Managing Celiac Disease - Tips for Seniors

Posted: 1/13/2016 9:40 AM by Interim HealthCare
Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, is a condition that can’t be cured, but can be treated and managed effectively.  For seniors with celiac disease, making every day food choices can be a challenge and even a cause for stress.  Depending on their level of gluten intolerance, making the right food choices can be very important for avoiding symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, and vomiting. 
Here are just a few tips for seniors with celiac disease to help avoid unpleasant symptoms and maintain good health:
  • Take the Steps to Avoid Gluten
Most suffers of celiac disease know to avoid wheat, rye, and barley.  However, gluten can often be hidden in other foods such as oats. Read labels to determine if a food is, in fact, gluten free and try to avoid processed foods which may contain some hidden gluten. Gluten can show up in some surprising places such as ice cream, lunch meats, and condiments. 
  • Avoid Non-Food Products that Contain Gluten
Gluten can sometimes be found in vitamins and other supplements, so make sure to check the label before taking them.  It is also sometimes found in cosmetics like lipsticks, which can cause your body to react, depending on the degree of your gluten intolerance. 
  • Talk to Your Doctor About Supplements
Since sufferers of celiac disease must eat a special diet, they may find that they are lacking important nutrients. For this reason, it is a great idea to discuss supplements with a doctor. There are certainly ways to maintain good health while still avoiding foods and products that contain gluten.
  • Learn How to Prepare Gluten Free Meals
For some seniors with celiac disease, giving up on favorite recipes that contain gluten can be a big challenge.  However, modifying recipes so that they are gluten-free can make eating a gluten-free diet easier and more enjoyable.  Many seniors may even be surprised to know that there are ways to make delicious baked goods without gluten!  Experimenting with gluten-free ingredients such as coconut flour and almond flour can be delicious and fun.
  • Find Ways to Enjoy Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are naturally gluten-free and they can make great snacks and meal components.  Try different ways to prepare them to keep them delicious and interesting such as baking pears and apples, spiral slicing zucchinis to make pasta, and making your own dried fruit. 

 If you have an aging loved one in need of senior care contact Interim HealthCare today.