Joining us today is Alexa Prass, a registered dietitian with a personal and professional history in navigating the complexities of celiac disease and gluten intolerance. In this episode, Alexa demystifies the world of Celiac disease as well as non-Celiac gluten intolerance (both of which are very common with endo warriors). She shares actionable advice for living a healthy, gluten free diet – seasoned with insights from her own journey.
Tune in as we delve deep into what it truly means to maintain a gluten-free diet, how to dodge hidden sources of trouble, and why advocating for your dietary needs is vital, especially when dining out.
Here’s what you’re about to discover in today’s episode:
– Hidden sources of gluten that could be lurking in your pantry.
– Practical tips on how to become a savvy food label detective, avoiding common traps in gluten-free eating.
– Strategies for mastering the gluten-free dining experience with confidence, and the importance of good communication.
– The vast array of symptoms linked with Celiac disease, and why they can often go unnoticed or misdiagnosed.
– Understanding the difference between Celiac disease and non-Celiac gluten sensitivity.
– What gluten actually is and why it can wreak havoc in certain individuals.
– A dive into the relationship between celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and endometriosis, and how these conditions can intersect.
– The importance of personalized dietary support from professionals who truly understand the gluten-free journey.
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Disclaimer: This podcast is for educational purposes only. This may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.
Gluten Free Diet and Endometriosis
In the latest episode of The Endo Belly Girl Podcast, host Alyssa Chavez sat down with Alexa Prass, a registered dietitian specializing in celiac disease and gluten intolerance, to unpack the intricate world of gluten-free living. For many individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance, navigating a diet free from gluten is not just about personal preference—it’s a necessary course for maintaining health and well-being. We delved into the complexities of maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle, the challenges of dining out, the rise in gluten-related diagnoses, and the unexpected sources of gluten that people might not be aware of.
Unveiling Hidden Gluten
In a segment brimming with practical advice, Alexa Prass highlighted some hidden sources of gluten that could ambush the unwary. From soy sauce to seasoning packets, innocuous-looking food items can harbor gluten, posing a threat to those who must avoid it. We learned the critical importance of reading food labels and understanding that even products that appear gluten-free might contain gluten in various forms, such as barley, rye, and malt.
Reading the Labels
We can’t overstate the importance of scrutinizing food labels. This section would offer tips on what to look for, including “contains” statements, which can offer a clearer picture of potential allergens. Alexa provided key insights into recognizing less obvious gluten-containing ingredients and the necessity of vigilance regarding proprietary blends that may camouflage specific contents.
Eating Out On a Gluten Free Diet
Dining out can present significant challenges for people with gluten sensitivities. Alexa shared her strategies for a safe and enjoyable dining experience, emphasizing the importance of self-advocacy. This section covered how to ask pertinent questions about menu items, how cross-contamination can occur, and why sometimes using the term “allergy” may help underline the severity of one’s condition to restaurant staff.
Understanding Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
This crucial section of our conversation addressed the distinction between celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). With over 300 symptoms, celiac disease diagnosis and management can be a labyrinthine process. Alexa untangled these threads, explaining why accurate diagnosis often necessitates consuming gluten, and the potential for false negatives when gluten is absent from the diet.
The Gluten Protein Explained
Our guest broke down the basics of gluten, a protein composite found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. The presence of gluten is not inherently bad—it provides elasticity and structure in baking—a fact that’s crucial to understanding why it’s used so widely in the food industry and why it can be challenging to replace.
Rising Awareness and Diagnosis
The discussion touched upon how increased awareness and accessibility of information have contributed to more people being diagnosed with gluten-related disorders. We explored the social and cultural evolution of gluten awareness, and how that has impacted both individuals and the wider healthcare system.
The Language of Cross Contamination vs Cross Contact
We found it important to clarify the difference between these terms, where “cross-contact” specifically pertains to the unwanted introduction of gluten into gluten-free food. Alexa elaborated on why understanding and using the correct terminology can be vital to preventing exposure to gluten.
The Gluten-Free Friendliness of Restaurants
Some eateries are especially accommodating of gluten-free needs, and we learned that the key might lie with owners or chefs who have personal experience with living gluten-free. We talked tips for individuals with celiac disease on how to find and choose gluten-free-friendly establishments.
Dining Out Tips
The insights in this section covered the logistical aspects of eating out when you have gluten sensitivities. From planning ahead to calling restaurants before a visit and how to effectively communicate one’s dietary restrictions, Alexa provided actionable advice for listeners.
Gluten in Alcoholic Beverages and Skin Products
Often overlooked, alcoholic beverages can be a hidden source of gluten. Alexa pointed out which types of alcohol might contain gluten and emphasized the importance of checking this often-neglected area. Additionally, we discussed whether skin products containing gluten pose any risk to those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
About Alexa Prass
Our listeners gained an understanding of our guest’s professional background and her personal journey with celiac disease. Her expertise, informed by her own experiences and comprehensive knowledge as a hospital dietitian, added depth and credibility to the advice shared.
Throughout this episode, the interrelation of celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and conditions like endometriosis was thoughtfully illuminated by both Alyssa Chavez and Alexa Prass. The powerful combination of medical knowledge and personal narrative brought to the fore the daily realities and practical solutions for those seeking to live their healthiest lives gluten-free. Alexa’s wealth of information, resources, and personal anecdotes offered a guide that many will find invaluable as they navigate their path through a world filled with gluten. We closed with a hopeful note on the progress made in awareness and understanding, and an invitation for listeners to continue their gluten-free journey with confidence.
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