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Frequently Asked Questions

Important Note:  This is not to be considered Medical Advice.  This is for your information only.

Can I outgrow celiac disease or gluten intolerance?

Gluten intolerance and celiac disease cannot be outgrown. You must adhere to a gluten free nutritional plan the rest of your life.

Can even a trace of gluten cause a reaction?

Yes it can. As little as 30 milligrams of gluten can cause intestinal damage.

Should I tell my doctor about every little digestion problem I experience?

Though you should not panic when you have a gluten reaction, you should record all digestive problems in a food journal. When you see the doctor, report the entries in your log. The more you tell your doctor the better.

Do I have to have a biopsy?

If blood work indicates the need or symptoms have been ongoing for a long period of time, the only way to definitively determine if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance is through a biopsy.

Does a biopsy hurt?

The biopsy is done without any anesthesia in some countries it's so painless. In the USA, you are lightly anesthetized so you're not uncomfortable during the procedure.

Can I drink milk?

Gluten has damaged the intestine making it difficult to digest dairy products. You may be temporarily or permanently lactose intolerant due to the damage. You should not use dairy products until the intestines are completely healed and then discuss adding dairy back into your diet at that point.

Am I going to get cancer because of gluten inflicted damage to my intestines?

The answer is: not necessarily. The chances of developing cancer are higher for people with celiac disease, but a lot depends on how long you have been eating gluten and how much intestinal damage has been done as a result.

What do I do if I realize I was exposed to gluten through cross contamination?

You should learn by your mistakes and try not to repeat the same mistake. You need to realize that every now and then accidents will happen, and you will be exposed to gluten.

I read that people with gluten intolerance are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Should I have my bone density tested now?

If you are gluten intolerant and seeing a doctor, you probably will be tested for bone density problems. Studies are showing osteoporosis is a result of many factors and one of them is not enough calcium and vitamin D. When you have
malabsorption problems, these essential vitamins and minerals may not be making it into your bloodstream. The result over a long period of time is often osteoporosis.

Should I join a support group?

You should absolutely join a local or online support group. There's no reason to take this journey alone, and it's critical you stay current on the latest medical news concerning gluten intolerance issues. For those who are time pressured or
don’t enjoy joining groups you've always got this site!

Can I drink alcohol?

You can drink alcohol that's not made with grains containing gluten. Most beer is off limits except for the new gluten-free beers entering the market. You can drink alcohol that has been distilled such as gin or whiskey.

But there is a caveat. You need to be careful that you do not drink enough to lose control or the inability to make good decisions. Alcohol is notorious for weakening resolve making it harder for you to turn down gluten laden foods
when offered.

Are you sure gluten can't be absorbed through the skin via lotions and creams?

While it's not commonly absorbed, because the gluten molecule is too large to penetrate the skin, it can cause Dermatitis Herpetiformis which is a major skin problem.  It's best to avoid it if you're already sensitive to gluten.

What other disease am I prone to develop because I have celiac disease or am gluten intolerant?

The recognized associated diseases are lactose intolerance, osteoporosis, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, intestinal cancer, infertility and anemia. In addition, you are more likely to develop another autoimmune disorder such as Sjögren's
Syndrome, thyroid disease or chronic liver disease.

The message here is to religiously follow your gluten free diet.

I think I have gluten intolerance, but my doctor refuses to test me. What do I do?

You need to find another doctor. A doctor who refuses to follow through with diagnostic tests on a chronically ill patient is not a good doctor. In the meantime, your intestines are potentially being injured.

Is gluten intolerance or celiac disease hereditary?

Yes, it is which means you need to watch for signs of intolerance in your children or have blood work done for monitoring purposes.

What is gluten exactly?

Gluten is the protein in wheat.

What is wheat starch?

Wheat is made of protein and starch. When you wash away the starch, you're left with gluten.

Can I eat oats?

Oats were on the list of foods forbidden to gluten intolerant people. Research has shown they are safe to eat as long as they have not been cross contaminated with wheat grains.

Unless the package says gluten free, it's not advisable to eat oats because they are often grown side-by-side with wheat and barley.

I am following a gluten free diet and still getting sick. Why?

There can be many reasons why you are still getting sick despite following a gluten free diet. First, you may still be eating gluten disguised under another name. Second, you may have another disorder that's not being treated by following a gluten free diet. There is always the off chance you don't have gluten intolerance also, but if you have had blood work and/or a biopsy, there should not be a misdiagnosis.

I am upset with my best friend because she doesn't believe I am sick. What can I do to convince her?

You should give her all the information you can about gluten intolerance. She probably doesn't understand you can be sick and not look sick.

Is caramel color safe?

It's safe if made with corn which is the normal production standard in the United States.

Is vinegar safe?

Distilled vinegar is safe.

When making my kitchen gluten free, do I have to throw out my seasonings?

Unfortunately, seasonings are not specifically defined by the FDA. There may be gluten present in powder or dust form or through field cross contamination. It's recommended you buy seasonings from a gluten free store.

Can I eat chocolate?

You can eat chocolate that has no additives. You should also be aware that milk chocolate has dairy in it and should not be eaten by those who have a lactose intolerance.

After eliminating gluten from my diet, when will I start to feel better?

You may feel better within 2 weeks though your intestines will not be healed yet. It's taking forever to do my grocery shopping which makes me hurry and get careless about what I choose.

What can I do to speed up shopping?

You should try to do your product research before you go to the grocery store. Research product names and manufacturers. Most manufacturers list their product ingredients online. Make a list of safe products in alphabetical order to make them easy to find on the list while shopping.

My co-workers think I'm faking my gluten intolerance so I can call in sick. I have had to miss some days recently because of diagnostic testing ordered. What should I tell them?

It's a personal decision as to how much of your personal medical problems you reveal to co-workers. But you should consider sharing information with them including the need for a biopsy and what happens if you eat gluten. Once they learn more about the condition, chances are they will be more understanding. Most people are very nice and want to help. Sometimes people act the way they do simply because they don't know better. You can be their instructor.

This whole gluten intolerance problem is depressing to me. I feel like my diet runs my life now. How can I change this feeling?

First talk to your doctor and then your family. You need to share your concerns and find ways to take back control of your life. Whatever you do, don't try to deal with your gluten intolerance alone. Depression is an illness in itself and must be addressed in order to improve.

Can you have celiac disease and no symptoms?

Yes, definitely. When your symptoms are silent, it sometimes takes longer to uncover the fact you are gluten intolerant.

Have more questions?

You can contact us, read through our articles, and check out our products (which answer all of these questions in far more depth).