Celiac Disease Frequently Asked Questions
Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disease that affects more than 3 million Americans.
What is Celiac Disease?
The disease affects the digestive process of the small intestine and is triggered by the consumption of gluten--a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Celiac Disease causes an abnormal response to gluten ingestion: the immune system attacks the small intestine, inhibiting the absorption of important nutrients, destroying the intestinal villi and reeking havoc on the bodies systems.
What is the treatment?
Adherence to a strict gluten-free diet remains the only treatment for celiac disease. While options are increasing, it can still be very challenging to find gluten-free prepared foods. When struggling to decipher what is or isn't gluten-free, remember that five of the six fresh food groups are gluten-free! Anything made from or with wheat, barley or rye, contains gluten and must be avoided. This includes everything from the obvious like breads and pastas to the not so apparent, like lip balms and lotions. Ingestion of gluten in any form can trigger celiac disease to become active. Did you know that as little as 1/8 of a teaspoon of flour is enough to set off this abnormal response?
Healing the Gut
Step one in managing the gluten-free diet is to understand which foods contains wheat, rye, and barley so they can be eliminated from the diet, and intestinal healing can begin. It may seem overwhelming at first as wheat, rye and barley are common food ingredients, however there are variety of foods that are naturally gluten-free. Fresh foods, without any processing or additives, from the fruit, vegetables, dairy products, and meat/meat alternatives food groups are all NATURALLY GLUTEN-FREE. That is five out of the six food groups. Below you will find a list of ingredients to avoid as they contain wheat, rye, barley, or derivatives of these grains. It is important to look for words such as these on all food ingredient labels. Check for words like these every time you shop.
Ingredients to AVOID (CONTAIN GLUTEN)
Abyssinian Hard (Wheat Triticum duran)
Avena (wild oat)
Barley (Hordeum Vulgare)
Barley malt, barley extract
Beer, ale, porter, stout, other fermented beverages
Bulgur (bulgur wheat, bulgur nuts)
Cereal (cereal extract, cereal binding)
Einkorn, wild einkorn***
Emmer, wild emmer***
Flour (Including but not limited to: all-purpose, barley, bleached, , bread, brown, durum, enriched, gluten, graham, granary, high protein, high gluten, oat, wheat, white)
Hordeum, Horderum vulgare
Hydrolyzed oat starch, hydrolyzed wheat gluten, hydrolyzed
Malt, malt beverages, malt extract, malted milk, malt flavoring,
malt syrup, malt vinegar
MIR (wheat, rye)
Miso (may contain barley)
Oats, oat bran, oat fiber, oat gum, oat syrup*
Rice malt, rice syrup, brown rice syrup**
Wheat, wheat berry, wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat germ oil, wheat grass, wheat gluten, wheat starch, whole wheat berries
GLUTEN-FREE Ingredients (SAFE TO CONSUME)
Brown rice, Brown rice flour
Corn, corn flour, corn gluten, corn malt, cornmeal, cornstarch
Flax, flax seeds
Modified corn starch
Modified tapioca starch
Potato flour, potato starch
Rice, rice bran, rice flour
Soy, soybean, tofu (soya)
Starch (made from safe grains)
Sweet rice flour
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