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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? - 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

Red Wine Made Me Sick And I Dont Know Why
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Wine (especially made from grapes)g usually contains ridiculus ammounts of fructose, which celiacs sometimes react to.
While this may be true of some sweet white wines, and perhaps port, most red wine is fermented to the point that there is no residual sugar of any kind left.

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I just learned that wine barrels are sealed with flour paste - here is the response I received from a winery manager upon questioning her wine maker:

Apparently it's common practice to seal the barrel heads with flour paste. It's a mixture of unbleached flour and distilled water used to assure a leak-proof seal. Here's the web site with more info

http://www.stavin.com/barrelsystems/insert.htm

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A lot of good suggestions here. I have been getting a distinctly celiac reaction from red wine (very tell-tale GI symptoms). I have heard that some unscrupulous winemakers, if their wine isn't up to proof, add grain alcohol to increase the alcohol content. I find it hard to believe that so many would be doing that though!

Of note, iceberg vodka which is made in Canada and says it is made form potatoes has proved safe for me!

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5. On a very rare occasion albumen (egg whites) is used to 'fine' or clarify the wine. Usually this is with fortified wines like Port and Sherry.

Gluten can also be used as a fining agent. It is probably not an issue for any but the most sensitive celiacs.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12643671

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14518594

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Gluten can also be used as a fining agent. It is probably not an issue for any but the most sensitive celiacs.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12643671

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14518594

Thanks for posting that. I am one of the very sensitive folks and I appretiate the info.

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Dr. Matt, I believe that your post is fear mongering, and not based on reality. I have never seen any evidence that any red or white grape wines contain gluten. Gluten is not used in the wine industry as a clarifying agent, and to say that it "can be used" is like saying gluten can be used by cities to filter your water--they don't, and wouldn't--just like a winery would never use gluten for such a purpose. They do use clarifying agents, like egg whites and others, but even when they use egg whites people with egg allergies can still drink those wines, as it does not end up in the end product.

As for using wheat flour to seal barrels, yes, this is still done by some barrel makers, but all barrels, especially new ones, are steam power sprayed to remove any and all contamination, as the last thing a wine maker wants is something that would contaminate his product. I have seen this high-pressure steam power washing personally, and it is basically to sterilize the inside of the barrels.

I live in Sonoma County and have visited dozens of wineries here, and have spoken to each about this, and none of them believe you would ever find any detectable gluten in their wines from the way the barrels are made--basically if it could leach from the sealed area the barrels would leak, and they don't (or if they do they are thrown away). Even if there were minute amounts of gluten due to leaching, the wines age for at least a year and are left undisturbed. All particles settle to the bottom of the barrel, and the wine makers take great care not to disturb the sediments when they pump out the wine for bottling--the bottom settlements are never used, which is where the clearing agents and all sediments end up.

I believe that when you present such information you need to back it up with something better than a post to some very old rumors that have never been substantiated in any way, like through testing. I have considered offering a monetary reward for anyone who can show me a traditional red or white wine that tests positive for gluten...just to settle this issue once and for all.

Did I mention that my co-worker's husband here at Celiac.com owns a wine label and has been making wine for 20+ years? I've talked to him about this and he agrees that gluten is not something you need to worry about when drinking wine...

Take care,

Scott

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As for using wheat flour to seal barrels, yes, this is still done by some barrel makers, but all barrels, especially new ones, are steam power sprayed to remove any and all contamination, as the last thing a wine maker wants is something that would contaminate his product. I have seen this high-pressure steam power washing personally, and it is basically to sterilize the inside of the barrels.

Would that actually have the right effect on gluten, though? Everything I hear is that wood is porous to gluten; it's the reason I got rid of my cutting boards. I understand the high-pressure would do a good job of getting into all the cracks and crevices, but that wouldn't address the porous aspect of things, would it? And the steam/sterilization part of things would affect germs, but not necessarily gluten, yes?

I live in Sonoma County and have visited dozens of wineries here, and have spoken to each about this, and none of them believe you would ever find any detectable gluten in their wines from the way the barrels are made--basically if it could leach from the sealed area the barrels would leak, and they don't (or if they do they are thrown away).

The link provided by a previous poster ( http://www.stavin.com/barrelsystems/insert.htm ) seems to be showing the wheat paste being used to seal barrels. I could be wrong on that, but this is what it seems to be picturing. From that picture alone, it did not look as though a little gluten cc in the wine would be that difficult at all, actually. Again, if I'm reading the picture in error, that's another story, but I don't believe I am.

Even if there were minute amounts of gluten due to leaching, the wines age for at least a year and are left undisturbed. All particles settle to the bottom of the barrel, and the wine makers take great care not to disturb the sediments when they pump out the wine for bottling--the bottom settlements are never used, which is where the clearing agents and all sediments end up.

I'm wondering, would gluten amount to sediment or would some mix in with the wine itself? I recall reading that gluten is somewhat alcohol soluble, so I didn't know if some might mix with the wine itself rather than remaining sediment. I haven't heard anything about that, one way or the other, and don't know enough about the entire process of winemaking, in this case. Anyone know?

I should say in advance, I'm not trying to claim that these amounts might add up to over 20 ppm, but I am curious about the possibility of gluten in the wine, even if it's in very small amounts.

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http://www.celiac.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=138:gluten-free-diet&catid=2:diet-a-lifestyle&Itemid=240

Wines and hard liquor/distilled beverages are gluten-free. Beers, ales, lagers and malt vinegars that are made from gluten-containing grains are not distilled and therefore, are not gluten-free. Gluten-free beers are available in the United States.

There is not one National Celiac Foundation, Association or Group that is not in agreement with the above statement.

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Wines and hard liquor/distilled beverages are gluten-free. Beers, ales, lagers and malt vinegars that are made from gluten-containing grains are not distilled and therefore, are not gluten-free. Gluten-free beers are available in the United States.

There is not one National Celiac Foundation, Association or Group that is not in agreement with the above statement.

I know there aren't, that's why I was simply asking specific questions re: wine making practices and the issue of what is possible in terms of gluten cc, even low level. I made sure to say that I wasn't trying to imply that this could result in over 20 ppm of gluten.

I'm not trying to argue that. Not trying to imply that, say, wheat paste sealing a wine barrel might result in 100 ppm wine or something. Truly, I'm not. But certain statements were made about wine-making in general, in support of why they are gluten free, and I was curious about whether or not those facts do, in fact, suggest that all gluten is completely eliminated by the processes mentioned.

I'm more interested in this factually than in trying to argue about wines being gluten free, because some of these facts may affect other aspects of celiac life that some of us are probably interested in.

If there is a way to get low level gluten cc out of wood, for example, I would really like to know it, as this might have implications for other products I eat, not to mention wood cutting boards and wooden spoons that are in use at houses that we go to visit. And if there isn't, that's also very important to know, as well, yes?

If any gluten that might contaminate alcohol does end up as sediment at the bottom but doesn't mix with the wine, this can be something that's important to know for other reasons, as well. My hubby was trying to experiment with homemade winemaking himself for a while, for example, and the safety of those wines may be different than I'd thought, if gluten doesn't mix in with the wine like I had first assumed.

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Ya know Shauna...this is how I feel, how I think:

Gluten is a crumb left behind, which might hang around in my toaster. Gluten might live in a salad that was sent back because of the croutons and was served again. Maybe in a lipstick when I could not decipher the ingredients. Or gluten might be in the air (that I inhaled ) as I enter the bakery behind my grandmothers apartment as a child. Gluten can surprise you. (Yes, I'm being simplistic).

We have preached to replace scratch pots and pans, but proper cleaning would do. Scratched Teflon is not good for anyone, much less one with gluten issues.

The world is not an evil place. Too often people act as if gluten was a virus that can spread into an 'OMG' factor. Or a monster hanging over our heads. Gluten is a crumb left behind.

It's not that complicated. There is no need to live life in isolation with fears of dining out or enjoying the hospitality of friends.

If wine does not settle well with you, well....JUST DON'T DRINK IT. Fight a fight with more cause.

I know, I know....I expect feed back. I know we are all different, and the spectrum is WIDE. :)

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Shauna, gluten is soluble in alcohol. Any tiny amounts left after washing would dissolve into the first barrel of wine. I don't believe casks are remade, so unless you were insanely sensitive AND got the first wine out of the barrel, you wouldn't have any issues with wine, or any alcohol aged in barrels.

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I am the same. It is like the alcohol goes straight to my veins. I had to stay away from red wine completely becaue it is too hard on my stomach but I will also because dizzy the next day. I read on this because I wanted ot kn ow what was going on. My system is still repairing, very sensative right now and foods that would not have bothered me before are coming to my attention. I figure this is because I have mending left to do. What I have learned from reading is that alcohol use reduces vitamin and mineral absorption (which my body was already depleted of so this just made it worse), damages the intestinal lining and can also interferes with the conversion of some nutrients to their active forms. Alcohol-induced disorders such as inflammation of the pancreas and small intestine and liver cirrhosis can also lead to malnutrition. The last bit is talking about heavy drinking but with a system that is so sensative and in need of repair I feel that I am putting myself at risk by consuming alcohol at this stage.

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Ya know Shauna...this is how I feel, how I think:

Gluten is a crumb left behind, which might hang around in my toaster. Gluten might live in a salad that was sent back because of the croutons and was served again. Maybe in a lipstick when I could not decipher the ingredients. Or gluten might be in the air (that I inhaled ) as I enter the bakery behind my grandmothers apartment as a child. Gluten can surprise you. (Yes, I'm being simplistic).

We have preached to replace scratch pots and pans, but proper cleaning would do. Scratched Teflon is not good for anyone, much less one with gluten issues.

The world is not an evil place. Too often people act as if gluten was a virus that can spread into an 'OMG' factor. Or a monster hanging over our heads. Gluten is a crumb left behind.

It's not that complicated. There is no need to live life in isolation with fears of dining out or enjoying the hospitality of friends.

If wine does not settle well with you, well....JUST DON'T DRINK IT. Fight a fight with more cause.

I know, I know....I expect feed back. I know we are all different, and the spectrum is WIDE. :)

Good job explaining that, Lisa! This can all be so confusing to new Celiacs and they should never be overly fearful of their food when learning the diet. Fear in itself can create symptoms that mimic a gluten hit. Honestly, if wine did have gluten in it, I would be dead by now as I drink a glass every night with my dinner. That in itself is science enough for me.

There are foods which I will not eat that other Celiacs may try and continue to eat. I do not think they are wrong for doing so. Not all foods will agree with everyone and it doesn't always have anything to do with gluten. Hopefully, this will put the wine issue to bed because no one should not drink wine because they erroneously think it unsafe.

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T.H. - I have have spoken several times to commercial testing labs who do confidential testing for gluten for the food and beverage industry. Without naming specific brands, because they could not, they have told me that they have never detected any amount of gluten in any distilled alcoholic beverages, and have never detected any gluten in any grape wines (in one conversation I was also told that several major brands of barley based beers do test below 20ppm, some as low as 9ppm).

Also, my employee's husband who owns the Willowbrook wine label HAS tested his wines that were aged in oak barrels that were made in France in the traditional method which utilized wheat paste as a sealant, and zero gluten could be detected (by tests that went down, I believe, to 5 ppm). Feel free to contact the winery directly about this, and the owner does have testing documentation to back this up. He plans to market his wines as gluten-free...even the ones made in such barrels.

Obviously this does not mean that every wine has been tested--most have not, but it does demonstrate that all of the scientific data I've seen to date indicates that we don't need to worry about wines, and in all my years I've not seen a single bit of credible evidence to contradict this.

So what we have here is a basic myth that has persisted for years, but not evidence to back it up. We also have plenty of evidence to show that wine is safe, including the fact that all celiac organizations and experts worldwide agree on this point...so why try to make this into a point of contention...what good does that serve?

Take care,

Scott

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We also have plenty of evidence to show that wine is safe, including the fact that all celiac organizations and experts worldwide agree on this point...so why try to make this into a point of contention...what good does that serve?

I wasn't trying to make it a point of contention. I haven't argued that wine isn't safe in this entire discussion, at least I don't believe I did. That's the reason I tried to say, in both my posts, that this was not my purpose. And that's also why I made sure to say that I wasn't trying to imply that any wine contained over 20 ppm. I tried to go out of my way to make sure that I DIDN'T imply that. I even acknowledged statements that would be in agreement with various celiac organizations on this matter.

What I was trying to do was get clarification on certain statements that were used to support the idea, not because I'm trying to disprove or even disagree with that idea, but because I wish to know the information, and make sure that I have accurate information.

If someone tells me the sky is blue because our atmosphere contains primarily nitrogen and helium, I don't have to be disagreeing with the fact that the sky is blue to have questions about the nitrogen and the helium. That's how I look at this right now. I'm trying to get information about the steam cleaning of wood and alcohol solubility of gluten but not trying to challenge any of the discussion re: gluten ppm in wine.

When you mentioned the steam cleaning process of the wood that would eliminate any gluten cc, for example, that didn't match with what I thought I knew about wood and gluten cc. However, I also know I haven't really investigated how, exactly, gluten and wood interact, so I was hoping for more information so I can figure this out.

It sounds like this is potentially getting too far afield from the wine discussion, however, so I'll just step away and start up a new post to satisfy my curiosity on this matter.

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Just wanted to respond to one last thing, really quick, actually.

...The world is not an evil place. Too often people act as if gluten was a virus that can spread into an 'OMG' factor. Or a monster hanging over our heads. Gluten is a crumb left behind.

It's not that complicated. There is no need to live life in isolation with fears of dining out or enjoying the hospitality of friends.

Just wanted to say that I can understand your point of view, honestly. I figure that starting this diet, I reacted like a lot of us do. I was shocked at how much gluten there is everywhere, in so many products. It felt like I'd never figure it out. And then I got used to reading labels, got some new cutting boards and such, and I felt like I had a handle on the gluten side of things.

I think when I was in that place, I didn't feel that nervous about gluten at all. It was a change, and frustrating at times, but no big. I had other issues to worry about. And as many here know, I don't feel that way anymore.

And yes, I ended up being more sensitive than most, but that hasn't actually been what's affected my attitude toward gluten so much. It's really the increase in the severity of my reaction.

Just using your monster metaphor, I think that for many of us, the size of the gluten 'monster' hanging over us depends on how much damage that monster does to us. For those with milder issues, it's just an irritating little gremlin that gets in the way and throws a spanner in the works. We get accidental gluten cc and we get a little ill for a couple days, feel exhausted or irritable. It doesn't feel threatening, just annoying. There's only so much thought and effort most of us are willing to do to avoid an irritation like that.

For some of us with more severe reactions, the gluten 'monster' is a dragon that chews you up and a few weeks later you might make it out the other end without permanent damage, if you're lucky. We lose weeks or months of our lives if we get hit with gluten, and may have damage that we'll never be able to heal.

I don't think any of us avoiding that dragon believe that gluten is everywhere, on everything. We know it's not. But the substance is used in a lot of places, so traces show up in some funny places. And the consequence if we screw up is very high, so often it gets to the point where even low level risk is just not worth the potential pain it can bring. Eating out becomes much less of an enjoyable experience if I'm gambling the next 2 months of my life on the chefs and wait staff getting it all right.

Guess I'm just trying to say that I can understand how you feel about your food, and why you feel that way. Just hoping I can, hmm, explain another way of thinking so it makes sense, too, you know?

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I should say in advance, I'm not trying to claim that these amounts might add up to over 20 ppm, but I am curious about the possibility of gluten in the wine, even if it's in very small amounts.

http://switch2glutenfree.com/misc/is-wine-gluten-free/

http://www.winemakermag.com/stories/techniques/article/indices/30-pressing/906-pressing-seeds-gluten-in-wine-wine-wizard

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T.H. I am not opposed to a discussion on this topic, obviously that is why this board is here. I am, however, opposed to spreading wild, unsubstantiated claims, especially very old ones, that have never been backed up by any solid evidence. These claims can cause unnecessary concern, which is probably not advantageous to the healing process--more worry/stress probably does impact one's health in a negative way. They can also cause people's quality of life to be unnecessarily diminished...what if someone hears this and avoids wine their whole life because they think there is gluten in it? I think that would be a bad thing for a wine drinker.

If I do see something substantial to worry about from wine I'll be the first to spread the news via Celiac.com, but after nearly 20 years of doing this I haven't seen anything. My educated guess is that leaky gut/unhealed gut equals natural sensitivity to many things, and it may take a few years for many celiacs to recover to the point where they can drink wine and distilled spirits again--but this doesn't mean that there is gluten in those things. Also, I believe that during this recovery time period many celiacs will have the feeling that everything contains gluten, and that they are getting dosed by gluten, even if they might not be. This can be caused by the damaged gut's reaction to different things.

I am not advocating that a celiac should not being vigilant in pursuing a gluten-free diet, but I do think this vigilance can, at times, go too far.

Take care,

Scott

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I'm sorry, I wasn't able to go through and read all the posts but I just wanted to put this out there (sorry if it's already been said). My friend who is NOT gluten free can't handle the sulfites in wine.....

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I don't drink wine any more. Or eat grapes or anything with grape juice in it. I had reactions to wines and used to think it was sulfites or gluten causing them. But I also have reactions to plain old grapes now or things made with grapes. So just saying there can be other factors at play besides gluten. The grapes themselves can cause a problem.

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