New to gluten-free diets!
May 26, 2010 1:11 PM Subscribe
I was just diagnosed with celiac disease. Help me wade through the information overload and figure out how to construct a new diet.
posted by runaway ballista to health & fitness (19 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I was diagnosed with celiac disease today and told to go on a gluten-free diet immediately. Unfortunately, I'm now feeling a little overwhelmed at all the information being thrown at me and all of the things I now have to avoid. I wish there was a "celiac disease for beginners" kind of guide, but I can't seem to find anything like that. My mother's a dietician/personal trainer and is helping me adjust my diet, but she doesn't have any experience dealing with celiac disease and also doesn't really believe in the diagnosis, which isn't helpful.
I know the basic stuff -- obviously, avoid things that list gluten or wheat as an ingredient, so no normal bread or pasta. And I know to check the ingredient labels, and I know how to keep a diet nutritionally balanced, but I feel like I'm missing a huge chunk of information, here -- like what other non-obvious foods commonly contain gluten and that I should avoid when, say, eating at restaurants, or good alternatives to bread and flour for sandwich making/baking/etc, or what would seem like a safe alternative but isn't. I'd love some links to newbie-friendly sites on the matter, or anecdata, or even some awesome gluten-free recipes you might have. Just assume I'm clueless -- any small piece of information is valuable here.
Demographics note: 21 year old female, mixed Portuguese/Moroccan-Israeli descent, with a family and personal history of autoimmune disease (I was also recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis). As for specific details on my celiac diagnosis -- the diagnosis isn't technically complete; my biopsy was definitely positive, but my bloodwork was negative. My doctor told me that a small percentage of celiac patients present with negative bloodwork, so I'm pending a genetic blood test to confirm the diagnosis, but my doctor is pretty confident in the celiac diagnosis. I was negative for IBD, and the other possibility we were looking at was cyclical vomiting syndrome, which doesn't cause the intestinal inflammation that I have. The doctor said that it looks like I'm still in the early stages of celiac disease, because my ability to absorb nutrients hasn't been compromised. I have been lactose intolerant as of a year or two ago, but she said that might be due to the celiac and once on a gluten free diet, I might be able to process lactose again.
Again, any kind of information, anecdote, or resource you can offer would be super helpful. I'd like to do this gluten-free thing right from the start.