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.
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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
Where can I buy gluten-free stuff?
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Oh, yes! It just takes time. I know, hard to hear, but it took a lot of time for your symptoms to develop. Most members feel noticeably better in a few weeks. Just rest as much as possible. Spend time learning the Gluten free diet. There is a steep learning curve to the diet. Want to shorten it? Eat as much Whole Foods as possible. Think stews and soups. Things that are easy to digest. Eliminate dairy until you start to feel better and then re-introduce it. Many celiacs become lactose intolerant because the enzymes that help digest lactose are released from villi tips. Not villi, no enzymes (or at least a reduction based on patchy damage). Do not eat out for a while!
Hang in there!
Celiac disease is associated with numerous chronic conditions, such as anemia and malabsorption of some critical vitamins. Changes in the gastrointestinal tract, rates of gastric emptying, and gastric pH are responsible for impaired vitamin and mineral absorption.
Intestinal CYP3A4 levels may also be disrupted, which may have implications in first-pass metabolism for some drugs that are substrates for this drug metabolizing enzyme.
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Thank you for posting this
I've never been to South America, it's the only continent, bar the poles, I've yet to visit. It's really nice to read that my gluten sensitivity hasn't ruled it out. Maybe I'll get to the land of Luis Suarez yet!
I know this post is a year ago... however it is still on the first page of the travel section! I am from Uruguay, (South America) and I can answer this question for people that may look at it in the future.
As a South American - I can say that the cuisine varies greatly. In cities, you shouldn't have any more than the normal amount of difficulty finding food. For example, in Montevideo, the city I am from, you'll have no problem finding dedicated entire Celiac stores. Meat is a large part of restaurant menus, so parilladas (similar in theory to steakhouses, would be very easy to navigate). Uruguayans do eat a lot of pastries, and just like in the states... Most mainstream bakeries are not gluten free, but like I mentioned there are places that specialize. In Uruguay, there is knowledge of Celiac and a large health awareness. Some of the foods can be costly, cost of living in general is not low.
In large swaths of South America, the foods you mentioned - Potatoes, rice, meat, etc are abundant, as are fresh fruits and veggies. Avoiding corn does make it tricky. Peru can be a great place for non-gluten eaters. Peru uses very little gluten (they are the original quinoa eaters) but there is a lot of corn in the diet (and since you are corn sensitive, that would be a food you would need to navigate).
Latin America spread over two continents! In this area you will find a great variety in cultures, cuisines, and knowledge of celiac. There is no reason why If you want to experience Latin America, that you have to rule out an entire region of the world because of Celiac. Navigating it will be different, but it is doable!