the patient celiac

My "Unlucky" Seven

0 comments December 10, 2012

Since going gluten free 3 years ago I have made my share of mistakes leading to “glutenings.” Most of them were in my first 6 months post-diagnosis. I am sharing my list in hopes that I may prevent others from getting sick like I did. I am also sharing so that friends and family members of Celiacs may understand why their Celiac loved one may seem to be “paranoid” from time to time. 1. Shampoo: I had a bad case of brassy highlights and bought a “blueing” shampoo to use a few times a week to neutralize the brassiness. Lo and behold, I began to feel ill, and one morning, as I read the ingredients while in the shower, I realized that my shampoo contained hydrolyzed wheat protein. There is a lot of controversy about whether or not gluten can be absorbed through the skin, but in this case, I believe that a little bit of shampoo was probably getting into my mouth while I was rinsing my hair. I stopped using the shampoo and my symptoms went away. Problem solved. My lesson learned was to always read the ingredients in hair products before buying and using them.

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Easy Cut-Out Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

0 comments December 03, 2012

I made the mistake of making regular Christmas cookies with my kids my first winter after diagnosis. Even though I did not eat the cookies, I experienced a major "glutening" episode from just working with the cookie dough. The next year I came across the following recipe for gluten free  holiday cookies, and I've used it ever since. My friends and family have not been able to detect a difference between these cookies and "regular" Christmas cookies. Plus it's an easy recipe!

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Celiac: Is There a Trigger?

0 comments November 29, 2012

I’ve questioned this so many times. More than 40% of Americans have at least one of the celiac genes, HLA-DQ2 and/or HLA-DQ8, yet only 1% go on develop the full-blown disease. I recently read an article in the magazine Living Without called, “Celiac Disease, By Accident,” in which possible environmental triggers are discussed (see link). Many people report that they have developed celiac disease after major life stressors, including accidents, surgeries, and infections. I am pretty sure that my trigger was pregnancy.

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Gluten is _________ (Fill in the Blank)

0 comments November 27, 2012

I know that there have been a lot of news features and pieces on the internet about the gluten free diet, so today I asked 12 random people to answer the question, "What is gluten?" Here are the responses I received:

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Why are 97% of American Celiacs Undiagnosed?

0 comments November 26, 2012

Based on prevalence studies, it is estimated that 3 million Americans have Celiac Disease. Of these 3 million people, 2.9+ million have no idea that they have a serious autoimmune disease. This is a huge problem….
A few explanations for the atrocious rates of diagnosis:

-Only 1/3 of Celiacs have “classic” symptoms, such as abdominal pain and chronic diarrhea. Many of the symptoms of celiac disease, such as reflux, fatigue, anemia, oral ulcers, joint pains, hair loss, osteoporosis, seizures, migraines, infertility, etc. can be seen in other conditions and lead to errors and delays in diagnosis. There are probably many people with diagnoses such as chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia who actually have celiac disease as their underlying problem.

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Help, My Gut is Leaking! Celiac Disease and the "Leaky Gut"

0 comments November 25, 2012

Intestine_-_sized

I have heard and read tidbits about the concept of the “leaky gut” for a while, especially in regards to autism, so it was with great interest that I read Dr. Alessio Fasano’s article, “The Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases,” which was published in 2012. Dr. Fasano is one of the leading U.S. researchers of Celiac Disease and is the head of the Center for Celiac Disease Research at the University of Maryland. He was the first to report that 1 in 133 Americans are Celiacs (the majority of which have no idea). He will likely be one of the first to find a cure for us. And, as I recently learned by watching a recent televised interview, he is also very easy on the eyes...

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Cooking for a Gluten Free Guest

0 comments November 23, 2012

I used to taste EVERYTHING when I went to a party, wedding, etc. I have now been a gluten free guest more times than I can count.

Some tips/words of advice if you will be entertaining a Celiac or individual who is highly sensitive to gluten:

1. Don’t stress!

2. Keep the food plain and simple. Use simple ingredients like vegetables, meats, oil, salt and pepper. Many sauces, marinades, broths, and dressings have gluten as a thickener.

3. Don’t assume that a processed food is gluten free without careful label reading. I have had well-intentioned family and friends make chili and soups for me, not realizing that the brands that they purchased contained gluten.

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Breastfeeding and Celiac Disease

0 comments November 20, 2012

As a mother of four children ages 7 and under, I have spent a lot of time over the past few years breastfeeding and expressing breast milk. I did not get diagnosed with celiac disease until after my 3rd was born in 2009, so it was not until my last pregnancy that I was actually gluten free...although, looking back, my "craving" during my 3rd pregnancy was for Rice Chex with milk (my body must have been trying to tell me something!) If you are interested, my pregnancy cravings during my other pregnancies were as follows: fillet-o-fish sandwiches with cheese (1st), Golden Grahams cereal (2nd), sweet potatoes (4th). I admit the fillet-o-fish thing is disgusting.

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My First Introduction to Celiac Disease

0 comments November 17, 2012

For my first 24 years of life I was oblivious to the existence of gluten, and unaware that I was consuming gobs of it on a regular basis. My diet in the year 2000 consisted of pizza, pasta, chicken parm, cookies, brownies, bread, waffles, etc. One of my first medical school lectures in Genetics that year was about Celiac Disease. A tall, red-headed woman with Celiac Disease, who was probably in her early forties at the time, shared her experiences of being a Celiac and living gluten free. She told us the following:

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