• Ads by Google:
     




    Get email alerts Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter

    Ads by Google:



       Get email alertsSubscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter

  • Announcements

    • admin

      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? - 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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes

Celiac In Africa?
0

Rate this topic

5 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

I'm a recently diagnosed Celiac living in Senegal. I'm wondering if there are other Celiacs in this forum currently living in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Africa-related threads I can find on here seem to be pretty old. I've just started my gluten-free diet 10 days ago and so far so good, I think. Dakar has a lot of fresh food options and quite a lot of restaurant fare that seems to be naturally gluten free (for example grilled fish and an excellent Thai restau).

 

I'd love to know how anyone else living in Africa has coped or is coping with being gluten free. It seems like there will be advantages (much less reliance on wheat in the local cuisine and less consumption of processed foods) as well as disadvantages (zero awareness among the general population and the food service industry).

 

Anyone have any experience living and traveling gluten-free in Africa, particularly West Africa?

 

Best,

CiS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ads by Google:
Ads by Google:


Hi,

I have never been in Senegal, but I've been to Nigeria I had no problem with gluten (not one glutening in 10 days). Most staple foods are naturally gluten free (rice, casava, yam, plantain, etc.). The only problem I can think of is the common use of Maggi cubes (cubes) in soups and stews, which seems to be prevalent in Senegal too.

Hopefully somebody can give you more information about Senegal more particularly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mistinguette, thanks for your response. That's great that you found it so easy during your 10 days in Nigeria. I travel a lot in the region and don't yet know how eating gluten free on the road in West Africa will go. As you mention, Maggi seasoning and Jumbo spice cubes have become ubiquitous in Senegalese cuisine, which would otherwise be gluten free. Families and restaurants spend hours cooking a single traditional dish to be eaten communally, so it wouldn't be possible for me to get a serving without Maggi unless I ordered a special preparation (probably with at least 2kg of rice) hours in advance. 

 

At home in Dakar, I cook for myself a lot and eat out at restaurants that in theory have a lot of gluten free options (fresh seafood, Thai, Japanese, etc.). But, I'm still trying to figure out where all the hidden traps are. I thought the Thai was fine because they don't use soy sauce, but then discovered that Oyster Sauce also normally has gluten. There are fresh meats, seafood, and veggies in the supermarket, but buying anything canned or processed, even just sauces can be complicated since they come from France, Spain, India, China, etc. The ingredients may not be listed in English or French, and when they are, I still don't know what the labeling requirements are in each manufacturing country. I'm only on day 11 of my gluten free diet, and it's going to be a long learning curve not knowing any other Celiacs in a similar situation to ask questions of.

 

Your experience in Nigeria is definitely encouraging though, and right now, I'll take all the encouragement I can get. Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's definitely a learning curve. Thai and sushi are my go to food when I eat out :) Pad thai and curries are usually gluten free but I always ask and remind them about soy sauce. I avoid sauces that look gravy-ish or like it has been thickened (I am intolerant to corn too so I am being extra careful). As for sushi, I usually bring my own tamari (gluten free soy sauce). I avoid miso, tempura, imitation crab, eel, any fancy sauces and fish eggs (was told they have gluten). I was also told once that I couldn't have spring rolls because the rice paper they used has a small amount of wheat in it :(. Indian food can be gluten free also. I've had good experiences in different Indian restaurants.

 

While in Nigeria I stayed with relatives most of the time and told them about the gluten in maggi cubes so I was fine. These cubes are starting to have a bad reputation too because of the amount of salt and MSG. Plus African food is so tasty it really doesn't need that! Being on the road is more difficult (I packed some food such as rice cakes and fruits). Maybe you can ask to take a look at the seasoning they use so you can check for yourself? Going to someone's house is a challenge too because they offer you food. I ended up eating lots of rice and little stew to minimize the exposure. Luckily I was just fine.

 

I believe that products imported from Europe will have to mention wheat or gluten in the label if they contain any. In my opinion, it's just easier to stay away from anything processed if you can.

 

In any case, you seem to be doing great for someone who just got started with the diet! You will see that it becomes easier with time. There are still so many things we can have. 

 

Keep us posted !  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That must be tough to be intolerant to corn as well! I haven't done much baking yet, but I'm counting on being able to make corn tortillas and continuing to use corn starch as thickener in homemade curries. 

 

I agree about the seasoning cubes. Senegalese food is delicious without it, so it really doesn't need it. But people are pretty addicted to it here now, and the marketing is everywhere. As you say, traveling will be a challenge, not only in terms of what I can eat, but also in terms of being offered food in people's homes. It's so rude to refuse to eat with your hosts. Your strategy of heavy on the rice and maybe just a taste of the sauce is probably a good approach.

 

When you eat Thai, do you worry about Oyster Sauce? The Thai here told me they put it in most things, which I didn't realize was a problem at the time. That was only two days into my diet, and I did have some brief gastro symptoms the next day, but I wasn't sure if they were related. Next time I'll have to ask to see the Oyster Sauce bottle, and possibly have them cook without it, but I'm not sure how that will affect the flavor. I also haven't found any wheat-free soy in Dakar yet, so I may have to do some creative sourcing on that. Are all rice wrappers suspect or just some that you were offered? We have rice wrappers from Vietnam that only list rice flour as a starch, and I also get Chinese bean vermicelli that uses corn starch along with the beans. I've only once seen rice cakes for sale, in the special diet section, but I'm hoping they reappear at some point, along with the one type of gluten-free 'Maria' crackers. I can live without bread and crackers, but I really do want something to put all this nice French cheese on from time to time. Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ads by Google:


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

0

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      108,146
    • Total Posts
      939,917
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      66,132
    • Most Online
      3,093

    Newest Member
    Whhyyy
    Joined
  • Popular Now

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • Please check the date on post, you just responded and tried talking to a person from 7 years ago. On consideration to the subject Poatoes are a huge flare factor for my UC and cause my blood sugar to sky rocket...I am not even diabetic but for some reason potatoes (hash browns) that I tried a few months ago with some eggs shot it up over 400. not even a control test with table sugar managed that.
    • Have you tried eliminating high glycemic foods? Fruits, added sugars, starchy grains, potatoes. etc? Also adding in slow digesting fibers and fats can prevent insulin spikes, MCT oil is also known to help and protein. Many find consuming nuts and seeds higher in fiber early on in the meal or before a meal can slow down insulin responses and prevent spikes. I always tend to eat a hand full of whole shell pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, cocoa nibs, etc. while fixing my food, this gets me starting to feel fuller sooner, and seems to help in over all down the road. I know I had some references somewhere to these. I know I read somewhere about the antioxidants in in whole shell seeds like pumpkin and hemp also helped the body regulate insulin levels.
    • Dear AWOL Cast Iron Stomach, Your husband is right bread is bad for you. Of course it's more than bread and gluten, until now it was amateur hour trying to self diagnose and tame this "lion". However they let you down. You slipped through the cracks over and over again it is not your fault your not the Dr. You made mistakes and errors acting like a celiac , not knowing for sure you were, and not feeling like you could fully claim to be or reach out for support . Now you know your husband was closer than any Dr. up until now to determine your illness. Now something is in your record, now hopefully you will be dismissed less,respected more, maybe they will realize its an actual condition going on- not all in your head. Will they? Who knows! Do you care? This is now official, now explained, you not only have to give up gluten, but milk, and corn. In fact give up 98% of processed anything. The cluster of lifetime symptoms were not  "just you", "in your head", "you are not a difficult patient", "when the Dr or nurse looks at you like a nut job you don't have to feel the dismissiveness and condescension. It's an illness and nothing to be shameful of  what is shameful is they and their colleagues missed you failed you. In fact being missed for 4 decades is unjust to you. You were missed time and time again from age 5 to 43, decade after decade after decade, symptom after symptom. It's not that you didn't try from the 5 year old begging to go to the Dr, to the 20 going to the hospital again for another bout of gastroenteritis hoping to get an IV, to the thirty year old saying something is wrong why is this happening, to the forty something a restaurant fed me gluten when I asked for gluten-free, I have been gluten free for 3 1/2 years ,  I have more symptoms and pain than before . I felt so good for those gluten-free years- please help me-make it stop. So many things explained it makes you experience a range of emotions. Grateful: Relief and gratefulness someone finally agreed to send you to someone to test you. She saw past the other diagnosis' and the albatross IBS diagnosis. All the ages and stages of symptoms are explained they all fit. Everyone of them! Someone else also has had them. You are not alone. Read the forum-you fit like a glove. Anger: Anger for the way you have been treated by the medical community, family, some ex boyfriends, friends and coworkers. Anger for the length of time you endured this. Hurt: Hurt for the times people said unkind things to you when you were symptomatic or flaring . you are experiencing symptoms that change your body people are rude to congratulate you on a "pregnancy" you didn't announce or ask why you are not slim when you hardly eat. you are not over emotional -  you are suffering from neuro symptoms, you are not making this up for attention Sad & Guilty: Can I work again? Do I want to work again? What kind of work can I do now? Can I find a job and work PT from home? You didn't envision this your husband having to be sole bread winner now what? I am overwhelmed thinking about this-stop? You now have closure and know how and why you lost your first pregnancy. You now know why you were high risk, complications,  with your children in Pregnancy & Delivery that they couldn't be explained back then It explains why in pregnancy you lost weight and why your morning sickness was extreme and seemed to last longer than anyone you knew,  that your Puppp rash was likely misdiagnosed DH It is not your fault none of it. Please forgive yourself for what you did not know. Your children forgive you. Believe them when they say its not your fault. You can cry, but you can no longer blame yourself. You are a good mother just one with an illness your children will learn to accept. Withdrawn: Why are you withdrawing from your husband? Should you ask him if he wants a divorce? Should you push him away? You didn't know before marriage what was happening you knew something autoimmune was brewing shortly after, but nothing showed on tests. Was this unfair to do to him? Doesn't he deserve someone better? Someone well? Now you can't retire and travel the world as society retirement cliché dictates. Can you afford this illness ? How will this financially impact your spouse, your family?. Why did you do this to this poor man? You are so selfish, you wanted marriage and kids, but was this fair to them? Don't your kids deserve a healthier mom? How will this impact them? Oh my gosh are they going to get this too? Will they grow to resent you? Your illness and diet has taken over their lives! Oh gosh no one say hi to me-please. I hate people and I am too sick to pretend and be fake friendly today. I don't want to tell you I am ill. I don't want to talk about this. I have to absorb this. I hate you people for being healthy. Don't tell me I don't look well. I will snap, I don't want to snap, I am irritable ,and don't feel well. Just keep giving off the unapproachable vibe keep them away.  Am I strong enough to do this? Acceptance: Calm down the inflammation, lack of nutrients, and GI damage is messing with your head. Your husband said for better for worse. Your kids have no choice you are their mother and you are a good mom -you have always been, always will be even on your worst day. If they get this they will be ok. You are strong enough to do this you are just ill and most importantly you must remain here in case they get this so you can guide them and be there for them. Got it? Go on the forum you are not alone it will be ok. You will get this lion back in the cage and manage it. It will be ok. If you can't travel in retirement one day you will find other hobbies or things to occupy your time. He's not going to leave you over this. If he does it will be ok. You'll manage-you always do. You have an answer, you knew it was coming, keep reading, learning, seeking support, and one day it will all work out. You will process all this and will be at peace-until then keep going and above all AVOID GLUTEN!    
    • I know for certain gastritis  is one of the main reasons I had the scope. That and my EOE symptoms . If it wasn’t for those I would have never been diagnosed 
    • Sometimes when those chilly winds begin to blow, and the temperatures fall, the days get visibly shorter, what we need and what we want is comfort food. Well, look no further than this simple, easy twist on scalloped potatoes. A little ham and a bit of cheese work wonders to turn that old favorite into a meal all its own. View the full article
  • Upcoming Events