Diet changes for gluten intolerance, celiac disease

    7:17 PM, Mar 23, 2011   |    comments
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    • Going gluten free with Celiac Disease
    • Going gluten free with Celiac Disease
    • Anne Luther, Branch Manager for GIG of Central Arkansas
    • Charlotte Hall, Marketing Specialist at Whole Foods Market
    • Going gluten free with Celiac Disease
    • Going gluten free with Celiac Disease

    Little Rock, Ark. (KTHV) --  Gluten free foods have grown in popularity over the years as more and more people realize they have gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

    Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and some oats that can cause a variety of ailments. Celiac disease is recognized as a multi-system, multi-organ disease that requires eliminating gluten products from your diet.

    Experts say there are many health benefits from changing your diet and choosing gluten free alternatives.

    "I found as the years go on, it's easier and easier," says Charlotte Hall.

    Hall works at Whole Foods and is the go-to girl for all things gluten. She was diagnosed with celiac disease three years ago and is now 100 percent gluten-free.

    "It was a very gradual transition where I was starting to feel less bloated and less tiredness and less achy joints and less headaches," adds Hall.

    According to the Gluten Intolerance Group, celiac disease affects 1 in 133 people in the U.S., causing damange to your small intestine. People can experience a variety of symptoms.  

    "Gas, bloating. Some people have headaches. Some people have joint pain. Some people just are constipated or the other," Hall explains.

    Hall says eliminating gluten products -- wheat, barley, rye and some oats -- is the only cure. Now she's more aware of what her family eats.

    "There's people that are going gluten intolerant are becoming more aware of what's inside of their food, what's in their ingredients. And being educated about what they're putting in their bodies is important," says Hall.

    Anne Luther is the Branch Manager of GIG of Central Arkansas. She formed the support group back in 2003.

    "The first time I went into the grocery to buy gluten free foods, I walked out without anything. Crying and in tears. And I thought 'no one should feel this lost and alone when they start out on a gluten free diet,'" Luther says.

    Luther says celiacs must make many lifestyle changes.

    "You have to do a kitchen clean out. Make sure you don't have any possible cross contamination. You don't share toasters. You don't share condiments that you dip into with a knife because you can end up with cross contamination," explains Luther.

    When it comes to improving your health, Luther says it's all or nothing.

    "With celiac disease, going partially gluten free isn't going to help you. You have to get it totally out," Luther says.

    Luther also talked about gluten intolerance, a sensitivity to gluten products. She says more celiac experts are recognizing gluten sensitivity and say somewhere between 7% and 30% of the population is gluten intolerant.

    Whole Foods will have a gluten free tasting and discussion on Saturday, March 26 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.  These classes are held the last Saturday of every month.

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