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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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Waxed Produce
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We are looking for sources of gluten exposure in our(supposedly) gluten-free household. Have you been able to determine whether waxed apples, cucumbers, etc are gluten-free? We were buying only organic apples and cucumbers thinking they were not waxed. But lately they look like they might be waxed, too.

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I have found that eating waxed items give me reactions that feel like gluten reactions. I can find unwaxed items which I don't react to.

The FDA says this: "Are there examples of food products that are naturally "gluten-free"?

Yes. The following are examples of, but are not limited to, foods that are naturally gluten-free: ...

Fresh fruits and vegetables that are not coated with a wax or resin that contains gluten"

http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/FoodAllergensLabeling/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ucm111487.htm#q14

I would take that to say that they could contain gluten, but of course, don't necessarily. Many celiacs eat coated produce without any issues. It seems to affect only the most sensitive.

I don't know if that would be the first place I would look in your diet for possibilities. Would you like to describe it in more detail?

You can also try eliminating for a few days and then adding back again.

I hope you figure it out soon and get better.

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You can try washing your produce in soap, then rubbing baking soda on your produce to remove as much of the coating as possible. It's not perfect and quite frankly won't solve the problem if it's gluten...but it does get most of it off - which may help if you just want the gunk off.

I do it because I wonder what else is on there...and I do know someone who got salmonella from cantaloupe skin.

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We are looking for sources of gluten exposure in our(supposedly) gluten-free household. Have you been able to determine whether waxed apples, cucumbers, etc are gluten-free? We were buying only organic apples and cucumbers thinking they were not waxed. But lately they look like they might be waxed, too.

Waxes on produce are gluten free....they are just wax. However, wax isn't all that easy to digest for some. Like xanthan and guar gum, it can cause problems for some Celiacs but it is not a gluten related issue. I am extremely sensitive to any gluten and I have problems with gums but not from waxes on produce.

There are produce cleaning sprays that are citrus based. The acid in the citrus breaks down the wax coating and then you rinse it off well with cold water.

You may want to try that and yes, the spray is gluten free.

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Thank you kindly for the replies.

The FDA link sure does suggest that waxes may contain gluten. Thanks for that link.

Wondering if peeling the produce, then rinsing well, might work for a super sensitive.

Gemini, how did you conclude that waxes are gluten free? Were you able to get information from your store or the produce company itself? I tried that route, but didn't get anywhere. I admit it was a rather feeble attempt on my part.

My prime suspects for hidden gluten, besides the waxed produce, are flours that should be naturally gluten-free but may be cross contaminated, processed food that says gluten free but isn't 100%, nuts and herbs/spices that say pckged in a facility that also processes wheat, etc. And I haven't checked the gluten-free status of our laundry and dish soap or our shampoo or bath soap. And I quit worrying about vinegar awhile back, but maybe I shouldn't have.

It is my dtr age 13 who seems to be super sensitive. She has been gluten-free (we thought) for over ten years, never cheats purposely. Recent increasing symptoms, neurological, not GI, are making me suspect hidden gluten.

I also read recently about corn causing a reaction like gluten but not because of cc. We have been using corn in various forms, so have quit that but will probably have to study it awhile to get rid of it 100%.

I have considered going to only meat, fruits, veggies and maybe whole grain rice. But if there might be gluten added to the produce, or gluten reaction caused by grain fed beef or chicken, the hope of finding an answer starts to seem pretty slim. We gotta eat something. What would you consider the ultimate gluten-free diet?

Thanks again for your replies. Any further thoughts would be appreciated.

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I'd suspect the other grains or another food intolerance before worrying about wax coatings.

Also, if she's in school (not home schooled) I've seen quite a bit lately about kids getting cc'd at school. Worth a thought.

I wash my veggies/fruits down because I'm nervous nelly about salmonella, germs, etc. I'm not OCD (seriously) but the thought of all the hands on my raw fruit or veggie just whigs me out. So I wash them and scrub them.

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You have many other possibilities. You might want to start with eliminating things processed in a facility that also processes wheat. That might be enough. The next step might be to cut out all processed grains. Then all processed foods. Wax coatings might come after that. Farmer's market season is coming up, you can probably get unwaxed and also fresher, local, and less expensive produce there. It might be worth a trip even if it isn't the most likely suspect.

I found that washing and peeling helped with produce the seemed waxed.

It would be nice to hear about what worked after you figure it out. Good luck.

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The FDA link sure does suggest that waxes may contain gluten. Thanks for that link.

The FDA are not experts on gluten and never have been. They rate right up there with the medical profession, as far as accuracy goes. I researched it extensively when first gluten free 7 years ago and never found any credible evidence that there is gluten in the wax coatings on veggies and fruit. It is just wax. The other big factor was I am an extremely sensitive, diagnosed Celiac who nearly died from this disease and that is no exaggeration. I go to great lengths to maintain my strict gluten-free status. I also eat enough fruits and veggies on a daily basis to un-constipate an elephant! :P I use the citrus spray and rinse well with cold water and have never had even the tiniest reactions from doing so. If there were any amount of gluten in wax, I would know it. I also have maintained my blood work to stellar levels....almost zero, for quite awhile and this would not be possible if gluten were present.

It's important not to believe everything you read, especially recently, as there seems to be all kinds of crazy articles proclaiming that there is gluten contamination in everything and you'll never heal if you eat gluten-free grains. Nothing is guaranteed in life and CC may occur but the incidence is probably extremely low or most of the Celiac population would never recover. The vast majority of Celiacs do fine on a limited amount of carbs and heal well. You have to research your brands but I have never gone wrong with certified products.

Wondering if peeling the produce, then rinsing well, might work for a super sensitive.

I don't see why not as peeling and washing will clean the produce well, unless a person has a sensitivity to that particular fruit or veggie....which does happen. Food allergies are as huge of a probloem as Celiac is.

My prime suspects for hidden gluten, besides the waxed produce, are flours that should be naturally gluten-free but may be cross contaminated, processed food that says gluten free but isn't 100%, nuts and herbs/spices that say pckged in a facility that also processes wheat, etc. And I haven't checked the gluten-free status of our laundry and dish soap or our shampoo or bath soap. And I quit worrying about vinegar awhile back, but maybe I shouldn't have.

The only vinegar you have to worry about is malt vinegar. All other vinegars are safe, unless you have a problem with vinegar in general.

There are many dedicated facilities out there now so I personally would choose those first over a shared facility. Not perfect but it's the best a Celiac can do. I have never reacted to a product from a dedicated facility, even being as sensitive as I am.

There is no need to worry about laundry or dish detergent, unless you ingest them. Seeing as both chores always include a heavy rinse cycle, and I have yet to find a soap product that isn't gluten-free, this is not a worry, unless you have additional skin allergies where you might react to an ingredient in the product. Ditto for bath soap and shampoo but there is nothing wrong with using gluten-free products either. You have to think of your personal habits and the likelihood of ingesting these products. I hate the taste of soap so go to great lengths not to ingest any. But you may want to look into those if you feel it will help your daughter. There are many here who can suggest products to use.

As for flours, go with dedicated facilities and see what happens. There are other reasons for reactions besides gluten so keep that in mind. King Arthur flour makes great mixes and flours blends that are free of the top 8 allergens. They are some of the best I have tried.

It is my dtr age 13 who seems to be super sensitive. She has been gluten-free (we thought) for over ten years, never cheats purposely. Recent increasing symptoms, neurological, not GI, are making me suspect hidden gluten.

Is it possible that your daughter has tripped for another AI disease? That is all too common for us Celiacs, unfortunately.

I also read recently about corn causing a reaction like gluten but not because of cc. We have been using corn in various forms, so have quit that but will probably have to study it awhile to get rid of it 100%.

I do not have any problems with corn so I am no authority on this subject. There are others who might be able to offer more advice.

I have considered going to only meat, fruits, veggies and maybe whole grain rice. But if there might be gluten added to the produce, or gluten reaction caused by grain fed beef or chicken, the hope of finding an answer starts to seem pretty slim. We gotta eat something. What would you consider the ultimate gluten-free diet?

There is no danger to any Celiac with the consumption of beef or chicken from grain fed animals. It's one of those myths that just won't die. There is also no gluten added to produce, unless you do so at home. Another topic for Myth-Busters, Inc.! :lol:

As for the "best" gluten-free diet.....it's the same as for the general population. Make the majority of your diet from fresh fruits, veggies and lean protein of your choice. Then add a little gluten-free carbs, so you won't be bummed out that you have to eat boring.

Carbs contain B vitamins, which is why they make people so happy and satisfied. They make the brain happy. I eat gluten-free bread in the mornings that my husband makes fresh but for lunch I usually have a big salad with a chunk of lean protein. Snacks are fruit, protein bars, cookies, Terra chips, yoghurt or nuts. I search for new stuff all the time but usually come back to a few standbys. Include enough protein in your diet to keep you satisfied, with the addition of some healthy fats. You might want to look in the recipe section for ideas.

Don't worry...you'll figure this out. Just keep asking questions if you have any. Good luck!

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The FDA are not experts on gluten and never have been. They rate right up there with the medical profession, as far as accuracy goes. I researched it extensively when first gluten free 7 years ago and never found any credible evidence that there is gluten in the wax coatings on veggies and fruit. It is just wax. The other big factor was I am an extremely sensitive, diagnosed Celiac who nearly died from this disease and that is no exaggeration. I go to great lengths to maintain my strict gluten-free status. I also eat enough fruits and veggies on a daily basis to un-constipate an elephant! :P I use the citrus spray and rinse well with cold water and have never had even the tiniest reactions from doing so. If there were any amount of gluten in wax, I would know it. I also have maintained my blood work to stellar levels....almost zero, for quite awhile and this would not be possible if gluten were present.

It's important not to believe everything you read, especially recently, as there seems to be all kinds of crazy articles proclaiming that there is gluten contamination in everything and you'll never heal if you eat gluten-free grains. Nothing is guaranteed in life and CC may occur but the incidence is probably extremely low or most of the Celiac population would never recover. The vast majority of Celiacs do fine on a limited amount of carbs and heal well. You have to research your brands but I have never gone wrong with certified products.

I don't see why not as peeling and washing will clean the produce well, unless a person has a sensitivity to that particular fruit or veggie....which does happen. Food allergies are as huge of a probloem as Celiac is.

The only vinegar you have to worry about is malt vinegar. All other vinegars are safe, unless you have a problem with vinegar in general.

There are many dedicated facilities out there now so I personally would choose those first over a shared facility. Not perfect but it's the best a Celiac can do. I have never reacted to a product from a dedicated facility, even being as sensitive as I am.

There is no need to worry about laundry or dish detergent, unless you ingest them. Seeing as both chores always include a heavy rinse cycle, and I have yet to find a soap product that isn't gluten-free, this is not a worry, unless you have additional skin allergies where you might react to an ingredient in the product. Ditto for bath soap and shampoo but there is nothing wrong with using gluten-free products either. You have to think of your personal habits and the likelihood of ingesting these products. I hate the taste of soap so go to great lengths not to ingest any. But you may want to look into those if you feel it will help your daughter. There are many here who can suggest products to use.

As for flours, go with dedicated facilities and see what happens. There are other reasons for reactions besides gluten so keep that in mind. King Arthur flour makes great mixes and flours blends that are free of the top 8 allergens. They are some of the best I have tried.

Is it possible that your daughter has tripped for another AI disease? That is all too common for us Celiacs, unfortunately.

I do not have any problems with corn so I am no authority on this subject. There are others who might be able to offer more advice.

There is no danger to any Celiac with the consumption of beef or chicken from grain fed animals. It's one of those myths that just won't die. There is also no gluten added to produce, unless you do so at home. Another topic for Myth-Busters, Inc.! :lol:

As for the "best" gluten-free diet.....it's the same as for the general population. Make the majority of your diet from fresh fruits, veggies and lean protein of your choice. Then add a little gluten-free carbs, so you won't be bummed out that you have to eat boring.

Carbs contain B vitamins, which is why they make people so happy and satisfied. They make the brain happy. I eat gluten-free bread in the mornings that my husband makes fresh but for lunch I usually have a big salad with a chunk of lean protein. Snacks are fruit, protein bars, cookies, Terra chips, yoghurt or nuts. I search for new stuff all the time but usually come back to a few standbys. Include enough protein in your diet to keep you satisfied, with the addition of some healthy fats. You might want to look in the recipe section for ideas.

Don't worry...you'll figure this out. Just keep asking questions if you have any. Good luck!

Although I REALLY liked most of what you said I do question your conviction that wax on fruit is ABSOLUTELY gluten-free... Espicially based on a 7 year old investigation (did I get that right) Anyway NOTHING would make me happier (well almost nothing) then if you are correct on this as it is a hudge concern to me & my family. Please tell me why your certain? Also the research that I did showed that this "wax" has animal byproducts (sorry vegans) & something from a bug...soooo not just wax. Yuck!

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Although I REALLY liked most of what you said I do question your conviction that wax on fruit is ABSOLUTELY gluten-free... Espicially based on a 7 year old investigation (did I get that right) Anyway NOTHING would make me happier (well almost nothing) then if you are correct on this as it is a hudge concern to me & my family. Please tell me why your certain? Also the research that I did showed that this "wax" has animal byproducts (sorry vegans) & something from a bug...soooo not just wax. Yuck!

I researched the wax issue when first diagnosed, 7 years ago. As I have not had any of the many symptoms I had since diagnosis return, have stellar blood work and feel great, AND eat copious amounts of fruits and veggies everyday, I think that speaks for itself. There comes a point where you have to relax and not get so worried about things that do not make Celiac's sick. Don't you think that any or all of the Celiac organizations and doctors who research this stuff would make it known that waxes on produce aren't safe if they weren't? Plus, the biggest factor is that I wash my produce well with a spray that removes the wax. We are beating this issue to death. There may be other ingredients that may not be good for vegetarians but there is no gluten in wax coatings. There are many Celiac myths that just don't die, like glue on envelopes, yet people still fret over them. Wash your produce well, or peel it if applicable, but don't worry about the wax! :D

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After wax, there's films or "MAP"s Modified Atmosphere Packaging or "active packaging"

MAPs are often used on gluten-free baked goods to improve shelf life.

Overview article here http://shelflifeadvice.com/content/food-preservation-low-tech-past-high-tech-present-and-future

"Active packaging" is a newcomer, an alternative to MAPS.

On the plus side, using a MAP means less additives for some prepared foods.

On the other hand, these have lots of ingredients that could be problematic for some, such as casein or benzoates, for example. http://www.fda.gov/Food/ScienceResearch/ResearchAreas/SafePracticesforFoodProcesses/ucm091368.htm

This company sells organic coatings for organic products.

http://deccous.com/products/organic

The data sheet says to clean the equipment with water, so it sounds like washing it off should be pretty straightforward.

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We are looking for sources of gluten exposure in our(supposedly) gluten-free household. Have you been able to determine whether waxed apples, cucumbers, etc are gluten-free? We were buying only organic apples and cucumbers thinking they were not waxed. But lately they look like they might be waxed, too.

I don't know much about waxes but I would be more concerned about cross-reactive foods or other allergic responses.

I have the exact same symptoms with dairy that I have with gluten so I would challenge the top 8 allergens. The foods that I react to are dairy, gluten, corn, tapioca(common in gluten free bread), legumes(soy, guar gum). The symptoms are different except for dairy and gluten. All of them affect my thinking except corn.

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