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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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hoooperman

Is a gluten free diet worth it?

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Hey guys. Was diagnosed with coeliac disease yesterday. It seems that i'm relatively young for this  (I'm 19). My doctor has of course recommended that I begin a gluten-free diet and pay a visit to a dietitian. I'm going to be completely honest the thought of having to give up burgers, sausages, cakes, beer and vodka etc absolutely sucks to me. The thing which annoys me is that my symptoms have never been that bad. I do feel gassy and get mild stomach cramps as well as going to toilet quite often (around 4 times per day) but it nothing that i can't deal with and has never impacted on my ability to live life to the fullest. Iv'e read in the last few days that continuing to eat gluten can cause other issues in the future but i would like to know how significant these are. I'm really just trying to justify eliminating mild symptoms which i can very easily deal with and at the same time giving up food that I love for the rest of my life. So at the end of the day is it worth it??? The thing about alcohol is also very important as this will be catastrophic to my social life. Thanks in advance! 

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Failure to comply with a strict gluten free diet with a diagnosis of Celiac disease can cause many other issues.  Digestive, deterioration of the stomach and intestines and could lead to cancer.    Other symptoms could arise neurological , psychological, skin conditions.etc...   Do some research on the effects of untreated Celiac disease and you may change your mind on the gluten free diet.   In comparison to what could happen it's simple.  :)  Good luck    You are not young for this, it can be diagnosed at any age from small children to advanced years.     Consider yourself lucky to have gotten away this long without major symptoms.    Some have it not so good.   

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Nope, you don't have to go on a gluten free diet.  It is a choice everyday what you put into your body.  But there caveats to that -- if you continue to eat gluten, you don't know how good you could feel.  Eating gluten will eventually lead to malnutrition, osteoporosis, likely gut cancers, other autoimmune diseases, and probably an early death due to your auto immune disease.

 

The only thing on your list that you really have to give up is beer and even then you can drink cider.  Gluten free buns, gluten free sausages and gluten free cakes all exist and aren't terrible.  They are in the beginning, but you get used to it.

So, yes, in the beginning it stinks, but like anything you get used it it and move on.

 

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19 is not young for this. One can be diagnosed at any age. 

How about this stat:  before anyone understood what actually caused celiac disease, most folks diagnosed with it died.  The complications when consuming gluten affect every system of the body.  Lack of symptoms doesn’t mean there isn’t damage. The cancer risk is real.  The neuropathy risk is real.  At 19, you have a lot ahead of you that you would be willingly tossing aside.

It is a real, serious disease where the treatment is only food...not drugs with side affects, not chemo, not stents or insulin. 

 

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Celiac used to be considered a children's disease - so, by the old standards, you are a bit old to be diagnosed.  We now know that Celiac can start at any age.

I don't know if you are a  male or a female, but untreated Celiac can lead to miscarriages and infertility.  And all the other stuff mentioned above.  

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Well I wish mine was dia. earlier, I got all kinds of other food issues, and other auto immune disease that came up as complications. If you deal with and change over now you can prevent a even more limited diet. I was running a bucket list thinking I was going to die before my dia. I had slight symptoms most of my life but just thought they were normal. It really hit hard in my early 20s.
Now due to damage, I am allergic to corn, intolerant to dairy, yeast, soy allergic to peanuts, whole list check my about me on my profile. I also got another AI issues that prevents me from eating sugar, fruits, carbs, grains. AND to top it off some kind of enzyme issue that prevents me from digesting meats -_-

THERE are TONS of gluten free options if you change now before you get other issues. ALL those foods you love.....they are still on the menu you just got to change brands I will post the list for you to check out and see. I need to update it with more foods, brands, and even some good rated gluten-free beer I found not made with gluten grains. Not going to judge you drinking before 21 >.> but here are some Future options for you to buy when you get older, it is not that limiting, again just a different brand.
https://austineastciders.com/
^Local cider here in Texas, I keep these for guest, good alternative to the "Beer Can Chicken"
http://www.acecider.com/
^Suggested by someone else I was talking to
Other members suggested these in the past
New Planet Off the Grid Pale Ale
Dogfish Head Tweason’Ale
Bard’s Tale Dragon’s Gold Brown Ale
Redbridge Red Lager
Vodka...Check out tito vodka, ciroc, and a few others they are non grain made, RUM is awesome I cook with it Love admiral nelson, but bacardi works in a pinch >.> I bleed internally due to other issues also now so I can not drink alcohol. I run a gluten free bakery, and I do chef work for side jobs. I even started making ketogenic breads, and meals so I can eat like a normal person with different ingredients.

OH and check out hte newbie 101 section for dealing with CC, and cleaning out your kitchen.

https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/119661-gluten-free-food-alternative-list-2017/


 

 

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These days there are tasty equivalents for most foods. So you're just changing brands. Here's my list of gluten free equivalents to get you started:

If you're currently on a meat, potato, and veggies diet then relax because this is gonna be easy. If not you might want to switch to a meat, veggies, and potatoes diet at least for a while.

 

Note: insert the words "gluten free" in every item mentioned as some of the companies also sell non gluten free stuff. It's tedious to write that phrase all the time.

Get a chest freezer to store all of your frozen gluten-free foods. Makes things easier.

Bread: Canyon bakehouse without question is the most realistic tasting bread.
  Schar comes in a close second.
    Canyon bakehouse plain bagels are practically indistinguishable from regular bagels.
    Canyon bakehouse white bread makes fantastic toast. It has a very slight
                 sweet taste to it. My friend says it tastes like normal bread. The
                 only difference to me is the sweetness.
    Canyon bakehouse deli rye is great if you like rye bread sandwiches. Toasted is best.
    Canyon bakehouse multigrain tastes exactly like multigrain bread and does not need to be toasted.
    Schar baguettes are fantastic.
    Katz makes an English muffin that, after toasted, reminds me of a real one provided it has stuff on it like butter. I think that's the brand.
    Etalia has a great boule if you prefer artisan bread. (Colorado)

Pizza crust:
    Shar makes a good thick and chewy crust.
    Udis makes a good thin and crispy crust.
    Etalia makes a great New York crust. (Colorado)

Pasta:
    Barilla makes the best pasta. Tastes the same as normal. Spaghetti cooks the best.
    RP has a frozen pasta that I'm going to try next.

Flour:
    Pamelas all-purpose flour is great for making gravy and batter for fried foods.

Cereal:
    Envirokidz Gorilla Munch cereal is a yummy equivalent to corn Pops.

Cookies:
    Kinnikinnik makes a decent Oreo equivalent.
    Kinnikinnik makes a good nilla wafer
    Mi Del makes a great ginger snap.
    Goodie Girl mint slims - fantastic girl scout mint cookie equivalent

Cake:
    Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix tastes the same, but you have to get the cooking time exactly right. It is a very small window of time. Too long and it's too dry.

Frozen meals:
    Udi's Chicken Florentine is addictive and Broccoli Kale lasagna is a good white lasagna.

Restaurants (not from personal experience, just from research)
    Chinese – PF Changs. Employees are supposedly trained in gluten free.
    Burgers – In N Out. The only thing here that is not gluten free are the
                buns so it is very easy for them to do gluten free. They are
                also trained in it. They are only out west. Road Trip!
    Outback steakhouse. Employees are supposedly trained in gluten free. How
                good they are depends on where you live.

 

If you are willing to cook from scratch it's fairly easy to make a good gluten free equivalent to your favorite foods.

 

 

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On 11/17/2017 at 8:23 AM, hoooperman said:

Hey guys. Was diagnosed with coeliac disease yesterday. It seems that i'm relatively young for this  (I'm 19). My doctor has of course recommended that I begin a gluten-free diet and pay a visit to a dietitian. I'm going to be completely honest the thought of having to give up burgers, sausages, cakes, beer and vodka etc absolutely sucks to me. The thing which annoys me is that my symptoms have never been that bad. I do feel gassy and get mild stomach cramps as well as going to toilet quite often (around 4 times per day) but it nothing that i can't deal with and has never impacted on my ability to live life to the fullest. Iv'e read in the last few days that continuing to eat gluten can cause other issues in the future but i would like to know how significant these are. I'm really just trying to justify eliminating mild symptoms which i can very easily deal with and at the same time giving up food that I love for the rest of my life. So at the end of the day is it worth it??? The thing about alcohol is also very important as this will be catastrophic to my social life. Thanks in advance! 

First, you're not really "young" to be diagnosed. Most people are diagnosed when they're older but it isn't because they didn't have it when they were young. It's because until recently people were being told they have IBS and everything else under the sun before they were finally told they have Celiac. My 4 year old has it. His doctor said they're seeing it in younger people now more than ever because it's really easy to test for it. I'm 30 and I was diagnosed right after I turned 29. 

I was like you. My symptoms weren't that bad. But I know they would have gotten much worse over time. It terrified me that I had an autoimmune disorder. I have anxiety anyway, and once I knew that I had celiac I banned gluten from my life. I'm not exaggerating. I threw out Cosmetics, lotions, soaps, shampoo, everything. I don't allow it in my house. Sure, I could have said "Ah screw it" and kept eating it, but what it was doing to me internally was what mattered. It will destroy your body. It can cause you to develop other AI diseases - much more serious and debilitating ones than Celiac. It can cause cancer. It's not something to mess with. 

I know it's overwhelming. Believe me, we all do. It's a huge learning curve. But really, there's nothing I can't eat. I have learned to figure it out. I can look at a recipe and make it gluten free very easily. Want a burger? Gluten free bun. Pizza? Got that too. There are so many options and resources. Eating out is a trick and that's the one thing I do miss the convenience of, but I'm healthier than ever because I don't eat take-out all the time. You can go to websites like findmeglutenfree.com and find tons of restaurants that are reviewed by people with Celiac's disease. 

So, yeah, it's worth it. You have this. It isn't going away. And you can manage. You'll be fine. You'll be pissed off and overwhelmed and sad about it. But no sense in dwelling on the "poor me I can't have gluten" crap. You have an AI disorder that you have 100% control over. You don't eat gluten and you'll be ok. You're not like my sister who has lupus and never knows when she'll have a flare. You'll never be like my cousin who has RA and has to rely on medicines with nasty side effects just to function. But you keep eating gluten and you may end up like them because you'll be in store for another AI disorder. 

It's poison to your body. Get rid of it. It's worth it. 

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I wish I had been diagnosed at 19. In retrospect, I was having symptoms as a 16 year old, and didn't get diagnosed until I was almost 30. That delay created a lot of havoc, and other problems that are now permanent (an aggressive case of rheumatoid arthritis and violent reactions to contamination). You want to be non-compliant? Your choice... but the symptoms will most likely get worse... and you could end up like several other non-compliant celiacs I knew... none of the ones who decided to be non-compliant (as opposed to those of us who occasionally get poisoned) lived more than 10 years past diagnosis, and their deaths were ugly (cancer was bad, pernicious anemia and complete malabsorption were even worse).

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If you don't follow a gluten-free diet -- you'll probably start first noticing problems because of vitamin deficiencies -- your body can't absorb nutrients from your damaged small intestine; you will be more likely to get stomach cancer (the figure I remember seeing was 800x more likely), more likely to get colon cancer and other cancers; because it is an autoimmune disease it can trigger other autoimmune diseases (that cannot be fixed by dietary changes) like lupus and ms and certain types of arthritis.  WAY more likely to get hard to control diabetes.  There are now doctors that test for celiac when people come in with diabetes.

Looking back I had symptoms in my teens, but wasn't diagnosed until I was in my 40's. Already had some bone loss (couldn't absorb calcium), had anemia for about 15 years that they couldn't fix, had lived with suicidal depression for decades that went away the 3rd day I was on a gluten-free diet, and had cancer.  

You might not think so now, looking at all the things you feel you'll miss out on, but you are so very lucky to have been diagnosed at 19. Any problems you currently have will be reversible. gluten-free Pizza is great -- you just have to find the places that make it the best. The first couple months are the worst, because gluten seems like it is in everything, but once you figure out your new "go to's" for snacks and meals, it gets easier. Good luck!

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My daughter was diagnosed at 14 and now at 26 I can tell you she has a full and active social life.  She drinks gluten-free beer, wine, Tito's vodka (I'm making her sound like a big drinker, she isn't!) you can drink being gluten-free. 

I was diagnosed before anyone knew what it was. There was no gluten-free food and very few restaurants would help me. So I can tell you that in this day and age it's not that hard. Every grocery store has gluten-free food. Many restaurants have gluten-free menus and/or understand it enough to modify their food for you (especially restaurants with a chef as opposed to some teenager cooking!). I almost never get glutened at restaurants anymore. I do however at people's homes so I try and steer clear of that.
 

You can have pizza, bread, cookies, and so forth it all comes in gluten-free versions and if you ask around here you'll get some great advice on the products that taste the best.

You'll get sicker if you don't follow the diet. You can do this and have a social life. 

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Everyone here has been so nice and supportive to explain why it's so important to stay gluten free for your disease. I however am going to have to take the tough love way in hopes you will see the seriousness of this.  Going to the bathroom several times a day is just a minor symptom of your body destroying your ability to absorb nutrients, for which all organs and systems in your body require to work properly.  Have you seen the list of diseases this can lead to?  I chose to try to not get fibromyalgia, dementia, alzheimer's, colon cancer, type 1 diabetes, other organ failures, and on and on....these are not just diseases for old people, you can trigger them at any time if you keep pushing your body to it.  If you do not take care of it, this disease will eventually kill you, in a slow and painful and drawn out miserable way... worth it???

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