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The Celiac KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid

When it comes to technical and scientific articles on Celiac disease, this web site is a gold mine!

I've been here less than a month and although I haven't read every article and blog, I certainly plan to. I've been too busy writing my own thoughts and have some about the old KISS formula, "Keep It Simple Stupid."

Well, we are neither simple nor stupid; Celiac disease is far from simple. 

I am going  to over simplify the comparison of two diets: The Gluten-Free Casein-Free diet and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  Both diets are gluten-free, essential for a Celiac diet!

Why make comparisons?

Because, from my writings, it would appear I am trying to shove the Specific Carbohydrate Diet down your collective gullets. Such is not the case, (I don't get any remuneration for perching on a Specific Carbohydrate Diet soapbox, I don't bake for it or stamp tee shirts LOL).                   

The Gluten-Free Casein-Free diet is almost a universal default protocol and the  Specific Carbohydrate Diet is lesser known. We are a bit like the MAC and PC guys you see on TV commercials.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet has a reputation for being difficult, yet those who follow it  don't have to be cautious about contamination of utensils, etc. A very positive feature of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet diet is its effectiveness in addressing yeast and fungus issues (Anti-fungals may sometimes be required at the start).

Changing to any diet with restrictions is a challenge if you've been on the "SAD" (Standard American Diet) for your life before celiac struck.

On the Gluten-Free Casein-Free diet, dairy is a definite "no no" because of the opioid peptide theory. The caution is justified among those with true casein
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intolerance. Liquid cow's milk isn't even a good choice for healthy adults. It's mainly milk marketing boards that disagree.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet allows certain selected dairy, sometimes called "treated dairy." This includes cheese that has had bacterial cultures (without bifidum) added and is then aged at least thirty days. The cultures feed on lactose in the milk and after the minimum aging period, the cheese becomes almost entirely lactose free.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is known for recommending the use of home incubated yogurt. It has a gazillion more active pro-biotic bacteria than commercial yogurts including Dannon "Activia" brand. Yogurt is powerful food. It should be introduced very slowly and started in tiny increments.

It is very very important to remember that dairy is NOT MANDATORY on a Specific Carbohydrate Diet.  If you are dairy intolerant that may change as progress takes place.

Children are advised to avoid it for the first three months on the diet. It is suggested that goat's milk makes a better tolerated yogurt because it has smaller molecules.

If you plan to start a Specific Carbohydrate Diet for trial  (a month is a reasonable period) and are currently on the gluten-free casein-free diet because of dairy concerns, dairy is not mandatory on a Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet is a "stand alone" diet. Best results are obtained by strict adherence and not combining it with protocols from other diets.

Over time I will blog on the other main differences which are fewer than people realize.

More about differences and similarities in my next blog entry.

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).


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Kaiser offers the full panel, but a primary care MD can not order it -- only a GI. Again, a visual is not needed. Damage is usually severe if it can be seen visually (e.g. Scalloping, etc.). Villi are microscopic though. When you got the referral, you probably should have found a GI on your own by searching through the Kaiser directory and finding one who has some mention of celiac disease in his bio. Too late, but that is kind of how it works. Your PCP does not know the GI docs. The scheduler just makes appointments. So, now, that you have been referred to a GI, you can probably schedule another appointment on your own by passing your PCP. Wait first for the pathologist's report. They might not put it on the patient portal, so get a hard copy for your records. If it is negative and they took four or biopsies, you will have your answer. Then you can consider trialing the diet. If they did not take enough samples, ask for the DGP and EMA tests, including the control test IGA deficiency (which affects 10% of celiacs, but do not quote me on this). You could wait a few years until you think damage is severe enough to find. celiac disease can be hard to diagnose. It can develop at anytime. Don't forget you might have a gluten sensitivity too and not celiac disease. Kaiser responds well to requests in writing. Try the patient portal first before a registered letter. If they are not following the standard level of care, they are at risk for a lawsuit. Be nice. Say something lame in your letter like, "We had such a nice short visit, so I forgot to ask ....blah, blah, blah." My own relatively new PCP is still learning about celiac disease. That is okay. At least she has an open mind.

It is gluten free...I eat it regularly and have had no issues and it tastes yummy. ?

A quick update: I emailed my primary doctor and she is on the same page as the GI doctor, saying the Endoscopy looks normal. Even before we've gotten the biopsy back. By the way, I should mention I'm dealing with Kaiser in the Bay Area, CA and everything I've found about Kaiser on these forums is horrible and similar to my own experience. I specifically asked about all the components of the full celiac panel and that I would like to get it and all she said was: "The lab tests are not perfect. Although they may indicate an increased risk for celiac, they are not as specific as the biopsy." So, now we should just ignore the positive IgG? How am I supposed to know if I'm IgA deficient if they don't test for that? I replied and asked again and she said that Kaiser doesn't offer the full panel. Why not? And I said I want vitamin and iron tests and no reply to that yet.

Thank you so much for all the help and support you have given me. I cannot thank you enough. I am ever so sorry to post again here but wondered if I could check with you about this. When at work, I very rarely get chance to eat a lot and so have always been eating the Milky Way UK bars, which I believe contain gluten or barley. I usually have around 6 of these as they tide me over until getting home. I also have two slices of bread on a morning. I was wondering whether this would be sufficient as I am worried in case I haven't had enough gluten? Thank you for everything and I wanted to apologise for being a nuisance on here.

Thanks Matt I appreciate your response and assistance getting " moved to my own thread" thanks so much. I do have the results of my labs they took and am unsure which labs are which so I will try to attach them and perhaps someone can help me decode them.? Thanks again Heidi