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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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I stick to gluten-free brands that I trust and that I know are gluten-free certified and made in a dedicated facility. Glutino and Molly-B's gluten free kitchen (Canada) are safe. Plain foods like nuts, oils, canned beans, plain yogurt, diamond's almond milk, cheese, all natural peanut butter etc. are usually fine for me too.

Anything packaged, seasoned, prepared is out of the question. Whole foods all the way :)

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I was just wondering about that too. Gluten free foods with sugar and other proccessed stuff can't be that healthy.

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I was just wondering about that too. Gluten free foods with sugar and other proccessed stuff can't be that healthy.

They are not as healthy as whole foods, which doesn't even need explaining, but there is no reason to exclude them totally from your diet if everything is eaten in moderation. The key is knowing what moderation is because that is lost on many people. I am a very sensitive, diagnosed Celiac who does not take unnecessary risks and I have healed very well eating some processed foods. I usually always bake my own but I work a 50 hour week and there is not always time to bake something. I am not totally convinced that all processed foods are contaminated. If that were the case, there would be huge numbers of Celiacs who do not heal and feel better. The vast majority do...at least the ones I have met and I have met many over the last 7 years. I think it is exaggerated to a degree. Having reactions from certain foods does not guarantee it's a gluten reaction, even if someone thinks so.

People can eat whatever way they want but the notion that you must eat only whole foods to heal is nonsense for many. Plus, for those of us skinny Celiacs,

bread and other processed foods are calorie dense and it is not a bad thing to indulge once in a while. You just can't pork down brownies and cookies all the time!

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...If that were the case, there would be huge numbers of Celiacs who do not heal and feel better. The vast majority do...at least the ones I have met and I have met many over the last 7 years. I think it is exaggerated to a degree.

A 2010 study was finding that a pretty large percentage of Celiacs aren't healing, actually. 57% of the study's Celiacs who stuck to the diet, plus the 34% who didn't stick to the diet. I would be happier with the results if the study had been larger, but it was still larger than many Celiac studies, with over 200 Celiacs participating.

One thing I didn't see reported in the study, however, was how many of these unhealed Celiacs reported symptoms vs. those who felt fine and then discovered they still had damage (the study involved biopsies). Of the Celiacs I know personally, the majority never got a second biopsy after going gluten free, only a second blood test, and those don't seem as accurate at determining villi damage when it is less severe, from what I understand.

I don't necessarily believe that simply switching whole foods is the way to heal Celiacs, mind you. The study has no conclusions on that score, and considering how little is known about the disease, I imagine there could be dozens of factors involved. But it typically doesn't hurt, and it's non-invasive, and it might help.

For some of us who are so sick going into the gluten-free diet, I've wondered if a whole foods diet might not be an easier transition, in some ways.

First, because there's not a lot of label reading you have to do, so a Celiac can slowly learn labels while they are still eating food. That 4 hour grocery store trip right after you're diagnosed wouldn't happen. It'd be a quick jaunt to the produce aisle, the meat counter, and you're done. There's a little stress at the extra work and recipes, but a lot LESS stress at the store.

Second, I think it could be easier because it avoids a lot of potential cc screw-ups in the beginning. No complicated processed foods means less likelihood of cc means faster healing with fewer setbacks.

And third, after eating only whole foods, eating 'gluten free plus processed foods' feels SO much easier in comparison. That has got to make the diet easier to stick to, when you feel like your final diet has expanded from where it was a few months before. :D

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