FAQ

COELIAC / CELIAC FAQ

Coeliac disease is a condition in which the small intestine lining is damaged and this interferes with absorption of nutrients. Patients with coeliac disease have intolerance to a protein in gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats.

Coeliac disease (pronounced see-lee-ack) is a lifelong autoimmune condition which is triggered by an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

The only celiac disease treatment is a gluten-free diet – for life. Eating even a small amount of this protein can result in damage to the intestine. You can’t eat regular pizza, or sourdough bread, on a gluten-free diet. You must try to avoid all foods containing wheat, oats, barley and rye.

Celiac disease is caused by a reaction to gliadin – a gluten protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats. The inflammation and destruction of the inner lining of the small intestine in celiac disease is caused by an allergic reaction to gluten in the diet.

Although, naturally gluten free, most egg fried rice dishes from take out’s and restaurant are usually flavoured with soy sauce – which contains wheat and gluten! I assumed if I were to ever make this from scratch I’d have to go on a wild goose chase to look for a good, cheap and tasty gluten free soy sauce.

Lentil based curries make for great glutenfree options. Sauces are mostly thickened with chickpea flour or yoghurt rather than a wheat-based starch, so are safe for people with coeliac disease, but do check.

Our curries make for great glutenfree options. Our Chinese Curry and Gluten Free Sauces are  thickened with tapioca flour, rice flour and potato starch, so are safe for people with coeliac disease. They are produced in a gluten free factory in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions tococonut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut.

For this reason, people who are allergic to peanuts can also be allergic to tree nuts, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pecans, and cashews.

Younger siblings of children who are allergic to tree nuts may be at increased risk for allergy to tree nuts. Your doctor can provide guidance about testing for siblings. Tree nuts include, but are not limited to, walnut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, and Brazil nuts.

Once a baby is established on solid foods, gluten should be eaten regularly. Coeliac disease can only be diagnosed once gluten is in the diet. A diagnosis can be made quickly and easily if symptoms do occur. Further advice can be given by your health visitor or dietitian.

What causes celiac disease? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. In some people who are exposed to gluten in their diet, an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase changes the gluten into a chemical that causes an immune response, leading to inflammation of the lining of the small intestine.

In people with coeliac disease (pronounced ‘seel-ee-ak’ and spelt celiac in some countries) the immune system reacts abnormally to gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats), causing small bowel damage.

Sweet Mandarin’s Chinese sauces are all produced in a gluten free sauce factory and have lab tests to confirm all the sauce range is gluten free.

First…breathe. And then…keep breathing.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, confused, scared and even angry when first diagnosed. But have no fear! A gluten free diet is not really that difficult once you get the hang of it. And you will begin to heal.

A fellow celiac’s suggestions to help get you started can be found here.

An excellent book for the newly diagnosed is Celiac Disease: The First Year by Jules Dowler Shepherd.

Another amazing resource for celiacs is Real Life with Celiac Disease by Melinda Dennis and Daniel Leffler.

And another is Celiac Disease: The Hidden Epidemic by Dr. Peter Green and Rory Jones.

Knowledge about CD gives you power over it and will help you see that this disease is manageable. There are no medications to take and no cure, but it can be put into remission by adhering to a strict gluten free diet. Fortunately, we have many options available to us now.

And a word to the wise: stay away from the gluten-free processed foods while your body heals. Once you start to feel better, you can gradually bring them back in if you so desire.

It’s a gluten-filled world out there folks. Here are some items to be aware of.

  • In broth, like at Chinese restaurants
  • Foods fried in common grease in fryers: chips/tortillas at Mexican restaurants
  • Tortilla press – is the same one used for flour and corn tortillas?
  • Pizza – are there dedicated areas or baking dishes?
  • Imitation crab in sushi
  • Careless food preparation in restaurants
  • Communion wafers
  • Lipstick, lip gloss, or Lotions that come in contact with the mouth and get swallowed
  • Toothpaste, mouthwash, breath mints, dental treatments
  • Chewing gum
  • Herbal teas or teas with malted barley (labels should indicate WHEAT)
  • Medications
  • Condiments
  • Colanders and toasters
  • “Wheat-free” rye bread
  • Dog food/shampoo (wash your hands)
  • Marinades
  • Soy sauce
  • Salad dressing

At home the following practices will go a long way toward avoiding cross contamination:

A celiac should have their own butter dish and a cutting board that is used for gluten free foods only.

A celiac should have their own toaster. A toaster oven, where the rack can be removed and washed if others have used it may be a good alternative. If you do not have access to a separate toaster, try a toaster bag, a silicon bag that holds the bread while it is toasted. The bread toasts right through the bag.

If it is not practical to have a section of the counter top set aside for preparing gluten free food only, always make sure that the counter space you are using to prepare gluten free food is freshly washed to ensure it is free from crumbs or flour dust.

Do gluten free baking first, and have it well wrapped and stored before doing anything with regular flours. Flour dust (in the air) from regular flours could settle on the gluten free products, thus contaminating them.

Note: Although this doesn’t fall into the cross contamination area, it is worth noting that a Celiac should take precautions against breathing in flour dust when using other than gluten free flours. Flour dust that settles on the nasal passages may eventually get swallowed and end up being digested.

When making sandwiches, do the gluten free ones first – otherwise be sure to wash your hands after touching regular bread and before touching gluten free supplies.

Use clean utensils and avoid “double dipping” – knives or spoons are OK the first time, but once they have touched food with gluten, they can contaminate the food in the container if used again. If it is too difficult to train other family members in this regard, it would be wise for the celiac to have their own jar of jam, peanut butter, mustard, etc.

Be especially alert and cautious when you have guests helping in the kitchen – they will not have your gluten awareness. Also, it is when you are otherwise distracted that you are more likely to make a gluten error.

Make sure any pots, utensils, etc. that are used for other foods are thoroughly scrubbed before using for gluten free foods. In the case of something like muffin tins, paper liners may be a worthwhile consideration.

It is best to have a separate set of utensils with porous surfaces, such as wooden spoons, for your gluten free baking. These utensils might retain some gluten particles after cleaning.

If using lentils, be sure to meticulously pick them over before putting in the pot to cook. Even if you buy them packaged, it is not uncommon to find kernels of wheat or oats (or pebbles) in with the lentils.

Away from home, be aware of sources of cross contamination:

Products in bulk bins can become contaminated by using the scoops in more than one bin. There is no assurance that the other customers will be as cautious as you. Also, flour dust in the air around these bins can cause a problem.

At the deli counter, where gluten free meats are being cut using the same utensils without cleaning in between or where cut meats often overlap on the counter.

Buffet lunches, where the chef tests the temperatures in all the dishes using one thermometer, or spoons are used for more than one dish.
French fries cooked in oil where battered foods have been fried.
Meat cooked on a grill which hasn’t been cleaned after cooking regular food with gluten.

Gluten-free pasta may be cooked in water used for regular pasta and rice may be cooked in broth containing gluten.

Milling of gluten free grains on equipment that has been used for regular grains.

In product production where a gluten free product is not produced on a dedicated line. Cereals and candy bars that have gluten free ingredients may be produced after a non GF item without having the equipment cleaned thoroughly in between.

Intolerance of lactose – the sugar found in dairy products – is often associated with coeliac disease. This is because the enzyme that helps you digest lactose, called lactase, is found in the lining of the gut. When you have coeliac disease, the lining of your gut can be damaged by gluten, reducing your ability to digest lactose and resulting in uncomfortable symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea and bloating. Fortunately after following a gluten free diet for some time your gut can repair itself and you can enjoy dairy foods again, but until then you may want to avoid lactose to reduce your symptoms by following a gluten and dairy free diet. If this is the case, make sure you are getting plenty of calcium from other sources such as soya, tofu, green vegetables or even a dietary supplement.

We have supported and partnered with leading healthcare professionals and professional bodies, to develop guidelines on managing coeliac disease. Until recently there was very little information or training on coeliac disease available to GPs, which may explain why only an estimated 24% of sufferers have been diagnosed. We have also supported the work of the British Dietetic Association, including its Gastroenterology Specialist Group.

Sweet Mandarin has a wide range of gluten free, nut free, msg free, Chinese sauces. We also have a gluten free menu at Sweet Mandarin Restaurant, 19 Copperas Street, Manchester, M4 1HS

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