Coping with celiac disease

People with celiac disease need to avoid products that include gluten, such as flours and oats.

Most people with celiac disease ask, “Is this gluten free?” frequently. They are gluten intolerant and can experience a violent reaction to any ingested gluten.

Unfortunately for those diagnosed, the cause and the cure are still a mystery. What nutritionists say is for certain is that the best way to feel better is to avoid anything with gluten.

“It’s something that you can only treat through diet,”  Erica Tanner, a nutrition specialist, said. “It’s not something you can take a pill for and fix.”

This may cause some to think that their food options are limited but with the rising awareness of the disease one walk down a grocery store aisle proves this is not true.

For those with celiac disease, nutritionists say you have more variety in food than you might think. They also recommend you double check the label because the Food and Drug Administration does not require companies to label their food.

Ashlynn Mitchell, who has a two-year-old daughter with celiac disease, said the best way for her to figure out what her daughter can and can’t eat was to pick up the phone and ask.

“I called (the company) a lot  directly and would say, ‘Does this have gluten in it?’ or, ‘Was it manufactured in a plant that does gluten?’” Mitchell said.

Doctors urge siblings and parents to get tested for celiac disease once their family member is diagnosed because 5 to 15 percent are found to be gluten intolerant.

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