Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Gluten/Celiac Disease


    I'm getting a lot of questions about gluten and noticing that a lot of you are trying to cut it out. Well if your on the fence about gluten let me lay out some reason to cut it out on a trial basis. I challenge you to cut it out for 30 days to see if you notice a difference even though you  might not see the full difference, which means cutting it out for 6 months! Yes, 6 months! This is due to how gluten breaks down in the body and how we store it.  Like most of you who are lactose intolerant you will find you are also gluten intolerant and its only a matter of time before your body completely rejects gluten all together due to the over storage of it your body. That rejection is know as Celiac's Disease. Celiac's Disease affects 1 in 133 people, that's a lot and I'm sure a lot of them don't even know. Not sure if you have Celiac's or even a Gluten Intolerance, here is a list of symptoms to keep a look for and to see if any of these go away after giving up Gluten for those 30 days or 6 months if your a warrior! As with everything please do your own research on this too and ask your doctor! The test for Celiac's is a simple blood test.

Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance:
Skin Issues, including rashes, breakouts and more
Brain fog
Joint Pain (gluten is a known inflammatory!)
Numbness in your extremities
Constant Bloating and Gas
Asthma - gluten has been linked to this a along with Celiac's Disease

Symptoms of Celiac's Disease:
Attacks your immune system (specifically your small intestine, this results in intestinal damage, Celiac disease is also associated with other autoimmune conditions, including autoimmune thyroid disease and type 1 diabetes. ) 
Smelly Diarrhea
Constant Abdominal Pain
Abdominal Bloating with Gas
Can Develop: pancreatitis or gallbladder disease 
Endocrine System Issues (Fertility) _ it's linked to thyroid and infertility issues
Joint and Bone Pain: Linked with fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis 

See the Website Link below for six signs you might have a gluten intolerance.

Six common symptoms of gluten intolerance

(1) Obviously, there are gastrointestinal (GI), stomach, and digestive problems. These can include one or some of the following: Gas, bloating, queasiness, abdominal cramping, constipation, diarrhea, or an alternating combination of both - IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

(2) Headaches and/or migraines.

(3) Fibromyalgia is not a disease, it's a syndrome. Getting a medical diagnosis is bogus. You don't need to be told you have muscular and connecting tissue aches and pains. That's what fibromyalgia means. Fibro= Connective Tissue; Myo= Muscle; Algia= Pain. Thus fibromyalgia.

(4) Emotional issues involving chronic irritability and sudden, irrational mood shifts.

(5) Neurological issues, including dizziness, difficulty balancing, and peripheral neuropathy affecting nerves outside the central nervous system and resulting in pain, weakness, tingling or numbness in the extremities.

(6) Fatigue, whether chronic or almost after every meal. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is, like fibromyalgia, a syndrome, not a disease. If that's what you're diagnosed with, it means your doctor can't locate the cause of your fatigue.

Yes, all of these symptoms are common to other health issues and diseases. That's why symptoms alone as a diagnosis is perplexing.
    Fixing this is so easy! But most of you are shuttering at the thought of giving up carbs in the form of bread, pastas, cookies, cakes and other flour based products. Trust me, I know how hard this is. Being a daughter of a Czech/Polish/Russian mother who grew up in a Italian community we ate pastas all the time! There are solutions to these problems. First don't tell your self its going to be hard because then your setting your self up for failure, your mind is a very powerful thing and you can over come anything as long as you put your mind to it. Second, is it worth it? Seriously sit down and ask yourself this question. Is it worth stuffing your face with a poison or ridding your body of it and loosing a crap ton of weight at the same time? I'll take the latter! I have given up gluten and it was easy, but I had tools and did a ton of research to find out what I can replace in my house. I will save you the trouble and actually list and link the products to help make the switch easy and delicious. Now I know some of these products are going to cost more but it's worth it. I will tell you every once in a while and that is like once a month, I will have a slice of baguette with some really good brie on it or make a pasta dish with whole wheat pasta. But after I consume it I feel horrible and my whole body breaks out. I seriously look like a 12 year old going through puberty again! Yuck! Ask my friends they have seen and heard me complain about it. There are some times I miss it but all in all its so worth it and in this day and age its so easy to find replacement products!

What to AVOID:
Barley (including Malt flavoring and Malt Vinegar)
Durum Flour
Graham Flour
    And any foods made with these products, unless they are marked gluten-free, including: Beer (if you want an adult beverage drink wine or hard alcohol not made with rye or barley), breads, cakes and pies, candies, cereals, cookies and crackers, croutons, french fries (yes, a lot of places batter them in flour before frying! so ask!), gravies (thickening agent), matzo, pastas, processed lunch meats (this is what helps make the meat stay together and slimy, yummy right!), salad dressings, seasoned rice mixes, seasoned snack foods, self basting poultry, frozen vegetables in sauce.

Some great alternatives for food swaps:
Flours for baking, sauces and more:
Oat Flour, Quinoa Flour, Cup 4 Cup (my personal favorite cause it cooks like flour and it can be used in anything!), Buckwheat Flour, Flax Flour, Almond Flour, Millet Flour, Rice Flour. I buy most of these on Vitacost and purchase Bob's Red Mill brand. This brand makes a ton of Gluten- Free Mixes, like for bread, pizza crust and even pancakes. I use the pancake/waffle one a lot!

Udi's is one of the only few Gluten-Free products I have been able to find outside of the Whole Foods Market in major grocery stores like Kroger. Food for Life, aka Ezekiel Bread also makes Gluten-Free but you will have to ask your grocery store to order some, if they already carry the brand it's easier for them to order it. I love love love their products.
If making your own, use Cup 4 Cup or oat flour, if you need to add some elasticity to it add some xanthan flour. I have tried a ton of Gluten-Free pastas and my favorites are the Quinoa and Rice versions. They are very similar to the wheat pasta textures and wont disintegrate on you after cooking.

Believe it or not there is Gluten-Free beers and here is a list: The Alchemist, Celia Saison; Green's Gluten Free Beer, Endeavor; Sprecher Brewing Co., Shakparo Ale; Estrella Damm, Daura; Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales, Tweason'Ale; Omission Beer, Lager; Harvester Fresh Hop, IPA; Epic Brewing Company, Glutenator; New Planet Gluten Free Beer, Raspberry Ale; Lakefront Brewery, New Grist; Brad's Craft, Sorghum Beer

    If you have any questions always consult your doctor and get tested! You never know if you could have Celiac's and its a simple fix. Try the challenge and leave me feed back on your results.

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