The Diabetes and Celiac Diet
You think it's tough counting carbs? Throw in a second, food-restricting disease, and the challenge is on.
By Christine Luff
All people with type 1 diabetes have to pay close attention to diet, but those who also have celiac disease need to be extra vigilant. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the protein gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye, and sometimes in oats) causes a person's immune system to attack and damage the small intestine. People with type 1 diabetes have a higher risk of celiac disease, and about 8 to 10 percent of people with type 1 diabetes also have celiac disease. Symptoms of the disease are generally gastrointestinal -- bloating, gas, and diarrhea -- but not everyone gets them. Because it interferes with the body's ability to absorb nutrients, celiac disease also can cause weight loss and fatigue. Early diagnosis is key.
There's no cure for celiac disease, but people can manage it by eliminating gluten from their diet. People with diabetes have additional challenges in going gluten-free, but a healthy diet for blood-sugar management can easily be made into a gluten-free diet with some careful shopping and substituting. The following pages offer some tips for managing this disease duo
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One of my ongoing dietary issues has been one of protein. Right after diagnosis, I ran a bit scared of all of the "excess protein kills the kidneys" lines and into the old-school health-foods' "you don't need as much protein as you think you do" train of thought. Combined with the calorie and sodium restrictions of my initial diabetes diet, a move away from animal-based proteins because of my cholesterol levels, and a medication which seemed to block nutrient...