If you have been diagnosed with celiac desease, you will need to eat a special celiac disease diet for the rest of your life. The recommended diet for people with celiac is a gluten free diet. That’s because people with celiac desease have an unusual reaction to gluten, a protein found in foods like wheat, rye, and barely. The gluten causes an immune response that inflames and damages the lining of the small intestine. Eliminating gluten from the diet prevents unpleasant symptoms like gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It also allows the damaged intestine to heal again.
Gluten Free Celiac Disease Diet
Gluten is a protein found in foods like wheat, rye, and barely. There may also be some gluten in oats, although it is unclear just how much and whether or not the amount is great enough to cause problems in people with celiac desease. A gluten free diet is necessary for people with celiac in order to prevent symptoms and in order to prevent damage to the small intestine. Preventing damage to the small intestine is important because when the intestine is damaged, people cannot absorb vitamins and minerals from food properly. If you have celiac disease, you need to eliminate all gluten from your diet in order to prevent damage to your intestine, even if small amounts of gluten do not cause unpleasant symptoms for you.
Foods that contain gluten include things like bread, bagels, pancakes, muffins, cookies, cakes, cereals, crackers, pretzels, and pasta. There are a number of other foods that often contain gluten, as well, that might not come to mind as readily. Other foods that may contain gluten include processed meats like hotdogs and salami, some cheese products, salad dressings, soy sauce, many candies, baked beans, snack foods like chips, and beer.
If you need to eat a gluten free diet, it is important to read food labels carefully to make sure you are not eating anything that may harm you. If you are not sure whether or not a particular product contains gluten, you can always telephone the manufacturer and ask. Most food manufacturers are very responsive to customers with food allergies and special dietary needs.
Dairy Free Celiac Disease Diet
Many people with celiac desease have trouble digesting lactose, a sugar found in dairy products like milk, ice cream, and cheese. If you have had a lot of damage to your intestine from celiac, you may have more trouble with lactose. After the damage has time to heal, you may be able to tolerate lactose better. For that reason, many doctors and dieticians advise people just starting a special celiac diet to avoid dairy products initially. They later allow them to gradually add those foods back into their diet. Unlike gluten, which will actually do damage to your intestine if you have celiac, dairy products won’t harm you. If they don’t cause you unpleasant symptoms, it’s safe to eat them.
Learning to Eat a Celiac Disease Diet
Learning to eat a celiac disease diet can be challenging. After all, so many foods contain gluten. If you have been diagnosed with celiac desease, talk to your doctor about your diet. It may be helpful to make an appointment with a registered dietician for further nutritional advice.
A registered dietician is a health care professional that specializes in diet and nutrition. He or she can give you a list of common foods that contain gluten and teach you how to read food labels to make sure you are not consuming any hidden gluten. He or she can also give you ideas about foods you can use in place of foods that contain gluten and help you devise a personalized meal plan that incorporates your likes and dislikes.
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