Welcome to Gluten Intolerance Group of East Central Wisconsin
Educate, Motivate, Advocate
GiG of ECW's mission is to provide support to persons with gluten intolerances, including celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, and other gluten sensitivities, in order to live healthy lives.
Celiac Disease is one of the most common and under-diagnosed diseases today. It is estimated that 1 in every 133 people in the USA is affected by this disease. Sadly, 97% of them do not know it.
Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disease where the consumption of gluten [protein found in wheat, barley, rye] causes the body to attack [and damage] the small intestine. Untreated, this condition can lead to malnutrition since nutrients are not being absorbed properly.
Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is a chronic hereditary auto-immune skin disease the presents with groups of itchy, watery, blisters or pimples. Ingestion of gluten triggers the immune system so that it deposits Immunoglobulin A) under the top layer of skin [creating the itchy, watery blisters].
In DH, the primary target is the skin, whereas in celiac disease the damage occurs in the small intestine.
Gluten Sensitivity [also known as Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, The Gluten Syndrome] is a condition that is still evolving in the eyes of mainstream medicine. Only recently has the existence of Gluten Sensitivity been proven by the medical/research profession. GS can present with many of the same symptoms of CD, however it does not present with intestinal damage. Because testing is focused on intestinal damage, the results in those with GS generally come back negative or inconclusive. This makes diagnosing GS even harder than CD. This means patients can often suffer longer because the condition is generally overlooked once celiac disease testing comes back negative.
Dr. Alessio Fasano [medical director of Univ. of Maryland's School of Medicine – Center for Celiac Research], reports seeing 60-70% of his patients fitting his criteria for gluten sensitivity. This means they test negative for CD and wheat allergy, but experience resolution of symptoms on a gluten-free diet. There's a growing number of doctors that say GS effects 10 – 30% of the population.
“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." The late Steve Jobs imparted this bit of wisdom to the 2005 graduating class of Stanford University.
“Trace gluten contamination may play a role in mucosal and clinical recovery in a subgroup of diet-adherent non-responsive celiac disease patients”
BMC Gastroenterology 2013, 13:40 - http://bit.ly/12vSGuD
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General looked at cross contamination of gluten-free products found in a traditional gluten-free diet. They studied 17 patients who had Non Responsive Celiac Disease (NRCD). 6 of these patients met the criteria for Refractory Celiac Disease (RCD).
..in the event you find yourself in the packaged food aisles reading labels, you'll run into some strange and confusing ingredients. You'll need to know what they are and if they are gluten-free. Keep in mind, if the ingredient is gluten-free, it does not mean that it's healthy for you. Choice wisely!
I'm sure we've all run across a similar situation. We meet someone - they find out we are gluten-free - they excitedly tell us they are “gluten-free, most of the time” or “cutting back on gluten” or “using gluten-free to loose weight”. Phrases and attitudes like that usually are enough to make our blood boil. Don't they know how serious this is? This is not just another fad diet. Don't they realize they can't pick and choose when to be gluten-free or only when it's convenient? Don't they know this type of behavior is bad press for those that really need to be gluten-free?
The 2013 holidays are upon us, here is a list of turkeys that are gluten-free. If a turkey isn't on this list, it maybe gluten-free, it just means it wasn't checked. Always, always, always check the ingredient list! If you are unsure, call the manufacturer and ask questions.
I often get asked for information on celiac disease and gluten-free. Either it's someone that is just starting to investigate gluten as the source of their health issues, or it's someone that is just newly diagnosed and looking how/where to start. So, I gathered up a bunch of resources and created this document. The original Gluten-Free Diet Boot Camp was created in 2005. What you see here is an updated version of it.
Separate - Don't Contaminate! Basic kitchen safety rules tell us that we need to separate ready-to-eat foods from raw meats, poultry, seafood and eggs - and to use separate cutting boards and utensils to reduce the risk of food poisoning.
The same rules apply to gluten and gluten-free foods - they must be kept apart!
Chef to Plate - Celebrating Restaurants Serving Up Gluten-Free Awareness” is a project of the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America.
The purpose of this international campaign is to spread awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerances in partnership with gluten-free friendly restaurants. It's a great way to celebrate May - Celiac Awareness Month.
“Grief is a state of being that results from the recognition that the world that “should be” is different from the world “that is,” a world that is forever changed by a loss.” ~ Dr. Kenneth W. Matheson. Dr. Kenneth Matheson's definition paints a very realistic picture for those that are gluten-free. Our entire world is changed forever once we take the plunge.
Lack of support from family members is something I hear about far too frequently. As disturbing as it is, it's one of the biggest hurdles those of us in the gluten-free community face. Sadly, this state of affairs is very common. In some cases, it goes beyond a simple lack of support, it crosses over into deliberate sabotage or willful "poisoning" of food.
When it comes to skin/hair/personal care products, gluten-free or gluten-full is a topic that has been debated for many years and continues yet today. It's an epic battle that rivals "Tastes Great - Less Filling". First, let us explore the science side of this.
Fox Valley GF Friendly Restaurants
April 5 2012Dining Out
Notes from FVC meeting - GF Friendly Restaurants
Peg and I attended the March meeting of the Fox Valley Celiac Support Group. This meeting had representatives from 7 different area restaurants explaining their GF menu options and how they provide those options. We also got to meet Andi and her husband from Manitowoc County Celiac Support Group. She's the one that tipped me off to this meeting!
Holidays and special family events are supposed to be filled with fun, laughter and lightheartedness. For those of us with dietary requirements, often times it met with dread and fear - with good reason.
Easter is only one week away. In many families, this means Easter Dinner at someone's house other than your own. Oh the humanity...
This article was originally written and presented to the members of this support group in March 2009. I decided to correct some typographic errors and add some additional knowledge/information I didn't have when I originally wrote it.
This document draws upon my knowledge and experience I have acquired since going gluten-free in 2003. I have given you, the reader, a glimpse into how I personally carry out a gluten-free diet in a mixed house. I am not suggesting this is the only way or the best way; it's simply my way. Nothing more – nothing less. Please do not take any information found here as medical or professional advice. I'm not a doctor/nutritionist/dietitian, nor do I play one on TV. Before making any changes, discuss them with your healthcare team to make sure they are right for you.
My only intent is help others that may be struggling with the gluten-free lifestyle.
GiG of East Central WI - Branch Manager
In January I had to re-enter the world of pharmaceuticals [much to my displeasure, but best for my long term health]. If you think determining the gluten-free status of food is difficult, try doing it with prescription medications! It's difficult at best to determine it by reading the ingredient label, and getting a pharmaceutical company to say if their product is gluten-free is like pulling teeth. Ugh...
The Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act of 2004 [FALCPA] requires packaged food items to declare wheat and other allergens, but medications do not fall under the umbrella of the FDA's rulings.
Medications contain the active ingredient, but generally it needs to combined with something else - something called an excipient.