Going against the Grain; Increase in Cookbooks, Products and Online Support Has Made Adopting a Gluten-Free Diet Easier

By Bonwich, Joe | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), October 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Going against the Grain; Increase in Cookbooks, Products and Online Support Has Made Adopting a Gluten-Free Diet Easier


Bonwich, Joe, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Rabia Rahman is as much a detective as a dietitian when she works with her patients to help them avoid gluten.

"I had one patient who got really sick from licking an envelope," says Rahman, who's both a nutritional counselor and an instructor in the department of nutrition and dietetics at St. Louis University.

Ironically, gluten is used in the binders or coatings of some medications that patients may be taking to feel better. And many of Rahman's female patients are surprised to find out that gluten is sometimes an ingredient in makeup and lipstick.

Helping patients eliminate gluten from their diets is easier than ferreting out some of these more obscure uses, but it still poses significant challenges.

"We'll always go over food habits and cover the broad items like wheat, barley and rye, which means they shouldn't eat regular cakes, breads and pastas," Rahman says. "But then I work with them to go over ingredient lists on labels closely and avoid specific items - hydrolized wheat starch, or anything that says malt, graham or spelt.

"There's often gluten where you really don't expect it. Soy sauce is a big one; broth soups, potato chips and even French fries, which are sometimes dipped in a starch to preserve them."

The medical reasons for going gluten-free, says Rahman, range from mild gluten intolerance to wheat allergies and celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which consumption of gluten damages the small intestine. Blood tests can diagnose allergies and celiac disease, and Rahman calls a small-intestine biopsy the "gold standard" for diagnosis of celiac.

But there aren't any specific tests for gluten sensitivity.

"That diagnosis often comes after a patient has gone from doctor to doctor to find out why they just don't feel well," Rahman says. "Sometimes it's (gastrointestinal) symptoms, but many times the symptoms are less obvious - tiredness, headache or even sometimes depression."

Rahman has her patients keep a log of both their food consumption and their symptoms and eventually may recommend that they eliminate gluten from their diets. Or, in some cases, she may work the other way by having the patients go gluten free to see if it makes their symptoms go away.

In either case, she says, adopting a gluten-free diet gets easier every year.

"Even in the past five years, there's been a huge increase in cookbooks, in what's available in stores and restaurants and in online support," Rahman says.

However, she adds, part of the demand has been generated by a certain trendiness in gluten-free lifestyles that's been aided by their adoption by various celebrities.

"They're using it as a fashion statement, or in some cases they're saying it might help with weight loss," Rahman says. "But there's no medical reason to follow it unless you have to."

But that said, she advises her patients and anyone else who's been diagnosed as gluten-sensitive not to be shy about it.

"Eating out or at someone's house are things that many patients find very, very difficult," Rahman says. It's not just the food itself - there are issues of cross-contamination, as simple as crumbs left when regular bread is made in the same toaster."

"But you have to be willing to advocate for yourself," she adds. "It's also really important to involve family members and friends. You'll often get a lot of support that really helps you stay on top of it."

---

GLUTEN-FREE COOKIE EXCHANGE

What - Attendees are encouraged but not required to bring gluten- free cookies to exchange with others. Please bring the recipes and note any potential allergens.

When - 1-4 p.m., Oct. 20

Where - Cafe A&B, St. Mary's Hospital, 6420 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights

How much - Free

More information - bscsgonline.org

---

GLUTEN-FREE SUPPORT ON THE WEB

ST.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Going against the Grain; Increase in Cookbooks, Products and Online Support Has Made Adopting a Gluten-Free Diet Easier
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.