The first thing you should do if you have just recently been diagnosed as a Celiac is to stop worrying. You are not alone, and you are not going to lose anything that cannot be compensated easily.
At our store, we talk to tens of people every day and after listening to their apprehensions and fears, here’s a guide we have come up with for you.
Going Gluten Free
Since there is no permanent cure for this illness yet, it is imperative that you switch to a Gluten Free diet immediately for a fast recovery. Further, as your doctor may have told you, a strict adherence demands no Gluten Intake for life.
The simplest way to do this is to start with a) fresh, naturally gluten free foods and b) Gluten Free alternatives such as those for bread, oats, cereals, pasta, biscuits, bakery items and so on.
This will help your body heal and replenish the vitamins and minerals you may not have absorbed before your condition was known. For both those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, this early diet will help eliminate symptoms and restore good health.
The natural foods you can eat include dosas, plain meats, poultry, fish, vegetables, eggs, fruit, rice, legumes, and nuts.
For breads, biscuits, cereals, pastas, bakery items and everything else, you can check out our ‘Shop Online’ section or call/visit us for more.
Be Aware of Other Conditions
It is common for gluten intolerant/Celiacs to react to some other types of foodstuff as well. Which means, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor to see if you might also be allergic to dairy/egg/soy/peanuts/corn or something else. These allergies, if diagnosed, can also be dealt with with a special diet, so do not worry too much about this.s
Additionally, since many Gluten Intolerant people sometimes do not absorb ingredients too well, it is possible for them to have Iron and/or Vitamin D deficiencies. Even when you have gone completely Gluten Free, we advise you to consult your doctor on this.
Change Starts at Home
Before you start cooking, you have to eliminate cross-contamination risks in your kitchen.
Some households go completely gluten free, while others take the steps needed to keep gluten-free and gluten-containing foods completely separate. Either way, you will have to make sure you don’t have crumbs from gluten-containing foods anywhere that they might get into your gluten-free items. The toaster and any jar that has been dipped into is likely cross-contaminated.
You may choose to purchase a separate toaster dedicated to gluten-free items. Some people purchase new jars of condiments like mayonnaise and items like peanut butter and jam and designate them for gluten-free use only. Some families also purchase dedicated cooking utensils and pots, though very thorough cleaning should be sufficient. Wood cutting boards that have been used for gluten-containing foods are hard to get completely clean so it is a good idea to start with a new gluten-free cutting board. Remember not to share spoons, spatulas and knives between gluten-containing and gluten-free foods.
At first, this will seem cumbersome, but if you have a shared kitchen, it will eventually be second nature to have and use separate utensils.
Why do you need this? Because 20 parts per million (ppm) is the generally accepted Gluten limit for Celiacs/Gluten Intolerants and even 1/1000th of a bread contains more Gluten than that.
Be Sure and Careful
Apart from Gluten free living at home, you have to be careful while going out as well. We recommend you to be careful while ordering food outside, because even foods that may seem unlikely to contain Gluten actually do.
Sour cream, regular soy sauce and even most beer contains wheat. Check all labels for ingredients before ingesting as there is no substitute for being sure and careful.
Adhere Strictly and be Honest
Compliance to a strict diet is necessary. Even accidental or minor ingestions of Gluten can cause damage and/or complications. If left unchecked, non-compliance with a Gluten Free diet may result in anaemia, lack of stamina, stunted growth, malnutrition, liver disease, osteoporosis, infertility and cancer.
A strict diet, again, should result in rapid improvement in most cases and return to normalcy in terms of health over time.
Every new journey presents you with challenges. The gluten free diet and lifestyle is no different, but it gets easier over time.
Start with simple things, take care of your choices and build confidence and trust over time with your doctor and Gluten Free suppliers. Eventually, the healing will start becoming apparent and you will grow into a new and healthier life.
If you did suffer any symptom earlier, you will watch it recede and as we have seen with the hundreds we have already been associated with, you will find that the decision to go Gluten Free was one of the best things that ever happened to you.
As always, The Celiac Store is here to help. We deliver Gluten Free food across the country and we’re just a call/click away. Call us at 9555 373 373 to discuss a Gluten Free diet, walk in to our store at New Delhi or click on Order Online for our product range.
Happy Gluten Free Living!