I just learned I have celiac disease.
My doctor told me to avoid wheat [and wheat by-products.]
He mentioned to also steer clear of barley and rye.
A family member told me that's only the surface of things I should avoid, since things like soymilk and spelt should also not be eaten.
Can you give me some information?
-- Marie Brilmer
Although I am sure this new diagnosis seems initially overwhelming, I am glad you now have a way to explain a lot of the uncomfortable symptons I am sure you were experiencing.
It's a shame your doctor's advice was so vague. Your family member is right -- simply thinking of a gluten-free diet as "no wheat, barley, or rye" is only part of the puzzle.
Her soymilk concern is somewhat on target.
Some soymilks use malt flavorings -- derived from barley -- as flavoring agents. As always, you must read the ingredient label to figure out which brands fit into your celiac-friendly eating plan.
Other things to look out for:
* Soy sauce, which can contain wheat
* Bulgur, which is a wheat product
* Durum flour, also a wheat product (this is what conventional pastas are made with)
* Triticale, a mixture of wheat and rye
* Products containing hydrolyzed vegetable OR hydrolyzed plant protein (this includes canned tuna) -- usually derived from wheat protein
* Items containing wheat starch (including, but not limited to, cake frosting, gravy, pre-sliced cheese, and over the counter drugs)
I should also inform you that many cosmetics companies add wheat starch to their lipsticks as filler.
Since even a tiny amount of wheat can set off all sorts of unpleasant reactions, be sure to research brands that offer celiac-friendly makeup!