Great Glorious Mane

Food That Hurts October 01, 2015

What if everything you ate could potentially kill you? What if you didn’t know if the food you were buying from the grocery store contained ingredients that could slowly decrease your chances of digesting food at all. And just what if other products such as medications and vitamins were on that list as well?
Sound like something from a science fiction book? Not really, you see this is the case for thousands of people all over the country. In fact it is a problem for 1 in 133 persons all over the United States. The reason is because they have Celiac Disease. According to, when people with Celiac Disease eat foods that contain gluten, it creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Medical studies have found that even small amounts of gluten ingested can cause destruction of the villi in the intestines which help nutrients to be absorbed into the body. People with CD also are said to have an abnormal immune reaction to gluten.  

Symptoms of Celiac Disease May Include One or More of the Following:

• Recurring bloating,gas,or abdominal pain

• Chronic diarrhea or constipation or both

• Unexplained weight loss or weight gain

• Pale,foul-smelling stool

• Unexplained anemia

• Bone or joint pain

• Behavior changes/depression/irritability

• Vitamin K Deficiency

• Fatigue,weakness or lack of energy

• Delayed growth or onset of puberty

• Failure to thrive (in infants)

• Missed menstrual periods

• Infertility male & female

• Spontaneous miscarriages

• Canker sores inside the mouth

• Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel

So what does that mean at the grocery store? Simply this, gluten is not always listed in the ingredients on food packages. People with CD know to stay away from all wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. It is when gluten is hidden in the product and not listed on the label that it becomes potentially deadly. Below is a list of foods containing hidden gluten, if you suspect that you have Celiac Disease or know someone who has it, this list could save a life.

Foods containing hidden gluten:

• Sausages - often contain rusk (and the machines used to make them are often cleaned out with bread)

• Luncheon meat - may contain fillers

• Blue cheeses (may be made with bread)

• Gravy powders and stock cubes such as OXO cubes

• Seitan (doesn't contain gluten, it IS gluten!)

• Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP)

• Baked beans (there may be gluten in the tomato sauce)

• Self basting turkeys

• Soups - may be roux based (made with flour)

• Baked beans (there may be gluten in the tomato sauce)

• Alcoholic drinks - such as beer, ale, lager

• Mustard - dry mustard powder contains gluten

• Potato crips/chips - some are OK, read the ingredients!

• Curry powder and other spices (can be bulked out with flour)

• Some lipsticks

• Some toothpastes

• White pepper

• Soy sauce - only Tamari is OK

So the trick is to figure out how the gluten is hidden. The only way to live gluten free is to read the labels of everything you buy. No more just picking something off the shelf and going home with it, now grocery shopping ( and some other shopping) will now take time and patience. No more quick trips to the grocery store – shopping is going to become an art form.

Not only is shopping a problem, but so is going out to eat at restaurants. Even if food is listed as gluten free on a menu – the area that the food is prepared in can still contaminate the food. A person that wears gloves that other foods were handled with can cross contaminate the gluten free food unknowingly causing great pain to the person with CD.

If you do not have CD or know someone who does, it is still important to realize that many people with CD go undiagnosed for years. If you or someone you know has the symptoms above, please consult a physician. If left untreated, this disease will kill. Even before that time comes, pain is a terrible thing to live with.

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