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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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  1. Depressed--is This Worth It?

    Hi, I'm so sorry that you are feeling so bad, so I want to show you the picture of Celiac from the opposite end of the spectrum: I am 62 years old now and have had symptoms of Celiac since age 8. Asthma, wheezing, bronchitis, pneumonia and hospital stays were regular parts of my life until I finally realized that gluten intolerance, allergies to all milk & dairy, egg whites and yeast were to blame for my being sick, only about 20 years ago. My uncle J.L and my dad both died of colon cancer, now linked with Celiac. No one knew in years past much about this disease. I spent most of my money on doctors and hospitals, with relief coming in the form of medicines, drugs and more medicines, all with unwanted side effects. I was usually sick, and didn't know what to do! Now, I see you as incredibly fortunate to know at age 20 what is causing your symptoms, and to have parents and family who know about Celiac, so they can help you through. Since going gluten-free and eliminating all those other foods from my diet, I feel as though I am being given a second chance. The good part--my grandson, sister and cousin have recently been diagnosed as well, so all my suffering helps me help them. "Man does not live by bread alone..." Here's where all of those of us who have this condition can begin to work together: estimates are that one of every 133 Americans has Celiac! You have the answer to their suffering. I spend a good deal of my time creating new recipes of all kinds and working to find new products that are allowed on this diet. Each day new foods arrive to give me joy. There are so many more foods now than ever before, and there are sure to be more in the future. It's really like being on an adventure--how well can we do with what we have? I wish you the best in your quest to live life to the fullest, and if you'd like to email me at wljohnson1@peoplepc.com please do! Welda
  2. Help !

    I've been dealing with my 3 year old grandson's gluten sensitivity and allergies to milk and dairy products since he was 3 weeks old, since I am his primary daycare provider. I also have the same intolerances. Here are the things we eat: Any meat, poultry or fish Any fruit, any vegetable Any nut or seeds soy cheese, soy yogurt, soy ice cream gluten free waffles, breads, etc. Fruit roll-ups, kids' fruit in the box, etc. Cookies I make using corn flour, oil, sugar Any Hershey's syrup, cocoa or unsweetened chocolate (add sugar) Juices of any kind It becomes easier and easier, the more you experience eating this way, and, you and he or she will feel better for eating this way. Have an adventure--jump into the child's life and eat for a few days the way he or she does. It's much easier than trying to keep 2 diets going. Good luck! Welda Lou
  3. Paranoid..

    You might want to eliminate all dairy products, egg whites, yeast, casein, whey, modified food starch and maltodextrin. Those are what I've learned I'm unable to tolerate over the past few years. Welda Lou
  4. So Frustrated! Help Me! Please!

    Oh, your story is so reminiscent of the many times I struggled in restaurants, in the beginning of dealing with Celiac. After many years (I am now 61) I have learned to always carry my own food and drink (I even have a special plastic-lined purse in case of accidental spills, and now I carry an abundance of food for my 3 year old grandson as well, since he stays with me 3 days a week. It sounds as though you had terrific restraint and patience where that darn old restaurant was concerned, and I think you should give yourself a big pat on the back! It will get easier. The hard part is that we're usually hungry when we get there, so when the food comes to us wrong, our blood sugar level is low, and we feel like crying. I have cried before, and it was usually croutons or cheese on salads that did it. In general, are you noticing a big difference after 3 weeks on the diet? Believe me, more and more people are learning that they have Celiac, and in just the past 5 years or so I have seen so many more aware people than in the past. My sister, cousin, and grandson have been diagnosed just in the past 3 years. Hang in there! It will get better. Welda Lou
  5. Sick And At My Wits End!

    Hi Mandy, I'm so sorry that you are feeling so lousy. Your descriptions of your illnesses sound so familiar to me. For years I had Asthma, which would turn into Bronchitis, then into Pneumonia, and I would feel as you do now--exhausted, frustrated, tired, and sick. After I was told I had Celiac, and started to really stick to the diet, I saw sudden, dramatic changes in my health. Not overnight, of course, but after I stopped eating most canned and processed foods, I felt so much better. I learned to stay away from all grains, then learned that I was allergic to all milk and dairy products, then egg whites and yeast, then certain additives, including casein, whey, maltodextrin, modified food starch, etc. Yes, it may take a little while for you to be able to interpret what your body is telling you right now, but feel assured that, in time, this will happen. You will become so attuned to what your symptoms are, that you will run from those foods, and you will search out new and more healthful substitutes. Each of us is different, and each of us has different ingredients that we can tolerate. I hope and pray that you will learn soon what foods are best for you, and that you will feel better and better each day! Welda Lou
  6. I Want To Quit The Diet

    Hi, Oh yes, your messages cause me to recall the days when cheating seemed like the thing to do! Of course, I NEVER thought of it as cheating, because 40 years ago I didn't even know what Celiac Disease WAS. But, I did finally begin to realize that when I ate certain foods, I would end up having Asthma so badly, that I would sometimes have to be hospitalized, and I knew without a doubt that I would gain weight, and experience depression, as well. I've had Asthma since age 8, but since learning that I have Celiac, I've also learned to stick to a very strict, stringent diet, eliminating not only wheat, oats, barley and rye, but also all milk and dairy products, anything with egg whites and yeast, and such additives as casein, whey, maltodextrin, and modified food starch. I would NEVER think of cheating today, because, thank God, I have learned what causes my illnesses, and how to prevent them. Now I take one Asthma pill a day (down from 13-20 in days past), use a breathing machine 2 times a day, and hardly ever wheeze anymore, hardly ever have depression, and stay within a reasonable weight range. All that, along with days of high energy, feeling well, and being able to help my grandson, sister, and cousin, who have all been recently diagnosed with Celiac. Why cheat? I'm having fun developing new recipes and seeing that each day more and more people are becoming aware of Celiac. It is kind of like being pioneers. We're on the forefront of a new wave of good health among the people of America, and that, I think, is a good place to be. I hope you will find comfort and encouragement as you learn to live with this diet. Welda Lou
  7. Help!

    Hi Lani, Welcome to the world of adventure and challenge, as we live with Celiac! This is the place to learn as much as you can, and to ask any question you want. I have had Celiac symptoms since the age of 8, and am now 61 so I've had many opportunities to experiment with the diet and learning how to live with it. Keep coming here for advice and information. Welda Lou
  8. College Celiacs Not Time To Cook

    Hi, I'm glad you asked this question, because I just filled nine containers of transportable food for my 3 year old grandson, who was diagnosed at 3 weeks of age with Celiac (He and I are also allergic to all milk and dairy products). He goes from his daddy's house (my son) to his mommy's house, to Grandma's house on a regular schedule each week and has for the past 3 years. That means many hours being transported in the car (I live 20 miles from them), and many snacks and foods which have to be easily gotten into. Recently I filled large round containers for each of us for our cars, and large rectangular containers for our homes. Inside I put beef sticks, small cans of chicken, new small containers of Pringles potato chips, Fritos, packages of wheat free cookies, Mi-Del animal cookies, fruit roll-ups, cans of mandarin oranges, Skittles, Starbursts, Cocoa Pebbles cereal, etc. Once you get started, only your budget will be able to stop you. It is fun and challenging to think of new foods which will meet your needs. I have created a long list of the foods that Dakota can eat, and I'm usually carrying around food that I can eat too, so I have thought long and hard about this. I love Carl's Jr. because of their low-carb wraps--that means their hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, etc. can be wrapped in lettuce if you ask. It's great. Corn tostadas, tacos, or tamales without cheese also work away from home, along with french fries or any fruits. If you'd like to email me at WLJOHNSON!@peoplepc.com I'd be happy to help you in any way I can. Welda Lou
  9. I love that I can breathe! At age 8 and thereafter I suffered with Asthma to the point of being hospitalized many times. Now, at 61, I have gone from 13 Asthma pills a day down to 1, and use a breathing machine twice a day. I love walking an hour a day without wheezing, and the depression I used to have is gone! I love weighing a little over 100 pounds, and having so much energy. I love that I can keep up with my 7 grandkids, including my hyperactive 3 year old grandson, who I have helped with the Celiac diet since he was diagnosed at 3 weeks of age. I like knowing that I can help my grandson, cousin, and sister, all diagnosed with Celiac, and that I can encourage other family members to get tested. I enjoy knowing that I have come from being overly-sensitive about what I could eat, to realizing that it is a life or death decision each time I put food into my mouth. I have enjoyed learning that no matter what anyone else says, I am now educated to what is best for my own health, and I can take my own food to restaurants or wherever I want to go, assuring that I will live a longer and healthier life. Welda Lou
  10. Always Waiting For This To Kill Me!

    Hi, I'm 61 years old and have had symptoms of Celiac since I was age 8 (though I didn't learn until later that what I had was this geneticaly inherited disease). I started eliminating certain foods from my diet in my early 30s, after suffering with Asthma from the age of 8. Eventually I learned that all grains, all milk and dairy products, egg whites, and yeast were dangerous for me. It took years to get to the point of feeling really well, but now I have more energy than most people around me, and that includes many people who are younger than I. I think that once you finally learn that sticking to the diet is easier than dealing with the consequences of eating forbidden foods, life gets much easier. The social stigma that I used to feel, when I had to stay away from whatever foods were being presented at a party or gathering, turned into a challenge and quest to take good care of myself, regardless of what others said or thought. This disease has made each one of us stronger, I am sure, or is in the process of doing so! Now I take my own foods wherever I go, and my family and friends just know that I will do that, because I am sincerely taking good care of myself, so I can be around for years to come. Now my grandson, sister, and cousin have learned that they have Celiac. It is rewarding to be able to help others who have just been newly diagnosed, and to know that they will soon feel better. So, my answer is: I think that we will all be better off for learning what our bodies will tolerate, and I am happy to know that my body will immediately start wheezing if I eat something which I am not supposed to have. Though it is uncomfortable to experience the symptoms of Celiac, each of our early-warning systems is designed to see us to and through each stage of life, and I truly believe that once we are on the diet, a miraculous transformation begins to take place, which means longer lives for each of us. And, just think, each of those years we have should be more enjoyable and joy-filled, because, hopefully, we will feel so much better spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Always, Welda Lou
  11. Down, Down, Down

    Dear Chelsea, I am so inspired by the story of your grandfather! He sounds so spirited and really full of life. I am hoping and praying that his recovery continues, and perhaps you can tell him someday about my grandfather, who had surgery at age 98. He survived and lived to tell about it, so I know that this could happen for your grandpa too! About still feeling lousy after 3 months. Just stop and think about how long you consumed gluten, and the toll it probably has taken on you. This is the first time I have visited the board since January, but at age 61 I have been dealing with Celiac since age 8. Only in the past 3 years or so have I seen so much improvement, both in myself, and in the awareness of others in our communities. I have found that when I am feeling overly tired, I am usually eating something with hidden dangerous ingredients (dangerous to me, though no one else may have problems with that ingredient). I remember trying soy cheese and having symptoms, then realizing that the cheese contained casein and whey, which I had to then learn about. I remember that Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet, eating her curds and whey, but what I didn't realize was that whey and casein are derived from milk, which I am allergic to. So, in addition to all the grains, I must stay away from any and all dairy products, egg whites and yeast, something which took me a long while to learn, and then only through trial and error. Eventually you will get down what affects YOUR body in certain ways, and, most likely, you'll start feeling better again. That is the miraculous thing about our wonderful bodies--they will tell us exactly what to do, if we will only listen. So, pay close attention to what you are eating, and read labels endlessly, and be ever diligent and careful to put only allowable foods into your body, and I'm sure that soon you'll be thriving. I wish you and all others who are just joining this path of good health many blessings. Welda Lou
  12. 3 Years, Still No Support.

    I think that some members of our families are unable to acknowledge Celiac in you, because then they would have to take a look at themselves, and the possibility that they, too, might have the disease. It is, indeed, a genetic condition. I have faced some of the same responses from others that you describe, but I am 61 years old now, and since I have had symptoms since the age of 8, I have had awhile to get used to the idea that life means taking care of myself, no matter what the hardships or costs. I am a strong Christian, so I look to my Higher Power to help me along, and I have always made it through the toughest of times. I think those of us with Celiac are like pioneers, destined to lead the way for others, who may have the disease but not realize it yet. If we can be happy and content, enjoying the foods that we can tolerate, it is a good incentive to help others on this path. Some of those same people who are annoying you now, may be coming to you for advice in years to come. Do your best to focus on your health and well-being, always looking up to see what your mission in life is, and always knowing that there are others, like all of us here, who are going through some of the same tests you are. Best wishes. Welda Lou
  13. I have had symptoms of Celiac since I was 8, and am now 61, so I have learned to avoid all grains, all milk and dairy products, including casein and whey, as well as egg whites and yeast. I wheeze severely with Asthma if I eat any of these foods, and I have stomach aches, headaches, aches and pains in my joints, and feel simply miserable if I get them my mistake. Last week I made Christmas fudge and remembered that I could eat marshmallows, so I used marshmallow creme in the fudge. WRONG! One whole night of wheezing and being unable to breathe got me to read the label, where I learned that the marshmallow creme contained egg whites. Best of luck to the rest of you who are struggling with these same problems. Welda Lou
  14. Rachel, I'm so happy that you turned your day of thanksgiving into a day of gratitude and joy! I saw the heading on another message on this board, which says are you negative or positive about having celiac disease? I haven't read it yet, but I can tell without a doubt that you are one who is able to take what others might say is a disability and make it into the best possible scenario! I'm proud of you. I also prepared a plate of my own food to take to Thanksgiving, then decided that the only thing I would carry with me was a small green salad with my allowed dressing (I'm allergic to dairy and a few other things along with gluten). That's what I did, and this was the first Thanksgiving I had a WHOLE plate of food. Either my family is getting used to what I can eat (after 20 years or so) and cooking those foods, or I am more open to being flexible, or maybe both. Anyway, I enjoyed turkey with mayo (no gravy), green salad, yams with marshmallows, cranberries, corn from the cob, and jello. I think as time goes by we all learn to adjust to this diet, so I would have to say that you and I are both positive about it! Welda
  15. Supportive Spouses?

    Maya, Ianm and Jnkmnky, Yay!!! Finally, a message board where people are real. It was so refreshing to read all the posts you put in, and I had to laugh, which really felt GOOD, so please keep up the dialogue, and Maya, please keep posting. Ianm I applaud you for your forthrightness and courage in taking care of yourself. I, too, recently asked my spouse to leave, and life is so much better now. Jnkmnky I think your openness is great. Life with Celiac is a challenge, an adventure, and a quest which leads us to always be exploring, searching for new and better foods as we attempt to be healthy, happy, and satisfied human beings. I really enjoyed all your posts. Thanks! Welda Lou (Celiac since age 8, now 60, with 2 year old grandson, 61 year old sister, and 55 year old cousin recently diagnosed Celiac as well)