Food Allergies: Gluten & Dairy

I must say that yes I have gone through many obstacles but currently my largest has to do with food allergies and some GI bleeding from ulcers. Could it be the medicines I was on pre and post surgery, or the food I eat, or the stress, or ????… Yes, all the above but what it get’s down to is fine-tuning all the above in order to be able to heal the digestive tract and as a result make this “runner girl” a much happier athlete! It appears that I have both gluten and dairy allergies, which makes nutrition and fueling a HUGE challenge.

Gluten Allergy ???

Gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley, is the common denominator in most of the grain-based products we eat, such as cereals, breads, and pasta.

More serious gluten intolerance is called celiac disease. That’s when gluten actually triggers the body’s immune system. When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the villi — tiny, finger-like projections in the small intestine that absorb the nutrients from food.

Celiac disease is linked to malnutrition that can lead to anemia, depression, osteoporosis, among other problems. People who have celiac disease may also have other autoimmune conditions, such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Gluten lurks in a number of processed foods, including:
•    Salad dressings
•    Cold cuts
•    Egg substitutes
•    Beer
•    Instant flavored rice mixes
•    Flavored potato chips
•    Imitation crab

So what grains can you eat….
•    Amaranth
•    Quinoa
•    Buckwheat
•    Popcorn
•    Cornmeal (polenta and tortillas)
•    Millet
•    Breads, cereals, crackers, and pasta made of corn, rice, potato, soy, arrowroot, tapioca, sago, flax, and hominy.

Some of my favorite gluten free foods…

• Udi’s sandwich bread

• Kinnikinnick donuts and cookies

• Glutino apple breakfast bars and pizza crusts

• Tinkyada brown rice pasta

• Organicville salad dressings

• New Grist Beer (Lakefront Brewery)

• Natures Path rice bars, Hammer Nutrition bars, Lara bars

• Natures Path gluten free frozen waffles
Dairy Allergy ???
What is lactose intolerance?
Lactose is a sugar, or disaccharide, that is found in milk. Normally, during digestion our bodies produce an enzyme, lactase, that breaks down the lactose into simple sugars that we can absorb.
However, if we do not produce enough lactase we can suffer some nasty effects.
If the lactose is not broken down within the small intestine it passes further through the gastrointestinal (GI) system, to the colon where bacteria feed on it. This can cause gas and toxins to build up, which in turn can cause abdominal pain.
So what would cause us to have a lactase deficiency?
•    For some unlucky people the condition is inherited.
•    Others may suffer it due to a previous GI infection, malnutrition or celiac disease.

Basically damage to the lining of the small intestine, such as that which happens when a person with celiac is not following a gluten free diet, can temporarily cause a lactase deficiency.It can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms are common to a number of other conditions, including of course celiac.
So what foods does someone with this condition need to avoid? Food containing lactose
Lactose is found in animal milk and the one that most adults consume is of course cows milk. However, it is also present in human milk, which can cause a problem for infants with this condition.

This means that dairy products need to be eliminated. By dairy products, we would be talking about the following…
•    Milk
•    Butter
•    Cream
•    Cheese
•    Yogurt
•    Ice cream

Lactose however, like gluten, can be difficult to spot in an ingredients list, due to the other names by which it goes under. These include…
Dry milk solids
Dried milk
Caramel flavouring
High protein flour
Natural flavouring
Non-fat milk
Soured cream

*** luckily I am able to eat VERY small amounts of dairy that are cooked into products… thank goodness

I think I have grasped my mind around the gluten free eating. I am lucky as I am not as sensitive as some people who need to not use ANY products containing gluten such as lip balm, lotions, etc. For me, it is the foods that really irritate me. I recently tried to introduce dairy back into my diet with VERY adverse effects. Well, I thought it was worth a try. Bad idea on my part. So the future looks like it will be without gluten and dairy. It can always be worse. Some are allergic to peanut butter…YIKES, I go through a jar a week. :-0


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