Celiac disease (an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) is an autoimmune condition in which the inner surface of the small intestine becomes damaged, leading to reduced absorption of all nutrients. People with Type 1 diabetes are 10 times more likely than people without Type 1 diabetes to have it; and the only treatment for the condition is maintaining a gluten-free diet.
At first, a diagnosis of celiac disease may seem overwhelming, given that gluten can be found in so many things: cosmetics, medicines, and condiments, as well as breads, pastries, and cereals. There’s also the potential for cross-contamination; for example, a gluten-free meal prepared with utensils that have been used with foods containing gluten can still cause problems for people with celiac disease. Until recently, few people had ever heard of celiac disease, but in recent years awareness of it — and of a condition provisionally known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity — is increasing. As a result, a wider variety of gluten-free food products is available than ever before. The following resources offer guidance on shopping, cooking, and eating safely for people with celiac disease or any other form of gluten sensitivity.
GLUTEN-FREE QUICK & EASY: FROM PREP TO PLATE WITHOUT THE FUSS
Carol Fenster, PhD
New York, 2007
This book contains over 200 recipes intended to make putting together gluten-free meals fast and easy. Part One includes information on basics, such as stocking a gluten-free pantry. Part Two contains the recipes, and a Resources section lists sources for buying gluten-free ingredients and products online or by mail.
THE FIRST YEAR: CELIAC DISEASE AND LIVING GLUTEN-FREE
An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed
Jules E. Dowler Shepard
Da Capo Press
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2008
The author of this book suffered from gastrointestinal problems for 10 years before being diagnosed with celiac disease; the book includes her story and the stories of other people who have gluten sensitivities. It has chapters tailored to each day in the first week after diagnosis, each following week in the first month, and each subsequent month in the first year. These cover topics such as the history and prevalence of celiac disease, shopping and eating gluten-free, and educating others about the condition.
LIVING GLUTEN-FREE FOR DUMMIES, SECOND EDITION
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana, 2010
This book offers beginner’s information on gluten-free living, including recipes, shopping tips, and resources for finding gluten-free products and services. The second and latest edition has important information on the gluten-free certification process and how and whether to trust a food product labeled “gluten-free.”
85 Quincy Avenue, Suite 2
Quincy, MA 02169
Gluten-Free Living magazine offers guidance on nutrition and health for people with celiac disease. The magazine is published four times a year in print and digital form; a blog and an online newsletter can be found at the publisher’s Web site, www.glutenfreeliving.com/blog.php.
800 Connecticut Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06854-1631
Living Without is a magazine for people with a number of different food sensitivities and allergies; all the recipes published in it are either gluten-, dairy-, or meat-free, and some are all three. It also provides information on healthy living and eating. The magazine’s Web site has sections for people allergic to gluten, to dairy, and to other common ingredients (soy, for example). Living Without is published bimonthly.
CELIAC DISEASE AND GLUTEN-FREE DIET FORUM
This message board (run by Celiac.com, discussed below) allows people with celiac disease to share tips and advice with each other. Topics include celiac testing, dealing with celiac disease while pregnant, how to find a good doctor, and others. There’s also a section for people who don’t have celiac disease but have friends or relatives who do.
UDI’S GLUTEN FREE FOODS FACEBOOK PAGE
This Facebook page is run by the staff of Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, a popular food manufacturer. As well as providing information about Udi’s products, the page’s roughly 1,154,000 followers participate actively in discussion threads about nutrition, health, and living with celiac disease.
FIND ME GLUTEN FREE
JATX Tech, LLC
This free app helps users find nearby gluten-free and gluten-free–friendly restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and other businesses, providing directions and menu information. Users can also read and contribute ratings and reviews and save favorite places for quick reference. Find Me Gluten Free is available from the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace.
GLUTEN FREE RECIPES 1000
Do No(t Much) Evil
This free app offers nearly 1,000 gluten-free recipes; users can also sort by other factors to find dairy-free and meat-free content. Gluten Free Recipes 1000 is available from the Android Marketplace.
IS THAT GLUTEN FREE?
Midlife Crisis Apps
This app, meant as a companion for grocery shopping, compiles hundreds of brands and common ingredients and thousands of products into a searchable database. Each entry is color-coded to indicate that it is safe (green), possibly unsafe (yellow), or unsafe (red). A similar app, Is That Gluten Free? Eating Out, includes detailed menu and ingredient information on 26 restaurant chains. Both apps are available from the Apple App Store.
CELIAC DISEASE FOUNDATION
20350 Ventura Blvd., Suite 240
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
Fax: (818) 267-5577
The Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF) is devoted to raising awareness of celiac disease among the general public. Its Web site offers links to local support systems and advice for teens and children with celiac disease, as well as detailed information on reading food labels, product alerts, and travel tips. A number of informative, downloadable PDFs are also available, including one on gluten-free resources, at www.celiac.org/images/stories/PDF/gfresources.pdf.
Along with basic information on celiac disease, Celiac.com provides very detailed information on maintaining a gluten-free diet, pointing out potential pitfalls and alerting readers to breaking news about both products and research. The site also runs the Gluten-Free Mall (www.celiac.com/glutenfreemall), which sells gluten-free products of all kinds. Celiac.com publishes two free e-mail newsletters and a paid one, the quarterly Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
GLUTEN INTOLERANCE GROUP OF NORTH AMERICA
31214 124th Avenue SE
Auburn, WA 98092
Fax: (253) 833-6675
The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) focuses on outreach, advocacy, and education for people who must follow gluten-free diets. It offers a recipe database and a listing of celiac disease-friendly health-care professionals. Its Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program aims to educate restaurant owners about how to offer a gluten-free menu and avoid common problems (such as cross-contamination). It also includes the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, which issues the GF label certifying that a product does not contain gluten.
CELIAC DISEASE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
c/o National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3570
TTY: (866) 569-1162
Fax: (703) 738-4929
This site offers scientific information on celiac disease and related conditions, providing links to resources for health-care providers and updates on the latest study opportunities. Celiac Disease News, an online newsletter published in PDF form, covers new research and treatment techniques.