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Minette

Is There A Downside To The Rest Of Us Going "mostly Gluten-Free"?

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Sorry, me again... I swear I'm trying not to be a pest!

I know everyone has a different opinion on whether to take the whole family gluten-free. My feeling at the moment is that we probably won't (unless of course it turns out that Sarah isn't the only celiac in the family). But I can also imagine that, as I'm trying to cook one meal for the whole family and keep the cupboard stocked with stuff that's safe for her, the rest of us will wind up eating a lot less gluten as well.

What I'm wondering is whether this can have any negative health effects for non-celiac/non-gluten-intolerant people. If we eat way less gluten, will we become sensitive to it?

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I asked our doctor (celiac specialist) the very same question. Two of the four of us in our home are gluten free. She said there are no health risks to eating gluten free as long as you are eating healthy. Since a lot of Americans get some of their vitamins from enriched flour products and fortified breakfast cereals (not from gluten, but from the things added to these processed foods), she suggested everyone should take a multivitamin. You cannot make someone become sensitive to gluten if they are not already sensitive. You could have a situation where someone IS sensitive to gluten but doesn't know it . . . they may become more sensitive over time, especially after being gluten free. If this happens, it should be noted that that person SHOULD NOT BE EATING GLUTEN anyway, so the GFD is best for them.

Our home is almost gluten free. We do have bread and cereal with gluten for the two who can eat it (kept separate from everything else.) Everything I cook or bake is gluten free. Dinner is 100% gluten free.

I have to say, we eat MUCH more healthier now than we did before. Most prepackaged convenience foods are out, fast food is out, ordering pizza because we are feeling lazy is out. Everything is homemade and made from fresh, whole ingredients.

Be careful not to just switch out your regular foods for the prepared gluten-free "substitutes" (bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, etc.) They are really just empty calories. At least with the whole wheat versions you were getting some fiber. I put on 15 pounds very quickly without changing anything else. Go for naturally gluten-free foods (brown rice instead of gluten-free pasta, quinoa instead of pasta in a salad, an extra vegetable side dish instead of bread or rolls with dinner, etc.).

Keeping your home mostly gluten-free will make it easier on your child. I can't imagine sitting down to dinner and watching people eat something I can't have. It is also easier to reduce the chance of cross-contamination . . . keeping counter tops, table tops, kitchen sponges, etc. all gluten-free.

Cara

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No you won't become "sensitive" to it unless you are already Celaic, or gluten intolerant.

What happens sometimes is that people in the family find out that they, too, have gluten intolerance and they feel lousy when they return to a gluten filled diet. This means they had a problem with gluten but did not know it. A normal person without Celiac or gluten intolerance will be able to eat gluten and stop eating gluten with no negative reactions. It doesn't matter how many times they go gluten light or gluten free, they will be able to return to eating gluten with no problem at all.

There is nothing negative about the health and nutrition of a gluten free diet. You won't be losing anything nutritionally required by eating gluten free. The only thing you lose is some unnecessary carbs.

So if someone reacts by going gluten free and then eating gluten and getting sick, you can take it as a red flag that there was a problem there to begin with.

Be very careful about cross-contamination if the whole family does not go gluten free.

Just warming food in the microwave where gluten food has been warmed has "glutened" me. In fact, it kept me sick a long time...and the microwave was regularly cleaned. You must cover anything you put in the microwave. In my case, I was warming cups of coffee, tea, and kept feeling sick. It finally dawned on me but it was several weeks of feeling ill.

Hope this helps.

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Sorry, me again... I swear I'm trying not to be a pest!

I know everyone has a different opinion on whether to take the whole family gluten-free. My feeling at the moment is that we probably won't (unless of course it turns out that Sarah isn't the only celiac in the family). But I can also imagine that, as I'm trying to cook one meal for the whole family and keep the cupboard stocked with stuff that's safe for her, the rest of us will wind up eating a lot less gluten as well.

What I'm wondering is whether this can have any negative health effects for non-celiac/non-gluten-intolerant people. If we eat way less gluten, will we become sensitive to it?

Think of it this way, most people only eat something like pumpkin once a year and it doesn't bother them when they eat it again unless of course that they have a problem with it. Although you may find that someone else in your family improves eating gluten free. This happened to my husband, he went gluten free with my children and I at home only to find that when he didn't feel that great when he ate gluten food out.

Short answer is no, it won't hurt to go on and off it if you don't have a problem with it.

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Many everyday cuisines in other parts of the world do not use the wheat family as the basis for their grain carbohydrates, with no ill effect. They use rice and/or corn, and then there are also beans and potatoes which are not grains but still provide the same function. The reason that a few "experts" think that fortified grain wheat products must either be consumed or a multivitamin taken (by normal people, not necessarily celiacs or gluten intolerants) is that they are thinking, without realizing it mostly, like people from the 1980's who fell for the Federal Government's "Food Pyramid" and the vegetarian craze, that very little or no meat and high grain consumption is the best diet for all humans. And the US is the "breadbasket" of the world, so that meant the grain was wheat. Meat is where some humans have gotten their B vitamins from, for millions of years. Take that out, and you have a deficit. Thus, fortified cereals, flours, and breads.

The grain dominant Food Pyramid has been debunked, but the "vegan as a panacea" for everything thought process still lingers. I'm not talking about those who have moral qualms about eating animal products, or who genuinely feel better on a vegan diet, they have the right to eat whatever they wish, but the information PR- spin grain lobby and the crazy vegans who keep insisting the rest of the world HAS to go vegan to survive, and some of them are really into insisting that GMO foods are also harmless. :ph34r:

Recently the government USDA/FDA tried to issue new rules in response to the "school food overhaul" bill on how many "whole" grain servings a week should replace beans and potatoes in school lunches.... :blink: I was pleased to see that I was not the only one calling this just more ridiculous posturing and bowing down to the grain/GMO lobby, when the Senate said "no." Since they can't define "whole grains," , this likely could have meant caramel colored sawdust cellulose was added to bleached white flour and used on the breading of chicken nuggets, and it could have passed as then being "more nutritional." We've all seen loaves of "whole grain" breads in the stores that were mostly white flours, either wheat or rice loaves, with a little bit of brown colored stuff added cosmetically, to give the appearance it was made of higher protein flours. We don't need this stuff in schools being passed off as "better nutrition." We need more servings of actual vegetables, offered in a way that they would actually be consumed. As an example, a salad bar could be put in the cafeteria. Instead, the food blogging community, feeling self righteous, decides that Chocolate Milk must be from the Fountain of Satan, and they try getting that banned from school lunches. Really, it never occurs to them that active teenagers selecting Chocolate instead of Plain Milk (the horrors! :ph34r: ) may not be able to live on the same menu as an anoretic adult woman. <_<

But I digress.

Celiacs likely have malnutrition until their diet cleans up gluten free, from the damage to the part of the gut which processes those nutrients, so it's okay to take a gluten free multivitamin and some gluten free mineral supplements.

You will find that cooking gluten free en masse at home not only is much easier, but makes your offspring feel included as part of the family, and not singled out. And the rest of the family may likely end up eating more fruits and vegetables, which is a good thing.

Don't believe the current hype about wheat supposedly being bad for everybody.... not yet. ;)

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DH and I have actually been eating a lot fewer carbs already, because (before the diagnosis) we were both trying to lose a little weight. So we were moving more towards lean meat & veggies. Unfortunately the carbs we do eat are not very likely to be whole grain (except the bread and brown rice) -- it's stuff like Cheerios, regular pasta, egg noodles, etc. But at least we're already aware that they're mostly empty calories!

I was mostly wondering about the sensitivity issue -- glad to hear that eating mostly gluten-free won't actually cause an intolerance that wouldn't otherwise be there. Thanks!

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My daughter has celiac and no one else in the family does. I make our family dinners 100% gluten free - MOSt of the time. My husband complains that when I make food with gluten free substitues - like gluten-free pasta or bread, he gets constipated. I tried going gluten-free due to thyroid issues and felt great for about a month until I started getting really bloated because of constipation -sorry to be gross, just trying to be honest. So now when I make pasta with meat sauce, I will make 2 different pastas - one gluten free and one not. Just be careful to use seperate strainers and spoons to avoid contamination. Otherwise we have steak & mashed potatoes with vegies/salad, chicken with rice & vegies, taco night, etc.. Works out pretty well. I get gluten free deli for lunch (boars head) and we just make sure to put the deli on our plate BEFORE we take out the bread to avoid contamination. We all ahve our own cereal, so no issues there too. good luck.

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Hi there! I have one drawback I can think of: if not all family members were on gluten and tested for Celiac, it's really difficult to gluten load for an accurate Celiac panel when the house is gluten-free! Try to get really good testing behind you before your house is entirely gluten-free.

Here is/was our path:

We did not know/understand/research that our DD2 had to be on gluten for an accurate Celiac test (but we also at the time had a pediatrician who refused to write lab requisitions to test for Celiac, despite the fact the girls have cousins with Celiac)...

February 2011: Limited DD2 gluten intake. Dinner became 100% gluten-free for the whole family because I only cook one meal a night and DD2 would itch/have joint pain at night if she had gluten. Result: DD2 did a great deal better (and I got more sleep!). I started eating the gluten-free foods with DD2 so she would have company :). A few months later I ate a piece of toast before running and had D in my running tights two blocks from home. Yep. That was enough to get me off gluten. Most disgusting thing I've ever had. Ever!

August 2011: Realized we needed to have gluten in DD2's diet to test accurately. Allowed DD2 gluten at breakfast or lunch. Still 100% gluten-free dinners.

December 2011: Tested girls for Celiac. DD2 was negative and DD1 (unsuspected) tested positive. Allowed DD2 to eat as much gluten as she wanted (except at dinner). Her symptoms flared up.

January 2012: Tested whole family for genetics: all females tested positive for the gene pair. I also tested negative for the panel.

March 2012: Tested DD2 for arthritis/rheumatology panel to rule out other things, redid Celiac panel and her numbers doubled on the ttg (nearly positive for Celiac). Found awesome Celiac pediatric specialist. Did endoscopies on both girls. Cleared out house--now the house is gluten-free.

Meanwhile, all the research I've done on the kids make me suspect myself as Celiac. But, I'm afraid of gluten so I'm not exactly sure what my path to testing is going to be...

LONG story short: make sure you're all done with testing before you go fully gluten-free!

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We are in this same boat. I know that it is so much easier to test now, but at the same time, I am like "do i really need a diagnosis???" I know I had a reaction to gluten after having some after three weeks without it, and DD3 has improved SO MUCH without it. Now that I see the amazing difference in my life and hers, I want all four girls gluten free. But I know that they can't be tested once we do that. I just want the gluten out of our house!!!! I honestly doubt that the others have full blown celiac but then the "silent celiac" scares me!

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I'm with you! Yes, silent Celiac is scary! And I agree--I have almost cleared out all the gluten in the house, but somehow little things show up here and there!!??? I even felt I had to replace the girls' play makeup! Lipgloss!!! Aack!

And I agree--no a diagnosis isn't necessary. I think with the kiddos it's better (the school asked for one). The kids fall under the ADA for school lunches and equal/respectful treatment of their conditions (meaning if they are going to use playdough at school a gluten free alternative MUST be provided by law).

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I'm with you! Yes, silent Celiac is scary! And I agree--I have almost cleared out all the gluten in the house, but somehow little things show up here and there!!??? I even felt I had to replace the girls' play makeup! Lipgloss!!! Aack!

And I agree--no a diagnosis isn't necessary. I think with the kiddos it's better (the school asked for one). The kids fall under the ADA for school lunches and equal/respectful treatment of their conditions (meaning if they are going to use playdough at school a gluten free alternative MUST be provided by law).

Have you got the results from their biopsy yet? We homeschool so that is the reason we don't really "need" a diagnosis. Our families are being VERY supportive about it as well and not questioning "self diagnosis" of it since they can see that something was clearly wrong with emalyn (dd3) and she is already showing improvement signs.

About things just "showing up", yeah....we had sausage the other night.....I don't eat pork so didn't eat it, but we only wiped out the grease, then used the same pan to cook the eggs....DD3 didn't touch the eggs since she hasn't been into them lately and I was glad because I think eggs are a trigger for her anyways....but once i realized that sausage has GLUTEN, i was THRILLED that she did not eat any of them since there had to be traces in the pan still.

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Hi Rachel! Funny, we homeschooled through preschool (aka I played with kids, answered questions, helped them investigate various things...). I'm toying with more homeschooling (especially given Celiac Disease)...August is a ways off :) so I don't have to decide yet!

On results, this is what I've gotten so far: "Preliminary reads on the biopsies are looking normal" and that two additional specialists are going to look at the biopsies. It'll be interesting going forward because their ttgs were positive and they have the gene pair--some doctors call that definitive. I'll be curious to see what happens over the next week.

Regardless of what the biopsies say, we've gone gluten-free as of Wednesday. In my opinion, if their guts are "normal" that means to me that although they have the disease, the disease has not developed to the point of destroying their guts. THAT to me is the good news. I'm personally not going to chance my kid's health by feeding them gluten. My DH is on board with that too.

If you can find Aidelle's sausages, many of those are gluten-free and delicious! Gluten is tricky and finds its way in!!! BTW, DD1 tested positive for egg allergy and hasn't had a negative response. My nephew tested allergic to egg AND has had trouble with eggs and is now slowly growing out of that allergy. And, egg is everywhere!!! Have you done the food allergy panel?

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My daughters biopsy was "normal" too, but off of gluten for two weeks at the time. But I didn't ask if there was *any* damage, I just know there wasn't enough to diagnosis celiac.

I have four girls (ages 6, 5, 2.5, 1) and LOVE homeschooling. It is not for everyone, but for sure look into it. I never thought I "could" do it but my girls are THRIVING and they love it.

She did have the allergy test done a little over a year ago and she tested positive for egg and peanut allergy BUT it was a skin test and some what inconclusive because her "negative" came up positive as well so they thought she might just have super sensitive skin. But I am not learning that it only tested for Allergic reactions, not GI reactions or tolerances. So even though her milk was fine (not allergic)she could still have issues.

I am so lost with all of this really. Do you or your husband have any "issues" that you think are gluten related? I do myself so I went off gluten for three weeks and tried two pieces of bread and got so so sick. Had horrible issues afterwards. So now I am asking, should I be tested? or is getting back on it worth it for a "test", when I already know I have some sort of tolerance. AHHH so overwhelming. :huh:

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:) Hi Rachel, we are hijacking Minette's post...so I'll be brief. Yes, I am realizing I had/have issues... The best example from my life was not eating much gluten for a while, then having a piece of dry toast before going for a 4 mile run. At mile 3 I knew something was up and just tried to get home. I was a block away from home when I had D in my running tights. Grossest thing EVER!!! I've had other similar close calls and am afraid to eat gluten except when I'm home for the rest of the day/evening! I'm going to figure out the kiddos and then work on me! I'm afraid of gluten, so I'm not sure what I'll do!

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