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    Catholicism and Celiac Disease


    Melissa Blanco

    Celiac.com 12/09/2009 - I vividly recall the day I received my First Communion, the Sacrament a young Catholic child waits years to make.  I still have the group picture of my second grade Catholic School Class; the girls all wearing white dresses with veils, and the boys, suits with clip on neckties.  I stood in the front row beside my friends, excited that our time had arrived—the moment when we were finally able to join our parents in receiving the Body and Blood of Christ.


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    In my family we went to Church every Sunday morning, and celebrated Holy Days, while my parents struggled to put us through Catholic School; paying for our education so we’d learn religious studies along with math, reading, and science.  Both of my parents also attended Catholic School, in a time where most of the educators were Nuns and Brothers.  When I was born, after Vatican 2, the Catholic Church had evolved, in an attempt to grow with a changing society.  The Nuns who taught me in school no long wore their religious habits, but rather, the same clothing as lay teachers; yet always with a crucifix worn over their sweaters and dress shirts.

    One of my favorite Church songs was titled Gift of Finest Wheat.  The lines I distinctly remember, and continue singing along with at Church as an adult are, “you satisfy the hungry heart, with gift of finest wheat,” and “come give to us, oh saving Lord, the Bread of Life to eat.”  Perhaps my second grade class sang Gift of Finest Wheat before receiving the sacrament of Holy Communion, that spring day, many years ago.  I followed the rest of my class toward our Parish Priest, prepared to hear the words, “The Body of Christ,” before I responded with nervousness and reverence, “Amen.”  My hands probably shook while placing the Communion Host in my mouth, tasting the dry unleavened wheat bread.

    Twenty five years after receiving my First Holy Communion, I was diagnosed with celiac disease.  In the weeks following this life changing diagnosis, my focus was on the dietary restrictions I would now need to follow in order to heal my body.  Not once did I contemplate the ramifications of my Catholic faith.  In fact, I continued receiving the Communion host for several months, refusing to alter my reception of this central part of my religious life.  When I continued to remain ill, particularly after receiving my weekly Eucharist, I asked a dietitian if I should forgo Communion.  She answered with a sympathetic, “Yes.”  

    So what happens when a practicing Catholic learns that the Communion Host, the Body of Christ, the pinnacle of Mass, is making them sick?  According to Cannon 935 of the 1983 Cannon Law, “bread for Communion must be made of wheat alone, and no substitutes which would invalidate the Sacrament.”  In short, the Catholic Church forbids the use of Communion Hosts not made of wheat.  A practicing Catholic may continue to receive Communion through the Blood, or wine, alone—without the Host.  It is also advised that a Parishioner speak with their Priest to see if a separate Chalice is available to avoid cross-contamination, as some still dip the Host into the wine during the sacrament.

    The answer seems simple, doesn’t it?  Go to Church and receive Eucharist though the Blood of Christ.  But really—how simple is it to forgo on what always seemed to be an essential part of your upbringing, your past, your faith?  Communicate with your Priest, educate your Eucharistic Ministers, and continue to practice what you believe in.

    A helpful website for Catholics with Celiac Disease: www.catholicceliacs.org

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    Guest Francie Kelley

    Posted

    Thank your for your article. So many articles on celiac Catholics and communion focus on rules and not the whole communion experience. From the discussion about nuns without habits I would guess that I am older than you. Therefore, I clearly remember when Catholics were not allowed to receive from the Chalice. I also remember when the rules changed and so many people went to Communion, received the Host and totally bypassed the Chalice. Many older Catholics still do. I have always rationalized that we are doing much the same thing, bypassing the Host and only receiving from the Chalice.

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    You can get low-gluten hosts from The Benedictine Sisters. I use them for holy communion and they don't bother me at all. They are made with less than 0.01% gluten content. Most people with Celiac can have them. For more information contact www.benedictinesisters.org

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    I was raised Roman Catholic, pre-Vatican 2, Catholic school to 10th grade with two years in a preparatory seminary. I became Christian six years ago. You should understand that Jesus is with you regardless of the host being wheat or rice. I go to communion at my church and pass the wafer. I don't feel like I've missed anything. It's coming to dinner with Jesus and my faith tells me he is with me.

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    There is so much more that you could write about here. The last paragraph sounds a bit more bitter about the Church than the previous ones. For instance, what would you want to discuss when you go to "Communicate with your Priest," or to "educate your Eucharistic Ministers?" What are you referring to when you end with "continue to practice what you believe in."

    What about personal experience with pursuing the issue? What did your pastor say to you when you spoke to him about this? Were you the first to identify yourself to him as a person with Celiac Disease? Had he never heard of it before? Did you find your experience with the Catholic Celiacs organization to be adequate?

    I worked in the church for years in a prior career and Celiac Disease was something discussed even at a modest-sized parish fifteen years ago. When I first approached our priest this year about my daughter's Celiac Disease, he instantly recognized it and started discussing the specific protocol for taking a low-gluten host at our parish, what to do before Mass, and how to best keep contamination to a minimum. Could you share your story? Is my parish priest an anomoly?

    To some of the specifics that you mention, there have been some changes in the past five years with chalices and cups that are of specific interest to Celiac Catholics. The only cup that should come into contact with a host is the chalice that, unless the congregation is quite small, remains on the altar and is not shared. There are specific instances of something called "intinction," which would contaminate a cup for the people, but that's rare and only done with the Presider's specific say so. Also, there is to be no pouring of the Precious Blood after consecration (fair enough if you point out that as a redundant statement), meaning that the Body of Christ will only touch the chalice on the altar. There are issues to discuss here, I'm not trying to gloss over that. But you make it sound like there aren't any answers, or that they are grossly incomplete.

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    There is so much more that you could write about here. The last paragraph sounds a bit more bitter about the Church than the previous ones. For instance, what would you want to discuss when you go to "Communicate with your Priest," or to "educate your Eucharistic Ministers?" What are you referring to when you end with "continue to practice what you believe in."

    What about personal experience with pursuing the issue? What did your pastor say to you when you spoke to him about this? Were you the first to identify yourself to him as a person with Celiac Disease? Had he never heard of it before? Did you find your experience with the Catholic Celiacs organization to be adequate?

    I worked in the church for years in a prior career and Celiac Disease was something discussed even at a modest-sized parish fifteen years ago. When I first approached our priest this year about my daughter's Celiac Disease, he instantly recognized it and started discussing the specific protocol for taking a low-gluten host at our parish, what to do before Mass, and how to best keep contamination to a minimum. Could you share your story? Is my parish priest an anomoly?

    To some of the specifics that you mention, there have been some changes in the past five years with chalices and cups that are of specific interest to Celiac Catholics. The only cup that should come into contact with a host is the chalice that, unless the congregation is quite small, remains on the altar and is not shared. There are specific instances of something called "intinction," which would contaminate a cup for the people, but that's rare and only done with the Presider's specific say so. Also, there is to be no pouring of the Precious Blood after consecration (fair enough if you point out that as a redundant statement), meaning that the Body of Christ will only touch the chalice on the altar. There are issues to discuss here, I'm not trying to gloss over that. But you make it sound like there aren't any answers, or that they are grossly incomplete.

    I need to apologize. My comment came across as much too negative. I'm thankful that you've opened up a huge issue for many folks, our family included. The quote marks were definitely over the top. In my self-centeredness, I think I wanted to direct your article more toward what I would have written. Apparently that's how narcissistic I was feeling that day. I was out of line in my tone and my negative rating. I am still interested in what resolutions you have (or haven't) come to and how you have (or haven't) been accepted by others at your parish.

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    I was raised Roman Catholic, pre-Vatican 2, Catholic school to 10th grade with two years in a preparatory seminary. I became Christian six years ago. You should understand that Jesus is with you regardless of the host being wheat or rice. I go to communion at my church and pass the wafer. I don't feel like I've missed anything. It's coming to dinner with Jesus and my faith tells me he is with me.

    I have celiac. It's really difficult for others to understand that it is not a matter of being picky about food. It's really frustrating at times.

    Nonetheless, I agree with Ken. Your heart is the temple of God and whether you eat the wafer or not, what matters is your relationship with Jesus Christ.

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    I need to apologize. My comment came across as much too negative. I'm thankful that you've opened up a huge issue for many folks, our family included. The quote marks were definitely over the top. In my self-centeredness, I think I wanted to direct your article more toward what I would have written. Apparently that's how narcissistic I was feeling that day. I was out of line in my tone and my negative rating. I am still interested in what resolutions you have (or haven't) come to and how you have (or haven't) been accepted by others at your parish.

    Thank you for apologizing. Melissa wrote about a sensitive subject in a sensitive way.

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    I was raised Roman Catholic, pre-Vatican 2, Catholic school to 10th grade with two years in a preparatory seminary. I became Christian six years ago. You should understand that Jesus is with you regardless of the host being wheat or rice. I go to communion at my church and pass the wafer. I don't feel like I've missed anything. It's coming to dinner with Jesus and my faith tells me he is with me.

    I am working to have this acceptance as well. I know that holy communion, just as the first Last Supper, is all about being with Jesus. Yet, the author's words echo my silent feelings...it isn't always simple to forgo a practice that has been such a meaningful affirmation of my faith. It does help to know that others who love God are having to make the same adjustment! Thanks for the article!

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    Guest Mary Beth

    Posted

    You can get low-gluten hosts from The Benedictine Sisters. I use them for holy communion and they don't bother me at all. They are made with less than 0.01% gluten content. Most people with Celiac can have them. For more information contact www.benedictinesisters.org

    About five years ago, I introduced our parish to using these hosts for two members of my family. My husband and daughter have no problem with them, and our priests are very aware and careful not to contaminate them. They (the low-gluten hosts) are always consecrated in a separate pyx on the altar.

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    Thanks for your article. I enjoyed reading it. I grew up catholic and hearing your memory of first communion made me smile. Thanks. More than the technical issues of "not receiving the body", I have always been uncomfortable socially about the issue. I go to a large church and most folks don't know why I'm not taking the host or the bread.... Its always awkward when someone offers and I have to politely turn it down... not sure why. I still participate and know that my heart is right, but it's an interesting social issue for us to deal with.

     

    Thanks again for writing about the issue... it helps to know you're not alone in struggling with the issue and faith.

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    Please, please contact the Benedictine Sisters, who provide very-low-gluten communion wafers made entirely from de-glutened wheat starch and water. There is no reason for you to forgo the host.

     

    When I was living in the USA, I didn't go to the same mass every week. The parish priest gave me a pyx, and when I came to mass I took a host from the bag of unconsecrated wafers in my freezer and put it in the pyx, then left the pyx on the altar. When Father saw it there he knew I was in the congregation, included my host in the consecration, and put the entire pyx (avoiding cross-contamination) into the bowl of consecrated hosts. When I came for communion he opened the pyx and upended it to put the host into my hand, and I took the pyx with me. It was elegant, simple for both him and me, and didn't single me out in an embarrassingly obvious way.

     

    Please talk with your parish priest, and don't deprive yourself of Communion!

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    For us Protestants out there, a gluten free communion wafer is available. Ask your priest or pastor.

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    I need to apologize. My comment came across as much too negative. I'm thankful that you've opened up a huge issue for many folks, our family included. The quote marks were definitely over the top. In my self-centeredness, I think I wanted to direct your article more toward what I would have written. Apparently that's how narcissistic I was feeling that day. I was out of line in my tone and my negative rating. I am still interested in what resolutions you have (or haven't) come to and how you have (or haven't) been accepted by others at your parish.

    How good of you to correct yourself. Not many would be so humble. Kudos!

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    Guest Jennifer

    Posted

    I am a Catholic Christian daily communicant with Celiac and allergy to wine. It is very important to find a way of receiving Holy Communion. There is a great difference between receiving the Eucharist (the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus) and only having the spiritual presence of Jesus in our hearts. Reception of the Eucharist is the closest union with Jesus which we can experience in this earthly life, and it nourishes and strengthens our union with Him in our hearts.

     

    I use the low-gluten hosts that Lisa mentioned above made by the Benedictine Sisters in Clyde, MO. I have ordered them in some cases, and in other cases the Church office orders them. They are the only ones made in the U.S. approved by the U.S. Bishops for consecration. That a host must be made only of wheat has to do with sacramental theology and the way Jesus instituted the Sacrament, and it is not something the Church can decide differently ... only a host made of wheat will 'work' ... only such a host can actually undergo transubstantiation when the priest says the words of consecration. The low-gluten hosts are shipped with a paper testifying to their legitimacy to use for consecration that you can bring with you when speaking with your parish priest if he has questions. It is only made of wheat (wheat starch - the part of wheat with less gluten), and most of the volume is air bubbles. www.benedictinesisters.org/bread/low_gluten.php 800-223-2772

     

    Some priests are familiar and will tell me just where to put my pyx containing the low gluten host and where to stand to receive. Some are unfamiliar and I explain to keep the host in the pyx and separate from the others. Whether a low-gluten host is used in a parish is a decision left to the pastor, but it is unlikely that once they learn about it they'd choose not to offer you this option. If that were the case (and if you can't receive under the other species), go to the next nearest parish. To receive under the one species or the other is equivalent (either way It is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus). The symbolism is greater if you are able to receive under both Eucharistic species, but there is not a 'splitting' or 'halving' or 'partial' of Jesus if you only receive from the cup or only receive the Host.

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    My son has celiac and made his first communion this past May. Our priest/church purchased Gluten Free Hosts for us. However, as Lisa indicated above, they may have a very small amount of wheat in them. They are labeled "Gluten Free"

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    Vicki, these hosts made by the Benedictine Sisters are not labeled "gluten free". If they were gluten free they would not be valid for consecration and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops would not approve them for Holy Communion. They are made of wheat starch and water at a dedicated gluten-free facility and contain 0.01% gluten. I hope your pastor isn't ordering "gluten-free" hosts for your son because the lack of wheat/gluten would make it impossible for the pastor to consecrate the hosts validly according to the Catholic Church.

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    The Blood of Christ is no less Christ than the Body of Christ.

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    Guest Maureen

    Posted

    I am a Catholic Christian daily communicant with Celiac and allergy to wine. It is very important to find a way of receiving Holy Communion. There is a great difference between receiving the Eucharist (the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus) and only having the spiritual presence of Jesus in our hearts. Reception of the Eucharist is the closest union with Jesus which we can experience in this earthly life, and it nourishes and strengthens our union with Him in our hearts.

     

    I use the low-gluten hosts that Lisa mentioned above made by the Benedictine Sisters in Clyde, MO. I have ordered them in some cases, and in other cases the Church office orders them. They are the only ones made in the U.S. approved by the U.S. Bishops for consecration. That a host must be made only of wheat has to do with sacramental theology and the way Jesus instituted the Sacrament, and it is not something the Church can decide differently ... only a host made of wheat will 'work' ... only such a host can actually undergo transubstantiation when the priest says the words of consecration. The low-gluten hosts are shipped with a paper testifying to their legitimacy to use for consecration that you can bring with you when speaking with your parish priest if he has questions. It is only made of wheat (wheat starch - the part of wheat with less gluten), and most of the volume is air bubbles. www.benedictinesisters.org/bread/low_gluten.php 800-223-2772

     

    Some priests are familiar and will tell me just where to put my pyx containing the low gluten host and where to stand to receive. Some are unfamiliar and I explain to keep the host in the pyx and separate from the others. Whether a low-gluten host is used in a parish is a decision left to the pastor, but it is unlikely that once they learn about it they'd choose not to offer you this option. If that were the case (and if you can't receive under the other species), go to the next nearest parish. To receive under the one species or the other is equivalent (either way It is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus). The symbolism is greater if you are able to receive under both Eucharistic species, but there is not a 'splitting' or 'halving' or 'partial' of Jesus if you only receive from the cup or only receive the Host.

    Thank you for posting about the fullness of the Eucharist, left to us by Christ Himself.

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  • About Me

    Melissa Blanco is a freelance writer and blogger who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007.  You can visit her website at www.melissablanco.com.

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    Daniel Engber responded to the above email insisting that “it's impossible to prove gluten intolerance in the lab.” And that “Many of the strongest advocates for those with this condition describe it as one that can only be diagnosed by process of elimination.  Or, to be more specific, by an elimination/reintroduction test.”
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    Best Wishes,    
    Ron
     

    Monday, August 03, 2009 4:50 PM
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    Hi Dan,
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    https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/index.php?showtopic=60511
    I'm wondering how you can continue to assert "it's impossible to prove gluten intolerance in the lab" when I have given you ample information to the contrary as well as directing you to blood testing labs (Great Smokies, Immuo, Imco Diagnostics, etc. etc.) that will verify my assertion. There is also a wealth of information in the peer reviewed medical literature supporting what I'm saying. I'd be happy to provide a list of relevant research reports if you are interested.  
    You don't mean to suggest that this quote from Joe Murray somehow justifies your above assertion do you? Just pick up a telephone and give him a call. I'm very confident that he will not support your notion that gluten sensitivity cannot be identified in the lab. Do remember that Dr. Murray is a sub-specialist in celiac disease. He may not be a big fan of assertions of non-celiac gluten sensitivity, but he won't deny that the AGA blood tests establish immune sensitization and hence, gluten sensitivity. Rodney Ford and Marios Hadjivassiliou are a couple of other world renowned researchers who are reporting AGA as a significant marker of serious disease in the absence of celiac disease.
    Your assertion that "it's impossible to prove gluten intolerance in the lab" was the lynchpin of your entire article. Without it, you may have to acknowledge that you have just discredited a group of people who, on the basis of solid science, are trying to improve their health. Yet you have set back their relationships with skeptical family members and friends based on your inadequate research.
    I really do think that you owe these people a retraction or at least a statement that mitigates some of the damage your article is doing. 
    Sincerely,
    Ron

    Tuesday, August 04, 2009 3:14 AM
    Dan responded saying that  he thought we were having a semantic argument.  It became clear to me that he was confusing gluten sensitivity with gluten sensitive enteropathy – which is another name for celiac disease. He thought I was talking about latent  celiac disease.

    He insisted again that gluten intolerance is not defined by any standard such as celiac disease is. He went on to say: 
    “If you want to define "gluten intolerance" and/or "gluten sensitivity" so it applies to some subgroup of those who suffer from symptoms related to gluten, that's fine with me.  I'm using the phrase "gluten intolerance" to describe all those who experience relief from the gluten-free diet without having been diagnosed with celiac.”
    I responded with the following:
    From: Ron Hoggan, Ed. D.
    Tue 8/4/2009 11:01 AM
    To: Daniel Engber
    Subject: RE: Throwing Out the Wheat
    Hi Dan,
    It sounds like you may be confusing gluten sensitive enteropathy with gluten sensitivity. The former is a descriptive name for celiac disease, while the latter indicates an immune system sensitized to gliadin.
    Selective antibodies are produced in response to foreign proteins or peptides that have breached a barrier (skin or mucosal) and are now present in the bloodstream or imbedded in self tissues. The immune system reacts as if these foreign proteins were bacterial invaders. (In fact, they are cytotoxic and neurotoxic but that is not at issue here (1, 2). If there was only one event during which gliadin proteins or peptides reached the circulation, as might be the case during a bout of flu, for instance, AGA levels usually diminish quite quickly. Thus, when a person shows elevated levels of AGA, the condition is usually chronic. It indicates that they are leaking gliadin proteins and/or peptides into the bloodstream. Celiac disease only afflicts between 10% and 15% of these people with elevated AGA. Serological tests for celiac disease identify endomysium antibodies (EMA) and tissue transglutaminase (tTG). There is no debate about the foregoing. It is common knowledge and is accepted by the vast majority of researchers and practitioners working in this area.
    The controversy comes in when we ask what elevated AGAs mean. Many claim that it is a non-specific finding. That is, AGAs are not diagnostic for celiac disease or any other currently recognized disease. They are much more common among those with autoimmune diseases, AIDS, and several other groups, but they do not provide any clues that will help diagnose a particular illness. AGAs are also found in some apparently healthy individuals. The only condition for which they fairly specific is what is often called a "leaky gut". However, most practitioners do not recognize increased intestinal permeability as a disease entity. There is no debate regarding the connection between elevated AGAs and leakage of gliadin into the body. In the past, the debate has been about whether AGAs are diagnostic for any disease and whether a leaky gut is an issue of any real concern.
    However, in the late 90s, researchers at U. Maryland, working to develop a cholera vaccine, found a protein messenger called zonulin. As its presence increases in the intestinal lumen, it relaxes the tight junctions between gut epithelial cells (3). Zonulin is overproduced by some individuals in response to gluten ingestion. It turns out that those with celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, and a variety of autoimmune diseases are particularly inclined to produce excessive quantities of zonulin in response to gluten ingestion (4).      
    Similarly, Marios Hadjivassiliou and his neurological research group at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield have found that AGA are elevated in more than half of all patients with neurological disease of unknown origin and only about a third of those have celiac disease. The remaining two thirds are simply gluten sensitive, as identified by AGA (5). 
    Variation in zonulin production, from one individual to another, is likely the factor that determines gluten sensitivity.
    Gluten sensitivity does not identify celiac disease, latent celiac disease, or any other enteropathy that I'm familiar with. It identifies an immune system sensitized to gluten. Avoidance of gluten in such cases can help to avoid developing additional autoimmunity, just as it sometimes does in celiac disease, but current evidence suggests that it will usually not reverse it once that autoimmunity has begun.   
    The use of Rodney Ford's term "gluten syndrome"(2) might well have saved us considerable cyber ink, as we might have been able to begin by disagreeing about the value of a gluten free diet across the gluten syndrom spectrum, rather than taking several emails to determine that you were equating gluten sensitivity with celiac disease.
    Best Wishes,
    Ron
    Sources:
    Paganuzzi AS, Zucco F, Cardelli M, de Angelis I, Mattei R, Pino A, Rocca E, Zampaglioni F.Cytotoxic effects of wheat gliadin-derived peptides.Toxicology. 1985 Dec;37(3-4):225-32. Ford RP.The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29. Drago S, El Asmar R, Di Pierro M, Grazia Clemente M, Tripathi A, Sapone A, Thakar M, Iacono G, Carroccio A, D'Agate C, Not T, Zampini L, Catassi C, Fasano A.    Gliadin, zonulin and gut permeability: Effects on celiac and non-celiac intestinal mucosa and intestinal cell lines.Scand J Gastroenterol. 2006 Apr;41(4):408-19. Visser J, Rozing J, Sapone A, Lammers K, Fasano A.  Tight junctions, intestinal permeability, and autoimmunity: celiac disease and type 1 diabetes paradigms. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 May;1165:195-205. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A.  Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness?  Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71. Clemente MG, De Virgiliis S, Kang JS, Macatagney R, Musu MP, Di Pierro MR, Drago S, Congia M, Fasano A. Early effects of gliadin on enterocyte intracellular signalling involved in intestinal barrier function.Gut. 2003 Feb;52(2):218-23.  
    Note:
    I should have added that since Dan was using the phrase gluten intolerance “to describe all those who experience relief from the gluten-free diet without having been diagnosed with celiac,”  he has defeated his own argument. If a person has symptoms and they get relief from a gluten free diet, they would have to be pretty self destructive, foolish, or self-indulgent to go back to eating gluten.

    In a private email I received from another person, he said: “After reading his original article I had the distinct feeling that a girlfriend of his (or friend/relative) had gone on a gluten-free diet and had recently dumped him--maybe because he wasn't so supportive of this change...but I don't have any proof... ”

    I am most inclined to agree with this poster’s suspicions.

    Finally, I forwarded a copy of the letter titled: “Is gliadin really safe for non-coeliac individuals? Production of interleukin 15 in biopsy culture from non-coeliac individuals challenged with gliadin peptides” by D Bernardo1, J A Garrote2, L Fernández-Salazar3, S Riestra4, E Arranz5 from  Gut 2007;56:889-890; doi:10.1136/gut.2006

    These investigators report that “gluten elicits its harmful effect” on all the individuals they studied, not just those with celiac disease. I believe that Jefferson Adams has written a detailed account of this research that appears elsewhere on celiac.com. 

    Although Mr. Engber declined to give me permission to publicly post his emails, and hence, his side of this discussion, I have invited Dan to respond to the above on celiac.com, as I would like to give him every opportunity to either provide some evidence to support his unfortunate claims about non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or to retract his damaging comments in the original article he penned. Although I have been a little rough on him, I do hope he will present his side of this debate, as it is of great importance to many individuals who must negotiate with friends and relatives to safeguard their health.

    These people would not dream of casually scattering rat poison on food to be served to a loved one. However, they seem to feel imposed upon by those who are gluten sensitive, because they do not want gluten scattered on their food. This attitude is just as inappropriate and sometimes, just as dangerous as scattering rat poison on food. 

    Sincerely,
    Ron Hoggan
     
     
     
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 12/17/2012 - On Friday, December 7th, 2012, KQED public radio hosted an hour-long program on celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity called: Going Gluten-free.
    The program was part of the regular KQED program, Forum, and was hosted by veteran KQED personality Dave Iverson.
    KQED has the largest listener audience of any public radio station in the nation, so this presents a welcome opportunity to spread awareness of celiac disease, gluten-intolerance, and gluten-free issues to a wide audience.
    KQED's tagline for the show was: If you're gluten-free, going to the grocery store used to mean spending hours reading labels to avoid anything with wheat, barley or other grains. But with the rising number of people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, more stores and restaurants are offering gluten-free foods. We'll discuss the rise of gluten-free diets.
    The guests for the one-hour program were:
    Dr. Neilsen Fernandez-Becker, associate director of the Celiac Management Clinic at the Stanford School of Medicine Jefferson Adams, writer at Celiac.com Melinda Dennis, dietician and nutrition coordinator with the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, sufferer from celiac disease, and co-author of "Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten-Free" Sadie Scheffer, owner and founder of BreadSRSLY.com, which delivers gluten-free breads around San Francisco. You can listen to an archive of the broadcast at KQED.com.

    Sheila Hughes
    Celiac.com 04/30/2013 - In March of 2013, celebrity Jennifer Esposito opened her very own gluten-free bakery named "Jennifer's Way Bakery." You may recognize her from movies such as Crash and Summer of Sam. Her new establishment can be found in Manhattan's East Village.
    When Jennifer first started showing her odd symptoms she had no idea they were caused by celiac disease. She went years without treatment because of this. Symptoms included losing a tooth, hair loss, panic disorder, and the inability to stand.
    According to Allergic Living, Esposito lost a role on CBS's Blue Bloods after requesting reduced workloads because of her health conditions while she was recovering from years of untreated celiac disease. The network came to the conclusion that she was not able to spend the needed time to be on the show, and after a dispute it was no more.
    Jennifer has also been blogging gluten-free recipes on her blog, jennifersway.org for some time. She now appears happy to be participating in such a full-filling cause.
    While Jennifer was removed from CBS you can still catch her and her bakery on a show taking place all around New York called Playing with Fire on the E! Network.
    Source:
    https://allergicliving.com/index.php/2013/04/10/jennifer-esposito-opens-gluten-free-bakery/

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/25/2018 - The latest studies show that celiac disease now affects 1.2% of the population. That’s millions, even tens of millions of people with celiac disease worldwide. The vast majority of these people remain undiagnosed. Many of these people have no clear symptoms. Moreover, even when they do have symptoms, very often those symptoms are atypical, vague, and hard to pin on celiac disease.
    Here are three ways that you can help your healthcare professionals spot celiac disease, and help to keep celiacs gluten-free: 
    1) Your regular doctor can help spot celiac disease, even if the symptoms are vague and atypical.
    Does your doctor know that anemia is one of the most common features of celiac disease? How about neuropathy, another common feature in celiac disease? Do they know that most people diagnosed with celiac disease these days have either no symptoms, or present atypical symptoms that can make diagnosis that much harder? Do they know that a simple blood test or two can provide strong evidence for celiac disease?
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    Does your dentist realize that dental enamel defects could point to celiac disease? Studies show that dental enamel defects can be a strong indicator of adult celiac disease, even in the absence of physical symptoms. By pointing out dental enamel defects that indicate celiac disease, dentists can play an important role in diagnosing celiac disease.
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    Pharmacists can also help with information on the ingredients used to manufacture various vitamins and supplements that might contain wheat.
    Understanding the many vague, confusing symptoms of celiac disease, and the ways in which various types of health professionals can help, is a powerful tool for helping to diagnose celiac disease, and for managing it in the future. If you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms, and suspect celiac disease, be sure to gather as much information as you can, and to check in with your health professionals as quickly as possible.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/23/2018 - If you’re looking for a great gluten-free Mexican-style favorite that is sure to be a big hit at dinner or at your next potluck, try these green chili enchiladas with roasted cauliflower. The recipe calls for chicken, but they are just as delicious when made vegetarian using just the roasted cauliflower. Either way, these enchiladas will disappear fast. Roasted cauliflower gives these green chili chicken enchiladas a deep, smokey flavor that diners are sure to love.
    Ingredients:
    2 cans gluten-free green chili enchilada sauce (I use Hatch brand) 1 small head cauliflower, roasted and chopped 6 ounces chicken meat, browned ½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled ½ cup queso fresco, diced 1 medium onion, diced ⅓ cup green onions, minced ¼ cup radishes, sliced 1 tablespoon cooking oil 1 cup chopped cabbage, for serving ½ cup sliced cherry or grape tomatoes, for serving ¼ cup cilantro, chopped 1 dozen fresh corn tortillas  ⅔ cup oil, for softening tortillas 1 large avocado, cut into small chunks Note: For a tasty vegetarian version, just omit the chicken, double the roasted cauliflower, and prepare according to directions.
    Directions:
    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a cast iron or ovenproof pan until hot.
    Add chicken and brown lightly on both sides. 
    Remove chicken to paper towels to cool.
     
    Cut cauliflower into small pieces and place in the oiled pan.
    Roast in oven at 350F until browned on both sides.
    Remove from the oven when tender. 
    Allow roasted cauliflower to cool.
    Chop cauliflower, or break into small pieces and set aside.
    Chop cooled chicken and set aside.
    Heat 1 inch of cooking oil in a small frying pan.
    When oil is hot, use a spatula to submerge a tortilla in the oil and leave only long enough to soften, about 10 seconds or so. 
    Remove soft tortilla to a paper towel and repeat with remaining tortillas.
    Pour enough enchilada sauce to coat the bottom of a large casserole pan.
    Dunk a tortilla into the sauce and cover both sides. Add more sauce as needed.
    Fill each tortilla with bits of chicken, cauliflower, onion, and queso fresco, and roll into shape.
    When pan is full of rolled enchiladas, top with remaining sauce.
    Cook at 350F until sauce bubbles.
    Remove and top with fresh cotija cheese and scallions.
    Serve with rice, beans, and cabbage, and garnish with avocado, cilantro, and sliced grape tomatoes.

     

    Roxanne Bracknell
    Celiac.com 06/22/2018 - The rise of food allergies means that many people are avoiding gluten in recent times. In fact, the number of Americans who have stopped eating gluten has tripled in eight years between 2009 and 2017.
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    The Irish capital of Dublin, meanwhile, has the most gluten-free establishments, with a huge 330 to choose from, while Amsterdam and Barcelona also feature prominently thanks to their variety of top-notch gluten-free fodder.
    Finally, a special mention must go to Auckland, the sole representative of Australasia in this list, with the largest city in New Zealand rounding out the top 10 thanks to its 180 coeliacsafe eateries.
    The full top ten gluten-free cities are shown in the graphic below:
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/21/2018 - Would you buy a house advertised as ‘gluten-free’? Yes, there really is such a house for sale. 
    It seems a Phoenix realtor Mike D’Elena is hoping that his trendy claim will catch the eye of a buyer hungry to avoid gluten, or, at least one with a sense of humor. D’Elena said he crafted the ads as a way to “be funny and to draw attention.” The idea, D’Elena said, is to “make it memorable.” 
    Though D’Elena’s marketing seeks to capitalizes on the gluten-free trend, he knows Celiac disease is a serious health issue for some people. “[W]e’re not here to offend anybody….this is just something we're just trying to do to draw attention and do what's best for our clients," he said. 
    Still, the signs seem to be working. D'elena had fielded six offers within a few days of listing the west Phoenix home.
    "Buying can sometimes be the most stressful thing you do in your entire life so why not have some fun with it," he said. 
    What do you think? Clever? Funny?
    Read more at Arizonafamily.com.

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