How do you treat individuals with celiac disease?

Treatment for celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and wheat allergy is following a gluten-free diet and avoiding gluten-containing products. The Gluten Intolerance Group, based in WA, publishes lists of foods that are allowed and that should be avoided for your safety. It’s best to look to that list, but here are some basic items.

Things you should avoid

Corn and rice cereals (they could still be made with wheat or made on equipment that touched wheat)

Sauces, soy sauce, salad dressing, marinades

Seasoning mixes
Prepared mustards

Imitation bacon

Breading and stuffing mixes

Gravy and sauce mixes

Soup, soup bases, broth, and bouillon

Meat loaf

Hot dogs

Meat substitutes

Imitation seafood

Baked beans

Rice pilaf (could contain pasta and wheat starch thickeners)

Seasoned potato chips

Chocolate and candy bars

Barley malt


Flavored coffee mixes

Beer, ale, lagers

Flavored teas

Coffee substitutes

Breakfast beverages

Communion wafers

Other wheat names, like spelt, kamut, triticale, durum, and semolina

Things made with flour, like wheat bread, pasta, pretzels, waffles, cookies, pastries, and breakfast bars

Ice cream made with cookies or multiple ingredients that include modified food starch, which can contain wheat

Oats are allowed in the diet, but these should be certified gluten free. Contamination from wheat flour and wheat processed foods usually makes regular oats unsafe for the gluten-free diet. Some organizations and food standards allow for pure oats, but some individuals still find themselves reacting to it despite pure processing.

Food allergen labeling in the US mandates that producers label their products that contain common food allergens, including nuts, dairy, and wheat. There is no worldwide definition of gluten-free. Some individuals can handle low level exposure to gluten, but check with your doctor. If you are allergic, you should aim for zero tolerance. Traditional gluten-free labeling allows for up to 20 parts per million, or about 5 or 6 milligrams of gluten total intake.

*Picture credit*
Crepe from Miro Tea, Ballard neighborhood, Seattle