Introduction to the Gluten-Free Diet
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Feb 1 2010

Introduction to the Gluten-Free Diet

The Gluten-Free Diet Guide

Celiac Disease.  You get the diagnosis, and for many of us, it comes as a complete shock.  Maybe you knew something was off in your body, but didn’t think the answer would be that it is caused by the foods you are ingesting.  Maybe you had one of the several common celiac symptoms from anemia to weight loss to fatigue.  Or maybe you were someone who has a family history of celiac disease and were just waiting for the official diagnosis to get on the road to healing.  People are diagnosed at all ages, from the infants to the elderly.

Even if we were half expecting it, it is a complete life change that one cannot really comprehend until you are forced to experience it yourself.  It seems the common story is that once you get the celiac diagnosis, either by blood work alone or via endoscopy (which looks at the villi lining the intestines for damage) your doctor will tell you to follow a gluten-free diet from now on and simply send you our way. 

Many doctors, including numerous gastroenterologists, are still under the belief that celiac is an uncommon occurrence and have a lot to learn about the disease and the many ways it can present itself.  If we are lucky, we may get a handout about the disease, told we need to stay away from gluten, or maybe get a referral to see a dietitian to go over some of the basics of the gluten-free lifestyle.  If you find yourself in this situation, this is a good time to ask about what vitamins and supplements you should take, since many of us with celiac have low levels of one or several essential vitamins.

The first thing you’ll learn is that celiac disease is a genetic disorder caused by the body’s immune response to gliadin, a protein found in gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye and even some oats.  Therefore, it is found in many processed foods, personal care products, medications and even arts and crafts.  According to the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, a prominent international organization of experts in the field, celiac disease is, “an inherited autoimmune disease that effects more than 3 million Americans”.  It is believed that 1 in 133 people in the United States have the disease but only 10% actually know they have it, with rates being higher if one has a first degree relative with the disease.  It is also found that there are higher rates of the disease in people with European ancestry, although people from around the globe are known to have it as well.

The adjustment to the gluten-free diet is a major lifestyle change.  If you are someone new to food allergies and intolerances, a celiac diagnosis can be extremely overwhelming and initially upsetting.  However, it is extremely important to be strict with eliminating gluten from our lives.  Studies have shown that neglecting the gluten-free diet can lead to the development of additional autoimmune disorders, osteoporosis, increased risk of some cancers and even higher mortality rates.  All of us feel the effects from gluten differently; some won’t feel any effects while others will have physical repercussions for weeks, making it is necessary to completely eliminate the gluten no matter what your discomfort level.  The gluten is damaging your body whether you feel the effects or not; therefore, some say it is easier to actually feel the after-effects to know if you have accidentally ingested gluten.

Now that you know you must embrace the gluten-free lifestyle, how do we move forward and get started?  Take a breath, it really does get easier.

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Making Your Household Gluten-Free Friendly

One of the most important aspects of being gluten-free is to be able to feel comfortable in our own home, especially since anytime we are out of our comfort zone we will have to be super aware of what is coming into contact with our bodies.  For some people it may be easier to eliminate gluten completely from your home and create a dedicated gluten-free home.  For others who share a home with gluten-able family members it may be more difficult to achieve this, resulting in the need to establish a shared household.

When starting on the daunting task of de-glutenizing our homes it can seem overwhelming, but just take it one step at a time.  Your phone will become one of your most valued tools in this process, especially one with web access.  Calling a company directly is sometimes the best way to find out if a product is gluten-free, or going to their web site and looking in the ‘FAQ’ or ‘About Us’ section.  There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about which products are safe or not, so it is important to know you are getting information from a trustworthy source.

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Setting Up Your Kitchen to Avoid Cross Contamination

The most obvious room where a significant adjustment is needed is the kitchen, so let’s start there. Cross-contamination is probably the biggest challenge that someone with celiac disease faces in their daily life.  Cross-contamination is when food particles on one item are transferred to another item via direct contact.  This can happen in three ways, ranging from shared use of utensils, gluten-filled food touching gluten-free food, or people with gluten on their hands touching gluten-free food. Someone who opens a package of standard flour next to a gluten-free item will likely contaminate that item from the spray of flour.  Similarly, you want to avoid cutting items on cutting boards that have had gluten items on them, and removing croutons from a salad does not make it gluten-free, the items that touched the croutons are already contaminated.

  • First, go through the obvious culprits, the flour (yes, white flour is derived from wheat), breads, pasta, candies, cookies, crackers, and then look into the ingredients of other items.  Gluten is found in everything from spice blends, sauces, soy sauce, canned items, rice mixes, soups, salad dressing, juices, flavored milk, malt vinegar, ice cream, beer, liquor and the list goes on.  Basically anything that is edible other than fresh fruits and vegetables is suspect.  In the United States it is mandatory to list wheat in the ingredient list, but it is not necessary to list rye, barley and oats, so this is where the problem lies.  There are many times gluten is hidden in the flavorings in the form of barley malt and seen as ‘natural flavorings’ in the ingredient list.  When you see this, it is important to confirm exactly where that natural flavoring comes from, not all are gluten-derived but many are.   ‘Modified food starch’, is another one, again in the US wheat is supposed to be disclosed in the ingredient list, but if it does not list exactly what food starch is used, it is a good idea to confirm, especially if the food product is sourced from outside the country, as every country has different requirements for listing food ingredients.  It is a good idea to give away the food products you will no longer be using to friends or food banks.  If you are living in a shared household, you can designate an area of the kitchen or specific containers to store gluten products and contain the gluten items in those spaces.  Examples include cabinet space, drawers and counter tops.
  • Once you have a handle on the food, move on to kitchen tools, such as toasters, cutting boards, strainers, wooden and plastic spoons, non-stick pots and pans and waffle makers.  It can be quite painful to have to part with that fancy waffle iron that was given as a wedding present, but it will be more painful to continue contaminating yourself with gluten.  Anything that has scratched or porous surfaces should be discarded and replaced.  That lovely high quality wooden cutting board unfortunately has to go, as well as the cheaper plastic ones.  And a toaster once used for gluten bread will now be completely unsafe.  For a shared kitchen keep these items in the gluten space.  After sorting through the kitchen tools, clean all surfaces used for gluten-free preparations.  Clean out all drawers, cabinet spaces, counter tops.  You don’t want to eliminate all potentially dangerous utensils only to place newly purchased utensils in drawers with flour or crumbs sprinkled throughout.  Other things to consider in the kitchen is the sugar bowl, and the possibility that a spoon in the sugar bowl may also have been used to spoon flour, the same would be true for a bag of sugar or other baking items and spices that could be subject to cross-contamination.    Oats are also to be removed unless they are gluten-free oats.  The process of growing, harvesting, transporting and handling oats leads to contamination.  Some even debate whether any kind of oats are suitable for someone following a gluten-free diet as they contain a protein that will cause some celiac patients to react.  If you are concerned or experience problems you’ll want to consult your doctor how to proceed regarding oats.
  • Let’s not forget your medications and vitamins.  Fortunately, many vitamins today list the common allergens and whether or not they are gluten-free.  When purchasing over-the-counter and prescription medications it is always necessary to confirm that they are gluten-free, and if not, what a suitable substitution would be.  With a shared household be sure to prepare food items in separate designated areas.  If you live in a gluten-free house, it may be easier to tell guests to only bring drinks, and you will handle the food.  The last thing you want is a carefully de-glutened home to become contaminated by outside food.  However, this is a very personal decision, so use your own preference to determine how to handle gluten in your home.

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Ensure Your Non-Foods Products Are Gluten-Free

Next, we move to the bathroom. Personal care products are another major source of gluten.  Any item that can potentially be ingested is an item worth replacing, including toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lipstick, lip balm and make-up.  All of these items have the potential to be ingested especially after moisturizing your hands only to grab and apple to eat as a snack…cross-contamination.  Oats are a common ingredient in these types of products, which is sometimes listed as ‘avena sativa’.  The fragrance in items may also contain unlisted gluten.  This is problematic for those who experience Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH), a form of celiac disease that manifests on the skin in addition to the normal celiac symptoms.

In addition to personal care products, it is also important to investigate all household products such as dish soap, dishwasher detergent and laundry detergent.

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Using Gluten-Free Arts and Crafts Products

It is also important to check all arts and crafts products, including finger paints, glues, stickers and even play dough!  Anything that can be touched can eventually end up being ingested when something edible is being handled, especially by young children who often place their hands in their mouths.

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Learning to Shop Gluten-Free

With what seems like so many restrictions there are actually many foods that are naturally gluten-free, even in most mainstream grocery stores.  Despite the rumors, not all gluten-free foods are costly.  Usually if it says ‘gluten-free’ it is going to be more expensive than mainstream items that have always been gluten-free. Give yourself some extra time on your first few visits to the grocery store after your celiac diagnosis.  You will need to read every label carefully to get the hang of what is safe and what is not.  Again, be sure to have your trusty cell phone.  Food manufacturers are also frequently changing ingredients or changing how they are sourced, so even if something was safe at one time, it is a good idea to check the ingredient list every time.

Fresh fruits and vegetables should not be a problem, as with meats and fish as long as they are not marinated or cooked next to marinated meats. The deli area can be tricky, and you want to make sure if getting cheese or meat that you know the product itself is gluten-free and that they use clean gloves and a clean slicer.  Bulk bins should be avoided as there is a large chance for cross-contamination with bins being unclean, spoons going in the incorrect bins and flours floating into the air.

It is more common these days to see products in the mainstream being labeled as gluten-free such as Chex cereals and Betty Crocker mixes/frostings. Some companies have started going out of their way to earn the business of those on a gluten-free diet and will label any source of gluten on their packaging even though it is not required.  Recent examples include products from Kraft, McCormick, Unilever, Hain-Celestial and General Mills.  General Mills has gone as far as placing ‘gluten-free’ on their products.  It is definitely a growing trend with the increased awareness.  There are also many food manufacturers that cater to the gluten-free community and only produce gluten-free items.  These usually tend to be a bit pricier, but give you the piece of the mind that they are manufactured in a dedicated facility and that they are knowledgeable about being gluten-free.

Some companies will disclose that items are produced in shared facilities or shared manufacturing lines.  It is up to you to decide what you feel comfortable with and how sensitive your body is.

There are also specialty stores and bakeries in many major cities that will have large gluten-free sections, or sometimes even be exclusively gluten-free.  Again, these tend to be a bit more expensive but you will be able to find the harder-to-find gluten-free items.

Note: If you live in the United States, you may also want to consult our gluten-free groceries page for more information about grocery stores and supermarkets which carry gluten-free products. 

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Learning to Cook Gluten-Free

Having a diagnosis of celiac disease does not mean you need to trash your favorite cooking books and stop subscriptions to your favorite food magazines.  With time you’ll find that some simple adjustments can allow you to easily convert your favorite recipes into gluten-free recipes.  For pasta dishes, simply substitute in gluten-free pasta.  If soy sauce is being used, be sure to use wheat-free soy sauce.  Of course if wheat is being used to thicken, use a substitute such as arrowroot, bean flour or cornstarch.

Baking while following a gluten-free diet is a little trickier, but again, once you get the hang of it, you can easily take a gluten recipe and transform it into a wonderful gluten-free baking treat.  There are also many gluten-free baking cookbooks to learn how to make baked goods!

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Eating Gluten-Free in Social Situations

Now, that you have the basics for how to handle food and cross-contamination at home, what happens with you decide to leave the house?  Once we feel safe at home it can be a little intimidating to leave the house and venture out to where we have to rely on someone else’s ability to keep us from getting “glutened”.

Learning to Dine Out in Public on a Gluten-Free Diet

One must keep in mind that when dining out, unless at an exclusively gluten-free restaurant (which do exist in some places) there will always be the risk of cross-contamination.  There are definitely more and more restaurants aware of the concerns of people following a strict gluten-free diet, but nothing is guaranteed.  There are already many large chains that offer gluten-free menus, but this does not mean that restaurants without gluten-free menus are out of the question.  It is possible that dishes you would order anyway could be naturally gluten-free.  Some ethnic cuisines are going to be more likely to serve gluten-free dishes than others, such as Indian and Middle Eastern foods where a lot of bean flours are used.  However, it is always a good idea to do a little planning before eating out.  Check the restaurant online, do a search of the restaurant name with the terms ‘gluten-free’ to see if anything comes up about it.  You can also look up the menu, call and speak to the manager and ask questions, and ask questions to your server.

When at the restaurant, it is always a good idea to mention to your server that you have an issue with gluten and explain the seriousness of cross-contamination.  If they know your concerns they are more likely to take careful precautions in the kitchen, such as cooking your steak in a separate pan or away from items that may contain gluten to minimize your risk.  If you plan on having something fried, such as fries, you want to be sure they are fried in a dedicated fryer devoted to that product.  The concern being that breaded products such as onion rings or chicken fingers would be cooked in the same fryer and contaminate the fries. You will also want to ask about all sauces, marinades and dressings.  Even the corn chips at a Mexican restaurant may contain wheat flour or have been fried with flour tortillas, so it is important to make sure cross-contamination hasn’t occured.  It may seem intimidating at first, but as long as you are gracious to your server they are more than likely to bend over backwards to make sure you have an enjoyable experience.

Unfortunately, not everyone one in the restaurant industry is knowledgeable about the gluten-free diet or has even heard of it.  In my own personal experience, I have found it easier, sometimes, to say that I have a wheat allergy (even though that is clearly not the case).  When a server hears food allergy they understand the seriousness of the situation and will often take extra care when handling your food.

Eating out is never a sure thing, and you are always taking a risk, but it is good to come prepared and continue to live life.  Some companies provide dining cards, such as Triumph Dining.  These cards clearly list what is not allowed on a gluten-free diet and what is safe, so that you can pass this card to your server and in turn they can take it to the kitchen to confirm your food will be as safe as possible with the chef.  There are also iPhone applications that provide cards on your phone in several different languages so that even when you don’t speak the same language you can convey your specific needs to your server.  I have also found it is much less stressful for everyone involved when dining at non-peak times.  The kitchen and servers are less hurried and it makes it easier for them to fulfill your needs, and may also give you the chance to speak to the chef personally.

What happens when you go to a pre-determined meal, a sit-down meal at a wedding or attend a business meeting?  I would say the best thing to do is to do a little planning ahead of time, and always carry a back up snack.  For a situation such as a wedding, you may want to contact the bride or the groom a few weeks beforehand and see if they could convey your needs to the reception facility or if you could contact them directly.  When attending a function such as a sit down performance, you can call the venue directly, express your needs and see if they can work with you.  Many times they will be happy to help and have a special meal on hand for you when you arrive.  The thing not to do is to come unprepared and to ask them for a special meal on the spot.  Meals have already been made and they are running around to get everyone served, and will not have the time to dedicate the attention you need.

Some people would rather not have to deal with the complications of eating out and worry about communicating with the servers and risking cross-contamination, but it is possible and you can continue to go out socially and live your life just as you did prior to your celiac diagnosis.  If you are extremely cautious of eating in restaurants you can eat beforehand or bring your own food.  The same idea can be applied when for example, you are eating at a Mexican restaurant, but you know the chips are not gluten-free.  Just be sure the salsa is safe, and do not share a salsa dish with people dipping gluten chips. You can do the same with bringing bread to a restaurant that does not have gluten-free rolls or bread.  It is always nice to ask ahead of time, but most likely they will be courteous about it.

As previously mentioned, it is a good idea to carry a snack on you at all times.  You never know when you will be in a situation when you will be starving with nothing close by to eat.  Something with protein is a great idea, such as a bag of nuts, energy bar or dried fruit so that you can have something nutritious that will hold you over until you can get a proper meal.

Note: If you live in the United States, you may also want to consult our gluten-free restaurants page for more information about restaurants that offer gluten-free menus in your area. 

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Attending Parties and Gatherings on a Gluten-Free Diet

One of the most stressful situations for someone with celiac has to be going to a party or gathering.  Food is coming in from all different people from different kitchens with different ideas as to how to handle food intolerances, if any at all.  Serving spoons are dipped into the non-intended dish, and it could be a buffet of cross-contamination waiting to happen.  The way I navigate this type of scenario when at someone’s house is to bring my own dish to pass and serve myself first, or make a separate container for myself.  I will assume nothing else is going to be safe unless I talk to people beforehand, and be sure I bring enough for myself to eat.  When it is only one person doing the cooking, I will talk to them beforehand and plan what I can and cannot eat. If I am at a BBQ, I will ask for my food to be grilled on foil so not to touch the grill, which may have gluten remnants on it.  I won’t use condiments that other people have placed spoons or knives into that can likely have crumbs inside.  Even though butter is gluten-free, it may have leftover crumbs from the host’s morning toast.  It can seem tedious at first, but I will ask to see the spices, dressing and food packages used so I can assess my risk.  The important thing is to ask questions, lots of questions and only then can you make an informed decision.  And don’t forget the phone, if you want to quickly look up an ingredient, a brand or call a food manufacturer.  My phone has been invaluable in these situations. And always try to serve yourself first.

Most beer contains gluten, unless it is marked gluten-free.  Most ciders, wines and liquors are safe, but always double-check.  If the liquor has been distilled it will be safe, but if it is flavored after the distillation process, the flavoring should be questioned as it could contain gluten.

Social situations can seem the most awkward because you don’t want to stick out of the crowd and seem ‘difficult’, but you also want to feel comfortable and safe and not end up sick by the end of it.  You just need to be your own (or your child’s) advocate and be knowledgeable and have a backup plan with food or snacks that you bring yourself.  I have gone to business meetings with my own lunch and it may have seemed awkward at first, but I left feeling great and didn’t have to worry about cross-contamination.

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Learning to Travel on a Gluten-Free Diet

The same ideas for eating out and social situations often apply when traveling on a gluten-free diet.  In addition, it is always a good idea to bring gluten-free snacks from home if you are not sure what resources will be available while traveling and always research gluten-free options available at your destination.   You can find a large number of gluten-free tips and other travel information on our gluten-free travel page.

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Tax Deductions for Celiac Disease Patients

When tax season rolls around, if you have been diagnosed with celiac disease you may be happy to learn that you are able to deduct gluten-free foods and the costs to acquire them on your taxes as medical expenses.  This can be done on publication 502 as long as your medical expenses are greater than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). 

Gluten-free deductions include the added cost of having to buy a gluten-free alternative, for example, if you buy a loaf of gluten-free bead that is $5.50, and the gluten equivalent is $2.50.  In this situation you can deduct the difference of $3.00!  You can also deduct specialty gluten-free foods, such as xantham gum and rice flour, the gas it took you to get to the specialty store which carries the product as well as shipping costs if you mail-order them.   Of course it is important to keep all receipts that include gluten-free items.  These do not need to be submitted with your taxes, but should be kept in case of a future audit along with a doctor’s note confirming you (or your child’s) diagnosis with celiac disease.

In addition to tax deductions, if you have an flexible spending account (FSA), check with your plan provider to see if gluten-free food is covered.  The in-house administrator may not know of all items covered so it is a good idea to go to the source and find out the correct answer if you don’t get the approval from your administrator.

There are also numerous resources available online with a wealth of information, including here at Celiac-Disease.com.  However, most sites are run by people with celiac disease rather than doctors so keep that in mind.  For a point of reference, there are definitely some web sites that are more credible than others, which you can read more about that here.  In addition to all of the sources about celiac and gluten-free diet, there are also countless blogs where fellow people with celiac share their wonderful gluten-free recipes.

The gluten-free lifestyle may not have been a personal choice and may seem extremely overwhelming at first, but take comfort in the fact that it does get easier over time!  It is not all doom and gloom.  It is possible to live a long happy, fulfilling life on the gluten-free diet.  Over time you’ll find that many people with celiac disease have fully embraced the gluten-free diet and would never go back.  Just follow your instincts, do what makes you feel comfortable, take a deep breath, and in time you will thrive!

Article Written by:

Anne is a self-proclaimed foodie who loves eating out as much as cooking for friends. Since being diagnosed with celiac, she has been determined to not let it put a damper on her food adventures, and to raise awareness among the general public. Anne recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta and is enjoying exploring the gluten-free wonders in her new city. Follow Anne on Twitter and Google+!

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Comments

  1. What a great article! :)

    Kim

  2. Kyle Eslick says:

    Excellent and very all-inclusive article Anne!

  3. Anne – I too would never care to go back to eating gluten as living gluten-free has been an amazing thing in my life. Not only have I met incredible people during my journey, I’ve never felt better, had more energy or eaten better tasting food! At this point, I kind of feel like gluten eaters don’t know what they’re missing…lol!

  4. Lets make this very clear once and for all! DO NOT get rid of your pots and pans and waffle irons and cutting boards after being DX with Celiac Disease! PLEASE DO NOT throw away your cooking utensils and silverware when going Gluten Free!!! Its NOT necessary!!! Clean all of your appliances, utensils, pots and pans with hot water and soap! Rinse well! Don’t make yourself crazy!

    • Katharine Braun says:

      It really is rude to say to throw away just clean, I can tell you from exprience that Wood cutting boards that had gluten on them can make you react. Good for you that your sensitivity to gluten is low, but that is not the case for most. Do not put out misinformation there is enough of that out in the world already!

  5. Anne Steib says:

    Breanna, I don’t think it would be necessary to replace silverware or knives at all, but I know, for a fact my waffle maker was impossible to really clean, there are way too many little areas for batter from previously-made gluten waffles to hide, and that sadly had to go. Someone who shops at Goodwill, I am sure is enjoying it.

    • barb says:

      i have 2 of certain things, deep fryer, toaster, MIXER
      we have 2 peanut butters, butters , jelly etc.
      my food gets made on ONE counter all other food on a different one
      seperate fridge into 2 zones….
      have a ? what is DX??
      cant wait til i figure out ALL gluten in foods

  6. Tina says:

    Wow. i learned a lot, Anne. And especially enjoyed the part about attending weddings. ;)

    Amazing that I stumbled on the diet/lifestyle by accident when a loved one went gluten-free and I went along for the ride. Glad I did. Right away I started feeling so much better physically and emotionally. It’s been more than a year now. And the longer I do it the more improvements i see. Never had an official diagnosis, but the results speak for themselves, as far as I’m concerned. Plus, baking gluten-free treats is not a bad hobby.

    Best of luck to everyone navigating this.

  7. IndigoSunset says:

    Thank you for a wealth of info. I am questioning celiac disease/ waiting to see a doc. I do not know if i will show allergies to the wheat. Its more likely the grass pollen getting into wheat/grain sources that affects me. Allergies= grasses/trees, pork and bananas. I can smell bananas a mile away its easy to avoid usually. The pork allergy is far harder to control. Switch to the turkey version of pepperoni, turkey ham or bacon made of beef etc.. Its not the flavor, texture, OR substitutions change that I fear.AGAIN its the processing just like for celiacs! Most hot dogs still use a pork casing even when they are labeled chicken franks or all beef on the cover.

    Food Label Reader for life (hmmm new t-shirt idea) Eating out?? Bacon grease cross contaminates just about all fast food grills and deep fryers in some form. Not to mention many places the fry cook doubles as a cashier! They often do not hand wash in between tasks. “Only touched food not germs” They still touched handles/keys/monitors/money. We all know grease is hard to clean off, over heated popping grease can fly a pretty far, gums up and sticks to stuff too. How many people get food poisoning due to lack of hand washing? Bacon grease doesn’t wash off easily. Its still amazing how many places still use Lard instead of veg shortening. I avoid Mexican food and make mine at home.
    I grew up eating pork just like my celiacs probably ate wheat products before they knew better. I had all the indgestion and unspeakable side affects for so long and so often I did not think to finding out the cause. My asthma caused me get tested for food allergies 10 yrs ago.
    In my case, I now ONLY go to restaurants that do not serve ANY pork products on their menu and state in writing the type of oil or shortening they use.
    Like many people, I grew tired of the “risk of contamination” from eating out. I can understand fear that most celiacs live with and the agony over food and eating out for similar reasons. Its difficult but do not shut down or shut out your life. Food is a major part of life and being in a social circle. Take it day by day! Stay positive. Its life altering. That does not mean life ends. I will be an informed buyer at the grocery store. My son/husband will benefit from the healthier change in food choices and diet.

    EXAMPLE: I avoid ordering a Cobb Salad due to bacon bits, now its the coutons/bread/crackers/cheese I would eye in suspect. I will probably avoid ordering most salad dressings and just order water. I can still smile, eat well, until nearly full and enjoy the company of my family. Patience is a virtue!

    • Janis says:

      If you are worried about pork in hotdogs, buy Kosher – Hebrew National is a good brand, there are others. There will be NO pork in a Kosher hotdog – just beef.

  8. terrie says:

    RUDIS MAKES A WONDERFUL GLUTEN FREE BREAD .IT COMES IN A BREAD SACK JUST LIKE REGULAR BREAD VERY DELICOUS.IT IS THE BEST EVER GOOTA TRY IT

  9. Terrie – thanks for the tip about Rudi’s. Kim reviewed the line on our site and agrees with your assessment of it. My samples are on the way so I’m glad to be able to taste the items from the line soon.

  10. Tami Nantz says:

    Thanks so much for the valuable information. I’m learning to go gluten free, and in an effort to continue living life as normal as possible, I’ve continued to get gluten into my system consistently and it’s SO frustrating! I’m at the point of thinking of fasting for a few days, and then slowly just adding foods back into my diet as I learn. I thought I’d become such an expert before being diagnosed, because I was on and off gluten for a good while…however, being told you have to be super-vigilant makes an enormous difference, and I’m not handling it well at the moment!

  11. Jod Bronson says:

    Thank you very much for the important info on this page, I’ve learned alot today. My first day starting Gluten-Free Diet ;)

  12. Jen says:

    I loved the article. I do have to sya here in KC I do still have issues w/ restaurants. On the other hand, I did not get rid of any of my cookware. Instead, I have my own toaster and waffle iron just for me as well as a couple skillets and pans. The others we kept and I use as usual for the family to make regular waffles/toast etc…. I keep my stuff in a separate cabinet and everyone is happy.

  13. kristie says:

    Hello,
    I am new to the world of celiac disease. My 2 yr old daughter was finally diagnosed almost a week ago after a1 1/2 years of different tests and things beacuse the blood work was inconclusive for so long due to her IgA deficiency. They finally did and endoscopy and biopsy to find out it is celiac disease. On top of that she has some skin problems due to this as well as being lactose intolerant. I am finding this to be a HUGE challenge when trying to shop for her and find foods that she once enjoyed but that are safe for her now. At Trader Joes yeasterday we used a list they had a gluten free foods as well as the vegan list and it took us well almost 2 hours to find not even half a cart of things for her to try. I am really hoping to maybe find someone that is in or has been in the same boat with a child that could give me some pointers. There are currently 9 family members in our home and only one that needs to be on a gluten free diet. My husband and I are willing to do this with her but we cant speak for the onther people in out home so organizing an area in our kitchen has been extremely difficult. Noone really seems to take this diagnosis that seriously here. They keep saying things like a little gluten wont hurt her, but as I am sure you all know to well it will. How do I get the point across to them as to how serious this could be for my little girl? This is such a lifestyle change, I never had any idea how challenging this would be. Any advice and helpful information would be so greatly appreciated… Thank you
    Kristie

  14. Kim Walker says:

    Kristie, I hope you are now learning to adjust to a gluten-free and dairy free diet for your daughter. You have my sympathy – I too have the ‘double’ allergy and found it so hard to find recipes that cater for this, that I have started to put together my own collection which I intend to put on a website shortly. Fortunately, there are more and more products on the market these days which do cater for the double allergy but there is still a long way to go.
    You said it is sometimes hard to get the concept of these allergies across to others – I had that problem too until I started saying to people “well, I have a little bit of rat poison here, would you mind if I just sprinkle a bit on your food – a little bit surely won’t hurt!” It didn’t take long for them to get the message!
    I find the best way around most things is to supply all the food myself – you might come across as a bit obsessed about food, but if it bothers others, then it really is their issue, not yours. You will find that you and your daughter are normally far healthier and fitter than those that eat gluten and diary – my family are mostly all dairy and gluten free and we get way less colds and flu than the average person – next time someone you know who’s been giving you a hard time about the allergies gets the flu or a cold, try saying something like “yes, it’s a shame that eating dairy foods can do that to you isn’t it!”

  15. Merce says:

    My niece is following a very strick gluten free diet and despite of all the efforts he has still many stomach complains.He is constantly with medical test, and they cannot find anything else. I wonder if someone can give me a tip, homopathic remedy that has help.
    My family is depressed seing him constantly ill. He is 11 years old
    Many thanks

  16. Kelly says:

    Is there any chance that he is being effected by cross contamination? Example, two pots of pasta being cooked, one with gluten, the other gluten free, and the same spoon or serving utensil is being used for both? Have you check all medications he is taking… so many common OTC medicines have gluten. He may be so sensitive to gluten that even flour dust or the slightest bread crumbs floating in the air may affect him. Peanut butter that has been spread on bread and then the knife dipped back in the jar will have an affect on a gluten sensitive person. Does he chew gum? Gluten in that too.

  17. Merce says:

    No, we are very aware of all the contamination risks, so we eat also pasta gluten free and other meals without gluten. We follow strickly the protocol but it seems that it does not help to eradicate the complains. The blood analysis shows that the diet is follow properly. I do not have any idea what else we can do to help him.
    The only think I ocuur is that he is so sensitive for gluten that it may be affected by gluten in the air????
    thanks

  18. KATRINA says:

    I just learned today that I have Celiac and I am overwhelmed about going gluten-free. This article was very helpful.

  19. Jeanie says:

    Just learned three weeks ago I have food sensitivities to glutin, soy, eggs and dairy. Talk about being overwhelmed. But I am learning lots of things about food. Thanks for all the information posted in this article. I am going to a wedding soon and plan on packing my own lunch….most buffets must be full of things I cannot have. But in three weeks of abstaining from these food types, I do feel better.

  20. Lorna says:

    Wow! I can relate. It’s very frustrating. I’m gluten, dairy and soy free.. I need some ideas, brands of snacks, cheese, crackers, ect….

  21. Mary says:

    I come to the conclusion on my own around March of last year, after doing a lot of research that I was Gluten intolerant. After only 2 weeks of being Gluten Free, I felt so much better. No more chronic diarrhea, gas and bloating, cramps and stomach pains. It’s amazing how much better I feel and so much more energy. Of course, after eating so much healthier, I lost 48lbs in a year. I only drink Almond milk also. Just still trying to find a variety of foods to eat.

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