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Gluten in Medications: Take the Survey
You monitor every morsel you put in your mouth, but you still feel sick. What gives? Well, it may be time to stop looking in the fridge and start checking your medicine cabinet.
In addition to soy sauce, salad dressing, gravy and the other usual suspects, gluten can also be hiding in prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements. Pharmaceutical companies aren’t required to label gluten in medications, and reading the ingredients list is about as easy as learning Greek. So, you, I, and all of our gluten-free friends are left to make an educated guess and hope for the best. The problem is, we never know how big of a gamble that is.
Last month, we announced that the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) would lead a nationwide study on gluten in medications. We want to learn which medications are giving you trouble, what types of symptoms you’re suffering, and how often it happens. If you’ve never had a “glutening” experience with medication, we want to know that, too.
So, this is where you come in.
We need you to take this survey. We need your gluten-free friends to take it, too. And, your celiac support group members. In short: Tell everyone. (Everyone who’s gluten-free, that is.)
Why should you take the survey? So we can get real answers, real data and real evidencethat could lay the foundation for a whole new level of gluten-free safety. Because if it’s gluten in medication that’s making you sick, we’ll never know… until we know.
Hosting a Cookie Exchange with Your Celiac Child
By Tina Turbin
Between family get-togethers, school parties, church fairs, and other social activities, your child is often bombarded with offers of gluten-containing goodies. I’ve written before about throwing cupcake parties, which can be done at any time of the year. Now I’d like to recommend another special event for celiac kids – a cookie exchange – as a way to celebrate any holiday and make them feel excited about their gluten-free diets.
I’ve attended several gluten-free cookie exchanges and am quite enchanted with them. The more attendees, the better. After all, everybody brings cookies for the party and usually share their recipes, too. Several of the gluten-free cookie recipes on my blog have come from these events.
So, how do you host a gluten-free cookie exchange with your celiac child? Coordinate with your gluten-free friends and family, with your local chapter of a celiac support group, or even with your non-celiac neighbors, friends and relatives. (I’ve found that non-celiacs love gluten-free goodies because gluten-free certainly doesn’t mean sugar-free or taste-free!)
Ask everyone to bake their favorite gluten-free cookies. Challenge them to bring unique recipes of their own so that people can expand their cookie horizons. Urge them to bring copies of their recipes to share with everyone.
Here are a couple of my favorite cookie recipes. Bake these for your cookie exchange, or try something of your own invention:
Tina Turbin became extremely interested and involved in the subjects of celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and gluten issues a number of years ago, after being diagnosed as celiac after many years of unresolved troubles. Since then, she has engaged in diligent research and writing about these topics, weekly radio shows, developing gluten-free recipes and reviewing companies for celiac consumer safety.
Tina is an award-winning children’s book author (DannyTheDragon.com) and donates her current children’s audio book profits to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University Medical Center. To stay update to date on her projects, sign up for her newsletter at www.TinaTurbin.com.
Gluten-Free Recipes for Your 2012 Super Bowl Party
By Chef Oonagh Williams
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FANTASY
About Chef Oonagh Williams
British-born award-winning chef Oonagh Williams has a culinary arts degree and was trained in London and Switzerland. Based in New Hampshire, Chef Oonagh began adapting meals to gluten-free versions after her son was diagnosed with gluten and lactose intolerance two years ago. Chef Oonagh gives presentations and classes on gluten-free cooking and living, consults and guides people in adapting to a gluten-free lifestyle. She appears most months on her local New Hampshire ABC station, WMUR, as the featured chef.
It is estimated that 8-10% of all celiacs are affected by at least one of the many neurological conditions associated with the disease.
Among adults, some of the neurological conditions most frequently experienced are ataxia, depression, epilepsy, migraine headaches, and peripheral neuropathy. Other ‘softer’ neurological disorders, such as ADHD, developmental delay, hypotonia and chronic headaches have also been reported in patients with celiac disease. In fact, research suggests 39.5% of children and adolescents diagnosed with celiac disease report frequent headaches .
While less common, brainstem encephalitis, cerebral vasculitis, dementia, Huntington’s disease, myoclonus, neuromytonia, progressive myoclonic encephalopathy, and stiff-man syndrome have been reported in celiac patients.
In an effort to learn about some of the neurological disorders affecting individuals with celiac disease, NFCA will showcase some of the most frequently reported conditions as part of its ‘Celiac &’ educational series.
By Dr. Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
There is good reason to work hard in raising awareness of celiac disease. It might not be easy to maintain a gluten-free diet, but speak to someone who drastically improved his or her health by removing gluten, and he or she will tell you it’s a small price to pay.
Now let’s assume that your blood test for celiac comes back negative. Your doctor tells you that gluten is not a contributing factor to your ill health.
Is that correct? Maybe – maybe not. Let’s explore this further…
By Suzy Schurr, Holistic Health Coach
If you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease or have an intolerance to gluten, you know how overwhelming the process of going gluten-free can be. Not only do we worry about ingredients and cross-contamination when other people are cooking for us, but we also worry about getting accidentally glutened in our own homes.
Here’s my step-by-step plan to keep your home as safe for gluten-free eating as possible.
Many of you already know the Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, Shauna and Danny Ahern, from their popular blog and cookbooks. Now, you can join them on a fabulous trip to Italy while supporting NFCA at the same time!
We were really excited when we heard from Jovial, an Italian company dedicated to making authentic, organic and safe certified gluten-free products. (Their gluten-free Brown Rice Pasta was named the best Gluten-Free Pasta by Cooking Light Magazine!) Jovial contacted us because they are offering the chance for anyone (celiac or not!) to experience a dream vacation in an 18th century Tuscan villa with Shauna and Danny Ahern. The Aherns, along with the folks at Jovial, will take you on an exciting, gluten-free culinary adventure in Lucca, Italy , where you will eat exquisite gluten-free Italian meals and, even better, learn to cook them yourself!
The best news of all is that Jovial is selling rooms at the villa with 25% of the proceeds going to NFCA to help fund our efforts to raise awareness and support those with celiac disease. The trip will take place May 27-June 2, 2012, and the room sale ends March 31, 2012 .
You can find additional details and make your purchase at www.jovialfoods.com/getaway . Space is limited, so book your trip and support NFCA today!
“You Did It” is a new section of NFCA’s newsletter where we’ll share stories and advice from NFCA volunteers. We hope these articles will inspire you to take action and say “I did it!” today. For more volunteer stories, see NFCA’s Awareness All-Stars blog.
Gluten Freed: How to Make a Difference Locally
For a lot of people, a celiac diagnosis can feel like a prison sentence. The things you used to find joy in are taken away and replaced with a strict and difficult-to-follow diet. How can you turn the gluten-free diet into something that feels positive and productive?
How do you decide when and how to give?
Free Webinar: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 8:30 p.m. ET