View Full Version : Wheat, gluten & celiac disease

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Nov 18th, 2004, 06:50 AM
Mmm, it has been happening for a while, but getting worse lately.
I did an experiment last night by eating a load of toast in the evening (I only usually have it in the mornings), and immediately afterwards I had a sneezing session (this often happens in the morning but I thought it must be a dust-mite thing), the 'rumbles', and a tummy ache.
It's definitely at it's worst when I eat a fake meat mix containing 'Vital Wheat Gluten', which I had for tea last night. I really crave it, but I feel dreadful after having it - was trying to ignore it but must now take action!!

Nov 18th, 2004, 06:52 AM
Blue - how did you find out about your allergy, and what is the difference with a Gluten allergy, and a Wheat allergy?

Dec 13th, 2004, 01:23 AM
Hi all,

Just wanted to know if there is anyone else out there with Celiac Disease or wheat sensitivity, etc. The reason I'm asking is because I have Celiac Disease (intolerance to wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt...most grains actually, except for rice, potato and corn). I'd like to know how easy or difficult you find maintaining a vegan diet with the extra grain restrictions, seeing as wheat and other glutenous products are often added to vegetarian foods. What do you eat very regularly? Do you have any difficulties with vitamin deficiency or do you find yourself better off, altogether? My overall experience with going vegan has been pretty positive, however I would just like to know if there are others out there, like me!

Dec 13th, 2004, 01:49 AM
Foxytina used to think she had celiacs disease but then found out that she is wheat sensitive. She doesn't seem to have too much trouble.

Dec 13th, 2004, 02:52 AM
i actually do think im celiac now because when i ate flour i did get very sick lol. i think that was just because i didnt get sick when i first started eating it but a couple days later i was reallllly sick and had all the symptoms. silly me for eating it! but yeah i can eat flour once in a while and feel crappy from it but recover quickly. (i think thats the veganism making my immune system stronger so i can handle it better)

its great that u ask this, as this is one of my main questions aswell. yes i do find it annoying at times, but hard no. i eat lots of brown rice bread in place of wheat bread, and other then that theres nothing too bothersome. i dont eat proccessed vegan meats or meals because they DO contain so much gluten that its insane.

i probably SHOULD take a multivitamin but im too careless.

it is easy to get all your nutrients regardless of the lack of grains. i just replace them with brown rice products for my grains.

i have lots of gluten free vegan recipes i made myself because ive had to experiment so much. most recipes u can replace normal flour with brown rice flour with good results. (sometimes u need extra apple sauce or oil or butter to make it not dry)

but there are others out there, like you! :D

heres a link u might be interested in reading :)


Dec 13th, 2004, 04:02 AM
Thanks so much for replying...

It's good to know there are others... I don't necessarily find it as difficult as I THOUGHT it would be, but the one thing that irks me is the EXPENSE of the food. I don't find ~veganism~ an expensive diet, because one mostly eats veggies/fruits/nuts, etc... but buying any "specialty" product (i.e. gluten free, vegan parmasan cheese) as well as the gluten-free grain products is so very expensive. I will spend upwards of $6 on a loaf of bread, $3 on a box/bag of pasta, $5 on gluten free cereal. What's up with that? Don't get me wrong...I take my health very seriously and would spend whatever on food that is good for me and that I can eat, but ouch...the wallet hurts. Other than that, I do feel much better, but althought I eat plenty of iron rich, vegan foods (and take an iron supplement...I hope this is OK), my iron levels have plummeted since becoming vegan (mostly because having Celiac Disease in the first place makes it harder to absorb iron, even while eating meat products).

Other than that, no real difficulties....I enjoy this way of eating much more than I thought I would in the beginning!

Dec 13th, 2004, 04:41 AM
BTW, there's a lengthy article on Coeliac disease in the current issue of New Vegetarian & Natural Health magazine. Normally I wouldn't have read it as I don't know anyone with the condition, but as onion and foxytina have it, I read the article. Interesting.

Dec 13th, 2004, 02:35 PM
I have met so many people who don't eat wheat, not because they have any particular health disorders related to eating wheat but because they say it's so unhealthy. No one has told me what these health problems are.

What is so wrong with whole-wheat? Why is it getting such a bad reputation? Am I poisoning myself with it?

Dec 13th, 2004, 04:23 PM
Hmm, not eating wheat for health reasons? I've always thought whole wheat was healthy compared to refined wheats like white breads, crackers, etc.

Sorry, I can't help you. :(

Dec 13th, 2004, 05:24 PM
When you purchase the flour in the store. You usually don’t know how old the ground whole-wheat flour is? What you receive with most brands that you buy in the store is ‘reconstituted whole wheat’. The commercial whole-wheat flour is processed like most of the white flour. The nutrient-rich, darker-colored bran, germ and endosperm are mechanically separated then recombined into “whole wheat”. If you make your own freshly milled whole-wheat flour (takes less than 5 minutes if you have a breadmachine you can add it to that after you are finished) you receive far more nutrients than the flour you receive in the store.

Most of the whole-wheat nutrients not purposely discarded with the germ and bran often succumb to the long, hot, repetitive milling process, or to chemicals used to artificially “improve” or bleach flour. There are significant losses that can happen in heat-sensitive B vitamins, vitamin E, enzymes and other healthful components. A lot of your commercially produced whole-wheat flour frequently contains only enough bran for a healthful-looking brown tinge, and virtually no germ.

This is why the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 1999 labeling rules specify that claims about health benefits associated with whole grains can appear only on products that contain at least 51 percent whole grains by weight. These health benefits could be plastered all over home-milled flour because it contains the grain, the whole grain and nothing but the grain.

Dec 13th, 2004, 05:30 PM
That makes sense but I'm talking about how people are now anti-wheat. Won't eat gluten even sprouted 100% whole wheat because wheat is *bad*. I just never found out why they think it's bad. I'm assuming it's along the lines of the anti-soy campaign.

Dec 13th, 2004, 05:33 PM
Hmm I have not heard that.
I tend to stay away from it since it causes 'mucous' for me even with the freshly ground whole wheat. I noticed this when I eliminated it in a food cleanse. When I 'reintroduced' it in my food consumption my nasal passages were not as clear. I eliminated it again and I had no more problems.

Dec 13th, 2004, 05:39 PM
I will spend upwards of $6 on a loaf of bread,

One option would be to buy a breadmachine and purchase gluten-free flour. If you eat bread a lot you will make up the cost for the breadmachine quickly. You just toss the ingredients in and wait for it to be done. A breadmachine makes bread making very easy! :)

Dec 13th, 2004, 05:40 PM
I think that people just feel it is not a 'natural' human requirement - not sure. A lot of people seem to react to Wheat.
I find it hard to avoid.

Dec 13th, 2004, 08:02 PM
Wheat represents order, light, civilization, labor, commerce, servitude, Apollo, dominator values and society, man as opposed to woman.

The opposite of wheat would be something like the potato.

Dec 13th, 2004, 08:09 PM
Wheat represents order, light, civilization, labor, commerce, servitude, Apollo, dominator values and society, man as opposed to woman.

The opposite of wheat would be something like the potato.

Are you saying that men are strong and sturdy like wheat while woman are small and dumpy like potatoes ;) ?

Dec 13th, 2004, 10:15 PM
I just bought the book 'You Are What You Eat', based on the UK series. The author, and host of the show (I forget her name, Gillian someone - can't be stuffed going to check), makes a point that wheat is only bad, like everything else, if you overconsume it. It is because wheat is in almost every commercial product that people overconsume it. Whole wheat is not *bad - just vary your diet if you are worried about it. Even cabbage would be bad if you ate it 6 times a day (especially for the ozone layer :D )

Dec 13th, 2004, 10:41 PM
I don't think that wheat is bad, it's just not that good, and there isn't a whole lot of difference, nutritionally, between the refined and the whole except for the fiber content.

But, wheat doesn't have as much fiber as fruits and vegetables, so you can't really justify it because of the fiber content. It's more justifiable from a cost standpoint. Grains are so much cheaper than fruits or vegetables on a cost per calorie basis. They store well, they are convenient, but they are not great nutrition.

They are inferior sources of most nutrients compared to almost all vegetables and many fruits. And although they are found to be protective (for cancers, CHD, diabetes, and other diseases) in many studies, they are generally less protective than fruits and vegetables.


Dec 14th, 2004, 03:56 PM
Breads obtained from specifically natural food sources, do seem to contain very high quality ingredients, much different in taste and texture than commercial whole wheat from the supermarket. One seeks out stoneground products to avoid milling that removes or reconstitutes parts of the grain, and also avoids higher heat.

Other than some fairly informed awareness in shopping, unless you can grow it yourself, you do the best you can. Buy organic. None of our food is actually natural either.

One drawback of past times where everything was homegrown, many more people starved when crops failed. Not a very nutritous situation either.

Jan 15th, 2005, 05:19 AM
Extract from Gluten-Free Cuisine article by Kimberly Jordan Allen in the E/nagazine: Is Avoiding the Protein Better for Us?

Gluten is a protein commonly found in many foods, from sauces to breads to cereals. What are its health implications? Gluten is the elastic, water-insoluble protein found in wheat and other grains such as rye, barley, kamut, spelt and oats. It is also found in a surprising number of products on supermarket shelves. Gluten is used as a thickener and binder in thousands of such products as soups, sauces (including soy sauce), candy, artificial cheese, pharmaceuticals and even envelope glue. In the typical Western diet, wheat is the primary source.

For someone suffering from celiac disease, all forms of gluten are toxic to the digestive system. This means sufferers must avoid gluten in every form. The protein causes an immunological reaction in the small intestine, resulting in the disintegration of the finger-like villi that facilitate the absorption of nutrients. People who have been afflicted with this condition for extended periods of time lose their ability to process food normally, thereby leading to potentially severe health problems.

Long misdiagnosed, new studies suggest that up to one in 133 people are afflicted with celiac disease. People can also go years without being diagnosed due to the multifaceted symptoms, which include diarrhea, gas, bloating, weight loss, water retention, constipation and dermatitis. Long-term effects of the condition are anemia, malnutrition, osteoporosis and cancer. Some people also suffer an immediate allergic reaction to wheat or gluten, and others say they just feel better without it. But to deem gluten simply unhealthy seems to be a stretch.

... The notion that wheat is unhealthy is definitely not the norm, but in the era of Atkins and South Beach anti-carb diets, people may be tending to think of wheat as junk food. Many are losing weight on these higher-protein, higher-vegetable diets, but nutritionists caution they may be missing out on important nutrients once grains are removed, such as B vitamins that are found in whole grain wheat.

Some people experience gluten sensitivity without knowing it. Melissa Diane Smith, author of the book Going Against The Grain, warns that glutenous grains might be wreaking havoc on our health. Claire Williamson, a nutritional scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, disagrees that gluten sensitivity is more common than currently believed, and she stresses that wheat is an important part of the daily diet. Most Western physicians and dietitians believe that in the absence of strong symptoms of intolerance, a gluten-free diet is unnecessary.

It may be a good idea to get checked for intolerance if you experience chronic digestive disorders that have gone undiagnosed. A blood test can determine if you have the antibodies that signify the disease is present. An intestinal biopsy verifies the presence of the problem. A gluten-free diet promises relief.

A gluten-free diet is demanding and typically requires much more time and energy in food preparation than one that contains more processed foods. Celiacs have no choice but to adhere to the regimen, but some are choosing this type of cuisine whether they suffer the agonizing pain of the disease or not. They claim higher energy levels and overall wellness. There is still carbohydrate intake for those eating gluten-free foods. The primary sources of flour, for example, are potato, buckwheat, corn, rice and quinoa, all of which contain high amounts of carbs. These carbohydrates are balanced by a sufficient intake of fresh organic vegetables, particularly dense leafy greens.

There are many resources available to allow a beginner to whip up delicious meals without any gluten. In her book More From The Gluten-Free Gourmet (Henry Holt & Company), Bette Hagman, a celiac sufferer, pours herself into recipes for the wheat-deprived, including breads, pies, pastries, cakes, cookies and entrees. From almond orange biscotti to Italian herb sourdough, Bette makes the gluten-free experience a tasty feast, outshining the sense of loss that some feel when told they can never eat anything containing gluten again.

At www.glutenfreemall.com, there are hundreds of products ranging from brown rice pizza dough to Bette Hagman’s own four-flour blend for multi-purpose baking. This site is directly linked to the information center celiac.com. Whether you suffer from celiac disease or are simply intolerant to gluten, there are many ways to keep the dining experience exciting and healthful.

Jan 15th, 2005, 06:04 AM
thanx eve :) that was an interesting read.

Jan 17th, 2005, 10:14 AM
I have alwyas thought i have gluten sensitivity thus I avoid wheat and gluten most of the time and eat only little at a time.

Jan 17th, 2005, 10:15 AM
Yes, I am beginning to think I have exactly the same problem, thanks for the info, Eve.

Jan 18th, 2005, 08:52 PM
It's amazing how much people in this forum knows. Thanks for your information, eve, and the link. I've been wondering lately if gluten also affects my condition, but haven't taken the time to find out about this subject.

Jan 19th, 2005, 07:49 PM
From http://www.nzine.co.nz/views/gluten.html

"Gluten is also associated with mental disorders. Prof Klaus Lorenz wrote extensively on the subject in Cereals and Schizophrenia, 1990. Dr Chris Reading, an orthomolecular psychiatrist practising in Sydney, advises its avoidance to all his patients with mental disorders. He firmly believes that gluten can damage the stomach cells which produce Intrinsic Factor necessary for vitamin B12 uptake. Over time, it can thus create vitamin B12 deficiency with its accompanying neurological disturbances. Dr Reading therefore also prescribes B12 injections for these patients."