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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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Dairy
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15 posts in this topic

After reading through some of the other topics and replies, I have seen many references to milk. Am I missing something? Does milk have gluten? Contaminated by gluten? I have been gluten-free for 13 years, but it seems like I am still learning daily. Any help would be appreciated. :unsure: Thanks!

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Pure milk does not have gluten. However, many individuals who are gluten intolerant find that their symptoms don't completely clear up after eliminating gluten.

Many individuals must also eliminate milk and milk products (lactose - a milk sugar and/or casein - a milk protein) to eliminate symptoms. After a period of time/healing, some individuals can reintroduce milk and milk products.

The intolerance to milk may have something to do with the damaged villi (inability to produce the appropriate digestive enzymes in the appropriate quantities) or the similarity of the chemical structure between gluten and casein (the difference is subtle enough that the body attacks casein because it looks like gluten).

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The enzymes that break down lactose in milk are located at the tips of the villi (in the small intestine). When those villi are damaged by gluten in celiacs, than those individuals are temporarily lactose intolerant. Therefore, when the villi heal, dairy can be re-introduced into the diet. The degree of villi damage is different in every celiac so people will re-act differently to dairy products.

Some people may also just develop lactose intolerance.

Hope this helps!

-Carrie

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Although you don't need to be careful about milk (whole, fatfree, etc.), you do need to take caution in buying lactose-free or some other special milk. Those can contain gluten.

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Can the gluten that cows consume get into their milk? I have seen several threads and debates on the topic of gluten in human breast milk... some say, yes gluten can enter the milk and others say no.

I have heard of mothers who breast fed and swear that when they went gluten-free their colicky babies got better.

If gluten can get into breastmilk couldn't it get into cow's milk?

Gluten isn't added to the milk making process, so it's neverlisted as an ingredient... but has anyone ever actually tested either cow's milk or human milk for the presence of gluten?

Questions that make me go, hmmmm?

Anyone know or heard or read anything on the topic?

Priscilla

So. Calif.

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Cows have completely different digestive systems than people (remember, four stomachs?). The food they eat does not express in the milk or the meat. Same with other animals we eat. Otherwise everybody with celiac would be getting sick every time they drank milk or ate meat. This is not a concern for us.

richard

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If milk causes osteoporosis, then why is it high in calcium and recommended by osteopaths to prevent the disease?

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that's actually a fascinating, and unended, story. there is biochemical evidence to suggest that the protein content in milk, when broken down to release the nitrogen from many of the bonds of the protein, decreases the pH of the body's fluids, something the body respond to by using calcium to buffer the body - coming from either the milk, or in cases where calcium isn't consumed, leeched from the bones. Actually, on a regular basis, calcium is taken from and added to the bones - they are far more than a skeletal device for humans, they're a giant buffering reservoir! (Really quite ingenious, I think. ;-) )

There are some population studies that suggest that cultures who have low milk consumption rates, as well as low protein consumption rates, do fairly well, as far as bone density throughout life goes. And some evidence to suggest that populations with high protein consumption and even moderate calcium consumption do not do so well in bone density over a life time.

Another concern about milk being touted as the best preventative for osteoporosis is the fact that milk, cow's milk in particular, is low in magnesium - an element that most people's diet is low in - even those who eat healthy foods. Calcium cannot be properly bound in the bone matrix without sufficent magnesium, along with a bunch of other trace minerals. Biochemically speaking, it's a fascinating process, and if this type of thing interests you at all, I encourage anyone to pick up a book on the process of bone formation, biologically speaking.

And that's not even getting into the consideration of how much of the antibiotics and steroids (particularly rBGH) they give to most dairy cows - to make them produce more milk than they ordinarily would - get into the milk you drink. (And there are more icky stories as well.) There are contemplations as to whether or not going with organic milk would help with those conditions.

Now, the interesting thing is all the money pumped into the bone health research industry by the dairy industry. I was trying to find out if there was any peer-reviewed, published studies on the correlation between protein intake and calcium needs when I discovered that there are virtually ZERO studies published on non-dairy sources of calcium. (Aside from "lactose intolerant children don't get enough calcium" sorts of things, but those don't have any changes in dietary composition....) And most of the studies were funded, in part, by the dairy industry. They have a huge lobbying and marketing organization just for the promotion of their products. Absolutely huge. And I won't get into what Monsanto's done with regard to their hormone production and the studies they've released - more importantly the ones they appear to have NOT released - on the effects of the hormones and the ability for it to get into the final product. Then again, I hate Monsanto - and fully expect they're going to be the ones who eventually hybridize rice with wheat genes and screw up our diets for life. (Well, I expect that when I'm at my most cynical. But the company has done some shady things.)

The thing is, there are no clear, scientific, well-controlled, well-performed, peer-reviewed, reproduced studies that say it IS really that bad for you. It's like most of the rest of the nutrition research... a little for, a little against. And then all the rest that follows the mainstream view. My research led me - when I was drinking milk - to go organic - and make my husband go organic, and not drink very much of the stuff. I enjoyed it - loved the taste - but didn't use it as a full calcium source. It's a personal decision (I'm feeling repetitious ;-) ), but it's also interesting research if you've got the time to do it.

(Oh, to answer the question - why is it high in calcium? Because baby cows need the calcium content before they are weaned. ;-) Yeah, I'm being a smart you-know-what... you already knew that... but it is the reason why! 0:-) :lol: )

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A member, "Pam", used the report button in order to post rather than the "add reply button. Here is what Pam wanted to say:

Has anyone tried Lactaid milk. It is a lactose-free milk that I seem to do fine on. When I drink regular milk I get very sick.
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Pam,

Yes I have tried the lactaid milk I seemed to do ok with it but then I was told to stay off all dairy from my doctor a few months ago. I don't know if I'm lactose intolerant or casein intolerant but I'm not going to try any dairy products until my current GI symptoms decide to go away.

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I've tried to introduce Lactaid a couple times and always feel ill from it.

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Tiffany,

thanks for the great post. Have you got any clue whether it's possible to get casein-free milk? This would be a nice stuff - no allergy or intolerance possible, high in calcium, and because of low protein content, no buffering involved.

Perhaps a good issue for the diary industry to work out.

MARK

gluten-free/CF since September 03

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well... casein free milk is kind of like gluten-free wheat (and I don't mean wheat starch). casein is one of the things that makes milk, milk. but only one of the things. there's a bunch of interesting reading you can do on the issue regarding the difference in protein composition of various types of milks. apparently, cow's milk has a high percentage of alpha-casein, one particular form of the molecule. people who are intolerant to casein are often intolerant to this form. goat's milk, apparently, has very little alpha-casein, but rather another form. in theory, someone with a casein sensitivity _might_ tolerate goat's milk (or, I hear, sheep's milk). (someone with a true casein allergy, that runs the risk of anaplyaxis, wouldn't want to try, I'm sure!) (note that human breast milk is also low in alpha casein ordinarily)

I've thought about trying out goat's milk and seeing how it goes (I want cheese!), but haven't yet... Definitely check out what you can find on the internet if you're interested in trying it out, keeping in mind a lot of the sites are geared towards hype, and not skipping doing the journal review at pubmed.com :-)

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