Celiac Disease and a Gluten-free Diet

Some seemingly random symptoms (like chronic loose stools, fatigue, migrating joint pain, headaches, chronic allergies, and frequent kidney stones) can point to chronic systemic inflammation and sensitivity in the gut.

 

There is a condition called Celiac Disease that is caused by a sensitivity to gluten (a protein found in grains, especially wheat). Many people have this disease without realizing it. They suffer with multiple random symptoms for years without realizing that the cause is coming from their diet.

 

If you think you might be gluten sensitive I encourage you to ask you’re family doctor about the possibility of testing you for a gluten sensitivity and the anti-gliadin antibody.

 

Normally, the best way to check for this is with a blood test or a fecal test, and it’s best to perform the test while you are still eating gluten. If any of the results point to gluten-sensitivity (Celiac Disease) then your doctor may want to perform additional tests or give you a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Also, you can simply remove the following foods from your diet and see if your symptoms go away. In the case that you do end up testing positive for Celiac Disease you will want to adopt a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life. That’s the “bad” news. The good news is that if you have celiac disease, a gluten-free diet could cure many of the health problems you’re having right now and prevent other (sometimes worse) symptoms from popping up in your future… a much better prognosis than having to be on medications the rest of your life, no?

 

Foods to avoid:

  • Wheat in all forms: duram, semolina, couscous, bulgur, spelt, kamut, einkorn, and faro wheat
  • Rye, Barley, Oats, and Triticale
  • Vodka and Beer (there are potato vodkas that are safe)
  • Malt Vinegar
  • Malt or Malt Flavoring

 

Check ingredients in the following foods for gluten:

  • Breading, Coating, Mixes
  • Soy Sauce (variety made by Kikoman)
  • Wheat-free Broths, Soup Bases
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Stuffing, Dressings
  • Candy (especially licorice and chocolates)
  • Thickeners (Roux)
  • Croutons
  • Communion Wafers
  • Cereals
  • Herbal Supplements
  • Flours
  • Prescription and over-the counter drugs and Supplements
  • Crackers
  • Breads
  • Beer
  • Imitation Bacon
  • Vodka (potato vodkas are OK)
  • Imitation seafood (Krab)
  • Playdough ☺
  • Marinades
  • Pastas
  • Processed Luncheon Meats
  • Sauces, Gravies
  • Self-Basting Poultry

 

*Grains and Starches that ARE allowed*

  • Rice
  • Corn, corn tortillas, corn chips
  • Soy and soy flour
  • Potatoes, potato chips, French fries, potato flour
  • Tapioca…pudding!
  • Beans, bean dips, bean and corn chips
  • Garfava
  • Sorghum
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Arrowroot
  • Amaranth
  • Teff
  • Montina
  • Nuts, Nut Butters, and Nut Flours

 

The best way to approach this diet is to focus on the foods you CAN eat. The above “allowable” ingredients come in many forms and in many foods and offer you a wide variety of good eating. There are many cultures and billions of people who live without wheat for their entire lives and don’t ever miss it. In most countries in Asia and Africa, wheat is an uncommon ingredient. Instead, rice, teff, and millet are the staples. In South America, corn is the staple. Try to think outside the box of the Standard American Diet (SAD) and you may be pleasantly surprised with what you discover.

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