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities are sneaky buggers. They are expert at masking what's really going on. So it's no surprise that parents and loved ones often screw up when it comes to understanding the physical and emotional experiences of someone whose got gluten issues. Maybe we heard about gluten issues, but it's one thing to read information and look at it intellectually as an abstract phenomenon and it's extra hard when you don't know anyone whose had gluten related problems.
    I grew up with pasta, home-made bread smothered with butter, cookies, and a sense these were comfort foods - not something that could make you deathly ill. No surprise, when my children didn't feel well, I'd pull out the crackers and chicken noodle soup, with a little mac-n-cheese for good measure. The children would snarf them down, and I had a self-inflated sense of motherly pride for having fixed them healing foods. Little did I know that my culinary delights were responsible for giving them GI track upset, migraines, skin problems, and the precursors to Celiac disease. There was no way of knowing back then that autoimmune problems ran on their father's side of the family, since we divorced when they were wee. In fact, most people don't really have their heads wrapped around the autoimmune disease thing at all, because as we say in New England, "it's wicked complicated!" Not knowing, in hindsight, makes the saying "killing them with kindness" take on new meaning.
    Today the dangers of glutening someone are well-recognized by most people, even if they don't understand all the sheer dynamics of what the cause-and-effects of it are. The problem is, unless you've seen someone writhing in distress from ingesting gluten by accident, your understanding of being glutened remains an intellectual, abstract mental exercise. The difference between knowing about being glutened and the actual experience of it are worlds apart. So if you have a family member, loved-one, colleague, or someone you're responsible to/for (as are teachers, day-are providers), what are you to do to show people with gluten issues that you care? Here are some suggestions.
    Talk to the person. Really talk with them. Ask them questions about what their experience of being glutened is like. Find out about what they perceive to the be causes of it. Listen to them talk about their emotions and how they feel when they are sick – and how they feel about others who help them or are contributors to their distress. Once they open up, they will likely tell you about things that frustrate them about trying to eat normally, problems they've encountered, and how they have to monitor their lives to avoid getting sick. People with Celiac disease or gluten issues are experts. They will look you in the eye and tell you what it's like in a way that inspires a caring person to pay more attention to what's going on so they can do better not to make someone sick. Inquire what you could do – and not do – that may prevent glutening someone. They will also give you big hints about what to say and do (and what NOT to do). Read. There is a lot of information available about what gluten is, where it is found, what it does to people, and alternatives for it. It's in books, magazines, online websites galore, and even sometimes on television. In our book, Going Gluten Free, we list a bunch of sites for you. Given the large amount of information that's freely available, there is no excuse for not knowing about gluten is, what it does, and how it should be handled so people don't get sick. Take the time to educate yourself about gluten, celiac, what it does, and how to live gluten-free in a harmonious and healthy manner. Others will feel that you genuinely care when you tell them about what you've learned and the information you've accessed! Pay attention. Once you know about glutening people, start paying attention to menus at restaurants, ingredient lists of food products, and what and how food is being served. Even "safe" foods can be cross-contaminated and served in ways that can make someone with gluten sensitivity sick. Sometimes those fixing or serving food aren't as savvy as they coulda-shoulda-oughta be about gluten-free dining. If you go somewhere and the server looks foggy when you ask about their gluten-free options, don't order anything that is remotely questionable. Size up the whole dining ambiance, see if you can get a glimpse at the kitchen, ask if they have a gluten-free menu or policy. If your intuition blinks "danger!", listen to it. Better to be safe than sorry. Be annoying. Many people with Celiac or gluten issues are sweet-hearts and don't want to inconvenience others. So be prepared, when appropriate, to ask questions, push the envelope, and do background check to ensure that your loved one doesn't get glutened. Being able to eat safely is a human rights issue. You are not being annoying by asking questions or demanding that you (or your loved one) are served food that can be consumed without negative outcomes. Others don't have the right to make you sick. It's as simple as that, so learning to stand up for yourself or others is a good practice to get into!

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