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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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    IS A FOOD ALLERGY A 'LEGITIMATE' DISABILITY?


    Jefferson Adams

    Celiac.com 02/08/2013 - In an article for Fox News, Hans von Spakovsky, a senior fellow at the right-wing Heritage Foundation, ridicules the idea that the Department of Justice (DoJ) should use its weight to force colleges and universities to accommodate students with food allergies under the Americans with Disabilities Act.


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    Photo: CC--Steven A. JohnsonAt issue is a settlement the DoJ obtained with Lesley University in Massachusetts, which had allegedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not adequately accommodating students with food allergies.

    Under the settlement agreement with the DoJ, Lesley University will pay $50,000, offer meals that do not contain “egg, wheat, shellfish, fish, soy, peanut, tree-nut products, and other potential allergens," prepare the food in a dedicated area, and to allow students to pre-order their special meals, among other requirements.

    In the view of von Spakovsky, the agreement amounts to "extortion" by the the DoJ. He calls the "idea that this is a federal issue, or that the Justice Department should burn its resources investigating food preparation in university dining halls…a complete absurdity."

    He goes onto call the DOJ's efforts at Lesley a "dish-hunt [which] exemplifies mindless mission creep and the bloated expansion of the federal nanny state."

    What do you think? Do you have children or loved ones with celiac disease, especially of college age? Should celiac disease be considered a disability? Do they deserve gluten-free food options at school? Should the government pressure schools that either can't or won't act on their own? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

    Click here to read Hans von Spakovsky's full article, ridiculing efforts by the federal government to use the Americans with Disabilities Act to pressure colleges to accommodate students with food allergies.



    Image Caption: Photo: CC--Steven A. Johnson
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    Guest gretajane@gmail.com

    Posted

    I would have a hard time trusting them anyway. It's so hard to avoid cross-contamination, but what other choice does a starving college student have? Many schools have a mandatory meal plan, in which case they should accommodate special needs.

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    I have two children (21 and 14) with celiac disease. I agree that it would be nice if universities did consider celiacs under the disability act... as this is a serious life long auto immune disease.

     

    I would also like to add that my 21 year old is a 4th year University of Waterloo (30,000 students) in Waterloo Ontario Canada and he has managed just find. First year the university did accommodate him and he was allowed to live in a residence where he had his own kitchen so he prepared all his food every day. Years 2-4 the student find their own housing so there was no issue here. There is a huge increase of restaurants and grocery stores carrying gluten free foods so my son never went without. He also was able to go to the bars (drinking age 19) and enjoy a cider beer or rum and coke. We have to prepare our children to be on their own.

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    Guest Christine

    Posted

    I think the question should only be whether or not the DOJ should be mandating it. I do have celiac and a child with celiac - we also have milk allergy among other items. I say no. It's amazing what can get done in a school district with parents working together with food preppers. We have a Gluten Free Menu available. There actually are a lot of colleges and universities that offer gluten free options. We are a nation of cry babies. Have your high school student to a report on the college they've chosen and have them go in and work it out. If they are met with problems then go help them out. Stop crying and expecting the gov. to help you. EVEN IF THE GOVERNMENT DOES DO something... I would still go in and see first hand exactly what they are doing and where they are buying their products, etc. Does it take a LOT of extra time, work, and money... yes, but I wouldn't let someone else take control of my health anyway.

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    Guest Danielle

    Posted

    I was diagnosed with Celiac disease 7 years ago, and I 100% think it should be considered a disability. Most of the food industry is ignorant when it comes to gluten-free and think of it as a fad diet. If they were properly trained and monitored then people in my situation wouldn't be looked at like they have 3 heads when they order something gluten-free. In Italy, employers give their employees with celiac disease one extra day off a month to go out and purchase their gluten-free food because it is sold in the pharmacies. Just frustrating that people don't see this disease for what it is: a disability, and not just some sort of fad.

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    Colleges can't have it both ways: they either need to make an exception to mandatory meal plans for people with food allergies, or accommodate them.

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    I have a child getting ready to go to college next year who has celiac disease. I'm very worried about her being able to eat safely while she's away. I don't know if colleges should be mandated to provide allergy friendly choices (we have too much legislation as it is), but I do think that it is the responsible thing to do.

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    Many times college students are required to live on campus and pay for a food card. They shouldn't be forced to pay for something they can't use. With the growing number of people with food allergies, there is no reason that they shouldn't be accommodated. I think this is just part of the ongoing education, and that years from now we'll look back and wonder what took so long.

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    Of course celiac and food allergies in general should be considered a disability and therefore students or anyone that uses a dining hall for meals with no other resources should be accommodated. When we were looking at colleges for our daughter, the dining hall was a significant factor in determining which college she would go to. With the possibility of dire consequences when gluten is consumed, it is imperative that schools and other institutions recognize the need and make reasonable accommodations.

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    Hans von Spakovsky obviously doesn't have celiac disease or he would better understand how "dangerous" it can be. Universities/colleges should have the common sense (maybe I'm expecting too much from our institutions of higher learning)to already provide for students who have food allergy problems without the interference of "Big Brother".

    The ultimate question, I think, is what ever happened to common sense and wanting to help people? I have celiac disease and live with the difficulties it creates whenever I have to eat, even at home.

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    I am a celiac and I am not sure they need to call it a disability but there should be options for the kids at college. If they do not have any other option then I think the school is not providing for them.

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    Guest maverita

    Posted

    Those of us with food allergies should DEFINITELY be considered handicapped. As a landscape architect, I am not allowed to put a bench under a tree in a commercial landscape unless I provide handicapped access to it, even if there are already a hundred benches not far away with handicapped access. THAT seems like overreach to me. BUT to be able to go to college and live in the dormitories, you have to be able to eat on campus. All people should be able to have access to food. I have multiple food allergies and traveling is a nightmare. Now they won't even let me take my specialty foods on the airlines, so I HAVE NOT flown for over a decade. Last time I had to evacuate a hurricane I ended up passed out in the parking lot of a grocery store that didn't have any protein that I could purchase that did not need to be cooked, except for a can of tuna fish, which I had already eaten 2 cans of that day. I have been warning restaurants for years that class action suits are in their future if they don't start offering alternatives for people with food allergies. I should be able to walk into any restaurant or cafeteria in this country and be able to eat at least one meal, and lettuce with lemon squeezed on it does NOT count. I am also sick and tired of calling up the restaurants ahead of time to determine that there is something I can eat and then when I show up getting an entirely different story. AND I am sick and tired of being poisoned even after giving a list of my allergens, simply because often they don't even have ingredient lists on their pre-packaged food, or they don't think to look at the ingredients of sauces and such. I'm always being told that the lemon butter or garlic butter is safe, and yet it ends up not being real butter, OR the garlic was stored in soy oil, or some such. I encourage everyone with food allergies and sensitivities to challenge every restaurant they pass by... to constantly request equal access... to continue to educate the uneducated.

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    Guest maverita

    Posted

    Our government has not done enough to keep pollution out of our air and water and soils. I grew up downwind of the above ground nuclear testing sites in the southwest. The air was filled with the aroma of petroleum. The information that cigarettes and liquor were unhealthy for forming fetuses was hidden by tobacco and liquor corporations, so my mother smoked and drank all the way through her pregnancies. I blame my allergies on the systematic destruction of our environment by corporations and government. SO, YES, I think that food allergies are a legitimate handicap. Anyone who does not think so should walk in my shoes for a few weeks.

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    Guest Michael

    Posted

    If colleges and universities require any students to pay for room and board, to require that someone with celiac disease pay for such room and board, while not offering safe meals, they are obviously blatantly discriminating against us. Furthermore, such action is obvious extortion, and forcing someone to pay to be poisoned is the height of absurdity. Celiac disease is a disability, and that issue has already been settled.

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    Right wing extremists don't believe in taking care of the disabled in the first place, so this total lack of compassion is not a surprise from Fox. Being gluten intolerant, I can pick my way through menus to find food to eat. Celiacs have to be even more vigilant. It's a shame the government has to step in to get a college to accommodate this disorder. But the ignorant lack of compassion of Spakovsky's reaction says it all, doesn't it?! The government has to step in just because of people like him in the first place.

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    Guest Heidi Hiatt

    Posted

    Jefferson-- Thank you for making me aware of this. I'm surprised I didn't catch it on FOX's website already. I appreciate all of the work you do on behalf of those with celiac and other conditions.

     

    I just posted my thoughts on this at my blog and will be sending a copy to Mr. von Spakovsky. The issue here is the role of the government more than having empathy for food allergic people, but there has to be some recognition under the ADA or it's not being applied fairly.

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    I Do believe that schools, hospitals, nursing homes and any other institution that is providing food for large numbers of people who have few or no other resources Should accommodate those with food allergies. HOWEVER, to call a food allergy a disability opens a GIANT can of worms when it comes to public expense and responsibility. Calling it a disability puts people in line for a large variety of benefits that the working class have to pay for. And where does the line get drawn with such a BROAD number of food allergies out there? From commonly used to rarely used foods. As with other "disabilities" Should someone with a "food allergy" to radishes be deserving of government medical care, housing assistance, etc, etc. Yeah, THAT SEEMS silly, but THINK about ALL of the repercussions to labeling something as a DISABILITY.

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    Guest sc'Que?

    Posted

    At the most conservative level, this is really only an issue worthy of federal mitigation if students are forced to purchase a meal plan. If this is not the case, then perhaps families should be permitted to apply for federal aid to assist students with debilitating food intolerance.

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    If colleges and universities require any students to pay for room and board, to require that someone with celiac disease pay for such room and board, while not offering safe meals, they are obviously blatantly discriminating against us. Furthermore, such action is obvious extortion, and forcing someone to pay to be poisoned is the height of absurdity. Celiac disease is a disability, and that issue has already been settled.

    I agree, Michael. My daughter is attending college now. Although they say they have gluten-free options, she has run into situations where contamination was an issue. She has also found that the dedicated gluten-free station does not always have the greatest choices. It's usually rice and some kind of tofu choice. Not always too appetizing. We pay quite a bit of money for her room and board. It would be nice to know that there is a more serious effort to provide for students with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or even other food related allergies. I think a better effort needs to be made by these colleges.

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    I too have celiac disease and attend college courses. I have to accommodate myself by bringing in my own meals/snacks. If I should forget to bring something, I have very little choice to eat that day at class. Yes, DoJ should get involved to provide equal rights in the college/universities for those who suffer from food allergies. Many do NOT know or understand the severity of food allergy issues.

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    I have celiac disease, I do not consider myself handicapped or disabled. Would it be awesome if everywhere I went had gluten-free options and were knowledgeable about cross contamination? YES. Do I really think that can happen? NO. I know that university cafeterias have people that care, but they are largely staffed by students that don't give a rip; I'm not going to trust them to not contaminate my food. Maybe the best option is just to talk to the food services director and see if something can be done on an individual basis instead of mandating an entire menu/area for about 1% of the student population.

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    Celiacs face a real dilemma, trying to eat gluten-free in gluten-full environments. Yet the best means to address the need is not to mandate something from the federal level which will only give cause to raise the price of a university education. (Think $500 hammer!) The approach of "reasonable accommodations" could be explored - providing kitchens or allowing minimal cooking in dorm rooms (crock pots, etc), dedicating at least one university restaurant to allergy-free meals (many universities have food courts), providing transportation and discounts at local allergy-free restaurants...

    It sometimes takes persistence and being the "squeaky wheel" to have a need recognized, but the best solution is NOT having the government step in.

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    Having celiac disease is a major health issue. It is a disability when you cannot eat safely outside of your home due to the fear of cross contamination. When paying to go to a private university, a student with celiac disease should absolutely have access to food prepared safely.

    I could not disagree with you more Mr. Hans von Spakovsky!

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    Guest Beverly

    Posted

    Celiac disease IS a disability and YES colleges who mandate students purchase a meal plan should be held responsible for providing food for students with food allergies. All food handlers should undergo mandatory food allergen training. The cost of higher education is astronomical. To think you are paying for a meal plan that you cannot use is like paying for a mandatory gym membership for your pet. Would you do that?

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    Celiacs disease becomes a disability when one's choices of schools are limited by their food intolerances. It is something we cannot control and makes you feel like a freak when it is not understood.

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    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

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/18/2018 - To the relief of many bewildered passengers and crew, no more comfort turkeys, geese, possums or other questionable pets will be flying on Delta or United without meeting the airlines' strict new requirements for service animals.
    If you’ve flown anywhere lately, you may have seen them. People flying with their designated “emotional support” animals. We’re not talking genuine service animals, like seeing eye dogs, or hearing ear dogs, or even the Belgian Malinois that alerts its owner when there is gluten in food that may trigger her celiac disease.
    Now, to be honest, some of those animals in question do perform a genuine service for those who need emotional support dogs, like veterans with PTSD.
    However, many of these animals are not service animals at all. Many of these animals perform no actual service to their owners, and are nothing more than thinly disguised pets. Many lack proper training, and some have caused serious problems for the airlines and for other passengers.
    Now the major airlines are taking note and introducing stringent requirements for service animals.
    Delta was the first to strike. As reported by the New York Times on January 19: “Effective March 1, Delta, the second largest US airline by passenger traffic, said it will require passengers seeking to fly with pets to present additional documents outlining the passenger’s need for the animal and proof of its training and vaccinations, 48 hours prior to the flight.… This comes in response to what the carrier said was a 150 percent increase in service and support animals — pets, often dogs, that accompany people with disabilities — carried onboard since 2015.… Delta said that it flies some 700 service animals a day. Among them, customers have attempted to fly with comfort turkeys, gliding possums, snakes, spiders, and other unusual pets.”
    Fresh from an unsavory incident with an “emotional support” peacock incident, United Airlines has followed Delta’s lead and set stricter rules for emotional support animals. United’s rules also took effect March 1, 2018.
    So, to the relief of many bewildered passengers and crew, no more comfort turkeys, geese, possums or other questionable pets will be flying on Delta or United without meeting the airlines' strict new requirements for service and emotional support animals.
    Source:
    cnbc.com