Girl Scout Cookies

Sunday, January 24, 2010

37 (80%)
9 (19%)

Votes so far: 46
Poll closed
The poll is now closed.
You are still welcome to leave Gluten Free foods ROCK a comment.


Do you have a child who can't eat wheat/gluten?

Girl Scout Cookies are off limits -- not a single variety is gluten-free.

It's that time of year again, we are selling girl scout cookies and can't buy ANY. Girl Scout Cookies are back on sale, at an office, supermarket table or family event near you. And you're going to be hit up to buy a box or two, maybe TEN. If you are gluten sensitive you won't be able to eat ANY!

I have a 6 year old daughter who is in her second year of Daisy's, Girls Scouts starting out division for young girls, and she has gluten intolerance. She can't eat gluten, wheat, rye, barley or oats. We try to keep my daughter’s life as normal as possible. However when the world is FILLED with gluten and we have lack of education regarding gluten sensitivity, it's hard.

One would ask why I send my daughter to Girl Scouts (Daisy's).

Well, it's very important to me that my daughter live as normal as possible. It's hard keeping her free of gluten in a gluten filled society. With gluten being in birthday cakes, school parties, and the class room. We are fortunate to have a great school district and amazing teachers who help keep our daughter free of gluten, however gluten is everywhere.

The Girl Scout mission is 'Courage,Confidence and Character'. Three 'C' words I want my daughter to be a part of.

Girl Scout Mission

Girl Scouting build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

I believe and so do many other parent one thing: Girl Scouts truly need to follow their own mission, and introduce a cookie that is safe for the many, many people with food allergies and food intolerances; not just gluten.

Here is a quote from Girl Scout FAQ:

'Why don't you offer cookies that are whole-wheat, wheat-free, non-dairy, dairy-free, vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, organic, low-carbohydrate, low-calorie, low-fat, non-fat, fat-free, etc.?

A: The demand for specialty cookie formulations is simply not great enough to make it economically feasible to offer a variety of specialty types. Of all the different possible formulations, sugar-free seems to be the most popular, yet in the past, even the sugar-free Girl Scout cookies that have been offered have had to be discontinued due to lack of demand. Our bakers continue to experiment and develop formulations that balance the best tasting cookies using the healthiest ingredients.'

AYFKM? The demand is not great enough?

Food allergies and food intolerance is on the rise.

Today, food allergies/food intolerance are becoming more and more common. The number of people who have a food allergy or food intolerance is growing at a very concerning rate.

Consider these facts:

  • Millions are allergic to wheat - it is, after all, one of the top eight allergens.
  • Nearly 3 million people have celiac disease (although sadly, most don’t know it and probably never will). It’s the most common genetic disease of mankind (yet for every person diagnosed, 140 will go undiagnosed).
  • Remarkable numbers of autistic kids (including Asperger’s and others on the PDD-NOS spectrum) are showing improvement on a gluten-free/casein-free dietary protocol.
  • Many autoimmune diseases other than celiac disease show improvement in symptoms on a gluten-free diet.

I started a poll, located in top left hand corner of this blog, and I want parents, friends, family and anyone reading my blog to please vote and share it with others. Also, share your story in the comment section, and maybe we can pull together and let Girl Scouts know an allergy "friendly" cookie is needed.

Burger King

Saturday, February 20th from 2 - 4
15 Woodside Avenue, West Lawn, PA 19609


Burger King

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Burger King’s new recent list of menu items that are free of wheat, barley, oats and rye.

I must admit that I am not that excited, I just don't trust fast food restaurants. There are just so many things that can happen to contaminate your food at these establishments. They are also not the healthiest choices of food.

BK singles out gluten-free menu items

In an effort to serve gluten-sensitive customers, Burger King has introduced a list of its menu items and ingredients that are free of wheat, barley, oats and rye.

The list includes beef patties, French fries, Tendergrill chicken fillets, egg omelets and various dips and condiments. The complete list is available online here.

“We understand that our guests have individual dietary needs, and as part of our ‘Have It Your Way’ brand promise, Burger King Corp. offers menu items for individuals with gluten sensitivity,” said Cindy Syracuse, senior director of cultural marketing for Burger King Corp. “With our Gluten-Sensitive list, we’re making it easier for our guests to identify these choices.”

Read more

New hope for celiac disease sufferers

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Saturday, January 16th from 2 - 4
15 Woodside Avenue, West Lawn, PA 19609

Researchers look at oral enzymes and immunotherapy as possible treatments for celiac disease. New hope for celiac disease sufferers?

In a sense, the 2 million plus Americans with celiac disease are lucky. No other autoimmune disease has such a safe and effective treatment.

Purging the diet of gluten -- the protein in wheat, rye and barley that triggers an immune reaction in the gut -- can reverse the disease and reduce intestinal inflammation. That's important, because studies now show that the consequences of untreated celiac disease are graver than previously thought, causing anemia, arthritis, osteoporosis, hepatitis, neurological problems and even malignancies, as well as increased general mortality.

Still, it is very difficult to eliminate gluten entirely. It lurks in disparate sources such as vinegars, soy sauce, medications, lip balm and Play-Doh (which some children consider edible); and even gluten-free foods, which are expensive, may contain enough traces to cause symptoms. "When we study celiac patients who have been doing their best to follow a gluten-free diet, even after five years we see lots of damage in the small intestines in about half of them," said Dr. Robert Anderson, a gastroenterologist in Melbourne, Australia, who is working on a vaccine to prevent or switch off the reaction to gluten.

His is one of many efforts underway to develop new, non-dietary treatments for celiac disease. Ultimately, celiac patients may be able to take a pill before a meal so they could, for example, have stuffing with their holiday turkey. Or, as is Anderson's goal, they could go for a series of treatments similar to allergy shots that would teach their immune systems to tolerate gluten.

"It's very exciting that the pathophysiology of celiac disease is understood to such a degree that we can design potential therapies," said Dr. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York.

There are two categories of treatments being developed. One would supplement a gluten-free diet and protect patients from occasional gluten exposure; the other would train the immune system to tolerate gluten and allow patients to eat a regular diet.

Enzyme therapy

Within the first category, one approach uses oral enzymes that target gluten. We cannot completely digest gluten because humans lack digestive enzymes that can break it down, but researchers at Stanford University combined enzymes from bacteria and barley that finish what our own digestive juices cannot. They showed in rats that when gluten is broken down into smaller fragments, it no longer causes inflammation in the intestines. Alvine Pharmaceuticals, based in San Carlos, Calif., has developed this "glutenase" therapy and is now recruiting patients for a Phase II clinical trial.

In this trial, as with the others, participants have had a diagnosis of celiac disease confirmed by a biopsy but have had it under control on a gluten-free diet. They are given either a drug or placebo, along with a gluten challenge, often the equivalent of one or two slices of bread.

"From the early data it looks like the oral enzymes break down enough gluten to be useful," said Dr. Daniel Leffler, director of clinical research for the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Leffler was not involved in the enzyme trial but is an investigator in a nearly completed Phase II trial testing a different drug, larazotide, developed by Alba Therapeutics in Maryland.

The larazotide approach leaves the gluten peptides, or small fragments of proteins,intact but aims to prevent them from penetrating beneath the lining of the gut into the mucous layer where the immune reaction occurs. In celiac disease, as in many autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes, this intestinal barrier is "leaky" or permeable.

Larazotide is a bioengineered drug designed to close those leaks to keep out gluten and prevent or reverse the disease. In preliminary results from about 300 patients in Phase I and II trials, the drug did seem to benefit patients, who had fewer adverse symptoms after eating gluten. It also reduced the levels of the antibody that serves as a blood marker for the immune response to gluten. But interestingly, the drug did not seem to reduce intestinal permeability.

"So the drug works, but maybe through a different mechanism that we don't understand yet," said Green, who is on the clinical advisory board for both Alba and Alvine. He predicts that, if ultimately found effective, the oral enzymes and larazotide would be marketed as supplements to a gluten-free diet but that many patients would want them to actually replace the restrictive diet. It's unclear not only whether such a use would be possible but also whether it would be a daily regimen or followed only when dining out or traveling, for instance.


The second category of treatment, known as immunotherapy, is more investigational but also more exciting, Leffler said. It would allow patients to eat a regular diet by quelling immune response in the gut. This response is driven by immune cells known as T cells, which react when other immune cells display gluten fragments on their surface.

In Australia, a company founded by Anderson, called Nexpep, is packaging the gluten peptides that trigger this immune response into a vaccine that will desensitize the immune reaction. The theory, which he says works in animals, is that by introducing these peptides through injections under the skin rather than through the gut, the immune cells learn to tolerate them and no longer display them to the T cells. That can theoretically prevent or turn off the reaction that damages the intestines

Anderson expects Phase I safety trials of this vaccine, Nexvax2, to be completed in mid-2010. He anticipates that patients would receive a series of injections of the vaccine, followed by occasional maintenance doses.

"If we can figure out how to give the drug, how frequently and when we need maintenance therapy," he added, "then we can use the same principle to explore treatments for other autoimmune diseases." Several other groups are also developing vaccines for celiac disease, but this one is furthest along.

A low-tech immunotherapy approach might require just one inoculation -- of hookworm. It is known that a non-pathogenic hookworm introduced to the gut can relieve asthma symptoms. Researchers suspect that it is because we evolved with intestinal parasites that trained our immune system to tolerate environmental irritants, but our hygienic modern living has deprived us of this beneficial symbiosis.

Researchers at the Brisbane Princess Alexandra Hospital in Queensland, Australia, tested the effects of hookworm inoculation on 20 patients with celiac disease to see if it would blunt the immune response to gluten. In addition to hoping to provide relief for celiac patients, the researchers want to learn if this could be an effective therapy for inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn's disease.

The results have not been published, but when the Phase II trial was over and the patients were offered a medication that would kill the parasites, they all opted to keep their hookworms.

What are your thoughts on this?

What You Don't Know Might Kill You

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Read: Gluten: What you don't know MIGHT Kill YOU

If you eat cheeseburgers or French fries all the time or drink six sodas a day, you likely know you are shortening your life. But eating a nice dark, crunchy slice of whole wheat bread--how could that be bad for you?

Well, bread contains gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and oats. It is hidden in pizza, pasta, bread, wraps, rolls, and most processed foods. Clearly, gluten is a staple of the American diet.

What most people don't know is that gluten can cause serious health complications for many. You may be at risk even if you don't have full blown celiac disease.

In today's blog I want to reveal the truth about gluten, explain the dangers, and provide you with a simple system that will help you determine whether or not gluten is a problem for you.

The Dangers of Gluten

A recent large study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with diagnosed, undiagnosed, and "latent" celiac disease or gluten sensitivity had a higher risk of death, mostly from heart disease and cancer. (i)

This study looked at almost 30,00 patients from 1969 to 2008 and examined deaths in three groups: Those with full-blown celiac disease, those with inflammation of their intestine but not full-blown celiac disease, and those with latent celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (elevated gluten antibodies but negative intestinal biopsy).

The findings were dramatic. There was a 39 percent increased risk of death in those with celiac disease, 72 percent increased risk in those with gut inflammation related to gluten, and 35 percent increased risk in those with gluten sensitivity but no celiac disease.

This is ground-breaking research that proves you don't have to have full-blown celiac disease with a positive intestinal biopsy (which is what conventional thinking tells us) to have serious health problems and complications--even death--from eating gluten.

Yet an estimated 99 percent of people who have a problem with eating gluten don't even know it. They ascribe their ill health or symptoms to something else--not gluten sensitivity, which is 100 percent curable.

And here's some more shocking news ...

Another study comparing the blood of 10,000 people from 50 years ago to 10,000 people today found that the incidences of full-blown celiac disease increased by 400 percent (elevated TTG antibodies) during that time period. (ii) If we saw a 400 percent increase in heart disease or cancer, this would be headline news. But we hear almost nothing about this. I will explain why I think that increase has occurred in a moment. First, let's explore the economic cost of this hidden epidemic.

Undiagnosed gluten problems cost the American healthcare system oodles of money. Dr. Peter Green, Professor of Clinical Medicine for the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University studied all 10 million subscribers to CIGNA and found those who were correctly diagnosed with celiac disease used fewer medical services and reduced their healthcare costs by more than 30 perecnt. (iii) The problem is that only one percent of those with the problem were actually diagnosed. That means 99 percent are walking around suffering without knowing it, costing the healthcare system millions of dollars.

And it's not just a few who suffer, but millions. Far more people have gluten sensitivity than you think--especially those who are chronically ill. The most serious form of allergy to gluten, celiac disease, affects one in 100 people, or three million Americans, most of who don't know they have it. But milder forms of gluten sensitivity are even more common and may affect up to one-third of the American population.

Why haven't you heard much about this?

Well, actually you have, but you just don't realize it. Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity masquerade as dozens and dozens of other diseases with different names.

Gluten Sensitivity: One Cause, Many Diseases

A review paper in The New England Journal of Medicine listed 55 "diseases" that can be caused by eating gluten. (iv) These include osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, inflammatory bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, canker sores, (v) and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to many psychiatric (vi) and neurological diseases, including anxiety, depression, (vii) schizophrenia, (viii) dementia, (ix) migraines, epilepsy, and neuropathy (nerve damage). (x) It has also been linked to autism.(ix)

We used to think that gluten problems or celiac disease were confined to children who had diarrhea, weight loss, and failure to thrive. Now we know you can be old, fat, and constipated and still have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Gluten sensitivity is actually an autoimmune disease that creates inflammation throughout the body, with wide-ranging effects across all organ systems including your brain, heart, joints, digestive tract, and more. It can be the single cause behind many different "diseases." To correct these diseases, you need to treat the cause--which is often gluten sensitivity--not just the symptoms.

Of course, that doesn't mean that ALL cases of depression or autoimmune disease or any of these other problems are caused by gluten in everyone--but it is important to look for it if you have any chronic illness.

By failing to identify gluten sensitivity and celiac disease, we create needless suffering and death for millions of Americans. Health problems caused by gluten sensitivity cannot be treated with better medication. They can only be resolved by eliminating 100 percent of the gluten from your diet.

The question that remains is: Why are we so sensitive to this "staff of life," the staple of our diet?

There are many reasons ...

They include our lack of genetic adaptation to grasses, and particularly gluten, in our diet. Wheat was introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages, and 30 percent of people of European descent carry the gene for celiac disease (HLA DQ2 or HLA DQ8), (xii) which increases susceptibility to health problems from eating gluten.

American strains of wheat have a much higher gluten content (which is needed to make light, fluffy Wonder Bread and giant bagels) than those traditionally found in Europe. This super-gluten was recently introduced into our agricultural food supply and now has "infected" nearly all wheat strains in America.

To find out if you are one of the millions of people suffering from an unidentified gluten sensitivity, just follow this simple procedure.

The Elimination/Reintegration Diet

While testing can help identify gluten sensivity, the only way you will know if this is really a problem for you is to eliminate all gluten for a short period of time (2 to 4 weeks) and see how you feel. Get rid of the following foods:

• Gluten (barley, rye, oats, spelt, kamut, wheat, triticale--see for a complete list of foods that contain gluten, as well as often surprising and hidden sources of gluten.)

• Hidden sources (soup mixes, salad dressings, sauces, as well as lipstick, certain vitamins, medications, stamps and envelopes you have to lick, and even Play-Doh.)

For this test to work you MUST eliminate 100 percent of the gluten from your diet--no exceptions, no hidden gluten, and not a single crumb of bread.

Then eat it again and see what happens. If you feel bad at all, you need to stay off gluten permanently. This will teach you better than any test about the impact gluten has on your body.

But if you are still interested in testing, here are some things to keep in mind.

Testing for Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac Disease

There are gluten allergy/celiac disease tests that are available through Labcorp or Quest Diagnostics. All these tests help identify various forms of allergy or sensitivity to gluten or wheat. They will look for:

• IgA anti-gliadin antibodies

• IgG anti-gliadin antibodies

• IgA anti-endomysial antibodies

• Tissue transglutaminase antibody (IgA and IgG in questionable cases)

• Total IgA antibodies

• HLA DQ2 and DQ8 genotyping for celiac disease (used occasionally to detect genetic suspectibility).

• Intestinal biopsy (rarely needed if gluten antibodies are positive--based on my interpretation of the recent study)

When you get these tests, there are a few things to keep in mind.

In light of the new research on the dangers of gluten sensitivity without full blown celiac disease, I consider any elevation of antibodies significant and worthy of a trial of gluten elimination. Many doctors consider elevated anti-gliadin antibodies in the absence of a positive intestinal biopsy showing damage to be "false positives." That means the test looks positive but really isn't significant.

We can no longer say that. Positive is positive and, as with all illness, there is a continuum of disease, from mild gluten sensitivity to full-blown celiac disease. If your antibodies are elevated, you should go off gluten and test to see if it is leading to your health problems.

So now you see--that piece of bread may not be so wholesome after all!

I would love feedback on this article: Thoughts?

GF Event

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mark Your Calendar!
Next Gathering
Saturday, January 16th from 2 - 4
15 Woodside Avenue, West Lawn, PA 19609
Guest Speaker, Games, prizes,food
Grandmas Gone gluten free, Pre ORDERS
(click link above, under PRE orders to view Grandmas site )
KWF will be at our event
Large information table , Coupons, library of books/DVD/CD
We welcome anyone to our events, regardless of why you are GF
We hope to help a broad range of people with one common connection GLUTEN!
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