GF Lifestyle

Your physician has just diagnosed you with Celiac Disease ! Whatever that is ! You feel as though no one in the world has any idea how difficult this is going to be and you feel incredibly alone. Every food label you have read since your diagnosis has wheat in it !! what are you going to do ???Here is where you can find some answers and begin to move forward towards health.


 

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Symtoms - DH 

 

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        We are a local support group and we are HERE to help !! feel free to contact us . . .

  Where can I get more information ?

    There are many websites and books available with the latest information and research available regarding CD/DH and GS.  Be sure and check our booklist (see left) to find out what is available in the Whatcom County Library system.

    Your physician can recommend a dietician and/or nutritionist who can help you develop a healthy, balanced diet which does not include gluten. They should also determine your follow-up care to ensure that you are responding to the GF diet, in addition to addressing other related issues.

    The Bellingham Gluten Information Group is also available to help. Becoming involved with a support group is one way that individuals find compliance with a lifestyle change to be easier. We are here to help ! Check out our list of printed materials (see left).

     

  Where can I find GF products ?

    Initially, we recommend naturally GF products. Which can be found in any store. Fresh or dried fruits and vegetables, fresh beef, poultry, fish, pork and nuts are all gluten-free. Avoiding canned or processed foods, most of which contain wheat or barley will save you time and money. While most dairy products are GF, you may not be able to tolerate dairy.  See Foods List (in the left column, upper box)

    Each individual should be aware that they may have "additional food intolerances" which may or may not be apparent while adapting to your new GF diet. Other food sensitivities may lead you to think that you have "gotten gluten" when in fact, it is a different food you are reacting to. On the other hand, newly diagnosed individuals should be very diligent about label reading and contacting manufacturer's if necessary to determine that a food product is gluten free. Since the passage of the Allergen and GF Labeling laws, this has become MUCH easier.

    Once you feel comfortable reading labels and eating GF, you can start looking to "substitute" GF products for those you enjoyed before your diagnosis - for example pasta made from corn, rice or quinoa. Many of these products can now be found on "mainstream" supermarket shelves. You can also order products on-line. Visit Manufacturers page (link in the left column, upper box) for links to companies that have supported supported BGIG.

     

    What happens next ?

    Following the GF diet will help ensure that you do not suffer further intestinal damage from Celiac Disease. This is a lifelong condition and there is no other "cure" currently available. If you do not have CD/DH but have GS or a wheat allergy - you will probably find that a GF diet dramatically reduces your symptoms.

    Is there a downside to staying on a GF diet? quite simply, none that we can think of !

    If you have been suffering from intestinal symptoms, most people see relief within a week. However, it may take up to several years for your intestine to completely heal and consequently regain long-term improved health. Remember, your body has been building bones, muscles, ligaments, organs, etc. without the required nutrients that are essential to optimal health. Additionally, you may have complicating conditions. Some individuals, due to their age and physical condition, may never fully regain their health. Which is why, it is SO IMPORTANT to get diagnosed as EARLY as possible and diligently follow the gluten-free diet!

     


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