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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

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I am feeling so overwhelmed that I haven't started my gluten-free diet yet and I am still sick as can be. I need tips and things i should do broken down into steps to get started. Are there special containers, strainers or things like that, that maybe I should buy? Also I have the iphone and I downloaded the "Is that Gluten Free" app and the "Scanavert" app. Sometimes they work but finding stores that have gluten-free food is the most difficult thing because I live in Vegas. I guess just an helpfull advice or tips to get me started and less stressed and overwhelmed would be amazing. Thank you so much for your time in advance!!!

~Celia Hilts

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I don't have much time, and you'll get lots of answers, but my first "tip" is to not trust your smartphone app 100%. ALWAYS read the ingredients before you buy or eat anything. Manufacturers change their recipes often and those apps don't always catch the changes right away. So use the app as a reference, but learn the "gluten" word-list so you know what to watch for on the ingredient lists. I carried that list with me for the first year because the words that are gluten and aren't gluten are sometimes confusing and obscure.

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Okay. Take a deep breath. There's also a thread about the top two tips for the newly diagnosed. Find and read it. Your first concern should be eating gluten free. After you've settled in a little bit, consider nutrition and possibly taking out dairy. I wouldn't worry about it too much during the first couple weeks just because it can be really emotional and difficult to change the gluten aspect that sometimes that takes all your energy. (Dairy is difficult for many recently diagnosed folks to handle.)

Then, go through your standard recipes. You probably have some that are already gluten-free, like:

1) tacos with corn shells instead of flour tortillas, or just nachos

2) rice and beans

3) lentil soup

4) baked potatoes, broiled chicken, steamed veg

5) scrambled eggs with frozen veg and baked potato/sweet potato (omelettes, fritattas, etc)

6) chili

7) baked beans or three bean salad

8) salad with homemade dressing

9) risotto

10) pork chops with two veg and apples (or apple sauce)

11) spring rolls with peanut sauce

The key at first is to cook. Just make plain food that you bought ingredients for like rice, or plain beans, or eggs during the first couple of weeks. Then, add in the spices and condiments. It's fairly easy to buy gluten-free condiments (except for soy sauce) but like the poster above said, READ the label.

In terms of equipment, you need a dedicated toaster, colander, and anything porous like wood or scratched up non-stick. Stainless steel and glass (pyrex) are good investments because you can generally scrub them down if someone goes and makes a flour-laden cake in it.

There's also a thread where people post what they have for dinner/breakfast, so check them out. Some are pretty snazzy (love2travel!) but there's plenty of broiled chicken and steamed broccoli sorts of meals too. Baking is more complicated, but simple cooking isn't too bad as long as you have a few basic cooking skills. There are also LOTS of gluten-free bloggers out there, so look around and see if you can find someone who has similar tastes.

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I'm new to this whole thing too, and I found that partially converting my daily food was the simple way to go. I like dairy snacks, and found that Yoplait yogurt and Breakstones cottage cheese are safe. My hubby is eating up the last of the Activia because I can no longer touch it. I get annoyed with all the label reading so the biggest thing that I've done is to switch to fresh fruits and veggies. I use to eat mostly canned, frozen and lots of prepackaged meals. It's healthier anyway; less salt and preservatives. With that plus lean meats (I buy them in bulk at Sam's Club then seperate them out and toss them in the freezer), I'm finding that my hunger stays more satisfied. My bloodsugar doesn't seem to be crashing as often. But I do keep a few Soyjoy or Larabars in my bag. I've got 2 little boys and don't want to find myself hungry away from home! ;)

How do you normally eat? It may be easier on you emotionally to try to find substitutes in the beginning.

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Using the search engine on the forum has helped me a number of times, and I think you might find it useful too. This forum has literally been a lifesaver for me. No

P.S. My favorite lunch is choppd lettuce (preferably romaine, which has a good shelf life.) Top that with safe tuna (tuna and olive oil is what it should read on the label) or leftover meat or fish from home with chopped veggies on hand, a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil. Top that with toasted sunflower seeds or safe nuts. You can add dried or fresh fruit too (like romaine with sliced chicken, sliced strawberries, balsalmic vinegar, Olive oil, nuts. All of that is equally good on a bed of gluten-free pastas or wilted spinach with garlic.

Wish you the best! :)

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I am feeling so overwhelmed that I haven't started my gluten-free diet yet and I am still sick as can be. I need tips and things i should do broken down into steps to get started. Are there special containers, strainers or things like that, that maybe I should buy? Also I have the iphone and I downloaded the "Is that Gluten Free" app and the "Scanavert" app. Sometimes they work but finding stores that have gluten-free food is the most difficult thing because I live in Vegas. I guess just an helpfull advice or tips to get me started and less stressed and overwhelmed would be amazing. Thank you so much for your time in advance!!!

~Celia Hilts

Until you get familiar with the diet and reading labels, I would recommend www.triumphdining.com - grocery guide or www.CeceliasMarketplace.com. These will get you over the hump, but it's not something to rely upon after a year or so. Things change quickly and ingredient listings may not be current.

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