Rye? Don't even think about it.
James C. Falcon/MDN - - Jenna Kourajian, a clinical dietitian with Trinity Health, said that people with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, cannot consume products with glutens, such as wheat, barley or rye, in them. A gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease, Kourajian said.
This is the diet or the restrictions, rather of a person with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder, explained Jenna Kourajian, a clinical dietitian with Trinity Health. People with celiac disease tend to stay away from gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley and rye, because if they eat it, they suffer from gastrointestinal problems.
"A lot of bloating, diarrhea, a lot of malabsorption goes on with that," Kourajian said. Most get physically sick, but some even develop skin rashes. "Other people may have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance where they still have gastrointestinal problems associated with celiac disease, but may not have the disease but still have a lot of the same symptoms. They may avoid them for that reason."
The disease was fairly uncommon years ago, mostly because it was an undiagnosed disease for some time, Kourajian said. Now, it has become more common, at an estimated rate of about one in 133, or about one percent of the U.S. population. According to information supplied by Kourajian, 95 percent of people with celiac disease remain undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
A gluten-free diet is the only treatment for a person with celiac disease, she added.
"There are no medications or surgeries that can cure the autoimmune disease," a fact sheet stated. "Eating any amount of gluten, no matter how tiny it is, can cause damage to the villi of the small intestine and prevent patients from absorbing nutrients into the bloodstream."
"Eliminating popular foods from the diet can seem overwhelming when a patient is first diagnosed, but with a little extra effort in the kitchen, people with celiac disease can eat delicious food that tastes just as good as their gluten-containing counterparts," the fact sheet added.
On March 15 starting at 7 p.m., those with celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten will have the chance to sample some foods to ease their diet.
"Vendors will be there providing different samples," Kourajian said of the event, which will take place at MarketPlace Foods, 1930 South Broadway, in Minot. "It's just a chance for people to taste the products and see what tastes good and what will sell."
Kourajian noted that the product tasting will afford those with an aversion of gluten a chance to sample the product without buying it. She noted that gluten-free products tend to be more expensive.
The Minot Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity Group, which usually meets every third Thursday at the hospital, will hold their meeting there and hold their group after.
Kourajian said that while Wal-Mart has a few items, MarketPlace has a better selection of gluten-free products.
Jeff Berg, store director of MarketPlace Foods, said that MarketPlace has carried gluten-free products for about 10 to 12 years. All of the locations carry gluten-free products, but the size of the store usually dictates how much space is devoted to the products.
He hopes that the product tasting will help add more items to what the grocery store already offers by offering "more of the personal thing where they like this and don't like this" and to "use their taste to decide what to carry."
Berg said that a similar testing was held two years ago and it helped decide what and what not to carry, thus expanding the presence of gluten-free items. With the input gathered at the tasting, Berg said that MarketPlace will come away with the knowledge of what people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance like or don't like. He said that he has friends who have celiac disease and to them "some of the (gluten-free) breads are like cardboard and some are more like natural bread. Those people that eat it are the ones that are going to have the best say to what's good, because they have to deal with it every day."
Berg said that the tasting will offer some products on-site, while other products, such as a frozen gluten-free lasagna or a package of gluten-free macaroni and cheese, will be offered for testers to take home and prepare free of charge.