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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   04/24/2018

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What is Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet? What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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    STAYING GLUTEN-FREE AT WORK


    Miranda Jade

    Celiac.com 08/21/2012 - So you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease and have studied up on the gluten-free diet, stocked your kitchen with gluten-free foods, and learned how to cook gluten-free. Well done! But what do you do when you have to leave your house every day to go to work? It’s going to take some planning and adjusting, but soon you’ll find that staying gluten-free at work will come easily.


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    Photo: CC--BarkAn important part of staying gluten-free is educating yourself. Become well-versed in the gluten-free diet yourself by consulting qualified professionals and reading up on the subject in print and online resources. Many books and websites have a lot of practical tips to offer that can give you ideas on how to stay gluten-free at work. I recommend bringing materials to work to share with your boss and coworkers so that they will understand your new dietary restrictions and not try to dissuade you from maintaining a gluten-free diet.

    Bring your own lunch from home whenever possible. An important part of the gluten-free diet is learning how to cook gluten-free. There are so many gluten-free recipes available, and for free, that you should be able to make a gluten-free version of anything you’re craving. Cooking your own gluten-free food is the best and easiest way to ensure that your food is 100% safe, and over time, as you become more skilled and creative, you’ll probably prefer your own food over others’.

    In case you have to eat out, make sure you take all precautions to avoid cross-contamination. You can use various apps and gluten-free websites to find restaurants in your area with gluten-free options. Clear communication with your server and cooks is vital when it comes to avoiding accidental ingestion of gluten. Bring gluten-free snacks along just in case the restaurant isn’t able to satisfy your needs.

    Stock up on gluten-free snacks at work in case you’re ever tempted to take a bite of a gluten-containing snack when your blood sugar gets low or when others are snacking. When there are birthday parties or other food-filled events, bring your own gluten-free cake and goodies, and bring enough to share! If you bring in a gluten-free cake for your coworkers, it may be such a hit that they’ll order or make gluten-free cakes to accommodate your dietary needs. With the increasing quality of gluten-free foods and the health benefits of the gluten-free diet, don’t be surprised if you inspire a colleague or two to go gluten-free with you.

    Sometimes it’s hard being alone with dietary restrictions, and celiacs can feel cut off from their gluten-eating friends and coworkers. Connecting with gluten-free individuals outside of work can help give you a sense of camaraderie and support in case you’re missing out on these in the workplace. Join the local chapter of a national celiac support group and attend meetings and events regularly, and join gluten-free social media websites such as Gling.com and GlutenFreeFacebook.com to make gluten-free friends.

    With some planning and practice, while maintaining open communication with those around you about your condition, staying gluten-free at work doesn’t have to be hard. As long as you bring your own gluten-free food with you and become a pro at dining out gluten-free, you can avoid cross-contamination and eliminate the temptation to stray from the gluten-free diet.

    Resources:


    Image Caption: Photo: CC--Bark
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    Guest Georgeann Quealy

    Posted

    Great advice. I'm going to pass this on to a friend that is struggling with eating gluten-free.

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    Guest columbia01

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    There are many more complex issues here that might be worth exploring, such as how to advocate for your rights when people say ignorant and discriminatory things without making yourself a target for a severance package (a tool companies have to mitigate the risk of being sued). The alienation can be very depressing, and the isolation or emotional symptoms of gluten can impact how you are perceived in performance reviews. At companies where there are big food cultures, this can be extreme. Invoking ADA status and rights often has negative consequences for careers, and few in human resources have a framework for medical accommodation and protected status for anyone who doesn't fall into the old school frameworks for protected classes.

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    I have received so much support from my colleagues at work after being diagnosed as celiac this summer. Someone brings in a treat or snack on a weekly basis, and they always go out of their way to provide a gluten-free item. I can't ask for a better or more supportive group of people to work with. (We have three or four gluten-intolerant/celiac people on our staff.)

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    There are many more complex issues here that might be worth exploring, such as how to advocate for your rights when people say ignorant and discriminatory things without making yourself a target for a severance package (a tool companies have to mitigate the risk of being sued). The alienation can be very depressing, and the isolation or emotional symptoms of gluten can impact how you are perceived in performance reviews. At companies where there are big food cultures, this can be extreme. Invoking ADA status and rights often has negative consequences for careers, and few in human resources have a framework for medical accommodation and protected status for anyone who doesn't fall into the old school frameworks for protected classes.

    well put columbia01! I work at a hospital and I am alienated. I have to eat by myself in a conference room because my coworkers leave such a mess everywhere. Ever since my director instructed others they weren't to eat at my desk, I have been subjected to finding crumbs on my desk when I return from work, they walk around with their donuts/cupcakes/cookies holding them up in the air as if they are trophies. They even went so far as to smash cake on my car. I was still sick two weeks later, spending my new year's eve getting IV fluids pumped in my veins. My coworkers think it's a big joke. The saddest part is that they are nurses!

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    admin
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 1999;96:11482-11485.
    (Celiac.com 04/10/2000) Spanish researchers, including Dr. Alicia Armentia Medina from the Hospital Rio Hortega in Valladolid, Spain, warn that people who have cereal allergies should exercise caution when drinking cola or cocoa products as these beverages may contain cereal proteins. These proteins could cause a severe asthmatic reaction in rare instances. Cereal allergies are very common throughout the world, and it is difficult to know the formulation of cola drinks. According to Dr. Medina: It is possible that they contain cereals. In their study, which was presented to the 16th World Congress of Asthma in Spain, Medinas team analyzed the allergic reactions of nine people who suffered severe asthmatic reactions after drinking cola. The researchers linked their allergic reactions to specific alpha-amylase inhibitor molecules that originate from wheat, rye and barley, and were found in their drink.
    The researchers conclude: My personal opinion is that persons who know that they have a cereal allergy should be careful about consuming foods such as (colas) and cocoa that could contain cereal in their composition.

    Kristen Campbell

    Celiac.com 11/10/2008 - Dietary shifts in recent years towards more organic food choices and low carb diets have forever-altered the food pyramid—the grocery world is changing in response to our health concerns.  Now there is a new trend in the food world: the gluten-free diet.  According to Nielson reports, the gluten free sector of the grocery world grew 20% between June of 2007 and 2008.

     
    With unarguable growth in this new direction, the word is spreading about conditions such as celiac disease and gluten intolerance.  But is gluten-free just the latest diet fad, belittling the severity of these diseases, or is it a trend in the right direction for the millions of Americans who are still undiagnosed?

     
    One of the greatest fears surrounding the growth of the gluten-free trend is that people may indulge the diet for faddish reasons, discounting the severity of conditions such as celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

     
    Celiac is an autoimmune disease that affects at least 1 in 133 Americans. When gluten is consumed, antibodies in the small intestines attack the gluten, damaging the intestinal lining and villi, small hair-like structures which extract nutrients from the food.  Without treatment, the body is rendered unable to absorb the proper nutrients from dietary food, leaving patients vulnerable to an entire host of serious, life-threatening diseases.  The prescribed treatment for celiac disease is an adherence to a completely gluten-free diet for the rest of the patient’s life.  Left undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease can cause serious conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis and infertility.

     
    Celiac disease is very serious, and it should not be discounted.  Far more common, and often as severe, however, is gluten intolerance.  Gluten intolerance can range in levels of severity, wreaking the same havoc on the body that celiac disease does, or in some cases simply causing gastrointestinal discomforts.  The key here is that gluten intolerance can in fact be as damaging to the body as celiac disease, and gluten intolerance is suspected to affect as many as 30% of Americans  (SOURCE: The Gluten Connection).

     
    With every new trend comes controversy, but ultimately, the growth in interest in a gluten free diet will mean more research, more diagnoses and more food options.  Doctors often have a hard time diagnosing gluten intolerance and celiac disease, because of the broad range of symptoms and their lack of exposures to these diseases.  Patients often receive their diagnosis only after digging deeper, looking further than one or two doctors for the correct answer.

     
    More coverage on these conditions, means more people with undiagnosed gluten intolerance or celiac disease will find their answer, and get the diagnoses they need.  People with gluten sensitivities are often very outgoing about them, and many write articles, post on forums, or start blogs.  One thing is for sure, the more people who get diagnosed, the more the word will spread.

     
    Perhaps just as dietary trends or fads have taught us that carb-centric, processed food diets may not be the answer for optimal health, so too will the gluten free-movement correct our country’s addiction to the wheat-based diet.  Many argue that our diets should have never contained gluten to begin with, and today it is added to nearly all processed foods ranging from soups and sauces to seasonings and condiments.  The gluten-free diet may just be the latest trend for some people, but for many of us it is our only path to good health—and for this reason the gluten-free diet is here to stay.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/23/2015 - There's an interesting article over at Mother Jones regarding the possible role that shorter rising times in most commercial bakeries might play in celiac disease and gluten-intolerance.
    In the article, author Tom Philpott interviews Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder at Washington State University, who points out that bread rising times in commercial bakeries has been cut from hours or even days down to just minutes, through the use of fast-acting yeasts and additives.
    What's more, Jones points out, commercial bakers add a lot of extra gluten to their products. Many supermarket sliced breads, especially whole-wheat breads include something called "vital wheat gluten" among the top four ingredients. Because whole-wheat flour has a lower gluten density than white flour, and to make the bread more soft and chewy, like white bread, commercial bakeries add extra gluten in the form of vital wheat gluten.
    So bakers are using more gluten and fermenting very rapidly, compared with traditional fermentation techniques that take up to 12 hours and more. By contrast, the team in Jones' laboratory, located in a rural stretch along Puget Sound has found that the longer the bread rises, the more the gluten proteins are broken down in the finished bread.
    It's certainly true that long fermentation reduces the amount of gluten in bread, and that long fermentation using strains of lactobacillus, as in many sourdough breads, breaks down even more of the gluten; in some cases, enough to be tolerated by people with celiac disease.
    Celiac.com has written about this in several articles on the future of long-fermentation sourdough, its tolerability and gut healing potential in people with celiac disease.
    However, Jones' notion that modern baking techniques, rather than modern wheat breeding techniques, are responsible for rising rates of celiac disease, and gluten-sensitivity remains unproven.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 05/25/2015 - Many people who are concerned that they may have celiac disease are not sure where to begin. Many people simply stop eating gluten and call it a day, choosing to avoid what can be a long, drawn-out process of getting an official diagnosis.
    If you suffer from any of the 10 Most Common Complaints of Celiac Patients, you might want to consider the possibility of celiac disease.
    Most doctors, however eager they may be to render proper treatment, are bound by clinical treatment protocols and guidelines that limit the circumstances under which they can order blood screens for celiac disease.
    So, when should doctors test people for celiac disease? According to the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) clinical guideline on diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease, people should be tested for celiac disease if they have:
    Signs and symptoms of malabsorption, including chronic diarrhea with weight loss, steatorrhea, abdominal pain after eating, and bloating.
    Or Laboratory evidence of malabsorption, particularly in people who have a first-degree family member with a confirmed celiac disease diagnosis. This includes associated nutritional deficiencies.
    Or A personal history of an autoimmune disease, or an IgA deficiency.
    Or Biopsy-proven DH, iron-deficiency anemia refractory to oral supplementation, or hypertransaminasemia with no other origins. It's interesting to me that the above guidelines don't match up very well with the top ten physical complaints of people who have celiac disease. Those complaints are: Osteopenia/Osteoporosis; Anemia; Cryptogenic hypertransaminasemia; Diarrhea; Bloating; Aphthous stomatitis; Alternating bowel habit; Constipation; Gastroesophageal reflux disease and Recurrent miscarriages.
    What do you think? Do doctors need to have more freedom to conduct blood screens when considering the possibility of celiac disease?
    Source:
    US Pharmacist. 2014;39(12):44-48. 

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/25/2018 - A team of Yale University researchers discovered that bacteria in the small intestine can travel to other organs and trigger an autoimmune response. In this case, they looked at Enterococcus gallinarum, which can travel beyond the gut to the spleen, lymph nodes, and liver. The research could be helpful for treating type 1 diabetes, lupus, and celiac disease.
    In autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes, lupus, and celiac disease, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues. Autoimmune disease affects nearly 24 million people in the United States. 
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    Tammy Rhodes
    Celiac.com 04/24/2018 - Did you know in 2017 alone, the United States had OVER TENS OF THOUSANDS of people evacuate their homes due to natural disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and tsunamis? Most evacuation sites are not equipped to feed your family the safe gluten free foods that are required to stay healthy.  Are you prepared in case of an emergency? Do you have your Gluten Free Emergency Food Bag ready to grab and go?  
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    When our daughter was almost three years old, we left the West Coast and relocated to Northern Illinois. A place where severe weather is a common occurrence. Since the age of two, I noticed that my daughter appeared gaunt, had an incredibly distended belly, along with gas, stomach pain, low weight, slow growth, unusual looking stool, and a dislike for pizza, hotdog buns, crackers, Toast, etc. The phone call from our doctor overwhelmed me.  She was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I broke down into tears sobbing. What am I going to feed my child? Gluten is everywhere.
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    Then, my second brush with a natural disaster happened, without any notice, leaving us once again scrambling to find a safe place to shelter. It was a warm and muggy summer morning, and my husband was away on a business trip leaving my young daughter and me to enjoy our summer day. Our Severe Weather Alert Radio was going off, again, as I continued getting our daughter ready for gymnastics.  Having gotten used to the (what seemed to be daily) “Severe Thunderstorm warning,” I didn’t pay much attention to it. I continued downstairs with my daughter and our dog, when I caught a glimpse out the window of an incredibly black looking cloud. By the time I got downstairs, I saw the cover to our grill literally shoot straight up into the air. Because we didn’t have a fenced in yard, I quickly ran outside and chased the cover, when subsequently, I saw my neighbor’s lawn furniture blow pass me. I quickly realized I made a big mistake going outside. As I ran back inside, I heard debris hitting the front of our home.  Our dog was the first one to the basement door! As we sat huddled in the dark corner of our basement, I was once again thinking where are we going to go if our house is destroyed. I was not prepared, and I should have been. I should have learned my lesson the first time. Once the storm passed, we quickly realized we were without power and most of our trees were destroyed. We were lucky that our house had minimal damage, but that wasn’t true for most of the area surrounding us.  We were without power for five days. We lost most of our food - our gluten free food.
    That is when I knew we had to be prepared. No more winging it. We couldn’t take a chance like that ever again. We were “lucky” one too many times. We were very fortunate that we did not lose our home to the Los Angeles wildfire, and only had minimal damage from the severe storm which hit our home in Illinois.
      
    In 2017 alone, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) had 137 natural disasters declared within the United States. According to FEMA, around 50% of the United States population isn’t prepared for a natural disaster. These disasters can happen anywhere, anytime and some without notice. It’s hard enough being a parent, let alone being a parent of a gluten free family member. Now, add a natural disaster on top of that. Are you prepared?
    You can find my Gluten Free Emergency Food Bags and other useful products at www.allergynavigator.com.  

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/23/2018 - A team of researchers recently set out to learn whether celiac disease patients commonly suffer cognitive impairment at the time they are diagnosed, and to compare their cognitive performance with non-celiac subjects with similar chronic symptoms and to a group of healthy control subjects.
    The research team included G Longarini, P Richly, MP Temprano, AF Costa, H Vázquez, ML Moreno, S Niveloni, P López, E Smecuol, R Mazure, A González, E Mauriño, and JC Bai. They are variously associated with the Small Bowel Section, Department of Medicine, Dr. C. Bonorino Udaondo Gastroenterology Hospital; Neurocience Cognitive and Traslational Institute (INECO), Favaloro Fundation, CONICET, Buenos Aires; the Brain Health Center (CESAL), Quilmes, Argentina; the Research Council, MSAL, CABA; and with the Research Institute, School of Medicine, Universidad del Salvador.
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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