Q: I have diabetes and was also diagnosed with celiac disease. That makes preparing meals difficult. Do you offer gluten-free recipes?
A: Good news! We have gluten-free recipes for individuals with celiac disease.
Celiac disease, also called gluten enteropathy, is associated with intolerance to gluten, a protein in wheat, oats, rye, and barley. Like type 1 diabetes, it is considered an autoimmune disease. Celiac disease is being diagnosed more frequently in people with type 1 diabetes. That's likely because more people are being tested for it.
For people with celiac disease, eating gluten damages the lining of the small intestine, where nutrients are absorbed. Once you start eating a gluten-free diet, the lining begins to heal and return to normal. But it is a challenging diet on top of managing your food intake to control diabetes.
Most people with celiac disease can eat basic foods from the fruit, vegetable, meat, milk, and fat groups, as well as corn, rice, potatoes, and other gluten-free starches. Many food stores now carry some gluten-free breads, pastas, and snacks that make living with celiac disease a little easier. For more gluten-free recipes, support groups, and local celiac organizations, contact the Celiac Sprue Association.
Madhu Gadia, M.S., R.D., is a certified diabetes educator.