What is Celiac disease? This is a life altering disease that can be managed but dietary changes are essential and understanding the facts so you can find your road back to health. Those that have celiac disease cannot tolerate and are sensitive to gluten, which is a protein found in many grains, a glue-like substance that gives wheat and other products there chewy structure. Celiac disease causes damage in the small intestines and those afflicted with this disease cannot absorb nutrients from their food, that can lead to many other health complications.
Celiac disease can be extremely serious without treatment, many complications can arise such as nutritional deficiencies, other food allergies and intolerance’s, and comprised immune system. In children gluten intolerance have been linked to Autism and many other diseases and disorders Click here to learn more!
Even a small amount of gluten can cause damage to millions of villi, the fingerlike projections lining the small intestines that contain many digestive enzymes and absorb nutrients from food and fluids. Once the villi is damaged its very hard for your body to absorb nutrients and digest food. Some doctors refer to this as “Starving in the midst of plenty,”
But once you have been diagnosed for some individuals it can be fairly easy to treat by avoiding all gluten and making the right dietary choices. It is very important to work with your healthcare provided to correct any nutrients that you body lacks and to look for other food allergies or intolerance’s so you can regain your health. It is recommended that those with celiac disease or even with Non Celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) get tested for secondary infections such as parasites, yeast overgrowth, amoebas, and other microscopic digestive invaders.
FACTS ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE and Gluten Sensitivity:
- Gluten allergy, or gluten sensitivity affects at least 1 out of 7 Americans. It is estimated that at least 1 out 100 Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease and is the most common genetic disease.
- Gluten intolerance and celiac disease has increased substantially in the last several decades and is believed that the disease is now grown four fold since the 1970’s.
- A large number of those inflicted with celiac disease many times do not even realize they have this condition because there are such a wide range of symptoms and it is misdiagnosed, only to inflict more damage to the body and more suffering for the patient. Click here to learn more about symptoms of celiac disease.
- The average patient waits more than four years for an official celiac disease diagnosis.
- People with celiac disease are often not able to drink milk or eat cheese because they lack the enzyme (lactase) that is needed to digest sugar (lactose) found in dairy products. Raw yogurt can be a good alternative since it contains a type of bacteria that breaks down the lactose. So you can get the benefit of milk protein and calcium present in raw yogurt.
Grains that contain Gluten and Should be Avoided:
For people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, staying away from gluten is a no brainer. But there are many sources of gluten that aren’t so obvious. Some ice-creams contain a wheat derived thickening agent and many processed foods you must beware of.
Some ingredients and products to Avoid or might contain Gluten:
- Artificial Colors and Artificial Flavors
- Beer or any food that contains malt or malt flavoring
- Breading of any types
- Brown rice syrup
- Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, salad dressings
- Distilled white vinegar
- Food Starch or Modified food starch
- Hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- Deli Meats or any processed meats
- Maltose and Maltodextrin
- Monoglycerides and diglycerides
- Products that list “natural” or “artificial” flavorings
- Vegetable gum or vegetable protein
- Vitamins, mineral and herbal supplements
- Lipstick and other cosmetics that can be absorbed through your skin
- Play Doh
- Envelope glue
Grains that are safe and gluten free:
- Amaranth is grown as a gluten-free grain
- Coconut flour
- Chickpeas (Garbanzos)
- Rice flour and rice bran
- Potato flour
- Soy flour
- Tapioca flour
- Corn flour
- Potato flour
- Lentil flours (Flours from nuts, beans, and seeds)
There are many whole grains and alternative flours that are gluten-free, but baking with gluten-free flours can be tricky so it takes some trial and error to learn tricks for handling each type of flour.
Here are a few helpful tips:
- Potato flour is usually used as a thickener agent in casseroles and soups but potato starch flour makes a great sponge cake too.
- Xantham Gum is a great gluten-free thickener and I use this myself quite frequently in recipes.
- Rice flour is rather bland and is best used with other gluten-free flours, especially potato starch flour,
- Most lentil flours can be used to substitute for wheat flour, as long as egg whites and cottage cheese are added as a softeners. They are good for thickening gravies, soups, and sauces.
Some Important Information:
- Gluten free label rules — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in August 2013 that it would define “gluten-free” as containing less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.
- Manufacturers will be legally allowed to label a food “gluten-free” even if that food contains an ingredient that’s made from wheat, barley or rye (or a crossbreed from those grains) as long as it has been processed to remove the gluten down to below that 20ppm level.
- The FDA said the 95% or more manufacturers were following the rules, but they have up to a year to comply
My personal note to you:
Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance is something I have personally dealt with for a number of years and I can only tell that you it takes time to learn all the ingredients to avoid. It not only takes a physical toll but an emotional toll too. It is manageable and well worth the struggle so be patient with yourself, read labels very carefully, stay away from processed foods, make food from scratch, eat organic and local harvest as much as possible. If you aren’t sure of an ingredients – don’t buy it. There are many good gluten-free products, but there are others that I would be cautious about before spending your money. You need to do your research, with the FDA labeling rules and other questionable ingredients that could be harmful to your health. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. There is lots of information available now and many books that you can purchase for gluten-free recipes. It takes time to find what will work for you, as any health problem does. But you can do it!
Other Sources: The Doctors Book of Food Remedies Author: Selene Yeager and the Prevention Health Book