Celiac disease

My Food Revolution: How I Became Gluten-free & Dairy-free

Every morning my freshman year in high school, I felt sick. I would miss a lot of first period class & summer swim workouts as a consequence. My mother and I could not figure out what was wrong.

Bobs Red Mill Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bob’s Red Mill chocolate chip cookie mix using soy free Earth Balance

Every day shortly after breakfast, I would get nauseous and have to lie down. One morning, I told my swim coach, who was frustrated with me missing so many workouts, I had “morning sickness.” At the time I was 14 and clueless to the usual context in which that phrase in used. Mom was mortified. I had to clarify to coach that I was not actually with child, and then it was off to the doctor, who confirmed I was likely lactose intolerant, so I stayed off dairy.

Down the road in college, I started getting sick after many meals, and after a few years of searching, I finally got a diagnosis of gluten sensitivity. First milk, now Read More »

National Celiac Disease Awareness Day in the United States: September 13

 

Today is National Celiac Disease Awareness Day in the United States. From the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness website:

September 13 has been dubbed “National Celiac Disease Awareness Day” in honor of the doctor who identified a link between celiac disease and diet. Dr. Samuel Gee, a leader in celiac disease research, was born on Sept. 13, 1839.

Senate resolution calling for the commemoration gained unanimous approval on Aug. 3, 2010. In marking the awareness day, the Senate “recognizes that all people of the United States should become more informed and aware of celiac disease,” the resolution stated.

Below is the full text of the resoluation, found at OpenCongress.com. Read More »

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Addresses Gluten-Free Confusion in the Restaurant Industry

John Libonati Gluten Free Works

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Announces gluten-free credentialing to address widespread confusion in restaurant industry

New Credentialing Designed to Increase Food Safety Practices for those with Celiac Disease, Gluten Sensitivity and Gluten-Free Nutritional Preferences

Ambler, Pa. – April 25, 2012– National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), the non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and improving the lives of those of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, announces a gluten-free credentialing program that will enable restaurants to manage the growing interest around gluten-free menu items. There are inconsistent standards, a lack of understanding of the medical elements of a gluten-free diet and too often, a lack of transparency about kitchen practices within the restaurant sector that has put the health of patients with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity at risk.

“Gluten-free families, especially those who are newly diagnosed, struggle with maintaining the diet even at home,” says Dr. Ritu Verma, Pediatric Gastroenterologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a member of NFCA’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. “While eating out is such an integrated part of our social fabric, the lack of consistent standards creates a stressful experience that Read More »

National Foundation For Celiac Awareness Prepares Colleges and Universities for Gluten-free Requests

1/18/2013

Recent Court Settlement Sets Strong Precedent for Gluten- and Allergen-Free Accommodations; NFCA Urges Colleges and Universities to Take Action.

 

Ambler, Pa.  (Jan.  15, 2013) – Students choose their college or university based on a number of factors. Their ability to find a meal on campus shouldn’t be one of them.

 

gluten free college cafeteriaAccording to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), an estimated 1 in 131 Americans is affected by celiac disease. These individuals require a strict, lifelong gluten-free diet – including when they’re at college.

 

“Students are coming home on break to find they have elevated blood levels or have lost significant weight because they’re not getting the gluten-free nutrition they need,” explains Alice Bast, founder and president of NFCA. “It’s a serious threat to their health, and it’s time the schools paid attention.”

Read More »

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Puts Restaurant Industry to the Test

Kristen Beals Gluten Free Works

Chefs and Restaurateurs Flunk Gluten-Free Quiz at NRA Show

Ambler, Pa. (PRWEB) May 22, 2012

Chefs and restaurateurs lack a fundamental understanding of gluten-free protocols, and it’s a threat to those with gluten-related disorders, according to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), the non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and improving the lives of those of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

“When most people dine out, they expect a meal that’s safe to eat. Individuals with gluten-related disorders don’t have that luxury,” said Alice Bast, founder and president of NFCA.

Earlier this month, NFCA quizzed chefs and restaurateurs on the floor of the National Restaurant Association Show, an international gathering of professionals in the foodservice industry, and the results were alarming. Many of the chefs and restaurateurs said they have gluten-free options at their restaurants, yet less than four percent of them responded correctly to four questions regarding gluten (see “Survey Questions” below). Read More »

National Jewish Health Expert Discusses Psychological Aspect of Living with Life Threatening Food Allergies

Gluten Free Works Author Jennifer Leeson

Mary Klinnert National Jewish Health

Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mary Klinnert, PhD at National Jewish Health. Mary is an expert in child psychology and has numerous previous research studies on the effects of asthma on mental health.  She started her career mostly focusing on asthma, but in recent years, has turned much of her attention to the psychological aspects of living with life threatening food allergies.

While meeting with Mary, she briefed me on a study she is conducting on the psychological aspects of food allergies and how this study differs from the majority of previous studies that mostly focus on quality of life issues related to living with food allergies.  The hope of Mary and the rest of the team is to get to the root of what is happening to families that sometimes contributes to deeper Read More »

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Hosts 24th Annual Celiac Conference

Kim Bouldin Gluten Free Works

celiac-nationwide-childrens

For the 24th year in a row, Nationwide Children’s Hospital will be hosting  the Celiac Conference. The conference is a great place to  mingle, shop and learn more about Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet.   The conference will take place on Saturday, October 29, 2011 from 7:30 AM  until 4:00 PM.  There will be separate educational tracks for adults, teens & school-age children.

The Keynote Speakers Will Be:

  • Dr. Michelle Pietzak
  • Chef Michael Rice

The Agenda:  Read More »

Neurological Disorders, Gluten & Celiac Disease

The brain is a delicate organ, where billions of cells, electrical and chemical reactions have to interact correctly to function optimally.  When something unbalances brain chemistry, interrupts reactions or damages the cells, brain dysfunction results. Gluten does all these things – whether or not you have celiac disease.

Neurological disorders from gluten can arise in either, or both, of the following ways.  Gluten can penetrate the intestinal lining and enter the bloodstream, by its own mechanism, travel to the brain where it can damage or disrupt cells or cause inflammation.  This is the direct effect of gluten on the brain.  Gluten can also lead to malabsorption of nutrients in celiac disease.  In this case, the body does not absorb the nutrients it needs. Nutrients are chemicals. The brain, therefore, does not receive the chemicals it needs to function correctly and problems develop.

Nervous system disorders have been found in over 50% of newly diagnosed celiacs.  The list of nervous disorders is long: autism, gait ataxia, gluten ataxia, progressive myoclonic ataxia, chorea, tremors, brain atrophy, cerebral perfusion abnormalities, cortical calcifying angiomatosis (cerebral calcifications), dementia, headaches, epilepsy, chronic fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, multiple sclerosis, vasculitis of the central nervous system, chronic maladaptive anxiety, apathy, depression, inability to concentrate, insomnia, irritability, schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and peripheral neuropathy.  New disorders are being added as the link between

These nervous disorders can include either hard or soft disorders.

Examples of hard disorders would be epilepsy, ataxia (motor abnormalities), myoclonus, internuclear ophthalmoplegia, multifocal leukoencephlopathy, dementia and peripheral neuropathies.  Hard disorders, besides peripheral neuropathies, do not respond to gluten restriction – so identifying gluten sensitivity and/or celiac disease early is critical.

Soft disorders in celiac disease include a broad range of what are considered common neurological disorders.  Hypotonia (flaccid muscles in babies), developmental delay, learning disorders and ADHD, headaches and cerebellar ataxia are examples.  Importantly, there does not seem to be a difference in whether people with infantile-onset gastrointestinal symptoms, those with late onset symptoms or are asymptomatic (have no symptoms at all) develop soft disorders.

This means you may never experience a gastrointestinal symptom, yet still suffer from neurological disorder due to celiac disease.

Recovery from these neurological disorders usually depends on length of time gluten has been digested. The gluten-free diet can result in complete recovery, improvement or no recovery depending on the amount of damage incurred. This means the earlier gluten is removed from the diet, the greater the likelihood of successful recovery.

For these reasons, anyone with an unexplained neurological disorder that does or does not respond to traditional treatment should be screened for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

(This Health Alert was taken from information found in Issue #10 – “How Gluten Perturbs the Brain” of the Gluten Free Gazette.)

Celiac disease is a hereditary, auto-immune disorder estimated to affect 1% of the human population (3 million in the US). Less than 3 % are estimated to be medically diagnosed, but numbers are expected to rapidly increase as diagnosis improves. Celiac disease is caused by the ingestion of wheat, barley, rye and oats and treated by removing these items from the diet. Signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications can affect any part of the body and removal of the offending foods can result in complete recovery.

Visit Glutenfreeworks.com for more information.

New Study Finds Link between Celiac Disease and Obesity in Patients

gluten overweight weight gain[Editor’s Note: Originally published October, 11, 2012]

Lately, it seems like more and more celebrities and professional athletes are openly talking about going gluten free. Whether it’s due to a diagnosis of celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, or simply because they want to get healthy, many of them have noted a weight loss as part of the benefits they’ve been seeing. Then why is it, that so many doctors and specialists will dismiss a diagnosis of celiac disease in a patient simply because the patient is not underweight?

In a recent article by Sonia Kupfer, MD, the belief that people with un-diagnosed celiac disease are all underweight is revealed to  Read More »

>