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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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    HOW THE GLUTEN FREE DIET OF CELEBRITIES COULD HARM PUBLIC OPINION


    Tracy Grabowski

    Celiac.com 02/03/2014 - It shouldn't be a surprise that there are celebrities who are jumping on the bandwagon of the "gluten-free" diet for no reason other than it seems to be a fashionable trend. I don't doubt that there are some celebrities who have actually found benefit and may sincerely suffer from Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance, or worse, celiac disease. For the most part though, I am convinced they have decided to use the gluten-free diet as a method of avoiding pastas, breads, pizzas, and excess carbohydrates in order to lose weight.


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    Photo: CC--StarblindKingAs we all know, adhering to a gluten-free diet is a mandatory thing for people with celiac disease or intolerance to gluten. It is a prescribed diet that helps those afflicted with the disease live a better quality of life, a healthier life, and therefore a more productive life.

    Thanks to the gluten-free diet's following by celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Victoria Beckham, it has also been linked to people who use it to simply "lose weight" and "look good." In fact, Miss Cyrus recently used the gluten-free diet as a defense when she was questioned as to whether her ultra-slim figure was actually the ill-effects of a possible eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia (After all, if looking so thin that people assume you have an eating disorder doesn't mean that the gluten-free diet works on weight loss, then what does? Just another example of how Americans tend to look at nutrition for its face-value instead of health. But I digress…).

    There are definitely advantages to getting celebrity buy-in to the gluten-free-lifestyle. In fact, it is very possible that in a way, celebrities have shed light on the existence of such a thing called the "gluten-free diet" in a way the medical community just cannot. By association with a celebrity, the term "gluten-free" has made its way into common nomenclature found in groceries, restaurants, bakeries and even households.

    So, how can this be a bad thing for people who medically NEED to follow a gluten-free diet?

    Very simply, by a celebrity's choosing to promote the gluten-free diet as a weight-loss plan or weight maintenance program, they do harm by trivializing the importance of the lifestyle for so many Americans who suffer from celiac disease, Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance, or even wheat allergies. When they promote it as a lifestyle CHOICE associated with the maintenance of their size zero frames, there is the great possibility that the general public will misinterpret the "diet" as a fad or trend much like Atkins, Sonoma, or any other diet-of-the-day. Therefore, the people you trust to prepare or serve your food (servers, chefs, bakers, or even friends and family) might be less apt to be overly cautious when preparing and serving your gluten-free meal. 

    There is an inherent danger in leading the general public to believe that this is a diet of CHOICE and not necessity for so many… up to 6%... of the American population.  It's not that most people aren't trying to provide gluten-free meals to those of us who require them--it's just that there is a danger that our servers, chefs, and friends become less concerned with trying to meet the completely gluten-free standard that someone who medically needs the diet is aiming to achieve. After all, it is very unlikely that someone who follows the diet to be on-trend with Miley or Gwyneth is ever going to call someone out on using malt flavoring in a dessert, or the wheat-laden seasoning blend used in a sauce--because it doesn't affect them in the same way. 

    Then again…maybe they'll gain a pound overnight and they WILL call them out for using hidden gluten. We can only hope.


    Image Caption: Photo: CC--StarblindKing
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    Guest Sarah Esterkyn

    Posted

    Thank you for this thought-provoking article. I have been concerned about this issue, because while rising awareness about gluten has made gluten-free products more widely available, the misconception that the gluten-free diet is a choice rather than a necessity is trivializing a serious medical condition. I have heard snide remarks, seen eye rolls, and read snarky statements equating the gluten-free diet with being a childishly picky eater or a spoiled, entitled princess. It is not conducive to getting people to take celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity seriously!

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    I say "amen" to this article. As someone with a loved one with celiac disease, this does tend to be a problem. I love that gluten-free has been brought to the forefront. I just wish that others knew that this is not a choice...it can actually be life and death.

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    Guest Laurie K

    Posted

    I disagree. I saw an interview with Gwyneth Paltrow who said that her gluten free diet stemmed from having a child with a gluten intolerance. It's just much easier to have the whole household off gluten if one member can't have it.

    Also, I think that these celebrities making a gluten free diet so popular has prompted the food manufacturers to come out with gluten free versions of their products. I understand that Pillsbury and Dunkin' Donuts are working on it now.

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    Guest celiacMom

    Posted

    YES! I've been saying the same thing for a while. Same trend that has some restaurants adding "gluten-free" items to their menus with an asterisk that says they cannot garantee the food is actually gluten free. Who is going to eat that food if not the folks that follow gluten free diet as a trend?!

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    Guest someone with Celiac

    Posted

    “It is a prescribed diet that helps those afflicted with the disease live a better quality of life, a healthier life, and therefore a more productive life.â€

     

    I have celiac. I have to follow the diet to live. Eating gluten nearly killed me. I still have chronic pain from the severe damage from eating gluten.

    What you have written above tends to minimize the dangerous risks of celiac. These statements, “better quality of lifeâ€, “a healthier lifeâ€, and therefore “a more productive life†all imply that some quality of life can be found while eating gluten.

     

    It's actually trivializing the importance of the lifestyle for so many Americans who suffer from celiac disease.

     

    I have had friends actually quote such as proof that my strict adherence to a gluten free diet is making a mountain out of a molehill because I am just trying to live “better†than others.

     

    We have to be careful to use our own words as carefully as we expect others to live their lives.

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    Guest someone with Celiac

    Posted

    YES! I've been saying the same thing for a while. Same trend that has some restaurants adding "gluten-free" items to their menus with an asterisk that says they cannot garantee the food is actually gluten free. Who is going to eat that food if not the folks that follow gluten free diet as a trend?!

    So true!!! What makes them believe that cross contamination in their kitchen should destroy my life?

    They would never consider putting raw chicken on a counter and then lettuce on the same counter because it makes people sick. But for those with celiac disease, we are somehow less than valued and are expected to have cross contamination if we are PAYING for a meal.

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    Guest justneguy

    Posted

    Amen is right BLUE! As a recently diagnosed celiac, I've found the most painful aspect is people not taking it seriously - particularly wait staff and kitchen help (when eating out). I think they think it's just a "fad" diet thing, and they look at you like, "oh, good lord, another one." I think to one waiter I had used the term "celiac" and they looked at me like I had 3 heads. It has been my biggest challenge and so I avoid eating out - as much as possible, as I've been "glutened" by sauces or cross-contamination from the cooking surfaces in the kitchen.

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    admin

    Ernesto Guifaldes, M.D. of the Pontificia Unicersidad Catolica de Chile has sent me much information, is particularly knowledgeable in this area. If you have any questions about this subject, please contact Ernesto at: eguirald@lascar.puc.cl
    The following is a letter dated March 10, 1996, and was sent to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences from the Vatican. It represents the official position of the Catholic Church with regard to gluten and the Eucharist.
    Your Eminence/Excellency:
    In recent years, this Dicastery has followed closely the development of the question of the use of low-gluten altar breads and mustum as matter for the celebration of the Eucharist.
    After careful study, conducted in collaboration with a number of concerned Episcopal Conferences, this Congregation in its ordinary session of June 22, 1994 has approved the following norms, which I am pleased to communicate:
    I. Concerning permission to use low-gluten altar breads: A. This may be granted by Ordinaries to priests and lay persons affected by celiac disease, after presentation of a medical certificate. Conditions for the validity of the matter: 1) Special hosts quibus glutinum ablatum est are invalid matter for the celebration of the Eucharist; 2) Low-gluten hosts are valid matter, provided that they contain the amount of gluten sufficient to obtain the confection of bread, that there is no addition of foreign materials, and that the procedure for making such hosts is not such as to alter the nature of the substance of the bread. II. Concerning permission to use mustum: A. The preferred solution continues to be Communion per intinctionem, or in concelebration under the species of bread alone. B. Nevertheless, the permission to use mustum can be granted by Ordinaries to priests affected by alcoholism or other conditions which prevent the ingestion of even the smallest quantity of alcohol, after the presentation of a medical certificate. C. By mustum is understood fresh juice from grapes, or juice preserved by suspending its fermentation (by means of freezing of other methods which do not alter its nature). D. In general, those who have received permission to use the mustum are prohibited from presiding at concelebrated Masses. There may be some exceptions however: in the case of a Bishop or Superior General; or, with prior approval of the Ordinary, at the celebration of the anniversary of priestly ordination or other similar occasions. In these cases, the one who presides is to communicate under both the species of bread and that of the mustum, while for the other concelebrants a chalice shall be provided in which normal wine is to be consecrated. E. In the very rare instances of lay persons requesting this permission, recourse must be made to the Holy See. III. Common Norms: A. The Ordinary must ascertain that the matter used conforms to the above requirements. B. Permissions are to be given only for as long as the situation continues which motivated the request. C. Scandal is to be avoided. D. Given the centrality of the celebration of the Eucharist in the life of the priest, candidates for the priesthood who are affected by celiac disease of suffer from alcoholism of similar conditions may not be admitted to Holy Orders. E. Since the doctrinal questions in this area have now been decided, disciplinary competence is entrusted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. F. Concerned Episcopal Conferences shall report to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments every two years regarding the application of these norms. With warm regards and best wishes, I am Sincerely yours in Christ.

    The leader of the fight for Celiacs in the Catholic Church has recently died. Archbishop Derek Worlock of Liverpool was diagnosed in the 1980s with celiac disease and presented a strong case in Rome for celiac sufferers to be allowed to receive special hosts at Communion, which was reluctantly granted. He died of lung cancer on February 8, 1996.

    admin

    Celiac.com 02/25/2005 - Move over low-carb and sugar-free! New research shows that the need for a gluten-free diet is 10 times higher than experts originally predicted. Retailers should prepare to meet the needs of this growing niche, say two experts on the gluten-free diet.
    This is the message that Shelley Case, RD and Carol Fenster, Ph.D. will bring to retailers at the Natural Products Expo West trade show on March 17 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Case is a dietitian who counsels gluten-free patients and is the author of Gluten-Free Diet, www.glutenfreediet.ca. Fenster is a chef who develops gluten-free products for manufacturers and is the author of Gluten-Free 101, www.glutenfree101.com.
    This diet is not a fad, they explain, but a medically prescribed avoidance of gluten which is a protein in wheat that is toxic for some people. The two experts will help retailers understand the medical necessity of the gluten-free diet and how stores can stock their shelves and market effectively to gluten-free consumers.
    "Food manufacturers are responding to the need for gluten-free products. According to the Natural Foods Merchandiser, the number of gluten-free products jumped 88% between 2002 and 2003," says Fenster, who has been gluten-free for 15 years. Total food dollars spent on allergies and intolerances––gluten-free products are a part of this––will rise to nearly $4 billion by 2008, she adds.
    People who need gluten-free diets are those with allergies or intolerances to wheat or related grains such as barley, rye, spelt, and possibly oats. Nearly 3 million Americans have celiac disease, an autoimmune form of gluten intolerance in which gluten damages the ability to absorb nutrients. The condition can be fatal if not treated with a gluten-free diet.
    "There is no magic pill or surgery for gluten intolerance," says Case, who has been counseling gluten-free patients for 20 years. "The only treatment is total avoidance of gluten for the rest of ones life. This makes the gluten-free consumer a repeat buyer––and very attractive to retailers."

    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.

  • Recent Articles

    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?  
    I have already lived through two natural disasters. Neither of which I ever want to experience again, but they taught me a very valuable lesson, which is why I created a Gluten Free Emergency Food Bag (see link below). Here’s my story. If you’ve ever lived in or visited the Los Angeles area, you’re probably familiar with the Santa Ana winds and how bitter sweet they are. Sweet for cleaning the air and leaving the skies a brilliant crystal blue, and bitter for the power outages and potential brush fires that might ensue.  It was one of those bitter nights where the Santa Ana winds were howling, and we had subsequently lost our power. We had to drive over an hour just to find a restaurant so we could eat dinner. I remember vividly seeing the glow of a brush fire on the upper hillside of the San Gabriel Mountains, a good distance from our neighborhood. I really didn’t think much of it, given that it seemed so far from where we lived, and I was hungry! After we ate, we headed back home to a very dark house and called it a night. 
    That’s where the story takes a dangerous turn….about 3:15am. I awoke to the TV blaring loudly, along with the lights shining brightly. Our power was back on! I proceeded to walk throughout the house turning everything off at exactly the same time our neighbor, who was told to evacuate our street, saw me through our window, assuming I knew that our hillside was ablaze with flames. Flames that were shooting 50 feet into the air. I went back to bed and fell fast asleep. The fire department was assured we had left because our house was dark and quiet again. Two hours had passed.  I suddenly awoke to screams coming from a family member yelling, “fire, fire, fire”! Flames were shooting straight up into the sky, just blocks from our house. We lived on a private drive with only one way in and one way out.  The entrance to our street was full of smoke and the fire fighters were doing their best to save our neighbors homes. We literally had enough time to grab our dogs, pile into the car, and speed to safety. As we were coming down our street, fire trucks passed us with sirens blaring, and I wondered if I would ever see my house and our possessions ever again. Where do we go? Who do we turn to? Are shelters a safe option? 
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    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?
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    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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    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