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Gluten Free Diet

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley that causes intestinal damage (often resulting in weight loss and nutrient deficiencies) for individuals with gluten intolerance. Common symptoms of gluten intolerance include: diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, forgetfulness, and irritability.

Why should I follow a gluten free diet?

The gluten free diet is used in the treatment of celiac sprue and dermatitis herpetiformis. Although a gluten free diet does not cure celiac sprue and dermatitis herpetiformis, following the diet will relieve the symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity.

How Will I know What Foods Contain Gluten?

  • To find out what foods contain gluten it is important to read the food labels. Products change regularly so check the label carefully before each purchase. If unsure if a product contains gluten contact the manufacturer.
  • Oats do not naturally contain gluten, but they are often contaminated with wheat or other grains and may need to be avoided.
  • Avoid products with any of the following ingredients on the label:
    • Wheat: includes items made or processed with flour; various part of the wheat kernel (including the germ, bran, and endosperm [starch]).
    • Barley: includes all parts of the barley grain and items produced from barley (such as malt flavoring, brown rice syrup, brewer’s yeast, and beer).
    • Rye: includes all parts of the rye grain, usually found in our food supply as rye flour and rye bread. Unlike wheat and barley, rye is typically not used as a food additive.
    • Oats: includes all products containing oats (including oat flour, oat bran, and oat gum).
  • Foods manufactured with wheat should be listed in an allergy statement below the ingredients on the label or in parenthesis following the name of the ingredient. If you suspect that the label is not correct call the manufacturer to verify that the item does not contain wheat. When in doubt, DO NOT EAT IT. Barley, rye and oats are not covered by this law.