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New and a few questions
cafe_kitten wrote in celiac
Hello, not sure how active this community is - but I'd love some support and advice / suggestions!

I'm not sure how to go about getting tested for this. but for months now, anything with wheat/gluten has been giving me all sorts of IBS and cramping issues...is this normal? I may not be necessarily celiac-intolerant, but I DO think I am gluten/wheat intolerant.

I wanted to know, are oats and oatmeal okay, are there certain brands that are better than others?

Also, what about frosting for example on cupcakes and other bakery items? I'm helping out for a school / students' birthday party, and I know there will be a lot of cake/frosting type items. I was curious to know if frosting is safe/ GF, but the cake most likely would not be...

Lastly, how do you get your fiber and avoid sluggish digestion? I usually hear that bran, whole-wheat bread/cereals are necessary for good digestion and avoiding constipation for example! I'm worried that avoiding all this will make that worse, but it can't be any worse than it already is now. Whole wheat breads/grains are HORRIBLE on my stomach.

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Oats are generally not okay, unless they specifically say gluten free. I get fibre from vegetables or if I'm doing a low carb diet from psyllium husk. Bran and whole wheat stuff isn't always necessary for good digestion.

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I believe oats themselves are gluten free but are usually processed with, and contaminated by, wheat flour. But there are brands of gluten-free oats around, I haven't had much luck finding them in the UK though.

If you can go to a doctor (insurance, cost, etc.) the first step would be a blood test. Otherwise an elimination diet would be your best bet. But keep in mind, in order to be tested for celiac you have to be eating gluten. As for digestion, fiber adds bulk, thus why it's recommended for constipation, but most of it doesn't actually do anything other irritating the guts. I eat no grains other than the very occasional white rice and I'm fine. Most of my fiber comes from veg or fruit, a little starch. What you need for healthy BMs is a good gut flora fed by prebiotics and some fats. Constipation was one of my original symptoms and vastly improved eliminating grains and reducing starches and excess fruit. You may have fructose malabsorption as well/instead of, as many grains contain fructans which cause IBS-like symptoms in some people.

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Oh, and as for your question about frosting, it all depends. Home made frosting is often powdered sugar, butter and maybe some milk. Some powdered sugar has gluten, some doesn't. Store bought is full of god knows what. You'll have to read labels on anything you don't make yourself from whole ingredients, ask what was used, investigate restaurants before going, etc. It's not easy but not as bad as even a few years ago. There are plenty of cookbooks and websites where you can get a lot of info and recipes. Oh yeah, and you'll be cooking a lot more, which sucks when you're tired and just want to grab something and collapse, so it's best to have safe easy foods on hand, but I wouldn't rely on them, as they're generally not all that good for you. Amy's GF Mac & Cheese is pretty good for those times.

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Yeah, unfortunately it was France that sent me over the gluten edge. I was in Cannes at a conference for work and stuffing myself with the most glorious bread. I was living in the Netherlands at the time and ended up covered in an itchy rash and open sores.

Schar bread is great! One of the few gluten free breads I've found that's decent for eating right out of the package, as opposed to toasting first.

The answers above are all just what I'd say except the fiber part doesn't seem to have been mentioned. Fruit and veggies are the best form of fiber on any diet... and they're naturally gluten free. Also, brown rice and beans are an excellent source of fiber and all naturally gluten free (watch out for additives, though, in any prepared foods).

As you cook more and more on the GF diet you learn how easy it is to eat whole, nutritious, fiber and nutrient-rich foods. Almond meal and coconut flour are the base of most of my baked goods and chock full of fiber!

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I have issues with a lot of fruit, but strangely can eat dates as long as I don't go overboard, which I tend to do on occasion. Lara bars are my go-to snack when I'm out and about, although there are only a few I can eat, for other reasons. You should be able to find dates in the dried fruit section or at many ethnic food stores. I have a Costco membership and they have great deals on them.

And yes, raw veg can be rough to digest for many (especially anything pre-biotic), so don't eat too much until you know if this is an issue for you.

Lara bars are gluten free, but always double check :-)

I use flaxseeds or flaxseed meal in a lot of things that I eat to help with fiber.

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