Wednesday, April 7, 2010

G is for Gluten Free

G is for Gluten Free
Last October my life changed forever. At the time I thought my life was ending but it was just the beginning.... Last October I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. My friend Linda over at Gluten Free Homemaker does a much better job of giving an overview of Celiac disease than I could ever do. I am going to quote her blog.
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease which affects both children and adults. In people with celiac disease, the body reacts to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, setting off an autoimmune reaction. This reaction causes the production of antibodies which attack and damage the small intestine. Specifically, damage is done to the villi which line the small intestine and are crucial to the absorption of nutrients.

This damage to the villi can result in diarrhea or constipation, weight loss, other gastrointestinal problems, malnutrition, and failure to thrive (in children). It also affects other organs in the body and can lead to irritability, poor concentration, fatigue, bone and joint problems, anemia, reproductive problems, depression, and problems of the nervous system.

Celiac disease is not an allergy. Allergies can be outgrown. As an autoimmune disease, Celiac disease cannot be outgrown. There is no cure and there are currently no drugs to treat it. The good news is that it can be treated with a change in diet. People with Celiac disease can lead healthy lives by completely avoiding gluten. Once on a gluten-free diet, the villi in the small intestines will heal over time.

Based on a prevalence study done by the Center for Celiac Research, it is believed that 1 in 133 people have celiac disease. Diagnosis is made through blood tests and small bowel biopsy. The celiac panel blood tests include tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and anti gliadin (AGA) tests. A positive tTG result is very suggestive of celiac disease. A positive AGA result can indicate celiac disease or wheat allergy.

Since going Gluten Free my health has made a total 180. I have more energy, I have clearer thinking and no more abdominal pain. The way I look and think abut food has totally changed too. I try to eat fresh, whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, veggies, eggs, and rice. This has been a real change because I used to never eat fruits and veggies. I  feel so much better that I don't mind eating them so much anymore.  I am also VERY careful about eating processed foods. Gluten can be in foods that you never thought it would be-like catchup.

If you have any questions or comments about Gluten Fee or Celiac disease I'd be happy to answer them. Just email me or post the questions in the comment section. Thanks for reading. Stay tune for tomorrow. H is for Hodgepodge

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At April 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM , Blogger Trudy said...

Thanks for all of the great information Carol. I'm glad that you have been able to make the necessary changes to your diet and are feeling better!

God bless!

At April 7, 2010 at 8:29 PM , Blogger Lisa said...

Very informative post -- thanks for sharing.

At April 7, 2010 at 8:31 PM , Blogger Marissa said...

Hi Carol,
So happy to hear you were diagnosed and are feeling so much better!

I don't have Celiac's (sp?) but I do have lots of allergies as do my kids. I just got this book and thought immediately of you.

There are lots of great recipes in here. I'm currently on a cow's milk free diet and when I eat/drink something I'm not supposed to, my stomach sure lets me know, lol.

Anyway, I hope you continue to feel great. Hugs!

At April 7, 2010 at 8:53 PM , Blogger Ginny the Sock Monkey said...

I am not gluten free but I am wheat free so I pretty much share a similar diet to all of the celiacs out there.

And although my life has not made a 180, it has at least made a 90, and is slowly creeping towards more than that!

I'm glad that you are finally feeling better. And I hope you are finding joy in your new diet. You should check out Gluten Free Girl's blog. It's not only my favorite gluten free blog, it's my favorite blog of all time. Check it out!


At April 8, 2010 at 1:01 AM , Blogger The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Wow. I'm gald you found the source of the problem. I can't believe you never ate fruit and veggies! WHY????

P.S. What happened to your photo? Are you giving your page a makeover?

At April 8, 2010 at 3:57 AM , Blogger WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

Thanks for giving people awareness of this disease, I'm pleased you feeling so much better.


At April 8, 2010 at 4:06 AM , Blogger Not enough hours! said...

It is incredible how you got something good out of what should have been very bad news. You are an inspiration.
and you are inspiring me to make changes in my diet.

At April 8, 2010 at 6:20 AM , Blogger said...

This is a great post. I'm forwarding it on to my friend whose mom is really struggling with Celiac disease.

I have an award for you on my blog. :)

At April 8, 2010 at 7:06 AM , Blogger Diana said...

You are a blessing to many!

At April 8, 2010 at 7:53 AM , Blogger said...

No I didn't - I didn't mean to give you the award you gave me! Doing too many things at one time, I think. LOL. Sorry about the confusion.


At April 8, 2010 at 11:34 AM , Blogger Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

My mother has to watch her gluten intake - it can really alter one's eating habits. Glad it's made you feel so much better!

At April 8, 2010 at 11:43 AM , Blogger Gregg said...

Very interesting. I had never heard of this. Glad you found some help and were able to make the necessary corrections. It is great to learn something new each and every day!

At April 8, 2010 at 2:07 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard of this before but didn't know that much about it. Thanks for an informative post! I am so glad that you are feeling so much better. :) I came across a good blog with gluten-free recipes a while back.

At April 10, 2010 at 3:08 PM , Blogger Tori Cooper said...

Gluten is such a tough thing to eliminate from diet... even eliminating processed foods... our culture is so deep in processed foods... thanks for sharing and if I ever have questions will be sure to ask! :-D


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