Category Archives: Nutrition

Guest Post: Benefits of a Gluten-Free Diet for Mesothelioma Patients

Gluten free diets have become – shall we say – trendy – over the last several years. Some followers opt in simply to lose weight or see what the hype is about. But for many, it’s a health necessity, not a choice.

Most people with celiac disease explain that a gluten-free diet is the only thing that made their intestinal issues go away. These patients have often spent years coping with diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and fatigue before learning that it was the result of a gluten intolerance. (Gluten is a wheat protein that many people have a difficult time digesting.)

Like patients with celiac, pleural mesothelioma patients may also experience these conditions. Some issues, like abdominal pain, are primary symptoms of their cancer. Others, like nausea and diarrhea, are side effects of their treatments.

While they’re caused by different triggers, mesothelioma patients’ symptoms can also be managed through diet. Gluten-free foods may help alleviate some of these symptoms.

For example:

  • Fiber-rich, gluten-free grains like brown rice and quinoa can help stimulate digestion during bouts of chemotherapy-induced constipation.
  • Soft, bland foods can help quell post-radiation nausea. While most people associate “comfort foods” with macaroni and cheese, buttery toast or similar gluten-heavy items, options like mashed potatoes or rice crackers fit the gluten-free bill.
  • Carb-rich foods are concentrated sources of energy for periods of mesothelioma-related fatigue, but they don’t need to be limited to pastas or sandwiches. Complex, gluten-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and beans can provide a major energy boost to get through the day.

Beyond using gluten-free foods to address specific mesothelioma symptoms, patients may also use a gluten-free diet to reduce inflammation in the body. By avoiding this protein for a prolonged period of time, the digestive system gets to rest and focus on calming internal irritation.

While a gluten-free diet may not be medically necessary for mesothelioma patients the way it is for celiac patients, it certainly holds power to help them feel a bit better after their initial prognosis. If you’re considering adopting such a lifestyle, bring it up at your next oncologist’s appointment before making the switch.

Faith Franz is a researcher and writer for The Mesothelioma Center. She advocates for alternative medicine and encourages cancer patients to explore all of their treatment options.

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Mayo Clinic Tells About a Pill That Could Help Celiacs Consume Gluten

If you have celiac disease, you know that there is no magic pill you can take that will allow you to eat gluten without damaging your intestines. At least, not yet

Here is a video that just came out from the Mayo Clinic (a little slow and dry…but considering the source that makes sense) about a recent study on Larazotide Acetate – a pill that could help people with celiac disease consume gluten.

What do you think? Would you eat gluten again if there was a pill that came available? Or, would you stay gluten free?

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Filed under Changes, Medical Tests, Nutrition, What is Celiac Disease?

USA Today Asks, Is Gluten Free Just a Fad Diet?

So many people are talking about going gluten free these days, that many people assume it is just a fad diet and not a medical diagnosis. Here is an article from USA Today asking Is Gluten Free a Lifestyle or a Diet Craze?

What are your thoughts after reading it?

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Filed under Changes, Daily Life, Nutrition, What is Celiac Disease?

Should We State the Obvious?

I have heard people complain when they see a food that is “obviously” gluten free advertise this information on their packaging. Their argument is usually something about consumers being smart enough to “know” that mustard or frozen peas are gluten free just by their nature.

I disagree.

For someone with celiac disease, 1/4 tsp of gluten in 24 hours is enough to cause a reaction. Since gluten is more than just “wheat” (wheat, barley and rye) how do you really know? Maybe, someone thought barley malt added a nice flavor to that mustard – or lightly dusted those peas with flour to make them less likely to stick together. Or, if they were in a facility that processes wheat, that could be enough.

I like seeing “gluten free” on any label because to me, it means the company at least thought about it. Of course, seeing the certified gluten free logo means it is absolutely the one to buy.

For me, if one product (regardless of what it is) says “gluten free” on the packaging and the one next to it doesn’t – there is no question which one i will buy. And, I will probably talk about it here on my blog.

I say, no question. If your product is truly gluten free and you make an effort to ensure that – put it on the packaging. If its not gluten free and you just slap it on there…beware the wrath of angry celiacs everywhere.

Where do you stand on this debate?

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What Would It Take?

A question I often get asked is, “Is there anything that you miss so much that if you had the opportunity to eat it you would break your gluten free lifestyle?” For me, the answer is no. There is nothing I miss so much that it is worth getting sick or killing my intestines (I do miss funnel cakes when I go to the fair though!)

I am curious how other people feel about this. Would you ever break your gluten free diet for that “one thing”? If so, what is it and why? Do you do this already? Why or why not?

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Gluten Free Dieting

Like so many women (and men) out there, I have always struggled with my weight. I’m one of those “average” sized girls that in today’s world is really much bigger than is publicly adored. I know that I need to eat better and work out more, but I am definitely someone that gets all excited and starts something, and then I slip a little and soon…I’m completely off the wagon. (Can I get an “Amen!” if you’re in the same boat?)

I have always thought that those diet plans that send you all the pre-prepared meals would be ideal for me. I only eat what they provide and there aren’t other options – easy. Diet is definitely my biggest problem. The only hitch in this plan is…none of them offer gluten free meals! Where is the Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem and other plans for us people with celiac disease? Most diet books suggest to substitute with “whole wheat” pasta, bread, etc. which is obviously not an option for me, so it is a little unmotivating.

Many of these have vegetarian plans, or other choices for people with different dietary needs…where is mine? Can you help a lady out and set up a gluten free meal delivery plan please? I promise there is a market for it.

So, just to (hopefully) prove my point, if you would like to have this option, please leave a comment. Hopefully, if we raise our voices enough, someone will come up with an affordable (key word) gluten free meal delivery diet system for all of us. Would you like this? I sure know I would!

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GF Alcohol – Happy New Year!

Well, even though I’m not a big drinker myself, in honor of
the holiday I figured I would post a list of gluten free alcohol
that is available for those with celiac disease. The most complete
list I found was originally published in 1996 by Scott
Adams
, and I would like to thank him for his thorough
research to make such a comprehensive listing. As he says on his
list, “please note that ingredients in the products on this page
are subject to change without notice. The products on this page
were safe when last checked. It is up to you to verify that the
product remains gluten-free by checking the ingredients yourself,
or by contacting the manufacturer. All distilled alcohols are
gluten-free.” And…on to the list…enjoy:

  • Armagnac – made from grapes.
  • Beer –
    A number of premium and craft brewers now produce specialty grain gluten-free beers using
    non-gluten ingredients such as buckwheat, sorghum, rice, corn, etc.
    Not all the beers listed below use specialty grains, and some of them have had the
    gluten removed using special filters and/or enzymes, and in such cases they may not
    be 100% gluten-free (although each claims to test below 20 PPM
    gluten).

    • Against the Grain, World Top Brewery
      (United Kingdom)
    • Bards Tale Dragons Gold,
      Bard’s Tale Beer Company (USA)
    • BeerUp
      Glutenfrei, Grieskirchen (Austria)
    • Birra 76
      Bi-Aglut, Heineken Italy (Italy)
    • Blonde (also
      Ginger and Apple Beers), Billabong Brewing (Australia)
    • Daura, Estrella Damm (Spain)
    • G-Free,
      St. Peter’s Brewery (United Kingdom)
    • Green’s
      Endeavour Dubble, Green’s (United Kingdom)
    • Koff I, Sinebrychoff (Finland)
    • Lammsbräu, Neumarkter (Germany)
    • Messagère, Les bières de la Nouvelle-France
      (Canada)
    • Mongozo’s exotic flavorded pilsners
      (The Netherlands)
    • New Grist, Lakefront Brewery
      (USA)
    • Nodogoshi, Kirin (Japan)
    • O’Brien Brown Ale, O’Brien Brewery (Australia)
    • Passover Honey Beer, Ramapo Valley (USA)
    • RedBridge, Anheuser-Busch (USA)
    • Residenz Bio-Reis-Gold Dunkel, Liebharts
      (Germany)
    • Schnitzer Bräu (Germany)
    • Sorghum Molasses Brown, Outer Banks (USA)
    • Toleration, Hambleton (United Kingdom)
    • Tread Lightly Ale and 3R Raspberry Ale, New Planet
      (USA)
    • Tumma Kukko, Laitilan
      (Finland)
  • Bourbon –
    Makers Mark
  • Brandy
  • Champagne
  • Cider – fermented from apples or other fruits. Some are
    safe, however, many add barley for enzymes and flavor.

    • Old Deadly Cider
  • Cognac – made from
    grapes.
  • Gin
  • Grappa
  • Kahlua
  • Kirschwasser (cherry liqueur)
  • Margarita Mix:
    • Jose
      Cuervo.
    • Mr. &
      Mrs. T.
  • Martini:
    • Club Extra Dry
      Martini
      (corn & grape).
    • Club Vodka Martini (corn &
      grape).
  • Mead –
    distilled from honey.
  • Mistico:
    • Jose Cuervo Mistico (agave and
      cane).
  • Mixes &
    Cooking Alcohol:

    • Club Tom
      Collins
      (corn).
    • Dimond
      Jims Bloody Mary Mystery.
    • Holland House – all EXCEPT Teriyaki
      Marinade and Smooth & Spicy Bloody Mary Mixes.
    • Mr. & Mrs. T – all Except
      Bloody Mary Mix.
    • Spice
      Islands
      – Cooking Wines – Burgundy, Sherry and
      White.
  • Ouzo – made
    from grapes and anise.
  • Rum
  • Sake – fermented with rice and Koji enzymes. The Koji
    enzymes are grown on Miso, which is usually made with barley. The
    two-product separation from barley, and the manufacturing process
    should make it safe for celiacs.
  • Scotch
    Whiskey
  • Sherry
  • Sparkling
    Wine
  • Tequila
  • Vermouth –
    distilled from grapes.
  • Vodka
  • Wine – all wines, including port wines and sherry, are
    safe for celiacs.
  • Wine Coolers:
    • Bartle & James – their
      wine-based beverages (EXCEPT their malt beverages – read the label
      carefully!).
    • Boones
      their wine-based beverages (EXCEPT their malt beverages – read the
      label carefully!)

Have a safe, happy, gluten free New Year everyone!

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