Category Archives: Celiac Disease Information

Regulations for food labeling in Canada

Health Canada Regulations – Food Allergens

New regulations regarding the labeling of food allergens for Canadians came into force August 4, 2012. The Health Canada report states that “approximately five to six per cent of young children and three to four per cent of adults suffer from food allergies. Nearly one per cent of the population is affected by celiac disease, for whom the consumption of foods containing gluten can lead to long term complications.

The new regulations will require better labeling of packaged foods to make it easier for people to understand what allergens are present in the food they purchase. Under the old rules labels often showed contents such as spices, or natural or artificial flavours. These products could contain gluten or other allergens and the user had no way of knowing what the contents were.

The new regulations will require additional and better labeling and require clearer language declaring “hidden” allergens, gluten sources.

Great new for Celiacs and others with food allergies.

Increase in Celiac Disease In Babies And Toddlers in Sweden

Research is being done to try to determine WHY there has been an increase of Celiac Disease in children under two years of age in Sweden. Was it immunizations, diet or genetics?

Between 1984 and 1996,Celiac Disease in Sweden increased 4 times the normal rate of the disease, in children under the age of two.Researchers have been trying to figure out why. Read the complete article at MSN –

A Vaccine in the making for Celiac Disease

In March, 2012 there was an article in the READER’S DIGEST with information regarding the development of a vaccine which would provide a tolerance to gluten. The vaccine, however, would only be effective in Celiacs with a specific genetic form of the disease.For more information click on the link above

Diarrhea after eating?

Why do I have diarrhea after eating?

If you ask yourself, “Why do I have diarrhea after eating?” It could be because you have celiac disease or because your body can’t tolerate gluten. When Celiacs eat gluten one of the most common symptoms is diarrhea after eating.

What is Gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in most grains, wheat, rye, and barley. We eat many products every day that contain gluten, such as bread, cereal, cake, pastry, cookies, crackers, pizza and pasta.

Gluten is what makes dough stick together and give it the elasticity it needs, so it can stretch when the dough rises. When yeast is mixed with flour and water, the yeast starts to ferment. The fermentation process gives off carbon dioxide. When the carbon dioxide is released the dough rises forming the bread or other baked products.

Get more information at: The Celiac Restaurant Guide

When the doctor says the words “You have celiac disease”

Restaurants that Serve Gluten Free Food

When the doctor says the words “You have celiac disease”, and you learn that you can never again eat many of the foods you now enjoy, it can be a little unsettling. If you have celiac disease it means, no more bread or buns, no more pizza or pasta, no more cake or donuts. There are substitutes for these products, but they don’t taste the same. Wheat and gluten are found in many foods. It is used as a filler in things like spices, sauces and many prepared foods.

Eating gluten free at home comes with many challenges. As if it isn’t difficult enough to have to deal with the problem at home, the much larger problem of eating away from home, is somewhat daunting. Where do you go and how do you know if you will get a meal that is gluten free? For people with celiac disease, finding a restaurant that has a good variety of gluten free choices, can be a frustrating experience. Many restaurants don’t provide gluten free meals because it requires extra attention and cost. There must be a separate food preparation area or, the area must be thoroughly cleaned before gluten free food can be prepared. Even cooking in the same pan or if a crumb of bread is in the butter, it can make many Celiacs ill.

The Celiac Restaurant Guide will find gluten free restaurant meals, anywhere in North America. The guide makes finding restaurants quick and easy. When you enter an address or city, a map is displayed showing the restaurants in the area that can serve gluten free food.

Should your children be tested for Celiac Disease?

Dr Vikki Petersen answering a question, “Should parents with Celiac Disease get their children tested, even if they are showing no symptoms of having Celiac Disease?”. Video about testing children for Celiac disease from YouTube.

Gluten Intolerance Rising in Developed Countries

Is it our imagination, or are gluten intolerance, and dietary disorders in general, increasingly in the news? Does this mean they’re on the rise?

The answers are yes and yes, according to experts.

“It is indeed well documented that all autoimmune (and allergic) disorders are on the rise worldwide, but limited to developed areas,” said Stefano Guandalini, founder and medical director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, in an e-mail interview.

“In general, it is safe to say the rates about double every 20 years or so.”

There are various theories as to why, but the most prevalent is the “hygiene theory” – in other words, as a society we’re just too clean. As a result, the immune system, largely controlled by the gut, receives inadequate stimulation, Guandalini said.

With autoimmune disorders, which include gluten intolerance and type 1 diabetes (but not allergies), the body attacks itself rather than the invasive substance, causing permanent damage if allowed to continue.

Unfortunately, with all the attention given gluten intolerance – a plethora of new cookbooks, gluten-free items on restaurant menus, new gluten-free food products – some people are adopting a gluten-free diet on their own.

This is always a bad idea, said both Guandalini and Carol M. Shilson, executive director of the center and a celiac disease sufferer herself.

“There’s no scientific evidence that it’s better for you if you don’t have celiac disease,” Shilson said.

The problem is, even in healthy people, gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley (and possibly oats) – is not an easy substance for the body to digest. If you eliminate it from your diet for any amount of time, “it’s very hard to go back to a regular diet.”

That makes going gluten free a bad idea even for people with symptoms who suspect they are gluten-intolerant.

“Because it is a lifelong genetic disease that can be passed on, it’s important to get a proper diagnosis,” Shilson said. “And you have to be eating a regular diet (with gluten) or all the diagnostic tests will be rendered invalid.”

Healthy people who eliminate gluten also are exposing themselves to “risks of some micronutrient deficiency or of excessive intake of carbohydrates,” said Guandalini.

Some further facts:

• Prevalence of gluten intolerance for average, healthy people is 1 in 133; for people with first-degree relatives (parent, child, sibling) who are celiac, 1 in 22; and for those with second-degree relatives (aunt, uncle, cousin) who are celiac, 1 in 39.

Estimated prevalence for African-, Hispanic- and Asian-Americans is 1 in 236.

• Celiac disease affects at least 3 million Americans.

• Once diagnosed, gluten intolerance is for life, and the only treatment is elimination of gluten from the diet.

• A significant number of people with celiac disease – 60% of children and 41% of adults, according to one study – do not exhibit any symptoms, which include but are not limited to diarrhea or constipation.

• The average length of time it takes for a person with symptoms to be diagnosed with celiac disease in the United States is four years.

• Gluten intolerance is not the same thing as wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity, neither of which is an autoimmune disorder. There is currently no diagnostic test for gluten sensitivity, though researchers, including those at the Celiac Disease Center in Chicago, are working to develop one.

• Celiac disease and type 1 diabetes often run together. There is about an 8% to 10% overlap, said Shilson. Some research suggests that untreated celiac disease might even cause type 1 diabetes, she said.

• Upon diagnosis, people with gluten intolerance are often intolerant of milk. With healing of the intestinal surface, the lactose intolerance often goes away.

• There is “a huge amount of misinformation” about lactose intolerance, according to Guandalini. About 4 billion people in the world are unable to completely digest lactose, he said. But the majority of them are not lactose-intolerant; they can comfortably tolerate mild to moderate amounts of lactose.

• Better labeling is the next step to helping people manage celiac disease. Right now, gluten-free labeling is voluntary and on the honor system, Shilson said. Labeling standards have been drawn up, and the gluten-free community is hoping within the year that the new standards will be adopted, she said.

Bread is revolting

In many countries rice is the staple food, those people would not like to eat the diets people from European countries eat. In North America, the only reason we like to eat certain food is because we are used to them. It doesn’t mean that the foods others eat are not tasty or good, it only means that we like to eat what we are used too.

Changing what we like to eat is the first step to eating gluten free. If we are born into a family that doesn’t eat meat, the smell of cooking meat is enough to turn us off. Seeing blood on the plate the steak is marinating in, is revolting.

For most of us growing up in North America, bread and wheat products were a staple food that we are used to eating. Because we eat it all the time, we think it is good, but it is no better than the foods that other cultures eat, it is only different. In order to become gluten free we need to change the way we think.

So how do we change our attitudes so that we don’t long for those products made with wheat? When we see a loaf of bread we need to look at it in the same way a vegetarian looks at a piece of meat. We need to see that bread or bun and feel revolted. How could someone eat that, it’s poisonous, after all it will make us sick. As long as we lust after those wheat products, we will be constantly disappointed because we can’t have them.