What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac (SEE-lee-ak) Disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is primarily found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. People with celiac disease who eat foods containing gluten experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients. Celiac disease can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Eventually, the decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) that occurs with celiac disease can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment. (from the Mayo Clinic)

Is there a cure for Celiac Disease?

There is no cure for Celiac Disease, but it can be managed by changing your diet.

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in grains that strengthens and binds dough in baking. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, rye, couscous, kamut, semolina, bulgur wheat and spelt, as well as all foods made with some aspects of these grains.

Who can benefit from a Gluten-Free diet?

Individuals who are sensitive to gluten can have digestive issues such as diarrhea, bloating, stomach cramps, chronic rashes, migraine headaches, arthritis and/or central nervous system reactions including muscle tightness, panic attacks, the inability to concentrate, depression, etc.

What are some Gluten-Free foods?

Common carbohydrates that Gluten-Free products are made from include rice, potatoes, corn, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, tapioca, sorghum, amaranth, millet and bean flours.

Is wheat-free flour an exact substitute for wheat flour?

No. Wheat-free recipes using flour substitutes have been carefully formulated to get the best possible results, taking into account the problems associated with lack of wheat gluten. When cooking with these flours, substitutions can be tricky. There is no exact substitute for wheat flour and recipes made with wheat-free alternative flours will be different from those containing wheat.

For more information on Celiac Disease visit www.celiac.org