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Celiac Disease: Introduction

Celiac Introduction. Special Needs Help. Caregiver Support. Cheats, hacks, & money savings tips included. Lists of websites. What to look for. Pin Now. Read soon. Great info!

Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease was not on my radar.  All I knew, was that children with autism often responded well to a Gluten Free diet.  The fact that there might be an underlying disease that would make gluten/wheat products unsafe for my son didn’t cross my mind.

That’s until, diabetes was diagnosed.  In the diabetes training, they taught us about co morbid diseases that often affect more diabetics than those without.  Some of these diseases included kidney failure, heart issues, blindness, slow healing… that all sounded familiar.

However, when they listed Celiac Disease, I smiled, nodding in agreement.  Truth be told, I had no idea what it was.  As time went on, I met several friends who have Celiac Disease.

Celiac Defined

The definition of Celiac Disease is a hereditary intolerance to gluten which causes damage in the small intestine, which can lead to mal-absorption of nutrients.  It affects the villi of the small intestine.  Normal small intestines look shag like, while Celiac affected villi look mucousy.

Gluten is the common name for the water-insoluble (will not dissolve in water) proteins found in all cereal grains.  The gluten is what is found in: wheat, rye, and barley; this protein is what causes damage to the small intestine.

Celiac Solution: Diet Change

Unfortunately, the only relief from this disease is allowing the gut to heal by taking gluten out of the diet.  This diet eliminates all foods prepared with wheat, rye, oats, or barley and all of their derivatives.  (The elimination of oats is controversial).

Replacement foods or grains in this diet include: rice, corn, potato, tapioca, arrowroot, bean, lentil, sorghum, among others.  Other rare replacements (that are gaining popularity) include: Indian rice grass, mesquite, soy, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, teff, and amaranth.

All food labels must be carefully examined.  Cross contamination is a big issue.  Medications can include gluten.  Play dough, among other products may contain gluten as well.

If you know someone who has Celiac, and you are concerned about a food: it is best to investigate and find out the answer BEFORE ingesting a food.  New laws by the FDA require clear warnings be posted on packaging if a product contains wheat.  Look for these five “warning” words when concerned: Wheat, Rye, Oats, Barley, and Malt.  All of the warning words contain gluten (or have a high chance of it being contaminated with it).

Cheater’s Guide to Celiac

  • Substituting Potato Flour for Potato Starch Flour does NOT work.
  • Gluten Free baked goods have a short shelf life.  Keep them covered, in air tight containers as possible.
  • Freeze bread sliced with wax paper in between the slices, so that individual slices are easy to get out.
  • Reheat gluten free bread in the microwave, wrapped in a damp paper towel.
  • Consider having “separate” toasters if you still have gluten in the home.
  • Be weary of “spreadable” foods such as peanut butter, butter, and jelly.  Especially if you still have gluten users in the home, we might need to purchase products only for the Gluten Free Eaters in the house.
  • Check out a product: TOAST IT BAGS.

Saving Money on Gluten Free Foods

  1.  Eat more fresh, non processed foods (they taste better & are healthier).
  2. Check out discount stores such as Big Lots (you can find deals on Gluten Free food regularly).
  3. Visit Gluten Free Vendor Sites such as Udi’s, Van’s, and Enjoy Life Foods.
  4. Coupons – you can find gluten-free foods in a variety of places: internet ads, Gluten Free Company Websites, Local Gluten Free Support Groups.  Coupon Websites Include: www.befreeforme.com, www.glutenfreesaver.com, www.groupon.com, www.livingsocial.com, www.stockpilingmoms.com.
  5. Buy in bulk when you can.  Costco is notorious for carrying a large supply of Gluten Free Foods.
  6. Look at grocery stores “Clearance Shelf,” where they place almost out of date foods.  Often, there is a pretty decent selection of Gluten Free Foods there.
  7. Eat at home more than you eat out.  It is less expensive!
  8. Shop at stores that give rewards when you buy, such as discounts on gasoline for spending money at the store.
  9. Check out www.glutenfreeonashoestring.com.  I post from them frequently on Twitter and Facebook.

How Celiac is Found

From friend’s situations, usually patients experience terrible abdomen discomfort for a while.  Celiac is found with a blood test.  After the positive blood test, they scoped my son (called an Endoscopy).  During this procedure, the GI took biopsies of Champ’s small intestine and esophagus.

The GI felt certain he had Celiac because his villi looked very inflamed.  Surprisingly, Champ’s biopsies did not grow as expected.  We were told not to continue the Gluten Free diet.

However, when we do add in gluten, Champ has high blood sugar with Type 1 Diabetes.  His blood work also comes back that he is positive for Celiac, when he is eating Gluten.  For Champ’s longevity, we decided to keep him gluten free as much as possible.  It seems his body does not like Gluten.


Do you have a loved ones with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance?  Or have you decided to be Gluten Free for behavior?  Or… do you have a Gluten sensitivity, where you feel better when you don’t eat Gluten (like me).  Or… are you just one of those “cool kids” that gets to eat the rolls, pancakes, pasta, and desserts and could care less (I might loathe you by the way, not you just your freedom with eating – ha!).

Please share in the comments below.  Feel free to join our Closed Inclusive Facebook Support Group HERE.  We would love for you to be able to share, support, and assist each other there.

Thank you for stopping by today.  Please come again soon.  Blessings to you and yours today and always,



I live in Columbus, Ohio USA, grown up here all my life. I love yoga, walking, riding bike, reading, bargain shopping, serving at church. Usually though, I'm napping in a doctor's office waiting area with one or two of the Fantastic Four Children. My passion is helping other families with extra health, behavioral, and learning issues like mine. Let's enjoy life... TOGETHER. It's more fun that way =)!

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