How Do You Test For Gluten Intolerance
Your doctor might recommend trying a gluten-free diet to see if you do have a gluten intolerance. Keep in mind that other conditions, such as celiac disease and wheat allergies, can cause similar symptoms. If eliminating gluten from your diet eases your symptoms, this usually indicates gluten intolerance. Your doctor can test for wheat allergies or celiac disease if needed.
Symptoms Of Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is the most severe form of gluten intolerance.
It is an autoimmune disease that affects about 1% of the population and may lead to damage in the digestive system .
It can cause a wide range of symptoms, including skin problems, gastrointestinal issues, mood changes, and more.
Here are a few of the most common symptoms of celiac disease.
The Beginners Guide To Going Gluten Free
If you or someone you know has cut out gluten, it can mean a total diet revamp. This can seem a bit overwhelming at first. However, were here to help! Read our full guide to going gluten free below.
As awareness of celiac disease becomes increasingly widespread, the popularity of the gluten free diet continues to grow. Unlike many modern diets, the gluten free diet is more than just a fad for people with celiac disease and wheat allergies or sensitivities, its a medical necessity.
Even a decade ago, the gluten free diet was largely a mystery except to people with celiac disease, who followed it as a matter of medical necessity. Today, however, going gluten free has become something of a trend. Some people mistakenly believe that a gluten free diet is the key to weight loss, though many who follow the diet for this reason have very little knowledge about the diet or about gluten at all.
While there are certainly those who misunderstand the gluten free diet, its rise in popularity has led to a surge in awareness among the general public and the food industry regarding celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and the gluten free diet in general. Restaurants have started to offer gluten free menus and gluten free food manufacturers are growing more and more numerous.
If you are thinking about making the switch to the gluten free diet or looking for some helpful tips, let this be your guide.
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Learn To Read Food Labels
To really expand your dietand to figure out which of your old favorites you might be able to includeyou’ll need to learn to find gluten on food labels.
In fact, you’ll probably become a bit of a detective, learning to search for the meaning of various terms you’ll find on different products. You’ll also get quite an education on the different ingredients that make up processed foods .
For example, terms that always mean “gluten” can include:
Meanwhile, terms that almost always mean “gluten” can include:
Learn To Eat Out Gluten
Until you feel confident following the gluten-free dietand ideally until any symptoms have largely disappearedyou should stay far away from restaurants. That’s because restaurants are a major risk for gluten cross-contamination. It’s common for even experienced gluten-free dieters to inadvertently consume gluten when they eat out at restaurants.
Still, no one wants to eat at home forever. Once you have a better idea of how to eat gluten-free and where gluten can hide, restaurant dining won’t present as much of a challenge.
When you first try dining out gluten-free, be aware that many servers and even some chefs aren’t very familiar with the gluten-free diet, and mistakes are pretty common. Follow these tips to stay safe:
- Stick with a restaurant that features a gluten-free menu, since restaurants with gluten-free menus are more likely to have spent time on staff education.
- Discuss your needs with your server, the chef, or a manager.
- Use gluten-free restaurant apps to find the best options.
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Avoid These Top 3 Mistakes When Going Gluten Free
The more you know about the gluten free diet, the easier it will be to stick to. The most important thing you need to do is review gluten free food lists, so you know where to look for hidden gluten and what foods are safe for you to eat. After that, its a game of balance you need to create healthy eating habits and structure your diet around gluten free foods. It may be a challenge at first, but with practice youll get the hang of it in no time.
As you get started with the gluten free diet, there are some challenges youre likely to encounter and you may make a few mistakes. To give you your best chance at success, here is a quick list of the top two mistakes people make when going gluten free, so you can avoid making them yourself:
Not learning how to read food labels. Before you eat anything, you need to make sure that it doesnt contain gluten and that means reading the label. Check the allergen statement first to make sure it doesnt list wheat and then review the list of ingredients to check for both obvious and hidden sources of gluten. You can also look for the certified gluten free label.
We hope you now have a thorough understanding of the gluten free diet what it looks like and how to follow it. So, take what youve learned here and put it into action. Good luck
What To Expect When Going Gluten Free
When you first start to eat a gluten free diet there are a few things you can expect.
- A steep learning curve as you discover which foods contain gluten and what you can or cant eat.
- A period of instability where you experience an easing up of your symptoms followed possibly by relapses of even more intense symptoms. This is because when the system if clear from gluten youll experience a relief from symptoms, but after have been clear, any tiny amount of gluten that re-enters your system may be attacked in double force by your immune system. Dont panic. Find the source of contamination and avoid it in the future. You cant get it perfect the first time round, it takes time. Go easy on yourself.
- Your energy levels should start to pick up and your cramps, diarrhoea, pains etc subside. It can take a little while for the gluten to leave your system so have patience.
- You may find some resistance among friends or family who imply that its all in your head. Its difficult not to be annoyed by this kind of reaction from someone whos supposed to be a friend but dont let it get to you. Whatever you do, dont get into discussions where youre defending yourself. Its your body and you know what it needs more than anybody else. Say whatevers necessary for the person to leave you to make your own decisions, and leave it at that.
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Who Is The Ideal Gffs Coach
The ideal GFFS coach should have some experience with gluten avoidance such as a person with celiac disease or NCGS or someone caring for someone who is living gluten-free or a dietitian, nutritionist, or someone who works with food. Experience working in a restaurant or a food service establishment is helpful, however, not required.
The GFFS Coaching Program provides training on proper policies and procedures restaurants need to establish to be validated gluten-free.
The Gluten Free Diet All You Need To Know About The Diet That Will Make You Well Again
- If you have coeliac disease you will have to avoid gluten for life.
- A gluten free diet is the only treatment for the condition.
- Gluten is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.
- On the gluten free diet you can eat many foods including meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, rice and potatoes.
- You can also eat gluten free substitute foods and processed foods that don’t contain gluten.
- You can tell whether gluten is in a food by learning about allergen labelling – it sounds scary, but you get used to it once you know how.
If you have been medically diagnosed with coeliac disease then your immune system has been reacting to gluten and damaging your gut. To get better, you must remove gluten from your diet, which is the only treatment for coeliac disease. Gluten is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.
You may have heard the term ‘gluten free diet’ before. This can be a bit confusing to some people because it isn’t a diet in the way that most people understand it – it’s not designed to help people lose weight. It’s just a way of eating that helps you heal your gut so you can start absorbing all the nutrients you need from your diet.
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Replace Worn Out Pans That Harbor Gluten
Many people suggest that you buy all new pans when going gluten free. They suggest keeping dedicated pans and utensils only for gluten free meal prep. If this is possible with your budget and your kitchen storage, lucky you!
For most of us though, a whole new kitchen set might not be practical. Instead, thoroughly examine any pans with worn surfaces, scratches or dents that could harbor food between uses. Its probably time to replace them anyway, and going gluten free is the perfect excuse.
If you can separate any pans out for dedicated gluten free use, more power to you. I often recommend to my consulting clients that they identify these pans with brightly-colored electrical or duct tape wrapped around the handles.
If you simply cannot dedicate pans for exclusive gluten free use, dont worry. Just be sure to scrub the pans well and then wash them in a dishwasher using all washing and drying cycles. Your pans will be cleaner-than-clean, and also safe.
Another great way to save time on clean up and ensure youre not subjecting yourself to unwanted gluten from old pans and baking stones is simply to cover everything with parchment.
I often say that parchment is my favorite baking accessory, and theres more than one reason!
Beyond Celiac Endorses Gluten
Beyond Celiac endorses the Gluten-Free Certification Program , a food safety-based gluten management system for manufacturers, which was created by the Allergen Control Group and the Canadian Celiac Association. Beyond Celiac has brought this system to the U.S. This alliance makes the GFCP the first North American program endorsed by leading celiac disease organizations in both the U.S. and Canada.
As the food industry becomes increasingly globalized, Beyond Celiac believes that international alliances such as this partnership with the GFCP will play a critical role in ensuring that our gluten-free food supply is truly safe and trusted.
The GFCP is a management system and facility-based certification. This means that the program does not rely solely on product testing to ensure safety, but examines the entire practices and production process of the facility from ingredient sourcing to employee training, cleaning practices, cross-contact controls, operational management and, finally, an effective end-to-end testing plan.
- Grace, T. Gluten-Free Certification in North America. The Manufacturing Confectioner. June 2013 59-67.
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What To Avoid When Shopping For Fruits And Vegetables:
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Modified food starch: If the label doesn’t specify what type of starch is used, check with the manufacturer, as it may be wheat.
- Malt: Including malt syrup, malt vinegar, malt extract, malt flavoring
- Gluten stabilizer
- Maltodextrin: This is OK when made from corn, potato or rice starch. If it’s made from wheat, it will be labeled: you may have a reaction, though many claim the gluten is destroyed in processing.
What Causes Coeliac Disease
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition. This is where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
In coeliac disease, the immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body and attacks them.
This damages the surface of the small bowel , disrupting the body’s ability to take in nutrients from food.
It’s not entirely clear what causes the immune system to act this way, but a combination of genetics and the environment appear to play a part.
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Risk Of A Nutritional Deficiency
People who have celiac disease are at risk of several nutritional deficiencies.
These include deficiencies in fiber, iron, calcium, vitamin B12, folate, zinc, vitamins A, D, E and K and more (
If you experience constipation on a gluten-free diet, aim to eat more fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, beans, lentils, Brussels sprouts and berries.
Going Gluten And Dairy
Are you just starting out going gluten and dairy-free? Check out these top 10 tips for going gluten and dairy-free for beginners.
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In the time Ive been writing this blog, many folks have come in to read about how I stock my and my . Its clear to me that while these food intolerances are definitely more abundant than they used to be, a lot of folks are looking for guidance on where to start when they want to take these foods out of their life .
Arent sure if you have a food intolerance?
I remember when I started going gluten and dairy-free, it was a huge milestone in my health. Not only did I start within just a few days in terms of bloating, gas, diarrhea and my other digestive symptoms, but my other non-digestive symptoms vanished quickly too skin rashes, itchiness, dandruff, , and mental fogginess.
Read more about food intolerance symptoms here.
Although it was a huge benefit to me to take these foods out, I also remember it being super hard to make the commitment, because it was just too difficult to think about my life without my favorite bread and dairy products that I loved so much.
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Where To Find More Information
The National Institutes of Health has a Celiac Awareness Campaign at celiac.nih.gov with information and resources.
You can find information on celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and gluten-free cooking from these organizations:
There are also a number of books on gluten-free eating. Your best bet is to find one written by a dietitian.