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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

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

Can Blood Tests Tell You How Well You're Doing on the GF Diet?

Monday April 14, 2014

I frequently read comments from people with celiac disease who say they know they're not getting any trace gluten in their diets. How do they know this with such certainty? Because their follow-up celiac blood test results are negative, they say.

But are those blood tests really a good way to track how well you're doing on the gluten-free diet?

As it turns out, they're not. It takes a lot of gluten to turn a negative result on those tests into a positive one ... a lot of gluten. You'd pretty much have to cheat blatantly on a regular basis (I'm talking full-gluten pizza, muffins and bread every week) to generate a positive celiac blood test result once you've been gluten-free for a while.

Read more about this here: Can celiac blood tests show how well you're following the gluten-free diet?

So should follow-up blood tests be part of your care once you've been diagnosed with celiac? That's something for you and your doctor to decide -- as I detail in the above article, blood tests can be helpful in the first year or so after your diagnosis as a rough gauge of how well your villous atrophy is healing.

But blood tests will not show you're getting gluten cross-contamination in trace amounts. For that, you'll need to rely on your symptoms (if you have them), and on careful research to determine what's gluten-free and what's not. Repeat blood tests won't help.

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 Getty Images/TS Photography

Study: Gluten Causes Depression in Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Friday April 11, 2014

Medical research is starting to back what many of us have known intuitively for a long time: gluten causes feelings of depression in those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

The link between depression and celiac disease is strong: multiple studies have documented higher levels of diagnosed depression in people who have celiac. But despite anecdotal evidence that many of those who react to gluten but who do not have celiac disease also suffer from depression, there's been little firm evidence of a connection.

That's beginning to change. A new study published in the medical journal Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics finds short-term exposure to gluten in people with gluten sensitivity elicited feelings of depression, even when the gluten didn't seem to cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Read More...

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