October is National Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Celiac Disease is an inherited autoimmune disorder that affects about 1 person out of every 133. Researchers at the U. of Maryland School of Medicine have found it is on the rise in the elderly. Since 1972 Celiac Disease in the U.S has doubled every 15 years.
In Celiac Disease, the body cannot digest the protein gluten. Classic symptoms of Celiac Disease include
- irritation to intestines with bloating, gas & diarrhea
- skin rashes & blister-like spots on skin
- joint pain
- chronic fatigue
Gluten is found in wheat, wheat bran & wheat germ; barley and rye. This includes farina, most pasta & couscous, many cereals (Raisin Bran, Wheaties, Total, Grapenuts & Shredded Wheat).
Plan meals and snacks around gluten-free foods:
- fresh unprocessed fish, poultry, meats, eggs & dairy
- rice, beans, quinoa, lentils
- corn – cornmeal, grits, corn cereals
- fruits & vegetables
Thicken soups, stews, etc. with tapioca, cornstarch & potato starch rather than flour.
Keeping a gluten-free kitchen means reading ingredient labels thoroughly.
Have on hand healthy snacks for all family members:
- fruits & veggies
- homemade trail mix with gluten-free corn chex + nuts + dried fruit
- cheese or nut butter on rice crackers
- baked corn or potato chips
- frozen 100% fruit juice bars & ice cream