Wow! I shouldn't have been so surprised when I read the article below. A recent study of over 800 restaurants involving 4,723 menu items resulted in 32% of those items (1511 items) contained higher levels of gluten than FDA standards allot for an item being labeled "gluten-free." Keep in mind the FDA standards allows 20ppm of gluten. To learn more about the FDA standards you can visit my video, FDA Regulations.
To read the entire article, click on the link below.
What is all the fuss about keto? Keto seems to be on the forefront of peoples lips today, whether that is through talking about it or eating like it. What is keto and how can it benefit you? Keto is the term used for ketogenic, this is where the body, more specifically your liver, produces ketones when fat is the source of energy. We typically get our energy from glucose, which is supplied by the carbs that we eat. Keto is when you put your body in a state that it is burning fat instead of glucose. It can be done by the foods that you eat and/or by intermittent fasting. It requires you to take in a large percentage of healthy fats, moderate size of protein, and minimal amounts of carbohydrates. The percentages typically work out to be about 70% fats, 25% protein, and 5% carbs, but those can fluctuate a little. A ketogenic diet has been known to help enable weight loss. Also, it has been known to help with different medical conditions, such as epilepsy, dementia, and more. It doesn't focus on cutting or counting calories, but focuses on making sure to take in the proper percentages of whole fresh foods, such as vegetables, meats, and healthy fats/oils. There are plenty of companies that offer supplements to help "throw you into keto," but those can be expensive and honestly avoided if you monitor your food intake closely. Also intermittent fasting can be a great jump start as well. As with anything there is controversy on the keto topic, such as how long to stay on it, appropriate percentages, and much more. Before diving head first on the keto train you would benefit from doing your own additional research to make sure it is the right plan for you. It is always best to talk to your health care provider before starting any sort of a diet or major lifestyle change. No matter what the diet or lifestyle you are living, a lifestyle without gluten is always one that you will benefit from and doesn't come with any side effects. Hopefully this article gives you a little more insight and explanation on the ketogenic diet and if it may be a right option for you. Keep an eye out for my continuation on the topic of keto with “To Keto or Not to Keto (Part 2).”
What exactly is a symptom? According to Merriam-Webster a symptom is subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance; broadly: something that indicates the presence of bodily disorder. So what does that mean? To make it simple, a symptom is when you feel or see something is wrong with your body; this can be seen visually, like a rash or it can be something you feel, like pain or dizziness. Your body is sending you a message that something isn't right with it when you have symptoms. The symptoms are not the culprit or cause, they are the expression of the problem. To give you an example, you eat something and within five minutes you notice your lips are swelling up and it is becoming difficult to breath; your swollen lips and difficulty breathing are the expression that you just ate something that you are highly allergic to and you are now having an anaphylactic reaction. Another example is that you wake up in the middle of the night with a fever and have sinus congestion. The fever and sinus congestion are the symptoms and the culprit is the virus that you have contracted. I want to express how important it is to understand that if you are experiencing symptoms, the symptoms are not the problem and it is extremely important to find the cause of the symptoms. So often we want to just get rid of these symptoms instead of hunting for the culprit. Medical tests can be expensive, painful, and frustrating. Even after getting testing there are plenty of times physicians can't seem to find the culprit and tell you everything "looks" normal. Until the culprit is found your body can not function at optimal level. I discuss this topic because with celiac disease it takes an average of four to six years for someone to be diagnosed because the symptoms often are not related to the gastrointestinal tract.
I have done a video called "Symptoms of the Unknown," its purpose is to discuss the multitude of different symptoms that can be presented from celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Understanding that your symptoms are the direct result of a culprit is the first step to getting well.
In 2013, a study by Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center found that nearly seventy percent (7 out of 10) of Americans are on at least one medication and more than half received two prescriptions. Also it was noted that twenty percent of Americans are taking five or more prescription medications. I bring this to attention because if you suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance this could be causing you a problem. There are no requirements from the FDA for pharmaceutical companies to label gluten-containing medications. Although they are encouraging them to voluntarily do so, that doesn't mean you are home free. Remember that gluten of any amount can cause the continued inflammatory response that you have been experiencing. Being aware of what you are ingesting and putting on your body is a key element to the healing process of your gut. Check with your physician or with the pharmaceutical company directly to assure that your medication(s) do not contain gluten.
Gluten-Free Drugs is a resource about gluten-containing medications. This is a great starting point, but does not take the place of contacting your physician or the manufacturer company to get a full list of ingredients.
Below are additional articles discussing this matter.
FDA Issues Gluten in Drug Products and Associated Labeling Recommendations
7 out of 10 Americans Take Prescription Drugs
Recently I ran across a question regarding lactose and dairy free labeling. I know it sounds like this doesn't deal with celiac disease, but bare with me. If you begin eating or increasing your dairy intake and notice new symptoms, increased symptoms, or don't see improvement after going gluten-free, it could be related to a lactose allergy.
Your body requires lactase to breakdown the lactose in foods. Lactase is the enzyme our bodies make to breakdown lactose. Lactose is a sugar that naturally occurs in milk and other dairy products. Here is the kicker, lactase is made by the microvilli in the small intestines. In celiac disease, the microvilli are damaged, so in turn lactase is hindered in its ability to produce. This can create a lactose intolerance, which you may never have had before.
There is a study (from the source listed below) that shows individuals diagnosed with celiac disease suffering from lactose intolerance can become tolerant of lactose again after following a strict gluten-free diet. Actually one out of 15 individuals recovered from their lactose intolerance within 6 months and nine out of the remaining 14 recovered within 12 months. It is probably safe to assume that the healing of their microvilli allowed the lactase to be produced properly again and allowing the breakdown of lactose.
It is necessary to understand that every individual that is lactose intolerant does not have celiac disease, but it could be related to a condition called lactase deficiency. This deals with just genetic make-up and the inability to produce enough lactase, but has nothing to do with celiac disease. But it is important to note that if you do suffer from celiac disease it would be beneficial to be tested for a lactose intolerance to make sure your symptoms are not continuing or being increased due to the damage that has occurred to your microvilli.
Now I want to bring clarification on lactose free vs dairy free labeling because they are different. Lactose free does not mean dairy free. Lactose free products don't contain lactose, but may still contain other dairy components. If it says dairy free you know you are safe from dairy, lactose, and casein, but lactose free you are still taking a chance with dairy. Understanding whether you are lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy is important in identifying what precautions to take.
Ojetti V. et al. Regression of lactose malabsorption in coeliac patients after receiving a gluten-free diet. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology. 2008;43(2):174-7.
After reading an article from The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, they brought great awareness about oral health. We don't often think of oral health as something that is linked to celiac disease, but it truly is. With celiac disease your body lacks lots of nutrients due to the small intestines inability to absorb them; that is caused from the inflammation and damage that has taken place with ingesting gluten. With having inadequate nutrition our teeth suffer. Symptoms range from canker sores (aphthous ulcers) to defects in tooth enamel (enamel hypoplasia) to delayed tooth eruption. Although oral health is important at all ages, children are at a higher risk because of the development taking place. Paying close attention to your oral health can help identify a problem and provide early intervention before irreversible damage is done. The article below goes into greater detail on the topic.
Below is a link to the article regarding oral health from The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center.
Hello, my name is Rachel. I am a wife, mother of four beautiful children, and a registered nurse. I have a passion for educating people on nutrition. I strive to "Put life back into your lifestyle," by connecting you to the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding gluten-free living and other topics on nutrition. Check out my blog, website, and feel free to drop me a line!