How rigorous do I have to be in avoiding gluten for celiac disease?

Question by Dianne A: How rigorous do I have to be in avoiding gluten for celiac disease?
I have a provisional diagnosis of celiac disease, but have been symptom free – except for some absorption issues. So now I have to live gluten-free. But I’m the mom, chief clerk and bottle washer. How careful do I have to be when I make regular food for my family? Can I still bake their light, fluffy and tender birthday cakes using cake flour? Sandwiches on regular bread for them? Since I don’t have symptoms, isn’t it going to be impossible to tell how much is too much?

Best answer:

Answer by Anama
Symptoms or not, the damage is still being done to your body. You MUST be as careful as you can when you have a “mixed” household.(meaning gluten and non-gluten eaters)
This means separate cooking pots, cooking utensils, separate toaster, dish washing sponges, etc. Set up a area in the kitchen that is gluten free.Do NOT allow anything to get into that area. You have to realize that the amount of gluten to trigger a reaction is just slightly more than 20 parts per MILLION, so we are talking less than a crumb to set off the reaction.
If you use those flours in your ‘normal’ baking, then you need to set up the area ahead of time so you can contain the flour dust poof (it can travel up to 3 feet.) I have heard of people having reactions from inhaling the dust and then swallowing it, so be very careful to keep your face out of the way and wash your hands, face, arms, etc. well after using unsafe flours, just to be on the safe side. Most of my friends with celiac mix all of that stuff up outside and then bring it in the house to cook only. Most eating of gluten is outdoors where it can not cross contaminate the kitchen. I have a friend who had an oven installed in the garage for her husband to prepare and cook his artisan breads in.He does not bring those flours into the house as it simply isn’t worth the risk.
Personally, I just went 100% gluten free in my kitchen except for packaged breads that we keep in the dining room (on a server in there) and the crumbs are kept clean using disposable towels. That way no crumbs end up in drawers or on the wrong dish sponge, etc. On nicer days sandwiches with gluten bread are made and eaten outside. I find that it is best to have one safe haven in a world full of gluten out there!

Remember, the more strict you are with your diet, the less likely you are to cause the autoimmune reaction, and the less chance of cancer you have at a later time. Go as gluten free as you can, you owe it to yourself and your family to be here as long as you can!
Sorry, but gluten free is hard work, but well worth it!

Also, once you get that diagnosis of celiac, your children, siblings and parents will need to get tested (and continue to get tested throughout life because it can trigger at any time) as this is a genetic based autoimmune disease.
Please go to celiac.com to get more information on setting up a safe gluten free area for you and to download the unsafe ingredient list. The gluten free mall has some great gluten free shopping guides that are real lifelines.
Good luck, hope you get your diagnosis soon, happy healing!

p.s. really good gf sites are out there! Try Katrina’s Kitchen, gluten free girl, gluten frieda, celiac.com lots of great everyday easy things to make so going gf for your whole family won’t be that bad! Enjoy your new, healthy lifestyle!

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Gluten Free Handbook