What is Gluten?
[Updated August 30, 2016]
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and their derivatives.
Gluten is found in all forms of wheat (einkorn, durum, faro, graham, kamut, semolina, spelt, triticale), rye and barley. This means that gluten is in all bakery goods (i.e., breads, cakes, cupcakes, bagels, cookies, muffins) made with regular white flour, whole wheat flour and most whole grain flours. It is also in pasta and noodle dishes and most breakfast cereals.
Gluten is surprisingly ubiquitous. It is often found in beer and ale, salad dressing, Communion wafers, canned soups, sauces and gravies, and imitation crab. For an extensive list of foods that may contain gluten, see Gluten Free & More’s Gluten Free Quick Start Guide.
People who have celiac disease and those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity must avoid gluten. They do this by adhering to a strict gluten-free diet. This diet—free of all forms of wheat, barley and rye—is necessary to help prevent both the short-term and long-term consequences of celiac disease. Even miniscule amounts of gluten can be enough to cause damage to the small intestine for those with celiac disease.
Thankfully, there are plenty of gluten-free flours and starches that make excellent alternatives to gluten-based flours and thickeners, allowing for delicious gluten-free baking. Check out "Your Food Allergy Substitution Guide: Flours, Milks, Eggs & More! to begin your own gluten-free baking journey.
If you have celiac disease, don’t eat a food if you are unable to verify its ingredients. Labels should be checked every time foods are purchased, even if you’ve used a product before, as manufacturers can change ingredients without warning. For more about gluten-free labeling, see “Reading Gluten-Free Labels”.
Gluten Free & More has published all kinds of articles designed to help you understand what you’re feeling, what you’re hearing, and what you may not have been told. Start your research here.
Patients are usually screened for celiac disease with a blood panel. The diagnosis is then confirmed with a biopsy of the small bowel. Not every case of celiac disease is a straightforward diagnosis, in part because each test for celiac has an important limitation. Source: Living Without
Celiac or gluten sensitive? What you should know about genetic testing Source: Living Without
If youve just been told that you or a family member has celiac disease, its likely your head is spinning with information overload and youre in a daze of disbelief. A celiac diagnosis isnt the worst thing but it can feel like the end of your worldat first. Fortunately, its never been easier to embark on a special-diet lifestyle. Follow these tried-and-true steps to be on your way to a happier and healthier gluten-free life. Here are ten secrets to gluten-free success. Source: Living Without
Subscribers Only — A university dietitian helped arrange for a selection of gluten-free cereals, yogurt, plain chicken, and veggies for Simon in the main cafeteria but she still felt she was missing out. Her options were bland and limited. She knew college presented a special set of challengesbut she suspected the diet would always be socially inconvenient. Would there ever be another way to treat celiac disease? Source: Living Without
Gluten ataxia is a neurologic condition characterized by the loss of balance and coordination. However it can also affect fingers, hands, arms, legs, speech and even eye movements. Typical symptoms include difficulty walking or walking with a wide gait, frequent falls, difficulty judging distances or position, visual disturbances and tremor. Source: Living Without
Subscribers Only — When Jennifer Hudner was diagnosed with celiac disease, it was long overduemore than 30 years overdue. While delayed diagnosis is not uncommon with celiac disease (the average time for diagnosis is 11 years from symptom onset), a 30-plus year delay is staggering. Hudner, a clinical social worker with elementary-aged children in West Hartford, Connecticut, suffered from gastrointestinal problems since high school. Over the years she sought help from countless doctors and was diagnosed with numerous conditions, including functional colitis and a nervous stomach. Source: Living Without
In July 2007, Emily Eland and her two best friends, Jack and Carli, took two jet-skis out on the Columbia River to watch the sunset. As Emily, then 15, sped ahead on her jet-ski, Jack and Carli followed closely behind on theirs. When she slowed to a stop, having found a great spot to view the dipping sun, Jack failed to see her. What happened next would change Emilys life. Source: Living Without
Other environmental factors could be relevant to the onset of celiac disease in genetically predisposed individuals. Source: Living Without
Cynthia Kupper, executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG), did not set out to become a leading force in the gluten-free community. A single mom who worked full-time as a clinical dietitian at a hospital in Tacoma, Washington, Kupper began volunteering at the nonprofit organization 15 years ago when it was a tiny group composed primarily of volunteers. Source: Living Without
Subscribers Only — When I was growing up, candy never held any appeal for me. But shortly before my 16th birthday, I found myself devouring every candy bar in sight and nursing a cut that would not heal. I knew that something was wrong. My doctor told me that I had type 1 diabetes and that I would have to take three to five injections a day for the rest of my life. It was ominous news, but at 16, I was young and invincible. Within hours of diagnosis, I was learning to give myself insulin shots. Source: Living Without
In late 2008, a newspaper investigation revealed that certain gluten-free products manufactured by Wellshire Farms and specifically marketed to children were mislabeled. As news spread about the faulty designation, parents of food allergic kids became furious&iexcel;ªand scared. At least two children with wheat allergies developed anaphylaxis to the mislabeled food and required hospitalization. In addition, countless children with celiac disease were sickened, including 2-year-old James Fourie. Source: Living Without
Stefano Guandalini, M.D., medical director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center and one of the worlds leading experts on celiac disease, talks with editor Alicia Woodward about this often misunderstood and vastly undiagnosed genetic disorder. Source: Living Without
One in 133 Americans has celiac disease yet only 3 percent have been diagnosed. Why is this chronic condition still being under-diagnosed and what are some common misperceptions? Source: Living Without
Celiac disease is more common than most people think:, and it may show up in unexpected ways. Experts now estimate that approximately 1 in 100 Americans have the condition... but only 3 percent have been diagnosed. Source: Living Without
If youve been waiting for the day you can sink your teeth into a warm glazed doughnutor at least not worry about cross-contamination in restaurantsthat day isnt tomorrow. But its coming, say celiac experts. Source: Living Without
Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 700 million people suffer from lack of this important mineral. Could you be one of them?