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    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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    Joanne Bradley
    Celiac.com 06/17/2008 - Water, water, everywhere! That is what I woke up to one day in August of 2007. It seems a big storm had lodged over a certain area of the Midwest – and I was in it. Wow, was I in it! A flash flood had raised the water level of a nearby lake to the point where it was in my town house–almost 3 feet of it. It happened overnight and we had to leave immediately. I was able to grab only a couple of things.
    Eating out being gluten intolerant is quite difficult. Eating emergency food rations at a Red Cross Evacuation station is quite another. Fortunately, the local college food service took over the meals for the evacuees and I was able to eat gluten-free at that point. I learned a lot in those few days that I would like to share with anyone who has food intolerances.
    It is very important to have a food emergency kit that you can grab quickly on your way out the door. Natural disasters can happen anywhere–wouldn’t it be nice if you were prepared? This food may be a great source of comfort if you ever experience evacuation from that fine place you call home.
    Please keep in mind that in a disaster you may not have personal transportation. You may also lack monetary resources or not be able to return to your home for days or weeks. Once allowed back into your home, you will be cleaning up in an unsanitary environment. The electricity may be off, or you may lack running water. The free meals dropped off at disaster sites usually have gluten in them. I relied on gluten-free meal replacement liquid in cans and gluten-free energy bars because of the sanitation issue.
    Here is a list of ideas you may want to consider:

    Create a food emergency kit and store it up HIGH in a temperate place, like the upper shelf of a coat closet near your most used door. The kit should be small enough, and light enough, that with food you are able to carry it a good distance. A knapsack or small, light rolling duffle are some ideas. I use an inexpensive plastic pencil box (new, not used) to store plastic utensils, a paring knife, and a can opener. A box of disinfectant wipes or hand cleaner is essential. As are some sort of paper wipes in a plastic bag. Remember that everything in this kit may get wet at some point in an actual emergency, so pack items in airtight waterproof bags. Canned goods are heavy so limit them to items like gluten-free canned chicken, tuna, or meal replacement drinks. Dried gluten-free meats in airtight bags are very good. Stock a variety of gluten-free energy bars. Add dry mixes for soups, broth, etc. A plastic bag of dry milk replacement might be something you would like. An assortment of dried fruits and rollups; dried nuts (if tolerant). A small bag of first aid supplies. Essential vitamins and medications. And, if you think you have room, a small 3-cup rice cooker and rice. You can cook anything in a rice cooker - I practically lived off mine in temporary housing. Don’t forget, every 3-4 months change out everything in the kit. Refill your kit with fresh products. (Eat anything that is not expired.)  In an actual emergency, you will want good quality food to eat.
    Until gluten-free dining becomes more commonplace, you do need to plan for unusual occurrences. Even with planning, there is no guarantee that you will be able to grab your food kit. If you can, it will be a great comfort in many different situations. It is my most sincere wish that you never have to use your emergency kit. Be well and happy in your gluten-free lifestyle.

    Wendy Cohan, RN
    Celiac.com 09/25/2008 - Even after identifying yourself as having a wheat or gluten allergy and asking for a specially prepared meal, it is a common mistake to have a server deliver soup with crackers, or the entree with a side of Texas toast.   I get frustrated just thinking about the number of times my salad has arrived with croutons.  However, getting upset, or pointedly reminding the server can ruin the ambiance of the meal, as well as leave a bad impression with your dinner companions. It is helpful to remember that you are in the very small minority of their customers, and simply consider it an honest mistake.  Do not remove the croutons, crackers, cheese, etc. and eat your contaminated food—SEND IT BACK TO THE KITCHEN—politely, please.  State that you cannot eat what they have brought you, and repeat that you are allergic to the offending food.  Use the opportunity to gently remind your server and educate them about gluten.  Hopefully the next time they will be more conscientious.
    If you are wheat or gluten intolerant, and have the genetic component that leads to celiac disease, there is no going back to gluten.  As your body heals, you may think that you will be able to cheat once in a while, and that your sensitivity to gluten will decrease once you are not getting "too much".  In fact, the opposite seems to be true.  Once the body begins to get rid of its toxic load, heal damaged tissues, and regain health, it becomes more sensitive to gluten.  I see this over and over again in the clients I counsel, and in my cooking class students.  You will know right away if you cheat, or if you are accidentally "glutened".  Your body, fortunately or unfortunately, will tell you.  It is important to learn techniques to sooth your symptoms as much as possible until recovery takes place.
    Symptoms of gluten exposure in a gluten-intolerant person can vary widely, but some commonly reported ones are abdominal discomfort, bloating, pain, swelling (sometimes extreme) and cramping, followed by diarrhea, or loose stools.  For those with Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH), even very minor exposure can provoke itching and a return of a healed or nearly healed rash.  Others report headaches, or experience a sudden decrease in alertness and clarity of thought.
    Short-term treatment strategies for gluten exposure include taking an over-the-counter anti-histamine (check with your pharmacist for gluten ingredients), drinking nettle leaf tea (a natural anti-histamine), and using a warm castor oil pack over your upper or lower abdomen, wherever the pain and cramping are centered.
    Longer-term strategies include rebuilding your intestinal health through following an anti-inflammatory diet, taking supplements like L-Glutamine, coconut oil, fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K, Calcium, Magnesium, B-Vitamins, Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's), and probiotics.  Dr. Thomas O'Bryan, a nationally recognized speaker on celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, also recommends Carnitine, an amino acid, in the treatment of celiac/gluten intolerance.  L-Carnitine helps in the absorption and transport of essential fatty acids into cells, and also helps to protect nerve membranes from free-radical damage.
    You may have good results with the tummy rescue smoothie recipe below, which I developed in response to a "gluten emergency" of my own.  The healing properties of each ingredient are also listed.  Puree in blender until smooth, and slightly thickened.  It is most soothing when consumed while still warm from the hot tea
    Tummy Rescue Smoothie:
    1 cup hot freshly brewed nettle leaf tea (anti-histamine, anti-spasmodic) ¼ cup Santa-Cruz pear juice (flavoring/sweetener - pears are the least allergenic of fruits) ¼ - ½ teaspoon whole fennel seed (reduces gas & bloating) 2 Tablespoons slippery elm powder (healing & soothing to mucous membranes and the gut) 1 Tablespoon flax seed oil (soothing, anti-inflammatory) ¼ - ½ cup rice milk (hypoallergenic, use to thin to desired consistency) This smoothie is best consumed in small sips over an hour or so.  Magnesium also helps with pain and relaxes muscle spasms, so taking a little extra magnesium may be of benefit. For severe symptoms, drink the smoothie while reclining in bed, with a warm castor oil pack over the abdomen, covered by a heating pad set on low.  Do not leave the pack in place for more than an hour.
    There is also an enzyme coming on the market that may help reduce some symptoms of gluten exposure, although this product is in no way meant to replace the gluten-free diet.  Use it only for emergencies.

    Kristen Campbell
    Celiac.com 01/03/2009 - Recently on a gluten-free forum, I found a post asking for advice on what to do after a woman had accidentally consumed a large amount of gluten.  After unknowingly eating from her daughter’s takeout box, the woman had realized her mistake and was simply devastated to have broken her diet and subjected herself to the old, too-familiar symptoms that were on their way.
    It was interesting reading the various responses, which resulted in a debate over whether or not to induce vomiting, drink pineapple juice, take enzymes or engage in a certain illegal activity.  In all the debate, the woman eventually disappeared off the forum, which probably meant that she took some action or another, though I never heard the final result.
    This whole subject inspired some research on my part.  I first consulted my extensive gluten-free library, which led me to one solitary, repetitive answer: do not eat gluten.  In a world where doctors and authors alike are so concerned that their advice on the subject will lead people with gluten sensitivities to forgo a gluten-free diet in favor of a “band aid” of sorts, that finding a documented recommendation is near impossible.
    These experts are right to reinforce the importance of maintaining a gluten free lifestyle, and the fact that there is no “cure” for gluten intolerance and celiac disease (other than complete avoidance of gluten from wheat, barley and rye).  But mistakes do happen, and from time to time people do get "glutened,” and when they do, which action is best?
    No matter what the size is of the offending dose of gluten, all experts agree, inducing vomiting is too dangerous and disruptive to the body to be considered.  But there is one option that at least two noted experts in field of celiac research agree upon: enzymes.
    When I contacted the renowned Dr. Kenneth Fine of EnteroLab, and asked him if perhaps a dose of enzymes that are designed to break down gluten might help, he had this to say: “The good news is that everyone will survive and recover from the gluten exposure.  The enzymes you mention might help, but not completely, unless they consumed at the same time (as the gluten) for best results.”  And like all good doctors, he did go on to warn, “Avoidance is still the best policy.”
    Shari Lieberman, PhD, CNS, FACN and author of The Gluten Connection very humbly admits that “gluten slips happen.”  She also devotes a couple of pages in her book to research conducted using digestive enzymes to help manage those occasions when gluten does make its way into your diet, citing a research example in which “The study demonstrates that enzyme therapy can substantially minimize symptoms in people with celiac disease who are exposed to gluten.” 
    The enzyme used in this study does not seem to be currently available, but other gluten enzymes are at your local health food store.  I contacted one company in regard to their product, which according to them helps to reduce inflammation caused by the introduction of gluten in an individual with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.  According to them their enzymes will not prevent all damage, but may reduce some inflammation and help the body to better digest the protein.
    Ultimately, gluten sensitive individuals should recover from one accidental “gluten slip” here and there, and keeping some digestive enzymes handy to help cope with such an accident is not a bad idea.  But do keep in mind that repeated offenses, even the most minute, will damage your body and prevent it from healing.  Enzymes help treat the symptoms, but only complete avoidance of gluten can treat the disease.


    Tina Turbin
    Gluten-Digesting Enzymes
    Celiac.com 01/23/2012 - After their diagnosis, celiac patients are put on the gluten-free diet, which is the only treatment option currently available. The diet requires total elimination of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, which when ingested causes an autoimmune reaction in celiacs which results in damage to the absorptive finger-like projections that line the small intestine, which are called villi. As diligent as celiacs can be, avoiding gluten can be a challenge, and slip-ups can happen, especially when eating out. In my research, I've come across gluten-digesting enzymes as a new medical treatment option for later down the line and have shared this good news with the gluten-free community. However, gluten-digesting enzymes are already available over the counter to help celiacs and gluten-sensitive people with managing their gluten-free diet. Dr. Nan Kathryn Fuchs, who helped to formulate the Advanced Bionutritionals product, Gluten Sensitivity Formula, shares some information regarding these enzymes and clears up a couple of misconceptions regarding their use.

    Furthermore, not all enzyme formulas containing DPP-IV are the same in terms of strength. Dr. Fuchs had her supplement creators formulate a gluten-digesting enzyme that was stronger than the other ones available on the market. The result was Gluten Sensitivity Formula. In her pamphlet, "How to Tell If You're Gluten Sensitive.And What to Do About It If You Are," Dr. Fuchs offers advice on how to take the supplement.
    Dr. Fuchs emphasizes that Gluten Sensitivity Formula isn't intended to replace a gluten-free diet; it is, however, designed to reduce or get rid of a reaction to "small amounts" of what would presumably be unintentionally ingested gluten, such as one may encounter at a restaurant or a dinner party due to cross-contamination. She also recommends taking one or two capsules of the formula "as insurance" before eating meals that might possibly be contaminated with gluten.
    Dr. Fuchs also clears up a myth regarding hydrocholoric acid (HCl), which has been believed to counteract digestive enzymes; this misconception has led to the incorrect advice that one shouldn't take hydrochloric acid and enzymes together. Hydrochloric acid is taken, according to Dr. Fuchs, in order to help with digesting proteins and minerals, for example calcium and iron. She says the supplement is more common among people over the age of 50. In fact, enzymes can only cancel out the benefits of hydrochloric if they alter the pH of the stomach by neutralizing its acids. Dr. Fuchs says that while animal-based enzymes can accomplish this, they are usually formulated with a protective coating or in a form that will prevent this from occurring. What's more, many enzymes, especially gluten-digesting ones, are made from plants. "So you can take them with HCl," Dr. Fuchs says.
    According to Dr. Fuchs, taking gluten-digesting enzymes "can make the difference between being successful on a gluten-free diet and failing." When used correctly, it can help alleviate the symptoms of a reaction caused by accidental gluten ingestion or prevent the reaction from occurring. As a celiac myself, I can say that inadvertent gluten ingestion is still a challenge I face on the gluten-free diet, even though I've been on the diet for years. Dr. Fuch's Gluten Sensitivity Formula is thus a welcome product that will make the lives of the gluten-free community a lot easier.
    Resources:
    Fuchs, Nan Kathryn, PhD. "How to Tell If You're Gluten Sensitive.And What to Do About It If You Are." Advanced Bionutritionals, 2010. "Digest This: Enzymes Can Help Your Food Intolerance." Living Without: August/September 2010. Food Reactions: Food Intolerance http://www.foodreactions.org/intolerance/index.html

    Nicole Vela
    How to be Your Own  Gluten-free Diet Advocate
    Celiac.com 06/17/2014 - Ever notice how much our social lives are based around food? Or how much food is all around us? I took my son to a local children’s exhibit today with shops and about twenty different restaurants, cafes and bakeries we had to walk by. Do I feel bad always having to say no? Of course I do. What mom wouldn’t? There may have been some safe choices but I try to do my research ahead of time when I can call the places to see what their cross contamination procedures are.
    We don’t ever get a day off from food allergies. It is constant. I think one of the best things you can do on a gluten free diet is to inform others,actively campaign for yourself and share information. Not only does this help out the gluten-free community but it also can make your life easier.
    Here are a few ways you can do this.
    If you go to restaurants where you have a chatty server or have the opportunity to speak with the manager or owner talk to them about cross contamination and what you expect when dining out. Inform them about kitchen and staff training for their establishments, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness GREAT Kitchens and The Gluten-Free Food Service Training and Management Accreditation Program by the Gluten Intolerance Group are both excellent programs. I think a lot of restaurant owners aren’t aware of how serious the risks are and how the tiniest crumb can make us sick.
    I am not a big fan of grocery shopping in general and really don’t want to have to go to several stores a week to get what I need. I am pretty picky on my gluten-free bread and pizzas, I hate to spend money on a product I am not going to like. I frequently put in request at my supermarket customer service counter for them to carry certain brands. Guess what it works and the stores want you to do it. The gluten-free market exploded over the past few years, most big grocery stores don’t already know the favorites of the consumers.
    Educate your friends and family. Thanks to social media we have the opportunity to spread information like never before. There are a ton of great infographics on symptoms and gluten-free foods and safety. For me one of the hardest things is how social eating is.Getting invited over for dinner is tough. My friends have good intentions but just aren’t aware of all the foods that may contain gluten and how to properly handle food prep. I know I can be somewhat shy when it comes to this. It is hard to explain to people why spices may contain gluten or that barbecue sauce. It can make you seem overly picky and I don’t like to be a burden. If that is the way you feel hey I get it. But don’t be nice and just eat food without questioning. It’s not worth it. If you don’t feel comfortable enough to explain everything to someone, I normally bring my own food or eat beforehand. A lot of times I try to just keep things simple and suggest we meet for coffee or for a walk.
    Unfortunately there are going to be people that don’t food sensitivities seriously. Food allergies are being made fun of in the media too often. Always remember to put your health first.
    I hope that you find what I have shared helpful. Please feel free to share some of the ways you inform others and help the gluten-free community.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/21/2016 - Spanish fashion brand Zara has been forced to pull a T-shirt from its stores after a petition argued that the slogan was offensive to people with celiac disease.
    The shirt in question is a simple white T-shirt that sports the slogan "Are you gluten free?" in bold black letters. Zara pulled the shirt after a petition urging the removal appeared on the website change.org, and collected over 50,000 signatures in just under a week.
    In a statement released on March 14th, Inditex, the biggest fashion company in the world, which owns Zara, announced it was pulling the T-shirt from its stores. "The T-shirt mentioned in this petition was pulled from our online store a few weeks ago now and we are currently confirming that it is not for sale in our stores either," said the statement.
    Zara's quick response came as a pleasant surprise to the petition's author. Marta Casadesús, who started the petition. Casadesús told reporters that she really "just wanted Zara to reflect on the message, I was trying to explain that perhaps it wasn't the best way to make people aware of the illness." She said she was "really happy" with Zara's decision to remove the shirt.
    This is not the first T-shirt controversy to befall the fashion giant. In 2014 Zara stirred up controversy by selling a striped children's T-shirt that many people said resembled the uniforms worn by prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.
    The navy-and-white striped "sheriff shirt" featured horizontal stripes and a six-pointed gold star. Zara also removed that shirt from its stores after numerous complaints.
    So, what do you think? Is it offensive to wear a T-shirt that asks "Are You Gluten Free?"
    Source:
    TheLocal.es

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