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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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About canadave

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  1. Hi, I was diagnosed with celiac (with biopsy) and went on the gluten-free diet in 2008 (when I was 37 years old). I just had some blood work done, and it shows I have low vitamin B12 and vitamin D levels, both of which my GP told me were likely related to my celiac disease. And, I have indeed read that low levels of these vitamins can be caused by celiac disease. I guess my question is whether that is true of people who have UNTREATED celiac disease, rather than people who have celiac but have been following a strictly gluten-free diet for years. I thought that years of being on a gluten-free diet would've allowed my insides to "heal", and thus I thought these kinds of issues wouldn't necessarily crop up. If that's true, then my concern obviously is that maybe things haven't healed, and these vitamin deficiencies are due to this lack of healing, even after so many years of the diet. Can anyone shed some light on whether celiac-related vitamin deficiencies like this are typical, even for celiacs who have been on the gluten-free diet for years and who have, assumedly, fully healed? Or am I just completely misinformed as to the way intestinal healing works for celiacs, even those who've been gluten-free for a while?
  2. Pizza Delight is a chain in Atlantic Canada (and perhaps elsewhere?). They just announced on their Facebook page that they are going to be offering a gluten-free dough option beginning on March 7. They also said that their staff will be trained on "allergy safety".
  3. Just wanted to alert folks in the Nova Scotia area who might be in the area of Halifax/Sackville/Dartmouth...there is a pizzeria chain called "Pizzatown" that makes (and even delivers) gluten free pizzas. I was just in the location on Joseph Howe Drive for the first time, and the owner (and his helper workers) were extremely knowledgeable about celiac disease. The pizza crusts come premade on their own aluminum tray, which is put into a conveyor oven so that the pizza never touches the regular pizza oven floor. They use separate cleaned utensils, and they make sure their sauce/cheese/toppings are gluten free. The staff are all highly trained about cross-contamination. It was a fantastic conversation--the guy really "gets it" about celiac disease. He said in the three years they've been selling gluten-free pizzas at the Joe Howe location, they've never had a single celiac person register a complaint about getting sick. The manager really went out of his way to make sure I understood how careful they are about cross-contamination. The price was right too--two medium 12" plain pizzas for $18 and change, total. Very reasonable. The pizza's taste? Not bad for gluten-free pizza. I've had better-tasting gluten-free pizza in New York, but for Halifax, for a normal pizzeria chain, for a chain that caters to celiacs?? It was terrific. They have several locations--check their website: http://www.pizzatown.ca --Dave
  4. I've had issues with all Kraft cheese that contain natamycin. I can only tolerate cheeses that don't have that ingredient.
  5. I'm not so sure about that. There are different types of Hershey's Kisses, first of all; and the Hershey's Canada website does not have any allergen info readily available as far as I can see.
  6. OK, so, being curious, and nervous about drinking a beer that supposedly starts from malt (!), I finally decided to contact the company and get the straight information on Mongozo and gluten-free beer. I exchanged emails with Jan Fleurkens at Mongozo, who quite helpfully was able to answer questions about Mongozo products. First off: The only TRULY, COMPLETELY, GUARANTEED BY THE COMPANY gluten-free beer that Mongozo offers is "Mongozo Premium Pilsner". This is the ONLY beer that is brewed gluten-free, in a separate installation from its gluten-containing beers. ALL other Mongozo beers either contain gluten, or are brewed in an installation where gluten is present and thus carry a risk of cross-contamination--and to their credit, Mongozo does not warrant those beers to be gluten-free. Again, to repeat, for safety's sake: the ONLY Mongozo beer that the company claims to be truly safe and gluten-free is "Premium Pilsner". Now, on to the Premium Pilsner (I'll refer to it as "PP" for now). As noted earlier, it is brewed in a separate installation. It does start out containing gluten in the form of malt, which Mongozo says is removed by a manufacturing process to achieve the final product (although Jan politely declined to go into details about the process, I would imagine this is accomplished in a manner similar to the way that McDonalds starts with gluten in its french fries and removes it so that it is not detectable in the final product). Mongozo brews PP in batches of 125 hectolitres (a hectolitre is 100 litres). Every time Mongozo brews a batch of PP, some is sent to be tested by an independent laboratory called "Nutrilab" in the Netherlands. The testing is done at three stages of a production run: at the 25th hectolitre, the 75th hectolitre, and the end of the run. The PP must be less than 10 parts per million (ppm) to pass the testing. The testing is an ELISA test. I'll see if I can attach a copy of a recent test which Jan was kind enough to send. EDIT: Yep, here you go, the copy of a recent test: Premium Pilsner gluten-free testing Next: The following is the email conversation between me and Jan on the subject, so you can decide for yourselves. Read it from the bottom upwards to be in the correct chronological order. Re: Premium Pilsner gluten questions From: Mongozo BV <info@mongozo.com> To: Dave Dear Dave, The primium pilsener is brewed in a seperate installation. Best regards, Jan Fleurkens. ------------ From: Dave Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2011 6:34 PM To: Mongozo BV Subject: Re: Premium Pilsner gluten questions No problem Jan, thanks for clearing that up--I'm only interested in the Premium Pilsner anyway, so that's fine I take it the Premium Pilsner is also not brewed in a gluten-free installation? Thank you for answering all my questions. I really do appreciate it greatly. Unfortunately, having celiac disease means having to be paranoid and ask a thousand questions before we can be truly sure something is safe. I see that you take great pride in having a gluten-free beer in your Premium Pilsner, and I'm glad to hear that you take the elimination of gluten from your product so seriously--believe me, that makes me feel a lot safer about drinking it on a consistent basis in the future. cheers, Dave -------------- From: Mongozo BV <info@mongozo.com> To: Dave Sent: Thu, January 13, 2011 1:29:06 PM Subject: Re: Premium Pilsner gluten questions Dear Dave, I never saw this information. Mongozo, the exotic beers, where never gluten free. I never ever gave this info. It is not on my webpage and nobody asked me and we never claimed it as a gluten free product. The Mongozo quinua is another story. Quinua is gluten free. But we do not brew in a gluten free installation. We clean but we can not guaranty it. I never ever claimed this beer as a gluten free beer. Some custumers took this beer as a gluten free beer. They had no problems. It is at their own risk. I know the chance that it is gluten free is great but I want to be sure, 100 % sure before we say this. This is not even on our website. Mongozo pilsener is another story. We break the gluten and filter the gluten (sorry, I can not give you the details) out the beer. I am sure that we have a gluten free pilsener. We introduced the beer only after several years of research. Best regards, Jan Fleurkens. ------- From: Dave Sent: Thursday, January 13, 2011 5:37 PM To: Mongozo BV Subject: Re: Premium Pilsner gluten questions Hello Jan, Thank you very much for your reply, and thank you very much for your understanding of my concern as someone with celiac disease. I did in fact try the Premium Pilsner a couple of days ago (I couldn't resist the temptation), and it did taste quite good, so many congratulations on that score So, I can assume from your response that Mongozo is very concerned with keeping its gluten-free beers safe for celiacs? I must tell you that the reason I wrote in the first place is that I've read that there is a possibility of cross-contamination with Mongozo beer. For instance, I read the following on this gluten-free beer website: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art30583.asp "Mongozo Exotic Beers - Exotic Beers brewed in Belgium. Caution: Only one of the portfolio is made with Gluten Free ingredients, but may not be truly gluten free due to cross contamination. Several Mongozo Beers were previously on the list of Gluten Free Beers, but have been removed due to confirmed information that they are not gluten free. These are: Mongozo Coconut, Mongozo Banana, Mongozo Mango, and Mongozo Palmnut. Mongozo Quinua - Mongozo Beers, Netherlands - CAUTION! Although made with quinua, a bitter grain of Bolivia characteristically used to brew beers made in Africa and South America, there may be cross contamination due to processing. No testing of gluten levels is available." Although you're saying you do testing, the cross-contamination issue is still a concern to me. What kind of things are done to make sure that cross-contamination is eliminated? I'm also still puzzled about how you can start with gluten (malt) and remove it somehow. Is there any way you can elaborate on how this is done (without giving away any trade secrets of course!) Thank you again, Dave -------- From: Mongozo BV <info@mongozo.com> To: Dave Sent: Thu, January 13, 2011 12:18:09 PM Subject: Re: Premium Pilsner gluten questions Dear Dave, Thanks for your mail. I understand that you have to be sure. On every batch of 125 hecto. we do three times a test. At 25 hecto, 75 hecto and at the end. Nutrilab in the Netherlands do the test. I sent a test, no prblem. The organisation that grante the certification is the Dutch coeliakie organisation. We do not need to renew the certification for gluten free mark. But we have to show that we test every batch. The pilsener was in a blind test the best Belgian pilsener, before Maes, Stella Artois etc. Will sent a article from a newspaper. If you have any questions and/or remark let me know. Best regards, On behalf of Mongozo BV, Jan Fleurkens. -------- From: Dave Sent: Saturday, January 08, 2011 2:17 AM To: info@mongozo.com Subject: Premium Pilsner gluten questions Hi, As someone who has coeliac disease, I have a couple of questions about Mongozo Premium Pilsner. I've read on your website the description of how the beer has gluten removed and is "tested by a reputable laboratory". The fact that gluten is present at the beginning of the process is still worrisome to me. Can you elaborate a little bit on the details of how the testing is done to ensure that no gluten is present at the end? Is it just one small sample of beer per every 10 million bottles, or is every batch of beer tested? Also, when you say that the beer is "certified gluten free", what organization has granted the certification? Do you need to renew your gluten-free certification periodically? If so, how often? Thank you in advance—knowing the answers to these questions would make me feel more informed about whether or not to try your Pilsner, which looks really good by the way! Thanks-- Dave --------------------------------- I also asked Jan if they ran the testing on every batch, and this was his reply: Yes we do. We only sell the beer to the market if we are 100 % sure. Batches are on the label so importers or supermarkets can check. Best regards, Jan Fleurkens. One last thing to add--Jan also mentioned this: "In blind tastings by professionals in the Netherlands and Belgium, Mongozo pilsener was even better than the well known brands as Heineken, Bavaria, Stella Artois, and Maes. The production is important but taste also. And...it is also organic and fairtrade labelled." So, there you have it. That should be enough for everyone to make up their own minds about whether or not to drink the pilsner. Personally, having tried it already, I think it tastes fantastic, and now I feel more confident about continuing to drink it--but you'll all need to come to your own conclusions. At least we now have something to go on --Dave
  7. Well, as you know it's all up to personal preference, but as long as it's being tested, and coming up at less than 10 ppm, I'd feel pretty safe. Obviously there are other dangers (the danger that their source ingredients are cross-contaminated from the supplier, or the danger that some kind of machinery flaw results in a bad batch that contains gluten), but then there are dangers with just about anything you eat or drink as a celiac. For what it's worth, I just saw the Mongozo Premium Pilsner for the first time at the NSLC tonight, on clearance, and bought a bottle. I just finished it a few minutes before typing this. My non-celiac wife and I agree--this is not just a terrific-tasting gluten-free beer, but also a great-tasting beer, period. Really really good. I've had Redbridge and La Messagiere (ugh)...they can't hold a candle to this stuff. Not a horrible price either--about $3.60 after 15% tax for a single bottle. If I don't come back and reply here within a day or two, you can safely assume that I had no adverse reaction If I do have a reaction I'll make sure to post here.
  8. Apologies if this has already been posted and discussed (I couldn't find mention here during a search), but have you folks seen this?? http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE66F3KE20100716 This is incredibly scary to me! A soy flour tested at 3,000 parts per million!?!??
  9. Just trying to scrounge up info here....does anyone know of any hot dogs sold anywhere in Canada that positively, 100%, are gluten-free? Not "may contain wheat" or anything vague like that? I've had a look at various brands sold in stores here in Nova Scotia, and I'm yet to find something that's 100% safe. It's so frustrating, because so many hot dogs in the USA are safe, but not sold here.
  10. You're very welcome--it's always a joy to be able to share good news like this with my fellow celiacs A followup: I've had four more Boston Pizza gluten-free pizzas since I originally posted this, all from the same Stony Plain BP location. No reactions whatsoever. Last time I was there, there was a different person at the till, so I decided, as a test, to ask about how the gluten-free pizzas are prepared, whether they're protected from cross-contamination, etc etc. Of course, I already knew from my conversations with Fred the manager that they are apparently quite well-trained on the subject, but I wanted to see what this person would say. As I suspected, she reiterated what the manager said--she quickly said "oh yes, we're all very careful--the manager here has celiac, so we're all very trained in what to do." So, again, Stony Plain BP gluten-free pizzas seem to have the A1 seal of approval. Your mileage may vary at other BP locations, however, so be sure to confirm with your local BP about their gluten-free prep protocols.
  11. Hey, fantastic! Yeah, I'm writing this seven hours after my BP experience, and I feel absolutely fine. I'd definitely trust the Stony Plain location....of course, ask anyway to make sure, but they'll almost certainly tell you that they're on top of the celiac issue. They seem to be quite experienced at it (and of course the manager, Fred, has celiac too, so that gives me much more confidence in the staff's training on the subject).
  12. Hey there all, Boston Pizza now serves gluten-free pizza! I'll just tell the story, as it might shed some additional details on it: I used to live in Alberta, near a town called Stony Plain, which has a BP. I just returned there a couple of days ago for a vacation. Before I returned here, I searched for gluten-free restaurants in the Stony Plain area, and found a mention of the BP. It turns out that the manager of the BP has celiac, and for years has offered a gluten-free pizza using a Kinnikinnick crust. So today I went there to try their gluten-free pizza. It was AMAZING. For those celiac Canadians who may remember having Panago pizza from their pre-celiac days, let me just say that the BP gluten-free pizza had a VERY similar taste and texture to Panago pizza. I wound up talking to the celiac BP manager. He had some interesting things to say. In response to my questions about cross-contamination, he said that he makes sure his staff is well-trained on celiac disease, they have a cleaning regimen for the utensils that will touch the pizza, and the pizza itself is prepared on a fresh sheet of parchment paper. He said they've been serving this pizza to local celiacs for years, and have never had any problems. And then he said, "Beginning this month, Boston Pizza restaurants nationwide have rolled out a gluten-free pizza on their menu"!!! When I got back home I looked it up--and sure enough, BP now serves gluten-free pizza nationwide on Kinni crusts. You can get an individual pizza with up to four toppings (only at the Stony Plain franchise do they serve individual size AND small (10") size.) The dreaded "gluten-free markup" by the way was VERY reasonable....my plain small 10" pizza came out to just over $13. That's not all that much more than the normal pizza. So.....all in all, thrilling news for those of us celiac Canadians fiending for some good pizza! If you decide to try the BP gluten-free pizza anywhere but Stony Plain, Alberta, though, I would definitely recommend closely questioning the staff and making sure they know what they're doing in terms of preventing cross-contamination....good advice at any time, but particularly now, because they're just rolling this out and it's all very new to them. Bon appetit!
  13. Hi all, I was a longtime member of pizzamaking.com before my celiac diagnosis. It is THE place on the Internet for all things related to making pizza. I just PM'ed the admin there, and he was kind enough to create a "Gluten Free Pizza" area amidst the other "NY Pizza Style", "Chicago Pizza Style", and "Neapolitan Pizza Style" areas. This will be a place where folks can specifically discuss the arcane art of making a gluten free pizza (which, as we all know, is a subject volumes could be written about). The link to the new Gluten Free Pizza forum is here: http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php?board=63.0 Hope to see you all there to discuss recipes, techniques, etc! --Dave
  14. Yes, good point. In response to a query I made, I just got this email from David Kalish, the Director of Purchasing for Nathan's. Note the bit at the end about checking the packages: "In response to many inquiries from our loyal customers over the past few years, we began work on a new spice formula that did not contain glutens. Nathan's is very proud of the fact that we were able to manufacture our product Gluten-Free. We will be making all of our hot dogs and sausages for both Foodservice & Retail this way shortly. One word of caution: at this time we are in the process of transitioning to our new formula. Not every product both in supermarkets and our restaurants have been converted as yet. Please check your supermarket packages carefully to make sure they have the "Gluten-Free" burst on the label. Thank you for your continued loyalty to our brand." It does sound as though ALL Nathan's products are either already gluten-free, or in the process of being made gluten-free soon. What great news!
  15. Nathans Fries & Hotdogs

    Just wanted to add this. I wrote to Nathan's thanking them for going gluten-free. I just got this today from David Kalish, Nathan's Director of Purchasing: "In response to many inquiries from our loyal customers over the past few years, we began work on a new spice formula that did not contain glutens. Nathan's is very proud of the fact that we were able to manufacture our product Gluten-Free. We will be making all of our hot dogs and sausages for both Foodservice & Retail this way shortly. One word of caution: at this time we are in the process of transitioning to our new formula. Not every product both in supermarkets and our restaurants have been converted as yet. Please check your supermarket packages carefully to make sure they have the "Gluten-Free" burst on the label. Thank you for your continued loyalty to our brand." Love it, love it, love it! Kudos, Nathans and Mr. Kalish....kudos.