Celiac Disease and the Gluten-Free Diet
You have been diagnosed with celiac disease and you have no other option but to follow a gluten-free diet strictly. Though you can have many of the normal foods, you are restricted from wheat, rye, barley and their derivatives. Microscopic amounts may also matter since our immune system is so powerful to detect even them and start its attack. So avoid it completely to prevent risks or complications yourself. Though it is difficult to cope up with, do not get depressed.
In spite of you being sick or not, you need to adopt the gluten-free diet as regular food for the rest of your life. Your healthcare professional will offer a lot of handouts to help you out with the information you need to know to stick to such a diet. You can also get help from your dietician or local support groups. Gluten actually comes from wheat, rye, barley and their derivatives and you need to stay off from oats. You may need to avoid bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, pancakes, oatmeal, waffles, and anything battered or breaded. This may seem like hell.
The sources of gluten are not yet over. This is just half of the foods and there is nearly half the challenge remaining. Gluten serves as the thickening agent in soups, gravies, yogurt, soft cheeses, to produce cream in salad dressings, to avoid clumping in dried spices in little jars, as a shapening agent in chocolates, molds, etc, to avoid the candy bars from sticking to their conveyor belts, as a caramel coloring agent in soft drinks, etc.
In addition, it can be added to food products for modified food starch, natural flavoring, textured vegetable protein, etc. Gluten is present in food products like chewy candies, veggie burgers, hot dogs, turkey burgers, cosmetics like lipstick, other consumer goods like tooth paste, mouthwash, crayons, play doh, etc, as filler in tablets and pills, etc. Hence even if the product you buy may not have gluten in its ingredients, another product manufactured along by the same manufacturer may have and your product can likely get cross-contaminated easily.
Hence you may need to be very careful in choosing your eatables as well as other usable products. Even if you have the slightest doubt of the food being cross-contaminated just avoid it for the better of you. You do need any surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or any other medicines to be free from celiac disease. Just change your dietary lifestyle.
As of now, you are left with no other option and needed to follow this painful diet. You will miss all the food rituals you love. Though it is very tough initially, it will become a habit soon. You will feel better for following this diet, since you will be healthy and strong and avoid all the complications of celiac disease.