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Help needed, DP just diagnosed with Celiac Disease

(57 Posts)
Gloria42 Sun 15-Jun-08 11:02:23

DP's consultant just called to confirm diagnosis of celiac disease. He recommends an immediate change of diet, but I have no idea where to start. Can anyone help?

We have DS (17months), do we all switch to gluten-free or is it possible to have both in the house?

Any help appreciated

BlaDeBla Sun 15-Jun-08 11:06:24

I have an aunt with coeliac disease. She eats gluten-free bread, but most meals they eat together. There are lots of things you CAN eat - rice, potatoes, different sorts of flour. I think you can find quite a lot of info on the internet about diet for coeliac disease.

cositjustisok Sun 15-Jun-08 11:18:11

I have coeliac disease an am happy to answer any questions you have. I have 4 children and we live quite easily with both in the house. If I am cooking pasta I usually jsut do gluten free pasta for me and other pasta for everyone else. I jsut use my bread for myself and buy normal bread for the rest. MEals are either all gluten free like bolognese or I substitute something for me if it is something i cannot eat. I bake a mixture of gluten containg products and gluten free products and everyone eats my GF products jsut as readily. It will take a lot of getting used to to begin with but it is a way of life for me now and I dont think it is a big deal. I know your DH will miss some foods but the supermarkets have a great variety nowadays (unlike when I was growing up)..I have been coeliac all my life ...41 years so please feel free to ask questions. I think your first port of call would be teh doctors to get a prescription for some bread etc etc(assuming your in the UK)..can help with recommending some nice ones too...let me know what you need to know. Tell your hubby it will make him feel an awful lot better but may take time..Good luck x

cositjustisok Sun 15-Jun-08 11:21:00

Forgot to mention joining as a member to coeliac uk...information is great and they provide a little book of products you cant eat (you can buy if you are not a member)...but joining is easy ...
and they have a brilliant helpline too.

Gloria42 Sun 15-Jun-08 11:25:23

Thanks for your response, I'm sure we'll have questions but at the mo he's just a bit shell-shocked by the whole thing! it seems so daunting. I love to cook so I'm sure once we get the info it'll be fine, but at the moment all I can think is what can he have for lunch!

flamingtoaster Sun 15-Jun-08 11:28:40

It does seem daunting at first - but you will quickly get used to it. Your husband will be entitled to items like bread and pasta on prescription. So that he can decide what he likes best all the major gf manufacturers (e.g. Schar, Glutafin, Glutano, Ener-G) will send you samples if you contact them via their websites. You will find lots of help (and details of manufacturers) here:

and on the attached supplementary board which has saved information from years of questions being asked etc.

You should join the Coeliac Society and get access to their glutenfree "bible" which lists everyday brands which are glutenfree. Until you get it ask on here or on the coeliac board and someone will help.

It is possible to have glutenfree and gluten eating in one house - you do, however, need separate toasters and personally I prefer to make main meals glutenfree as it makes life simpler. As it's simpler and to avoid cross-contamination we all eat glutenfree pasta (apparently it's difficult to properly clean strainers and gluten traces can remain in all the little holes). I do all baking glutenfree using Dove's Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour (in Tesco's etc.) - your husband can also get prescription flour but I'd feel guilty using that for something the whole family will eat. The only gluten containing food in our house is usually the bread DH and DD eat - DS and I eat glutenfree.

I always make glutenfree lunches or whatever before starting anything with gluten. Obviously I always wash my hands after handling gluten and never lift e.g. gluten containing bread across something glutenfree. All jams, butters etc. are taken using out using a clean knife or spoon (some people keep separate tubs etc. for glutenfree members of the family but we don't).

You'll be surprised how quickly it all becomes routine once you are over the first scary bit - ask as many questions as you want.

HunnyMonster Sun 15-Jun-08 11:31:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flamingtoaster Sun 15-Jun-08 11:37:03

Forgot to add some coeliacs are lactose intolerant until the villi regrow so you might find your DP can't tolerate too much milk initially. Most can tolerate a small amount of hard cheese or live yoghurt though.

As you love to cook you will find it much easier - it's easy to adapt most recipes to glutenfree.

cositjustisok Sun 15-Jun-08 11:46:59

Agree with the cross do need to be careful I keep all my jams, marmite etc in a seperate cupboard and always buy a seperate tub of margarine jsut for me. I have a seperate toaster too. Whilst I do cook gluten containing products for the family...most of our foods that we eat as a family are gluten free because it is jsut easier. I cook most of the meals from scratch but do use some need to become an avid label checker!!!!. Good luck

lackaDAISYcal Sun 15-Jun-08 17:44:20

not much more to add here, other than there are some good recipes books you can get which have adapted recipes in. There is one called Healthy gluten free eating which has great recipes in for pizza base and yorkshire puddings.

Sainsbury's free from range is good, especially their English muffins toasted for breakfast. Best bread imo is glutafin select which you can get on prescription. white breads seem to work better than brown for some reason.

Sainsbury's also sell dietary specials gluten free ready made little yorkshire puddings in their freezer section so I always try and keep some in the freezer. They do a brand of pasta called Salute which is among the best I've tried so far.

For gravy granules, all the Bisto Best range in jars are gluten free. Brown sauce is a difficult one, but there are a few on the market, and you can get one brand in Tesco.

Breakfast is always a difficult one; although Sainsbury's and TEsco stock Nature's Path Mesa sunrise flakes which are good and very filling.

Sainsbury's have a few brands of gluten free sausages and their Organic beef burgers are also gluten free. Watch out for things like chips as they are often coated in a thin batter to help crisp them up.

The Coelaic UK product guide also has tips on eating out. When on the road, it might sound odd, but the one place I can usually guarantee a GF meal is McDonalds! Their beef patties and fries are a big mac meal no bun ticks the boxes. Motorway services are usually a nightmare and the staff pretty clueless unfortunately sad. He will probalby get very fed up eating baked potatoes with cheese very very quickly!

It is very daunting and I remmeber after my diagnosis three and a half years ago, my first ever GF shop took me about three hours as I avidly read all the labels.

There are some ingredients than can cause confusion as well.....there will be a list on the coeliac UK website I think.

It isn't as bad as it first seems; you just get into the groove with it and it becomes routine. The worst bit is repeatedly having to explain yourself in cafes/pubs/restaurants/to relatives and friends. My MIL still doesn't understand that I can't have a little bit of cake, "just as a wee treat", no matter how many times she is told.

Oh, and lastly M&S do a gluten free chocolate cake that is to die for grin

Ask away if you need anything else.

bramblebooks Sun 15-Jun-08 19:19:08

Gloria, just to pop in and give you a hug - my dh was diagnosed with coeliac disease 10 years ago, I echo all the advice given above. Your fella will feel so much better in no time.

We all eat 'full leaded' versions and give him gluten-free as appropriate. I've a freezer full of individual portions of stuff for ocasions where I've made a pie. If we're having pasta we all have the sauce and I'll do gluten free pasta for him - all we all have GH pasta.

He should be able to get a lot of stuff on prescription. You'll work out what you like. we pay for a yearly 'season ticket' so we don't pay for each prescription - it could mount up.

Good luck. Keep asking, there's loads of us who have experience.

(and to add to the 'fun', my 8 y/o ds has just been diagnosed with diabetes - makes mealtimes interesting!! - but I'm still smiling)

ladylush Sun 15-Jun-08 19:23:30

What prompted him to get tested?

Gloria42 Sun 15-Jun-08 19:28:34

Thanks again for the info. At the mo we're a bit shellshocked I think and daunted by the information to be found and changes to be made. I'll be back with questions I'm sure!

Elibean Sun 15-Jun-08 19:31:01

Gloria, I'm sorry you and dh are going through this - imagine its overwhelming at the start, knowing what to change and how to cope with it.

I have no knowledge or experience, just wanted to say good luck and hope the change in diet brings a lot of positive change for your dh. xxx

Gloria42 Sun 15-Jun-08 19:35:25

Ladylush, he's had digestion issues as long as I've know him (5years), spending at least 1/2 hr on loo every morning as soon as he wakes up (lots of wind and diaorrea) but recently he's been losing weight (and he was quite thin to start off with) so he went to docs as precaution. Had BUPA so got appt with consultant quite soon who did gastroscopy (sp?) and biopsy in his intestine. We got the call this mornign confirming the diagnosis.

Hopefully we'll get an appt soon with dietician (i'll be there too as i do majority of cooking) but for now am terrified that everything I make him is "poison" - did I put stock in that pasta sauce? etc etc etc

ladylush Sun 15-Jun-08 19:40:34

It's great that he has a diagnosis now though, even though it means a lot of unheaval re. your weekly shop and his diet. If you can afford it you could buy a bread maker - there are some great gluten free bread recipes. My friend has coelic disease and they make their own bread. Hope your dh starts to feel better soon.

flamingtoaster Sun 15-Jun-08 19:49:58

You'll soon get into the way of it Gloria42 - it is a shock at first and it will take you a while to get over that.

Two things I forgot to mention but you need to be aware of it in case your DP is one of the sensitive ones. You will see that some glutenfree products contain Codex Alimentarius wheat starch. This is wheat from which most of the gluten is removed. If your DP decides to eat these then the CUK recommendation is that he should not eat more than five slices of the bread per 24 hours (or the equivalent in Codex containing cakes, biscuits, etc.). If he exceeds that he will ingest an amount of gluten which could cause him problems/damage his gut. Most coeliacs can tolerate the recommended intake of Codex products -but some cannot because they are sensitive to the wheat itself.

Again some coeliacs can tolerate the level of barley malt in some breakfast cereals (you need to check CUK list for the allowed ones as not all are as they exceed the accepted level for coeliacs). However, some react badly to even the small amount of barley gluten in these products. Whole Earth Cornflakes (Asda, Sainsbury's) are completely free of barley malt if your DP likes Corn Flakes.

The first few days are the most terrifying - once you identify your safe ingredients and brands you will find it all gets very much easier.

cmotdibbler Sun 15-Jun-08 20:17:18

Gloria - glad to hear that your DH has finally got a diagnosis and can start healing. Be aware that many dieticians give duff advice when it comes to coeliac disease - for instance, Rice Krispies are no longer considered gluten free.

If at home you mostly cook from scratch, its really not that bad.

In the UK all prepackaged food must state if it contains wheat or gluten, and many have an allergens box on the label that will tell you if it does.

Things in your cupboards that won't be gluten free (or may be)that you might not notice - gravy, stock cubes, soy sauce, mustard, salad dressings.

Get everything out in the kitchen and go through it so that you salvage what you can, and dump the rest and buy gf - then you only have to worry about the obvious things like bread and pasta - we don't share those as DH refuses to, but everything else is gf.

Start slow with simple things - browse the Free From section in your supermarket for bread and cereals (I like DS multigrain loaves and Koala Crisp amongst others), and grilled meat, salad and new potatoes for dinner, thats easy tasty and gf. Don't bother trying to make sandwiches for lunch. Apart from buying the gf pitta breads which are OK, gf sandwiches are mostly pretty grim, and very depressing when first diagnosed.

Loads of great online places to buy food, and if you can afford it, you can get pretty much anything. And the gf beers quite good now too.

Gloria42 Sun 15-Jun-08 20:20:20

Ladylush, I had thought about a bread machine! I bought some gluten-free bread in tesco, but it seemed quite dry?

cmotdibbler Sun 15-Jun-08 20:34:59

It is dry - thats a normal problem with gf bread. If you toast it its not tooo bad.

Gloria42 Sun 15-Jun-08 21:07:22

I almost wish it was me that had it, not him. He's the one who likes his biscuits and crisps (which I - typical female - try to avoid) and he's not too fussed on healthy snacks.I guess once he starts to feel better that'll give him an incentive to be strong will-power wise, but at the moment it seems like all cloud and no silver lining

flamingtoaster Sun 15-Jun-08 21:29:29

Biscuits are not a problem - there are now loads in the free from sections of Tesco and Sainsbury's. Loads of crisps are OK too - what sort of crisps (i.e. Brand and flavour) does he like now and we'll see what gf alternatives are on the list?

lackaDAISYcal Sun 15-Jun-08 21:30:37

gloria...lots of GF biscuits avaiable (including GF jaffa cakes in tesco!) and a lot of crisps are OK provided simple flavours...but maybe you didn't want to hear that wink

As an aside, when I had my coeliac diagnosis, also through BUPA, the gastro made me an appointment to see the dietician who went through the diet with me and gave me lots of advice on waht I could and couldn't eat. Give them a call tomorrow and ask to be referred to someone to discuss his diet; he will still be covered for this by his insurance as it's part of the same diagnosis!

flamingtoaster Sun 15-Jun-08 21:31:12

I should have added the only problem with gf biscuits is the price! Also once you are into your stride you can make gf biscuits relatively easily.

lackaDAISYcal Sun 15-Jun-08 21:34:07

and lots of coeliacs start to pile on the pounds after a diagnosis, as a lot of the commercially available foods tend to be the sweet ones.

Lots of cookery books on Amazon

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