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Celiac Disease - Gluten Free Products

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession, and I enjoy writing about medical issues. I'm also interested in history, genealogy, and travel.

Celiac Disease

The gluten-free diet is the treatment for Celiac disease. Celiac disease (also called sprue) is an inherited, autoimmune disease, which causes the damage to the lining in the small intestines as the villi of the intestines are destroyed by eating gluten and other similar proteins. The damage interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.

People who have Celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is found mainly in foods, and also in everyday products, such as medicines, vitamins and lip balms. Gluten is the protein part of wheat, rye, barley, and other grains.

In addition to the malabsorption of nutrients, there is an abnormal reaction to gluten. This disease is genetic, and sometimes the disease is triggered for the first time following surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection or severe emotional stress.

The disease is diagnosed through some blood tests, but these tests can also indicate other autoimmune diseases. A biopsy of the small intestine the only sure way to confirm the diagnosis.

Villi in Small Intestine

source niddk

source niddk

Location of Small Intestines


Elizabeth Hasselbecks Gluten-Free Diet



Gluten Free Pizza

source glutenfreediaries

source glutenfreediaries

Celiac Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of Celiac disease are:

  • abdominal bloating and pain
  • chronic diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • constipation
  • pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • weight loss
  • irritability is another common sign in children

Adults are less likely to have digestive symptoms and may instead have one or more of the following:

  • unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • fatigue
  • bone or joint pain
  • arthritis
  • bone loss or osteoporosis
  • depression or anxiety
  • tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • seizures
  • missed menstrual periods
  • infertility or recurrent miscarriage
  • canker sores inside the mouth
  • an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis

Researchers are studying the reasons the symptoms are so varied from one individual to another and really don’t have the answers yet. Celiac disease affects people throughout the world with more than 2,000,000 people affected in the US, or roughly about 1 in 133 people, but 97% don’t know they have the disease.

Gluten Free Cookbooks and Foods

Foods to Avoid

Specific foods to avoid if you have Celiac disease are:

  • · Barley
  • · Bulgur
  • · Durham
  • · Farina
  • · Graham flour
  • · Kamut
  • · Matzo meal
  • · Rye
  • · Semolina
  • · Spelt (a form of wheat)
  • · Triticale
  • · Wheat

These are some other foods to avoid unless they are marked “gluten free” and are made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten free grain.

  • Beers
  • Breads
  • Candies
  • Cakes and pies
  • Cereals
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Croutons
  • Gravies
  • Imitation meats or seafood
  • Oats
  • Pastas
  • Processed luncheon meats
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces (including soy sauce)
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Soups
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Gluten Free Chips

source celiacdisease

source celiacdisease

Gluten Free Products

Now that we have covered all the foods to avoid there are many foods you can eat, and there are more gluten free products on the shelves in the supermarket all the time. There are gluten free breads available.

This is a list of items allowed in the diet besides meats, vegetables, fruits, rice and most dairy products:

  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Cornmeal
  • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
  • Hominy grits
  • Polenta
  • Pure corn tortillas
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Tapioca

If you follow the gluten free diet you will feel much better, have more energy, have fewer symptoms and complications. People with celiac disease must eat a strictly gluten-free diet and must remain on the diet for the remainder of their lives. There are severe cases where adhering to the diet is not enough and your physician will prescribe medication to suppress your immune system.

One of the risks while on the diet is not getting enough iron, calcium, fiber, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folate. You might find a vitamin supplement that is gluten free to make sure you are getting adequate nutrition. Not sticking to the diet will cause you to experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. Even eating trace amounts of gluten is damaging your intestines.


This disease is usually controlled by staying on a healthy, gluten free diet. It is possible to have a healthy and tasty gluten free meal. Get a couple of good cook books and you will find many things you can easily make that taste good, plus take a good look in your grocery store for all the new items on the shelves.

There are also a lot of Celiac disease support groups, which is a wonderful help as no one understands what you are experiencing better than someone else with the disease. It is also a good place to exchange ideas and recipes. Having a support group can make life much easier.


Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 21, 2013:

Mary, As my brother has this disease, I am so glad to see more food choices on the market also. He was diagnosed with a biopsy quite accidently actually as the problem that had him in the hospital was from a different source. I am glad you named the other tests as that should have been included. Thanks for your comments.

Mary Craig from New York on April 20, 2013:

Other tests to confirm Celiac include a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. You've done a great job here and your lists should be very helpful. In the five or so years since my diagnosis I have seen more and more gluten free foods on the market and most of them are also tasting better!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on April 18, 2013:

Renalda, I am glad you found this aricle useful and I appreciate your comments.

Linda, We got a pizza recently from Dominos and it said gluten free on the box. I really don't know if ours was, but at least they have them now. I hope the hub does help people and I appeciate your comments.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on April 18, 2013:

A good friend of mine has celiac disease, what she misses most is greasy pizza. I can't imagine going without that! Excellent hub Pam that many will benefit from.

Renalda Q. Cullhaj from Bologna on April 18, 2013:

This is so interesting and helpful thank you.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on October 30, 2012:

RTalloni, I think you are probably right. Thank you for your comments.

RTalloni on October 30, 2012:

This is straightforward info in an easy to read format that should be helpful to many people.

I've thought for a long time that the excess gluten we consume as a nation is taking its toll on more than people who have celiac.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 08, 2010:

Support Med, I agree with you and Tom both. I think it is a big job to stay informed. Thanks for your comment.

Support Med. from Michigan on September 08, 2010:

Very informative hub. As Tom commented, 'there may be environmental factors involved.' Through my research for other hubs written, that may very well be true as our crops are not as nutritionally sound as they once were, plus the pesticides (which kill off many insects which help nourish the crops), it's definitely 'no wonder.' It's very important to be informed on how to stay healthy. Voted-up/rated.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 04, 2010:

LeanMan, You are fortunate to have good health as it seems so many people have heath problems anymore. Thanks for your comments.

Tony from At the Gemba on September 03, 2010:

Great hub, I am so glad that I don't have any of the health problems you mention!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 03, 2010:

Nancy, Thank you for your comments.

nancy_30 from Georgia on September 02, 2010:

Great hub. It was very informative and I learned a lot.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 02, 2010:

peacefulparadox, Thank your for the details and I didn't realize this was passed on genetically until I researched this article.

peacefulparadox on September 02, 2010:

The blood test is the first line screen for the disease. A biopsy must be done to confirm the disease for sure. But in order for the tests to be accurate, you have to be eating gluten at the time.

There is a significant genetic component. So if you have a sibling or parent that has that disease, then you should get tested even if you don't have symptoms. There are many people who have the disease without knowing it or may not have any symptoms. It is known as "silent celiac".

Celiac is more common than people realize. It affect 1 in 133 person in the United States.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 02, 2010:

Jane, It seems everyone knows someone or has it themselves. Thanks for your comments.

Jane@CM on September 02, 2010:

Excellent hub. My good friend's daughter has celiacs disease. This is a great Gluten Free Diet.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 02, 2010:

Jy3502, Well, that is a change but I'm sure your day will come again. Thanks for the comment.

Loves to Read, I agree with you completely. Thanks so much for your comment. Love and Hugs back to you.

Loves To Read on September 02, 2010:

Wonderful hub Pam. Celiacs is another one of those diseases that was never heard of until recent years. Now just like asthma, diabetes and ADD to name just a few are becoming an everyday common ailment. I truly believe that a lot of these sicknesses are brought about by the processing, packaging and tampering of our food supplies.

Love and Hugs

John Young from Florence, South Carolina on September 02, 2010:

Excellent hub Pam! I couldn't find a thing wrong with it. Now, I don't have anybody to pick on. LOL

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 02, 2010:

Balleybear, That happens way too often. I'll take a look at your hub and add it as well. Thanks for your comments.

Baileybear on September 02, 2010:

Thorough hub. Will link to my hub of my person experience of many years of illness before finally getting diagnosed

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 02, 2010:

Hello, It is surely a tough road. Thanks for your comment.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on September 02, 2010:

It must awful for people having to watch all the time what they eat. I am sorry to hear about it.

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 02, 2010:

Eovery, It can be a tough disease as that sure is a big lifestyle change. Thanks for your comment.

humagaia, I agree. Thanks your for your comment.

Charles Fox from United Kingdom on September 01, 2010:

It is always a pain when you have to watch your diet. Great resources here though.

eovery from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa on September 01, 2010:

I had a friend who had this problem. It is hard. Even a crump or a shared spoon could upset her, and make her sick. She isolated her and her family from eating anything with anyone else to keep them from getting sick.

keep on hubbing!

Pamela Oglesby (author) from Sunny Florida on September 01, 2010:

Tom, I think you are probably onto something. I do not remember hearing about this disease when I was growing up and now my brother has it.

HeanthyHanna, I am so glad the hub helped you and hope you are now in good health. Thank you for your comments.

Katiem, I have to think about it when my brother comes over now as he was just diagnosed 2 years ago and there are so many things that have some of these ingredients in them. Thanks for your comments.

K9keystrokes, It is tough to read everything on the labels and I can't help but think all thee preservatives and chemicals are responsible for the number of new autoimmune illnesses today. Thanks for your comment.

Minnetonka Twin, I am glad the article will be helpful. Thanks so much for your comments.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on September 01, 2010:

I really appreciate this informative hub. I have many friends and family that have this. It is tricky when I have get-togethers at my house and try to figure out what to put out for those who can't have gluten. I loved the thorough list here. thx

India Arnold from Northern, California on September 01, 2010:

Pam, I like this hub a great deal. Gluten Free Diet-Eat Hardy has so much to say, what with all of the crap we find in the ingredience labels these days. You, as always, offer wonderful information and advice.


Katie McMurray from Ohio on September 01, 2010:

One of my twelve year old daughters best friends has Celiac Disease and I always seem to forget till I hear, "Mom Raven can't have that" I'm so glad to read this great article as now I have some great tips on how to feed my daughters friend. Thanks for the gluten free diet and now she to can eat hardy!

HealthyHanna from Utah on September 01, 2010:

Being a gluten sufferer myself, I really appreciate this hub. It is a great source for information. You have done a wonderful job combining and summerizing information as well as offering practical resources and recipes. Thanks

Tom Whitworth from Moundsville, WV on September 01, 2010:


There seems to be many of the autoimmune and allergy type diseases now days. I have a theory these a strong enviromental factor involved.

Great research on your Hub!!!!!!

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