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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/07/2018

      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 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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    CHEERIOS SALES RISE AFTER SWITCH TO GLUTEN-FREE


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 01/21/2016 - With sales of non-gluten-free cereals enduring a slow, consistent downward slide in just about every category, gluten-free cereals have been one of the few bright spots for cereal manufacturers.


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    Wikimedia Commons--General MillsIn an effort to combat those falling cereal sales across its existing product line, manufacturer General Mills released five gluten-free Cheerios products.

    Initial results suggest that their plan is working, at least somewhat. According to General Mills, sales of non-discounted, full-price gluten-free varieties of Cheerios grew 3% to 4% last quarter, offering the fist improvement after multiple quarters of declining sales.

    This is particularly good news for General Mills, as it follows on the heels of an embarrassing recall of 1.8 million boxes of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios in October, shortly after the introduction of their gluten-free varieties. The company chalked that issue up to "human error."

    So the fact that the latest numbers are strong so soon after a major product recall suggests that gluten-free Cheerios might just be the ticket for turning around their slumping sales.

    What do you think? Have you tried gluten-free Cheerios? Will you? Are you happy that major companies like General Mills are making gluten-free products available?

    Read more: buzzfeed.com


    Image Caption: General Mills' move to gluten-free Cheerios is paying off. Photo: Wikimedia Commons--General Mills
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    Please know that these products are not certified gluten free. It is only gluten removed, therefore people with celiac disease should not eat these products. When I asked them they did not know if they would ever certify due to cost.

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    Please know that these products are not certified gluten free. It is only gluten removed, therefore people with celiac disease should not eat these products. When I asked them they did not know if they would ever certify due to cost.

    You are incorrect--they are gluten-free and safe for celiacs, or they could not be labeled "gluten-free." Certified gluten-free is also no guarantee that an item could not be contaminated, and some certified products have tested over 20 ppm for gluten.

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    Oats themselves are not clearly non-toxic to celiacs. I wrote to GM about my concern re: gluten-free Cheerios because the only thing they did to make them gluten free was to source oats that weren't cross-contaminated. But there is a litany of evidence indicating oats can be toxic to celiacs, yet no company I have ever seen push "gluten free" oats has addressed this controversy. The almighty dollar wins again.

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    Specific to the Cherrios, yes they are gluten removed and yes they are tested. It appears the batch testing is somewhat less than thorough and there are others trying to get he mfg to do more consistent testing to address this for the celiac community. Hopefully they will improve the process in the coming months

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    Guest Jared M

    Posted

    Didn't these gluten-free Cheerios get contaminated with wheat just a couple of months ago?

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    They are gluten REMOVED and not grown in a designated field with designated equipment and facilities. Ask your medical specialist but until certified this celiac family says NO! General Mills already has a few lawsuits pending due to false advertising.

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    You are incorrect--they are gluten-free and safe for celiacs, or they could not be labeled "gluten-free." Certified gluten-free is also no guarantee that an item could not be contaminated, and some certified products have tested over 20 ppm for gluten.

    I do not know if I can agree with "could not be labeled gluten-free" and my reasoning is this, I am seeing more and more products that say "gluten free" on one side of the product only to have "processed/produced in a facility that also processes/produces wheat and gluten products". Cereals, rice, pasta and other similar products that I will not take the risk to eat. Are those products gluten-free or is the risk of contamination higher? Are the manufacturers covering their assets? Or simply this, how can they be gluten-free and still have potential for the presence of wheat and gluten?

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    I absolutely love the gluten-free Cheerios!! I have missed them terribly since being diagnosed with celiac 4 years ago. I would like to thank General Mills for their time , investment, persistence, and interest in expanding their product for those that must modify their diet due to gluten issues.

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    My son became very ill after eating so-called "gluten -free" Cheerios. I would never recommend them for ANYONE with celiac disease. Maybe they have "fixed" the problem but I'll never buy them again. I'll stick with Chex. Both are General Mills products. You'd think they could have done better with the Cheerios brand.

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    Cheerios are 100% gluten-free and celiacs CAN eat them! Thank you General Mills for taking the lead on this! Can't wait to find gluten-free Lucky Charms in our area!!!

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    Guest Debbie Brewster

    Posted

    I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2001 and have been very strict with my gluten free diet since then. One time that I mistakenly ended up eating gluten, I was sick for 10 days. Since the Cheerios have gone gluten free, I have tried Multi-Grain Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, and Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. I have had no adverse reactions to any of them. I am SO glad to see more and more products becoming gluten free. I am willing to be patient with companies (and restaurants) as they strive to do a progressively better job of preventing cross contamination.

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    A big concern for me is the chemicals GM is still using in the Cheerios products - trisodium phosphates and the like. Check them out independently.

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    I was thrilled when General Mills made Cheerios gluten free. I started buying and eating them as soon as they became available in my local store. I have celiac disease and have had no problem with any of their gluten free products. Thank you General Mills for giving me another option for breakfast.

    Maybe some of the other manufactures of cereal should try making some of their products gluten free.

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    Guest Jefferson

    Posted

    Please know that these products are not certified gluten free. It is only gluten removed, therefore people with celiac disease should not eat these products. When I asked them they did not know if they would ever certify due to cost.

    All Gluten Free Cheerios products meet the FDA standards for gluten-free labeling, that is that they are all formulated and tested to contain less than 20 ppm gluten. So, yes, they are "certified" gluten-free.

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    Didn't these gluten-free Cheerios get contaminated with wheat just a couple of months ago?

    Due to a mistake at one plant they did, and voluntarily recalled the products associated with the error.

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    Guest Henrich

    Posted

    All Gluten Free Cheerios products meet the FDA standards for gluten-free labeling, that is that they are all formulated and tested to contain less than 20 ppm gluten. So, yes, they are "certified" gluten-free.

    The are people like me that have celiac and cannot haven any gluten whatsoever. So I have to research every product that says it is Certified Gluten Free, I get really sick if it is processed in a plant that contains Wheat due to the cross contamination. Just because it has less than 20 ppm is not Gluten Free too me!!

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    Yes I am very happy with the availability of gluten-free Cheerios and glad to hear about sales growth, but how has it affected the sales of gluten-free Chex cereals from the same brand?

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    Jefferson Adams
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    admin
    WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE?
    Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects around 1% of the population. People with celiac disease suffer an autoimmune reaction when they consume wheat, rye or barley. The immune reaction is triggered by certain proteins in the wheat, rye, or barley, and, left untreated, causes damage to the small, finger-like structures, called villi, that line the gut. The damage occurs as shortening and villous flattening in the lamina propria and crypt regions of the intestines. The damage to these villi then leads to numerous other issues that commonly plague people with untreated celiac disease, including poor nutritional uptake, fatigue, and myriad other problems.
    Celiac disease mostly affects people of Northern European descent, but recent studies show that it also affects large numbers of people in Italy, China, Iran, India, and numerous other places thought to have few or no cases.
    Celiac disease is most often uncovered because people experience symptoms that lead them to get tests for antibodies to gluten. If these tests are positive, then the people usually get biopsy confirmation of their celiac disease. Once they adopt a gluten-free diet, they usually see gut healing, and major improvements in their symptoms. 
    CLASSIC CELIAC DISEASE SYMPTOMS
    Symptoms of celiac disease can range from the classic features, such as diarrhea, upset stomach, bloating, gas, weight loss, and malnutrition, among others.
    LESS OBVIOUS SYMPTOMS
    Celiac disease can often less obvious symptoms, such fatigue, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, anemia, to name a few. Often, these symptoms are regarded as less obvious because they are not gastrointestinal in nature. You got that right, it is not uncommon for people with celiac disease to have few or no gastrointestinal symptoms. That makes spotting and connecting these seemingly unrelated and unclear celiac symptoms so important.
    NO SYMPTOMS
    Currently, most people diagnosed with celiac disease do not show symptoms, but are diagnosed on the basis of referral for elevated risk factors. 

    CELIAC DISEASE VS. GLUTEN INTOLERANCE
    Gluten intolerance is a generic term for people who have some sort of sensitivity to gluten. These people may or may not have celiac disease. Researchers generally agree that there is a condition called non-celiac gluten sensitivity. That term has largely replaced the term gluten-intolerance. What’s the difference between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten-sensitivity? 
    CELIAC DISEASE VS. NON-CELIAC GLUTEN SENSITIVITY (NCGS)
    Gluten triggers symptoms and immune reactions in people with celiac disease. Gluten can also trigger symptoms in some people with NCGS, but the similarities largely end there.

    There are four main differences between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity:
    No Hereditary Link in NCGS
    Researchers know for certain that genetic heredity plays a major role in celiac disease. If a first-degree relative has celiac disease, then you have a statistically higher risk of carrying genetic markers DQ2 and/or DQ8, and of developing celiac disease yourself. NCGS is not known to be hereditary. Some research has shown certain genetic associations, such as some NCGS patients, but there is no proof that NCGS is hereditary. No Connection with Celiac-related Disorders
    Unlike celiac disease, NCGS is so far not associated with malabsorption, nutritional deficiencies, or a higher risk of autoimmune disorders or intestinal malignancies. No Immunological or Serological Markers
    People with celiac disease nearly always test positive for antibodies to gluten proteins. Researchers have, as yet, identified no such antobodies or serologic markers for NCGS. That means that, unlike with celiac disease, there are no telltale screening tests that can point to NCGS. Absence of Celiac Disease or Wheat Allergy
    Doctors diagnose NCGS only by excluding both celiac disease, an IgE-mediated allergy to wheat, and by the noting ongoing adverse symptoms associated with gluten consumption. WHAT ABOUT IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (IBS) AND IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASE (IBD)?
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    To add more confusion, many cases of IBS are, in fact, celiac disease in disguise.

    That said, people with IBS generally react to more than just wheat. People with NCGS generally react to wheat and not to other things, but that’s not always the case. Doctors generally try to rule out celiac disease before making a diagnosis of IBS or NCGS. 
    Crohn’s Disease and celiac disease share many common symptoms, though causes are different.  In Crohn’s disease, the immune system can cause disruption anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract, and a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease typically requires more diagnostic testing than does a celiac diagnosis.  
    Crohn’s treatment consists of changes to diet and possible surgery.  Up to 10% of Crohn's patients can have both of conditions, which suggests a genetic connection, and researchers continue to examine that connection.
    Is There a Connection Between Celiac Disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Large Number of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Sensitive To Gluten Some IBD Patients also Suffer from Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity Many Cases of IBS and Fibromyalgia Actually Celiac Disease in Disguise CELIAC DISEASE DIAGNOSIS
    Diagnosis of celiac disease can be difficult. 

    Perhaps because celiac disease presents clinically in such a variety of ways, proper diagnosis often takes years. A positive serological test for antibodies against tissue transglutaminase is considered a very strong diagnostic indicator, and a duodenal biopsy revealing villous atrophy is still considered by many to be the diagnostic gold standard. 
    But this idea is being questioned; some think the biopsy is unnecessary in the face of clear serological tests and obvious symptoms. Also, researchers are developing accurate and reliable ways to test for celiac disease even when patients are already avoiding wheat. In the past, patients needed to be consuming wheat to get an accurate test result. 
    Celiac disease can have numerous vague, or confusing symptoms that can make diagnosis difficult.  Celiac disease is commonly misdiagnosed by doctors. Read a Personal Story About Celiac Disease Diagnosis from the Founder of Celiac.com Currently, testing and biopsy still form the cornerstone of celiac diagnosis.
    TESTING
    There are several serologic (blood) tests available that screen for celiac disease antibodies, but the most commonly used is called a tTG-IgA test. If blood test results suggest celiac disease, your physician will recommend a biopsy of your small intestine to confirm the diagnosis.
    Testing is fairly simple and involves screening the patients blood for antigliadin (AGA) and endomysium antibodies (EmA), and/or doing a biopsy on the areas of the intestines mentioned above, which is still the standard for a formal diagnosis. Also, it is now possible to test people for celiac disease without making them concume wheat products.

    BIOPSY
    Until recently, biopsy confirmation of a positive gluten antibody test was the gold standard for celiac diagnosis. It still is, but things are changing fairly quickly. Children can now be accurately diagnosed for celiac disease without biopsy. Diagnosis based on level of TGA-IgA 10-fold or more the ULN, a positive result from the EMA tests in a second blood sample, and the presence of at least 1 symptom could avoid risks and costs of endoscopy for more than half the children with celiac disease worldwide.

    WHY A GLUTEN-FREE DIET?
    Currently the only effective, medically approved treatment for celiac disease is a strict gluten-free diet. Following a gluten-free diet relieves symptoms, promotes gut healing, and prevents nearly all celiac-related complications. 
    A gluten-free diet means avoiding all products that contain wheat, rye and barley, or any of their derivatives. This is a difficult task as there are many hidden sources of gluten found in the ingredients of many processed foods. Still, with effort, most people with celiac disease manage to make the transition. The vast majority of celiac disease patients who follow a gluten-free diet see symptom relief and experience gut healing within two years.
    For these reasons, a gluten-free diet remains the only effective, medically proven treatment for celiac disease.
    WHAT ABOUT ENZYMES, VACCINES, ETC.?
    There is currently no enzyme or vaccine that can replace a gluten-free diet for people with celiac disease.
    There are enzyme supplements currently available, such as AN-PEP, Latiglutetenase, GluteGuard, and KumaMax, which may help to mitigate accidental gluten ingestion by celiacs. KumaMax, has been shown to survive the stomach, and to break down gluten in the small intestine. Latiglutenase, formerly known as ALV003, is an enzyme therapy designed to be taken with meals. GluteGuard has been shown to significantly protect celiac patients from the serious symptoms they would normally experience after gluten ingestion. There are other enzymes, including those based on papaya enzymes.

    Additionally, there are many celiac disease drugs, enzymes, and therapies in various stages of development by pharmaceutical companies, including at least one vaccine that has received financial backing. At some point in the not too distant future there will likely be new treatments available for those who seek an alternative to a lifelong gluten-free diet. 

    For now though, there are no products on the market that can take the place of a gluten-free diet. Any enzyme or other treatment for celiac disease is intended to be used in conjunction with a gluten-free diet, not as a replacement.

    ASSOCIATED DISEASES
    The most common disorders associated with celiac disease are thyroid disease and Type 1 Diabetes, however, celiac disease is associated with many other conditions, including but not limited to the following autoimmune conditions:
    Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: 2.4-16.4% Multiple Sclerosis (MS): 11% Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: 4-6% Autoimmune hepatitis: 6-15% Addison disease: 6% Arthritis: 1.5-7.5% Sjögren’s syndrome: 2-15% Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy: 5.7% IgA Nephropathy (Berger’s Disease): 3.6% Other celiac co-morditities include:
    Crohn’s Disease; Inflammatory Bowel Disease Chronic Pancreatitis Down Syndrome Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Lupus Multiple Sclerosis Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Psoriasis Rheumatoid Arthritis Scleroderma Turner Syndrome Ulcerative Colitis; Inflammatory Bowel Disease Williams Syndrome Cancers:
    Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (intestinal and extra-intestinal, T- and B-cell types) Small intestinal adenocarcinoma Esophageal carcinoma Papillary thyroid cancer Melanoma CELIAC DISEASE REFERENCES:
    Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University
    Gluten Intolerance Group
    National Institutes of Health
    U.S. National Library of Medicine
    Mayo Clinic
    University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center