Sunday, February 6, 2011

Raleigh CSA Support Group 1-20-2011 Meeting Recap

Special thanks to Gail for taking meeting minutes during the last North Raleigh Celiac Support Group meeting on 1-20-2011. Below is a recap for those of you that could not make the meeting.

North Raleigh Celiac Support Group
CSA Chapter 108
January 20, 2011 7:00-9:00 PM
Rex Hospital Private Dining Room, Raleigh, North Carolina

Pat welcomed everyone, including a half dozen new members, to the start of 2011 meetings. She also introduced our guest, Leslie A. Gaillard, MPH RD LDN, a specialist in Celiac Disease and GI Disorders from Durham, NC.

With the meeting focused on newly diagnosed celiacs, several quick-start handouts were distributed. Materials included updates from local gluten-free resources, as well as general cooking substitution solutions for additional food sensitivities. Many celiacs have to avoid other common allergens such as dairy, soy or nuts. Group discussion addressed the need for some people to investigate other food intolerance when symptoms continue after the removal of gluten from the diet.

Leslie Gaillard spoke of the very individual path the gut takes in healing after diagnosis. She noted that it can initially be very emotional, but the focus should become optimal nutrition, not just gluten-free food. Diets should be 80% naturally gluten-free and only 20% GF foods. We need to open up our eyes by always reading labels and re-learn how to eat. There is a learning curve, and we will make
mistakes, but with increasing information becoming available, the gluten free diet can be a healthy diet.

Leslie recommends everyone should have nutritional blood testing of various vitamins and minerals. About 95% of celiacs have suboptimal iron, Vitamin D, B12, Folate and Omega3 levels. However, she advised supplementation with only USP evaluated products since the industry is not well regulated. “Nature Made” is a popular brand she recommends. Also discussed was the need for follow-up care with a gastroenterologist to monitor health since cross contamination remains a problem
both in the food industry without defined labeling laws and in food service due to lack of education and understanding of gluten intolerance.

Everyone is invited to join our on-line Yahoo group. A Charlotte area support group is sponsoring a Gluten Free Expo.

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 17, 2011 at Solas Restaurant in downtown Raleigh for tastings of their GF menu.

Submitted by,
Gail Harris


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