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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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gluten-free Diet & Exercise
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11 posts in this topic

Has anyone done century bike rides on a gluten-free diet? I have been a long time cyclist but I was hit by a van before getting diagnosed with Celiac. It took me about 6 years to start bicycling again. I am on Dr. Fasano's diet (basically no grains and only whole fresh foods -nothing processed). I find it difficult to do longer bike rides (over 2 hours) because of the food requirements. Has anyone found food to sustain you on longer rides, centuries, or even runners doing longer runs/marathons?

 

TIA!

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Has anyone done century bike rides on a gluten-free diet? I have been a long time cyclist but I was hit by a van before getting diagnosed with Celiac. It took me about 6 years to start bicycling again. I am on Dr. Fasano's diet (basically no grains and only whole fresh foods -nothing processed). I find it difficult to do longer bike rides (over 2 hours) because of the food requirements. Has anyone found food to sustain you on longer rides, centuries, or even runners doing longer runs/marathons?

 

TIA!

I don't know how you would be able to do longer rides or more challenging work-outs without carbs.  I do weight training and cannot just do whole foods....but I don't need to as I have healed well and am 8 years into the gluten-free diet.  Why are you restricting yourself so much?  You need carbs to accomplish distances and there are many great gluten-free grains that are whole grains, which are great for what you want to accomplish.

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I have to agree with Gemini on this one. I started weight training in January. My muscles were deeply impacted from celiac and I rehabbed them for 2 years with physical therapy and massage therapy before even attempting such strenuous exercise. I need protein and I need carbs, I have found.

 

My stamina was nil before and now, I can do almost anything again.

 

Have you read this book by any chance? The Gluten Free Edge by Peter Bronski  and  Melissa McLean Jory MNT

Very interesting! 

 

The diet you speak of is based on research done on some celiacs who still had villous atrophy and possible refractory sprue long after diagnosis and they trialed a "no grains/seeds/flours that may be cced" diet and after 6 months,they could reintroduce all alternative grains, dairy nuts and seeds,etc ... and they were fine. No evidence of gut damage.This article was recently published in Pub Med.

 

The problem is....why could they reintroduce these supposed "CCed grains" and have no damage?

I love Dr. Fasano--he's the man! :) --but I question why these patients would go back on these supposedly CCed grains--- if they concluded in the study that they "caused" the problem? And why wouldn't they recommend that ALL celiacs be on this "diet"? (I am probably asking too many questions...LOL)
 

 

"The researchers coined their diet the “Gluten Contamination Elimination Diet.” Here is the breakdown of foods with are allowed  on this diet:

Allowed: brown and white rice; all fresh fruits and vegetables; fresh meats; fish; eggs; dried beans; unseasoned nuts in the shell; butter; plain yogurt; plain milk, and aged cheeses; oils; vinegar (except flavored or malt); honey; salt. Beverages allowed include 100% juices, water, and Gatorade."

 

 

But I am not sure why you have implemented this more radical form of a restrictive  diet, unless you were instructed to do so?. 

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I'm currently training for a century ride in November and have been gluten-free for two months now.  However, I have many food allergies and haven't had any issues training in past years despite iron deficiency anemia and Thalassemia.  Let me stress that I'm not out to win even in my age category!

 

I do eat gluten-free grains, plenty of carbs!  For breakfast, I typically eat quinoa with bananas, brown rice porridge or a huge sweet potato, fruit, coffee and left over chicken/beef or canned salmon (that one always travels well in hotel rooms!)  During the ride, I bring gluten-free oatmeal bars that I bake myself, a typically bruised banana and lots of Gu packs.  For salt, I bring potato or corn chips to offset the sugary Gu and Gatoraid that I consume, along with water on the ride.  I bring extra powdered Gatoraid packed in plastic tubes.  

 

During a formal century ride, I usually pass on the food they pass out 'cause I'm worried about cross contamination (those little Cub Scouts aren't too particular!)  I never ride fast enough not to stop for few breaks.  

 

Being gluten-free shouldn't slow you down!

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When I started working out, I discovered I had to have a carb for breakfast (with protein) - butnot bread. I started making "pancakes" out of leftover mashed potatoes and sliced, cooked sweet potatoes. I just smoosh them between my palms and pan fry. I also wilt spinach and eat it with a fried egg.

Any vegetable leftover is fair game at my house.

And I'd eat two breakfasts - one within 30 minutes of waking and a second after my workout. I found I had to feed myself every 2-3 hours. If I didn't my energy would plummet and glucose would drop.

I added almond and coconut flour baked goods, too. Breakfast cookies (almost no sugar).

But starchy veggies were key for me, as well as leafy greens. Oats took a bit of work. I still do better without gluten-free grains...but I can do rice.

Veggies are my go-to. I literally can't eat too many. My body always wants a veggie (with a chunk of protein).

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I am on a diet like yours OP, and so are my children.  My daughter is a distance runner.  She ran cross country in high school and is now in college.  I work out a lot myself.  I haven't done a century bike ride, but I will go longer than 2 hours bike rides and hour runs.  I did a mini triathlon a few years ago and trained for that with miles swims in addition.  I'm not sure if your question applies to what you can bring along with you, or to general nutrition.  For general nutrition, I do dairy so I get fat and protein there.  A google search will let you know that there are carbohydrates in other foods besides grains.  As far as taking along, for my mini triathlon, I brought stuff and didn't even feel the need for it.  I was too concentrated on trying to pass people who passed me on the swim.  That super tight swim cap made my head spin.  I hadn't swam with a cap before and it really got to me.  I was close to last getting out of the water despite the fact that my training times had been good.  Do you have a dehydrator?  If not, you might want to get one.  Banana chips are good and so are potato and kale chips.  They fit into those little pockets quite well, and replace those power bars that people like to eat.

 

I'm sorry that you hit by a van.  Drivers need to be more careful around cyclists.  I don't know how many times someone has come too close to me.  I have had many friends injured and run off the road.  It must feel great to be back to it again.

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Thanks to everyone who replied. To answer why I am on this diet, I was instructed to do so because I couldn't clear my rash and the dreaded GI problems for some reason. It reappears if I re-introduce gluten free grains. My hope is to only be on it for another 6 months to a year then try to re-introduce again. I have become super-sensitive to food. I assume because I was misdiagnosed for so long. My sister and I have horrible neurological problems from gluten so I wonder if our brains and bodies are on hyper-drive when it comes to even trace amounts of gluten. But I am hopeful that my body get with the regular gluten free program because this diet SUCKS -so difficult!

 

dilettantesteph: food dehydrator! I hadn't thought of that because dried fruit isn't allowed but I assume if you do it yourself it would be ok. Thanks! I only get very limit amounts of diary because of a diary intolerance. (D'oh, stupid food intolerances!!)

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I was dairy intolerant on diagnosis and for years before that.  After 6 months to a year I was able to have it again.  I am on this diet for the same reason as you except no rash.  I was able to re-introduce a rice from Thailand.  That's on the Fasano diet anyway.  I haven't yet been able to introduce other stuff.  I was pretty sick on diagnosis so it might take me longer to heal.  Also, it took longer back then to come up with this reason as there hadn't been much published about reactions to low level gluten contamination yet.  

 

If you eat meat you can make beef jerky with a dehydrator too, though the spice that they sell for that would probably not work on the diet.  I have a suggestion to try fresh spices from the produce section.  You can dehydrate them in season and then make your food more interesting year around.

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A no grain diet doesn't have to be low carb - can you eat things like potaotes, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, bananas, plantains?   Baked potatoes and sweet pototatoes are pretty good cold, as are pancakes made of shredded potatoes or sweet potatoes. Can you eat honey?  That could be a good energy source, especially mixed with some almond butter.

 

You should check out some of the paleo sites, like Mark's Daily Apple - there's a lot of people on their forums that do endurance events on a grain-free diet. 

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I tend to disagree that carbs are needed for distance events.  Carbs can, I think, be beneficial for sprint-type activity, but for distance, your body needs to be burning fat for fuel, and I think that a load of carbs will simply delay the process by which your body starts to metabolize those fats.  This has certainly been my experience in ten-to-twelve-plus mile obstacle course races (think Tough Mudder, the longer distance Spartan Race events, etc.) and also on some longer hikes (just this past weekend we hiked Humphreys Peak in Arizona -- ten mile round trip, 3300' altitude gain, topping out at 12,633').  The conventional wisdom is to carbo-load the few days prior to these events and to bring some form of carbohydrate-rich stuff to use during the event.  I find I need none of that.  I bring water, of course, and some salt/potassium packets along just in case of cramps (though I have not experienced cramps while running any of these events).  Oh, I eat a low-carb, grain-free, mostly-paleo diet.  Primarily meat, fish, birds, and lots of green, leafy vegetables.  No potatoes or other starchy foods.  I eat fruit only occasionally, and limit that to a handful of strawberries or blueberries (are those even fruit???).  I do not change my diet prior to races/events, except possibly to eat a bit less the few days prior to help kick-start the fat burning.

 

Prior to my celiac disease diagnosis in November of last year, I would eat very limited grains in the form of a terribly delicious, very unnatural, breaded and fried chicken patty several times per week (otherwise, I tried to eat well!).  That was actually fortuitous in that the gluten was certainly doing its work on my small intestine and antibodies.  I was either asymptomatic or experiencing not-normal celiac disease symptoms, and was undergoing endoscopy for another reason.  Blessedly everything looked good except for signs of celiac disease in the small intestine (biopsies taken and confirmed for villous atrophy).  Subsequent blood work confirmed the diagnosis.  Of course, since diagnosis I have quit eating that delicious chicken patty, and learned to source my food much more carefully, and stopped eating out, and... I think everyone here knows the rest.

 

All that written, I do not have experience in long bicycle rides, and perhaps there is a difference in nutritional needs?  Anyway, my point is that I have experienced great results in mid-distance strength and endurance events while maintaining a limited carbohydrate diet (at my level of competition, which is very middle-of-the-pack to be sure).

 

Best of luck!

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