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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

Running Out Of Food Options

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I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease many years ago after discovering I was intolerant to lactose and allergic to several unusual foods and eggs and sagebrush (lol). Since that time, my doctor has helped me identify even more food allergies. I could never bring myself to eat meat. Now, I can't eat dairy, eggs, fish, gluten, wheat, sage (unrelated to sagebrush), and now I've discovered my body is accumulating too many toxins from processed foods. I read in a book (I don't wanna get in trouble for advertising) how processed foods aren't good for you anyway. I'm heavily involved in scientific research myself, and was carefully walked thru the research projects involved in the claim, and the principals behind them, and I'm convinced the author is correct in his claim. However, that leaves me with what to eat? String beans and peaches? Even with a banana, that is not enough to live on for any length of time. What if I later discover I can't eat corn, or perhaps soy? I think I've learned too much about what to exclude from my diet, and not enough about what to eat instead. I hope someone else out there has worked through this problem or something similar, and has some advice about how I might reinvent a properly balanced diet with such a severely limited set of options available to me. Perhaps I've overlooked something. Perhaps the disadvantages of eating a certain food are not as extreme as they seem.

Know this, however: I won't eat meat. I could tell you why, but it would take a pretty large book, possibly several books, and I don't think you want to read them, but I won't be convinced to eat meat, and I don't want to be criticised for that.

I've come up with a fairly accurate description of the type of diet I'm looking to achieve:

A gluten-free, whole-foods, plant-based diet.

Sounds crazy, but that's pretty much what I'm left with, and I don't know what I can make out of that to live on and be healthy and content for the rest of my life.


I'm not dancing and ranting frantic about this, nor am I curled up in a foetal position melting in a corner with my laptop in a final desperate plea, but this is important to me. I simply wanted to convey that, not to elicit any unwarranted concern. When faced with a choice that means life or death, I will always choose life.

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Now, I can't eat dairy, eggs, fish, gluten, wheat, sage (unrelated to sagebrush), and now I've discovered my body is accumulating too many toxins from processed foods.

This is what happened to me as well. My restrictions are severe though. I'm pretty much intolerant to everything at this point. For me it was caused by mercury toxicity from my fillings and a reaction I had to dissimilar metals in my mouth (galvanic reaction). It caused me to get poisoned rather quickly....since then I've had these peoblems with food and chemicals.

If you have heavy metal burden (especially mercury)...your body becomes less efficient when it comes to detoxification. Other toxins (environmental, chemicals in processed food, pesticides, etc) start to accumulate in the tissue and create a heavy burden...as a result we can become quite sensitive to foods and/or chemicals.

Mercury also causes enzyme dysfunction....food intolerance is pretty much inevitable.

This could also be a reason for being intolerant to fish....high mercury content.

Your situation could be completely diferent but this is the reason that I started accumulating toxins. I eat only organic now and am getting ready to start chelation to remove metals from my body.

The Dr.'s say once this is completed I will once again be able to eat normally. Hope they are right. :)

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Whoa, thanks for reminding me! I need to be careful next time I go to the dentist to be sure not to refill my fillings with mercury! My old fillings are about 20 years old now anyway, and should have fallen out on their own by now, lol .. My sister knows of a dentist who is very careful about such things.

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Guest cassidy

It seems like you know you can't have these foods that you are intolerant too, so I don't really see that as imposing too many restrictions, that isn't a choice.

I really don't like meat (I force some down a couple times a month), so I think that is your choice. There is no way I could just start eating meat even if I had all sorts of other things taken out of my diet.

I don't think processed foods are good for any of us. What are you considering processed? Would you feel ok if you ate rice pasta as long as it wasn't in a box with a sauce packet full of additives? How do you feel about rice milk or any of the dairy free cheeses? What about making your own bread?

There is definitely a lot of dairy in my diet but I can't have tomatoes or potatoes. I really miss tomato sauce and salsa to spice things up.

Making a list of things that you can eat and making up some meals and freezing them are good options. It is rough when you have many restrictions, but I'm sure you can find enough to eat. Good luck!

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I've come up with a fairly accurate description of the type of diet I'm looking to achieve:

A gluten-free, whole-foods, plant-based diet.

Sounds crazy, but that's pretty much what I'm left with, and I don't know what I can make out of that to live on and be healthy and content for the rest of my life.

No, that's not crazy at all! I prefer to think of the typical meat-eating, wheat-eating, dairy-eating American as having a very unbalanced and limited diet. To me, most people have "tunnel-vision" with respect to diet. That is, they DO LIMIT themselves to a small set of food choices, and bad ones at that.

I also do not eat meat, dairy, eggs, or seafood, but I have far more variety in my diet after going gluten-free than I ever did before. Once wheat was out, the necessity to diversify my diet gave me what I needed to incorporate new foods. So besides the obvious vegetables, rice and fruit, I have added things like tofu, lentils, various whole grains such as millet and kasha (roasted buckwheat), nuts and seeds, etc. Also getting the hang of gluten-free baking, which added a whole new dimension of things. Not only does it mean even more whole grains, legumes, and so forth, but all sorts of healthy new foods can be made. I'd also emphasize that there are loads of different kinds of rice available - some very different that others.

The method of preparation also plays an important role in the perceived variety, so even a few basic things can be made into a large array of interesting and enticing dishes. A simple example might be using rice to make a casserole, or a pudding. Both can use the same rice, yet be completely different in how they appeal to our senses.

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First, calm down. You can find food. Heck, I follow a tasty, healthy, & diverse diet and I have to avoid everything you do (except for sage) PLUS soy & yeast.

You can have --

Nongluten grains -- rice, wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, amaranth, corn

Other starches -- bread and flat breads made w/o your no-no's, potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, polenta, beans, lentils, split peas



Nuts & seeds

Nondairy milks

Plus you can have soy, unlike some of us :lol: (Just avoid isolated soy proteins -- I don't think they are healthy for you. I can share a link about this if you want. But if you are avoiding processed food, you aren't going to be having them.)

I feel I'm leaving something out. Oh, yes, you can still have dark chocolate & wine. Life is good.

Explore ethnic cuisines. When you are having homemade Middle eastern, Indian, Thai or Ethiopean dishes -- and making new discoveries each week -- it is hard to think of yourself as limited. I think I have more recipes to try than I can ever get around to making.

There is a Yahoo group called "Vegan-and-Gluten-Free." Hundreds of us there -- you aren't alone. There are scads of recipes posted. Also at www.fatfreevegan.com there is section for gluten-free. Actually, if you look at regular vegetarian & vegan recipe sites or cookbooks, you will find many that are doable or can be converted (use a gluten-free pasta, for instance, or substitute a grain you can have for one you can't). I followed the McDougall diet (plant based) for years before finding out about my intolerances -- my adjustment hasn't been too difficult. The biggest shift was cutting out soy & yeast, and you don't have to do that. :rolleyes: On the McDougall board, there is a subforum for some of us who are now gluten-free. There is also a great deal of information about nutrition. About all you need to be concerned with (absent special dietary needs) on a vegan diet is a regular source or supplement of B12. Some of us also make sure to get Omega 3s (I have ground flax seed, walnuts, or hemp seed each day). I've got links somewhere about B12 & omega 3s if you want them. I just don't want to overwhelm you with information at the same time I'm saying everything is easy ;)

A book I urge you to get your hands on is Food Allergy Survival Guide. It has information about coping with a number of food sensitivities, discusses menu planning and nutrition, and all of its recipes are vegan & exclude everything you want to exclude (I don't know about sage -- but I don't remember any recipes with it offhand :rolleyes: )

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Yep, there is a whole world of food out there for you. :) Find a good grocery store with a large fresh produce section, and every week, try to buy something you've never tried before. Think of cooking as an adventure.

Buy a vegetarian cookbook and adapt the recipes to be gluten free. (Don't get sucked into the meat replacement stuff as a lot of that has wheat, as I'm sure you know.)

When you get back to the basics (cooking with food as close to the farm as possible) it actually becomes fairly easy to control your diet. Much easier than trying to read labels on processed food.

A few of my favorites:

Veggie fajitas (onions, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, etc.) with corn tortillas.

Black bean cheese-less nachos, with tomatoes, onions, green onions, jalapenos, salsa

Flackseed/Buckwheat pancakes with blueberries and bananas

Acorn squash with honey

Glazed butternut squash

Coconut milk stir fry (frozen veggie mix, coconut milk, turmeric, curry powder)

Veggie jumbalaya (cajun seasoning, corn, okra, veggie mix, rice... boil)

Tomato soup (tomatoes, seasoning, rice/soy milk) broccoli and other vegies optional

Sundried tomatoes and asparagus

Sweet potatoes

Rice-stuffed bell peppers

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Hi all I'm new (by way of introduction) I know how you feel Abug, I'm ahead of you by about a week. My allergies are casiene and gluten, intolerances are corn, rice, salicylates, preservatives etc etc. I'm very grateful to all the animals who die so I can eat, I'd like to be a vegetarian but spuds and beans just aren't enough and I absolutely refuse to eat a turnip - the cows can eat them and then I'll eat the cows. Never loose your sense of humour and start a proper 7 day rotation diet even if like me Tuesdays are eggs - just eggs. Sunday is my trial day and I've added calamari to my diet!!!!!. Pretty damned exciting believe me. Try local indigenous foods, I'm curently living in Australia and am about to try Banyo nuts which I can't possibly be allergic to.

Its been 8 years since I gave up milk and expected this move to cure all my health problems. I've got multiple food intolerance and now that I understand it I can see that the rotation diet is the only answer. I'm two weeks into mine and this is how I found out that I'm intolerant of the rice milk that I've been using for so long. Whatever I have every day I will eventually become intolerant to.

You think you won't be able to cope but you can - as long as you have a little hope that you will get better you will cope. The thing that amazed me is how much time the diet takes to set up and monitor and also how tired I've been for so many years. I've had 2days in a row when I felt good - the feeling was incredible and I hope to have it again!

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So many of you have responded and given me such good advice, I don't know where to begin! Thank you all so much! I've been greatly encouraged by reading all your responses, and I'll be revisiting this thread to re-read what you've said :)

Hathor: I would be interested in finding gluten-free sources of vitamin B12 since I've done some research into how it became deficient, and most importantly the fact that I could become deficient in it, and I'd also like to know more about omega 3s since I haven't found much useful information about that topic.

Cassidy: I haven't very well defined "processed foods" yet. I guess I should be asking what should be considered processed, except I'm not sure if such a question belongs on this forum. The definition I got from my doctor isn't very well defined, and I'm not interested in paying another bill for more information from him. As I recall, it goes something like, "Foods that haven't gone through a significant change from its natural state" .. or did he say a "chemical" change? I don't remember exactly, but it was so vague that I'm sure his definition isn't important. It's clear I have some further research to do to decide how "processed" a "processed food" should be before it's considered potentially harmful. Or at least nutritionally deficient.

To all, you've provided me with a load of very useful information and suggestions, and I owe you big time! You can be assured that I will actually be following those suggestions, especially since I feel like I'm out of options .. besides, you've opened up not just one, but several whole new worlds full of dietary options for me! Like RiceGuy said, before I came onto this diet change, I was highly limited in the foods that I ate. Now that I think of it, ten years ago, I ate pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches (sometimes with tomato soup), cerial (with milk), and .. well, that comprised about 99.9% of my diet .. so yeah, I was limited! I haven't peaked into any of these doors yet that you've shown me, but I'm already convinced that whatever's behind them is far more than I could use in a lifetime!

So, um, that was my really long way of saying thanks .. I have been called a windbag on many occasions, so I'm trying to work on that :)

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...I would be interested in finding gluten-free sources of vitamin B12...

...I'd also like to know more about omega 3s...

I guess I should be asking what should be considered processed, except I'm not sure if such a question belongs on this forum.

Well, there are actually no plants or animals known to produce vitamin B12. Only certain microbes have been found to do this. So it makes sense to me that if a cow gets B12 by grazing on grass and such, then I'd have to guess it is the modern farming methods, especially the use of pesticides, herbicides, etc that kill off the microbes, thus our plants don't have B12 on them like the ones most animals eat.

I take a sublingual methylcobalamin (vitamin B12) supplement from Source Naturals. Another brand which specifies gluten-free is Freeda, and I believe there is one or two others I've run into while looking around, though the names escape me ATM.

As for omega 3s, I know there is a lot of hype out there regarding this, but personally I don't ride that bandwagon. My reasoning is that since the vast majority of our foods are much higher in omega 6s than omega 3s, that must the the natural balance we should have. Sure there are benefits seen by increased amounts of omega 3s, but I'm guessing the participants of those studies don't have a balanced diet to begin with. Just like broccoli is good for the heart, but we shouldn't eat that every day either. However, there are a few notable sources of omega 3s, such as flax seeds, walnuts, blueberries, blackberries, and a few other things. I just don't see how a well balanced and varied diet could be maintained if we are supposed to load up on such a small group of food choices.

On your question about processed foods, I think it's appropriate to discuss it when it relates to your gluten-free diet, and it seems it does to me. IMHO, a processed food is one which isn't as it is found in nature, and of course anything which isn't found in nature to begin with. For instance, a bag of raw tomatoes is not processed food, but tomato soup is. More than that, it's one of those "heat-n-serve" things, as it has a bunch of added ingredients. Some processed foods aren't really all that bad though, just made into a convenient form. One such example might be applesauce. Natural unsweetened applesauce is a lot like what we might make ourselves if we had the time. It doesn't have a bunch of junk added to it. So the level of processing is a factor worth considering.

A very useful site for information on foods and nutrition is the Worlds Healthiest Foods. I've found a wealth of info there, and continue to use it.

Here's an article I ran into moments ago which you might be interested in:



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Some links about B12 & Omega 3's:




Two somewhat different takes on the issue. Google and you'll find more. For instance, you have those who think DHA supplementation is warranted. I don't know that I've a firm position on all this. I include some sources of omega 3's in my diet as whole foods I happen to enjoy eating. I don't have a problem with needing to lose weight, since I am a tad underweight (according to BMI -- I think I'm just about perfect :lol: ), so I don't have the same need to restrict fat in my diet. Dr. McDougall personally told me that, under my circumstances, I could add in some fattier plant foods to avoid losing any more. I like ground flax seed in hot cereal (gives it a nutty taste), walnuts (in whatever way I can), and hemp (my favorite gluten-free tortilla so far is made with this -- I ordered them because I heard they were yummy). This does give me something to say when folks say I should at least eat fish so I can get Omega 3's.

We'll see how I feel when I read Dr. Esselstyn's new book about health disease :lol:

Lest it seem "unnatural" to take B12, I've heard that lifestock often gets this as a supplement too! When I've looked in stores, supplements usually say whether they contain gluten or not. I haven't found it a problem to find gluten-free B12. Some vegans get their B12 from fortified soy milk or nutritional yeast. I found it difficult to make sure I had enough B12 from those sources in the course of a day. Now I've found I can't tolerate either soy or yeast, so it is pretty much a supplement for me.

My husband started the same vegan diet when I did, but he didn't believe in supplementation. He felt fatigued after a few years, went to the doctor, and found he was deficient in B12. It took about as long as Dr. McDougall says it does to deplete his B12 stores. Anyway, dh started taking a supplement and quickly felt better.

Plenty of meateaters end up deficient in B12 once they reach a certain age, too.

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Sorry to jump in on this thread late. I make high IgG antibodies to almost all the top 10 food allergens and avoid them all! I am very adventurous in what I do eat, and enjoy that, thank goodness.

I just wanted to say that there are many supplements you can take to heal your gut to lessen the food intolerances. A rotation diet is always a good idea. Probiotics are an important supplement and, handily, probiotics manufacture B vitamins in the gut, including some B12. A good probiotic that is allergen-free is: Ultimate Flora Critical Care. Other supplements to reduce food intolerance reactions: quercetin 30 minutes before meals, digestive enzymes with a meal, proteolytic (sp?) enzymes for food-antibody complexes in blood, Vitamin C, L-glutamine to help repair the gut. Some also report MSM helps. Food Allergy Relief by Dr. Braly is a good book (he's the co-author of Dangerous Grains written by Ron Hogan who write a lot for celiac.com.)

Finally, addressing yeast/bacterial overgrowth (if this is a problem) with other supplements will help heal the gut. Some supplements for this purpose are: capryllic acid and grapefruit seed extract. There are many others,and sometimes a prescription for nystatin will help, as well.

I'm trying to reduce my food intolerances to enjoy a wider variety of foods while maintaining the health gains my diet gives me. Hope you can enjoy some more foods, too.

Good luck! In health,

Alix Mayer


Awaiting York/OHRL Food Intolerance re-test results - 2007

Positive test for food intolerances - York/Optimum Health Resource Lab - 2004

Positive gluten intolerance test Enterolab - 2000

Negative celiac blood tests - 1999


Diagnosed with: gluten intolerance, food intolerances, lupus, high titers to EBV and HHV6, chronic lyme. that's all. doing great on food intolerance elimination diet.

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