Alternative Treatments for Celiac Disease

Safe Foods

What foods are "safe" for people with celiac disease? Fresh meats, fish, and poultry; milk, eggs, and unprocessed cheeses; dried beans; and plain, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables are all safe to eat.

As for grains, corn and rice are the most readily available safe grains. Pure oats may also fall into this category. There are studies under way to test whether oats are safe for celiac sufferers, but the jury is definitely still out on them. Oats contain less gluten than wheat, and some people with celiac disease report that they can tolerate at least small amounts of oats without experiencing symptoms.

But pure oats are very difficult to find, and oats can easily become contaminated with wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients during processing. So the prudent advice for now is to avoid oats.

Many people with celiac disease rely on homemade products that use wheat-flour substitutes, such as rice, tapioca, potato, or soy flours. In addition, specialty food companies offer gluten-free breads, pastas, and other grain-based products (see the Get Help for a Gluten-Free Diet sidebar). What's more, with increased awareness and diagnosis of the disease, more gluten-free products are finding their way onto grocery-store shelves.

While the gluten-free diet may sound daunting at first, checking labels quickly becomes second nature, and it's not a bad way to see what other effects -- in terms of calories, fat, vitamins, and other nutrients -- a food may have on health. And for most people with celiac disease, their relief in finding a solution to their symptoms, and their ability to fend off the complications of untreated celiac disease, make the diet seem a small price to pay.

Leading a gluten-free lifestyle will be challenging, but hopefully the information in this article will enlighten you on how to keep this condition from slowing you down.

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This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.