If you have been strictly following the "traditional gluten-free" diet and are still experiencing health problems, you definitely are not alone.  Studies have shown that even after two years on the gluten-free diet, 30 to 60 percent of adults with celiac disease have persistent gut damage. Data also suggests that this is true in more than 33 percent of adults regardless of having symptoms or positive blood tests.  Further, studies have shown that 1 in 5 children with celiac disease may not heal .... even when strictly following a gluten-free protocol. 

Clearly, following the "traditional gluten-free" diet may not be enough.

Things to consider
  • the current definition for gluten-free (wheat, barley and rye) is over 60 years old 
    • the study had only 10 participants
  • gluten definitions are changing
    • all grains contain gluten in different forms.  Here are a few:
      • Wheat – alpha gliadin
      • Barley – hordein
      • Rye – secalinin
      • Oats- avenin  ....  (additional source)
      • Sorghum – kafarin
      • Millet – panicin
      • Corn – zein
      • Rice – orzenin
  • not all forms of gluten have been studied
    • alpha gliadin is the main focus for research and gluten tests
    • gluten can be detected in urine and stool tests 
  • "gluten-free" does not guarantee "zero" gluten .... only "reduced" gluten
    • the gluten-free standard is "20 ppm or 0.002% gluten"
      • the most sensitive commercial test can only detect down to 3 ppm
      • some people may be sensitive to "reduced" gluten
    • the quantity a person eats will make a difference
      • one cookie at 5 ppm may produce zero reaction .... however, eating 2 or 3 cookies will produce a reaction
  • cross-contamination
    • restaurant gluten-free menus
      • no guarantee ALL of the workers are trained in what gluten is, the seriousness of it and how cross-contamination occurs
      • does the restaurant have a "dedicated" gluten-free fryer
        • even if the answer is "yes", there is no guarantee
        • workers are human and will forget
          • I have received "gluten-free" sweet potato fries that smell like "onion rings"
          • onion ring breading has been in my fries

For many, eliminating "grains" from their diet has been the turning point.  For others, having more thorough blood tests specific for cross-reactivity and auto-immune reactivity has helped to narrow down the problems.  There are so many other stressors besides foods that can affect your health including emotions, relationships and environmental influences.  
Trying to figure out what your unique stressors are can be difficult but not impossible.  When you discover those stressors, then forward strides with your health can be accomplished. 

It is very crucial to read labels.  Restaurants .... no matter how many questions you ask or what options they offer for gluten-free items .... the odds are high that you will get "glutened".  If you do decide to eat at a restaurant, enzymes can be your new best friend to help counteract any effects you may encounter.  These are my favorites as they do not contain any gluten or gluten cross-reactive ingredients.

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