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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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.


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  1. Not on Dapsone, but have found that OTC corticosteroid cream helps lesions clear more quickly and helps with the pigmentation a bit. You don't want to overdo it with the cream as it thins your skin, so only apply to affected areas for a short period of time. Coconut oil (the kind you eat) applied to your skin helps with the dryness and seems to help healing a bit. I would recommend Squirmingitch's advice - go with the Fasano diet. At the very least, avoid eating foods prepared by anyone but you at all costs and try to stay away from open flour/baking. Many celiacs claim to get away with doing these things (and maybe they truly do), but when your reaction manifests externally, it's difficult to pretend that risky behaviours are going below your immune system's radar.
  2. Not sure if they get distributed outside Canada/PNW, but Que Pasa makes certified gluten-free corn chips and tortillas if anyone is looking for extra safety. They are mainstream in most grocery stores here, and are the least expensive corn chips you can buy. Also legitimately very good. I've never tried Mission, but I've had problems with gluten-free-labelled tortillas that were presumably made in non-dedicated facilities - these were smaller/local brands though, so less likely to have strict protocols. While corn is definitely on the safer side of things for CC, there is some potential due to shared agricultural equipment/storage as most farms do both wheat and corn in North America. Some studies looking at cereal grains show this too. This may not be a serious concern for most celiacs, but I suppose if you are sensitive and get a mild hot spot this might be problematic? At any rate, I now avoid corn-based products that are not certified since my unfortunate experience of poisoning myself for months with sketchy corn tortillas. AFAIK, Que Pasa chips are produced in a dedicated facility. All of the chips they sell, even the flavoured ones are certified, and the only other product they make is salsa (not labelled gluten-free, but has no glutenous ingredients).
  3. I believe it is ~$20-25 CAD for the standard jar (600g) at Whole Foods here, so more expensive. This is however, a bargain compared to most other protein powders I see (upwards of $50 for similar amounts!). Packaged food, animal products and alcohol in Canada are stupid expensive, especially if you're off the "main line" (ie. Great Lakes/St Lawrence corridor) as I am. I'm probably a little less affected by this as I never did purchase much packaged food even pre-diagnosis... and now I buy almost none. Luckily in-season veggies are super cheap in most of Canada except the far north, where veggies don't really grow haha.
  4. Thanks Ennis_TX! That's what I was hoping to hear I've never been a big protein powder user even pre-diagnosis despite being a fairly high level endurance athlete, so my awareness of what's out there is low. I've always preferred "real food," however, I was trying to find a protein powder because I have some extended job-related travel coming up, and wanted a shelf-stable, safe protein source. I like that this one only has no flavouring agents/nutritional additives and sunflower seeds are an inherently nutritious real food. The price for this powder is actually pretty good in my area as the company is based in Vancouver/Bellingham, which is where I live. I don't much care if the taste or texture is horrible as long as it doesn't make me sick! Just wanted to make sure that this was the case. Thanks for the hemp protein suggestion as well.
  5. Has anyone tried this product (Whole Foods carries it in the PNW)? http://www.omeganutrition.com/pumpkin-protein-powder-21-oz-epppp021 Its only ingredient is pumpkin seeds, which is appealing to me as I am allergic to soy/pea protein on top of celiac. The company says it's gluten-free and elsewhere states that all of their products are gluten-free/produced in a dedicated facility. Based on their other products, this seems to check out. My only hesitation is that there is some flakiness on the website - the founder claims to be some sort of messiah (not joking) and they also claim to test their products for "longevity." Maybe I'm being a bit paranoid, but I'm a bit leery about trusting a company with something serious if that's their MO so to speak. Thoughts/experiences?
  6. Thanks! I believe I've seen their products in Whole Foods, which is good - being able to buy in-person is much more convenient. Another one I came across recently that might be ok is Alba botanicals. They use tocopherol and leicithin in many of their sunscreens, so I will be asking them what source they use. Here's to hoping it's not soy.
  7. Ok, I have received a response from Kiss My Face about their sunscreens. It's unfortunately not super helpful (as is often the case I guess). I'm inferring here that they might make their oat-containing products on the same line as their supposedly gluten-free ones, but that they clean the lines between runs. I guess that's not ideal, but without the context of what other companies do, it's hard to say if this means much. But I'm guessing that it's better than most (they are trying?). At the very least, most of the company's products are labelled as gluten-free - only a few contain oats as far as I've perused. Since finding truly gluten-free sunscreen that doesn't contain overt soy has been a massive headache for me (CeraVe and KMF are the only companies I've found that sell products in Canada) I'm thinking I will try it out. I still have the CeraVe moisturizer with SPF 30 (no oats in this formula), but the KMF product seems to better suit my needs as I want a sport sunscreen with a high SPF (redhead, family history of skin cancer). Unfortunately, all of the equivalent CeraVe products contain oats, making it no bueno for me. Hope this helps others. This is truly a bit of an absurd situation as sunscreen is a medical product. You'd think that there would be more interest in making certified sunscreen than say mascara or shampoo.... but I guess not Hello x, We thank you for writing us at KMF! I am happy to hear you are interested in out line. Our [sic] manufacturing facilities [sic] have a practice of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices), all production lines are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized between any product runs. We do not test the final product for parts per billion. Have a great rest of the week! Janet Kiss Customer Service
  8. Yikes... beer was actually the thing that made me suspect I had celiac in the first place, so this article isn't even anecdotally reasonable. I noticed that I would have beer, any amount and the next day I would have what I thought was a terrible hangover. Then I realized this didn't happen when I drank other types of alcohol... Anyways... I'd be careful about accepting any kind of advice about what foods or products are safe unless it comes from someone who is not trying to sell it to you. This goes doubly if the advice giver is not regulated healthcare professional (MD, dietician, pharmacist etc.) or some other kind of expert like a research scientist. Lots of people have opinions, but unless they have to deal with the consequences of that opinion it's not worth much to me.
  9. Thanks for the responses! My allergy to soy is not anaphylactic and so I am a bit more willing to take risks with CC as long as there are no questionable ingredients listed. It's usually obvious right away since I'll get hives and/or an itchy mouth throat immediately, but can be subdued by taking OTC allergy meds. I have recently cleaned house on all my personal care products as I realized from my Christmas vacation that the face soap I'd been using (Cetaphil, no gluten ingredients) was causing me problems. I replaced everything that went on or near my face (shampoo/conditioner, body/face wash, foundation, moisturizer) with certified products. So far this has made a big difference, so it's something that seems worth the trouble to me. I'd noted that the regular sunscreens from CeraVe contain oats from one of your previous posts when I was trying to find more information about the company, which was what initially made me concerned. For some reason, their moisturizer with SPF does not contain oats as far as the label is concerned (this is the product I have). I suppose it could be fine, but I'm just a bit worried about CC potential, since I'd imagine all their sunscreen products are made on the same line. I think I will email CeraVe about this to confirm and will post their response here. I'm also going to contact Kiss My Face about oat CC. http://www.cerave.com/our-products/moisturizers/am-facial-moisturizing-lotion
  10. I thought I'd post this question since I've not been able to find a thread on this topic that is particularly recent. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for sunscreen that is very gluten-free and soy free as I am also allergic to soy. Most sunscreens I come across that look like they could be promising use evasive phrasing with respect to gluten, contain oats (can't tolerate them either) or contain tocopherol (often made from soy, has caused me problems in the past). I'm concerned about the product being very safe (ie. tested by the company) because I wear my sunscreen while running and I sweat a lot - 100% chance it's going in my mouth. I live in Canada, but I'm game to order online or dip across the border if necessary. So far the only brand that seems somewhat promising is Kiss My Face, but I'm a little concerned by the way they phrase "gluten free ingredients" and the fact that some of their sunscreens contain oats (potential CC risk). I'm planning on contacting the company about these concerns, but was interested if anyone is aware of other brands/products that are trustworthy. Any help would be appreciated... summer is coming! [I currently have CeraVe SPF 30 face moisturizer, but I'm not really sure if it's safe - it does not contain gluten or oats, but their website doesn't make any claims about its safety. Comments about this would be appreciated if anyone knows anything!]
  11. This has happened to me so many times and it is the worst. I was at a potluck dinner (didn't plan on eating anything, ate beforehand) and a friend brought me a store-bought gluten-free cake from a reputable company. It looked fantastic and I was so grateful because I am a poor grad student and don't often indulge in such luxuries. Then it got plonked on the serving plate with the regular glutenous cake. Super awkward. Can't say I can offer any advice, but my deepest sympathies. I think the trouble is that many people think that celiac is like lactose intolerance, where consuming a bit (or even a lot) of lactose is not ideal but not really all that harmful. I try to educate people as I go, but it's definitely an uphill battle. I live in the PNW, and lots of cafes have "gluten-free" cookies unwrapped, sitting beside regular baked goods, likely made in-house in a shared bakery facility. I think these sort of situations add to people's confusion too.
  12. I think others have covered most of your questions, but I thought I would chime in on the sports part. I am a fairly elite level distance runner and ran on my university team throughout undergrad. Retrospectively, it is obvious to me that having undiagnosed celiac disease had a huge impact on my ability to train and compete consistently, but I still managed to achieve quite a lot during this time. To be honest, when I accidentally gluten myself and take stock of how bad I feel, I am completely shocked that I was even able to train seriously at all. I think the key is respecting recovery for endurance training - with celiac and without. Even before I knew what exactly was wrong, it was obvious to me that my capacity to recover from hard training efforts was unreasonably low. For a while I tried to push through this, but this ended with me essentially lying in bed for weeks at a time because I was so sick, which was frustrating. After a year of this, I figured out the bounds of intensity that my undiagnosed celiac self could tolerate without implosion. I seemed to be able to handle the same training volume, but high intensity efforts and races left me crushed. This "speed limit" strategy was not ideal, but it was what I did to survive the situation - varsity sports are a high pressure environment, and despite trying to get answers from doctors, I got none (because apparently being able to run for more than 30 minutes consecutively means that it's impossible to be seriously ill according to most doctors :| ). Anyways, flash forward to what happened when I started the GFD and recovery. It took about a month for me to notice a huge difference in my running. I still wasn't entirely healed by any means, but it felt as if someone has lifted a weight from my back (this was not literal as my weight didn't change). It was the most encouraging feeling. Despite feeling a lot better, I maintained my previous protocol because I knew that my body needed to focus on healing itself from the years of damage. I tried to focus on having fun during workouts and not timing myself. I also began training by myself to remove any comparison I might have inadvertently made between myself and my teammates. I would definitely recommend continuing with triathlon. I think that continuing with running and racing has been one of the few joys I've had since diagnosis. It allows you to feel safe, normal, empowered and keeps your body in better condition to fight the disease. Best of luck.
  13. I thought the style of your post was funny I've recently been dealing with a similar situation and have finally gotten to the bottom of it (I think). I like you, live in a shared kitchen. Although my roommate is very considerate and doesn't eat much overtly glutenous food, I've developed a few strategies that seem to work: separate everything buy small plastic basin that fits in sink, wash dishes in this (avoid any residue/crumbs/whatever that might be stuck to the sink) wipe down all counters, handles and taps that I'm going to touch before cooking I was still having some small problems with CC after this, so I turned to my own food. I got rid of everything that wasn't certified gluten-free (or from a very reputable company), excepting unprocessed fruits/veggies, plain dairy, rice and shelled nuts. I think this was the most key part, as I think that a lot of naturally gluten-free grains that are used in supposedly gluten-free products have enough contamination to cause problems unless the company is specifically monitoring this (as required by the gluten-free certification). Previously, I had been purchasing a lot of food items labelled as gluten-free, but with from smaller local companies that I presume would not actually test their ingredients or final products. Although many celiacs do have other digestive issues with different foods, I really think that many of people's problems with other grains or other ingredients are related to this. I also replaced all my shower stuff with products that were certified gluten-free. Previously I had been using products that didn't contain gluten explicitly, but were from companies that couldn't guarantee their products were gluten-free because they didn't test them. I know a lot of celiacs are not concerned by this sort of product, but I guess I eat a lot of soap when I shower as I noticed a big difference within a few days... Hope this helps.
  14. I am also allergic to soy and have problems with beans. At first I thought this might be because I had problems with other legumes - I originally tested positive for pea protein via skin prick (soy was not on the panel), but found that soy made my mouth/throat itchy after doing an elimination diet protocol. However, more recently I've been using a canned brand that is labelled organic/gluten-free (same brand also has non-organic beans that are not labelled gluten-free, so presumably there is a difference that they know about). These beans do not seem to cause me any issues. I've tried other canned brands to poor results, but have had ok results from some other USDA organic labelled beans (without any gluten-free claims). I have not tried dried beans because I don't have time for that. I always rinse my beans before eating/cooking. As an aside, pre-packaged foods like hummus sometimes causes me problems depending on the brand, but I never have problems with products that are certified gluten-free, which gives me the impression that this is an issue with ingredient sourcing as opposed to just my system not appreciating beans. My best guess is that the organic beans are sourced more selectively (ie. from the US/Canada/Europe), meaning that they might have had less chance of being cross-contaminated during packaging/processing. Most cheap canned beans don't say where they are from, so they are likely from China/India, where there is even less concern for CC with soy and/or gluten... especially soy. I am sure that the majority of celiacs need not concern themselves with this, but I am quite sensitive and the soy thing makes me leery of food products coming from countries where this is a staple food. Not sure if this comment helps, but you are not alone!
  15. Not sure if this will be more confusing than helpful, but thought I'd add my two cents. Prior to my diagnosis I tried Aveeno moisturizer and it seemed to make my dermatitis worse. I am aware that gluten is not supposed to cause a reaction in this manner, but I am wary of this lotion because of this reaction - it seemed to match the locations I applied it to. I have no idea if it was the oats (cannot tolerate them) or some other ingredient. The reaction as I recall was quite strong, strong enough for me to pitch it. At the time I was not gluten-free in any way, so it's hard to imagine that the extra trace ingested oat from the moisturizer being on my hands/mouth area would have made a significant difference. It is however, possible that the bad reaction was just coincidental as my symptoms were very erratic at this time. At any rate, I avoid such products. There are lots of inexpensive, good quality moisturizers that do not contain oats or gluten.