Living a Gluten Free
Kimberly's interest in gluten-free living began in 1994
when she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance and
then more recently her daughter. She likes to share stuff
related to gluten free recipes, gluten-free food advice,
gift baskets, managing gluten sensitivity and much more.
What on Earth is a Celiac?
Diane Jakubowski was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in spring of 2003, and her somewhat confused
physician sent Jakubowski to the nearest health food market for answers. Celiac Disease, also known
as Celiac Sprue, is a genetically-linked autoimmune disease in which the absorbing surface of the
small intestine is damaged by gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes even
oats. But as recently as two years ago, this illness was considered very rare in this country, leaving
many Celiacs misdiagnosed, under diagnosed, or simply overlooked altogether.
Approximately 1 in 4700 people in the USA are diagnosed Celiacs. But recent medical research
indicates that this figure is extraordinarily inaccurate. Suddenly, the long-accepted thinking that
Celiac Disease was rare has literally exploded off of the medical horizon. It is now known that 1 in
133 folks in this country (or more) are probably Celiacs...again going undiagnosed...and suffering
needlessly for many years.
In Celiac Disease, nutrients pass through the damaged small intestine, unabsorbed, often creating a
host of sometimes devastating health problems. Medical conditions and diseases that have been
associated with Celiac Disease are: iron deficiency anemia, osteoporosis, gum problems, skin
problems, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, and
Celiac Disease is frequently misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease,
(Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, proctitis) pancreatitis, and even gall bladder disease, to name but
a few. There are literally millions of Celiac’s running around in this country….who don’t even know
they are Celiacs. And the really significant additional concern is that all these folks are
simultaneously running the risk of developing secondary autoimmune disease. This, due to the fact
that many Celiacs go undiagnosed an average of eleven years…or even longer. In the author’s case,
it was 52 years.
Jakubowski's desire is that people will be able to gain answers through information that has been
made available on her website. Her wish is that sharing this information may possibly provide a
service for those who suffer from digestive disease for decades due to the direct or indirect impact
of this insidious disease.
What You Should Know about Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a digestive disorder caused by the by consumption of gluten, a protein commonly
found in many grains, especially wheat, barley & rye. Therefore, those products containing these
grains MUST be avoided by those diagnosed with celiac disease. Among those products to be
especially mindful of are: bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and other foods containing wheat, barley
or rye. Oats may contain gluten as well, but this is currently in dispute due to the fact that SOME
seem to be able to digest oats without consequence. It is important that you followed your doctor's
advice in this matter. When a person with celiac disease eats foods containing gluten, an immune
reaction occurs in the small intestine, resulting in damage to the surface of the small intestine and
an inability to absorb certain nutrients from food.
Eventually, decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) can cause vitamin deficiencies that
deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment,
which can lead to other illnesses. This is especially serious in children, who need proper nutrition to
develop and grow. Many who suffer celiac disease also develop related vitamin and mineral
defeciency related dieases.
Also known as celiac sprue, celiac disease occurs in people who have a susceptibility to gluten
intolerance. Although celiac disease affects people of all races, it is most prevalent in those of white
European ancestry. It also affects women to a greater extent than me. Celiac disease has been
around as long as man has eaten wheat and other grains containing the protein, but it has only been
in the last 50 years that researchers have gained a better understanding of the condition and how to
No treatment can cure celiac disease. However, you can effectively manage celiac disease through
the elimination of gluten products from your diet.
Pregnancy and Celiac Disease
If you have celiac disease and are well controlled because you stick rigidly to a gluten-free diet, you
are as likely as anyone who has not got celiac disease to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Those who have celiac disease and who do not have a completely gluten-free diet have an increased
risk of problems for themselves and their baby.
Pregnancy is demanding on the body; the mum not only needs a good supply of all the necessary
nutrients to keep her healthy but also to support the development of the baby. To do this she will
need to eat a good, balanced gluten-free diet. Foods rich in folic acid, iron and calcium are
Your diet should be as healthy as possible. Keep to the "5" rule for fruit and vegetables. Try and eat
5 different varieties every day. Fruit juice counts as 1 variety however many glasses of it you drink.
Eat food naturally rich in calcium: milk, cheese and yoghurts, sardines, pilchards etc. Commercially
produced gluten-free flours and mixes are often enriched with calcium. It is a good idea to use
skimmed or semi-skimmed milk and low fat yogurts and cheese so you can keep the fat content
down. Avoid unpasturised milk and soft cheese or mould-ripened cheeses as they can carry
Eat food rich in the mineral iron, it can be found in lean red meat, eggs and fish – particularly the fish
rich in natural oil – herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon. Soya, tofu, sunflower seeds, green leafy
vegetables, lentils, beans, watermelon and black strap molasses are also rich sources of iron.
Avoid uncooked eggs, or partially cooked eggs found in mousses, eggnog, fools etc.
Avoid liver and pâtés
Eat plenty of roughage, as constipation is a common problem during pregnancy. Gluten-free foods
which have high levels of fibre include brown rice, buckwheat, potatoes – particularly the skin, peas,
corn, lentils, millet, seeds such as sunflower or linseeds, vegetables and fruit and dried fruits such as
figs and dates. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help. A glass of hot water with a twist of lemon
juice first thing in the morning can work well.
It is important for all prospective mums that they take proper care of themselves prior to becoming
pregnant. The benefits of eating foods rich in folic acid for three months before becoming pregnant
and during pregnancy, particularly in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is well documented. It helps
prevent conditions such as Spina Bifida. Folic Acid supplements are easily available from the
pharmacist or health food shop. Eat plenty of green leafy vegetables, which are naturally rich in folic
Giving up smoking is very important as babies of smoking mothers are much more susceptible to low
birth weight and other health problems.
Cutting out alcohol or at least cutting it down to no more than one or two units a week is advisable.
Finally once your baby is born it is advisable to wait until the baby is at between 4 and 6 months old
before introducing wheat to their diet. There is no advantage in waiting any longer than 6 months.
Celiac Sprue? You Need To Go Gluten Free!
If you are suffering from severe and chronic abdominal pain and bloating after meals, have excessive
gas, or have large bulky stools that may have blood in them, you need to go to a doctor. While there
are many causes for this set of symptoms including dysentery and Inflammatory Bowel Disease
(which can only be treated with medications), it may be something called celiac sprue which is
treated simply with a change in diet to a gluten free diet.
Celiac sprue is an allergic condition of the small bowel that causes inflammation and damage to the
lining hindering absorption of nutrients. This is why you get the symptoms of malabsorption and
intestinal damage (bleeding) described above. You may also have weight loss and suffer from dietary
deficiencies like iron deficiency anemia and B12 deficiency neuropathies for example.
The substance that your body is allergic to turns out to be something called gluten that is a protein
found in many of the grain products in a typical diet including wheat, rye, barley, etc. The bad thing
is that this food product is found in so many things, the good thing is that the treatment for this
condition is simple, change your diet. No meds with nasty side effects, no surgeries, no changes in
activity, or other limitations. Don't get me wrong I am not saying that changing your diet and
avoiding a common ingredient is just a walk in the park. But I am saying that this could be much
worse than it is and that you can live a "normal" life despite this condition and the gluten free diet
that you have to have.
So what about this diet? How much work is it? How much does it cost? What kind of affect will it
have on my life? Well another positive thing to focus on is that you have a public health system that
has made it easier on you if you have Celiac Sprue. They have made it mandatory for food producers
to put labels on their food that show the ingredients and they have also made it a legitimate selling
point to be gluten free. The other positive is that there are many similar products that will make
staying gluten free easier in terms of acceptable substitute foods. There are helpful lists and recipe
books and other resources that can make this process as close to a walk in the park as possible.
The other nice thing about the new diet is that it will have an almost immediate effect on the
symptoms, for sure within one week of new diet initiation. The lining of your intestine takes a bit
longer but will also return completely to normal. No more embarrassing bodily malfunctions, no
more pain, and being able to enjoy meals again! Sounds nice doesn't it?
What Should You Know About Gluten Free Diet?
I can tell you truthfully that up until very recently I had absolutely no clue as to what a gluten free
diet was. I didn’t have even a grain of an idea that I could base my knowledge upon. I have since
found out however, that gluten is what you would call the protein part of certain grains like wheat,
barley, rye or other similar grains. Some people are found to be allergic to the gluten in these grains
and so need to have a gluten free diet.
Unfortunately that’s not as easy as it sounds. And since a person who suffers from gluten intolerance
or celiac disease has to live their whole lives on a gluten free diet to be able to live normal healthy
lives, they will need to consult with a doctor or nutritionist first. If they don’t get the diet that’s right
for them, they could be facing many problems.
If you suffer from either of these gluten allergies don’t worry overly much however as there is hope.
A diet that can suit your special needs can be formulated and you can live a good life. All you need to
remember is to stay away from wheat based products. Again that might not be so easy to do, but
with help you can find the right gluten free diet for you.
If you like oats, then you’ll be glad to hear that you don’t need to eliminate oats or oat products
from your diet. If they’ve been processed free of the contaminating effects of wheat or such other
grains, then you should be okay. But you will have to make sure that this is the case otherwise you
will be inadvertently admitting some gluten into your system.
Foods that you could eat on your gluten free diet can include corn, soya, rice, and tapioca. You also
have the choice of jams, and marmalades, sugar, honey, treacle and molasses as well. If that’s not
enough your gluten free diet can include all fresh fruits and vegetables, along with eggs, milk,
creams, butters and cheese. If you want still more then you can also have tea and coffee, fizzy drinks
and most alcoholic drinks as well.
Although it might not be that easy to stay on your gluten free diet if you start buying ready prepared
foods, as these might contain products with gluten in them. And if not actual gluten based products
they might have been processed somewhere close to where there are gluten based products.
So really if you just stick to the fresh side of your food, and stay away from canned or ready made
goods, then you should be okay with your gluten free product. Along with this however, you should
also stay away from anything that has wheat or suchlike in it as this can entirely destroy your gluten
free diet. With a little bit of careful planning you should be alright, and your diet should stay intact.
Gluten Inedible Products
A common question among the newly diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune condition
triggered by the presence of gluten (wheat, rye, barley and oats), is whether you should be
concerned about gluten found in inedible products—products that you don't eat but only use. The
answer is yes. After using inedible products that contain gluten, make sure that you wash your hands
well with non-gluten soap and water so that any residue found in the products will be washed away
and not later find its way into your food. Inedible products include shampoos, conditioners, hair
styling products, cosmetics, lip balms, nail care, soaps, lotions, sunscreens, laundry and household
cleaning products, pet foods, arts and crafts supplies, etc.
The rule for these inedible products is the same as for any product containing gluten. Your food
must not come in contact with it! Neither should your mouth. If you touch any product containing
gluten, wash your hands with soap and water before eating your own gluten-free food. The tiniest
bit of residue left on your hands can cause an adverse reaction. The fact that a reaction can occur
with such minimal ingestion is the reason that inedible products can also cause a reaction and
should be avoided or treated properly.
Most people with celiac disease do not get a reaction from merely touching gluten. The reaction
occurs when the residue on your hands makes its way to your lips or into your mouth. This can be
easier than you might think. There are many ways to ingest gluten. Take hair products.
Unfortunately, a majority of hair care products contain gluten. Although you don't intend to get any
shampoo or conditioner into your mouth, the water that comes out of your hair with the shampoo
can bounce off the shower wall or shower curtain and land on your lips. You won't even notice
yourself licking it off. Cosmetics, especially lipsticks, lip balms, nail polish and artificial nails, can also
be a source of gluten. While lip balms and lipsticks are the more obvious sources for ingestion, nail
polish and artificial nail products can also make their way to your mouth as you touch your food.
Foundations, powders, blushes and bronzers can settle on your lips during application. They can also
be a source of gluten if you absent-mindedly touch your face and then forget to wash your hands
before eating. Washing your hands with confirmed gluten-free soap and water before you eat and
getting into the habit of not touching your lips or mouth with your hands, may help keep you from
ingesting the gluten in this manner. When you feed your pet, be especially careful. Many pet foods,
especially dry pet food and treats, contain gluten. Make sure that you use the same precautions as
you would use in handling any other type of gluten-containing food. Unfortunately, inedible
products don't have the same labeling laws and restrictions as food does. Sometimes a product will
contain gluten without it appearing on the label.
Many manufacturers simply don't have the ability to fully verify all of their ingredients because one
ingredient can come from several sources. You can get some good advice and information on
whether or not the products you use contain gluten from on-line celiac support groups. A quick
search of the message board archives can pull up information on the specific brands and items that
concern you. If nobody has any experience with the products that you are concerned about, you can
either switch to products trusted to be gluten-free by others in the celiac community or withdraw
from using all of the unknown products.
You can then slowly reintroduce them, one by one, to determine which one, if any, is causing a
reaction. It is like adding new foods to your newborn baby. Individual products should be
reintroduced several days apart from each other because reactions can sometimes take a few days
to manifest. The bottom line is that if you suffer from celiac disease, it is your personal lifestyle and
habits which will help you decide whether or not to take the chance of using inedible products
Tasty Gluten Free Products
In the gluten-filled world where we have spent most of our lives until now, we learned as children
which products we liked to eat and which we didn't. Now, as sufferers of celiac disease or as a gluten
intolerant, we find ourselves thrown into the task of finding gluten-free products to replace all those
foods containing wheat, rye, barley and oats that we loved to eat--like bread, cookies, cakes and
pastas. Our lives have suddenly become much more complicated.
A totally gluten-free diet means learning to cope with the creation of menus for three meals a day
every day of the week with gluten free products most of which we've never heard of or even tasted.
While some products on the market are good, some are only okay and many are so bad that you
may as well eat the carton on the box it came in. At the start of your gluten-free diet, many of the
foods you have purchased will end up in your garbage pail and leave you frustrated and on the verge
of deciding to give up on gluten-free food after only trying a few things. How can you ease your
suffering and find what products are the tastiest in the easiest way possible, avoiding the costly and
time-consuming trial and error system? One of the best ways is to follow the crowd. Log onto the
on-line celiac message boards and local support groups. There the members will tell you in no
uncertain terms what gluten-free products are worth eating and which should be avoided at all
Since most people with celiac disease were diagnosed with the disease well into adulthood, they,
like you, remember exactly what their favorite products tasted like. The modern gluten-free food
manufacturer has a lot of work to do in the taste-pleasing department if he wants to keep his
customers. Word of mouth spreads quickly in the celiac community. If a product meets or exceeds
expectations, it quickly gains a following. If the product is tasteless, the word spreads just as quickly.
There's nothing that a person with celiac disease hates more than spending good money on bad
food. What follows below are some foods to get you started on your way. We have carried out a
survey of some of the best-loved gluten-free food along with the names of their manufacturers. KToos (cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies similar to Oreos); KinniKritters (animal crackers) and
Tapioca Rice Cinnamon Buns (cinnamon rolls) are some of the favorite products coming from
Kinnikinnick manufactures. All Kinnikinnick products are manufactured in a gluten-free facility so
there is no need to worry about cross-contamination. As they have over 100 products there are
plenty of products to choose from.
If you are looking to go the mix route try looking in the health food sections for such popular mixes
as Perfect Pie Crust, Chocolate Truffle Brownie Mix, Favorite Sandwich Bread and Angel Food Cake,
all from the Glutino Food Group. Pamela's Products is another well-recognized brand that deserves
its place high on the list of favorite gluten-free brands. Their Amazing Wheat-Free Bread Mix is
among the most popular due to its soft, bendable texture. Their Ultimate Baking and Pancake Mix
comes in a large, 4-pound recloseable zipper bag! If you are looking for pasta, no list of the best
gluten-free brands would be complete without mentioning Tinkyada Pasta which can be used
instead of regular pasta to cook all your pre-gluten-free pasta-based family recipes like spaghetti,
casseroles and lasagna. And the best part about their products, which come in all the traditional
shapes such as spaghetti, fettuccine penne, spirals, lasagna, shells and elbow macaroni, is their taste
and high quality which enables celiacs and non-celiacs to enjoy the same great meal.
You might be surprised at how easy it can be to live well on a gluten-free diet with some of these
delicious, quality products in your kitchen.
So here's to happy and tasty gluten-free eating!
The Trials Of Eating In Restaurants On A Gluten
Eating out when you are on a restricted diet always has the potential for difficulty. Only yesterday I
was reminded of this when we went out for a late Sunday meal.
As always we had spoken to the restaurant, in fact it is one I have used before. Gravy is the usual
problem for a traditional Sunday roast dinner, however we were assured that the chef would
produce a gluten free version. So far I have yet to find any catering establishment that produces a
gluten- free Yorkshire pudding. If you know of one please let us know so we can spread the work
through our website.
We had been putting a room straight after decorating all day, so were more than ready for our meal.
All went well through the meal until ordering the desert.
Those who know me well know that I really enjoy the sweet course best of all and whilst I love fruit
but will choose to have something different when eating out. I do get irritated when restaurants
offer fruit/ fruit salad as the only option as it shows so little imagination.
Back to our meal. On the menu board there were two good gluten free options or so I thought, Eton
Mess, which is a concoction of broken meringue, raspberries and whipped cream and a lemon cream
bruleé. I ordered the Eton Mess but as always asked the waiter to check it was gluten free.
A couple of minutes he came back saying that the only option I could safely eat was strawberries and
cream. Not the end of the world but somewhat irritating if you have got your mouth in the right
shape for something else.
Next of course there is the decision whether to challenge what is said or to go quietly. Mt sister had
the Eton Mess; in fact they had served it up in a biscuit basket, which was of course made with
wheat and so not gluten free. As for the bruleé – who knows?
I think that in a society which is becoming ever more ready to sue when things go wrong restaurants
get very nervous and in the end make decisions based on ignorance. I will be sending them my
“What You Can And Can't Eat Food List” before I eat there again.
The Importance of Gluten-Free Vitamins to
More and more people are recognizing the importance of vitamins in health care - especially those
that are gluten-free. A growing number of people in our health-conscious society are taking pains to
seek out information on gluten-free vitamins and food supplements.
Studies show that vitamins in general are important to a person's overall health. Most vitamins are
available in the food we eat but not always in the right quantities. Also, vitamins and minerals are
destroyed in much of the food we eat by high heat. Therefore, it is important to replace or
supplement the nutrients that are lost.
Vitamin Deficiency in Health Care
Having a vitamin deficiency can cause many heath care problems. Maintaining the right balance is
important to men's health and women's health. Problems are different for each gender, but both
suffer from minor ailments such as sleep disorders, memory loss, poor digestion, enzyme loss, and
low energy levels. Today, many are concerned about healthy skin, healthy bones, good cholesterol
levels and weight loss.
Finding the right vitamin for your situation may help ward off serious problems later on. Doctors say
that the longer you take vitamins the more substantial benefits there will be to your health. Read
labels and see if the pills are protected from light by an opaque bottle. You do not want vitamins
with artificial coloring or flavoring, sugar or gluten.
Dangers of Gluten
After many years of puzzling symptoms, health care providers have begun to recognize the threat
gluten is to our system. Gluten is found most notably in wheat, rye and barley. Our diet has steadily
increased in gluten consumption over the years. Along with that, many health care problems have
arisen which are related to gluten in some people.
Not everyone has the same degree of gluten intolerance. Certain individuals are more predisposed
than others because of their physical makeup. Symptoms of gluten intolerance are diarrhea,
bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies and fatigue. Other conditions are now being
associated with gluten intolerance. Common autoimmune disorders such as Type I diabetes and
thyroid disease are linked to gluten. Also the bone and nervous systems can be affected, causing
serious health care issues.
Choose the Best For You
Taking a gluten-free vitamin seems to be a good choice for everyone. If you already suffer with any
of the symptoms that are irritated by gluten, it would be best to avoid consuming it with your
vitamins. Make sure that the vitamins you take are going to help you to their full potential by taking
the purest formula available.