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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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tonileet

Muir Glen Tomato Products

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Hello Everyone,

I'm wondering if anyone thinks they've reacted to any of Muir Glen's canned tomato products. I've made gluten-free pizza twice recently (I used Muir Glen tomato paste and plain diced tomatoes and had confirmed beforehand that the citric acid in their products is corn-based) and both times, within a day or two, my scalp itchies have flared and mouth ulcers have erupted.

The major reactions I've experienced since going gluten-free (to the best of my knowlege) 6 1/2 months ago have been after eating food that I've REALLY enjoyed and when I've been feeling particularly well. (I'm the one who broke out in mouth ulcers after eating artichoke hearts imported from Spain - gluten in the citric acid.) I know this sounds super paranoid, but I'm beginning to feel like whatever I eat when I'm feeling great and that tastes extra-good will make me sick! Sometimes I hate all of the investigative work I have to do just to eat (but I'm glad that I'm creating a list of safe products).

Anyway, I e-mailed Muir Glen and this is how they responded:

"Although we at Small Planet Foods manage production carefully, including thorough cleanout practices, Muir Glen products MAY be produced on equipment that also handles gluten-containing products. You will need to make a decision about whether to use this product based on your sensitivity."

They capitalized MAY, not me. No mention of whether or not they test for gluten, even though I asked. I'm bummed out about not trusting their products. Anyone know a brand of organic canned tomato products that are made in a gluten-free facility or on a dedicated line?

Thanks for reading. This latest outbreak of scalp itchies and mouth ulcers has me feeling quite pissy and frustrated. I'm glad that I can vent with people who understand.

I hope all of you are having a great day! Take care - Toni

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Toni,

Oh, no! How disheartening! I'll go ahead and ask the obligatory questions: Can you eat fresh tomatoes with no trouble? Do you successfully eat any other products with corn-based citric acid? Could there have been cross-contamination of the crust, or some other element of the pizza? I have actually been having a few mouth ulcers and increased itchiness lately (and various brands of tomatoes have been figuring more prominently in my diet than previously), and I am wondering if tomatoes or citric acid themselves may be the culprit in my case. I hope you locate the offender and feel better soon!

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Hi Sarah,

Thanks for the quick response. I'll answer the easier question first. I don't think that the crust or any of the other pizza ingredients were contaminated. I used Sylvan Border Farm (Mendocino Gluten-Free Products, Inc.) Wheat-Free Non-Dairy Bread Mix for the crust. It's a locally owned company and I've spoken to the owner several times. She's a long-time celiac who extensively researches all of her product ingredients. I've used the bread mix quite a few times and do not feel that it is causing any problems. The bread, by the way, is tasty and has good texture, in my opinion.

As for the pizza toppings....besides the Muir Glen tomato paste and diced tomatoes, all I added was onion, green bell pepper, garlic, nutritional yeast, olive oil and fresh basil. It was so yummy! No cheese - dairy or soy.

Can I eat fresh tomatoes with no trouble? I think so, but I'm not sure. I hardly ever eat fresh tomatoes or citrus because I've always wondered if they cause canker sores. Just the thought of eating citrus makes me cringe but I don't feel that strong an aversion to tomatoes. I've been eating Amy's Black Bean Chili every now and then which has tomatoes in it, but no citric acid. Since going gluten-free I've pretty much been avoiding citric acid. I did drink many Tazo teas last summer which have citric acid in them and it didn't bother me. And I eat Cascadian Farm frozen corn on occasion with no problem. But, like tomatoes, I've mostly been staying away from corn. I wonder if multiple mouth ulcers is a symptom of tomato or corn sensitivity?

Do you eat Muir Glen tomato products, Sarah? What other brands have you tried? Do you think you've reacted to all of them? Maybe we'll hear from someone who knows that tomatoes or citric acid is a problem for them.

I am feeling better today, thank you. Take care - Toni

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With the help of a nutritionist I am starting an allergy elimination diet. Citrus and tomatoes are on my list to not partake in until the end of the diet. I add new things in every other day to see if they bother me. I have to try the fresh version first (nothing canned) and see where the sensitivies lie.

I hope you figure out what's bothering you.

Good luck,

Lily

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Toni, I have tried Muir Glen diced tomatoes and fire-roasted diced tomatoes, and oh, my goodness, are they delicious! I didn't notice any immediate reaction to them, but I remember that I was still in the process of reacting to a previous meal at the time, so I can't be entirely sure that they were OK. I have also used DelMonte diced tomatoes and Hunts tomato sauce, and I feel a little bit off after most meals that include them, but I can't narrow the problem down enough to implicate the tomato products. Oh, and I found tomato paste in a tube (just tomatoes and salt, no citric acid) at Trader Joe's, which I use to make salad dressing--and immediately after the last time I ate that dressing, the edges of my tongue began to itch! Unfortunately, this isn't conclusive because I had eaten a full meal right before the salad (yes, I did it backwards!). It's really frustrating that I just can't remember to keep a food diary!

Like you, I don't eat many fresh tomatoes, but the only citrus fruit that turns me off is oranges (and tangerines, to a lesser degree). I find that I can tolerate lemons, limes, and grapefruit reasonably well, but oranges always give me heartburn. Interestingly, this is entirely in line with the Blood Type Diet food values for my type (Type A)!

I hope we can figure this out, or that someone who already has drops by to enlighten us! Have a great day!

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Like you, I don't eat many fresh tomatoes, but the only citrus fruit that turns me off is oranges (and tangerines, to a lesser degree). I find that I can tolerate lemons, limes, and grapefruit reasonably well, but oranges always give me heartburn. Interestingly, this is entirely in line with the Blood Type Diet food values for my type (Type A)!

Sarah,

How about yams? Do you have a reaction to them? I'm a Type A also and after reading D'Adamo's Eat Right for Your Type and finding a lot of my favorite foods on his Avoid List (yams, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, oranges, plantains, cashews, etc., etc.) decided that it was not my kind of diet. But I'm wondering now if maybe I wasn't reacting to these foods because my immune system had been overwhelmed by my eating gluten and could not respond adequately to other harmful foods. (My reactions to eating gluten: mild D and mild headache, but this may change as my system clears out--this seems to be the opposite of what many are experiencing.) I definitely am more sensitive now to gluten containing foods than before, though the symptoms are not severe. Could it be that I am a non-secretor Type A? and therefore do not fit the usual Type A pattern? I picked up his recent book on your recommendation (Live Right for Your Type) and there is much more on the secretor/nonsecretor variation than I remember in his other book. Have read only the first two chapters so far but this book seems more grounded in referenced scientific studies than the other. Do you think it's important to find out your secretor status? I am tempted to send for the kit. Aldo

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Aldo,

Eat Right 4 Your Type may mention the secretor/nonsecretor variation in passing, but it does not go into any detail on the subject. It presents a simplistic version of the diet that is a compromise between the two variants. This is largely because Dr. D'Adamo expected many of the book's readers to be "fad dieters" who were interested mainly in weight loss and would be turned off by technical details. Sad, but true! Live Right 4 Your Type, on the other hand, presents the diet/lifestyle in its entirety and is geared toward health-conscious readers who want guidance on how to make the most of their lives. It also contains the results of further research that hadn't been completed when Eat Right was published.

You certainly could be a nonsecretor, in which case you would be able to eat all of the foods you mentioned except for oranges and cashews. In fact, I just looked up celiac disease in the Eat Right 4 Your Type Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia, and it says that nonsecretors "are 200% more likely to have overt celiac disease"! This doesn't actually mean that more nonsecretors carry the gene for celiac disease, just that they are much more likely to display typical symptoms and therefore be diagnosed. I am a secretor, which may explain why I experienced only extra-intestinal symptoms until I went wheat-free. (And I haven't eaten yams in quite a while, so unfortunately I can't answer your question about them. I do know, however, that the trouble with yams for A's is not that they contain a lectin, but rather that they inactivate one of our key digestive enzymes, making other foods that much harder to digest!)

In my opinion, knowledge is power. It certainly wouldn't hurt to find out your secretor status (especially since you might "get back" some of your favorite foods!). I'll keep my fingers crossed that you turn out to be a nonsecretor, if you decide to find out! Myself, I'm (mostly!) glad to be a secretor. I'm also considering getting the full serotyping panel done so I can find out my A1/A2 and M/N types, but I think I will have to put that off until after I've had my family tested for celiac disease by Enterolab (especially since I believe some kind of physician complicity is necessary to get blood drawn, and I don't have a regular doctor right now).

I hope my ruminations prove helpful to you, and that you're doing well!

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Sarah,

Thanks. Very helpful ruminations! I will send for the secretor kit. After reading what you had to say about your possibly getting the full serotyping panel to find out your A1/A2 and M/N types, I wonder if you would recommend this in addition to the secretor test. I was very impressed with the Live Right...book, and will include its approach in "my battle plans" for returning to health as quickly as possible. I haven't been to the D'Adamo website yet, but I guess that is the next step.

I think the diet could be helpful to many of us. All we need is someone who is familiar with it, has experienced improvement while being on it, and could help us along by answering questions that are sure to come. I don't know, but it seems to me that it would be helpful to have someone who has our condition lead the way for us--at least for those who see some merit in the Blood Type Diet.

How about you, Sarah, being that person? It would be a definite service to the Board. And the topic would be a natural for the Forum: Post-Diagnosis, Recovery and Treatment. --Aldo

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Aldo,

You must be flattering me! Seriously, I certainly don't mind if you ask me questions, although I can't guarantee that I will know all the answers! You could also send me a private message through the board, which is probably the more appropriate venue if your question is more esoteric and not of general interest. Another resource that is invaluable, even though it is not celiac-oriented, is the "On the Diet" column at the Blood Type Diet website. Heidi, the woman who posts it, is wonderfully wise and gently humorous (and is my role model for how to participate in an online community, actually!), and her answers to readers' questions are always helpful.

As far as getting the full serotyping panel performed is concerned, I feel that it is less essential than finding out your secretor status. The diet changes significantly depending on whether you are a secretor or a nonsecretor, but the changes for the A2, MM, and NN variants are just minor tweaks.

I hope this helps, and I'll be waiting to hear your questions when they crop up!

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Sarah,

This is only part of my response to your post. (See Post-Diagnosis Forum: "Blood Type Diet" for the complete response.)

Thanks for the info concerning the full serotyping panel. I will do only the Secretor testing for now. I wonder if I would rather be a non-secretor or a secretor. Even though, as you mentioned, many of my favorite foods would no longer be on the Avoid List, there seems to be many more beneficial foods on the Secretor List. But we shall see.

No flattery intended when writing in response to your post. Your knowledge of celiac disease has helped not only me but others, as many have already expressed. There are others who come to mind--like gf4life--who have seemingly a bottomless knowledge base to answer the many questions those new to this, like me, have. There are many others who have helped as well; it seems at times, as mentioned in the Blood Type Post, that every post I go to has in some way helped, no matter the topic.

I have decided to pay strict attention to the Blood Type Diet and will take advantage of your offer to answer questions that are bound to come up while following it. Your suggestions to email you, if the questions are not of general interest, and to go to the "On Diet" column at the Blood type Diet website are both helpful suggestions, and I will do that, thanks; but I believe that most of my questions may also be of interest to others who are trying to fine tune their approach to dealing with celiac disease. Having someone with your background, your interest in the Blood Type Diet, and of course having celiac disease yourself, makes you--not excluding others who may be out there and have yet to speak up on this matter--an ideal person to "mentor" this topic. If it doesn't "fly," then at least that much will have been learned. --Aldo

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