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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.

Chilis In Savannah Is Not Following Gluten Free Guidelines
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Bruisin    0

or at least it wasn't for me!

I was told by different online sites that our Chilis (Savannah) provided a gluten free menu.

I decided to give it a try. Ordered completely gluten free stuffs. Explained to them that I not only had celiac but also had crohns, and asked several times to make sure they were indeed gluten free.

I couldn't believe the flare up I had! I called them and asked them about their menu.....they told me that they boil veggies in the same water that noodles were boiled in.....hello???!! That's NOT gluten free.

They apologized and sent me coupons (which was awesome of them btw) and I decided to go back....and the flare up happened again to spite the fact I was even more careful at what I had to eat.

This flare up I had was no joke. I'm simply not going back. What do you do to make sure you don't get cross contamination at resturants?

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luvs2eat    60

Simple... we don't eat in restaurants. I had two bad experiences at Chilis in the past showing me that you can talk to the server and the manager, but behind those closed kitchen doors... all bets are off.

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Adalaide    361

There is a difference between restaurants that offer actual gluten free choices (P.F. Chang's for instance) and restaurants that are on the gluten free bandwagon and have no freaking clue what the hell they are doing. Places such as Chili's and Applebee's have a "gluten free" menu to appeal to those morons who are gluten free as part of the fad. These places are generally not safe for us to eat. For instance, Chili's says right on the page of their allergy menu that they use shared prep areas and even common fryer oil. Not the sort of place that is safe for us at all. On the other hand P.F. Chang's takes precautions to prevent CC, and while yes, it is prepared in a common kitchen, they aren't bandwagoners. They truly care about providing a safe gluten free meal. (I'm not saying they're a warm, fuzzy, feel good company, I'm saying it is good business practice to get repeat business.)

It is definitely a good idea early on to avoid eating out to have time to heal while avoiding these situations. If you're feeling adventurous though, don't swear off all restaurants... just the stupid and moronic ones who don't give a crap about providing a safe meal. That said, every meal out of your own house, every time, is a risk. We all have to simply accept that.

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killernj13    9

I disagree with the comment on Chili's jumping on the new gluten-free bandwagon. They have been offering it for years.

Now I do agree that there could be cross contamination issues based on the restaurant and training.

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    • About 10 days ago I think I ate most of a wheat tortilla (the restaurant stuck to their story that it was a corn tortilla like I had ordered, but I don't believe them - I'm pretty sure it was wheat). Nothing happened in the first couple of days, then I developed intermittent chest tightness, which was one of my primary symptoms before my diagnosis, the others being bloating, food sitting like a rock in my stomach after eating, exercise intolerance, and weight loss.  Anyone else get chest tightness as a symptom of being glutened? I haven't felt this symptom since I became very strict with cross-contamination.
    • I had 23andme testing which showed I have genes DQ2.5 and DQ8. When I learned this I decided to stop eating gluten to PREVENT getting celiac, but didn't worry about cross-contamination. A year later I got sick, and eventually had an endoscopy which showed Marsh 1. My blood tests were negative, as one would expect for anyone eating gluten-free. My gastroenterologist told me I could either decide to live like a celiac, or do the full 12-week gluten challenge. I cleaned up my kitchen and started being very careful with eating away from home, and my symptoms went away.
    • The beginning of your story sounds very much like mine. I stopped eating gluten regularly when I adopted a mostly paleo diet years ago (bonus: my lifelong canker sores disappeared!). When I got 23andme testing done and learned I have both high-risk celiac genes, I stopped eating gluten altogether, thinking I couldn't trigger celiac if I didn't have gluten exposure. But, since I didn't have a celiac diagnosis or symptoms, I wasn't careful about cross-contamination.  Then I got sick. My symptoms were vague: bloating, food sitting like a rock in my stomach after eating, exercise intolerance, weight loss, chest tightness. I had a bunch of tests, tried omeprazole, and eventually had an endoscopy. Because I hadn't eaten gluten in a year, I didn't expect any results suggesting celiac, but sure enough, my biopsies came back as Marsh 1: inconclusive, but all the other reasons to cause this result had already been ruled out or were very unlikely. I then had bloodwork for celiac, which was negative, as expected for anyone on a gluten-free diet. At this point I was sent to a gastroenterologist, who said she could not definitively diagnose me with celiac, and that my options were either to assume I have celiac and live like a celiac, or to do the full 12-week gluten challenge and then repeat all the testing. i didn't want to take the risk of triggering another autoimmune disease by doing the gluten challenge, so I cleaned up my kitchen, replaced my cutting boards, cast iron pans, and anything plastic or silicone, and confined gluten to one corner of the counter. I started being the annoying person at restaurants and potlucks asking a thousand questions. And my symptoms went away. i still don't know whether I have celiac. I struggle with the restrictions it places on my life outside of my home (travel, social life). Periodically I wonder whether I shoukd just do the gluten challenge so I know. But I'm afraid of the possible risks. Your allergist did you a great disservice my telling you to go on a gluten-free diet without testing you for celiac. But that ship has sailed. At this point I would say your choices are the same as mine: either do a complete 12-week gluten challenge and then retest, or decide to live as if you had a firm celiac diagnosis. It can be a tough decision. Good luck and I hope you figure it out and get better very soon!  
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