Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Choosing to go Gluten free

Allergic diseases affect as many as 40 to 50 million Americans.

 A nationwide survey found that more than half (54.6%) of all U.S. citizens test positive to one or more allergens. Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the United States.

Welcome back readers I hope the information I have been sharing has become useful to you. I know one of our readers made the chicken dish from my 1st day’s blog. Results to her experiment where positive and I am happy about that.

Today I am going to finish my discussion of the gluten free diet.  When you look at the history of wheat grain and barley and what it was used for before technology kicked in was to feed live stock. Cows, goats etc… What most do not realize is they have two stomachs so it is able to process and digest wheat, grain and barley so the gluten protein is digested. In humans most cannot digest the gluten and that is why it attacks the small intestine.

As many as three million Americans have celiac disease. Most of them don't know it, largely because celiac disease can be difficult to detect.
"It takes most adults about 12 years to get a definitive diagnosis of celiac disease," says Michelle Pietzak, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist, professor of pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, and one of the authors of the landmark study.
It is important that if you have symptoms of any kind as I have mentioned see a doctor. Your doctor usually orders blood tests to help diagnose celiac disease. The two most frequently ordered tests are the endomysial antibody and tissue transglutaminase antibody tests.
If antibody tests suggest celiac disease, you'll need to confirm the diagnosis with a biopsy of your small intestine. The appearance of dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), an itchy, blistering skin rash is also a strong indicator of celiac disease. If test comes up negative and unfortunately many times it does, this will not mean you don’t have sensitivity to gluten.
We all know our own bodies and if we are feeling lousy we need to fix it. Just like when our automobiles need tuning up we take care of it. The hard part is adapting to a gluten free diet.
You absolutely must avoid gluten if you have celiac disease. That's the only way to halt the disease's symptoms, heal existing villi damage, and prevent destruction of the small intestine. Even if you have only a mild reaction to gluten, you may decide to keep this protein out of your diet.
But gluten-free living is no mean feat. That's why it's important not to go it alone. You may think you're doing a good job of getting rid of gluten, but you may not be aware that gluten lurks in a number of processed foods, including:
  • Salad dressings
  • Cold cuts
  • Egg substitutes
  • Beer
  • Instant flavored rice mixes
  • Flavored potato chips
  • Imitation crab (surimi)
  • Some herbal teas
  • Licorice and some chocolates

 Yes the decision to go gluten free is a big step and the process to getting there is even bigger. Take the time do your research, ask lots of questions when you decide to go gluten free. The advent of gluten-free specialty stores and Internet sites are available to those who must avoid gluten. Case notes that more restaurants are catering to gluten-free dining. The Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program (www.glutenfreerestaurants.org/), run by the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, is one source of gluten-free fare available throughout the US. 

Todays recipe: I found this several months ago and I loved it hopefully you will as well.

Recipe Servings: 4 Prep Time: 15 minutes 
 This is very easy and really good!
3 tsp
1 cube
3/4 cup
1/2 cup
1 tbsp
3/4 Lb
 chicken breasts , skinless, boned, cut in 1" pieces
1 cup
1/2 tsp
1/4 tsp
2 cloves
 garlic , minced
1-8 oz can

Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. In a skillet, stir together water, stewed tomatoes, brown rice, raisins, lemon juice, curry powder, bouillon, cinnamon, salt, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; then stir in chicken. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish.
3. Cover, and bake in the preheated oven 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and chicken juices run clear.
Join me tomorrow when we begin our journey into the peanut allergy here at Life around the allergies.

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