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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 BigDogz

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  1. Thanks for the suggestions about soy and corn but, thankfully, I don't have reactions to either of those substances. I do have to be careful about potatoes as I have reacted to those (stomach/intestinal pain), although it's much milder than my reaction to gluten. If I'm very careful to get potatoes that are FULLY ripened then I can usually avoid a reaction by not eating more than a small to moderate serving. If I get a batch of potatoes that aren't fully ripe...maybe still just a hint of green in the skins...oh, boy! From what I understand, there's more of the chemical that folks sensitive to nightshades react to in a slightly green, not-quite-ripe potato than one that's fully ripened. Anyway, I'm now completely convinced that Breyer's either has a cross-contamination issue or they aren't being totally forth-coming in their ingredient list. I've tried 3 different brands of ice cream, 4 different whole-milk cheeses, heavy-whipping cream over sliced peaches, one brand of yogurt and a big dollop of sour cream on my gluten-free burrito. I didn't react whatsoever - not even the tiniest of reactions. Ate a small scoop from what was left of the Breyer's MCC ice cream and BAM - reaction!!! Therefore, I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that after eating all of that dairy and not having even one issue that dairy, itself, is NOT the issue. Despite what Breyer's FAQ's and ingredients lists say, I maintain and continue to maintain that gluten IS, indeed, showing up in their ice creams by one route (cross-contamination) or another (undisclosed ingredient). And, frankly, I don't really care which route it is because I will not be buying Breyer's ice creams again.
  2. Interesting that you would mention CC. After posting, I did a Google search about Breyers. It seems that there was a recall of the Mint Chocolate Chip flavor a while back (can't remember what year) due to UNDISCLOSED WHEAT being in the product but not listed on the label. Can't help but wonder if it isn't happening again. Just in case, I'm avoiding Breyers all together. Just kind of bums me because I love mint choc chip and the mint choc chip Ben & Jerry's I find around here is mint ice cream with choc cookies in it. Not exactly gluten-free. Oh, well. The Chunky Monkey is pretty darned good.
  3. I've read and re-read and re-read the ingredients in Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream and, for the life of me, I can't find any ingredients listed there that should be causing me to react to it. Somehow, though, my body doesn't seem to agree with that theory. Every single time I try eating it, I end up with terrible cramps, gas and diarrhea identical to the symptoms I have when I ingest gluten. After reading the ingredient list yet again, I thought maybe I was just having problems with the dairy aspect of it...as many Celiacs do. I begrudgingly eliminated my favorite dessert from my diet but I just couldn't resist the temptation to try again. This time I bought a different brand (Ben & Jerry's) and a different flavor (Chunky Monkey). To my complete surprise I was able to enjoy the ice cream and it didn't come back to haunt me later!! Since both ice creams have identical dairy ingredients, I don't understand why I'm reacting to the Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip and not to the Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey. Does anyone else have problems reacting to the Breyer's MCC? What could I possibly be reacting to since there appears to be nothing gluten-related in the ingredient list?
  4. The foods in question are from a company called Thai Kitchen. I checked their website and, like their packaging, the website proudly proclaims which items they consider to be gluten-free and which aren't. They also note that they do not add any MSG to their foods. One thing I am seeing on the packaging is that it clearly states on the BACK of the package, "PRODUCT OF CHINA". In the small print at the bottom they note that the foods are distributed in this country (USA) by a company in Berkeley, California. Where the food items are a product of China and only distributed here by a US company, do the US labeling laws about explicitly declaring wheat/gluten sources still apply?
  5. Crazy Balance Thing Going On...

    I think we've all felt from time to time as though we're crazy and the only person out there experiencing such things. But, no, you're NOT crazy... In addition to mild to moderate GI symptoms, I get peripheral neuropathy (burning/tingling in toes/feet/lower legs & hands) and the same off-kilter issue you have when I'm glutened. I find that I have a tendency to veer to the right when walking and it takes me longer than normal to adjust to sudden, significant position changes (e.g. standing after sitting or lying down). I like your description about how your symptoms feel like you're walking on the deck of a rolling ship. I described it as a sensation that I was walking on a floor that was warped and buckled but your's is a much clearer description. When I get that "rolling ship" sensation, it seems as though I can't control my legs & I find that I do a lot of tripping and the veering thing. But it's the way you describe how it seems that there's a delay where you have to "wait for the back of your head to catch up" that really stood out to me. I experience something that's somewhat similar. Before I was diagnosed, I wasn't sure how to explain what I was feeling to my doctor other than to say that it felt as though I was having what I thought an out-of-body experience might feel like...I knew in my mind that my physical body was walking on the floor but it felt like some "invisible, shadow part" of me was simultaneously walking 6 or 8 inches off the floor and a step or two behind my body. And don't think I didn't worry about being thought of as crazy with a description like that!! LOL. Take heart, though. Since going gluten-free, the only time I have those unsettling symptoms is the unusual occasion when I get glutened. It sounds as though your cross-contamination issue is at the root of this and I'd bet that the symptoms will disappear when you're able to fix that problem.
  6. When I was learning about the gluten-free diet, I was instructed to avoid foods that contain maltodextrin unless its origin was specifically listed as a gluten-free origin, such as 'corn maltodextrin'. I recently read an article in a magazine that's dedicated to living with celiac disease. That article asserts that there's absolutely no reason for Celiacs to avoid maltodextrin, even if it originates from gliadin-containing grains. They claim that maltodextrin is processed to such a degree that no gliadin remains...or that if some does, it's such an infinitesimally small amount that it can't cause reactions. Does anyone know what the "official" ruling is on the safety of maltodextrin for Celiacs?
  7. Trip To Wegman's

    Shopping expedition...LOL! I think we all pretty much felt that way when we first started out on the gluten-free "adventure". Trust me, it will get easier as time goes on and you know what you can and cannot have. For me, the hardest part is going out with friends and having any degree of confidence that the following couple days won't be spent in the bathroom and feeling miserable. Pretty much, my friends have tried to be understanding but, unless you live it day in and day out like we do, you just don't truly understand how hard it can be to eat out just anywhere. I am looking forward to going to Wegman's tomorrow. I've never been before and I keep hearing all of these amazing things about the place. Like you, I've heard that it can be quite expensive...even for the non-gluten-free foods. It's funny that you mentioned coffee cake. I used Betty Crocker's yellow cake mix to make a coffee cake. Whipped it up just as the directions say but filled the pan about 1/2 way, tossed on some cinnamon, brown sugar and butter mix, filled the remaining batter and sprinkled on more cinnamon/sugar/butter mix. Turned out pretty well. I've pretty much learned to live without bread, too, although I did try a couple of the Bob's Red Mill bread mixes. Unfortunately, I did NOT like either of them. Instead, if I'm feeling like a "sandwich", I use a 100% corn tortilla as a wrap. I just thought I'd try one of the commercially prepared gluten-free breads and see if they're any better than those mixes. I'd LOVE to have a ham, egg and cheese sandwich for breakfast...or cinnamon toast, but it won't kill me if I can't. By the way, since you're new to this, you should check out the website called Glutenfreeda.com . I've found some really awesome gluten-free recipes on there. They rate them from Easy to Intermediate to Involved depending on how much prep work is required. I've made quite a few of the dishes for non-Celiac friends and they said they were so good that they couldn't believe they were "special" recipes. Anyway...Thanks for your suggestions and we'll see what wonders of gluten-free dining I can find tomorrow at Wegman's!
  8. I finally decided to break down and make the 120 mile round-trip trek to my nearest Wegman's tomorrow. My aim is that I'm not going for gluten-free things that I can get at my local Wal-Mart like meats, cheeses, eggs, milk, etc. I want to get products that aren't available locally like gluten-free pizzas, breads, rolls, cookies, snacks, frozen entrees, crackers, soups, etc. Problem is, Wegman's carries multiple gluten-free brands of these items and if I'm going to go that far and spend that much time & gas, I want to make the trip count by getting the best tasting products. I'd really appreciate it if anyone that shops at Wegman's could suggest specific items and brands that I should seek out. For example, which is the better gluten-free bread...Ener-G Tapioca Loaf, Brown Rice Loaf, White Rice Loaf or Glutino's Harvest Corn, Flax Seed, or Premium Fiber? Are Glutino crackers better than Blue Diamond Nut-thin crackers? Also, are there any gluten-free items that are made fresh at Wegman's that anyone would recommend? Thanks, in advance, for any suggestions y'all can make!
  9. This Is An Odd Development

    OMG! I thought I was the only one who found sodas to be distasteful after going gluten-free!! And, for me, that's saying A LOT. I was an absolute soda junkie for 10 years. I was working in a high stress job and the sugar and caffeine in the sodas seemed to give me the "jolt" I needed to maintain my energy level. I was drinking as many as 5 or 6 20 oz. Mt. Dew's or Pepsi's in an 8 hour period! At the time, I thought they were the greatest tasting beverage on the planet. I went gluten-free after getting my diagnosis last May and figured it was a great time to kick the soda habit, too. I'd been trying to quit for some time but I was never able to sustain it for more than a week or so without all of the usual side effects...headache, exhaustion, nervousness, etc. This time, kicking the soda habit was absolutely painless and withdrawal-free. Not sure what is was about the gluten-free diet that made it easier, but it did! About 6 months after quitting the sodas, I was out with a friend and they suggested we stop by a small, local restaurant and talk over coffee. I've never liked coffee so I decided I'd order a small Pepsi. Thank God I didn't waste my money getting a bigger serving because it was AWFUL!!!! It was bitter, very acidic and almost had a metallic taste. I tried a bottle from a vending machine about a month after that and the same thing! And here I was worried that having that one, initial Pepsi would cause me to fall off the wagon and get hooked on sodas again. No problem there! YUCK. I really do think that going back to a simpler diet...one like our grandparents ate that didn't have all of the chemicals and preservatives...does help to 'rejuvenate' our taste buds. I wasn't gluten-free all that long when I noticed that foods just tasted so much better than they had been. I guess that's why the Celiac diet restrictions never really bothered me because what I *can* eat tastes so AWESOME now!!
  10. I've lost 30 lbs. since going gluten-free 10 months ago. It's come off slowly (which is much safer) and easily. I haven't even been paying attention to portion sizes or calories counts and I've lost the weight. I think most of it is that, before going gluten-free, I was hungry CONSTANTLY. I could finish a huge meal the size of a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal and my stomach was literally rolling with hunger 20 minutes later. I just couldn't get enough food to feel satiated. As I said, I don't worry about portion sizes now because the gluten-free foods are satisfying me and I find I don't eat nearly as much as I used to. I also think I've lost the weight because going gluten-free has increased my energy to such a degree that I'm much, much more active. Before, I was so exhausted all the time that I was sleeping 12-14 hours a day and couldn't sustain activity for more than 2 hours at a time. It may sound strange since so many people are upset about having to go gluten-free and cutting so many things from their diet, but being diagnosed Celiac was one of the best things that's ever happened to me. It truly gave me my life back!
  11. Coworkers Are Not So Understanding

    I guess, then, that I'm glad I work where I work because people ignore what somebody else is eating...we're just glad when we can get away long enough to get the 25 minutes we're allotted for lunch so that we can eat something. In fact, foods that are routinely microwaved in our break room include fish, shrimp, popcorn, eggs & bacon, scrapple, venison, Greek, Pakistani, Egyptian, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Filipino & Pennsylvania Dutch foods. The only "trouble" I've had there since going gluten-free was that one particular person just couldn't believe that eating gluten could actually do me harm and tried to insist that I was just being a picky eater. That tune changed when I had a bad reaction at a work function and they've not had anything negative to say since.
  12. Hey, guys... One of the best places I've found in my area to get gluten-free flours and mixes is a small, independent, Amish-owned bulk foods store. They have been more than accommodating in stocking products as well as very open to bringing in new gluten-free products. As I was browsing through the store today, I passed by the meat section and my eye was caught by some Jalapeno & Cheese hot dogs produced by John F. Martin & Sons, Inc. - an Amish company based in Stevens, PA. They looked...and sounded...really good but when I read the ingredient list I was too afraid to try them. It all sounded ok until I got to that horribly ambiguous phrase "Natural flavorings". Since some Amish business in my area have websites, I took a chance that Martin's might, too. They don't. I tried a quick board search here to see if I could find anything anyone posted and came up empty. I do have a phone number for Martin's but I thought I'd toss out in inquiry here before making a long distance phone call. Anyone out there know what, if any, of John F. Martin & Sons products are gluten-free?
  13. Coworkers Are Not So Understanding

    It appears as though I'm going to be the lone dissenting vote here. I do not agree at all that you should have to refrain from heating up a platter of fish at the office. I am not at all fond of the smell of coffee, but if I want to eat in our break room I've got to deal with it since a pot of coffee brews there 24 hours a day - literally. I also find the pungent odors...and some of the sights...of Indian cuisine and some Filipino foods to be unsettling to my stomach, but I have absolutely no right to tell my Hindu and Filipino co-workers that they can't bring their traditional foods to work. Nor, do they have the right to limit what I can bring in on what is already a very limited diet. I say, screw the insensitive people and keep bringing your fish. You are doing what is best for your health, physically AND mentally, and health trumps odors any day. That said, I would be certain to try to bring in fishes that are mild and don't have a lot of "fishy" smell. Also, I'd be sure to pre-cook the fish at home to limit the amount of heating time and, hopefully, the lingering odors. Also, you could give a show of trying to accommodate by purchasing and bringing in a can or two of air sprays/deodorizers in pleasant scents that your co-workers could spritz as needed to help mask any objectionable odors. Don't let them get you down! I ran into a similar insensitivity at work, as well. Eventually my co-workers started asking me all about the diet restrictions and they soon realized how difficult it can be...and became much more sensitive, understanding and supportive in the process.
  14. This is a bit off the topic but since it involves another social situation, I figured I'd stick it here and see what comes of it. I've been invited to a night at the movies with a few friends. I haven't been to a movie at a theater since I saw 'Turner & Hooch'. Yes, that was way back in 1989 and anyone that's read this thread knows my reasons why, so don't flame me about it. Anyway...that last outing was LONG before I got diagnosed and I was wondering if anyone knew if the popcorn you can get at the theaters is gluten-free? Thanks.
  15. Celiac Horseback Riding?

    I breed, raise, train and show horses and I've never had a problem dealing with any of the feeds, etc. that I'm constantly in contact with. I've even used barley straw to bed down some of the broodmares in the past (currently using oat straw)and even with all of that dust flying around...nada. Oats and corn are probably the most prevalent ingredients in the majority of horse feeds. Bran mashes are still used, although infrequently, mostly in Hunter/Jumper barns but have pretty much become an "old-timers feed". They can be time consuming to make as they have to be properly steamed before feeding, so most of today's modern, time-pressed horseman don't feed them. It's just so much easier to pop a "horse cookie" or sugar cube out of a box, a peppermint Starlight candy out of it's plastic wrapper or a carrot from a bag. I feed pelleted feeds for several reasons: 1.) the softer pellets are easier for horses, young or old, to chew. 2.) pelleted feeds don't mold in hot weather and freeze into blocks in cold weather the way molasses/sweet/textured (or whatever your region calls them) feeds. 3.) pelleted feeds have very little dust to fly around. 4.) you get a consistent nutrient content from bag to bag with pellets. 5.) I use an alfalfa-based, high oil feed for excellent nutrition, strong feet, good weight gain & growth, glossy coats...and less exposure on my part to any gluten-containing grains. Since it sounds as though you'll be dealing with a boarding/lesson stable and won't have control over these sorts of things, I would have to agree with the others. There's probably no reason to curtail your child's horse activities due to gluten fears. As a student, she's probably not going to be helping with feeding or handling grain rations and I'm certain that if you discuss the issue with the instructor, they'd do what they can to prevent problems. Remember, students are their paycheck so reputable instructors will do what they can to accommodate & keep people coming back...as long as the requests are approached with respect. You also need to be aware that the instructor is probably new to this, as well, so they'll need some latitude on your part for some initial slip-ups. You'll gain extra points with the instructor, too, if you realize their job is to teach, not babysit, and stick around during barn time to be your child's reminder to keep her hands from her mouth and to wash up as needed. Also, a barn is an inherently dirty place, so you'd have to talk with your child about keeping her hands out of her mouth, anyway. To make certain you're doing everything you can, buy her a small grooming tote at a local tack shop and the two of you can make a mother-daughter project out of making her a "Barn Survival Kit". Tucked inside can be things like a pack of celiac disease-friendly baby wipes, gel hand cleanser, a bottle of water, a few gluten-free snacks she can munch if she gets hungry and any other items you think might be helpful in case she gets soiled. If you want to go a bit larger, you can even put a change of clothes in there should she get something on her. In order to make the bag "special" and fun, instead of just one more celiac disease-induced restriction, you could get her to customize it by decorating it with puff-paints, sequins, rhinestones, jewels or whatever or by simply helping her to stencil the names of her favorite lesson horses on it. It wouldn't surprise me if the other girls in the barn would soon be showing up with their own Barn Survival Kits and your daughter could take pride in setting a trend!