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Q: How do I live with a gluten allergy?

Posted October 02, 2013 in Advice Column, Clear Lake

A: According to the National Institute of Health, up to 10 percent of all people may suffer from some sort of gluten sensitivity, and there are currently no medications to help treat the allergy. Mealtimes can be frustrating to people with a gluten allergy because many processed foods have some sort of wheat product. Here are some tips, provided by, to help make life easier and more enjoyable for those who do suffer from a gluten-allergy.

Learn how to read the packaging label. Good words to look for include enriched flour, starch, cereal extract, bran and spelt. Be aware of cross-contamination. The product you are buying may not have any gluten products but the factory it came from may make other products that do. Look at the packaging label to find this information. Look for substitutes or alternatives for your favorite recipes.  Instead of wheat flour, try flours made from corn, quinoa, buckwheat, chickpeas, sorghum, soy, tapioca, rice or potato starch. Double check the foods you are currently consuming to make sure they do not have traces of gluten. Some surprising sources of wheat include ketchup, bouillon cubes, hot dogs, salami, soy sauce and ice cream.

For more information on living gluten-free, come to “In an Oakwood Hour,” Wednesday, Oct. 23 at noon for a free gluten-free lunch and a presentation by Julie Thilges, ABCM dietician. Lunch will be held in the Bayside room at Oakwood Care Center. Reservations are necessary for a meal count. RSVP to Michelle Anderson at 641-357-5244 or email

Information provided by Michelle Anderson, marketing coordinator, Oakwood Care Center, 400 Highway 18 West, Clear Lake, 641-357-5244.

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