Monthly Archives: March 2012

Gluten Ataxia

When learning about gluten and Celiac disease, I thought it could only damage your small intestine, but after reading this article I was told differently. In some people, not only does that evil protein sets its sights on the intestinal wall but it aims for the brain in addition.

Not only is the intestines on the mind of the disease, its specific target is the cerebellum, the part of your brain that controls your coordination, balance and movements. Damage in this area due to gluten can lead to progressive balance issues, and eventually could force you to use a walker or a wheelchair to get around.

I would have never thought gluten damages your brain as well. It actually sounds really scary! When gluten begins to cause damage on your brain there is actually a medical diagnosis for that, not only would you be diagnosed with Celiac disease, but Gluten Ataxia as well.

It is not curable once you have it, but it is treatable the same as with Celiac, simply by removing the gluten from your diet completely.

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Maple Baked Apples

As you know I am in love with food and I love cooking 🙂 It is my passion!! So here is an awesome recipe for maple baked apples!!! Can’t wait to make these!

Ingredients

  • 4 apples
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Ice cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Using a paring knife, remove the cores and trim about a 1/2-inch slice from the bottom of each apple, so they sit flat. Place the apples in an ovenproof skillet or 8- to 9-inch baking dish.
  3. Drizzle with the syrup. Divide the walnuts and raisins among the apples, filling the cavities, and place any extra in the dish. Dot the apples with the butter. Bake until tender, 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. If using a baking dish, pour the liquid from the dish into a skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook until it thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the warm apples and serve with the ice cream, if desired.

Coffee and Gluten Sensitivity

So my mom (also a Celiac) is a manager of a Starbucks Coffee, and we love it very much. Before she was the manager we would go to Starbucks after a bad day, for a nice pick me up! We always have coffee and tea in the house and start everyday off with a nice cup of coffee. While researching Celiac disease information for this week, I came across information about how coffee can actually be bad for people with Celiac.

Studies have actually shown that coffee is one of the most cross-reactive foods in gluten sensitive individuals. This means that coffee not only triggers the same extended inflammation and autoimmune response as grains containing gluten but actually has more worsening effects on your body. While coffee is acidic, it affects your stomach pH and  minerals from  our bones, it also triggers excess stress hormones to be released, increasing the inflammation in your small intestines. You will know inflammation by signs of heat, swelling, redness, and pain.

These findings are pretty disheartening to people like me and my family who find coffee a part of our daily lives; yet eating and drinking such things may not support our disease, they do help people understand the seriousness of gluten-sensitivity and the importance of experimenting with gluten-free recipes.

Celiac Disease and Pregnancy

I found some interesting information about women throughout pregnancy, it is rather informational about concerns most women with Celiac might have during pregnancy…

Women who have Celiac disease may have a greater issue with infertility that is unspecified, compared to women who do not have the disease. Though being on a gluten free diet is helpful in achieving a pregnancy, for anyone with or without the disease.

If you know that you have Celiac disease and are pregnant, you will need to maintain the gluten free diet to avoid complications of pregnancy, not only for you but your baby as well.

If you have not been diagnosed with Celiac disease but you have experienced unexplained miscarriages, Celiac disease could be to blame. 

Celiac disease will not effect your labor or delivery. Though if you have a cesarean section or require stitches after birth, be sure to remind your practitioner that you have Celiac disease. Some sutures contain gluten and can be irritating and make things more complicated for you in the future.

Since Celiac disease is considered to be genetic, you should alert your baby’s doctor of your status. Breast milk can protect your baby from Celiac disease. Breastfeeding with Celiac disease is very important for the health of mother and baby. If you have Celiac disease and your baby does not, simply maintain your gluten-free diet. If your baby is diagnosed with Celiac disease, which is very uncommon in the first six months,  you should maintain the gluten-free diet while breastfeeding.

If you do not have celiac disease and your baby does, then you can still breast feed, simply avoid gluten in your diet as well. Then as your baby moves to solids, they will also need to follow a gluten free diet.

Source:

Celiac Disease: Myth or Fact. Guandalini, S; Melin-Rogovin, M. University of Chicago Celiac Disease Program. Accessed 1/9/10

Summer Restaurant Tour

This week I was talking to my mom on the phone about all of the things and all the places we plan on going to this summer. It really got me thinking, I want to go on a gluten free tour of restaurants and places that offer gluten free cuisine! So as I am surfing the web to figure out how the heck we are going to go about doing this in the short time that I am home from college I came across a website of a woman that did a similar thing and has a list of restaurants for the entire San Francisco Bay Area. It is so simple, you click on what city you live in, what allergy you have and BOOM! a list appears like magic of restaurants all over that have gluten free menus!! It is actually so nice to find websites like this!

The website for all of you who are chomping at the bit is: http://themissingmenu.com/

So now I am planning on what day trips we can go on around the Bay , and I am planning them around delicious restaurants where we can anything and everything gluten-free! This summer I plan on having way too much fun, hanging out with even funner people and eating the tastiest food imaginable!

Celiac Disease and Medical Marijuana

After looking up new facts and statistics for this weeks post, I came across information as to where it is now legal in California (my home state) to get a Medical Marijuana card if you have been diagnosed with Celiac disease.

With Celiac disease, the body avoids an autoimmune attack on the intestines when a person adopts a strict gluten-free diet and avoids eating gluten. Unfortunately, Celiac disease is often misdiagnosed  and irreversiable damage to some body systems can occur, because of the misdiagnosis. More importantly, accidential consumption of gluten can occur when eating at a friend’s house or at a restaurant, no matter how careful you try to be, once again triggering the autoimmune response. Not following a gluten-free diet increases the risk of specific types of cancer.

According to research: Marijuana can be used to treat many of the symptoms of Celiac disease that are qualifying medical conditions under California Medical Marijuana Laws. Marijuana “cools the gut,” in which it slows down the muscle contractions that move food through the stomach and intestines and reduces the secretion of liquid into the intestines associated with diarrhea (one of the most severe symptoms of the disease). Marijuana also controls the muscle spasms associated with diarrhea. It also increases appetite and can offset the inefficiency in the Celiac’s ability to absorb nutrients from the food you eat.

This is very interesting information because it is information that you would never expect. After reading about this, I did more searching about marijuana and found that:

  • “Zig-Zags”: the paper used to roll a joint contains gluten in the binding gum
  • Optimo Cigars: contains gluten in the rolling paper, similar to the sticky stuff on envelopes
  • Swisher Sweets: are newly redesigned and are gluten-free
  • Rizla: rolling paper, 100% gluten free

So if you are going to smoke: Most cigarettes are gluten free, Swisher Sweets are gluten-free, most cigars are not (unless stated on package), and most Marijuana rolling paper contains gluten (they safest is to smoke it out of glass).