Going 100% Gluten-Free

Joy at The Liberated Kitchen

Joy with some home-canned goodness

Going gluten-free is harder than it looks. The pesky stuff is everywhere! Many people who are intolerant or have a wheat allergy can get away with not really worrying about trace amounts of contamination. But if you are going gluten-free because of an autoimmune problem like celiac disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, it’s imperative that you get away from even the slightest cross-contamination. Some households do have mixed kitchens, but they maintain strict protocols to keep gluten-free space safe. This post is about how to have a totally gluten-free household.

This is a step-by-step guide for … Continue reading Going 100% Gluten-Free

Going Out to Eat

Joy at The Liberated Kitchen

Joy with some home-canned goodness

If you have a special diet, going out to eat can seem overwhelming. But cooking for yourself all the time and never going out with friends gets old. Here are a few tips that can help you eat out safely!

Develop a Baseline Get used to the way you feel when you are really sticking to your diet – this probably means a couple months or at least a few weeks of only eating food you cook yourself. If you skip this step it will be very difficult to tell whether eating out went well … Continue reading Going Out to Eat

Changes On GAPS

Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride

Joy with some home-canned goodness

I started the GAPS diet because our celiac son wasn’t 100% better just being gluten-free. Friends who had done it told us it would help, and reading about it, I did seem to have some of the GAPS issues, too. I didn’t think it could hurt, but didn’t expect any improvement over my previous normal state, either. Boy was I in for a surprise.

Over the years I’d accumulated a number of annoying health issues. None of them seemed all that serious. When I asked my doctor about them they’d run a few tests and … Continue reading Changes On GAPS

The Gluten Challenge

I’ll be updating this page as my challenge progresses. Get ready for TMI!!! Our whole family went gluten-free just over a year ago. At the time, it seemed like a good idea just to give it a try and see how it went. What we didn’t know was that we’d eventually want to be tested for celiac disease, and those tests are only reliable when you have been eating a diet high in gluten for about 3 months.

We found out about the testing early on and decided to get our daughter tested. Her brother obviously had to be 100% … Continue reading The Gluten Challenge

Celiac Testing Myth #1 - No Symptoms = No Celiac

Silent celiac is a killer. Unbeknownst to you, every time you eat gluten your body attacks the lining of your intestine. When that happens, the villi become damaged and stop being able to absorb nutrients from your food. Over time damage progresses and the road to recovery gets longer and longer. Symptoms may be mild at first, or nonexistant. But damage is being done, putting you at higher risk for malnutrition, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, stomach cancer, osteoporosis, neurological issues, gallbladder problems, and more.

People used to think celiac only caused digestive symptoms and malnutrition. They thought of a celiac person as … Continue reading Celiac Testing Myth #1 – No Symptoms = No Celiac

Celiac Testing Myth #2 - Go Gluten-Free First

Caution! Image courtesy of Brooklyn Gastroenterology and Endoscopy

The best way to find out if a gluten-free diet will help you is to try it. But that doesn’t mean it’s the first thing you should do.

Celiac disease is not the only form of gluten intolerance, and often times food sensitivities are impossible to diagnose without trying an elimination diet. The current food sensitivity testing is unreliable, and generally is used as a starting point for things to try to eliminate rather than as a diagnostic tool. Even celiac testing is notorious for false negatives. With gluten intolerance on the rise, many people think it makes sense to … Continue reading Celiac Testing Myth #2 – Go Gluten-Free First

Celiac Testing Myth #3 - Gluten-Free 4 Life = No Reason to Test

Celiacs Do It Gluten Free

Some folks say “I don’t need to get tested, because I’m willing to be gluten-free for life!” In fact, that’s the decision we made for our son last year. Unfortunately, it’s also a decision we regret.

It’s true that the treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet, so if you can really stick to the diet, that decision may be fine for you. But there is more to it than that. If you can get a formal diagnosis of celiac disease, there are several benefits, especially for children.

Benefits of a Diagnosis

If you start off with a formal … Continue reading Celiac Testing Myth #3 – Gluten-Free 4 Life = No Reason to Test

Making the Most of a Doctor Visit

Have you ever left the doctor’s office realizing that you forgot to explain half your symptoms and ask your most pressing question? What about the times your doctor has dismissed a concern, not even making a note of it, or refused to order important tests and you backed down? Whether you were rushed, flustered, angry, dismissed or just feeling too sick to really explain things, not communicating with your doctor can mean a misdiagnosis. After years of doctors visits that sometimes seemed to do more harm than good, I finally figured out how to get better results.

Schedule Your Appointment … Continue reading Making the Most of a Doctor Visit

Celiac Testing Myth #4 - Doctor Knows Best

Normal Villi and Celiac Villi

It’s tempting to assume that doctors are up on all the latest research. But celiac and gluten-intolerance research is changing fast, and much of what doctors were taught about it is no longer the best information out there. In the past 15 years the estimates of how many people have celiac disease have gone from 1 in 10,000 to at least 1 in 133! So forgive your doctors if they do not think to check for it without some prompting!

Since realizing that doctors can’t possibly know everything and ask all the right questions during every visit, I’ve changed my … Continue reading Celiac Testing Myth #4 – Doctor Knows Best

Celiac Testing Myth #5 - DNA = Proof

Over the past decade, DNA has emerged as a source of accessible, irrefutable proof. You don’t even need a doctor visit or blood draw. Just mail order a kit, swab your cheek and send it off. Who was at the crime scene? DNA! Who’s your Baby Daddy? DNA! Got celiac? DNA! But wait… like most things to do with celiac disease, it’s not as simple as that.

DNA image from http://www.elements4health.com

First, a little about DNA testing. As the human genome gets mapped, researchers are discovering certain alleles to be associated with certain diseases. But just because you have a … Continue reading Celiac Testing Myth #5 – DNA = Proof

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