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What is Gluten?

My husband is allergic to gluten. He was diagnosed over 20 years ago. At the time he was diagnosed, there were no gluten free options on the market. I literally had to learn what it meant to be gluten-free and to cook gluten-free.

Gluten is the mixture of 2 proteins, gliadin and glutenin that are found naturally in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten gives grains elasticity. This makes cooking without gluten very tricky but not impossible. There are a wide variety of gluten free flours, starches and baking aids that lend to creating really nice gluten-free baked goods.

Celiac disease is the autoimmune disease and diagnosis given to people who are negatively impacted by eating gluten. People with celiac disease make antibodies against gluten, so even a small amount can trigger an immune reaction. Eating gluten damages the lining of the small intestines. If celiac disease is left undiagnosed and/or untreated risks for developing other diseases is possible. Some possible diseases are: osteoporosis, lymphoma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease.

The cause for celiac is not known. There isn’t a cure. If you receive a diagnosis the only treatment is to 100% eliminate gluten from your diet.

As I mentioned, it’s been 20 years that my husband has been diagnosed with a gluten allergy. I have been so careful not to bring foods into the house that have gluten in them. Recently though I bought some sprouted grain bread into the house that of course was not gluten free and failed to tell him. After purchasing, I traveled for a week and unfortunately, he ate the bread and became very ill. He didn’t make the association, but as soon as I returned home and noticed the half-eaten loaf in the freezer, I thought…OMG! I had to inform him that he ate gluten. We immediately went into detox mode. Luckily, it took only a week to clear it out of his system.


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