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Nine Signs You May Have A Gluten Allergy

wheat with question mark

So you've heard about gluten, and how some people say they feel better eating gluten-free. Could you have a gluten allergy, too?  

Gluten's Possible Effects on You:
Celiac Disease & Gluten Sensitivity Spotlight10

When Will My Poor Intestinal Villi Recover? Will They EVER Recover?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

If you have celiac disease, you probably know that the hallmark of the condition is damage in your small intestine -- i.e., something called villous atrophy.

In the process called villous atrophy, your immune system's response to gluten ingestion actually erodes those poor villi, leaving you unable (or nearly so) to properly absorb nutrients. Those with the most severe celiac-related damage literally have no intestinal villi left, while those with less-severe damage have short little stubby villi instead of healthy, longer ones.

Once you're diagnosed, those villi start to recover (and most people start to feel better). But how long does it take for your villi to recover completely? Sadly, medical studies indicate that, in many people, the intestinal villi never recover completely.

I share the details here: How long will it take for my small intestine to recover from celiac disease?

It's not clear why some people never recover fully, although some researchers blame constant low-level gluten cross-contamination. Genetics, your age at diagnosis and the amount of damage you had also likely play a role -- children recover faster and more completely than adults.

What can you do to speed recovery and improve your chances of a full recovery? For a start, don't ever cheat on the diet. In addition, you should try to eliminate as much trace gluten as possible ... which means limiting "gluten-free" grain products and other processed foods, and reserving restaurant meals out only for special occasions.

Keep up with the latest in the celiac disease/gluten sensitivity world -- sign up for my newsletter, connect with me on Facebook and Google+, or follow me on Twitter - @AboutGlutenFree.

Image Courtesy of the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

It's National Infertility Awareness Week ... Is Gluten Your Problem?

Monday April 21, 2014

Is gluten the reason you can't get pregnant? This week marks National Infertility Awareness Week, and it seems like a good opportunity to highlight the links between gluten-related health problems and infertility.

Celiac disease has been linked to otherwise unexplained infertility in both men and women, and anecdotal evidence indicates non-celiac gluten sensitivity also may play a role. In the studies that have been done on people with celiac disease, ditching gluten has helped many get pregnant.

Does that mean you'll get pregnant immediately if you go gluten-free? Not necessarily, of course -- there are many possible factors involved in infertility, as About.com's Expert on Infertility explains. But can it help? Maybe.

Here's some more information on gluten and infertility:

Keep up with the latest in the celiac disease/gluten sensitivity world -- sign up for my newsletter, connect with me on Facebook and Google+, or follow me on Twitter - @AboutGlutenFree.

Photo Getty Images/Digital Vision

Ham for Easter Dinner?

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Yesterday I wrote about roast lamb for Easter dinner (a common family tradition), so I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention ham, the other traditional Easter main course.

There's a good reason why tradition dictates ham for Easter in many families: back in the days of no refrigeration, preserved meats such as ham usually were the only type of meat left in the larder by spring. Therefore, ham became the default choice for Easter, an early spring holiday.

These days, of course, we don't need to worry about refrigeration, but the tradition has stuck ... and we can continue it even if we eat gluten-free. Here are the details on which hams to purchase:

Make sure you watch out for the glazes, as they're not always gluten-free (I include some recipes for gluten-free glazes you can substitute). Enjoy, and happy Easter!

Keep up with the latest in the celiac disease/gluten sensitivity world -- sign up for my newsletter, connect with me on Facebook and Google+, or follow me on Twitter - @AboutGlutenFree.

Photo Getty Images/James Baigrie

Lamb for Easter Dinner?

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Many people traditionally serve leg of lamb on Easter Sunday, but did you know that tradition started with the Hebrews and their very first Passover?

According to Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, About.com's Expert on Home Cooking, the Hebrews served a sacrificial lamb along with bitter herbs and unleavened break, or matzo, in the hopes that the angel of God would pass over their homes. (Learn more from Peggy about Easter food traditions here: Traditional Easter Foods History). This tradition came with the Hebrews when they converted to Christianity.

Roast leg of lamb is simple to make gluten-free, and you even can find gluten-free mint jelly to go with it. Here are several recipes for lamb and accompaniments, plus which mint jelly to purchase:

Enjoy, and have a happy Easter!

Keep up with the latest in the celiac disease/gluten sensitivity world -- sign up for my newsletter, connect with me on Facebook and Google+, or follow me on Twitter - @AboutGlutenFree.

Photo Getty Images/Luca Trovato

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