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My husband bought me a cookbook several years ago called Cooking Pennsylvania Dutch Style by William Woys Weaver, written in 1993 It gives a lot of very interesting historical information including this about spelt, which apparently is very important in PA Dutch cuisine:

"Spelt is called Dinkel in Pennsylfaanisch. It was known as German wheat in colonial America because of its association with the Pennsylvania Dutch. The Germans raised wheat as a cash crop, which they shipped to Philadelphia or Baltimore, and raised spelt for their own consumption. The yield of spelt per acre is similar to that of oats, but spelt gives far superior straw, a trait important to farmers with livestock.

"Spelt is also highter in nutrients than wheat and contains far more gluten, which is why it produces such remarkable bread. The gluten in spelt, however, is more water soluble than the gluten in wheat; thus, people who have gluten allergies find that they can eat spelt products without trouble. " (emphaisis mine) "The Germans have recognized the health aspects of spelt since the Middle Ages, particularly its digestibility."

Well, this is very interesting. (Can you read that with Jimmy Stewart's voice?) It also raises many questions. What, if anything, do we know about the rate of celiac disease in Pennsylvania Dutch? And has anybody here ever even tried spelt? What do we know about spelt? I know spelt is on the no-no list, but why? Was that decided by the same experts who decreed that you only have celiac disease or a gluten problem if you are a 70 pound adult and wasating away? Or maybe the same experts who have told us that it is all in our head?

It's not that I want to rush right out and eat spelt. This just raises so many questions. What info source should we look for (and trust) for answers?

If I've posted this in thr wrong section, please feel free to repost in whatever the most appropriate section would be!

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I accidentally ate a spelt pizza crust by mistake once. It was supposed to be a gluten-free quejos crust, but a mixup happened, and I didn't notice the difference, and found out afterwards. Yep, I had a serious gluten reaction that lasted almost a week. One anecdotal story isn't scientific, but I think experts are right: spelt is a form of wheat whose gluten is just as toxic to us as that of regular wheat. :(

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I have DH. While in the throes of trying to get a diagnosis I had spontaneous recovery of my rash THREE TIMES - all 3 were when I spent time in Germany!! The next time I went AFTER dx I started asking questions there and was told that their "wheat" has "less gluten that is a problem for the stomach" (Germans speaking English). They said that they have a very high incidence of Celiac (just like all of northern Europe) but their wheat was more tolerable because it is "different that American wheat".

During the spontaneous remissions before dx I would tell my Dr that "it goes away when I'm in Germany" and they immediately started telling me about dust mites in my house and molds and how clean Germany is - and that's the reason. When I was dx and found out about German "Wheat" (spelt), they told me I was crazy that wheat is wheat. But the Germans beg to differ.

I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM IN GERMANY. I ate bread, spaetzle, and pretzels, (even some pastry) while there, but I did not drink beer (since I'm a tee-totaler). They also don't have as many additives in their restaurant food. No added "Food Starches" "hydrolized plant proteins" etc. Pretty much "scratch cooking" and it's very low in gluten content.

I LOVE going to Germany. Even now with gluten-free living I don't eat the bread, drink beer or eat spaetzle or pretzels, but I don't have to worry about the schnitzel sauces, or veggies, or dressings, or condiments.

Spelt really is better (but probably not entirely safe for everyone!).

Certainly worth more research though.

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when I quit WHEAT two years ago, I ate a lot of spelt: spelt tortillas and spelt bread mostly, since I find bagels to be really sour tasting. Anyway, I was doing just fine on it for those two years. I decided to get tested for Celiac a couple months ago only because I'd done so well getting quitting wheat. So no more spelt for me.

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You may very well be correct, Peter,; I'm just playing Devil's Advocate here: what if your nearly extinct villi had something to do with your reaction? Or what if there are different levels of reaction among us, like some of us don't react to oats, but others do? Could that apply to spelt and barley as well? And those two ideas are probably completely unconnected, as I don't seem able to tolerate oats, yet, as far as I know (I was scoped last year), my villi are perfect.

BTW, cute kitty!

Franceen, that's fascinating! One of my friends has a daughter who reacts to casein in America--BUT NOT IN EUROPE. Hmmmmmm.

What if it's not the plant itself but what they're putting on it or in the soil it grows in? (Pesticides, weedkiller, antibiotics, who knows?)

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Kitty says meow. She's sleeping on my arm and sort of on the keyboard as I write!

And how about if the harvesting and processing of the wheat is different too? That's what some claimed in Germany - that their "process" for harvesting and processing the wheat for use "cleaned more gluten out of it" than we do here in USA! That's a thought too!

Until there is enough of us out there complaining there won't be enough money (federal?) for the research needed to answer all these questions.

And then there are the psychological issues as well. If I BELIEVE something has gluten in it I WILL get a reaction even if it was just a piece of plain fruit! Our minds are very controlling things.

Just playing devil's advocate too here!

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Wow, Franceen, I just saw your "undiagnosed DH" tag line--that's me, too!

Germany isn't so far from Sweden, Norway, Holland, but don't they have much higher rates of diagnosed celiac disease? Are the crops so different, or the farming/harvesting techniques, or is the diet very different? More fish the closer one is to the sea, I suppose, but what else? Then again, I remember seeing the Nordsee chain in Vienna...

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I only tried spelt a couple times (pasta) and didn't like it. I have also found out I'm spelt allergic. I never had any symptoms prior to going gluten free but one of the things my infant son reacted to (eczema) was either barley malt or soy lecithin. I am totally gluten and soy free now and he is free of eczema now.

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Wikipedia is not a vaild research tool for anything otther then finding out a random person's research/thoughts/dreams. It is not fact checked, nor well respected. Its more of a community blog then anything. I would NOT trust something so important as my health to anything I read there.

I have DH. While in the throes of trying to get a diagnosis I had spontaneous recovery of my rash THREE TIMES - all 3 were when I spent time in Germany!! The next time I went AFTER dx I started asking questions there and was told that their "wheat" has "less gluten that is a problem for the stomach" (Germans speaking English). They said that they have a very high incidence of Celiac (just like all of northern Europe) but their wheat was more tolerable because it is "different that American wheat".

During the spontaneous remissions before dx I would tell my Dr that "it goes away when I'm in Germany" and they immediately started telling me about dust mites in my house and molds and how clean Germany is - and that's the reason. When I was dx and found out about German "Wheat" (spelt), they told me I was crazy that wheat is wheat. But the Germans beg to differ.

I DO NOT HAVE A PROBLEM IN GERMANY. I ate bread, spaetzle, and pretzels, (even some pastry) while there, but I did not drink beer (since I'm a tee-totaler). They also don't have as many additives in their restaurant food. No added "Food Starches" "hydrolized plant proteins" etc. Pretty much "scratch cooking" and it's very low in gluten content.

I LOVE going to Germany. Even now with gluten-free living I don't eat the bread, drink beer or eat spaetzle or pretzels, but I don't have to worry about the schnitzel sauces, or veggies, or dressings, or condiments.

Spelt really is better (but probably not entirely safe for everyone!).

Certainly worth more research though.

PPL have the different senstivities to different quanties of gluten. And reasearch that has been presented in threads here shows that many times ppl have NO RECATIONS to small amounts of gluten, but damage is still occuring, it just takes alot of little exspoures before ENOUGH damage is done to result in symptons.

HOw ever, like you said, we need alot more research and blind studies on this.

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i have a friend with a wheat allergy----and she can eat spelt without the symptoms that wheat causes her. i have told her she should be tested for celiac. she could be one of the ones that does not have obvious symptoms. i know that people can be allergic to wheat and not be gluten intolerant, but a wheat allergy just kind of raises a red flag to me.

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I started eating Spelt a few years ago, thinking that because I was allergic to wheat and had avoided it for 7 years, I could add spelt and be okay. I had major reactions (it took a while though) and that's what helped me figure out it was gluten and not just wheat that was the big problem for me. It tastes great and makes yummy breads, but it is full of gluten. Maybe people who are "just" allergic to wheat can handle it, but in my experience not the gluten intolerant.

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On the other hand, Wikipedia is fact checked by everyone who uses Wikipedia and things that are inaccurate are usually brought to light very quickly. Its sort of like instant peer review.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5055388

All Things Considered, December 15, 2005 · In the wake of questions of accuracy, a survey by the science journal Nature finds that science entries in the volunteer-driven, online encyclopedia Wikipedia are "not markedly less accurate" than those found in Encyclopaedia Britannica. Nature reporter Mark Peplow discusses the survey.

Wikipedia's credibility was dealt a blow this month when John Seigenthaler -- the founding editorial director of USA Today -- pointed out that he is not a longtime suspect in the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, as Wikipedia said.

Here's a BBC article about it: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4530930.stm

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On the other hand, Wikipedia is fact checked by everyone who uses Wikipedia and things that are inaccurate are usually brought to light very quickly. Its sort of like instant peer review.

Its a communitly blog, at best. But I am not going to debate this here other then to strongly cuation ppl from base important descions such as health from it. It is often found to be in error, and often not corrected. Your "fact checkers" are peers, yes peers of the kids that put the entires in to begin with. :)

Use it at your own risk, and I wish you the best luck with it. :)

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Oh, come on, if we're going to talk about accurate information, it's not like we can point to the American medical professionals as shining examples of accuracy! Look how many of us on this board have been given info from our doctors that was totally wrong (as in, "You can eat wheat, you don't have celiac disease, it's all in your head, doesn't matter what your blood test results are, the gold standard is the biopsy, blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda.") :ph34r:

There needs to be so much more research about celiac disease in general, not to mention what may or may not trigger a celiac's immune system (such as oats or spelt) and whether or not the stage of the disease makes a difference (for example, in those of us who never had damaged villi or the deathly diarrhea and stomach pains, is it possible that oats and spelt might not cause ANY additional damage or immune system response?

Is it even possible that starting a child on spelt /oats might somehow protect him from developing celiac later in life? (I ask that because all my babies did NOT do well on rice cereal, but did great on baby oatmeal--even my 7-year-old, whose eczema cleared up in January when I lowered his gluten intake, although it did not clear up when I went off casein/gluten while nursing him.)

There are so many variables here, and as far as I can find, NONE of them have been systematically studied.

If the doctor who tells me that celiac/gluten intolerance cannot be accurately diagnosed without the stupid gold standard biopsy is the same one who says that spelt and oats have exactly the same effecton all of us, why on earth should I believe him?

I'm very curious--is it possible to find out the celiac diagnosis rate for Germany as compared to Italy, Sweden,, Great Britain, Holland, etc? If they have the same high rates, then spelt sure wouldn't be the answer here--but from what few, unscientific anecdotes I can find, they don't. WHY NOT?

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On the other hand, Wikipedia is fact checked by everyone who uses Wikipedia and things that are inaccurate are usually brought to light very quickly. Its sort of like instant peer review.

Wikipedia's good for non-controversial things. Want a definition of yaw/pitch/roll? Feel free to look it up there. Want a discussion of the math of an ellipsoid? Feel free to look it up there.

What a discussion of the Hitler's childhood? The benefits of dairy? The management style of Microsoft's Balmer? Don't, for heaven's sake, look there.

Anything prone to controversy will have lots of edits, and lots of ... biased information. Heck, congressmen have paid their staffers to put in flattering information about themselves and unflattering information about rivals. (It was in a number of papers a while back. Wikipedia's been changing their editing policies because of abuses like this. Not to mention banning particular IP ranges.)

Spelt is a derivative of wheat; the protein structure nearly identical to gliandin. I will certainly avoid it. As for other countries, don't forget that they have CODEX wheat - it has had the majority of the protein removed. It's a different game in Europe than in the US.

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Tarnalberry, you make a lot of sensible points. But. (There's always a but!) I think Wikipedia IS good for looking up things that might be controversial--it's just possible that they might have the only accurate version, even if it's not the ACCEPTED version...On the other hand, I don't think we can quote Wikipedia as Gospel Truth (not meaning to offend anybody with those words).

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when I first stopped eating wheat & gluten stuff someone told me spelt was okay so I ate it & like the buns made from it. when I didn't seem to be improving I ask another farmer & he said NO NO NO DON"T EAT THAT>.......He said his wife can't eat it because she gets an allergy from it. He feeds it to his cows so now my ? is for everyone if we eat the beef from spelt fed cows does it make us sick???/ Or oats or any other grain??????/

mamaw

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Tarnalberry, you make a lot of sensible points. But. (There's always a but!) I think Wikipedia IS good for looking up things that might be controversial--it's just possible that they might have the only accurate version, even if it's not the ACCEPTED version...On the other hand, I don't think we can quote Wikipedia as Gospel Truth (not meaning to offend anybody with those words).

lol... yes, it is possible that they would have the only accurate version of the truth on a subject available anywhere. it is also possible that all the air in a room will gather in one small corner, leaving a complete vaccum everywhere else (I've done the calculation for homework).

with no editorial controls, the likelihood of getting unbiased information on subjects that people are very passionate about is very low. there's human psychology for ya. eh. not saying it's not worth reading, but definitely not worth reading on it's own without further support.

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lol... yes, it is possible that they would have the only accurate version of the truth on a subject available anywhere. it is also possible that all the air in a room will gather in one small corner, leaving a complete vaccum everywhere else (I've done the calculation for homework).

with no editorial controls, the likelihood of getting unbiased information on subjects that people are very passionate about is very low. there's human psychology for ya. eh. not saying it's not worth reading, but definitely not worth reading on it's own without further support.

Reading anything controversial you really should be checking for more than one source. I don't know about you all, but when I read up on gluten sensitivity I was reading everything I could get my hands on. Some of it controversial, some of it not.

And in Wikipedia you can hit the "discussion" link and see what things are being argued over. For instance, the reference to the Blood Type Diet and spelt being ok for people with "mild gluten sensitivity" is getting a good drubbing, as it should.

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He feeds it to his cows so now my ? is for everyone if we eat the beef from spelt fed cows does it make us sick???/ Or oats or any other grain??????/

mamaw

No. The grains are digested, the gluten proteins don't "survive" to become a part of the meat. That being said, my mom (also celiac) won't eat eggs from "4 Grain"(brand name) fed chickens. She knows there's no gluten in them - seeing that "4 Grain" logo just creeps her out! :rolleyes:

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Spelt is gluten and is therefore bad. Someone tried telling me it was gluten free and I had tried it before I knew any better and I got sick as a dog.

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Spelt doesn't CAUSE Celiac Disease! So having the "less-gluten (reportedly) Spelt in Germany" doesn't have much to do with the inherent RATE of the population with Celiac (except maybe it's reported less because people don't react).

Anyway, it would be interesting to know the things you question. One of the people on this site is a German and probably can translate this site to get a whiff of German Celiac stuff:

http://www.dzg-online.de/ (Celiac = Zoliakie).

This link is from the Clan Thompson site and is links to all the European Celiac sites - whatever language you can speak - and some are probably in English too.

http://www.clanthompson.com/res_contacts_webassoc.php3

(We should get paid for the research we are doing! LOL).

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Spelt doesn't CAUSE Celiac Disease! So having the "less-gluten (reportedly) Spelt in Germany" doesn't have much to do with the inherent RATE of the population with Celiac (except maybe it's reported less because people don't react).

Anyway, it would be interesting to know the things you question. One of the people on this site is a German and probably can translate this site to get a whiff of German Celiac stuff:

http://www.dzg-online.de/ (Celiac = Zoliakie).

This link is from the Clan Thompson site and is links to all the European Celiac sites - whatever language you can speak - and some are probably in English too.

http://www.clanthompson.com/res_contacts_webassoc.php3

(We should get paid for the research we are doing! LOL).

We sure as heck are doing more research on this than the medical community!

I was thinking that, for those of us with very milld, late-onset symptoms, who didn't grow up doubled over in pain, that yes, gluten overload DOES cause celiac, genes or no genes. Heck, for all we know, all people might have a set trigger point for gluten consumption--go over it, and celiac or DH sets in. Or for the aging population, maybe Alzheimer's? (Think brain fog here...)And if the gluten in spelt really is far more water-soluble than wheat gluten, then that might explain a much lower incidence of celiac in communities that rely on spelt rather than wheat--if that is the case.

Franceen, I'm afraid you and I may end up running the research lab in Rachelville! :P

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