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Celiac Symptoms

This feels a little like a PSA, but I thought this was a really nice list that one can go through and then take to their doctor because it covers some things not everyone would think of to talk about with their GI doctor.

Here’s the link where you can actually submit your answers and (I believe) then print out the symptoms in a handy take-to-your-doc sheet: Celiac Checklist

And here’s the checklist if you just want to browse through it:

Anemia

YesNo

  • Fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    YesNo

  • Failure to Thrive
    YesNo

  • IgA Deficiency
    YesNo

  • Malnutriton or Vitamin Deficiency
    YesNo

 

 

Behavioral or Central Nervous System Conditions

  • ADHD
    YesNo

  • Anxiety
    YesNo

  • Brain Fog or Foggy Mind
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Depression
    YesNo

  • Developmental Delay
    YesNo

  • Headache or Migraine
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Irritability
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Lack of Muscle Coordination (Ataxia)
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Seizure
    YesNo

Gastrointestinal Conditions

  • Abdominal Pain
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Acid Reflux (Heartburn)
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Bloating
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Constipation
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Diarrhea
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Gas
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Lactose Intolerance
    YesNo

  • Lymphoma or Intestinal Cancer
    YesNo

  • Pale, Foul-Smelling Stool
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Unexplained Liver Problem
    YesNo

  • Vomiting
    NeverDailyWeeklyMonthlyOnce in a WhileUnsure

  • Weight Loss or Weight Gain
    YesNo

Muscular Skeletal Conditions

  • Arthritis
    YesNo

  • Bone or Joint Pain
    YesNo

  • Fibromyalgia or Muscle Pain
    YesNo

  • Numbness or Pain in Hands and Feet (Peripheral Neuropathy)
    YesNo

  • Osteopenia or Osteoporosis
    YesNo

  • Short Stature
    YesNo

Reproductive Conditions

  • Delayed Puberty
    YesNo

  • Infertility
    YesNo

  • Menstrual Irregularities or Missed Periods
    YesNo

  • Miscarriage
    YesNo

Skin and Dental Conditions

  • Discolored Teeth or Enamel Loss
    YesNo

  • Eczema
    YesNo

  • Itchy Skin Rash (Dermatitis Herpetiformis)
    YesNo

  • Loss of Hair from your Head or Body (Alopecia)
    YesNo

  • Recurrent Mouth Canker Sores/Oral Ulcers (Aphthous Stomatitis)
    YesNo

Other Conditions and Autoimmune Disorders

  • Please mark any conditions that apply:
    Autoimmune HepatitisAddison’s DiseaseCrohn’s Disease; Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseChronic PancreatitisDown SyndromeIdiopathic Dilated CardiomyopathyIgA NephropathyIrrtitable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)Juvenile Idiopathic ArthritisMultiple SclerosisPrimary Biliary CirrhosisPrimary Sclerosing CholangitisPsoriasisRheumatoid ArthritisSclerodermaSjogren’s DiseaseThyroid DiseaseTurner SyndromeType I DiabetesUlcerative Colitis; Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseWilliams Syndrome

Family Member

  • 1st Degree Relative with Celiac Disease (Parent, Sibling, Child)
    YesNo

  • 2nd Degree Relative with Celiac Disease (Aunt, Uncle, Grandparent, Niece, Nephew, Cousin or Half-Sibling)
    YesNo

Diet

  • Currently Eating a Diet Containing Gluten (Wheat, Rye, Barley)
    YesNo
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Redmond Market

Redmond Market Flowers

Aren’t these flowers just the prettiest? I got them at the Redmond Farmers Market last Saturday and they are still going strong in our front windows. These aren’t what I went to the Redmond Market intending to buy, but I couldn’t help myself, especially since they had such an inviting price ($5). The Redmond Market, located right next to the Redmond Town Center, is a Saturday tradition from May-October and the gluten-free options there are abundant. If you are hungry you can order a gluten-free crepe (made where the other crepes are so do be careful)at Anita’s crepes or enjoy a tamale just down the way at Hermosa Mexican Foods’ booth which is my son’s favorite thing about the market by far. Wildflour Gluten Free bakery has a booth there and when I get there early enough I buy two of their baguettes, but they sell out fast! Many of their items are dairy free but not all, and most have eggs in them, but all are gluten-free and there is a nice variety at her booth. It is delicious fun to buy a pint of fresh berries and sit down with a baguette and snack while watching some live music that rotates through there all summer. Another gluten-free bakery that has a booth there is Fancy Free bakery which touts a much longer list of ‘free-of’ ingredients~ no peanuts, eggs, dairy, etc, so pretty much anyone could find a treat there, and they will not be disappointed. I bought sourdough bread there and it is truly sour-ly awesome. I heard two other vendors discussing with near rapture the lemon bars they bought there but when I went to check them out myself I was too late…definitely getting to the market earlier next Saturday. There are of course plenty of produce farmers, jewelry makers, planted pots venders, much more there, but I personally adore the fact that there are so many gluten-free finds. I just wish it lasted all year-long, but I guess that just makes it all the more special. Now if only I could wake up and get going on Saturdays earlier to fully take advantage of it…Hm, maybe by August I’ll get that part down. At least I managed to get flowers last week. They are lovely.

celiac disease · food · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free · gluten free lifestyle · gluten free symptoms · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms · gluten intolerant

New Research on Gluten and Brain fog

This is the worst part when I accidentally ingest gluten and absolutely the hardest thing to explain to people who don’t have a gluten issue~ the ‘brain fog’. This article adds to growing research into an often cited but hard to study complaint of brain fog in celiacs and those gluten intolerant. They liken the brain fog to a .05 blood alcohol level, which is an interesting attempt to try to wrap some definition around something as hard to grasp as ‘fog’ but I would classify it as that feeling when you are getting sick and feverish and your brain just feels like it needs a nap before computing, but maybe that’s because gluten makes me tired, oh so tired, and so all I think about are naps. Probably everyone experiences it a bit differently, but it certainly points to early detection being more and more important if we want our children to have the best experience as possible in school. The article notes that they are still not sure why that happens since one theory was a lack of micronutrients making it to the brain when the digestive system is impaired, but that did not in fact seem to be the case. Another theory has to do with the gut bacteria, always super important when talking about brain health, but it could also be the gluten itself. Whatever it is, I’m just glad enough people have cited the issued that it’s being studied.

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Gluten Free in Louisville, KY

Photo Credit: Ray Schuhmann
Photo Credit: Ray Schuhmann

Part of the reason I haven’t written much lately has to do with a trip to see my family in Louisville, KY, which turned out to be a very easy place to visit with multiple food intolerances in our crew. The other reason is the sheer craziness of summer with two high-energy boys~ it takes some time to adjust from school year days to summer days and honestly, I’m still adjusting. But, here’s what you will find in Louisville if you head that way (maybe in May…?) It is the Derby City after all.

Annie May’s Sweet Café is a gluten and nut free place that also has a large selection of vegan items. We went there for lunch and immediately regretted having not gone earlier in the trip. My son thought their vegan cream of broccoli soup was ‘epic’ and three of us got sandwiches we very much enjoyed and I was the only one of the three who is even gluten intolerant. The desserts we ate were delicious~ mostly cookies with cream in the middle, some vegan and some not depending on the person. My sons and I had the vegan kind which were dipped in chocolate too and probably the most decadent thing I’ve had in years. I don’t know what the vegan cream was in the middle but it definitely tasted like the real thing and I did not ask because if I knew how to make those things I might never leave my kitchen again.

Just down the road is Bluegrass Burgers which advertises on its sign outside, “Gluten free buns and beers” but it isn’t just buns and beers actually because I asked about the veggie patty and the black bean patty (they have both!) and those were also gluten-free and vegan. They were nice and patient about my questions, something that can be hard to find at restaurants where the going trend is to hate on people with food intolerances. They were extremely friendly and their food was great but there is one warning, their fries are way too good. Seriously, if you don’t want to eat a ton of them, just say no because once you start it’s all over~ they are seasoned to perfection and more addictive than chocolate covered cashews. Highly recommend this place. (And chocolate covered cashews for that matter.)

And of course there’s pizza. There are several places that have gluten-free options, but we chose Blaze Pizza because they have vegan cheese, all the pizza pies are individual size, and they cook them quickly in a wood fire so there (theoretically) isn’t much wait time. I was impressed that when I ordered the gluten-free crusts and vegan cheeses that they asked me if they needed to change gloves when handling those pizzas. They knew what they were doing when it came to allergies and I felt quite safe feeding their food to my kids and eating it myself. We liked the taste but it kind of reminded me of Chuck E. Cheese pizza, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, something about it was just similar…the thinner crust, snappier cheese, slightly sweet tomato sauce. But if that isn’t to your taste, there are plenty of other pizza places that have gluten-free crust options, such as Mellow Mushroom, Impellizzeris, Puccini’s, Uncle Maddio’s, and Cottage Inn Pizza, so basically wherever you are in Louisville you are never far from gluten-free crust.

Something else you are never far from in Louisville are natural foods stores, so in a pinch you can always find allergy free food at Whole Foods, Lucky’s Market, or shop local and visit Rainbow Blossom at one of their five locations.

A surprising amount of allergy-friendly food can be found at the most unusual place of all, and I say that mostly because the town’s name is Santa Claus but also because the amusement park there, Holiday World, is, well, an amusement park (and water park) which generally aren’t hubs of allergy free dining.

Photo credit: Santa's Little Helper
Photo credit: Santa’s Little Helper

This place is about 70 miles from Louisville and well worth the trip if you are traveling with kids or just like rides, water parks, and Christmas music in July. Just check out this list of allergy-free foods that you can get there and you’ll be adding Santa Claus, Indiana to your must-do list. The only thing I caution is to have the list handy with you before you go in to order because the people behind the counter weren’t always up-to-date on the offerings. There seemed to be one person in charge who handled the allergic folks and the rest of them waved her down to deal with us. That was fine with me, as long as there was one person dedicated to keeping us safe I was thoroughly impressed. We also had to wait extra time for the allergy free food so another caution is to go before your four-year old is in low-sugar-sunburnt-over-tired-and-hungry-tantrum-mode, but really it wasn’t too long of a wait, 15 minutes maybe. Of course 15 minutes with a hungry child is a lot longer than 15 minutes with just yourself to worry about, so you’ve been forewarned. But both my sons said the place was better than Disney Land, so check it out.

I’m sure there are plenty of other restaurants that accommodate gluten intolerant people but I just want to highlight one more because their menu is very clear with calling out gluten-free items, along with vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, and whatever other kind of ~ian you want to call yourself, they’ve heard it all before. Ramsi’s Café will fill your worldly cravings when you’ve tried all the gluten-free pizza (impossible!) and eaten all the burgers on gluten-free buns that you can handle. Kids are welcome but if you are going to leave them behind for an evening out with your significant other, this is the place to go. When you are finished with dinner be sure to walk up and down Bardstown Road for some fun shopping and people watching, or grab a movie at the nearby Baxter Avenue Theaters. Enjoy!

 

celiac disease · food · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free · Gluten free eating · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten free symptoms · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms · gluten intolerant · health

Gluten Intolerant Symptoms

Schar just shared this infographic on their Facebook page. If you don’t already follow them, I heartily recommend doing so if you like nice visuals along with your gluten-free tidbits. And if you are planning a visit to Italy, this is definitely a company to know because as I understand it, they have played a major role in making the land of pasta a safe place for Celiacs and the like.  As far as the picture below goes, I can check off more than half those symptoms myself~ how about you?

schar

celiac disease · food · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free · Gluten free eating · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerant · Uncategorized

Adjusting to a Gluten-Free Diet

There are many guides to help newly diagnosed celiacs and gluten intolerant people but I know when you are first figuring it all out it feels like you are the only person in the world changing your diet and lifestyle. There will most likely be favorite meals you are giving up, familiar restaurants, and things like weekly meet-ups and dinner parties need to be rethought. Things you never had to think about before suddenly need attention, everyday habits, social rituals, and even the chores of shopping and cooking scream for a revamp. It’s a lot, and it can be overwhelming, but hopefully it will help to know that many people have been there, with their miner’s lamps on before you, walking through the dark and leaving notes. First of all, make a list of all the things you can eat. It’s so easy to focus on the food/foods that need to be eliminated and feel like everything is off-limits, but in reality there will always be a lot more food on the OK list than on the ‘must avoid’ list. It is important to figure out where the hidden gluten might be, like soy sauce, fake meat products like soy hotdogs, and oat products, but it is equally important to understand there are things like wheat free tamaritamari

gluten free faux meats bistro burger,

and safe oat products gluten free oats. (Unless you react to the similar protein that is found in oats the same way you react to gluten. Some people can eat certified gluten-free oat products just fine, while others cannot.) Beyond the products that are made to be gluten-free, of which you will find just about anything you can think of, there are foods that are naturally gluten-free and they are still there for you, so go ahead and eat all the French fries and corn tortillas you want. Most natural foods stores, like Whole Foods, would be happy to have a knowledgeable employee walk around with you to show you the gluten-free items and they will also know which are the best sellers, so if you don’t know which bread to try first just ask what the most popular brand is and start with that one. Calling ahead to find out when the best time to come in for some personal attention would be advised and you might even be able to do that at a regular grocery store~ depends on the place. A local Co-op here has monthly(?) food tours around their stores to highlight gluten-free things, or sometimes there are other themes, but the point is you might find something similar in your own local store. Speaking of that local co-op, it is called PCC and they have a webpage dedicated to gluten-free info and so does Whole Foods. Both of those places have many recipes that are labeled gluten-free and are a great place to find healthy foods in general. Trader Joe’s also has a gluten free list and other special diet lists and I recommend you look at your local favorite store’s website to see what they have available. Also check out  Urban Spoon for information on restaurants and bakeries that are gluten-free friendly and find some places to visit sooner rather than later so when the inevitable time arrives when someone asks to meet for lunch you will have a place to suggest.  Delicious living, a magazine you may have at some point seen in a natural foods store, has a guide for gluten-free living and there are several magazines dedicated to food allergies, but Living Without is the most popular one. There are blogs, social media groups, and online gluten-free stores to also offer assistance and advice, recipes and in some cases, coupons. In short, you aren’t alone and once you get into a gluten-free groove, it’s really not all that hard and you will find the amount you feel better outweighs any missing of old foods by so much that you truly don’t miss them.

celiac disease · food · Food allergies · food sensitivities · gluten free symptoms · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms · gluten intolerant

Celiac Awareness Month

Did you know all children in Italy are automatically screened for Celiac? They, as a society, are much more aware of gluten issues in general which is about reason number 172 that I would like to be there right now, although with the sun warming up around here Washington feels pretty good. It’s been a long grey winter though and I just don’t trust this sunshine to stick around long. Whatever the weather where you are, check out this infographic that Gluten dude is kindly sharing:

celiac-disease-symptoms-500

I’ve never been tested for celiac but as a gluten intolerant person, I can attest to a very large proportion of these.

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Gluten-free Sourdough Bread cont.

First GF Sourdough bread Well, there it is. The first gluten-free sourdough bread we made. After stirring the ever-funkier starter for several days complete with cabbage leaves and apple skin, my son was not feeling too confident about actually trying the bread. To be honest, neither was I. I really had no idea if the starter we’d made was going to work because it wasn’t ever as bubbly as I expected it to be, but we both were pleasantly surprised. The bread is pretty good!

First taste of GF SourdoughAs you can see from this picture, it did not rise much though. I am guessing as the starter sits for a few more days there will be more yeast activity, and we will try again on Wednesday to make another loaf.  My son thought the bread was more than “pretty good” incidentally, probably because he helped make it and felt ownership in it. That loaf is a blend of teff flour, millet, brown rice and tapioca and he pointed out that the hard crust tasted like cereal and he was right~ it really did. Next time I might do less teff and try gluten-free oat flour for a lighter loaf~ more trials to come!

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Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter

My son needed a science project and I needed a reason to try to make the sourdough starter recipe I’ve been eyeing for months, so we decided to work together and see what happens. The recipe we are using is from Jennifer Katzinger’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread. I’ve wanted to make sourdough starter for a long time now, ever since I read about it being a more easily digested bread than other types with single strands of yeast, but the recipes I read always seemed too complex and involved too much planning. Once I read Katzinger’s version which was already gluten-free I started thinking I could do it. Except I didn’t. There was still that planning part that got in my way, until my son’s science fair came up and I thought, we could do this~ we have a week and a half, plenty of time to get the starter going and then to try to bake with it a couple of times, with enough time even for a failure or two. We will actually use the starter later today for the first time, but actually making the mother was easier than I expected, so in case you are feeling daunted by the idea yourself I thought I’d share the steps so far. First, get a gallon size glass jar and put in 1C teff flour and 1C water.

Making starterStir well.

Then add two purple cabbage leaves and the skin of half an apple.

Adding cabbage and apple skin

Mix well again and then let it sit in a warm spot for 12 hours before stirring and adding more teff and water. After 48 hours (with 12 hours in between stirrings and adding more flour and water) it should be bubbling with yeast activity.

Yeast bubbles

It is then time to take out the cabbage leaves and apple skin and put it in the fridge. It is ready to be used.

Taking out the cabbage

Now it’s time to test if this has worked. There is starter resting on my kitchen counter right now warming up with fresh teff and water for 4 hours and hopefully creating some yeasty activity. Crossing my fingers that we will have fresh sourdough bread by tonight. We’ll see!

 

celiac disease · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · gluten free · Gluten free eating · gluten free food · gluten free foods · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerance diagnosis · gluten intolerance symptoms · gluten intolerant

Brain on Gluten cont.~ News from Living Without Magazine

Neurologic Effects of Celiac Disease 
A study featured at the International Celiac Disease  Symposium looked at neurological dysfunction in celiac disease. More  than half of the study’s 73 participants—newly diagnosed  adults at a celiac clinic in the U.K.—had neurological symptoms.  These included frequent and intractable headaches, balance problems and  sensory symptoms. White matter abnormalities were spotted in the brain  scans of a number of these participants and some had TG6 antibodies.  (TG6 antibodies have been linked to neurological dysfunction in celiac  disease.) Findings suggest that neurological dysfunction is common in  newly diagnosed celiacs, write researchers.
A U.S. study, also featured at ICDS, found that  neurocognitive effects like brain fog are common after exposure to  gluten in those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity  alike. A whopping 89 percent of celiacs and 95 percent of those with  non-celiac gluten sensitivity reported experiencing neurocognitive  effects due to gluten, specifically, difficulty concentrating,  forgetfulness, grogginess, detachment and mental confusion. Symptoms  often began 30 minutes to an hour after gluten exposure and lasted  several days. Results were based on a preliminary online survey  completed by 1,143 individuals with celiac disease and 253 with  non-celiac gluten sensitivity. More work is planned.

This is the exact article I found in my email box this morning from Living Without. Fascinating.