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Friday, February 15, 2013

Newly Diagnosed with Celiac? What is next?

(Flashback post)

What do I do now? This is a question I have helped a few people with.  What are you supposed to do when the blood tests come back as having Celiac, gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance?  What steps should you be taking?

This strongly depends on your doctor.  If you have a doctor that is going to want more tests, then it is not yet time for you to start a gluten free diet.  All of the tests that the doctor is going to give you require that eat a normal gluten filled diet for at least two week to as long as a month.  Find out if your doctor is going to want more testing before you start your diet. Some of the testing a doctor might do is an internal biopsy of your intestinal lining.

If you can afford it, and you have questions, you should ask for a second opinion.  This is a huge life change and it should be confirmed.  

Once all the testing is done then it is time to start at least two weeks of a completely gluten free diet.  This will help prove the diagnosis to yourself.  This can be really hard since your body can be addicted to Gluten. You will crave gluten containing items with a passion. I know at one point I honestly thought about stealing some child’s cookie because it looked so good.  To be honest, I still have cravings after more than a year of being gluten free, I have to power through them each time. Once you have finished two weeks of eating gluten free and you have gone back on gluten you will notice a huge change. 

Until you know what you can in and cannot handle in the food department try sticking to unprocessed meats, normal hard cheeses (if you can tolerate milk) fresh fruit and vegetables, and basic unprocessed rice and potatoes.  I know how exciting this diet sounds; however, you have to give yourself time to heal. This also allows you time to learn.  There are so many foods and products that sneak in gluten you can set yourself back if you make a mistake. 

While you are learning about your tolerances it is highly important that you keep a good vitamin and mineral level.  This can be hard since you are now cutting a LOT of food from your diet.   I suggest having a strong diet of fresh fruit and vegetables for a while in order to make up everything you need until you get a good handle on your nutritional needs.  You might want to add Gluten free multi-vitamins to your daily routine. 

Find your tolerance, this means finding exactly what you react too.  Personally I do not react to Oats, maltodextrin or Corn.  I have the immune deficiency version of Celiac and so my tolerances are different than some others.  However, some people will react to different items.  Try items one at a time and see what you react too.  This will be time consuming and annoying.  However, it will be helpful when you are trying to heal.

If you have severe Celiac then it is time to go cleaning out your kitchen as well as deep cleaning what you can in the way of cooking implements, if you can't get it completely clean then you may need to get rid of it.  If others in your house eat normally they need to switch their diets as well while they are in the house. 

Items that are going to have to be replaced:

The first thing that has to go is the toaster.  Unless you can get tiny bit of gluten out of it, the toaster is going to make you sick.  Once you find a gluten free bread alternative that you enjoy you are going to want to toast it (they taste better that way) and it cannot be done in the old toaster.

Depending on what you used your cast iron pots and pans for they may need to go.  If you cooked gluten containing meals in cast iron it is now into the metal.  Also nonstick pans that have scratches will have to go as well.

Wooden cooking tools, IE cutting boards, spoons, and rolling pins, these need to go away for the same reason as the cast iron cookware.

For those who are really sensitive then you might want to check out ask.com and their list

Question of the hour!

What did you have to get rid of?  

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