Celiac Disease: Gluten Free Diet (cont.)

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What are the difficulties with following a gluten-free diet?

Following a gluten-free diet is not as simple as purchasing gluten-free foods. To start with, not every food has a gluten free option and not everyone has access to stores that sell the products that are gluten free. Many of these foods can be costly and that presents another barrier to compliance with this. The labeling laws can also make compliance difficult when they allow incomplete description of food components.

Even with the best intentions you can end up consuming gluten without know it. Gluten can be found in unexpected sources such as in pharmaceuticals (acts as a binder), meat products (acts as extender), or in confectionery, desserts, flavorings and sauces. Cross contamination poses the greatest obstacle when foods are not prepared at home or in a carefully controlled environment. Travelling, eating out, parties, and other social events fall under this category.

Dietary deficiencies are a higher risk for people with celiac disease than for others who follow a gluten-free diet. Anyone who is eliminating food groups should be aware of the nutrients that they may be missing. The deficiencies to be aware of are iron, calcium, vitamin B12, folate, phosphorus, and the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Protein-calorie malnutrition is another possible risk that can be avoided with an adequate intake of high protein foods.

What foods do you avoid on a gluten-free diet?

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When you begin to make this adjustment to your diet it can feel overwhelming. Start by getting used to the things that you want to avoid. The purpose of eliminating gluten is to improve your health, so remind yourself that you are cutting these out to feel better, not to deprive yourself of anything.

Gluten is the protein found in the grains wheat, rye, barley, and triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye). Read the labels on foods, health and beauty aids, and medications carefully and don't assume that the ingredients stay the same. Something that did not contain gluten could contain it the next time you purchase it. Keep this list with you:

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/12/2013

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Gluten Free Diet (Celiac Disease) - Symptoms Question: Describe the symptoms associated with celiac disease, or the symptoms that caused you to change to a gluten-free diet.
Gluten Free Diet (Celiac Disease) - Diagnosis Question: Describe the tests and exams you had that led to a diagnosis of celiac disease.
Gluten Free Diet (Celiac Disease) - Dietary Restrictions Question: If you omit gluten from your diet, what foods do you no longer eat, or eat in moderation?
Gluten Free Diet (Celiac Disease) - Safe Foods Question: If you are on a gluten-free diet, what foods are OK to eat? What new foods have you added to your diet?
Gluten Free Diet (Celiac Disease) - Resources Question: Please share resources, organizations, websites, or products you have found helpful in learning more about becoming gluten free.
Gluten Free Diet - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with gluten allergy (including the condition you have).
Gluten Free Diet - Foods to Avoid Question: What foods have you found to be particularly troublesome and how difficult was it to eliminate these foods from your diet?
Gluten Free Diet - Safe Foods to Eat Question: What foods have you found that do not cause gluten allergy symptoms?