new diagnosis celiac disease

New Diagnosis of Celiac Disease?

new diagnosis celiac diseaseReceived a New Diagnosis of Celiac Disease?

As a Registered Dietitian, not only do I help individuals with a disordered relationship to food, but I also have extensive experience working with GI Disorders, such as Celiac Disease. Let me break down the ins and the outs of what it means to have Celiac disease, and the nutrition therapy to help! You don’t have to embark on this journey alone.

Celiac Disease is a life-long autoimmune condition. When individuals with celiac disease eat foods that contain gluten, an immune response is triggered that causes damage to the villi in the lining of the small intestine. As a result, food and its nutrients are not properly absorbed, so weight loss and malnutrition can often occur before getting diagnosed. Even small amounts of gluten in foods can affect those with celiac disease and cause health problems. Damage can occur to the small intestine even if you don’t have any symptoms! So the lifelong treatment for Celiac Disease is to follow a gluten-free diet.

What exactly is gluten?

Gluten is the elastic protein naturally found in many grains such as rye, wheat, and barley, and some oats. Gluten can often be thought of as the “glue” that holds these foods together. 

What symptoms may be present in Celiac Disease?

  • bloating
  • chronic diarrhea
  • constipation
  • gas
  • lactose intolerance due to damage to the small intestine
  • loose, greasy, bulky, and bad-smelling stools
  • nausea or vomiting
  • pain in the abdomen
  • weight loss due to malabsorption (or poor growth in children)

How is it diagnosed?

If you’re curious if you may have Celiac Disease, schedule an appointment with a Gastroenterologist (a Doctor that specializes in gastrointestinal health). They may typically do a blood test and/or an endoscopy. 

Which foods contain gluten, that are needed to be avoided?

  • Wheat
    • Includes varieties such as: durum, emmer, spelt, farina, farro, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn.
    • *NOTE: Wheat-Free May Not be Gluten-Free
      • Products labeled “wheat-free” are NOT necessarily gluten-free. They may still contain rye, oat or barley-based ingredients that are not gluten-free.
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Triticale, a cross-breed of wheat and rye
  • Oats (do not naturally contain gluten, but are often cross-contaminated)

The ingredients above are found in many foods and food products, such as:

  • baked goods (cake, cookies, pastries, brownies, ice cream cones, etc.)
  • snack foods (like pretzels)
  • bread & grain products (bagels, pasta, cereal, pancakes, waffles, crackers, etc.)
  • Beer and Malt beverages
  • Soy sauce
  • some salad dressings
  • some sauces 
  • some soups
  • gravy
  • imitation crab
  • some pre-seasoned meats
  • breaded meats (such as Chik Fil A or fried chicken)
  • granola bars

For an extensive list, visit this website.

“What CAN I eat?”

Most whole foods with minimal processing are naturally gluten-free, such as: whole fruits and vegetables, proteins (chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, tofu, etc.), dairy products, fats (such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds). Therefore, you can save money, make it easier, and eat healthier by focusing more on naturally GF whole foods instead of buying a lot of GF-labeled replacement foods (but both have a place in our eating!) Focus on whole foods you enjoy, and add in some fun replacements you miss such as GF cookies, GF cereal, GF bread, GF baked chicken tenders, you name it.

Gluten-free foods & products:

  • Fruits:
    • all fresh, frozen, and dried whole fruits are naturally GF. Awesome!
  • Vegetables
    • all fresh, frozen plain vegetables are naturally GF as well. Fill your plate with color!
    • potatoes and beans are also great sources of complex carbs and are gluten free.
  • Protein:
    • raw meats such as beef, chicken, turkey, fish, etc.
    • eggs
    • dairy products such as yogurt, icecream, sourcream, cheese, milk, cottage cheese (be mindful of icecream with added products that contain gluten, such as cookies & cream or cookie dough flavors)
  • Grains:
    • quinoa
    • buckwheat
    • rice (brown, white, read labels on other kinds)
    • sorghum
    • teff
    • cornmeal, grits and polenta
    • arrowroot
    • millet
    • amaranth
    • corn tacos/tortillas
    • tortilla chips made from corn
    • rice cereal such as Chex
    • bread products made from Gluten Free flours (such as this amazing bagel recipe)
  • Fats:
    • avocado
    • cooking oils
    • raw nuts & seeds such as almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed, etc.
  • Condiments:
    • Tamari (soy sauce replacement)
    • Coconut Aminos
    • Ketchup
    • Mustard
    • Mayo
    • Jam & Jellies
    • Butter
    • Herbs & Spices (double check labels for any blends)
    • Honey
    • Salsa
    • Maple Syrup
    • Miso paste
    • Molasses
    • Sugar (cane, coconut, powdered, etc.)
  • Snacks:
    • popcorn
    • most chips (check ingredients list)
    • rice cakes
    • plain nuts & seeds
    • fruit
    • pudding
    • jello
    • greek yogurt
    • cereals such as Chex or Honey Nut Cheerios
    • GF protein bars such as Perfect Bars, Go Macro Bars, Larabars
  • Beverages:
    • milk
    • 100% fruit juice
    • kombucha
    • tea
    • coffee
    • nut milks
    • cocoa
    • alcohol: vodka, wine, etc. (No beer or malt beverages)

*Refer to this brochure for even more extensive lists and meal ideas.

When following a gluten free diet with Celiac Disease, aim to include these components on your plate for a balanced meal:

-a source of complex carbs that are gluten free, such as: brown rice, rice, quinoa, buckwheat, GF bread/pasta/etc., sweet potato, white potato, corn, beans

-a source of fiber-rich fruits & veggies: fill your plate with color! Berries, cucumber, beets, celery, cucumber, mushrooms, bell peppers, kiwi fruit, banana, carrots, lettuce, tomato, onion, brussel sprouts, broccoli, apples, pears, peaches, kale, cauliflower, you name it!

-a protein such as chicken, beef, edamame, fish/seafood, eggs, turkey, tofu, tempeh (be sure to read the label), etc.

-a source of hunger-busting fats, such as: avocado, olive oil, butter, nut butter/nuts/seeds, cheese (if dairy doesn’t bother you), fatty fish, etc. 



Other Items That Need to Be Verified By Reading The Label Or Checking With The Manufacturer:

  • Lipsticklipglosslip balm, or other cosmetic used near the mouth
  • Oral care and dental products 
  • Communion wafers
  • Herbal or nutritional supplements
  • Drugs and over-the-counter medications 
  • Vitamins and supplements 
  • Play-dough: children may touch their mouths or eat after handling wheat-based play-dough. For a safer alternative, make homemade play-dough with gluten-free flour.

Services I Offer for those with Celiac Disease:


Resources that may be helpful:

  1. NIH Website
  2. Celiac Disease Foundation
  3. Thrive Market – GF products
  4. Mayo Clinic
  5. National Celiac Association
  6. Beyond Celiac
  7. Joy Bauer
  8. Find a Practitioner
  9. Sunbasket Meal Delivery
  10. Daily Harvest


*And FYI – almost 100% of the recipes on my blog are gluten free, since I can’t tolerate gluten either, so try some for yourself and get creative in the kitchen!

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