CONNECT WITH NFCA:
NFCA Founder & President
You and Your Body Can Be Friends…Really.
When you feel sick, relationships suffer – including the one you have with your body. But now that you’re restoring health and reclaiming your life, are you also recovering confidence in your own skin?
It’s important to remember that your body is constantly changing. You may see immediate improvements after going gluten-free, or it may be more gradual. You may gain weight. You may lose weight. Your skin may feel different. You may find new energy at odd times. And, even years after going gluten-free, you may find yourself needing to adjust your diet to whatever needs arise.
For many of us, this means a complete reintroduction to our body and the way it operates. After years of battling symptoms, your patience with your body is probably running low. But with some love and acceptance, you and your body can make amends.
Here are some tenets I follow to restore that relationship:
It takes time for your body to heal – and different parts may heal at different speeds. So, don’t be discouraged if things don’t progress as rapidly as you would like, or if something unexpected pops up along the way.
Stop feeling guilty.
Before you were diagnosed, you were “the friend who always needs a bathroom.” Now, you may feel like “the friend who always needs special treatment.” It’s tempting to want to be “normal” and order something without asking your usual questions. Don’t take that risk; it could unravel all the work you put toward keeping your body healthy.
Forgive, but don’t forget.
There will come a point when you make a mistake and eat something that isn’t safe. Instead of kicking yourself and vowing to never eat at so-and-so’s house again, learn from the experience. Should you bring your own food next time? Would you feel more comfortable hosting at your home?
See your doctor regularly.
It’s all too easy to neglect follow-up appointments, especially when you’re feeling great. But you could be doing your body a disservice, especially if you’re unknowingly exposed to gluten. Going to regular check-ups can make sure that your blood levels are on target, plus it gives you a chance to discuss any lingering issues.
Everyone deserves something special, including your body. Do what makes yours happy. Take a yoga class, get a manicure or hit the batting cages. And always make sure to get enough sleep. Even if you’re not feeling 100%, reward yourself for the hard work you’re doing to get your health back on track.
Gluten-Free Kitchen Makeover for Your Celiac Child
By Miranda Jade Turbin
Now that your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s time for a vital step on the road to getting your celiac child gluten-free: a gluten-free kitchen makeover. With a truly gluten-free kitchen, you can feed your celiac child healthy, safe, gluten-free food and also encourage him or her to join in on the cooking fun.
The first step in a kitchen makeover is making sure you have an understanding of celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. You can find helpful resources online or in print or obtain recommendations from your child’s doctor. The only treatment for the disease is the total elimination of gluten from the diet for the rest of your celiac child’s life. This means you must rid your kitchen of gluten or designate a gluten-free kitchen space so you can limit the risk of gluten exposure. Learn about gluten-containing grains and where gluten can hide by reading NFCA’s Getting Started Guide.
It will be up to you and your family to decide whether to make your whole kitchen gluten-free or create a designated gluten-free space in a shared kitchen. If you’re sharing a home with gluten eaters, be sure to have a separate drawer and countertop container for gluten-free supplies, as well as designated spatulas, wooden spoons, and other cooking utensils.
Now it’s time to go shopping for your gluten-free kitchen. Purchase one or two cutting boards, your own toaster, wooden spoons, spatulas, your favorite cooking utensils, a colander, one to two baking pans, one pot for boiling gluten-free grains and noodles, and two fry pans, one small and one large, to be used just for cooking for your gluten-free child. Head to your supermarket and local health food store or do some gluten-free shopping online for gluten-free groceries.
Put these away in the designated gluten-free spaces of your kitchen and fill your gluten-free pantry space with your child’s gluten-free foods. Voil ! Your gluten-free kitchen makeover is complete. Now it’s time to invite your child to come in and practice making gluten-free dishes with you!
Make this for dinner tonight in your made-over gluten-free kitchen:
Miranda Jade 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, developing gluten-free recipes and reviewing companies for celiac consumer safety at the award-winning website: GlutenFreeHelp.info.
Gluten-Free Recipes for a Summer Picnic
By Chef Oonagh Williams
SPEEDY BEAN SALSA/DIP (Island Caviar)
QUEEN’S DIAMOND JUBILEE STRAWBERRY DESSERT
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. To learn more, visit Chef Oonagh’s website at www.RoyalTemptations.com or ‘Like’ her at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on Facebook.
By Dr. Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
[The following is a case study from Dr. Petersen’s practice at HealthNOW Medical Center. The patient’s name has been withheld to protect privacy.]
Y is a 54-year-old woman who came to see us complaining of chronic diarrhea, to the tune of 20 to 25 bowel movements per day. The diarrhea had caused her to be house-bound and she had been suffering for over 8 years.
She also complained of:
Prior to visiting us at HealthNOW Medical center, the diagnosis she received was colitis and she was prescribed steroids. She has taken the steroids for the past 3 years, but has found the dose difficult to balance. Either she would have diarrhea or constipation, along with the above symptoms. The drugs were not alleviating her symptoms, and in some cases, making them worse.
She came to us to see if there was anything else that could be done over and above the steroid treatment, as she heard that we specialized in getting to the root cause of health problems. In order to leave her house and not have an accident, she had to not eat for that entire day and the evening before.
Prior to seeing us, a colonoscopy revealed normal bowel structure, which her doctor assumed ruled out celiac disease. [Note from NFCA: A small bowel biopsy is the current “gold standard” for diagnosing celiac disease.] The patient was told that a gluten-free diet was inappropriate for her condition and would not be helpful. The colonoscopy did reveal, however, inflammation of the colon and upper small intestine, thus the diagnosis of colitis was given.
[Note from Dr. Petersen: Per research, a normal lining of the small intestine with increased inflammation (high IELs) is potentially consistent with celiac disease despite no frank destruction of the small intestinal lining.1]
Our blood tests revealed low vitamin D, low vitamin B12 and a positive reaction of her immune system to a portion of the gluten protein known as gliadin (her IgA-tTG [tissue transglutaminase] was negative, but her IgA-AGA and IgG-AGA [antigliadin antibody] was positive). [Note from NFCA: The antigliadin antibody test indicates a reaction to the component of gluten known as gliadin, but not specifically celiac disease. Recommended blood tests for celiac disease are Total IgA, IgA-tTG and IgA-EMA. Read more about celiac blood tests here.]
Within days of removing gluten from her diet, her bowel movements decreased to one per day and this has remained consistent for over a month. She has experienced more energy, and her sleep has vastly improved since it is no longer interrupted with bouts of diarrhea. The patient has also been able to decrease her steroid dose. She still has some issues with bloating and food cravings, which is likely due to chronic nutrient deficiencies
Individuals with gluten-related disorders can have secondary effects, especially when the condition goes untreated. Our next steps are to test the patient for these issues and remedy any that are present. This will include:
Needless to say, the patient is thrilled to be no longer house-bound and is beginning to get her life back. She’s frustrated that no one suggested a gluten-free diet to her 8 years ago when the condition began. (We frequently hear such sentiments from patients who have been suffering with a condition that turns out to be completely gluten-related.)
This patient is a classic example of one who “falls through the cracks” of receiving a gluten-related diagnosis due to not meeting the classic parameters of celiac disease. The more we realize that for every one person suffering from celiac disease there are about six suffering from non-celiac gluten sensitivity (an estimated 3 million Americans have celiac disease vs. an estimated 18 million Americans with non-celiac gluten sensitivity2), the more individuals we will be able to correctly diagnose and save from needless symptoms and poor health.
1. A. Sapone, et al. Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature andclassification. BMC Medicine 2012, 10:13 doi:10.1186/1741-7015-10-13
2. A. Fasano, et al. Divergence of gut permeability and mucosal immune gene expression in two gluten-associated conditions: celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. BMC Medicine 2011, 9:23.
About Dr. Vikki Petersen
Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, is founder of the HealthNOW Medical Center in Sunnyvale, CA, and co-author of The Gluten Effect. Dr. Petersen has been published in national and international medical journals, newspapers and magazines for her cutting edge work in the field of gluten sensitivity. Her commitment to increase the awareness of gluten sensitivity nationally is well recognized. She has a been a featured speaker at the annual Gluten Sensitivity & Celiac Forum held in northern California. HealthNOW Medical Center is a destination clinic, treating patients from all over the country.
Did you know many of Frito-Lay’s products are gluten-free? The company known for Lay’s, Fritos and Tostitos has developed a validation process, tested its products and is now adding gluten-free labels to those that contain less than 20 ppm of gluten.
To spread the word, Frito-Lay has developed gluten-free recipes featuring some of their top products – and they asked us to try them out! Naturally, we turned to some of our blogger friends to put these gluten-free recipes to the test.
Starting Monday, July 9, we will feature 5 gluten-free recipes from Frito-Lay on beyondceliac.org, plus insights from the blogger who tested each recipe so you can really know how it tastes. Visit Frito-Lay Gluten-Free Recipe Page.
Best of all, you can sign up on our campaign page to enter a giveaway featuring the Frito-Lay gluten-free products in each of these recipes.
Here’s the schedule:
Read more: Frito-Lay Gluten-Free Recipes and Giveaway
Is It Safe to Eat the Airline’s Gluten-Free Food?
By Gwen Smith
An increasing number of airlines are now offering gluten-free meals and snacks. But if you’re living with celiac disease, the risk of food cross-contamination is always a worry. Allergic Living asked some leading members of the celiac community for their thoughts on the big question: To eat or not to eat at 35,000 feet?
“You Did It!” shares 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.
A special thank you to the employees from Liberty Mutual Surety Group from Plymouth Meeting, PA. On June 22nd, they spent a workday volunteering for NFCA as part of “Serve with Liberty,” a community service initiative that celebrates Liberty Mutual’s 100 year anniversary.
The group included Team Leader Margaret Rahill, Ashish Patel, June Pinkney and Peter Schiesser, who worked with NFCA’s Nancy Ginter, Suzanne Welz, and volunteer Barbara Powers to complete a variety of program-related administrative tasks.
“They moved mountains in the time that they were with us,” Nancy said.
All of us at NFCA are grateful to Liberty Mutual for offering this day of service and we look forward to working with Peggy and June, as they have decided to continue volunteering at NFCA!
Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies: Friday, July 20, 2012