Gluten intolerance, also known as celiac disease or gluten enteropathy, is an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten ingestion (gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, triticale, kamut; some consider oat unsafe too). It damages the absorptive surface of the small bowel, produces inflammation and in the end leads to nutrients malabsorption. Symptoms of this medical condition include: abdominal pain, bloating, chronic diarrhea/constipation, steatorrhea (the presence of excess fat in feces), nausea, vomiting, flatulence, heartburn, weight loss, fatigue, weakness, headaches, anemia, mineral (especially iron) and vitamins deficiencies, bone and joint pains, osteoporosis, damage to dental enamel, easy bruising of the skin, delayed puberty in children, infertility, irritability and in some advanced forms even mouth ulcers, nervous system injuries and a type of skin disorder called dermatitis herpetiformis. Unfortunately, celiac disease cannot be cured, but having a gluten-free diet will help manage the symptoms and have a better life.
You should avoid products that contain:
– graham flour;
Processed, canned, frozen, packaged goods may have gluten among the ingredients:
– dairy products (may be thickened with wheat flour or wheat starch);
– salami, sausages, imitation meats and seafood;
– pasta, pizza, bread stuffing, croutons;
– canned soups, bouillon, soup bases, soup mixes;
– breakfast cereals, oatmeal, baked goods, muesli, wheat germs, brewers yeast;
– pastries and pastry creams;
– dressings, meat sauce, dippings, mustard, soy sauce, mayonnaise, gravies, seasoning and seasoning mixes;
– chips, candies;
– beer or any other alcohol that uses malt or fermented grains as ingredient, malt vinegar.
Grains and starches that are allowed in a gluten-free diet:
– gluten-free flours;
– pure oats.
A gluten-free diet means:
– fresh meats, poultry, fish and seafood;
– dairy products (without wheat flour or wheat starch as thickener);
– soy beans;
– nuts and seeds;
– wine and distilled liquors, coffee, tea.
– always read the ingredient list on foods label and search for the “gluten-free” sign or for the warning section;
– avoid products that have hydrolyzed wheat protein;
– check the ingredients on your cosmetics (lipstick, toothpaste, mouthwash) and medications;
– be very careful to avoid cross-contamination with foods that contain gluten;
– glucose syrup, maltodextrin and sodium monoglutamat (MSG) are safe.