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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      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 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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Cheese Requiem

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I've lost cheese!

I put two and two together and am now on a two-week casein elimination diet. HOLY COW. It's day 4. (On day 2, my rennet arrived in the mail. It was a sad day.)

I just made a dinner for my husband and me that took an army of hands. There was my gluten-free pasta, his gluten-ful pasta, my homemade meatballs with fennel seeds, his homemade meatballs with parmesan.

Why not make gluten-free pasta for both of us? Because it's freakin' expensive and a waste on him. He sees pasta as a meaningless sauce conveyor so he gets cappellini. I see pasta as mana from heaven, so I get super-pasta-y elbows.

Why not make meatballs for both of us? He hates fennel seeds and I...miss parmesan and want someone to be able to eat it.

Tricky to make food you can't taste to check and see if it's all right. But I had so many irons in the fire that I overcooked the meatballs. Sigh.

Then I ate some mini-snickers, like an idiot. Hello, trace amounts of casein (not to mention the possible cc).

No cheese, no butter, no decent candy. They don't have vegan Dagoba chocolate here at a US base, folks. And Larabars? Forget it, Amazon won't ship them to an APO address (but water kefir crystals -- sure, no problem, go crazy).

The local specialty is delicious taco rice, which is exactly what it sounds like. Greasy, cheesy taco filling on pure Japanese rice. Except I had to ask for no cheese, and it ended up being shredded lettuce and ground beef on rice. Suddenly, it's just half a dish.

Cheese, butter, tiny bits of milk in chocolate -- this is the glue that holds deliciousness together. And since I've reacted RIDICULOUSLY well to my casein elimination diet so far -- like a dark cloud has lifted -- I have to consider the idea that this may be my future forever. Oh, sure, there are wonderful work-arounds, lots of consolation prizes (Van's gluten-free waffles are DAIRY-FREE!), but for the moment, I'm just sad I've lost my cheese.

I told my mother. "Oh," she said. "I couldn't live." Then, ten minutes later, she said, "I've thought of something you can eat. You grate some parmesan..."

"No mom," I said. "No. That's the entire point."
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