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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 FREE Celiac.com email alerts 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 Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Celiac Disease In The Netherlands
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3 posts in this topic

Hopefully this topic will contain some helpful hints for people who want to visit our lovely country.

The Netherlands isn't the most ideal country for people with celiac disease when compared to the UK, France or Italy, but there are still a lot of possibilities for gluten-free travellers. Luckily, most Dutch people have an acceptable knowledge of foreign languages, most people are reasonably fluent in English, especially the younger generations. We won't force our horrible language onto anyone. Seriously, to the untrained ear, the average Ducthie sounds like an orc choking on a fishbone :lol:

[shameless regional pride] If you're visiting us and are up for something a little different, come visit Twente. Most people only visit the west of the country (North and South Holland) and skip the rest of the Netherlands. Twente has lots of things to offer like beautiful nature, historical towns and castles, regional delicacies and all sorts of countryside activities like horse-riding or visiting farms and cheesemakers. The city of Enschede also has a lot to see and do for art-lovers and history enthousiasts.[/pride] Sorry, really let myself go there. ^_^ No, I don't work at a tourist office, I'm just a proud "Tukker" from Twente. If people ask me if I'm from Holland, the answer is always "no". Every Hollander is a Dutch person, but not every Dutchie is a Hollander. Hopefully this will clear up some things :) Right, were was I again?

Hotels and restaurants

Gluten-free products are fairly easy to come by, especially in the larger cities. If you're staying in a rural area, best stock up on basics. The main problems with eating gluten-free in the Netherlands are hotels and restaurants. Many of them aren't well-prepared for coeliac guests, so it's best to inform them at least a day in advance that you'll require a gluten-free meal. You can find a list of restaurant reviews here: http://livaad.nl/zoekenhorecaeng.php Diet information cards can be downloaded from the Dutch coeliac organisation NCV: http://www.glutenvrij.nl/uploaded/FILES/01_NCVfolders/NCVfolder_dieetinformatie.pdf (In Dutch).

On the go

Fries are a popular snack, you can buy them everywhere at small eating houses called cafetaria's. Always ask if the fries are baked separately from the snacks, because all other snacks will contain gluten. Also check your sauces, and try not to be spooked: most Dutch people eat mayonnaise with their fries :blink: Ketchup is also widely available and so is "curry" sauce, which is a lot like ketchup but with a lot of spices.

"Pannekoeken" or pancakes are so popular that entire restaurants are dedicated to them, those restaurants are favourite resting points on family daytrips. Call them a day before you go on a trip and discuss your diet with the cook. Some offer gluten-free pancakes, you can find them on the Livaad website linked earlier in this text.

It's always wise to bring a small amount of snacks like fresh fruit, veggies, eggs, nuts, rice wafers and gluten-free muesli bars. It can be difficult to find gluten-free food on the go.

Gluten-free products

Gluten-free products are available at supermarkets, organic food stores and fit&health stores like "de Tuinen". Albert Heijn is the biggest chain of supermarkets in NL, they all have a gluten-free shelf filled with mostly Schär products and a Dutch brand called Consenza. Albert Heijn also has a gluten-free logo on all its gluten-free products from their own brand. Don't be surprised to find a gluten-free logo on a bag of apples here :P Jumbo is also a big favourite with Dutch coeliacs, they sell Consenza and Lhian's Kitchen but also have a great assortment of frozen goodies. Check out typical Dutch delicacies like frikandellen (spiced meat roll to be baked or deep-fried) and kroketten (crispy roll filled with a creamy ragout, to be deep-fried). Always search for the logo on products, and don't buy flours without such a logo from a supermarket. They'll usually be contaminated.

Under Dutch law, all products that contain less than 20 ppms of gluten are considered gluten-free. However, and here comes the big BEWARE: gluten-free is not automatically wheat-free. Some brands like Damhert and Fria have a weird obsession with wheat starch, nearly all of their products contain wheat starch. Sensitive coeliacs, beware here. The approach towards wheat starch is very different from surrounding countries. When I was on vacation in France I never needed to check a label on a gluten-free product because I could always eat it safely. Hopefully they'll turn around soon in the NL, because 44% of Dutch coeliacs can't eat wheat starch, not even when under the 20 ppm limit. If you're sensitive, always explain to cooks that you can't have products with wheat starch.

Some words in Dutch:

Tarwe - wheat

Rogge - rye

Gerst - barley

Haver - oats

Gluten - gluten

Coeliakie - coeliac disease (also called gluten-allergie in daily speech)

Zetmeel - starch

Bloem - flour

Paneermeel - breadcrumbs

Griesmeel - pudding made from milled wheat. Traditional Dutch dish but not safe for coeliacs.

Kan sporen van ..... bevatten - may contain traces of ......

Bevat (sporen van) ..... - contains (traces of) .....

Glutenvrij - gluten-free

Tarwevrij - wheat-free

The Dutch kitchen is a farmers' kitchen. Expect simple yet hearty meals. Main ingredients are potatoes, pork, beef, cabbage, fish and dairy.

Dutch delicacies for coeliacs:

Dutch cheese of course. For best cheeses, visit a market or a cheesemaker. Dutch cheeses are hard and especially the mature and old ones have little lactose in them.

Stamppot: a dish of potato and vegetables which are mashed. With curly kale for the classic "stamppot boerenkool", carrots and unions for "hutspot" and lots of other varieties. These include sauerkraut, sprouts, spinach, endives, lettuce and even beets. The Dutch sure love their stamppot :)

Sausage and meat products: no stamppot is complete without it. Especially our smoked sausages like "rookworst" are popular. These will usually be gluten-free, but remember to read labels. Apart from these rookworsten there are a lot of dried sausages in all their regional varieties.

Meatballs and stewed beef are also served often but will often contain breadcrumbs (meatballs) or flour (beef).

Pannenkoeken: mentioned in the article above. A favourite dish for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. It always hits the spot when the weather is... being Dutch again.

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How incredibly generous and sweet of you to post all of this information!!

I'm bookmarking it for future reference. :)

Thank you!!

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Thank you for this post.  My brother has moved to Wassenar recently.  I visited him in May, and did have some trouble with the Codex wheat in some goods.  The list that you provided of terms will be very useful when I return to visit, which I hope is very soon, as I love Holland.

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    • Yes I made it  Welcome Lakme, you've found a great community and resource and I'm sure myself and Ennis won't be the only ones that recognise elements of our own experiences in your account.  In addition to the links Ennis sent you above and the stickied forum faq, I tried putting down some info that may be useful to people just realising they may have an issue with gluten, you can find it in this thread:    Reading your account you do tick a lot of the boxes and perhaps you have found the underlying cause. As that thread explains however, we can't diagnose you, if you want answers you'll need to be eating gluten in order for the tests to work. I know this is probably the last thing you want at the moment, but do read the thread and think about it. You're young and that diagnosis could prove useful for a number of reasons in the years ahead. The longer you leave it, the more of a challenge the gluten challenge may prove.  Out of interest how long since you started on the diet and have you noticed any change in symptoms? You may want to consider keeping a journal, it can be very difficult to track the neuro type symptoms in particular, a written account helps you do that and tracking progress can help with anxiety issues and depression too. I get these too. It's not formally diagnosed, like you I had a physical exam of the eye which failed to show anything, but I believe it to be optic neuritis. It's vastly improved since my diet change, as has an awful lot of other stuff.  So if you're celiac or non celiac gluten sensitive you will hopefully see similar improvements in the weeks, months and even years ahead.  I wish you the best of luck.  Matt
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    • They do not work for prevention, they might help with getting over the gut pains. But will not stop the antibody reaction, or the damage. At $100+ a bottle your better off investing in Nima or EZ gluten strips and testing foods.   Other thoughts for quick alternatives. They sell microwave cookers out of plastic and silicon for eggs, bacon, etc. Might be worth getting and doing dishes that way. Steam bags and fresh veggies also to avoid pans and pots that could have issues. I been looking at MRE type stuff allergen friendly myself for trips and emergency's. Things get expensive at $6-7 a meal compared to bars or shakes.
    • I would not use these as prevention, but maybe they would help a post-glutening.  In my case, I travel with lactose tablets and digestive enzymes.    When glutened, I become lactose intolerant again.    Would hate to miss out on some gelato.  Do not forget any meds you normally take too.  
    • Thanks for the help! I didn't know Bacardi was gluten-free; that's a great option. 
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