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celiac (and gluten intolerance) answers for those that are looking
Hi I have celiac, and I can attest to how miserable it can be, esp when I have been accidentally glutened :( oh the pain ;_; I have seen a few questions on here about gluten - and some misinformation which is very scary to me.

I am going to post a few links and quotes in the hopes to start people off in the right direction with a possible gluten free diet

Celiac is NOT curable at this time. The ONLY treatment for it is a VERY strict diet in which you completely abstain from gluten ALL the time. Cheating may or may not make you miserable as soon as you consume the gluten, but your intestines are STILL being damaged. A single crumb from the toaster is enough to damage a celiac.

And in my opinion, if you have a celiac in the house, your house should automatically be a gluten free zone (it is amazing where gluten can contaminate - jars, peanut butter, containers, even cooking with regular flour for someone else can hurt a celiac!)

from 1in133.org (below)
                                                               What is Celiac Disease
    Excerpted with permission from author Jules E. Dowler Shepard, from The First Year: Celiac Disease and Living Gluten Free (DaCapo Press 2008).

    One in 133 Americans has Celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue, coeliac disease, non-tropical sprue or gluten sensitive enteropathy), a chronic and permanent sensitivity to the food protein gluten, found in the grains wheat, barley and rye.  Developing the disease requires three things: a genetic predisposition; exposure to gluten through digestion; and a trigger to start this atypical immune system response.  It can occur in people of all ages once exposed to gluten, and is the most common genetic disorder in North America and Europe, although it is found in populations all over the world.

    ….[C]eliac disease (CD) is classified as an auto-immune disease, which simply means that the body attacks itself in an inappropriate immune system reaction. In CD, the reaction is caused specifically by exposure to gliadin, a protein of the food molecule gluten found in wheat, barley and rye …

    Gluten intolerance is another condition that requires adherence to a gluten-free diet but does not rise to the level of an autoimmune disease. Food intolerances occur when the body is incapable of metabolizing certain foods, typically because it lacks certain enzymes necessary to break down particular food components. Those with gluten intolerance often have the same overt symptoms as those with CD, but they test negative for celiac disease by bloodwork and endoscopy. They learn through trial and error that gluten is the culprit for their uncomfortable symptoms, and once they adopt a gluten-free diet, live an otherwise normal healthy life.

     Number of American Sufferers:

Gluten Sensitivity   18 million Americans
Celiac Disease at least 3 million Americans

there are a slew of things you must avoid if GF
this link is SUPER indepth, and even tells you WHY you must avoid something as innocent looking as "caramel coloring" and more

Gluten hides in everything and you must be constantly vigilant - asking for managers - calling ahead to resturants and investigating to see if they understand your diet restrictions.

Be prepared to meet up with people that think you are doing this because it is a "fad". Or people that say - "Oh I have a friend that can eat a piece of pizza anyway - she just cheats"

I am here to tell you it isnt worth it to cheat. I used to crave pizza soooooo badly. I would cheat, and then pay the price later. Not only did I have physical symptoms, but what damage have I done to my guts now? Now when people say stuff like the above or ask why I cant have gluten - I see this as a way to educate them. "I get really sick on gluten - even a very small amount makes me very ill, I get horrible stomach aches, bloat, and bowel issues, get skin rashes and even more if I continue to eat it. Also every time I ingest gluten, my body when it reacts damages my intestines - this can be irreparable if I constantly damage them. This is why I have to be SO strict with my diet.

Often celiacs have other intollerances or allergies to other foods. Lucky me drew the egg straw. I can not eat ANY little itty bit of egg or I swell up and cant breathe. I can not even take medications that are egg based, such as the flu vaccine. Some of these allergies you can be tested for. Some intollerances will be found out through trial and error (like my inability to eat sorgum flour - gives me nearly the same symptoms as gluten) not everyone has these - or especially my intollerances - these are just examples.

Its a hard road to follow in the beginning. But it is REALLY worth it. How this has improved my health I cant even tell you in just words. But I am a new person since starting my diet - esp when I really dedicated myself to it.

Good things have come out of my diet too. I have made new friends, learned a WHOLE bunch, and really have opened up my world to new foods that I never realized I would like. And now - I also REALLY enjoy cooking and baking on a level I never did before.

please check out 1in133.org
Living without magazine
Gluten free living magazine
Gluten free girl blog (and many more! please just do an internet search!!!!)
I also joined gluten freeville on facebook - tons of info there too!

many of these sites have free gluten free recipes!
I am also happy to help people convert many of their favorite into gluten free :)

good luck!
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Gluten Intolerance Symptoms http://www.aboutgrain.com/
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