Are you on a gluten free diet? Believe it or not, it is entirely possible for you to follow a standard gluten free diet adhering to a universally acceptable standards and be totally symptom free. (The standard level allows very minute amounts of gluten to be present. This means 20 parts per million or 20 ppm.) Some people though with higher gluten sensitivity can still be affected with the presence of these minute trace amounts.
You’re Eating a Gluten Free Diet, So Why Do You Still Have Symptoms?
Again, the standard level that almost all Celiac sufferers can tolerate is usually enough to prevent symptoms; however, there are others who may still get symptoms.
One way for trace amounts to trigger gluten allergy is when some gluten free foods that manufacturers produce use the same machinery for gluten recipes (grains and breads) and gluten food. This unintentionally adds trace amounts of gluten into the gluten free products.
Even restaurant meals or meals you prepare at home in a gluten free kitchen can cause this same cross-contamination.
To prevent cross-contamination scenarios, take extra care to thoroughly clean surfaces, utensils, and cookware with gluten free soap.
Many sufferers are so highly sensitive to gluten that they need an entirely grain-free diet to prevent getting symptoms from the tiniest trace amounts. Nonetheless, the same great care in meal preparation is essential in shared kitchens even if you are on total grain-free, gluten free diet.
Another factor that may produce symptoms of Celiac Disease is gluten-associated cross-reactive foods.
Approximately fifty percent of those who are gluten intolerant will also react to dairy foods.
Read: Hidden Sources of Gluten
List of Foods to Avoid
Note: there is a list of foods we often consider acceptable in a gluten free diet, but these may still produce symptoms and discomfort for those highly sensitive to gluten (again, even in very small trace amounts). This includes Dairy (which tops the list), Chocolate, Sesame, Hemp, Buckwheat, Eggs, Soy, Sorghum, Millet, and Spelt. Some people may also need to avoid Amaranth, Quinoa, Tapioca, Teff, Oats, Coffee, Rice, and Whey.
If any of these foods trigger Celiac-like symptoms in you, completely avoid them.
How to be Completely Free of Symptoms
Bear in mind that to be on a completely gluten free, symptom free diet, you must stay away from all triggers for at least a few weeks before you can feel dramatic improvements.
For more than fifty percent of sufferers, the first few days will usually bring relief especially with their digestive-related symptoms. Other uncomfortable symptoms such as ‘brain fog’ may take a week or two before improvements can become evident.
Feeling completely recovered usually takes a few weeks for most people, in general.